The Universal Spirits
I learned about nature by observation, by use of all my senses. That ability To Contact the environment is a characteristic common to all living things. Besides the obvious visual, auditory, odor and touch receptors, plants contact the sun’s radiation through their leaves and soil via their root fibers. Some animals sense by infrared and magnetic field receptors and most have some form of internal receptors for detecting injury and hormone levels. Another obvious characteristic of life is death. To Decay is to dissociate into elemental substances. There would be no room or nutrients left on this planet without it. To Contact and To Decay are easy to discern as commonalities across all life forms, but what do we call the characteristic of living things to interact with each other and their environments? We observe that interaction may be for reproduction, nutrition, safety, control, companionship or any number of reasons, but the core commonality is to create. To Commune means to interact for the possibility of creating something new.....a new oneness. Just coming together is not a sufficient condition for a creation to occur. The conditions of their coming together have to be just right. The constituents have to be able to share and collaborate in achieving their mutual interests...... and in celebrating their oneness. To do those things it is necessary for the constituents to respect the integrity and worth of each other.
We can observe communing at various levels, whether it’s of animals or plants, or animals and plants, resulting in a community, or ecosystem. Ants commune with aphids, and ants commune with plants to create a community that meets the needs of all three organisms. The ants get to “milk” the aphids for nutrition and in turn protect them from other insects. The ants protect the plants from being shadowed by intruding plants by poisoning and chewing their stems, while the plants provide nesting spaces in their bark for the ants and foliage to feed the aphids! The integrity of all three constituents is necessary for the community to exist. At another level, in sexual reproduction, the sperm and ovum commune to become an embryo, but only if each of the constituents is not defective and conditions in the uterus are just right. When the interaction is an animal eating a plant the animal may damage or kill the plant but the plant in turn may benefit from having it's seeds distributed through manure. When one animal kills and eats another animal you may wonder how communing could be taking place, since the integrity of the animal eaten is totally violated. At another level, however, it’s the nutrients in the slain animal's flesh that will be communing in the digestive tract of the hunter. In this case it’s the integrity of nutrients and the agents of digestion that are required if communing is to occur. The substances so created are able to be assimilated by the hunter. The process of democracy is communing ”to create a more perfect union”......that is, when the constituents come together respecting and valuing each other’s contributions. The Hubble telescope has made it abundantly clear that the energy and matter of celestial gas clouds condense and coalesce, under the right conditions, to form stars, which decay to produce new elements and energies, which make contact and under certain conditions of heat and pressure become new suns...... around which the debris in space make contact to form planets, on which various elements and energies commune in the right conditions to form inorganic and organic compounds, which after millions of years of contact and communing in the right conditions create life, which in turn decays to fertilize new life, etc.
If To Contact, To Commune and To Decay are the story of the universe what might be the origin of these spirits? Did particles of energy/matter in the “void” that preceded our universe have a characteristic of “wanting” To Contact and be contacted by other such entities coalesce, and under the right conditions of pressure and heat, such that those particles of energy/matter with the additional characteristic of being able To Commune, create a new oneness, a singularity? Was a characteristic of this creation To Decay (Big Bang), sending particles of energy/matter outward to fertilize the void? Would it then be those particles of energy/matter having the characteristics to contact, to commune and decay be the evolutionary instructions for our universe and life? Could they be the rhythm and the spirit of this universe?