We, Entangled.

Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Anticipation. Excitement. Release. Exhaustion. Anticipation.

The desires, contradicting, always dissipating the energy in their ceaseless collisions.

The competition of wills inside, my voice sings in multitudes, rarely harmonises.

The second person, the third mind, esse est percipi, the falling tree is silent. The code remains digits, just acorn, no oak without the moist soil.

'I' is to be put on a pedestal in the museum of lost futures; I is outdated.

I am late, I am tired, I am exhilarated, I am that I am, and even that I am not.

In the past couple of weeks, my curiosity piled up an arc of “We have never been individuals” themed pieces on my nightstand. An absolutely remarkable journey that twisted a lot of my perspectives.

“A slime-mold enthusiast told me about a test he had performed. He frequently got lost in IKEA stores and would spend many minutes trying to find the exit. He decided to challenge his slime molds with the same problem and built a maze based on the floor plan of his local IKEA. Sure enough, without any signs or staff to direct them, the slime molds soon found the shortest path to the exit. “You see,” he said with a laugh, “they’re cleverer than me.”
Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

So let me sell the Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake to you: I found out about Fungal Computers, Queer Lichens and mycelium grown materials. I heard about some mind-bending symbioses, 20.000 fungal genders and the Wood Wide Web. I landed on the ways of enlichenment, because YES! The lichens are the most romantic polyamorous lovers out there. And much more. Merlin Sheldrake has a persona at least as lovely and quirky as his name, Terrence McKenna was his babysitter and the book is so well written you can almost smell it. Pretty exciting, right?

I love seeing the natural sciences blurring its hard edges to grow more humane, sneaking tendrils of compassion into the stubborn technic lingo. I find it especially important because its own offspring, the technology, is on a death march towards our irreversible decimation of the environment. We empowered it through our brilliance, and maybe the only way to change its deadly course is to speak its own language. To expand our optics from individual to holobiome, to the whole entangled ecosystem and prevent irreversible destruction.

I naturally stepped to the next piece in the series, Braiding Sweetgrass. It’s so soft and tender; it grew me apprehensive - when you let yourself feel these ways, when you tune into the indigenous wisdom, the reality of ‘Younger Brothers’ exploiting and plundering nature without any regret is maddening. Maybe that’s why most of us decide to shut the blinders.

As I was brooding over these dark marshes, the universe sent me a memo: my most favourite comedy sketch of all times by George Carlin. He reminds us that 90% of the species that ever lived are long extinct. The Earth has been through all sorts of worldwide fires, volcano eruptions, hurricanes, floods, meteorite collisions, mass extinctions, magnetic reversals of the poles, repeated ice ages, de-carbonization of the atmosphere, tectonic shifts…. much more severe threats than a pile of plastic straws and a few meters of seawater flooding our neatly trimmed front-gardens. Even a nuclear catastrophe won’t be able to wipe out all the eukaryotes from the face of Earth! So let’s keep in mind the grand picture: we care for ourselves. No matter how much we mess up, in a couple of hundred thousand years, there will be a whole new flourishing tree of life waiting to be discovered by the new intelligences. The mother goddess is not a wounded dying maiden; her claws are bloody, she will shake us off and try again.

And with a grin, George Carlin brings solace to my pains: the planet is fine, the people are fucked. :)

Whenever I read books about these entanglements, conflicts and complexities, the realisation of my wide knowledge gaps excites me - but also makes me more hesitant in writing down my sentences: who am I to talk about all these things I know so little about? Do I ask enough before answering? Do I listen enough before speaking? Do I know enough before talking?

Just as in the Song For Gathering Mushrooms from Cameroon, I hope we all find ways to cherish the frailty and resilience of all life, the endless polyphony of our human experience. The realisation of our importance and our negligibility. The desire to be seen and heard and to be hidden forever. To be mature, wise, naive, to be a child. To be a great listener, a coked-out egomaniac, a virgin and a whore. To be everything all the time, to be nothing whatsoever.

And who says we can't be all?

We are multitudes.

The trickster's only nature is change, a constant shedding of masks is a mask in itself. Is there any other way to dance between the constantly shifting perspectives of our experience? Let's embrace the cracks in our integrity as signs of life and vitality; these fault lines allow us to peek into each other's souls. If we were whole and perfect, we wouldn't be here.