A while back here on this blog whilst suffering and raving from the effects of strep throat, I wrote a fevered entry considering that sicknesses such as these caused by invading viruses might better be accepted as a natural, if not altogether satisfying, upgrade process necessary to establish our maintained health as we live and grow together with the microbes and fungi in our guts which cohabit our cellular fortress of human flesh with many varieties of bacteria and yeast which feed off each other and otherwise interrelate in such a manner which keeps our wellness of being in check.
Having read up on various books and articles on the subject, along with having pondered over the nature of the microscopic realm and its direct relation to our wave of electromagnetic radiation we are currently processing here, detecting a narrow portion of the spectrum as natural light with our eyes, I've been left to realize many separate things which indubitably turn out to be comprised of each other after all, much like that vessel we have come to determine as "human" except for having limited most of our scope to the exteriorization of the form. A thorough research of both the microbiome and mycobiomes thriving together in our bodies should go far toward painting the picture of ourselves as actually being less human insofar as our remainder is concerned; there have been estimates from as little as fifty percent of our biomass being what we normally consider as human--the bone, flesh, nervous system, tendons, marrow, and blood--to as little as ten percent (suggesting a remaining biomass ninety percent of which is comprised of bacteria, viruses, and fungi). This only leads us to speculate as to which figure amounts to being the more accurate?
Not that it matters in the least. Whatever the percentage breakdown may be--for all we know, we're talking about only four species "competing" for domination of the whole gestalt (that which we term "human")--if we are comprised of both species of fungus, bacteria, and various viruses as well as our own biological, bipedal mammalian selves--we could be caught up in the very midst of an evolutionary war of random selection which could just as easily, by any slew of factors imaginable, eradicate the 'human' element entirely leaving an entity best described as one third fungal, one third bacterial, and one third viral (our human aspect having potentially been conquered).
In this regard, we must insistently glimpse ourselves in the mirror and repeatedly ask, "Who are we?" again and again and again, because all the monsters of the human nightmare could be no more removed from ourselves than a single gamete or chromosome away. We may actually feel their silhouettes closely resembling blurred outlines behind frosted ice. As the ice slowly melts their images gradually come into better focus. Lurking just beneath the subconscious is such an old fashioned way of putting it these days. It's becoming more readily apparent these monsters of natural selection are not merely and quite actually under the skin but only a thin barrier of evolutionary molecules away from taking over completely.
In such a future, there would be nothing left of human memory to even house it. Unless. . . Unless you happen to be a Welterwarren--a consciousness which has grounded and solidified itself to the point it may now pass from any form to another without undergoing erosion of any sort (rendering something like anamnesis a moot notion). It remains unknown how many human souls today are inhabited by the Welterwarren. In different epochs of humanity's vast and sprawling dominion across Time, these individuals often became confused with the stories and legends about them their presence generated. You see, in virtually every case, the listeners of such tales were bound to interpret them in the malevolent light they were fashioned. Associations with werewolves, vampires, ghosts and the lot may be relegated to this area. It is better understood when viewed through the illuminated microscope of the lens which studiously peers into the realm within our bodies which encases both the microbiome and mycobiome, among our bodily interior terrain.
These interior micro-worlds intertwined with the makeup of our own bodies remain the only thing as close to those life-forms we so explicitly seek to find in the polar opposite direction; yes--I speak of our search for extraterrestrial civilizations in the form of SETI, etc--and while not intending to disparage this noble pursuit in the least (expectations must be kept at zero) I do feel very much compelled to point out that there's an absolutely great chance indeed that these micro-realms right here on Earth and in our own bodies in fact perfectly meet the very definition of what we so blindly seek in zealous ignorance "out there" which is a phrase I use cautiosly because it serves to pin-point precisely the nature of our problem of assumption: for all our common understanding of just exactly what outer space (not to mention time) happens to be, we must admit to ourselves both the possibility that we got it all wrong as well as the possibility that we haven't yet gotten it right. Point in fact, if all those stars out there in our galaxy are occurring in time along with us just behind us in fact and the farther ones are even closer toward the beginning of time then we might as well admit that when we go out at night in our world to look at the stars we may just as well be looking in to the heart of where we originated, that umbilical abyss at the center of the electromagnetic spectrum just staring back at us like an unblinking Eye or otherwise equally mysterious Black Hole the Big Bang emerged from.
The point of this update is to readjust my own dial back to the obvious microanalysis of our human condition being something we've apparently mastered over a staggering amount of generations insofar as we're concerned, yet what may amount to the blink of an eye in terms of the intimately bound yet still extra-terrestrial species our own identities are comprised of: Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Viruses, etc. Ironically, their very alien nature from ourselves becomes processed by our minds as somehow nonetheless being not merely terrestrial in origin and existence, but by providing their habitat with our bodies we've in addition to this insulated our own cognizance from the dire realization that potentially our own worst nightmares as cultivated throughout the history of film and literature reside in perfect duplicity within our own genome. The monster's not in the closet it's right there inside and surrounding our own DNA and ready in the twist of an instant to morph us out of the equation and miraculously not only replace but continue the very legacy we helped to start.
photo by Shasta Lawton