Posts Tagged ‘life’

We have been jettisoning our culture for decades without due care and attention. We have been identifying faults in every principle on which we stood and casting them out but how have we been replacing that foundation? Who is replacing that foundation? What mental bacteria are we hosting unsuspectingly? Whose words are the new gospel? It is as human to believe as it is to breathe. Who has been supplying our new found beliefs? What makes the new beliefs superior to the old ones? Defining one’s beliefs makes them subject to questioning and ridicule but what do we actually know about the less familiar replacements? Are the sources of funding (as illusive as gods to atheists) for the creation of information investing in the future or feeding the greed?

We have been modeling reality seriously with words, numbers, graphs and maps now for about the lifespan of a generation of old growth forest. Unfortunately, they too are being sacrificed to our holy explanations. The model in its present state has strayed too far from reality to feed the hunger consuming the world. Words fail us, numbers aren’t adequately explaining abstract ideas, graphs stagnating on a page don’t represent the activity of being. Information is being hollowed out and sold to us like industrial flour and we buy it as almighty truth; empty calories for the mind.

Secular priests, paid up and mortarboarded, highly informed on all things worldly are happy to inform us we will soon understand how time and space can exist at all without being infinite. (I have a nice logo for the perpetual motion machine as soon as it is completed.)

When someone tells you your beliefs are laughable, laugh. We all deserve a good laugh and a moment to reflect on life, our cobbled together explanations of it and the vain seriousness of our incomplete misunderstandings.

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My Cousin Rover

It’s an awful thought. Every grain of the physical me has been, at various times, through the entire life cycle; the whole palaver. That, I hasten to say, was before it came together under my management. I still regularly add new building material and discharge old bits but I am very selective, at least for the most part. Not a fussy eater you understand, just aware. My entire body, a pussycat by times, a pack of mad dogs at others has previously been working parts of a wild creature or two, ergo wild creature dung.

During my tenure I am to direct a proportionately allocated and ever changing segment of biomass in a coherent and hopefully constructive manner. That seems easy enough until realizing, in an effort to avoid being carried off or pissed off, I have probably slapped or otherwise transformed more biomass from bug to biological who-knows-what than I was granted dominion over in my gravity-hugging form. It appears my obligation may be more complicated than ensuring all my bits are in the right place and not off irritating the neighbors. It seems I can’t manage my charge adequately without reaching out to those around me.

We aren’t just in touch with others, we are part of the same continuum as others. We are inextricably part of the sea of life; intermingling with mosquitoes, snakes, larvae and yes, Rover. Biologically we are like a slow moving river – an Everglades of life-sustaining molecules. What was chicken yesterday is today me. What was black fly last week became chicken before moving on to me. Life simply won’t behave according to our definitions of us and them. Everything is so intertwined enemies and allies are of the same wetware. Eradicating what we deem to be bad inevitably comes with a cost to the good.

So what’s new?

Nothing, that’s the point. Life, at least physically, isn’t so much a process of creating as re-arranging. It’s cyclical, not linear. Everything is constantly under new management – fish today, bear tomorrow. Try as we might we can’t scrub life off without making a complete botch of things. Nature is an extraordinarily beautiful balance of an inconceivable number of imperceptible connections. Our immune system is tuned to that balance. Eat properly, exercise responsibly, treat your body with respect and it will usually respond positively. Any effort to jump the queue, getting one up on nature as it were, is met with fierce opposition resulting in a return to balance (viruses have become super-viruses).

Our triumphs, for the most part, are expressions of desire. When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 1605, man’s life was calculated out at “threescore and ten”; about the same as today. That at a time when England in its entirety would have been condemned by the most negligent of today’s health departments. With our history of emigration and war and the lack of hyperactive record-keeping common today, there is no way we could have dependable records of births, deaths and general goings-on until at least the computer age. (In the face of data we tend to gloss over reality.) No one, with the possible exception of the folks at the Old Bailey and the occasional over-zealous priest, cared about common man before advertising made him a celebrity, the unknown buyer.

Nothing is perfect but working with nature has a long and productive history while working against it is becoming increasingly suspect. Antibiotics are failing against new strains of viruses and life expectancy may be falling. If hell has fury, it is nature spurned.

Meanwhile, down on the organic farm ladybugs and diversification are used by astute farmers saving money on pesticides. It also reduces the risk of one of the causes of the Irish famine, monoculture.

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