We are like the spider…


The Visit, 2009. © Germán Herrera


For some time I had the following quote on the landing page of my website:

“We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe.”
Aitareya Upanishad

I felt it was a perfect metaphor to understand the power and influence our conditioning have over our experience of reality, the quote is so succinct. *

A few days ago, I met a friend from India who pointed me to the fact that, possibly, this was a loose translation of the following quote, from a different Upanishad:

1-1:7. Mundaka Upanishad.  “As the spider creates the cobweb out of its saliva, it lives and plays in it and at the end the same spider swallows up the cobweb, similarly the God, the Lord creates the whole universe as the act of His thought. He manifests in it and again He withdraws the whole universe in Himself.”

Even when it is just as fascinating, the fact that includes the word God,  circumscribes its reach to those that feel comfortable with that notion; it was time to change the welcome page anyways but I felt it was important to acknowledge this observation or my friend Rajesh, obviously my research when it comes to the sources of my quotes, can be improved.

*Apparently, David Lynch includes this quote in his movie Inland Empire, which may have contributed to the misunderstanding.

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