January 13

Needlefishing

January 13, 2012

Personal Growth

On the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, the natives employ a most unusual method of fishing. They gather the webs of a certain spider in the jungle and roll them into a kind of spindle, which is then attached to a string held by the fisherman in his boat. The string is tied to a kite made of palm leaf, so that as the kite flies over the water, the spindle of spider web functions as a lure dancing across the surface. This is all done to attract needlefish, an unusually long (as much as three feet—one meter) but slender species with mouths generally too small to swallow a traditional fishing hook.

When the needlefish strikes the spider web, its tiny, sharp teeth and rough scales become entangled in the webbing, and the fisherman can easily pull in his catch. A lure can be used over and over, catching dozens of fish.

Praise, power, money, sex, entertainment, and more constitute similar lures for us. As we strike at them, we become entangled in their web, which pulls us to our doom. We must be diligently conscious of the effects of the goals we pursue, certain that they lead to genuine happiness rather than ensnaring and harming us.

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