Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Saturday morning. Sitting in the backyard with a little espresso. A notepad. A pencil. A pack of Biscoff cookies. Thinking. The grass needs cutting, I’m thinking. I had that lucid dream again, I’m thinking. It was the dream about the old house that needs fixing but also the old house is haunted. It isn’t my house, but it may be the inside of my head. And there was that room and the room was filled with old shoes I’ve worn at different times in my life, even baby shoes. Shoes. What do they mean, shoes?
The thing is I woke up inside the dream and could have had dream sex with someone and it would have been okay that way and I didn’t. The hell’s wrong with me?
A sip of coffee. A notebook. A pencil. Thinking.
A glance to the right, my little collection of carnivorous plants in their pots in the sunshine, enjoying the morning. At night they grow. At night the insects come out. The fly traps are beginning to go dormant. The tropical pitcher plants have grown pitchers the size of beer bottles that are catching roaches now. They sink to the bottom and ferment in a nasty soup for the plant’s nourishment.
How does the plant know there are roaches?
I don’t know if God exists. I don’t know what happens when we die. But when I look at a pitcher plant and the hapless roaches drowned in its wells, I wonder. How does it know? How does it know there are roaches to be eaten and that roaches are good to eat?
Plants know about the world they live in. How do they know? Is it all random selection, pure luck? They don’t have brains or nervous systems like we do, they don’t experience the world in the same way we do, but a dandelion knows the wind blows. They all know the sun shines and for how long in a day. They know when the days get shorter and winter is coming. They know there are animals that want to eat them and they have each taken a position towards that reality. They stab them and poison them. They cut deals with them. There are fruit vines with thorns that have packed tiny indigestible seeds in sugary fruit. “Here,” says the plant, "don’t eat me, eat this instead. Take my berry, package my seeds in your shit and drop them where they’ll grow far away. This is better for both of us.” Pollen. There are plants that offer you these bribes – exchanging sex for food. The oldest and most universal bargain there is, man, beast and vegetable. Feed me and you can fuck me. I give you food. You give me a place to put my dick. Everybody has what they want. Nobody has to die.
These random elements.
Sex and death are God’s great tough love creations to drive diversity and make sure life survives against asteroids and mega-volcanoes and every other goddamnedist thing the universe does to our planet. I believe in science, I believe in natural selection. But there is this other mystery I can’t get around.
Carnivorous Plants. How do they know?
I think the plants, especially the hungry ones, have taught me about God. I don’t believe in God the way I once did – but there’s something huge underneath all this that knows. Plants know. How do they know? Is it all by accident? A flytrap’s trap leaves don’t snap closed in the way people think; they don’t move together the way a bear trap does. The leaves of the plant are actually warped and suspended in an open concave shape. The plant shoots water hydro dynamically into the leaves to counter-warp the shape into a convex form which instantly closes the space between them. It doesn’t use movement – it uses geometry. Geometry! Geometry is much faster than movement.
But a flytrap has a technical problem – how can it tell the difference between a raindrop and an animal? Well, it knows animals move around. Raindrops don’t. Somehow it knows that. So it invented a motion detector. How?
A Venus Flytrap can count to three. One, two, three. Snap.
A fly trap has three tiny spines standing up inside its trap leaves. When an animal touches one spine, the plant feels it, the plant watches, but it waits. When something touches two spines, it knows. When an animal touches three spines – one, two, three then snap - water fills the leaves, the leaves change their shape. Geometry! Then they squeeze. They squeeze until they’re airtight. You can’t open them until the plant does.
Random elements. Random elements.
To be in the center of the universe you have to be where the random elements are mixing.
Sex and death. I don’t know if God is a god of love or not, when you look at nature it doesn’t really look like it. It looks as though God is more about turnover. Life survives because of the mixing of random elements into an infinite variety of new forms and no matter what happens to the world some of those forms are set up ahead of the game to survive the new world they’re in. That means everybody and everything has to fuck, mix their genes and have orgasms and feel wonderful. If there is a god out there the only thing you can be really sure of is God wants you to get laid.
And then you have to die. Everybody has to die. You have to clear your ass out of the way so the next generation with the new random mix of genes can come marching through, get laid and die.
What if . . . .?
. . . what if – there is only one fly trap?
What if there has only ever been one fly trap in the history of the world, divided and spread out over generations? But its all the same one fly trap, making these decisions as it goes along? Maybe a plant doesn’t experience time the same way we do. Maybe . . .
. . . what if –
. . . what if a venus flytrap is one vast colonial organism spread out laterally over space-time? It looks like a lot of little plants, but it really isn’t? What if Time is one block, one dimension. Not an arrow. What if – for a plant – time exists like a loaf of bread? You can slice into it, experience different moments, but all those same moments exist at the same time? For a plant? There is only one fly trap, exisiting multidimensionally in all moments simultaneously? Could humans exist like that? Like brain cells scattered across the ages?
The Dalai Lama is what’s known in Tibetan Buddhism as a “tulku”. A tulku is an individual soul, usually a great teacher, who, after death, chooses to return to incarnation in order to continue his work teaching others. They just reincarnate over and over, their previous students search them out and raise them and continue. Theoretically the current Fourteenth Dalai Lama is the same guy as the first Dalai Lama. The same guy has returned fourteen times so far and picked up right where he left off before he died. That’s a tulku. Death doesn’t even represent a career change.
What if a fly trap, or any plant, what if they’re all one tulku spread out over infinite time?
What if . . .
. . . .what if – human beings, all of us, are one Tulku spread out over time, like flytraps? What if we are all one soul, the same soul, co-existing incarnationally, over 6 billion life times but all here simultaneously? Because we experience time as individuals, instead of being spread out, experience it as an arrow instead of a loaf of bread? Maybe nobody else in nature does that.
What if you reading this are really me, but in a different incarnation? Maybe incarnated as a woman?
But what if . . . .
. . . . but what if someone found this out? What would sex be like for that person?
What if that person woke up, as though waking up inside of a lucid dream, and realized that every person he met was actually himself/herself in a different incarnation, spread out, traveling side by side with him? What would that be like?
I pick up my notepad and pencil, wash down a cookie with a long swig of cold coffee. And begin.
On the subway to Battery Park, the woman in the black raincoat snuggled over and nudged Ron gently but assertively in the ribs. He lowered his New York Times and looked at her.
“Excuse me, sir,” she said. “Listen, if I should start screaming? Just wake me up.”
Posted by Garceus at 12:30 AM