This is a post about a science book titled “Entangled Life”.
We are so entangled that we are all one is manifest very obviously to many who didn’t quite see it before. We all suffer if there is injustice. We all have to make hard choices in a pandemic. We are all involved, if not equally so. If anything, I have to watch being critical of those who seem to be waking up to this because the suffering and need to sacrifice is more in their face now, including some spiritual types and even some spiritual teachers! Injustice and suffering, in the US and around the world, is not new. And for many it is and has been a whole lot worse than most of us face most of the time, even now.
So back to the book, “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake.
It is fantastic. It is about fungi. We wouldn’t survive now, and for that matter, life on land would never have evolved, without fungi.
While the book only covers some of these examples, as it is about fungi, it is clear that life is full of deep entanglements tht cant be untangled. Coral and algae. Algae or photosynthetic bacteria and fungi (lichens, which are surprisingly common). Fungi and plant roots. Animals and plants their microbiome. Critical parts of your very cells were originally bacteria. Our cells, and so complex multicellular life, couldn’t exist without them, they no longer can be free living outside our cells. Mitochondria in all animal and plant and fungal cells and photosynthetic plastids in plants, for example.
Read the book if you like biology, science, or just want to be inspired by the beauty and ubiquity and amazing being of fungi. It is my one of favorite not professional/technical biology books along with “I contain Multitudes” from a few years ago, also about entangled lives, though there are many other excellent non technical biology about pants (e.g. What a Plant Knows) and animal cognition. I like these two because they remind us of the deep, intimate connections in our lives and bodies with entities most of us rarely think about and both are full of great examples and opened up and filled in my knowledge of the nuts and bolts of nature that weren’t part of my professional expertise as a medical researcher and physician specialist in inflammatory eye disease.
How is that relevant to what I started this post with?
It reminds us we are not the crown of creation, it gives us perspective to appreciate that life is one on any and every level you can think of.
These books say don’t just see your own suffering, or for that matter, your own glory.
Don’t think your limited viewpoint is worth all that much.
Look deeper and wider.