I grew up with a mother who kept a very tidy house, so after I left home and started living with other people, the experience of crumbs under foot was incredibly annoying.
“Why don’t people tidy up after themselves?” – “Can’t you feel the crumbs on the floor, the sticky worktops, can’t you see the grime around the sink, the rim around the bath, can’t you smell the piss stains in the rug?”
It took a while, but eventually I would succumb to the grimier life.
…No wait… That’s actually not true, it still pisses me off. But now I can afford an army of cleaners to walk behind everyone I interact with…
They come in waves, the first wave to deal with any immediate and obvious dirt, then a second wave to sweep away the dust of the first wave and catch anything missed.
Like waves of adrenaline rushing through your mind, they irritate the unclean surfaces, unsettling the filthy languid balance.
There would be no soil and thus, no life, no vegetation, no animal to speak of, if nature employed the same army of cleaners. Instead nature has her own army of cleaners, ants, beetles, worms, dogs… Vacuuming up the fallen decaying pieces of life. Processing it all into … soil.
Soil. The pure golden alchemical, magical organism. Bringing life to this otherwise barren bare rock. Soil, in its various forms, basically the excrement of hard working creatures, essentially feeding themselves, and in the process building the foundation of all life on this planet.
Bacteria – so many million bacteria in the guts of those worms and beetles and dogs, and in us too. In fact we’re mostly made up of it. I think it forms a good 80% of all living creatures. Don’t quote me on that, but I know it is a high number, the rest is what? Minerals and gasses and metals and carbon. But we’re mostly bacteria. Not silicon (yet).
So when I think to myself “I’m hungry, I need to process and digest some organic life forms”. What I actually mean is. The bacteria of which I’m mostly composed is requesting this ‘big animal’ to feed itself so that they, the bacteria can gorge themselves, giving off “happy” chemicals in the process. Until the ‘big animal’ feels satiated.
How much of me is actually Me? What even is ‘Me’?
As I’ve discussed in numerous posts, and to sum it up, I’d say that the ‘Me’ to which we’re referring here is actually some kind of ghost, mostly made up of memories of past experiences, patterns of behaviour, similar to software running in a biological brain machine. All imagined by consciousness itself.
And then there is the Me that is aware of all that. Not that we can really identify with that Me, because it’s more like simply just the awareness itself. It can be aware of itself, there is awareness of being aware. Yet in that, there is no attachment to the Me-ness(*). There is awareness of the Me-ness, and awareness that this Me-ness is related to the experiences felt by the awareness. So in that sense the Me-ness is some aspect of the process of this awareness. But it is not the awareness itself.
In the same way the crumbs on the floor are related to the upbringing of the individuals responsible for their presence. The lack of awareness, the ignorance, the blatant disregard for the sensitive feet of others… is also part of the process of this individuals awareness. Yes – the lack of awareness is part of their awareness. Just as a hole is part of the object in which it resides. [The hole is part of the whole.]
Our shadows, our inabilities, our lacking features are essential aspects of our whole Self, just as much as the positive qualities.
Our psychological relationship to the soil is telling. We call it dirt, and shun it from our ‘holy’ places. (Maybe that’s why they’re holy!) We ban it from our kitchens and living spaces. And wiobetide any dirt that makes its way onto our bodies!
We feed ourselves with the fruits of the dirt, whilst cursing its very existence.
Our relationship to dirt is key to our mental wellbeing.
The schism in the human mind at the root of our war on nature and on consciousness is this attitude to dirt. And in child psychology it’s discussed as potty training.
It’s a form of low level shame working deeply in the unconscious mind, and it makes people prickly, uptight and pompous and arrogant and selfish and manipulative. And ultimately it inspires the desire for power and control. Yes all our politicians are afraid of poo… And that is why everyone else has to deal with the shit they create…
But I think that’s another blog… That’s all for now, thanks for your attention 🙂
(*) Note – There can be attachment to this me-ness, and this forms our sense of self identity. However if one continues with the awareness, the various qualities of the me-ness are prone to change. Which gives rise to the paradox of how can I always be me, and yet always be changing…