All Posts Tagged ‘Monarch Butterflies


Inner Speech


Many of us think, at times, pictorially (via mental pictures) and emotionally. And to a large extent, many of us think via internal words and sentences (i.e., verbally). This verbiage is called “inner speech,” and it allegedly involves one talking to oneself. Is there a separate self or separate “center” that is truly separate from this inner speech? One does not think so. Regarding inner speech, the perceiver is the perceived; fabricating (mentally) a separate observer is a waste of energy and causes needless separation. Too many of us look at things — such as fear and such as nature — via mere separation. (We were taught to perceive things, internally and externally, via separation.) (By the way, not having the illusion of a separate, central self does not negate eternity/the eternal; on the contrary, it invites it.)

We think, internally, in a multitude of ways; most of us are constantly chattering, internally, about something. This inner chattering largely consists of words and sequences of words. Words are symbolic and are always fragmentary, always limited. (One often speaks internally with a virtual copy of one’s own voice.) Stillness — which allows for wholeness — is imperative. But one cannot “make” stillness occur. True stillness is not merely an effect brought about by some mechanistic, calculated cause. True stillness comes with holistic perception beyond mere cause and effect reactions. This is why you cannot decide to meditate. You cannot say you will meditate for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. This is why “practicing” mindfulness is ludicrous. True meditation occurs naturally; it is uninvited and is not the mere result of some premeditated cause or desire. (You cannot “know” that you are meditating, by the way.)

The watery pool of the holistic, reflective mind (in stillness) will mirror the truth. An agitated mind, full of clatter and turmoil, reflects nothing.

Monarch Butterfly… Only 10% remain after 20 years of manmade extinction. And there are still people saying that manmade climate change is not real. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021


I Cried When i Took This Picture… (2nd pic)



There is no way that someone would “like” this heartbreaking blog posting, but please “like it” if you see the seriousness of it, the environmental implications of it.  

I, not long ago, posted some information from the Sierra Club, that i belong to, about Monarch Butterfly populations declining in North America since 1997.  The Midwestern United States has seen an 88% decline.  I also recently sent in a check to a Sierra Club supported drive to get Monarch Butterfly plate decals (which would help fund the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources to support Monarch habitats).  However, nothing prepared me for the dismal discovery that i made while photographing insects in a wildflower field that was across a rural road from a farm cornfield.  I knew about how important Milkweed plants are for Monarch caterpillars, and when i’ve been out photographing lately, i’ve been curious about the Milkweed plants.  I’ve been seeing Milkweed plants that were eaten and chewed up… but no caterpillars.  Then, one day, while in the wildflower field across from a cornfield, i saw some Milkweed plants.  One Milkweed Plant was chewed up, and when i lifted a few leaves to get a closer look…  a very — and unnaturally — dead caterpillar is what was seen (i.e., the second photograph).  When i was young, corn often had a few grubs or insects around the silk end, and that little part was simply chopped off.  These days, there are never such “intruders”; heaven forbid!  People would vehemently complain!  However, the pesticides — these over-kill overly potent pesticides — you can be sure, are residually still there and are far more precarious and unhealthy than the little pests.  Little wonder why Europe doesn’t even want to get U.S. pesticide riddled corn/soy.  Additionally, another factor:  A recent study by Bret Elderd and Matthew Faldyn from Louisiana State University suggest climate change can alter the chemical composition of Milkweed making it poisonous to Monarchs.   The increase in temperatures — due to global warming — causes Milkweed plants to be stressed and produce more toxins, toxins which then become deadly to the very Monarch caterpillars that they had protected.  There are tons of people out there, unfortunately, who ignorantly deny man’s role in climate change and who do little or nothing to help change things for the better.  Sad and immoral!  

All the factors involved with this are far too vast for me to go into.  For one thing, we need to reduce our human population; in other words, keep it at more reasonable levels, live more environmentally conscious, and grow food in more organic and considerate ways.  Too few are talking seriously about any of this and it is unlikely that things will change any time soon.  The bees, too, are dwindling, and many realize that when they go, we go.

The poor Monarchs are yet another unfortunate, beautiful species harmed by man.  



Monarch Butterfly in a Wildflower Field… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Monarch Caterpillar dead 40 feet from a nearby cornfield… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018


The Trashcan of the Mind



A trashcan that is full of leftovers and rubbish cannot receive something precious, such as a priceless treasure.  We hold so much information, filling us, satiating us to the brim, and we think we are doing just wonderfully; however, the world is not, for the most part, better off because of it.  It is important to think a lot and to think in ways that are significant and that have profound meaning; too many of us, however, habitually think all kinds of needless things over and over, repetitiously.  There can be an intelligence of silence that exists beyond mere repetitious words/symbols.  This silence involves an emptiness that penetrates and that is full of life.  To be empty — truly empty — is the action of true humility.  That true humility brings about real order and the purity of “harmonious action.”  It is no longer filled with secondhand beliefs, opinions, primitive perspectives, and dead traditions; it is whole, unsullied, and pristine beyond the rubbish of propaganda and learned distortion. 

If procedures and systems involving time are needed to (supposedly) empty the mind, that is questionable; because the “cleaner/eraser (i.e., the one supposedly doing the emptying)” and the contents to be emptied are (psychologically) one and the same.  When one is engaged in such attempts at emptying, a false conflict often ensues.  One cannot, via some concocted will, make the mind empty.  With intelligent, uncalculated perception, however, there is a possibility that a timeless emptiness can exist without illusory effort.  That timeless emptiness, if it really is timeless emptiness, is what perceives beyond distortion and secondhand rubbish.  Such perception is beyond tainting, beyond corruption, beyond habitual (sequential) repetition, beyond ugly, robotic manipulation.  Such perception is a danger to all that is false.  



Monarch Butterfly on Coneflower… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018







Many of us hold assumptions/presumptions, either consciously or unconsciously, that dictate how we observe and react.  These assumptions are what we have absorbed from others and may not be separate from what we are.  Many people assume that they are separate from others.  Many assume that they are separate from their so-called “own thoughts” and rule them from some kind of internal distance.  Many assume that the perceiver is (psychologically) separate from the perceived.  Many assume that their family consists of a few human beings.  Many assume that endlessly imitating others is safe, sane, and wonderful.  Many assume that they are fully autonomous and have absolute free will.  Many assume that they are dominant, both internally and externally.  Many assume that animals were put here for man.  Many assume that they have a right to destroy nature.  Many assume that someone who sees things very differently than they do is strange or wrong and should be avoided.  Many assume that degrees from universities are a sign of deep intelligence.   Many assume that thoughts are what they control by a central “I” or “me” that is not another thought.  Many assume that fragmentary, limited science has all of the answers.  Many take for granted that money and “showing off” are more important than caring.  

It may be that the very intelligent mind goes beyond absorbed presumptions.  Such a mind transcends fear, separation, prejudice, conflict, indifference, dead habit, delusion, and mediocrity.  It is likely that only such a mind may be visited by the ineffable and sacred eternal.


[Note:  According to the environment-oriented Sierra Club which we belong to and donate monthly to:   Monarch butterfly populations have been rapidly declining in North America since 1997.  In fact, the Midwestern United States have seen an 88 percent decline in the number of Monarchs, and a 64 percent decrease in the available Milkweed, which serves as the Monarch’s only egg-laying habitat and food source for Monarch caterpillars.  We need to stop denying man-made global warming and do much more.  I, myself, over the past years, have seen a dramatic decline in many butterfly and bee species.]

A Monarch Among Us… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018


Pristine Perception



Pristine perception is beyond the limited; if it is very limited, it is not pristine perception.  Such perception goes beyond the fragmented, limited labels that people assign to things.  Such labels, however “accurate” they may seem, are always partial, circumscribed, and merely symbolic.  Symbols are not actualities.  The word “water” isn’t wet.  Their essence may hold aspects of reality, but they may not be of actual truth whatsoever.  Mostpeople cling to symbols and sequential conceptual terms; without them, they (i.e., mostpeople) are lost.  Wisdom goes beyond this, and what is sees is far from ordinary. 

Depression and melancholiness, worldwide, are rampant in people these days.  A lot of the problem deals with the fact that they were primarily educated to merely exist and remain as symbolic thought (and all thought is merely symbolic).  Being one symbol after another, in sequence, creates an atmosphere that can, indeed, be depressed or of melancholiness.  Even when many chase after exciting experiences, these experiences are usually seen through (or “as”) a screen of symbolic interpretation and label-oriented imagery; then, it ends up being an extension of more and more symbols, which are intrinsically not what is fundamentally whole and pristine.  It is very easy to get lost because of poor education.  It is not so easy to perceive the danger of the false and go beyond it.




Mating Monarchs (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017

Mating Monarchs (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017


The dissolution of slavery…

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In profound wisdom, there’s only perceiving and observing… no separate observer.  Then, nature and the earth are not so separate from what you are.  When vast silence — beyond the observed that one learned to recognize — is not separate from what one is, then conflict and mental chattering come to an end.  Then, real compassion may be.  Then, false borders and artificial boundaries dissipate.  


[Preserve Milkweed Plants… they are what rare Monarchs depend upon.]

One of the Milkweed's best customers.  Photo by Thomas Peace 2015

One of the Milkweed’s best customers. Photo by Thomas Peace 2015


The dichotomy — between the “perceiver” and “that which is perceived”…



The dichotomy — between the “perceiver” and “that which is perceived” — is essentially (psychologically) illusory and nonexistent.


[Group of Monarch Butterflies on wild flowers, gathering nectar and preparing for migration.]

Preparing for migration. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014

Preparing for migration. Photo by Thomas Peace 2014