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Learning the Strength of Love from a Wasp Sting

Experience Submitted by Julian Kingman
Experience Submitted by Julian Kingman

During college, I spent some time in the northern mountains of Thailand studying the local indigenous cultures.

During the day we would hike about 9 hours from one village to the next, stopping for the night and acquainting ourselves with the locals as well as we could with our mediocre Thai language skills.

One day, hiking to the next village, I saw a plastic wrapper and picked it up to throw it away.

I suddenly felt a searing pain in my middle finger, and looked around to see what caused it. I saw a huge orange wasp buzz away.

My finger started to swell and soon my entire hand was consumed in pain, to the point that I could no longer hold my walking stick.

wasp
Initially laughing at the poor foreigner bit by an insect (me), the villager’s demeanor became sympathetic and somber when they learned I was stung by one of these wasps. – Photo by Thai National Parks CC BY-SA 2.0

The following day, I was playing takra (like volleyball with your feet), when I saw a similar wasp come down and buzz around. My heart started beating faster, as to my horror it came right towards me.

It nestled between my watch band and wrist, and as I tried to swat it away, it stung me. It took flight and buzzed aggressively around me, while I fled in a mixture of terror and hatred.

My friends suggested that perhaps it was attracted by the lively colored sarong I wore, which I tore off, now sprinting around the town in my underwear! It must have been quite a scene, and became somewhat of a running joke. My entire arm swelled up so much that it looked like I was wearing a glove.

On the last day of the trip, we were in a group setting, and I was working on being aware of my surroundings. Suddenly, another orange wasp came towards me and started buzzing aggressively.

juliangroup“Look, your friend!” my classmates jeered. I watched the fear and hatred begin to bubble up within me, and applied the technique for eliminating the egos that I had learned from Belsebuub’s work.

Suddenly, this odd clarity appeared within, as I observed the wasp with total detachment, and then the funniest thing happened: I felt a sense of love for this wasp, as if it were a great friend.

In a strange way, I felt this love protected me, making me feel as though I could have held and petted the wasp and it wouldn’t hurt me. As it was, I just watched it buzz back and forth, and presumably sensing no threat, it flew away.

It gave me a taste of the strength and stability that love can give, even in situations where you would think the best choice is to run.

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20 comments
  • That is an interesting story, Julian. It’s nice that you managed to use the technique of elimination of the egos and as a consequence felt love towards the wasp. It must have felt it too as you said – seeing you also as its friend perhaps.

    I had some funny encounters with wasps as well and mostly run away but when I tried to just observe them in a calm way I realised that they too just calmly fly away.

  • What an incredible turn of events, going from fear and hatred to love and clarity. It’s amazing how much our perception of the world can change when we’re able to remove the negativity within. I think it’s a great illustration of the sorts of virtues that can be acquired as we free ourselves more and more of the egos. Instead of fear and hatred, we could have love… what a different world that would be!

    • Yes, that’s right Mike – what a different world it could be if enough people worked on reducing the egos. A much better way of living.

  • Thanks for sharing this experience Julian – it’s interesting how a change in our attitude can influence life around us, even down to such a small level as an insect.

    I can relate to the scenario of running away petrified from wasps. I used to wear hair gel or hair spray as a teenager, which was of course a magnet for wasps, who were attracted to the sweet scents. But as you mentioned, reacting in a flustered way when a wasp was around actually seemed to encourage it to come back with more aggression, increasing the chance of me being stung.

    I overcame my fear of wasps when I was sitting in a bar and felt something sharp in my arm. Then when I looked down, I saw the sting of a bee stuck in my arm, with the top half of the bee rolling around in agony on the seat. I thought “well, it hurt you more than it did me” and as I didn’t have any kind of allergic reaction, I realised that it wasn’t actually that big a deal.

    Of course, there are people who need to be very careful of bee and wasp stings, as it could bring about a strong allergic shock, even worse than the swelling and pain that you mentioned, creating quite a serious situation. But even in those cases, it is probably wise to act with clarity as you did, to avoid provoking aggression. Having knowledge of appropriate medical treatment for stings could also reduce some anxiety in those who need to exercise more caution and reduce the risk of harm.

    Now that I have realised the threat to my own health from being stung is minimal, I’m able to remove wasps that come into my house in a much more peaceful and gentle way, without them even realising that I’m trapping them in a jar to take outside.

    I’ve found this true in other interactions. For example, I grew up around quite a rough neighbourhood and for a number of years, it became an extremely unpleasant but seemingly unavoidable part of everyday life to face verbal abuse and threats of violence whenever I walked on the streets or used public transport, including actual physical assault on several occasions.

    The resulting anxiety of being attacked led to a vicious circle of becoming fearful around gangs of youths etc., only to provoke an aggressive response from them, as they could sense my anxiety and therefore target me as a victim, feeling that they’d have a good chance of winning a fight.

    However, after I found the techniques from Belsebuub to reduce negative emotions, I gradually become much less of a target. In fact, although I’ve faced some angry reactions over the last decade, where people have felt justified due to a perceived misdemeanour, I can’t really think of an occasion where I’ve been a target of unprovoked aggression, despite needing to walk through some fairly notorious areas for work etc.

    Of course, I definitely don’t recommend that people go and deliberately put themselves in danger by walking around rough areas at night, in order to test a theory. But it’s nice that I feel more equipped to deal with adverse or unexpected responses from people, which makes me feel better able to control the outcome in a way that causes me the least harm.

  • What a nice story, thank you very much for sharing Julian! It is especially meaningful for me as well, as I have also developed this fear/hatred reaction towards wasps in particular, even without any of them ever stinging me. Interestingly, I don’t feel this way towards bees so much, as they seem to have a different “character” to wasps. I noticed that while bees usually “mind their own business” and their goal is mostly to get to the next colourful flower full of pollen in a direct way, wasps tend to be extremely curious and sit on whatever interests them, or squeeze themselves into whatever small spaces they can find in-between things, often flying in franatical, incontrollable movements that make it very difficult to predict where they are going to land next. To make matters worst, they often appear in groups, which can be overwhelming. :-O My usual scenario is that a wasp appears, I try my best to stay calm, but then another appears, then another, flying uncontrollably around me, until I give up and run away from the place.

    This thing even gets used against me by the negative beings in the astral, who use the wasps and other buzzing insects to disrupt my conscious experiences in the astral plane. An “astral wasp” usually comes close to me, flying in its characteristic quick and random movements, and as I start waving my hands and feeling somewhat emotional, I wake up in the physical world. I have thought about this so many times, especially what it takes to have the strength to just sit and apply the technique for elimination instead of choosing the seemingly simplest solution of running away, and I figured out that maybe one first needs to reconcile himself with the possibility of being stung and be at peace with it? Any tips from the experienced are welcome. 🙂

    • Hi Lucia,
      From being stung twice, I can assure you, no need to reconcile yourself with the idea of getting stung 😉 Just do what you can not to get a sting instead, and don’t place yourself in a situation where you could get one.. From what I’ve seen, bees / wasps don’t attack you (unless their nest gets disturbed) – but they usually sting you because they get stuck between your clothes and skin. That was the case for me each time I unfortunately got their barb.. So now if there are some around me I usually try to simply walk away from the area where they are buzzing around.. And ensure that they can’t get into my clothes. If they do land on me, I very gently move the cloth away from me and again, just walk away.

      • Thank you for your down-to-earth advice Geraldine! 🙂 To say the truth, I also prefer to simply leave the place where the wasps occur, but somehow it looks like other people behave in a much calmer way around the wasps (and other bigger, buzzing insects) than me.

        To describe a practical scenario that happens almost every year: My husband and I (and sometimes a friend or 2 as well) go to our favourite Cafe for an ice-cream or a cake. We have a sit, and I start enjoying the place, the flower baskets, the relaxing time we took for ourselves, etc… Then a waitress comes and brings us our orders. I eat a spoon or two, and sure enough the first wasp appears. I stop eating my food and try to calmly observe it (as I have been advised). For some reason, the wasp usually finds MY ice-cream more pleasing than other people’s, and starts eating it. I wave my hand a bit, in hope that it will fly away. Sometimes it does, but in a second there is another wasp, and then another, most of them attacking my food, while others flying in their uncontrollable movements around me. At this point I usually start to panic, often stand up and wait if they go away. But they don’t and keep feasting on my food and coming back for more. My husband in the meantime enjoys his portion in peace, and asks me to calm down and not to “disturb” them (no mentioning of how THEY are disturbing me) and how everything is just fine… At the end, I give up, grab my food and run to the inside space of the cafe, with my husband reluctantly following me. So after reading Julian’s story I was wondering how I could possibly face this situation in a calm manner, and that’s how the “reconciling with a sting” idea came to my mind. 🙂

        • Ahaha Lucia, that is a funny scenario, albeit not one for you, as the way you describe it, I bet your husband and friends are enjoying their ice-cream, it seems your food is the decoy for them!! But the same time what you describe can make things really serious, as with food, a sting (if you’re allergic) can be a lot more serious if it happens on the face.. I think, knowing what happened from previous experiences, I’d totally stay inside from the get-go 😉
          You know, it’s a bit like mosquitoes, for some reasons, some people attract them more than anyone else.. I tend to be that person so my husband can also enjoy the outdoors a bit more when I’m around and ‘un-citronella-protected’.. 😉 So now, I usually am covered in citronella and essential oils during mosquitoes seasons, and I enjoy my outdoorsy time a lot more.

          • Hehehe … from being someone who’s observed “Lucia v Wasp” in action, I can say it’s certainly a good advert for the ‘stay calm and they won’t bother you’ approach 😉

            It’s interesting that this has transferred into the astral Lucia, and that Beings, whether trying to help or trick you, know to use it. It’s a good reminder of just how much is known, especially our weak spots, or triggers.

            Julian, though it’s a simple (and funny) story, pondering the deeper meaning of how much changed between you and this other life-form when your emotions shifted is quite profound.

        • Maybe you should take it as a compliment Lucia – the wasps always make a “bee line” for your ice cream, in appreciation of your exquisite taste! 🙂

          • Ah Michael, that is too funny, I also had the same thought – I wonder what ‘exquisite’ flavor Lucia chose, for the wasps to prefer her ice cream 😉

          • Now you guys brought an important aspect into consideration. 😀 Next time I am having all chocolate as my husband does, and see what happens.

    • Also, from personal experience and like Julian illustrated in his story, it seems that if I have this fear within me, and I react with it, the bees tend to feel it and become a bit more agitated toward me – as if attracted. I remember a friend of mine once sharing that studies had been done on a certain type of stinging insect which showed how they could ‘sense’ people’s fear and had more tendency to go toward that source of fear versus other people who were calm and aware. Personally, I try to do just that but I still walk away as I found I react to bee sting and it would be quite nonsensical and stupid to put myself in a possible bad situation, as one bee could still find me friendly but sting me out of accident.. The poor things really, it’s not like they do it on purpose, it’s just an automated reaction if it gets stuck.

    • Although I felt love towards that wasp in the moment, I certainly have no love for wasps as a species. They can be very cruel (see how 10 japanese wasps can decimate whole bee hives, for example), and like you mention they are inquisitive and get “into your business” more than bees. They also like to make their habitat in places that will eventually be problematic, like inside farm equipment, barns, cars, etc…
      Being stung definitely made my fear and hatred of the wasp worse, so I wouldn’t count on that to help, although it did perhaps elevate those states to the point where they were easily observed, and therefore more easily eliminated. The only thing I did, and the thing that produced the magical transformation, was to apply the death to the feelings that came up as it buzzed around.
      If there is a takeaway from that experience, it’s that love can act as a shield, and protect from negative influences, and that love can exist for even the worst creatures when we eliminate our reactions. The second wasp I encountered went after me specifically, and I suspect it’s because of the fear and hatred I harbored for it. In my final encounter, however, I eliminated my negative reactions, and the wasp no longer took such interest in me. Again, I suspect this is related to its sensing my inner state.
      Practically speaking, they don’t seem to like it when I wave my hands around the place that they’re taking an interest in, I just try to make it as predictable as possible so they’re not hit, surprised and driven to attack.
      Good luck! I wouldn’t want to have any special attention from wasps, so I don’t envy your situation :s

  • From the picture it looks like an amazing experience, and the fact that the story with the wasp stands out says a lot for the love you felt. I also remember such moments, although the memory that comes to my mind is more to do with letting go in a situation. I was then able to pray for the elimination of the egos and use my time for self knowledge. This gave me an inner strength and detachment from wanting a specific result, because I was doing what I had to do and had the strength to respond to different outcomes.

    Best wishes for 2018

  • Hi Julian, How timely for me to read your experience. I somewhat recently got stung by a bee and since then, I’ve gone through what you described as well.
    From seeing the fear that followed the sting thereafter and each time so far that I’ve encountered another bee. It has been interesting to see how ‘instinct’ and fear kick in, but also being able to learn to understand some of it and take sensible actions to protect myself without going into “fight or flight” mode. Like you talk about, I’ve found as well that through self-observation and elimination of egos, I’ve been able to respond to my situation in a safer, calmer and more intelligent way, and thus avoiding being stung again 😊

  • That’s sounds like a lovely experience Julian, not the glove-like swollen hand :-), but the feeling of love you felt which seemed to also bring an interesting peace to the whole situation, wonderful.

    I think I’ve also experienced some similar scenarios but with people in everyday life or sometimes in dreams, where everything would push me to some heavy reaction due to the sheer accumulation of injustice we feel etc., but instead of a reactionary outburst a calm love appears unexpectedly arises as you describe. Not entirely sure how that works.

    Must’ve been an interesting and educational trip to travel in remote places like that as well, giving perhaps some different perspectives to life. Hope you’re hand recovered enough for you to continue your trip 😉

    • Yes, it’s interesting how that works Karim. I can think of a few situations where someone has caused me quite significant harm over a long period of time, but I haven’t felt negativity towards them. Having said that, there have been many cases where I’ve definitely struggled to reduce the negativity that has built up within me towards other individuals.

      I think the big difference is that in the first scenario, I gained a much greater understanding of the role those particular people played. For example, bullies at school led me to make certain life choices, which led to suffering and consequently to search for a way to escape that suffering by searching for something spiritual.

      It seems that ultimately karma and dharma are quite interconnected. I can think of many occasions where an injustice led to favourable circumstances in the longer term, which highlights the importance of maintaining mental clarity and a level of detachment from external events, in order to not be consumed by them.

    • I think the state of love was a kind of ‘gift’ from the divine to show me what’s possible with the death of the egos, and to teach me something specific. For me, most of the time result of the inner death is much subtler, even barely perceptible.

      It was very painful for a few days, but it did pass. I still have scars from the stings that I can see when the weather is hot and humid.

About Belsebuub

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Image © Mark Pritchard
Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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