Thoughts come from people, people don’t come from thoughts.
Let’s make this a little more experiential shall we? Understanding Ganesha can be easily approached by understanding the human history with elephants.
In the pre-industrial age, elephants were really never a threat to humanity, and the cultures that learned to live with them even came to see them as beneficent allies. They never really domesticated them. They couldn’t and still can’t be made to obey humans by any sort of force or intimidation, but they are very peaceful beings, and those cultures that learned to live with them learned to communicate with them if only in what we would see as a crude or limited way. If an elephant was choosing to sit somewhere and block a path, those cultures just accepted it or went around the great being. Those who had a flair up of egotism, most often just had an embarrassing experience, as the great being either showed them how limited their power actually was, or if somehow they were forced into moving the results were so negative that they were forced to realize they were better off leaving well enough alone. Stuff being trampled, big noises and unnecessary upset that offended even their neighbours.
“Mad elephant!!!!” as in the movie Dumbo. Actually, mad human. Any such behaviour was seen as indecent on the human provokers part, simply just mean, and called that human’s character into question. But actually you raise a valid point. Now we blame the elephant, so let’s explore that.
Remember the devas are living embodiments of cosmic order. Ganesha represents a deep and profound wisdom as well as a necessary balancing force in that order, and we still blame the elephant. We disrespect in every form we can, even showing aggressive contempt for the influence of Ganesha in the modern world. We ignore or deny all obstacles, anything that stands in our selfish ways is just something to fix, a problem to solve, certainly not something to really learn from or allow to exist as a part of a natural balance or integrity. We even speak of an example of nature run rampant in the human body, well, at least a specific example of it, as the elephant man. In a sense, he was an avatar of Ganesha, but Ganesha has many avatars, many forms and manifestations. Ganesha has remained a faithful presence in the human spirit.
The current trend in social upheaval, as seeming negative as it may seem, is highlighting a great deal of evil we previously just accepted, ignored. We were kept placated, but the system of supply and demand itself has broken down. Ganesha was and is a provider, and being the influence behind obstacles is also the embodiment of the wisdom of sustainability. We accept the obstacle of not using fossil fuels, in exchange for the gifts of the sun and continued life on earth.
It is the boundaries that define a thing. Also that protect it. The turtle without its shell is simply dead.
Or a lumpy lizard. Actually, the shell is integrated into its skeleton. No shell = dead. Honestly, no skin for us = dead. The liminal aspects of life really are gifts. Ganesha can perhaps be best illustrated in the LUCA organism. Luca is both a name and an acronym. It stands for Last Universal Common Ancestor. It was a huge slime mould, more or less. A bit more complex than that in a way, but vast and ultimately very diverse. If you believe that all human experience and behaviour stems from strictly biological, chemical, physical roots, then Ganesha started it’s work in LUCA.
Each field of LUCA, each small group of LUCA behaved in an entirely symbiotic way, and through the localized activity it either contributed to the evolution of the whole or just made protein based noise. It’s only after a great period of time in this sharing that the shift was made possible to what we now consider an independent organism, and competition started. What competes with elephants in the wild?
In the wild….? Nothing, except perhaps the oh, so blind and insanely aggressive homo sapiens. I swear that really should be homo ferrox.
Ferrox? Ferocious man. We are the only species that literally every other species fear. We are the real demons. But yes, the real gift of Ganesha is our own evolution. The spiritual gift of Ganesha is that you are an obstacle to me.
Namaste you SOG!!! You son of Ganesha, you.
So Ganesha is competition? Actually, no. Ganesha is why competition hasn’t killed us. The deep seated rationalization that we have to draw the line somewhere though scientistic thinkers would say that’s not rational and is even foolish. The joy of relationships is only found in the obstacle that your partner presents. I am happy because my wife is an obstacle to me. My life is enriched because of this. My experience and perception is expanded because her point of view is an obstacle and thus a new lens for my own, and like a lens I see more clearly because of it. This is Ganesha.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.