Advice needed: spider vs spider

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Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby Perry » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:59 pm

Okay so I'm in a right kerfuffle right now!

I've had one of those spiders that just sit in the corners of ceilings in my room for weeks now, and its never done anything before really, but just now I've had a smaller spider strolling around my room.

This lazy spider I've had for a while has just come out from its corner and promptly spun the other spider in its web, and appears to be eating it.

I'm stuck with what to do! Do I interfere with nature and help the spider, making the other spider lose its meal, or do I let nature take its course, condemning the little spider to death?

Stupid I know, but I'm stuck here!

Thanks.
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Re: Semi-emergency - Advice needed

Postby Perry » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:15 am

Well, I've discovered that the attacking spider is the cellar spider, one of the few spiders that DO willingly eat other spiders, and that it kills its prey with one deadly bite, so I'd assume that the damage has been done by now, especially as the cellar spider has now returned to his corner with the tangled up smaller spider hanging underneath him.

Nonetheless, I think this is an interesting question for future reference...
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Re: Semi-emergency - Advice needed

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:24 am

Greetings,

I doubt there's a strict Theravada position on matters like this.

My recommendation would be to do what you think is best, whilst still adhering to the first precept.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:49 am

Hi pmw
The time to have acted would have been before the two spiders met. In future you may wish to capture any spiders entering your room and re-release them outside somewhere.
Kind regards

Ben
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby Perry » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:59 am

Ben wrote:Hi pmw
The time to have acted would have been before the two spiders met. In future you may wish to capture any spiders entering your room and re-release them outside somewhere.
Kind regards

Ben


You are right. To be honest, I didn't realise spiders readily ate other spiders until I looked it up a little while ago. Even so, I admit to being a bit uncomfortable around spiders. I understand this is something that must change and I am working towards it. In fact I released an identical spider last night! Whether the same spider crept back in or if it's just another of the same species I do not know.

The strange thing is I have a fear of common house spiders but am perfectly fine with tarantulas! I think this stems from when my father used to take me to pet stores and show me them up close, so while I associate tarantulas with going to the pet shop with my dad, I associate house spiders with large, fast creatures creeping around at night!

Thanks to both of you, and thankyou to Retro for changing the thread title.
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:31 am

pmwhewitt wrote:I'm stuck with what to do! Do I interfere with nature and help the spider, making the other spider lose its meal, or do I let nature take its course, condemning the little spider to death?

You don't do anything and let nature take it's course. Depriving a carnivorous animal of food is not Buddha's teaching. Saving every animal from death is also not the Buddha's teaching. What is the Buddha's teaching is to reflect on how birth is inevitably followed by death, how death comes to us all, and at any time.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:11 am

If you feel like acting out of kindness then do it. Kindness is fertile ground for further arising of kindness. If you are confused about what action to take, I would say that it is not such a good idea to act out of confusion. If you regret not taking action then make a note to remember the lesson learned. In other words pay attention to the state of your mind. The degree to which you act out of greed hatred and confusion directly influences the degree to which you and others will suffer. Overly fussing over what is a more correct action is just a way to stay distracted from the real work involved in cultivating a more pure mind.

I believe this to be be in line with how the Buddha taught.

take care...

Gabe
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:32 am

pmwhewitt wrote:
This lazy spider I've had for a while has just come out from its corner and promptly spun the other spider in its web, and appears to be eating it.


By the time the first got the second spider, even before it wrapped in its silk, it was too late, the first bite likely was administered, and it was certainly too late as it was being wrapped. There would ne way to cut through all the wrapping without tearing apart of the soon to be lunch. These are predators. This what they do.

If this sort of thing is bothersome to you, then it best to carefully catch the spider and put it elsewhere. Also, there is a likelihood your guest will lay eggs and in a while you will have hundreds of cute little baby spiders all over your room, dropping down from the ceiling on thin strands of silk, onto your sleeping face and you reflexively move your hand to brush them away, killing it in the process or getting bitten. Spiders are not necessarily the best roommates.

I had one of what is this video in my room in the wat I stayed in Bangkok. Sacred the bejusus out of me. It moved like lightning. Either I had to go, it had to go. With a bit of luck I caught it and gave it a new home.



And your entetainment:

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:27 am

Hello all,

We have Huntsman spiders about the house and yard:
http://brokenbay.files.wordpress.com/20 ... spider.jpg

I recall one Christmas Dinner - complete with roast everything, puddings, and wine, plus a long white linen tablecloth - that one huntsman spider dropped onto the lap of one of the guests. In the general hub-bub which followed, the poor spider died of fright.

They are harmless to humans. If you get bitten - a cold pack fixes it.

metta
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:31 am

Chris wrote:Hello all,

We have Huntsman spiders about the house and yard:
http://brokenbay.files.wordpress.com/20 ... spider.jpg

I recall one Christmas Dinner - complete with roast everything, puddings, and wine, plus a long white linen tablecloth - that one huntsman spider dropped onto the lap of one of the guests. In the general hub-bub which followed, the poor spider died of fright.

They are harmless to humans. If you get bitten - a cold pack fixes it.

metta
Chris


Another reason, along with funnel-web spiders, assorted highly poisonous snakes, box jellyfish, funny accents of being scared of Australia.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:36 am

Hello Tilt,

Especially for you:
"Come To Australia" by Scared Weird Little Guys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNEeq5qGh8I

metta
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:49 am

Chris wrote:Hello Tilt,

Especially for you:
"Come To Australia" by Scared Weird Little Guys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNEeq5qGh8I

metta
Chris


Thanks. I enjoyed that. Actually, I'd love to come Australia and to see some, but not all, those critters. Love to see a Tasmanian devil (before they all die off) and a Quoll. Anyway, that was funny.

Is Harry Butler still around?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby appicchato » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:17 am

When in Oz watch out for this guy...the funnel web spider...two hours from hit to ice (you being on it)...so I'm told...

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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:29 am

Is Harry Butler still around?


He'd be 79 years of age now. The last I heard was this script is of an interview three years ago:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/inconversation ... 689055.htm

Ven. Appicchato - the Funnel Web can be deadly, but there have been no deaths since the intro. of the antivenene.
http://faunanet.gov.au/wos/factfile.cfm?Fact_ID=84

metta
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby PeterB » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:47 pm

Hi there pmwhewitt. I see that you live in Stevenage, you dont need to worry about spider bites in the Uk. No British spider is able to pierce human skin . Now if you see a big boy, or more likely girl , crawling out of a bunch of bananas and looking a bit dazed and chilly it might be best avoided..
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby chicka-Dee » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:07 pm

pmwhewitt wrote:I'm stuck with what to do! Do I interfere with nature and help the spider, making the other spider lose its meal, or do I let nature take its course, condemning the little spider to death?


This is a great question to contemplate. Been contemplating a similar question, myself.. :thinking: :tongue:

I think it entirely depends on what you personally perceive to be a 'wrong'. Is it 'wrong' for one spider to kill and consume another? You see a little spider that is about to sacrifice it's life. You have the impulse to intervene, perhaps identifying with the poor little guy. But wait.. if the predator cannot catch it's prey, it's gonna starve to death. Either way, one of those spiders will perish. This is nature's way. There is just no way around it. If you intervene, the predator will die if it cannot find other sustenance. If you do not intervene, the prey spider will die. Intervene or not.. will it ulitmately make a difference? (Back and forth, round and round you go.. caught up in mind's reasoning).

Nature, it seems, has already determined what is to happen, as you sit there in contemplation. But then you are also a part of nature. If you had decided to intervene, it would have changed the destiny of both of those spider's lives. The 'little' (prey) spider would have gone on to live, and perhaps to reproduce, or perhaps to be another spider's meal OR even to eat another spider HIMSELF! What a conundrum! What is the 'right' thing to do, not knowing the full outcome of all possible events?

It's a judgement call. Most often, it's probably better to let nature take it's course, and not to interfere. But if there is a perceived 'wrong' and you see something that violates your personal values, well, then, you have to decide for yourself whether you should intervene or not.
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:57 pm

Hello all,
I really don't see this as the existential conundrum it's been made out to be :tongue:

Many animals eat their own kind. Some sharks will eat their babies (so I'm told on Discovery Channel's recent "Shark Week" series, haha), and of course spiders and other creepy crawlers do the same.

Let the spiders live out their karma and let nature take its course. No need to intervene. The insect/arachnid lifespan is pretty short anyway. Say a prayer or paritta for them so they might obtain a higher rebirth.

Of course, just because we're a part of nature doesn't make it right for us to go around eating each other. Unless it's the zombie apocalypse, then it's perfectly alright :tongue:

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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby Individual » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:19 am

pmwhewitt wrote:Okay so I'm in a right kerfuffle right now!

I've had one of those spiders that just sit in the corners of ceilings in my room for weeks now, and its never done anything before really, but just now I've had a smaller spider strolling around my room.

This lazy spider I've had for a while has just come out from its corner and promptly spun the other spider in its web, and appears to be eating it.

I'm stuck with what to do! Do I interfere with nature and help the spider, making the other spider lose its meal, or do I let nature take its course, condemning the little spider to death?

Stupid I know, but I'm stuck here!

Thanks.

OMG another Buddhist insect dilemma!!

What will we do!?! What will we do!?! :tantrum:
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby chicka-Dee » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:13 am

Dhammakid wrote:I really don't see this as the existential conundrum it's been made out to be :tongue:


Just for the record, I wasn't exclusively talking about spiders. I kinda see this question a lot like a Zen koan. The implications are quite interesting to think about, particularly when we substitute a situation that has more personal meaning for us.
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Re: Advice needed: spider vs spider

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:47 am

chicka-Dee wrote:Just for the record, I wasn't exclusively talking about spiders. I kinda see this question a lot like a Zen koan. The implications are quite interesting to think about, particularly when we substitute a situation that has more personal meaning for us.

A comment that a Theravada Teacher (Ajahn Brahm) often makes is that we have to let go of the idea that we can fix everything (or everyone). But, having observed that, we can still care.

He has frequently mentioned this in reference to how some (leaving the fraction indeterminate so I don't get in too much trouble...) modern medics approach patients: too much desire to cure and too little understand of how to care...

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