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Louis Ménard: The Origin Of Insects

Louis Ménard, painting by his brother Emile-René Ménard. 1893.

Picture by Hervé Lewandowski. In the collections of the Musée d’Orsay.



Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, is ‘The origin of insects, a rabbinical tradition’, excerpted from Louis-Nicolas Ménard’s ‘Les Rêveries d’un Païen Mystique’. Paris, George Cres, 1911. From p. 139 to 143. A Via-HYGEIA English translation from the original French.



The Origin of Insects

(A Rabbinical Tradition)

When God had completed His Creation, and at the moment He was keen to congratulate Himself, He heard behind Him a mocking laugh. It was Satan, who was, as usual, appearing standing in the middle of the Heaven’s armies. ‘You would have perhaps done better?’ said to him Iahveh. ‘Maybe‘ answered the Opponent. -‘Then get to work and let’s see what you will produce.

Satan took the remnant of the demiurgic silt from which God made the ground based four legged beasts, the water based fish, the sky based birds and finally Man. He found out that the silt had almost completely dried out, and when he tried to fashion it, everything went into dust. He thought: ‘It would harm the dimension of my creatures; nevertheless I wouldn’t dare draw the generative waters upon which God’s spirit still glides.’

He then took a bit of sun and animated this dust, then he presented God with a sample of his works: a fly, a beetle, an ant, a bee, a grasshopper and a butterfly. The angels started to laugh.

These are the tiny little beings, you pretend to oppose my creation?‘, said the Lord.

The devil said: ‘Size does not matter, you are more proud of Man than of the whale. These are small because they have had little of the earthly matter you have left, just enough to envelop, without weighing down too much, the sparkle of life that animates them. See to which heights they can reach, by jumping or by flight, while Man stays chained upon the earth he was fashioned from. Allow that a swarm of grasshoppers fall on a field and they demonstrate that numbers are a good companion to force. Man is naked and unarmed; but I have protected the life of my children. They have solid armors to defend themselves and powerful jaws to attack. Their bones are on the outside and protect the weak parts, rather than to leave them all exposed to any external menace. If they fall, despite their wings, their shells will amortize the fall; a leave is enough for them to shelter under; their speed saves them from their enemies. They are not difficult to feed: some live upon rot and extract life from death; others drink the sap of the flowers, without soiling or withering them.

Man, when coming into the world, can only subsist from the milk of his mother, and what would happen if his mother would leave anytime? My creatures do not know their mothers but my providence is a good surrogate. At each autumn, the eggs are put in a safe place, to hatch at the first sign of spring. For Man, youth is the best time of his life; the second half of his existence is burdened with sterile regrets. As for Me, I have place happiness at the end of life, to give a price to labor; when the caterpillar has become a butterfly, if rises up into the sun beams, without any other preoccupation than to enjoy this passing moment. I did not measure it in a stingy manner, like you did for Man…’

-‘Don’t insist upon this subject or you would offense the angels’ chastity‘, said God.

Satan replied: -‘I am not sure of this; looks like Azaziel and Samiaza are quite keen to listen! The daughters of Man should better veil their long hair and not stray from the road to Mt. Hermon.’

God said: ‘Enough! The future is my prerogative, it is none of your business. I have kept foresight for myself.’

The Prince of this world answered: ‘Then you know what use you will make of Man and what usage Man will make of his intelligence that You gave him? Maybe one day you will regret having done so, when the cries of death will reach Heaven, when Earth will be crimson of all the blood spilled, and that in order to wash it you will unleash the seas and the waters of Heaven.’

God said: ‘I have given Man intelligence, and freedom; he will harvest what he has sown.’

Satan replied: ‘Intelligence can falter, freedom can stray; but, as for Me, I have given my creatures an infallible instinct. The monarchy of the bees and the republic of the ants may serve as models to human societies, but i doubt that these examples will find any imitators. You see, Master, in this humble creation I have produced to obey you, I have taken the exact counterpoint of your work. It is up to you to decide if I have succeeded.’

Iahveh just smiled and said: ‘Let’s talk about something else, shall we?


Original French






More about Louis Ménard:énard 🌿 and:🌿Original French text source:êveries_d’un_païen_mystique/
Louis Ménard: The Origin Of Insects

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