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“Edgar was the first leaf ”,
he started. “He, was a wondrous thing to behold; and, a curious thing as well.
His broad, flat and thin symmetry was absolute and he relied on nothing else to reproduce himself.
After a time, this solitary leaf broke apart and multiplied into a community of clones. There were Edgar the second, Edgar the third and, so forth.
Soon, the land was covered with this gang of siblings which, even
they could not tell apart. “Hey bro, get outta my face” was the usual refrain as they spread out and piled one on top of the other. When, because of this over-crowding Edgar found that he could no longer bask in the vibrations of energy from the golden orb he decided to call a council of leaves. “Why don’t we come together”, he said, “and organize in an orderly
way to catch some vibrations of heat, Hmmm?”. Edgar the 255th suggested that the best way was through a frond formation.
And so, they formed the frond society and began to share a common stem. Each frond of the tree became arranged by military formation in such a way as to between them, so that they were able to fill all available space to harness
have the minimum of overlap
the vibrations of heat and light
from the celestial orb. We of the Plantae Kingdom descended from that leaf. Edgar was our ancestor, and this is his story. The newly formed society of leaves, with the help of their green chlorophyll blood were uniquely able to synchronized with the vibrations of the orb. There came a time, however, when even this improved arrangement of fronds proved little better than the first in solving the issue of overcrowding.
therefore, agreed that they had to get up off the ground. It was when Bartholomew the 91st suggested that they join their stems together in a formation that they called a trunk and lifted themselves in a consolidated effort.
. “From now on”, said Bartholomew the 91st
“we will be known as a Tree”. The trunk
grew strong, solitary and tall. As it stretched upward as far as possible toward the orb to snatch energy and moisture, it also planted itself deeper and wider within the surrounding soil for support and to absorb the minerals from its other end. This system of which each leaf was a part turned out to be simple, efficient and economical. A tree became a sort of Metropolis. Each leaf was just one of many citizens which needed only tilt its face upward to let in various vibrations and moisture; fellows: the ancient seaweed algae,
the bushes, the grasses,
then breathe out in harmony with its and the mosses.
All was peace and tranquility. Bartholomew the 91st was celebrated as the inventor of this style of community organization and enjoyed a perch even above Edgar at the very top of his tree and wore a crown. In fact, so beloved was he that the originating group of leaves sat at the top were collectively called the crown of the tree.
â€œThe first trees were giants that seemed to scrape the sky and live endlessly. The vibrations of which they are made lasted a very long time on account of a diet of minerals and moisture which they combined in their green blood as a cocktail of very specific ratio to most effectively transform the orb vibrations into long lasting energies of
life. They have always kept this formula a secret unto themselves.
After eons of life each tree trunk would
shed its oldest leaves, (except the crown, of course ) to make space for new ones. But, those that were shed never really died. Edgar the 255th was among the first to be pushed out. And, so this first fallen group would lay on the soil wondering what to do next. Should they simply start a new tree ? Edgar summoned the attention of the outcasts and outlined a plan. â€œI have an idea. Why not make a better tree? Follow my lead and let us each make many trees upon a single trunk so that there can be more space and so we will not have to be cast aside ever againâ€?. Each leaf should sprout its own trunk to dig into the soil, and grow both upwards and downwards. The trunk could then split and multiply itself into sideways trunks as well.
These he referred to as the
boughs of the trunk. And, so it was. It was the start of a era in the kingdom for this new and varied society of leaves. Whether old style or new, each leaf was really an acting food pantry for its central trunk. Its role was to blend the dewy moisture from water vapor or raindrops with minerals from the other end using vibrations from the orb in the chlorophyll and then filter the product through the stem and trunk to feed the collective leaf community. Once again Edgar the 255th was back on top. After some time there were colonies of trees of both kinds. The colonies collectively became known as a forest.
Forests both of the old and the new type sang in the breeze in joyful harmony. Because Edgar had encouraged each leaf to do its own thing
each resulting tree followed a slightly different
family design based on the creativity of its originating leaves. Some, like the Sequoia grew their trunks to extreme heights,
others failed to grow very tall, and became known as shrubs.
Then, there came a time when complex life forms began to show up from beneath the soil. At first they kept to themselves, being satisfied with drinking the dewy moisture that was everywhere. These complex little organisms felt the mysterious need to move from place to place, which was quite remarkable in and of itself. It did not matter that they lived short and stressful lives. As they moved along from place to place each tree endured to share this new annoyance with its neighboring cousins. But, other “mobile ones”
that now lived above the ground and called themselves “the insects”, started to
molest the little bushes that usually surrounded the trees being as they grew nearer
to the ground.
It seemed that all organisms needed energy but were not able to create it for themselves.
Rather, they consumed the energy that only members of our kingdom could create. Therefore, we of the Plantae Kingdom do declare ourselves the primary organisms and all others are subsidiary. What we leaves have in common is our proud heritage, being descended as we are from a powerful lineage of life facilitators. More than any other organism we could in this regard, claim a royal
Our ancient ancestor, the sea algae, had silently crept from the edges of the water world and perfected this method of exchange with the orb to create energy. It is us, photosynthetic organisms that produce an atmosphere that pervades the planet as a byproduct of our special connection to the orb. Without our chlorophyll blood there would be no life. If we did not exhale no other organism on land could inhale. waves of vibrations sent by the orb
in the form of heat is used by us trees on land and our relatives
beneath the waves to blend with our blood and convert local minerals into energy that makes all life possible. We remove the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that would overheat the planet. Our under water cousins do the same but use the vibrations of heat from beneath the waters in this process. We did not mind the first invaders, the flexible ones that call themselves worms. In fact they were useful in moving the soil around to help us get to the minerals. Then the surface insects started to get the energy we produced by eating us.
To this cause, we have sacrificed a relative few of our brethren â€Ś within reason. But we were
annoyed! Then there was the start of trouble. It was easier for these herbivores to get their energy indirectly.
Some of them had multiplied so rapidly as to become seemingly innumerable. For instance, the
herbivorous family of aphids that attached themselves to the leaves and cloned themselves would overwhelm a soft and succulent infant plant were it not for the fact that they themselves, were found to be soft, succulent and vulnerable by the carnivore family of ladybird insects who gorged themselves daily on the young aphids. But, some carnivore families did not even bother to eat the leaves, they got energy through cannibalism. They even ate their offspring. Shortly afterwards a free for all began in which the bushes would strike and get back their stolen energy by killing and dissolving the thieves. Unfortunately, by doing this they were using energy less and less efficiently. They had to eat more and more organisms in order to get a caloric equivalent result as eating a few leaves. Unlike the Trees and even the first organisms, their miserable little lives became shorter and shorter. Before long, the ground upon which the trees stood began to tremble and split.
What was once a
seamless carpet of skyscrapers became islands separated by wide fissures filled with water and sometimes with
fiery streams of lava that consumed all in their inexorable flow. What could all this fuss be about? It was as if the very earth was angry about ... something.
The shape of original leaves had been generally flat and broad and pleasant to behold. Now that trees moved with the separated lands to places that were more distant from the vibration of the orb they began to changed their shape. In such forests where the orb had a weak connection the leaves began to look deformed and angry. Some looked like needles, others like scales. The needle and scaly ones called themselves the coniferous colony of trees and their leaves were tough-skinned and filled with a new kind of resin to protect their stores of moisture from
freezing in the cold.
This colony was very prolific and multiplied more than all the other colonies. Each of their trees had more living matter in them than all the rest of colonies combined. The general state of affairs became one in which there was no longer peace and tranquility as before. A kind of war that had now developed mostly between the bushes and the mobile organisms; next it started between the mobile ones with each other. Tree leaves, for the moment were out of reach, especially those at the top of the tallest trees, and remained blithely singing to the celestial orb acting like aloof
spectators to the carnage beneath them. And yet, some on lower boughs contemplated taking arms against an impending sea of troubles for who could say for how long they could be indifferent? Some of these lower leaves considered imitating the bushes in defense against the mobile ones. For example, it could be observed that one family of bushes, the Brambles had begun to defend themselves against the mobile organisms by growing thornsâ€?. The giants reacted with naĂŻvete employing a strategy of benign kindness as a strategy to turn the tables on the greedy little bugs. Others trees began to react with aggression. The leaves of the big trees became quite alarmed by this new state of affairs and were outraged at the fate of their weak trunked cousins the Bushes, yet also admired their resilience.
The movement of the land had called for many stern measures.
In an uncanny act of survival many
trees on floating islands found that there was a general change in their atmosphere from time to time. More importantly, the chorus of the trees became affected when its members were diminished and separated by the
waters. The various separated colonies sang different tunes in their ode to the orb. This was a new experience for them. In some forests they would sometimes strongly feel the orb's heat in the air and at other times very weakly. In these latter kinds of seasonal forests some families of leaves began to take on duties other than orchestral ones. When the air began to be cooler, however, moisture would harden on the spot and what was once a green skin became golden, then yellow, then brown. The lack of heat caused the chlorophyll within each leaf to break down for being absorbed. This process changed a leafâ€™s color. The hardened liquid threatened to suffocate not only the leaf itself, but the entire network of its community and cause the tree to die. brilliant play of survival, Edgar made his last and most valiant maneuver.
Thus, in a
He and the other leaves agreed to
sacrifice themselves in this emergency just before the onset of the cold air. One and all, each leaf closed its doorway to the branches and the trunk. And, then they fell in an ensemble so as to preserve the community until the next warm spell. It was something to behold!
The coniferous colony of leaves never had to shed themselves. Also, in places where the freeze never
happened, all this drama proved unnecessary. On the other hand in places where the air became excessively warm and where the heat was so severe that the leaves perspired so much that evaporation threatened to starve the community of moisture and nutrients, those brave leaves sacrificed themselves in a similar fashion.They lost their green color and becoming the color of the soil, they too, all fell down. The super giants continued to look down on their surrounding drama, and sang to the orb in benign neglect of the mobile organisms. Some cousins showed sentiments of resentment at the neutral position of the big trees toward the organisms and registered their displeasure by attaching themselves to the trunks of other trees and attacked their leaves. The most aggressive were the vine family of leaves.
Thus, in a mad rush to escape the encroaching organisms,
they scurried up the trunks of their tall cousins and sought refuge and mineral nutrients aloft. Others, fought outright to strangle the giants and made war with all vegetation both great and small. It became a free for allâ€?. New organisms made their entry one after another onto the land. Many tried to disguise themselves as trees; something quite bizarre. These newcomers actually tried to look like small bushes but were defeated by their
lack of color. In fact they bore no bushy purpose at all.
These were the family of Fungi. They made themselves useful in eating only waste matter at the root of tree trunks. Fungi and plants did get along so well that some fungi interbred with ancient plants like algae and produced a family of white semi-bushes that proudly called themselves the Lichen tribe. Imitation is after all the best of compliments. They contented themselves with living mostly under the soil and had roots that were sometimes a mile long. Eventually, they joined the bushes in the war against the animals. Yes, that what they should be called; Animals! In any case, those animals that were so incapable of producing their own energy that they stole it first from us then from one another had to eat more and more to get the same amount of energy as before. And, they became larger and larger by this gluttony.
Soon, other kinds of animals crept out of the water world
being attracted to them as a new source of food and energy. The foods eaten by creatures affected their cellular structure. The first ones could live in both the water and on land. They called themselves the amphibians. They moved slowly and had big appetites. So, they became larger and larger. In fact, one family of amphibians grew a large spine that stuck up in the air and looked like giant leaves. Once again, imitation. This of course, was to beckon insects and smaller organisms not just to come to dinner, but to
become dinner. This, however,
was not to the long term advantage of these cunning amphibians because another different
family, the reptiles
came out of the water world to eat the large amphibians. These reptiles, the Saur
family, lasted a long time and were rapacious;
especially the Dino's. They moved much more quickly than the
amphibians and ate them up to virtual extinction.
Then they ate the leaves and even the bark of the trunks
of the tree communities. One ancient worm like family of reptiles, the snakes, arrived on the scene. Not as rapacious as the other saurs these were remarkably cunning in their movements to capture other creatures. In fact, there is a story I could tell you about this cunning reptile and two warm bloods, but weâ€™d be getting ahead of the story. The reptiles ate everything. There came a time when the orb disappeared in a cloud of dust. The land became very cold and dark everywhere. Almost everything died. The majority of the Saurs vanished and only a few small amphibians escaped back into the water world. The snakes went underground as did many insects. When the orb finally reappeared after eons, so did a few organisms that had survived after this big sleep. There was a big debate in tree societies as to the wisdom of actually attracting these organisms. He reasoned, that it would be impossible to prevent them from interfering in the communities anyway, so it would be best to put
them to use. But how? The trees, he proposed, should develop a dormant time capsule which he named - a seed. This seed would prevent future trees of each kind from having to relive the experience of the big sleep. It would be a kind of time capsule in which a young tree would survive the sleep until the right outside conditions reappeared.
These mobile organisms could be seduced into distributing the
seeds far and wide since they were always running around. Another leaf, Clarissa, challenged Edgar's idea. "And why will the organism come to collect your precious seed?" she asked. "Er, because we will make it attractive to do so. We will hide it in a bigger seed filled with a moisture that he will like. It will be called a fruit.". "And, Why should they like your moisture?", she demanded. "All organisms like and need moisture, even us", was his defense. "We are not organisms", said Clarissa, whose argument had weakened. "We are trees". "So, they will take the container along with the seed and spread our young ones far and wide", he said with an air of triumph. To this coup d'grace there was great applause.
In fact, seeds are time capsules. They were the answer to the changing conditions. Within each seed was a future plant of that species. Light and heat sensitive molecules within the plant cells triggered the germination of these new containers. And, so it came to pass that the seed bearing trees were evolved and although they ate our leaves they mostly preferred to eat fruits. The new kinds of organisms that started to appear was accelerating in number and diversity.
Some could fly in the air
and to the very top of the tallest trees. Some made their homes on the branches and some
never left the ground.
These newbies also caught and ate other creatures
whether from land or from from the water world.
continued as before the big sleep. Really, it was everyone for himself!
Ironically, because of this aggressiveness, we found that they could be useful in replenishing our colonies. For every leaf they ate, many more new trees were born from the seeds they spread around by being seduced into eating the fruit. And, then Carl had yet another idea. "Seeds are too heavy for some of these new organisms. Why not divide the
of creating a seed between two members of the same family of leaves? What if
we were to produce
a light dust that could be carried over long distances to another relative.
When it is deposited onto the relative, the recipient could then complete the process so that a new seed will emerge in the new location?"A direct descendant of ancient Edgar invented a new kind of leaf that did not look green as before. Rather, it came in many colors because these warm blooded organisms showed that they responded to lower vibrations of the orb such as those in a range of colors, scent and sound. Edgar named his new leaf a flower and, it was designed to seduce these organisms by sending off those low vibrations.
Eventually the plants would develop a coping mechanism called â€œthe flowerâ€?. seduce the mobile organisms via the vibrations
These flowers were designed to
of color and scent.
It was apparent that the organisms saw the world in a different light, so to speak. Their visual ambience lay along the ultraviolet spectrum of the orb. Thus, vital parts of the plant were infused with visibility
and the rest faded into the invisible background. In this way the organisms were guided toward pollen dust and nectar which glowed brightly to the eyes of the insects. Also, the plants used scents from unique perfumes to appeal to the insects, whose antennae were able to detect nectars by scent from a mile away in some cases.
In fact, many insects started a two way communication with specific trees and bushes in a
symbiotic relationship where one hand washed the other.It seemed that this cosmic commerce was the law of reality. For instance, the family of Gustavia had flower buds that opened for only a brief few hours. These buds were designed to seduce a particular insect that buzzed with a specific musical pitch to release pollen from this plant. That insect had exclusive access to a food source and Gustavia had
a reliable mailman
guaranteed to deliver its package to the right recipient for fertilization. Like seeds, pollen was unique to each family of leaves.
This sort of invention went on for eons; Trees using various strategies to contain and control the organisms. Of course, the relationship wasn't always
benign.The more aggressive bushes used a different approach.They
would seduce the unwary organisms into a floral trap and deplete them of their substance. After all the war was not over â€Ś
but, revenge was a dish best served cold.
Finally, arrived a family of warm blood organisms who behaved differently than all who had come before. They moved less rapidly than had the
family each one having several trunks or limbs which they
used to move about on the ground or in the foliage of the trees".
Some families of the warm bloods were very restless. Although they possessed several branches they preferred to move about on the soil using only two of their branches, and using the others to capture other creatures. They had an indirect way to do this. Another thing! unlike all other creatures they spent a good part of their efforts not in the search for energy but, in playing with one another. What all warm blood families had in common was that they now revealed hidden sentiments. This unusual ability allowed them to defend not just themselves but even other creatures and plants; they acted in a deliberate way so that they or others benefited. This attribute made them exceptional and seemed to influence their vibrations either positively or negatively. Still, we had to be careful with this family because their behavior was less predictable than any that had come before. They threatened to consume all energy of not just the living plants and creatures but their fossils as well. And, when all was spent, they would need to leave the planet and somehow get energy directly from the orb and then after that was spent from beyond. Where would it all end? We were doomed.
Galmatien the 2467th of the 93rd Tiger Colony of conifers called a conference of all leaf colonies. He warned that this specific unpredictability was a challenge that they had never encountered and in an abundance of caution a contingency plan had to be made. He was open to all ideas.
These warmbloods often
behaved in a random fashion that was often detrimental to themselves and therefore, potentially to all other organisms. It was an unpredictable event that had caused the big sleep, and so, all unpredictable possibilities had to be avoided. It was a matter of utmost urgency". Suddenly, the speaker stopped his narrative and rubbed his eyes. Willie had been reciting this strange narrative for over an hour to the amazement of the entire group in the camp site. Sabitha thought that Creeping Willow had probably smoked too much hashish and had gone into a hallucinatory trance. He held the fallen Cedar tree tenderly and wept with maudlin emotion at the sight of the deforested valley. William Wankler was an indigenous person and answered to the nickname of "Creeping Willow" because of his stealth as a scout. He was always smoking the weed. Most of his colleagues called him Willie while his detractors called him â€œCreepyâ€?, because he had frequent hallucinations and tended to break out in a most sinister voice. Willie had often told the story of how his grandfather, Nonuk, of the orang tahu ethnic group in
was a sage whose magic could cause crops to fail and even death.
His grandfather had passed on to him the ability to talk to trees and animals. He was, in short, a tree whisperer. Willie’s earliest memory is of his grandfather. At age four, Willie had longed for a coconut and started chopping at a palm tree with a machete. Nonuk beckoned him to shut his eyes and wait. Peeping through his fingers, the boy witnessed Nonuk pointing at the palm tree, from which several coconuts instantly dropped to the ground. His grandfather was also, greatly in demand to kill members of rival tribes such as the Keniah Dayaks - formidable hunter-gatherers who could survive for a year alone in the jungle. The spirits inhabiting Nonuk’s body prevented him from dying, and it was only when he renounced magic at the age of 107 that he finally passed away. The old man had discouraged his grandchildren from following his career of black magic and rather, to pursue a formal education also, to put aside ethnic hostilities. His dream has been realized for today young Dayak and Orang Sungai naturalists work alongside each other at the forest reserve, and Willie himself has taken as his bride a woman from another tribe”. Sabitha was about to protest that Garvin had brought other witnesses to Willie’s hallucinating condition, when he raised a hand to interject. “Begging your pardon, ma’am, but that is not a hallucination. I have seen this before, many times. The tree
is talking to to you through Willie’s voice”. “How can a tree talk?”, came Sab’s annoyed reply. “Well, ma’am, plants are very intelligent; and Hashish is a plant ain’t it? The, plants have always used other organisms to do their bidding. That tree lying there is using Willie as a mouthpiece to communicate with people. Make no mistake ma'am, the plants are in charge, do not be fooled otherwise. A flower is like a pretty woman with her legs wide open. The words of his mouth are words of wisdom, and I do not mean to give a lesson in botany to you scientifically trained officers but, in my own village in Pakistan we were always taught that trees were different to bushes, grasses, and mosses although they had a common ancestor, the algae such as sea weeds. Bushes are more active and hardier than trees. But they don’t live as long in general. Although those bushes seemed passive and stationary, in fact they had long ago learned how to be rather active and to move with purpose. Notice how in bogs and swampy soil created by the shifting plate tectonics, many bushes have to make do with little or no nutrients from their local soil. In fact, they have landed on hard times. Their solution was to slurp nutrients from the cadavers of pesky beetles and dragonflies”. The ranger was a Pakistani botanist who had risen to the position of lieutenant in the forestry Department of Sabath
State Government of Borneo.
"Thanks for the lesson, Garvin", snapped Sabitha, "but we all know about carnivorous plants. But, as to their survival techniques, I am not sure it is based on revenge or cunning strategy as you seem to be implying". “Objection, Your Honor!" Jeremy chimed in. "Do you ever wonder how one family of bushes have become famous for secreting from its tentacles a liquid that looked like nectar to insects but in fact, was a glue designed to entrap and strangle curiosity seekers. How mysterious determination the tentacles of that family sought out the fresh cadaver before then the plant folded its leaves in a deadly embrace to liquify the body and absorb the minerals contained in its dissolved organs? Yum!” Then Jeremy began to laugh gleefully. The audience was now spellbound by this theatre that resounded in the clearing. But, there was an extended audience in the balcony. People had heard the helicopter and came with stealth to investigate. The distracted rangers had not noticed their arrival until the infra-red alarm that encircled the perimeter of their campsite went off. The group turned in unison just as the other rangers arrived to surround the intruders
with weapons drawn. “Identify yourselves”, Garvin commanded.
“There is no need for firearms”, came the calm reply of an elderly bespectacled gentleman. “We’ll be the judge of that”, retorted the soldier. “Very well. I am Professor Harvey Forstsymer, of Stanford University and this is my colleague, Dr. Janine
Colbert. We found your conversation and presentations rather illuminating. I should like to discuss the phenomenon that we have just witnessed. This is our third experience with tran-specie communication and it has absorbed our research efforts for the past ten years.” “And, where do you hail from? ” asked Sabitha. “Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability California Academy of Sciences and The Dudley Herbarium of Stanford University”, replied Janine Colbert. “May, I see some I.D?”, requested Sabitha. “Voila!”, came the reply. Being satisfied with their authenticity, the group made itself comfortable as the Professor took position on a tree stump. "And what brings you to this neck of the woods?" queried Sabitha. There was a pause in conversation as the elderly man stuffed a briar with tobacco, lit the pipe and pulled on the pipe. It seemed to add to his air of authority to keep everyone in suspense and awe. He seemed used to this dramatic effect. "In a word, Magnolis Carnum" was the sinister reply. “We have for the past three years been traveling throughout Indonesia and the islands of the South Atlantic in search of a plant that reportedly feeds on human and primate flesh; The nearest we have come is the now extinct Nepenthes robcantleyi Cheek ( or Queen of Hearts Pitcher ) in The Philippines, which traps and digests rodents. These specimens are known from only
a single location, where the forest has since been cut down. We have sustained a few robcantleyi in The Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London but, that’s it. We are fighting against time and illegal loggers in these forests of Borneo not to encounter the same misfortune with our current search. “But, you did say human and primate carnivorous plants!”, postulated Jeremy. “That’s a stretch, isn’t it?” “As scientists, my good man, nothing should be a stretch to our way of thinking, should it? We are just here to investigate, analyze and, report our findings”, he retorted. “Touché”, conceded the forest ranger. “My immediate concern, however intrigued I am with your quest, sir, is the safety of ourselves and the integrity of this once pristine neck of the woods. And, I am afraid that there are some desperadoes nearby who have no interest either in your quest nor in my concerns. So, I must keep you with our group until the helicopter returns”, said Jeremy. “Are we under arrest then?”, queried the scholar. “Let’s just say, protective custody”, was Jeremy’s riposte. “But, there is no need for anxiety nor antagonism. We are fascinated by your report and also have a few
questions of our ownâ€?,
"We could not help but observe the recent theatre with that person lying there", announce the woman. "His name is William Wankler", said Jeremy. "The Bicameral mind", mused Janine. "How so?" queried the professor. Then the two became oblivious to the rangers and to their immediate circumstances, being lost in discussion about what they had just witnessed. "My dear professor", began his traveling associate, "as you know consciousness is an operation rather than a thing, a repository, or a function. It operates by way of analogy; by way of constructing an Analog-space with an Analog "I" that can observe that space, and move Metaphorically within it. It operates on any reactivity, excerpts relevant aspects, it narratizes and conciliates them together in a Metaphorical space where such meanings can be manipulated like things in space. Conscious mind is a spatial Analog of the world and mental acts are Analogs of bodily acts. Consciousness operates only on objectively observable things. ...there is nothing in Consciousness that is not an Analog of something that was in behavior first.Conscious Awareness is a Metaphorically generated model of the world."
"Your point being ..?" interjected Jeremy "Bicameral cultures have no Consciously Aware minds and no introspections. It is a god who jumps in and tells men what to do, at every instance. In fact, the gods take the place of Conscious Awareness. The beginnings of action are not in Conscious plans, reasons, and motives; they are in the actions and speeches of gods". "Who then are these gods that push men about like robots and sing epics through their lips as through Willie's? "The gods were organizations of the central nervous system and can be regarded as personae; They are voices whose speech and directions could be distinctly heard by the bicameral person in the same way as voices are heard by certain epileptic and schizophrenic patients, or just as Joan of Arc heard her voices or Abraham heard the voice of Yahweh. In a nutshell, no pun intended, the gods are what we now call hallucinations". "But, Willie is not a bicameral man", said Jeremy. "Perhaps not. But, he has vestiges of that mindset. His recent ancestors were bicameral. Our more distant cultural ancestors also were. They did not have subjectivity as do we; they had no awareness of their awareness of the world, no internal mind-space upon which to introspect, as I am now demonstrating. It is the absolute prerequisite to the Consciously Aware stage of mind in which it is the self
and not a "god" that is
responsible and can debate within itself, can order and direct. The creation of such a self is the product of culture. In a sense, we have become our own gods. "If we are correct in assuming that schizophrenic hallucinations are similar to the guidances of gods in antiquity, then there should be some common physiological instigation in both instances" said the professor. "This, I suggest, is simply stress", replied Janine. "In normal people, the stress threshold for release of hallucinations is extremely high; most of us need to be over our heads in trouble before we would hear voices. But in psychosis-prone persons, the threshold is somewhat lower. This is caused, I think,by the buildup in the blood of breakdown products of stress-produced adrenalin which the individual is, for genetic reasons, unable to pass through the kidneys as fast as a normal person. During the eras of the bicameral mind, we may suppose that the stress threshold for hallucinations was much, much lower than in either normal people or schizophrenics today. The only stress necessary was that which occurs when a change in behavior is necessary because of some novelty in a situation. Anything that could not be dealt with on the basis of habit, any conflict between work and fatigue, between attack and flight, any choice between whom to obey or what to do, anything that required any decision at all was sufficient to cause an auditory hallucination. The divine voice ends the decision-stress before it has reached any considerable level".
"By your definition of consciousness, plants cannot have it. Right?" asked Jeremy. "That is correct, sir. " she replied. "Then how can you explain the detail and accuracy of all that came out of his mouth?" challenged Garvin. "This is a puzzle which I am sure can be solved in time", was her reply. "What you mean it is a puzzle that can be rationalized eventually", said Jeremy. â€œMadam, imagination and intelligence are not indigenous to humans. Have you ever seen a dog dreaming? Isn't a dream a fantasy? Aren't fantasies a product of imagination? As for intelligence, have you ever seen a border collie herds some sheep or dogs performing at a Kennel show?", he asked with fervor. Sabitha was glazing over with this rather erudite discussion and was focused on a more practical and immediate bit of housekeeping.
The camp construction
has now been completed in silence by the rangers and the group climb to their
tree house accommodations where they could retire in some safety from nocturnal predators or malicious intruders. The early morning comes quickly and Sabitha finds the view from her tree-top perch to be magical. The suspended mist in the trees form a veil from which only the tallest giants protrude. Down below and oblivious to their presence, some sambar deer tip toe daintily between a cluster of teak trees as they stretch their necks to nibble the large, heart-shaped leaves. They keep an eye on a bearded boar as he molests the undergrowth in search of truffles or yams. This metropolis of trees is not a quiet place. The grunts of the barking lizards and croaking chirps of tree frogs create a cacophony of sounds that would make New York’s Times Square seem monastic. But, they are thrilling and quite agreeable noises. She particularly likes the “tonk tonk tonk call of a brown barbet and drilling notes of the crickets. As she turns to reenter the sleeping area a family of gibbons swing through a nearby tree whooping as they go through the lifting mist. Not far away was another family of strawberry blond orangutans. “Good morning Willie”, comes the teutonic accent of the professor. Sab watches as he moves gingerly on the moss soaked jungle trails toward the chief naturalist guide. “I bring you tidings of great joy”, he
says jubilantly as if overcome by an elixir of euphoria. Jeremy is alert and once again in charge of his natural voice. “Here’s the plan”, he says to his assistants. We must go on foot from here. The loggers are downwind and downstream. Gather your weapons and let’s follow Willie through the bush”.
Sabitha and Janine
who had shared a makeshift tree house, descended to join the group. “OK. Forward march!” In walking about the jungle it is imperative that the modern man or woman comes equipped with leech socks which are one-sizefits-all canvas bags worn inside athletic sweat socks. Leeches abound in the rainforest. Towering trees, several centuries old, are surrounded by slender buttresses that create cave-like cavities. Gigantic fallen trunks are covered in fungi and glistening spiders’ webs. The ground is a dense carpet of peat moss and branches. It’s hot as hell, and with humidity often at 100% nothing evaporates. Flies, desperate for salt, land on their sweating skins. As they approach, a giant millipede curls into a ball of protection. It is hard to spot any wildlife from the ground, although Willie sees clues everywhere. “Look”, he whispers as he points to a nest of folded branches in a treetop:”orang-utan“. A pile of seeds and scats beneath another tree betray where the owner had breakfasted. “See these holes in the ground? They were dug by foraging wild boar; and over there, that flattened circle of ground, cleared of leaves, is the mating area of a silver-grey argus pheasant” he proudly declared; “and that tangle of bent liana branches tell me that an elephant stomped
through here not long ago”. Not to be outdone, the professor explains the modern medicinal uses of several trees - one that secretes a resin used for the medicinal treatment of HIV, another that produces a poisonous sap that paralyzes and kills fish while a third tree produces an anti-malarial sap”. This erudition has become a form of arm wrestling competition between both men, and Willie smiles slyly as he confides that all his life he drank an infusion of the bark of this tree at least once a month and for the same reason. With the aid of binoculars they watch a cavorting family of long-tailed macaques on the far bank of a river. The primates swing on lianas and push one another into the brown sunlit water from the spindly branches of a fruit-tree.
An agamid lizard, resembling a 12 inch dinosaur,
stalks by the professor’s feet. “See that Lizard there? Hard to believe its ancestors once ruled the planet for billions of years? But before their arrival another family of organisms, the Tetrapods, had climbed out of the water world and began to roam the land. They were able to also live under the waters that separated the lands. They ate many of the insects. But they, too were selective. They were larger than the biggest dragon fly and were very noisy. The first ones were Temnospondyls. These were animals and were very different to the usual crowd. They were long headed with a sprawling gait and distinctive look, they ranged in size from a medium leaf to the largest of the leaves and they were slow moving for their size. They croaked as
they waded and then waddled onto the land.
Some. like frogs and salamanders
would hide in the bushes and
lie in wait for the insects. "Tell me about yourself, Willie", said the professor. Willie told his history. "I was intrigued by your recitation yesterday". "I don't know what you mean. What recitation?" enquired the scout. "You mean that you don't remember anything about Edgar the 255th and Bartholomew?" exclaimed Sabitha. Willie had a puzzled look on his face and did not reply. In my opinion, said Janine, Willie's mind is somewhat different to ours. I mean, he is somewhat bicameral. Technically, we take for granted that our consciously aware minds were always like this. But there is evidence that it was not always the case. The brain is more capable of being organized by the environment than we have hitherto supposed, and therefore could have undergone such a change as from bicameral to Consciously Aware man mostly on the basis of learning and culture. We know for instance, that both hemispheres of people's brains are able to understand language, while normally only the left hemisphere can speak; we also know that there is some vestigial functioning of the right Wernicke's area of the brain in a way similar to the voices of gods; we know that the two hemispheres under certain conditions are able to act almost as independent persons, their relationship
corresponding to that of the man-god relationship of ancient bicameral times and among bicameral tribes; As evidence, contemporary differences between the hemispheres in cognitive functions in clinical trials of schizophrenia echo such differences of function between man and god as seen in the literature of bicameral man such as found in of ancient Hebrew and Greek texts". "Quite a thesis, Janine", pondered Forstsymer. In other words you are saying that Willie was in a state of schizophrenia!" "I am not crazy, nor a fool", protested Willie Wankler. "Better to shut your mouth and be thought a fool, Willie, than open your mouth and remove all doubt", scoffed Garvin. The men faced one another as though they were about to come to blows.
"For many generations my tribe recounted the story of a community of leaves on trees called The Cedars" started Garvin. "These
Cedars, for example, produced notes of benevolence . Almost 80 metres high
each was not the tallest of the giants but was magical in many respects.. They had vibrations of benevolence
and forgave the mobile organisms of their transgressions. To their utter amazement the organisms discovered that, despite intentions to the contrary, they were compelled to be defenselessly kind. In return they were “cured” of any aches or pains from their constant motion. Another benefit seemed to be longevity of youthful years.. The mobile ones noticed that they felt “new” for a very long time and never stopped living after extended periods of illness and pain. The end came suddenly and with a pleasant sensation of joy. Everything, starting from its needle like leaves to the bark of the tree had very efficient healing properties. The organisms that had been exposed to the cedar, exuded a pleasant aroma that seemed to ward off bad intentions both from within and from without.. Indeed, the cedars were an accumulator of cosmic energy. The sensations of benevolence experienced by the organisms produced a kind of radiation which within an instant returned to the land after being reflected from the orb and the twinkling lights in the black sky above.
The orb gave
life to all living beings. But, the orb is merely one of a host of heavenly bodies is reflecting just one incomplete spectrum of this radiation. Only the light radiation of the mobile organisms went out to the universe before returning to the soil solely as a positive and benevolent one. The evil organisms with malicious intentions
emanated only dark radiation which could not ascend but instead went deep within the
soil. Having been reflected from the bowels of the planet, it came back in the form of islands of lava that
had erupted angrily and created this havoc. H’mm ! “Actually, the idea of a star that radiates throughout the cosmos is not ridiculous”, said the professor. This radiation could be seen as the same vibration mentioned by Willie.
… To be continued