Cat. 2, Philosophy 4 – BL-28 – Dream of the Amoeba

Cat. 2, Philosophy 4 – BL-28 – Dream of the Amoeba

Ch. 28 –  An Amoeba’s Dream

This is my fourth African dream, but the first that pointed me in the right direction for my search of the “Omniscientific Cosmology” – and indeed offers a glimpse of it.

It would be strange enough to dream of being a non-human, like a lion or an eagle, but of everything on Earth, I dreamed of being an amoeba living in the pond beside which I was sleeping.

“I”, the amoeba, had climbed up the stem of a bulrush, what in amoebal language was known as a “Stairway to Heaven”, in my quest to escape our pond-universe, to see what lay beyond. I was pushing as hard as I could to penetrate the water/air barrier, in vain. I seemed to have been doing that for ages, eons.

Finally, in total dispiritedness and exhaustion, I was about to let go and sink back to my bottom-feeding, amoeba-eat-amoeba existence, when suddenly, I heard, “Why are you doing this, my friend?”

I looked around and encountered a perfectly spherical being attached to the Stairway, glowing in the filtered sunlight.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“My name is Raminothna. I can be many things, but right now, I’m the egg of a dragonfly. And you?”

“I am an amoeba.”

“What were you doing?”

“I was trying to get into Heaven.”

“Why?”

“I’m tired of my mundane existence. I want to transcend to a higher realm.”

“I can appreciate the sentiment, but I’m afraid you are going about it the wrong way.”

“Oh yeah? Well, if you know the right way, why are you stuck here yourself? Doesn’t look like that you can move, can you?” At least I have some freedom of movement, unlike you.”

“I will be out of this pond before the next full moon,” declared the dragonfly egg happily.

“So, how do you do it?”

“Are you sure you want to know?”

“Um, well, why not?”

“Okay. Tell me. How do you reproduce?”

“Now hold it. That’s a bit personal, isn’t it?”

“You did ask.”

“Well, I reproduce by binary fission, where one becomes two, two become four, four become eight, eight become sixteen, and so on. How about you?”

“The same.”

“So, what is the difference?”

“Now tell me. Are your descendants detached or attached to each other?”

“Detached. We are free moving entities,” I said proudly.

“Are they differentiated or identical?”

“They are identical.”

“And their behaviour? Is it mutually competitive or cooperative?”

“Mutually competitive, fighting over the same old bacteria for food, if you must know. And what about yours? Are they detached or attached?”

“They are attached to each other,” she said.

“Do they have freedom of individual movement?”

“No, they do not, by and large.”

“Then I don’t see how you can teach me anything.”

“Here is how. My descendants will be differentiated in relation to each other, both structurally and behaviorally. And though they will be stuck fast to each other, they will have a much higher degree of collective freedom.”

“You got me lost somewhere.”

“You see, while some of my descendants will become eyes so all can see, others will become legs so all can walk with immense strides, and some will produce protective armor so all can live in the rarified atmosphere of ‘Heaven’, and still others will become wings so all can fly in the heavenly winds, clear over the mountain, and the mountains beyond.”

“All the way to the moon, no doubt?” I said sarcastically.

“Unfortunately not. Only human beings are capable of doing that.”

“Human beings? They must be tremendous flyers then?”

“Strangely, the individual human being can’t even fly.”

“You lost me again.”

“Quite simple, really. Like you amoebae, all dragonflies of the same species are virtually identical and mutually competitive. On the other hand, like dragonfly cells, human beings are differentiated in relation to each other to fill various social roles and form the various social organs. Thus, they can form still higher societies which have yet far greater capabilities.”

“I think I understand. Anyway, back to my original question. How do I get out of here?”

“If you take the right evolutionary path, your descendants may become something more akin to a human being than a mere dragonfly.”

“With due respect to the amazing dragonfly, I think I’d rather be the even more amazing human being. So, how many moons will it take?”

“Three billion years, if you start now, that is, if you succeed.”

As the amoeba began its long INTEGRATIVE TRANSCENDENCE, and at long last became me, I opened my eyes, and saw that the full moon had moved far to the west. But already, I found myself looking beyond it, all the way to the stars.

“Take this dream also as a session in perceptual pliancy, where the small can be seen as huge, and the large as microscopic,” said Raminothna. “And you, you are a gigantic society of diverse human cells, each the size of an amoeba. So, from the amoeba’s point of view, you are a living skyscraper, a walking Statue of Integrative Transcendence.”

It took me a minute to process what she said.

“Now stand, Homo Sapiens.”

I stood. Still on the Cellular level of awareness – of the amoeba – I looked out my eyes from the perspective of one of my brain cells. It would feel much like what I would feel when looking out through the eyes of a statue a hundred times taller than Liberty. And when Super-Liberty started walking I could feel the wind whistling past his ears. It is difficult not to walk with dignity.

 

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