Notes from Fictitious Dialogue With Tree…

The Tree – Henry – with the cones of white flowers is apparently a Horse Chestnut Tree – and now it’s May, I’m noticing, there are loads of them everywhere. I go up to one and sit against it unceremoniously.

[So I understand The Portal Effect in human consciousness, and I understand The Second Law of Thermodynamics – that everything moves towards increasing complexity… but here’s what I don’t understand… If what you guys have told me is true – about organic life simply being a planetary net for The Sun’s escaping energy; something that converts photons and carbon dioxide and so on into matter that can increase the world’s volume – then how are our follies any worse than the rest of nature? Isn’t the whole of nature, at every stage of increasing complexity, acting foolishly, ITSELF? I mean if that’s the dynamic – simplicity and unity to complexity and fragmentation, something seriously off-kilter like humans was BOUND to happen at some point, right?]

[[What are you talking about?]]

[I didn’t think you guys did smalltalk…]

[[No, we don’t – I’m just not getting what you’re saying…]]

That may have been a clumsy opener…

[I’m saying that just by the Universe expanding – or moving from one place to another… Any action at all – is a move away from Unity and a move towards complexity… which damages Oneness…]

[[No it doesn’t.]]

[Well that’s what I’m getting here.]

[[Yeah I know, you’re getting it wrong.]]

[OK but… to scale it down a bit… We’ve established that man’s creation of tools has been detrimental, because each tool appears too fast for the human brain to have evolved the commensurate regulatory instincts to temper its effects… So being “a creator” is a little silly, long-term really isn’t it?]

[[Yeah, that’s in people…]]

[Right, so how come trees get to manipulate the environment as they see fit then? By the sounds of it, you guys are hanging around, using your extended lifespans to wilfully shape the insects you come into contact with over hundreds, sometimes thousands of generational lifespans. What gives you the capacity to create in the world wisely – when you’re telling me we humans don’t have that?]

[[We know what we’re doing.]]

[How? You’re doing the same thing we’re doing when we moved to the savannah – you’re constantly moving to places where you didn’t evolve and setting up shop in the new environment, nonetheless.]

[[Are we?]]

[Yeah, if my understanding is right – then the function of a flower is to transport its host-plant’s operation to another location to set up the same thing somewhere else. And the mobility of the flower and the seeds must mean they often end up in a quite a different environment from the one of their parent… AND THAT MUST MEAN… each seed has the capacity to utilise environmental resources that are novel to it, intelligently – in order to sustain it – which is tantamount to using tools – so I GOTCHA!!]

[[Congratulations…]]

[It’s as though plants do what humans did when we first left the forest – and in fact I was wondering… Could that be our biological destiny? That we have brains which have allowed us, like flowers, to move to and survive in environments different to our original one… and we have those… that’s what nature strives towards… for the reason that… we’re ultimately meant to create technology good enough that will allow us to get off this planet and go to another one, thereby seeding that planet with life!!]

[[Yeah, this is why the mushrooms are sometimes aloof with you lot. You’re too alike – you think big with yourself at the centre – but at least with them, they think big whilst remaining in touch with reality.]]

[Yeah, I just… I mean I’m well aware we’re demented – I’m just emptying out all my thoughts for you to sort through…]

[[Well yes – you genuinely ARE very out of touch with reality… That’s why you shouldn’t create things – because you make things, physical and conceptual that hurt you.]]

[Well so I hear, but in what way?]

[[You essentially can’t see what you’re doing… I mean – let’s take it back a bit… Take Buddhism for example… Why is it that Buddhism seems to strive to quieten the emotions when actually the emotions are an instinctive response to the environment?]]

[Yes, I wonder that – because it seems then that you’re almost intellectualising your more natural self away, using your mind – which sounds a bit like you’re moving AWAY from nature… Why is that?]

[[Well what you don’t realise – although it’s patently obvious, #snort – is that the two states of being you recognise today – your intellectual and emotional selves – don’t actually make up the full set… There was another way of being before – or rather, it was a state that combined both and was a lot more intelligent – and that was something that might today be called the spiritual self.]]

[OK, that makes sense…]

[[So the practices in Buddhism are categorically NOT asking you to intellectualise your emotions, they’re asking you to enter into various processes like meditation, which over time will restore some of the lost intelligence you used to have – and that old spiritual component is more accurately instinctive – because that was present when you were last in a state of symbiosis with nature… Whereas the emotions in their current form were not – your original emotions used to be more like those seen in animals, present but less destructive.]]

[OK… so how come our emotions are out of control and not that helpful…]

[[Because as your spiritual selves became dormant, they, along with your intelligence have had to take up the slack in steering a person around their lives, and they haven’t evolved for that task. In fact that’s obvious from the way you people treat reality in the same way that you treated your parents when you were small… By doing so, you’re almost admitting – “I don’t have a key for this door, so I’m going to use another one that worked on something else before on the off-chance.”]]

[We don’t treat reality like our parents, do we?]

[[That’s humans’ whole thing – you totally do! You bargain with it, petition it for forgiveness when you feel guilty, you go back to places you’ve already searched in when looking for lost glasses because you feel asserting your authority on the matter will force reality to capitulate…]]

[Well couldn’t that just be us not managing to shake the habits of how we interacted with parents… and then employing the same tactics on life itself because… Oh yeah I see… ideally, you’d find a tailor-made strategy somewhere in your set of instincts for The Big One – reality. But you don’t really, do you?]

[[No, you don’t.]]

[Hence all the striving for lost and invisible knowledge – the religious instinct.]

[[Truth.]]

[So what were we talking about? Oh yeah, so is that why it’s a bad idea for us to create in the world – because we’re now something akin to insane?]

[[Well, look… It’s hard to communicate on matters of sanity and insanity – because your idea of insanity starts with you as a positive baseline. Let’s just say… You’re being deprived of the big picture and for that reason – you’re struggling to operate well within that.]]

[And what of our unique intelligence?]

[[Well that’s the thing – you do actually have a good brain there – but as certain parts of it have been repurposed to operate your various physical and conceptual tools – they’ve been taken away from their original stations in reality and you’ve become myopic, narcissistic and a little psychotic… big picture…]]

[Yes I know! I’m totally down with that, brostein – I’ve been coming to terms with that for ages…]

[[Because, think about it… How do you imagine the trees go about our creative work – like the stuff we do shaping the insects?]]

[I don’t know, do you just apply certain nutrients from the soil to the parts of your bodies that the insects consume – and in effect strike up a transformative chemical dialogue with them over several insect generations?]

[[Yes, but how do we know what to CHANGE, though?]]

[You change the insects in whatever way suits you best.]

[[Yes, but how do we know what best IS?]]

[You go by instinct – whatever you’ve evolved to feel as positive – you go in that direction…]

[[Yes, but how do we know that what feels positive to us is going to be good for the environment that we also have to sustain if it’s going to sustain us in turn?]]

[Well hopefully your instinct, which has also been shaped by the environment will guide you well on that…]

[[OK, you’re kind of getting there. What I’m trying to push you towards – is that because non-human nature is largely still hooked up to “the matrix” – the great chain of being – the intelligence of the tree is much further reaching than the intelligence of a human. Your instincts tell you what’s good and bad for you personally, what’s good and bad for your children, and at a push, what’s good and bad for some other people close to you… Our instincts take in all the world and all the Universe.]]

[Okkkkkaaayyyy…]

[[You’re sounding doubtful.]]

[Yes, well I believe you, but I just don’t have any sense of how that would work, somehow…]

[[Well what happens when you people take psychedelics? Actually, scratch that – you wouldn’t know, you’ve never taken enough. If you take a really high dose, you sometimes get a strange sense that you’re connected to everything.]]

[I HAVE TOO had that experience!]

[[Alright luv. But some people get a strange sense that – “Wow, the Universe really goes on a lot, doesn’t it?” or “Blimey, my consciousness feels part of everything else all of a sudden…” And what’s happening there is a very limited human perspective on what’s a regular experience in animals. To you, it feels like God, or something abstract but to other animals and plants – that’s basically a Universal nervous system, each of us is hooked into. And we still feel it, whereas you no longer do.]]

[What does it FEEL like, then? Anything like that glimpse we get of it on psychedelics?]

[[Well no, to us it feels normal… and it just means that our instincts are good ones. Because this nervous system genuinely does extend to The All – which it needs to because there isn’t any part of reality, unconnected to the rest of it. And as it fractures into increasing complexity, we’d all do well to fracture it (with each decision we make) intelligently – in keeping with the fractal patterning. If you don’t, you set off chain reactions of… uncomfortable destruction.]]

[I thought we were moving towards destruction anyway – away from The Whole and to ever increasing complexity.]

[[Yes, I didn’t say we weren’t all moving towards destruction anyway – what I said was – do it wrong – and it’s an uncomfortable phenomenon – because you’ll be entering stages of complexity for which your body hasn’t evolved. Therefore it won’t have the kinds of reward systems in place to make our ride to oblivion a happy one.]]

[So stick with “right-action”? Lean into nature?]

[[Yeah, nature knows best. Course, you’re a bit stuck now because of your impaired perception. It’s very hard for you people to engage in right action – as your brains continue shrinking, you keep needing more and more external support systems like religion and government to try to keep “right-action” going…]]

[And our memories of what it was are diminishing on an hourly flipping basis, here… We don’t know what the Holy Ghost is a Ghost of… We only know… something died…]

[[When Christ – humankind in its original form of right-action was nailed to materialism – or crucified… The technological enterprise was the price you paid to survive outside the Garden of Eden. Human technology, in messing with your brain as it had to – through The Portal Effect – meant The Son of God – that version of humans, imminent to creation – had to die to allow you to live. Now in a state of perpetual sin, because your brains haven’t evolved to live correctly within the environs you traverse – so you survive by destruction of your host. You insulate yourselves from her and her voice to you grows weaker.]]

[Oh yeah, I’m sure I’ve got that written down somewhere already… But just tell me… Tell me what it’s like to be plugged into The Great Chain of Being, please…]

[[Well it’s everyday, you know? Basically, if I was to do something like give an ant poison because I didn’t enjoy its armies walking across me, day and night – it wouldn’t feel good to me… As a result, I’m prevented from doing that – and every creative instinct I have, is a good one. Which is whyyyyyyy – I shape the insects in exactly the same way every other Horse Chestnut shapes its insects – we’re all singing from the same notes. In fact – that idea to harm the ants can’t even enter my state of being at all really because I like the feeling of the ants walking across me – and the reason I like it is because I’m hooked into the intelligence matrix – that somehow resonates within me as though it’s my own body.]]

[Yes… so what exactly is that SENSATION?]

[[Well being part of The Universe, past, present, and future, pervades my consciousness at all times. So I can …not see… but I can access my ancestors and my descendants.]]

[But aren’t there too many of them? If there are so many iterations of each moment in time… then… aren’t there an unfathomable amount of relatives hanging round there?]

[[Yes, so I can access them in the way your brain accesses Maths. You’re always connected to numbers, and you can theoretically engage with any part of Maths that you want to. But you don’t have to see the full picture at all times as you go about your life. But various aspects of those things that shaped of my DNA and my temperament and so on – those I can actually feel inside me – and know where they come from…]]

[Um… OK… Right, so your feelings are much more influenced by the far reaches of reality and their vicissitudes than ours are? Your instincts are Universally accurate and dynamic… Where ours are entirely self-reflecting in our confused state and disconnected from the rest of nature that could save us? And that’s the experience we glimpse when take plant medicines? Even though there again – we often interpret its messages to be all about us as individuals?]

[[Affirmative, yes.]]

[Right. I wonder if I’m going to remember all this. Bloody concept impermanence.]

[[The reason you see personal narratives when you take the plant substances is that – we’ve got to talk to you in your language, and not just that, but in a way that’ll use your remaining physical circuitry to the best of its abilities, and penetrate your biases and all that stuff. But the price of that is that you people often misinterpret what we’re saying. When you take a plant medicine and it shows you Hell for instance, as a deterrent – in relation to a negative behaviour you’re engaged in – you then tend to believe that’s proof that Hell exists. To you the narrative is something like “Oh my word! It seems I’m being told that if I don’t stop drinking to excess, I’m going to Hell!”]]

[Does Hell not exist, then?]

[[Of course not, it’s totally impractical.]]

[I know, I’ve considered that. The energy requirements to keep it going for eternity would be worse than bloody Bitcoin. And to what end? Pain is there as a deterrent – so in a way, Hell is real and useful only in that imagined regulatory capacity. It’s like a kind of functional mental pain we can shape to keep us on the straight and narrow.]

[[So do you see what I’m saying? We show you narratives that aren’t necessarily real – but they instil in you beliefs that will regulate your behaviour in your own best interests. You’re actually pretty credulous if you believe that just because something seems amazing or novel to your brain, it must be the absolute truth of The Universe. It’s like you guys never consider the thought that, y’know… maybe it’s just one tiny increment upwards… or a complete fabrication!]]

[You know… This whole thing makes me feel rather inadequate at times. It’s like – the only reason for us being here is that everything that can happen does happen, so we’re doing this bit… And that makes it very hard for me to set any life goals I can believe in. I mean… is it proof of material determinism?]

[[No. Remember the photon thing…]]

[Yes. (That photons move in a “wave of probability” is an indication that material probability is intrinsic to reality. For material-determinism to be real, only ONE future would be possible, down to the tiniest detail. Because the movement of a photon implies that this isn’t the case, we can assume an as yet unmeasured agency is also involved, along with physics, in steering the ship of reality through a “many-worlds” model of The Universe, as we apprehend it. There are many paths at each moment – and it’s consciousness or something similar that probably chooses which one reality takes on its travels.)]

[[Right. What does that tell you about consciousness?]]

[It kind of tells me it’s a little pointless in a way. It seems to me, that as we move from Unity to Ultimate Dissipation – there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. On Earth for instance, the more you lean into nature and remain a part of its symbiosis, the more your needs, which it has shaped, will feel fulfilled. The more “self-awareness” you get though, the more you stand apart from nature and survive by insulating yourself FROM her – the less she can dialogue with your needs and the less wellbeing you’ll have… If you stayed hooked into the chain of being… Consciousness could dance from species into subspecies into subspecies, all pretty happily. There’s pain and horror of course… but only really to human eyes, since we’re standing apart from it all with a view to second guessing it. Perhaps the animals are free from that state called “Samsara.” They feel the pain when they need to – for it to work as a deterrent – but they’re never taken in by the dualistic impression of static good and bad – they straddle darkness and light without worry. They do it that way because excess worry is a waste of energy – and they’re programmed to conserve that. Erring, as we humans have to – on the side of caution all the time, seeing as we haven’t evolved to fully understand our surroundings – our intelligence really IS that mesmeric illusion. That idea we need to control. The idea – that we can…]

[[…]]

[Does it have a fixed purpose? There’s a right way and a wrong way to do Thermodynamics. There’s a fractal pattern of dissolving from The All to The Nothing – in tune with nature. To reduce pain – you take that one… Or you could just slip down the cracks and refuse to accept it – the way humans have, destined to administer our own destruction, rather than submit to the kinder one set out for us. The one in which no more pain than is useful is present. So that at the point of death – complete liberation!]

[[Look. Don’t feel bad. What humanity’s doing at the moment, is just as necessary as the actions of every other species. Every fragment of reality that “breaks off” – or appears to break off from the rest – is defined not by its mass alone – but by how it behaves across a timeline. Animate compounds – like animals and people are most accurately realised by their ultimate limits which for the compound to exist in any moment, also have to exist in full temporal detail, simultaneously. So what you humans are engaged in right now is the foray into your ultimate capacity to survive in contravention to nature. The point at which you die out – here – and somewhere else in another way – and somewhere else in another way, and so on – these form the conceptual blueprint’s “outline” of humanity. And that dictates every instance of it that appears elsewhere – it’s an ongoing loop.]]

[But wait, there’s LOADS of us though! There are loads of different branches of humanity and loads of different personality types as well – which are differently able to survive…]

[[Yes, to say it’s a fine grained process is understating it somewhat. It’s infinite. Analogue. It’s the nature of The All. Everything, “good” and “bad” all interlocking in incident.]]

[It’s just… the POINTLESSNESS, Henry! The FUTILITY!]

[[I know! Haha! Isn’t it hilarious!!]]

And now I’m laughing so much that I’m crying. [Really nothing means anything! You can choose to lean into the nature that’s fragmenting in a beautifully patterned way – and you’ll reduce your sensations of pain and those of the people around you. Or you can enter into The Underworld, the side of nature, nature doesn’t speak to – destruction. You’ll feel more pain, as you’re deterred from the path but even then – you can choose to recognise what it’s saying – or you can choose to reframe it in your mind as something delusion will be able to fix. Your capacity for believable delusion, conceptual mucous – will insulate you from reality that little bit longer and push the boundaries of your existential capabilities…]

[[The point is. Nothing’s wrong. Nothing’s wrong and none of it’s your fault. And you’re totally cool. You may be freaks, but only from your perspective. Nature loves and needs you like it needs everything else it’s got going on.]]

There’s no need for goodbye. We’re all one contiguous mass, apparently. Still, my thanks to Mercury though – though I never actually see him of course. I wonder if he’s guiding us further into the underworld or all the way through it, that we might return to where we started one day… I suspect it’s the former.