About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Locust psychiatry?

You can hardly guess it, but some tiny green grasshoppers can in certain circumstances completely change their color, their appearance and their behavior from cuddly, solitary, harmless creatures into a billion-headed voracious army. It is able to devastate entire countries stripping them bare of every last piece of greenery. It is such a stark change, that for centuries people thought that these two forms were two different insect species.
Gregarious             &            Solitary Locust

    Only few years ago scientists discovered that this change was triggered by the neurotransmitter called serotonin (in humans used to treat depression and anxiety). Climatic and environmental stresses push solitary grasshoppers together, they start to produce more serotonin in their brains and when critical numbers are reached a disaster is on its unstoppable way. Even our modern insecticide warfare is hardly coping with numbers beyond counting. Now scientists hope they can eliminate or at least limit this natural disaster by treating manic grasshoppers with neurological drugs (insect specific serotonin inhibitors). One can be only seriously worried that this emergence of what can be called insect neurology or psychiatry does not cause generalized dysphoria among all other animals, including humans.
    Of course, none of this scientific understanding were known or even anticipated in the biblical times. Ancient people considered swarms of locusts to be prime example of divine visitation and judgement. We might have a better scientific understanding of swarming locusts, but we can still learn from our courageous ancestors in faith. They lived under the spell of prejudice, nevertheless, developed ingenious strategies on how to survive the judgement of an angry God. Come this Sunday to rediscover and celebrate these ancient theological, practical, ethical and environmental insights and courage.

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