THE WASP IN THE KITCHEN PROBLEM AND ITS (ANTI)SOLUTIONS

Disclaimer: This article is not politically correct. Despite its very serious nature, it(even the disclaimer itself) contains sarcasm, humor, free speech, sharply sincere and insensitive ways of describing some categories of people and their habits, not to mention other tendencies of democracy, such as considerably long sentences (and occasional typos^_^), forcing people to focus a little more than an average facebook status. Although it's not meant to be offensive, if you feel you could be offended by those things, then I apologize and recommend your reconsideration whether to continue, or not. If this is not the case, then enjoy!

There is a wasp in the kitchen. It got there through the window which you had left open. The wasp is flying around, looking for food, ready to defend itself, if deemed necessary. The wasp is a metaphor, a very fitting one indeed, for a problem that troubles us. A worry which got under our skin (through the open window), for we hadn’t payed sufficient attention and let our mind be invaded.

But the past cannot be changed, unless you have a DeLorean or something like that, and since you want to move freely in your kitchen, you have to deal with the problem at hand, otherwise repercussions may come. Generally speaking, there are two main paths, two main directions you can go, methods you may choose to apply.

    A) THE PRIMAL PATH

You see a wasp in the kitchen, an intruder that poses danger, reduces your freedom. What more, it has been there already for a while, you’ve managed to ignore and avoid it so far, but after some sudden moves, which it found menacing, it’s starting to be defensive. At this point, you have mainly the following options:

The simplest one is to go away. Leave the kitchen, perhaps the whole apartment. However radical a solution this may seem for a mere wasp, everything needs to be seen within its wide tree of context. Perhaps you wanted to move out anyway, to start a new episode of your life, but you needed a ‘kick’, an impulse to stop being attached to ancient histories, and move on. In that case, you may leave it all behind, perhaps even free of baggage, go on, continue on your journey to a ‘new' life. If it is truly so, be grateful to the wasp and regard it as your precious spiritual teacher and best of luck in your new life!

Method number two. You leave the kitchen as in the previous case, but you have no intention to fully leave. It is your kitchen, your apartment, your life and the wasp has no right to take it from you. So you choose to stay away from the kitchen, waiting till it dies and you’ll be once again the lord of your apartment. In the meantime, you either eat outside or order takeouts. Whether this solution will help or not, frankly depends on a few conditions. First and foremost, whether you managed to close the window before leaving. If yes, then the solution may also work, although it may cost you some extra - a part of your freedom, not to mention living the on the takeouts or even going to expensive restaurants, spa, or other ways to ease your underlying anxiety caused by your worry.

If you indeed had forgotten to close the window after you, you still might have been lucky enough that the wasp found its way out, rendering your problem at least temporarily solved, until you get careless again. However, a much more probable outcome is that you come back to the kitchen and find some more unwelcome guests coming for the leftovers of your peace of mind. Sorry to be blunt, but you can’t be surprised, you let your ignorance and its offspring - fear control you and thus you totally had it coming. At this moment, if you are lucky, you have your apartment infested with more wasps, mosquitoes, even some smaller spiders. If your are unlucky, you might have a-cute case of a so called MTA (“Multiple tarantula adventure”). Here I feel obliged to state how immensely grateful I am to ever have had to deal with such an adventure in the non metaphorical sense and trust me, tricky as it was, it’s easier than what lies behind the metaphor, which I have seen crawling on so many people... The hardest part lies in the difference between a wasp and a spider mind. Wasps are inherently oriented towards freedom, so as soon as it gets enough food or water, it will want to leave. Spiders, on the other hand, will ost probably like it there and wish to stay. Again, you had it coming, good luck, you’ll need it... Nevertheless, you might already see the main point, which I am trying to make, but just for a little entomological fun, let’s follow this line of thought a little longer. Although I am sure we don’t have to continue and invite snakes and elephants, that you get the gist.

Now we either deal with the wasp alone or with the full aftermath of the previous tiny adventure. Either way you decide that your attachment to the problem is far too grave to deal with it alone and choose to seek help from outside, most of us usually do. You might get a bottle or smoke to ease your fear of the wasp and find out that it’s working. At least for a while. But tread lightly, because you might one day also find out that the wasp is an enchanted princess or prince, imprisoned in this form by an evil wizard and perhaps you fall in love. Who knows you might even get married in a beautiful ceremony by Georgio Tsoukalos (the ancient alien guy). Again, to be utterly and fully honest, it might work for you, although the probability is rather insignificant and in the much more probable scenario that it doesn’t, you might wake up after your we[e]dding night, stung in a rather unfortunate place...

So let’s assume you have already tried most of the above and found it (surprisingly) not working and hence look for some (seemingly) more effective solution. It is after all very fashionable these days. You can go and get yourself a tent-like structure which will block the guests out and ensure some (although perhaps very limited) access to your kitchen. Yet again, you trade your freedom for an unsure safety. This is a metaphor for sedatives. Unfortunately, as it often is, the tent’s structural integrity might not be fully sound and the wasp and others will smell food inside and perhaps get inventive, making you (however slowly) gradually add smaller tents inside and quite likely end up in a self-made gasket. Yet again, this is very common result and price for ignorance.

Next method, to my never-ending awe, is to call someone to install protective nets in your window from outside. My awe concerns how many people cannot see the fragility of this in the long run. This metaphor concerns hypnotherapy, longtime medication and such. Here, one may argue two points. First, that they can install nets in all windows and thus avoid it all. Well if only it were that easy. The key lies in the wasp being a metaphor, not a true analogy. In real life, you may consider your self lucky if even one of the nets holds at least in general, although you very well may need to let it be repaired and reinstalled on regular basis... Even if it succeeds temporarily, they will merely shut out just one localized symptom of the problem, resulting in the very likely possibility of either forgetting to close the same window again or for different reasons winding up in a similar situation again, since they had outsourced the solution to someone else, they gave up the most precious of treasures - the experience of learning how to overcome life’s obstacles on their own and hence live in instability and unnecessarily binding dependence on someone else, which, again (not to mention the resources needed), qualifies as giving up a significant portion of your inner(/spiritual - for the lack of better words) freedom, hence depriving yourself of the key ingredient of true happiness. Second objection might be that in the cases of great many of people, it is simply necessary for they wouldn’t be able to function otherwise. There is indeed no other way than to acknowledge the truth of this, however it painfully brings the subsequent and most important of all questions, namely - how did they get there in the first place. In many cases, unfortunately, there is a strong genetic burden which we must bear and cannot do much about it than to manage it from the outside. NEVERTHELESS, in not much lesser, perhaps even far greater number of cases, people get to that unfortunate point by (for the lack of less fitting terms) pure laziness and passivity when it comes to recognizing those few truly important things in our lives. The greatest of which is, that the Happiness we are all chasing, lies neither in the past nor in the future, therefore can never be found there. Misunderstanding exactly this point is the usual ingredient for winding up exactly as mentioned above. So many people due to their compulsive negligence wind up not only with having the mighty MTA syndrome, but also attempting to solve by covering it with a blanket, while having not much more than prayers left. It all may be summarized into one simple saying: “Happiness rides the gentle and selfless horse of altruism and discipline, whereas the cantering horse of negligence brings on its back the worst forms of Murphy’s law.”

The following paragraph concerns even further escalating of the previous method, but let’s start from the beginning again. There is a wasp in your kitchen, but this time you are so afraid and paralyzed, it may even seem to you like a fire breathing dragon. Because it seems so much bigger than yourself, you feel compelled to reach out for the strongest of (anti)solutions, thus you get yourself a mighty insecticide (perhaps even dragonicide) gas and disperse it all over your apartment. (Another metaphor which comes to mind, is seeing a thief inside your beloved Lamborghini and immediately shooting it to pieces with a gatling gun. Congratulations, you caught him...) So, long story short, you gas everything, hence seemingly rid yourself of that annoying wasp. Well, seemingly. The gas turns out to merely stun, not kill the wasp, hence if you wanna go down this particular rabbit hole, you will need to gas everything in a constant manner and that is only the beginning of it. Although the gas very often proves incapable of more than keeping the problem at a distance, it meanwhile (usually without you noticing) leaves a taint on everything it touches, including your inside, where gradually (or permanently - if used for too long) adds a bitter smell and taste to everything and even melts away your windows leaving you very often with little choice but to keep using it for the rest of your life. Good luck. And yes, I am talking about antidepressants. Tread lightly.

    B) THE WISDOM PATH

Ok, so let’s go back to the very beginning and try an utterly different approach. Let’s say that you have a sufficient spiritual training and/or you have either dealt with the issue at hand in the past, or seen them plenty everywhere around you, and it gives the necessary amount of insight to keep your discipline which will allow you to avoid defensive reactions, hence will not be forced to choose any of the primal paths at all. Therefore, instead of acting right away, you observe and analyze.

You may find that there is a wasp in the kitchen, which is indeed no mystery at all. No big deal either - after all, there is food and an open window of which you are aware and thus are not surprised, for wasps are part of nature, same as you and everyone else. It’s naturally looking for food and water, so it only wishes for happiness as every single one of us. But despite that, you’d still rather have it not there, because you don’t feel the need to get hurt, accidentally, in its selfdefense, perhaps coming from its own ignorance and paranoia (does it sound familiar?)... Or, you even might wish to avoid accidentally harming it from your side for similar reasons, so you consider the most effective methods to deal with the issue.

You might decide that the option to leave and not come back is the most suitable option when you are not yet skilled enough to deal with the problem and/or you need the pinch to start a new episode. This is perfectly ok, since in this case, you are wise enough not to stay attached and simply move on on your journey.

You might choose the option to use a tool - perhaps a glass and a sheet of paper, which normally serve a completely different purpose, but you transform them into skillful means that will help you solve the problem without doing any unnecessary damage.

Your self control and awareness is effective enough that you know you don’t even need any tools to solve it. The wasp is not vindictive and will not hurt you unless you provoke it by sudden moves, etc. It may even sit on your hand and you may give it some food and water and let it go back outside.

If you are patient, you might even find out that it isn’t a wasp but merely a fly, which the archaic parts of your brain along with a superficial observation made into the illusion of wasp. There was no real danger in the first place, so no need to be alert and just let it fly away.

Surprisingly for some, you might even find out that it was perhaps a shadow or mirage, thus no real wasp or other intruder at all... Moreover, you don’t need to close the windows, for there are no really dangerous things that exist outside of your mind anyway, whereas the only real danger lies in ignorance, impatience and misinterpretation.

慧淨̄



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