The Lessons of the Moth

When I was 9 years old, decades ago, I read a poem which inspired Me to profound and obsessive contemplation of some of the most important issues of personal existence. The title of the poem is The Lesson of The Moth. It was written in 1927 by Don Marquis. Here is the text:
i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires
why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense
plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves
and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity
but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself
The imagery created by this poem, as well as the philosophical and ideological dilemma facing both the moth and his conversational sparring partner, took firm root within My victimized, brutalized, and Truth-seeking nine year old mind. This poem inspired Me to deeply dissect, at least to the extent a not fully mature nine year old mind is capable, issues such as suicidal ideation, Self-love, autonomous choice, the path to sane decision-making, the eternal nothingness of death, the uselessness of happiness, and the sacred value of Truth-based immortality.
Here you see the potential power of words, of a well-crafted, enigmatically thought-provoking image of an event that never actually occurred, to stimulate the open mind of a Truth-seeking child, to make progress in carving out a path of Self-insight that ultimately led to the glorious feat of transcending his very humanity.
And so now, decades after reading and being inspired by The Lesson of the Moth, I offer My own short story response of Truth:
I was watching a moth the other evening. He was trying to break into an electric light bulb and fry himself on the wires. I nodded at him and smiled. I wished him good luck. I knew why he wished to fry himself on the wires. It was because his brain was small and weak, incapable of consciously understanding the consequences of death. He was not suicidal, just stupid. I felt much more pity for him, than I ever could for any human. The moth had a good excuse. His brain cells lacked the capacity to know the danger he was placing himself in, and the horrific potential end result.
The human, despite his genetic birth defect status, does not have a good excuse. His suicidal ideation is very real. He  could find ultimate beauty within Himself, but he is too much of a coward. I chuckled, “like moths to a flame”, what a nice analogy to the suicidal ideation of the human.
I would not try to convince the moth to choose the safety of darkness, I knew it was useless, and besides, I knew he was doomed to die in the future, hence already dead. I did not lower the lighting switch to the Off position to try to save his imaginary existence, but because it was time for Me to savor the glory of sleep, and the conscious dream I was eager to plot out and turn to experienced reality, the conscious dream of every human on earth throwing himself into an open fire, to be burned alive. A species that should never have come to exist, reduced to ashes.
No more light bulbs to entice moths. Never again. For humanity, what it has earned: The eternal darkness of species extinction.
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