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Adi & Praja 011

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 4

Issue 11: Blatto’s Heart

It seems that everyone outside the safe ceiling was an enemy: birds, cats, people, chemicals, even pieces of food that smelled “good” but were poisonous. But they did not know why they were hated – after all they were only doing their duty and caused no harm to any other creature.


(blatto’s heart)

Blatto’s Heart

Adi was watching all this in his dream. He was looking at Blatto and the other cockroaches with so much anxious concentration that he himself felt like a cockroach, and felt all the pain and despair – the difference was only that at the same time he knew that he was Adi, and had a heart. Adi could see much more than humans can see. He could also see the individual past and the future of hearts. And he could see how feelings of today were connected with the past as if threads were woven between the past and the present, and between the past and the future, and between the present and the future. So he did not only see how a cockroach came out of its egg, but he could also see how it had gone into it. And where it was before it entered the egg, and even very long before it entered any cockroach egg. He saw that not so very long ago the heart of Blatto had entered the egg of a butterfly. From the egg had come a caterpillar who was quite happily enjoying green leaves to eat in a tree that was standing in the sun. He saw that, after the caterpillar had become big and fat enough, he (or she – that doesn’t matter with caterpillars) made a cocoon of silver threads around himself, and then fell asleep inside the cocoon. When he or she woke up there was a beautiful butterfly with big wings in various bright colors, and large feelers with which he could smell very well – much better than people can with their noses, and a large proboscis to reach deep into flowers to suck nectar and big legs to land safely on the flowers. And he flew up into the blue sky in the sunlight. There was nothing like a narrow ceiling and stench and filth now. Instead there were the sweet smells and beautiful colors of wide open flowers who invited him for dinner – and the dinner was pure honey, pure nectar. As soon as he had finished his meal there was another inviting flower. And so he (or she) went on from one joy to another throughout their life. They did not even know that things like sadness and pain existed in the world. They were enjoying sexual relationships too, and the female butterflies would lay a whole lot of eggs on leaves and stalks of their favorite tree or shrub or flower, thus providing access for other hearts into the butterfly kingdom.

Most butterflies live for one season only. At the end of the season they withdraw to a quiet place, and then leave their body. The hearts of the butterflies then kind of float around and as quickly as possible enter new eggs, and make the eggs grow inside according to their own nature and the instructions the eggs had within them, inherited from the parents of the egg. In this way organs like intestines and a mouth and a bottom, and a system of tracheas inside the body to breath and a colored and sometimes hairy skin, and nerve cells throughout the body, and many other things grew. Brains they don’t have, only knots of nerve cells called ganglia, like many electric threads connecting with each other at one spot. These ganglia were centers of coordination. After some time the eggs burst open and the hearts now lived within caterpillars and wanted to learn something and wanted to accomplish something on their way of understanding the Big Question. These hearts construct something beautiful around themselves: first a caterpillar, then a cocoon, then a butterfly, and finally leave the body of their butterfly and enter a new egg to become a still better butterfly.

Adi saw all this happen in his dream and he wondered how that heart that was now in such gloomy circumstance under the dark ceiling had come into this situation after having been a beautiful and joyful butterfly in the past. The case was that, after having been a butterfly in quite a few successive lifetimes, something in his feeling was getting annoyed of all this honey and flowers and beauty and happiness. He had learned everything that can be learned by butterflies, and experienced every nook and corner of the world that butterflies can experience. He started to feel that this was not all where life was for. The question (because he was still a question issued forth from Adi’s Heart – though he himself had long since forgotten that) about the qualities of the air and the earth that butterflies can know had been answered. He knew everything that butterflies can learn. But still he could not think. Of course he did not even know that something like “thinking” exists in the universe. He had only feelings, many different feelings, but all were only butterfly feelings – nothing else.

At one time, during one of his last butterfly lives he went down to the soil and drank water from the sand. Later he even drank the urine of big animals. When he died his last butterfly life, Adi saw that the desire in his heart was no longer to be reborn as a butterfly. Instead he entered into a more humble bug. He was no longer interested in honey and flowers, not even in flying very high up in the sky. He felt it his duty to collect dung of animals, role it into balls and then push it over a big distance with considerable effort, but he never let off, whatever obstacles he might meet. The type of happiness that butterflies have did not interest him anymore – he didn’t even remember (though his heart remembered everything, and Adi could see all this). He was now a hard worker, collecting dung. His body was female this time, and black and shiny. It was also beautiful, but not like a butterfly. When he (or rather she – it does not really matter because hearts are not male or female because hearts have no sex organs) had rolled the dung ball to a save place, she laid an egg inside the ball. And when another heart had entered it grew into a grub, which ultimately changed into a young dung beetle. She died as a beetle and was born again as other types of beetles, and finally took birth as a cockroach. He was now doing the filthiest job in the world and was despised and hated and beaten and eaten by others. He had lost all happiness. He was only doing his gloomy work, had no friends and was always miserable. Many times he was killed and died. One day he, Blatto, he had ventured too close to the edge of the low ceiling when he noticed a big – a very big – and becoming still bigger – grey hairy thing. In tremendous fear he turned back – but too late. Out of the big hairy thing, which was the paw of an enemy, appeared a number of sharp knives, and before he could escape he felt an excruciating pain in the back of his body. He wanted to shout for his mother to help him – but he could not shout because he had no voice, and he had no mother he knew of. If he would have shouted nobody would have come to his rescue anyway. Even though his backside was torn he did not die immediately. He escaped the paw of the cat (because the big hairy thing with knives was the paw of a fat grey tomcat) and lived on for another three hours – with very great pain and without any help, like some soldiers on a battle field do. After three hours Blatto was lucky enough to die.

All this happened in Adi’s nightmare. But Adi could see the reason for things, why they happened, and could also see much of the future, and felt great awe and respect for the cockroach. As already said, almost everyone hates cockroaches, except good people. Adi did not hate him at all. Blatto was, as the other cockroaches, in fact a harmless creature who caused no evil to anyone, even though he was tortured and killed many times over. And he had dedicated himself to the dirtiest and gloomiest and least thanked-for work: absorbing the refuse of all others. He had even given up the joy he had had in his past as a butterfly. Tremendous feeling of love and sympathy and compassion streamed from Adi to Blatto, and indeed all cockroaches, and also worms and molds and other humble beings. Everything in nature is always rewarded for what it does. And everything in nature always remains connected with Adi’s heart. Adi saw all the future lives of Blatto. How he lived as a lobster, a sea-urchin, and much later he became a fish. Many times he became a fish and had many different colors and forms, big and small in many subsequent lifetimes. Whether he was a big or a small fish didn’t matter for his heart, because hearts have hardly any size – and even a great heart may have a small body, and a small heart a big body. He enjoyed again like in the days in the now very far past when he was a butterfly, but now he searched the waters in stead of the sky. The difference was however that he had a much deeper understanding of what happened around him than when he was a butterfly or a cockroach. He even had some brains. But still he couldn’t think, and he didn’t know that he had a heart. But he knew his environment quite well, including its dangers and possibilities.

Sometimes he was a male fish, at other times a female fish. He became an expert in his element, which is water on Earth. Salt water and sweat water, turbulent water and silent water, rivers, lakes, ponds , pools and oceans, even under-the-ice water around the North pole. And so he went on and on, dying and being born again, usually with only small intervals. Sometimes he was killed, at other times he was himself a killer fish. So, despite all the beauty there was still a lot of pain and fear and suffering also. Sometimes he caused suffering – as when he had a fish body with big sharp teeth (like piranhas) and hunted and killed other fishes. At other times he himself was bitten to pieces and killed, because nature always punishes everyone who causes suffering to others.


(Why has nature invented eating and being eaten?)

Why has nature invented eating and being eaten?

When Adi saw creatures eating each other and the suffering of the beings that are chased and eaten, together with the joy of the predators at the cost of the suffering of their pray, he was shocked and realized that he had never wanted to create such a world.

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