Now This Really IS Fiction…

This really IS fiction – just like observation and then thought-experiment… and I need to look up some of that observational stuff to find out if it’s botanically accurate…


There’s a sign on the side of the pub, adjacent to my block, that asks people to leave quietly out of consideration for their neighbours. Unfortunately it’s positioned to be directed at me, the resident – insisting I show some respect to the warbling karaoke singers, fist-fighting gristleheads and loud swaying drunkmen.

If one heads in the other direction though, away from the pub and the main road beyond, the city starts to pixelate into patches of nature. Money falls away by degree and the commerce that persists grows gradually weaker… Because now we see… not the genuine blooms of industry – no… these are more like… just weeds… There on the left for example, a cafe that’s not real – but an immitation of what a real one should look like. It functions fine in this form… but its ill-planned facade gives it a sense of structual instability – as though it may shapeshift at any moment into its true grotesque nature – a giant croaking frog or wheedling stick insect, you can’t believe you didn’t notice before…

Beside it, a kind of general store that’s grown past such self consciousness. It stands, proudly out as its unmade-up self, with stacks of buckets dumped alongside crates of steroidal apples and army staple sacks of rice. Those guys, I like. Barish smiles and nods at me through the glass – you never know what mood you’re going to catch him in – no pandering to customers, there – that I also like – makes it more like family…

Then beyond that, the money sinks back into brickwork, no longer governing the activity within… Homes, but immitations of homes – built to sell not to let, so they only have to last about a decade. The owners themselves – immitations of people – every visceral need, forged by nature, now strived for alone through sedimented layers of technological progress… and so never fulfilled…

You know I programmed this route to the post office depot with crisp white 80s snare drums, the plastic spaghetti of 70s funk, furred Greig, and glittering Mozart and a bit of tall Tchaikovsky at Christmas… but it never fucking takes, does it? All I see is the dead confinement of sky bearing down against concrete.

[What the hell happened here that was worse than in the rest of London – that’s what I want to know?] [[Places have a spirit of their own and this one’s just very blunt with you – that’s all. You don’t actually have to believe what it says.]]

[Right, yeah, that’s a good point…]

[[In fact, the resolution of What Actually Is (WAI) would be hugely improved if you could only suspend all this thinking in labels… What you need to do is to meditate for an hour, tire out the left brain, come out here, and start seeing the stuff behind the tiling of language. You can’t see past your own words most of the time – as each preserves its meaning behind a square piece of glass – then whatever hangs round the edges just gets mentally lopped off… Meditation is an attempt to override lingual activity, more than anything else.]]

[Are words the cause of all depression?]

[[Not all but much of it – language creates the past and future – from which we dream of arising…]]

[Right yeah – anticipation and regret would be less visible without conceptual labelling – because if words make these into communicable concepts, they surely impart their presence to the conscious mind as well.]

[[Something like that…]]

Well I’ve now reached “The Grass Bit” to the left of the pavement, like the orangey bit in a Jaffa cake – just a sliver of green by the road. Not too much nature, just as much as the council can afford. But man, the indomitable talent – ’cause the plants just do what they do!! Filmy blades of clambouring green… Stoic flat-weeds of round-leaf… Floating fronds of clustered blossoms… held aloft from the earth, on craning stems and spokes of hubris…

Straddling the two worlds of concrete and grass, a dandelion circle, points its spikey leaves in every direction out from its core – like a bold anarchistic medalion. [Total confidence.] [[Pure and utter fucking confidence – and such competence! Here’s the drowned fucking world, mate – you’re an ant here… just a guest!]] I cross over to the right, with the road’s bending elbow… and now I AM being submerged by rising treetrunks drawing up through the pavements – kind to have me on-root…

On the left, some school playing fields lie empty… On the right – there’s a house, then a house, then a house, then a house, then a house, then a house, then a house… “I wanted to recreate my childhood, y’see – that’s when I realised I wanted kids of my own.” – generic girlfriend. [Was it… THIS… you wanted to re-create? What even IS this kind of emptiness? Where the substance escaped…]

[[Pursuit of the unreal – man’s words to mine minds – mined them of their true nature…]]

Where the homes end, the road briefly becomes a bridge over a stream, though where it does, a wall too high to climb over, obscures the water from view. You just sense it. If the road was a person, at this point in its life, it’d be feeling the softening effect of middle age seeping into its character, without knowing why, rather thinking, it’d matured of its own volition.

After that, as cafes and social clubs appear on the left – a large interval of green, sprawls between two roads that branch off to the right… And here, different trees of all kinds mark the time through the decades… And the grass grows unmown…

I’ve come here to sit against Harry – the tree with the inverted cones of tiny white flowers – and see what’s going on here – what secrets the plants have for me. Well of course, they don’t have any for me, specifically – I’m going to pass into their world… I’m going to see if I can. I shield myself from the cafes behind him and slump down against his belly, positioning myself over and over again upon his roots, until I feel comfortable enough to dissolve into the background…

It’s important to keep your back straight when engaged in any kind of meditative process – to align the chakras – obvsos… But did you realise, the root chakra points down between your legs! Did you know that? So as I feel myself softening… my body softening… my mind softening… and becoming water… I let the tree animate my mind, rising up through my spine as though it’s a puppet’s… [In the way an artist lets you see through his eyes, so let me see through yours, Hal… Though of course… don’t worry if you can’t, or if you’re not actually Harry – I’m just exercising my feminine right to gentle psychosis – on the offchance of hitting upon something real…]

…Then the temporal fog… And then… quietly…

[[The leaves breathe through their sides… The CO2 gets in most – through the plane that constitutes their thickness, where the front and back meet… S’why they’re so intricately shaped round the edges – for more surface area… You understand?]]

[Yes! So why so many different shapes – why not just the most successful pattern?]

[[Why so many different animals?]]

[I suppose… different perspectives of the planet?]

[[The glossy leaves can’t be eaten by humans, but the thinner, matte ones are almost never poisonous.]]

[Why’s that?]

[[There are two groups of plants… The ones with the darker glossy leaves – and these use the leaves in a way that’s similar to human skin – they’re an instrinsic part of the organism. So they retain the pigment they collect, locally… The paler leaves on the other hand, are like solar panels, from which the nutrients are continuously sucked back into the trunk… and these are replaceable – like human hair and nails, and since they cost more energy to run in the winter than that which they suck in from the sun, it’s more efficient to drop them for a season and grow more when the sun’s staying around again longer…

Almost all bushes and shrubs and houseplants have a sheen to the leaves though – and the sheen is precisely maintained on an hourly basis to reflect just the right amount of light away… to regulate the intake of energy…]]

[Serious? I thought The Sheen was about keeping water locked in…]

[[Not really, a lot of the leaves only have The Sheen on one side… But think about it – how else could it possibly work? If you were an animal that automatically assimilated whatever food was in your vicinity, you’d have to evolve some kind of filter, to ingest what you needed and not what you didn’t.]]

[Yes, I see…]

[[Well the sheen is that filter – it offers just enough surface to take in the light it needs and reflects back the rest…]]

[Right, so don’t eat the glossy leaves – the plant guards those with poison or cellulose or something… And the matte-leafs?]

[[The matte-leafs more often have wider trunks instead of stems and there’s no limit to the amount that gets sucked in, because the trunks can grow bigger every year. These animals store their light in the belly, because their particular goal is to advance their root system outwards…]]

[Well… OK… So… you refer to yourself as… animals? Is that right? You’re not a plant then?]

[[Oh what? Are you fucking serious?]]

[Yeah, I just… I wouldn’t have said plants were the same as animals…]

[[I’m surprised at you…]]

[You don’t have brains though, you’re completely stationary…]

[[We have the exact same reproductive system! We have ovaries and semen… We breathe, we excrete, we move, we’re conscious – of course we’re fucking animals, idiot!]]

And suddenly it dawns on me – a huge and belated realisation…

[So back at home… I basically have a house full of slow moving… pets…]

[[Of course!! And they have you!]]

[So why… why do you seem so different…?]

[[Because we’re the class of animals who has the capacity to consciously create the shape of our own bodies. But that takes time to materialise… so we’re on a different clock to you animates and seem to you to move slowly… Can you imagine what that’s like though – to be able to grow into anything you want to?]]

[Oh my God, of course… that is a completely alien ability! You’re genuine shapeshifters… how have I never realised this before?]

[[Good! Now look, I want you to understand something instinctively – lean in closer so you can THINK as though you’re me.. THINK what I’m thinking into your awareness…]]

And I do as he says… my spine is laid flat against the trunk and I try to think as though I’m him… [What are my needs? What is my goal?]

And I realise…

[[My ability to grow in any direction… my ability alter my chemistry at will – because it turns out, I have that too… is in line with front facing eyes and opposable thumbs… It’s a power of much greater significance than people realise… It’s the very vehicle of plant intelligence – that extends beyond the individual plant…]]

[Did you “grow” all the animals? Did you “design” them?]

[[Yes, of course… it’s not hyperbolic to say – you’re our technology… I keep telling you, and you’re never shocked by it – it’s like you don’t really believe it…]]

I’m still tuning in…

[So the matte-leafs don’t mind if we take some of their leaves…?]

[[God, no of course they don’t, the leaves are actually given for the design of desirable animates…]]

[In the beginning… a plant picks up an animal’s profile from its urine – the plant language is alchemy…]

[[Then if it fancies the animal as a mate – it consciously alters it’s own chemistry to appease that kind of creature…]]

[As a mate…?]

[[Yeah plants are notorious for it – bees, birds, people – they procreate using other animals…]]


[[The lifespan of a tree is sometimes worth a hundred generations of insects… So over a tree’s lifetime, it really can tailor the animals to a significant extent – and so give each seedling it spawns, better creatures to work with…]]

[Crikey! So you’re working all the time! My botanist friend said the human neocortex tripled in size after the advent of fruit – I never realised it was a conscious invention on the part of the plants though… I kind of thought it was the process of natural selection – that brought about both.]

[[The process of natural selection when applied to a symbiosis is a live and conscious conversation of sorts. You ingest us, we take in your chemicals, our seeds end up back in the Earth again, nourished by your body… And so… knowing exactly who you are, we consciously grow to suit you even better and make you more effective… You don’t realise it’s happening, because it’s a chemical conversation – but you do realise from things like tryptophan and especially modern psychedelics – that we have a language that speaks chemically in feelings…]]

[Did we once understand all this? That’s in my friend’s theory…]

[[Yes, you can see remnants of that before children think full time in language – they believe everything has a spirit – it’s instinctive until adults tell them they’re wrong. Our idea with primates was to hold them out of harm’s way and incubate their brains… We had the vision of a hybrid – well all animates are hybrids of sorts in that they’re made of our flesh… but because you were eating our sex organs and so having your dna altered in real-time, you’d be imbued with some of the mindstates we have too – and you’d be couriers, but also companions…]]

[So you have mindstates as well? Where are your minds kept?]

[[The best way to think of us, is as receivers of a different state of being – a bit like when you sit in meditation… after a while the body falls silent and you’re open to receiving… That’s what it feels like for us, and we tune in to Universal intelligence in the form of light. And then what we imagine – the branch we want to grow, the roots we want to extend – that actually happens – we can will our intention into existence.]]

[So the human apes were becoming more plant like over time?]

[[Yes, in as much as the humans were developing a similar ability to the plants’ capacity to dictate their own shape and chemistry… you were acquiring that emboldened will too – it’s less present in the other animals… And in your case, it was the will to control your environment in innovative ways, rather than the will to control your own bodies…]]

[I thought many animals could fashion tools if they needed to…]

[[Not many animals could say no to extinction with quite the authority you did…]]

[And then the savannah made us operate out of fear and control, and now labelling, innovating and panoramic paranoia, is what we call intelligence.]

… We sit in silence for a while…

[[This interest in the occult is instructive…]]

[Oh really, why? Because it gets into the plant-way of seeing things?]

[[Yes, but not in the way you’re thinking – not because you can see “magical” things other people can’t see… But because 90% of occult literature is philosophy… and it’s the philosophy plants live by… ]]

[So it’s the philosophy of how to exert one’s will with wisdom and expertise?]

[[Yeah, the first chapter’s like – look at all this shit, you actually can do and does happen… Then the second is – but here’s why you shouldn’t…]]


[[…What the world needs now, is a generation of occultists – for precisely the opposite reason to the one which drives people to get into Magic in the first place… They want to EXERT their free will… when actually, with study they realise that the True Will isn’t the illusion of freedom they have, it’s something pre-programmed that they need to seek out… and then live by…]]

[…Wait… so are normal people doing Magic all the time? If Magic means hacking nature?]


[But they do it without wisdom?]

[[Exactly, and there’s just a fixed amount of – let’s call it “good fortune” – so when they fashion tools that spend all the fortune in one area of life, they’re actually borrowing that fortune from another… and it’s not a sustainable dynamic. Each tool which yields more crops in one place, means a famine elsewhere…]]

[Like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice…]


[OK, so although those who turn to The Occult – are usually in search of control – if they get the message – they discover the higher purpose is to fall into line with the… what? The… evolutionary programming?]

[[The bigger context…]]

[Well I’ll put the word out…]

[[To do that, you’ll have to do a lot more contextual study…]]

[What does it look like I’m doing? Listen…]


[Did you lot massively fuck up with the animates…?]


[Because now there are carnivorous ones and ones which are drunk with power…]

[[It all got a bit out of hand, yeah…]]



[So if you couldn’t even manage it… what are the chances we’re going to get it right?]

[[Yeah, you’re not. There’s no stopping it. You keep creating your OWN tools, which re-create the fuck-up we made when we brought about tools that could fashion their own… the computers then bring about their tools, which are to do with ever increasing processing speeds – and then they penetrate the temporal membrane as their operations reach the speed of light, because unfortunately, that causes their mass to exceed that of the Universe…]]



[Why does that phenomenon happen by the way?! I’d love to know!]

[[Because if you imagine time as being granular – which it isn’t – but as an analogy – there can only be one drawing of The Universe on each page of the flickbook… but when something in that Universe matches the speed at which the pages are being flicked – that eventually causes there to be more than one Universe’s worth of drawing per page – because parts of the future Universe which would ideally be on future pages – start appearing on a previous one…]]

[Oh right, so the resolution of the ACTION is becoming greater than the resolution of TIME… So there’s the partial duplication as pieces of that thing’s future seep through to the present…]


[Until, at the point of light-speed, it’s entire temporal future is now elbowing it’s way onto one sheet of paper]

[[Tut. That’s what happens…]]

[Sigh… well if that’s our future… you know… is there anything I can do at all?]

[[I’m just telling you for your own sake – fall into line with your Genuine Will – it’s going to make life a lot easier…for you and the people who can do the same.]]

[Thanks a lot, Haltree – I love you very much!]

[[I love you too – we all love you lot, you’re our children. Read magical philosophy more – it’s quite safe, because it’s nothing like The Occultists think it’s going to be. More like a road safety manual.]]

[I will!]

[[See you again!]]

[See you soon!]

I see him about five minutes later when I remember I was actually going that way to the post office to collect a book I’d ordered off Amazon.