We are not alone (to be human is to be part-virus)

We now know that we “humans” are in fact a mixture of lots of species. For instance our DNA is 8% of viral origin. The mitochondria that produce power within all of our cells were originally bacterial species that we absorbed and recruited to work for us.

One way in which Darwin was WRONG – is that evolution happens in leaps and bounds, not gradually. There are long periods of genetic stability within populations, and then there is a huge leap forward. That can be caused by a dramatic shift in environment of course; but the really big moves have been when our DNA has been combined with others.

Since I finished my degree in vertebrate evolution in 1979 – we have discovered so much about where we came from. Take transposons. Heard of these? Well it now seems that big chunks of DNA get passed around between species. That’s LATERAL evolution. Or what about reverse transcriptase. That’s a mechanism by which RNA can be “read back” into the genetic material that codes it; and why can’t that genetic material then be passed down to descendants? In other words Lamarck was right (or at least part right) – what happens in our bodies can and does influence our genes and therefore the next generation.

Anyway – we are not alone. What appears to be the distinct species – Homo Sapiens – is actually a constantly changing and linking melting pot of lives and species.

Who knows maybe Coronavirus is a blessing – and somewhere in the RNA killing machine there’ll be a bit of code that we’ll make use of. And then, perhaps the next Great Leap Forward will be when we – as bits of biology – combine with machines and algorithms to become another wave of recombinant life? The idea of part man- part machine has always seemed terrifying to me. But perhaps this is all part of God’s loving plan? Maybe this is where Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was pointing when he predicted (in the 1950’s) that our invidividual consciousness would merge and emerge as something conscious of love and God – at the Omega point.

Ramblings? Of course – because who actually knows what comes next – ramblings and musings are a way of contouring and contouring what the future may hold.

The Darkling thrush

Thomas Hardy

For reading click here …the darkling thrush thomas hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
    The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
    Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
    Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
    The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
    The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
    Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
    Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
    The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
    Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.

Surprised to Joy

For reading click here …surprised to joy

What is the colour of silence?

Here presently co-occupied

Fire and rosary’s concrescence

Or shirt of flame thus belied?

 

What pattern the fret-saw begets

In knot-stitch broider’d relief

A surf-line that curves as it whets

sharply thrown stones of belief

 

Common be-cause with time’s passing

Caught in your fawn-liquid glance

Through hours our pow’rs thus amassing

Surprised to joy from this trance

Nursing, thin red line o’eroes

In 1890 Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem “Tommy” – reading and words below. 130 years ago soldiers were the cannon fodder, heroes when the nation needed them – discarded and rejected when the fighting was over.

It strikes me that nursing, and all the staff of our NHS are the modern day equivalent. If you substitute Tommy – the soldier with Nurse, Porter, Doctor – in the poem you get a similar sense?

We must not forget their service, as we did with the injured soldiers in the 1890’s and since.

For reading click here …tommy – rudyard kipling

Tommy – Rudyard Kipling

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,

The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;

But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,

But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;

But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,

O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,

But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,

There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Cholera Camp extract

Rudyard Kipling

“Twould make a monkey cough to see our way o’ doin’ things —
Lieutenants takin’ companies an’ captains takin’ wings,
An’ Lances actin’ Sergeants — eight file to obey —
For we’ve lots o’ quick promotion on ten deaths a day!”

Creativity and the Collective Unconscious

There is an upward bubbling pressure from the unconscious that directs our outward activity. If we are aware of this, through analysis, reflection or meditation – we are able to separate this white noise out from the real “me” which exists of course as the “see” to the “saw” of all else that is…

But the pressure from the upward currents from the unconscious has another purpose, which is an impulse to seek, find and play – in other words to interact – which is the basis of existence itself. Possibly this drive to connect comes from Jung’s “collective unconcious” – a place where we are already in a state of flow together.

Without this impulse and force we would spin out of orbit as directionless ego-planets in a void of emotional space. The strong emotional impulses of our unconscious are in fact akin to a gravitational force to pull us together into a state of re-integration.

Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward (John Donne)

The drama of the archetypal life of Christ describes in symbolic images the events of the conscious life–as well as in the life that transcends consciousness–of a man who has been transformed by his higher destiny.” Carl Jung
Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I’almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once peirc’d with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his apparell, rag’d, and torne?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was Gods partner here, and furnish’d thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom’d us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They’are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look’st towards mee,
O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;
I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may’st know mee, and I’ll turne my face.

Equating God

G and U and I my dear, I and G and thee,

He made you and I my dear, together to be we,

He and She is God my dear, one and one is three,

Who made the M and E my dear, and the timely C

Entangled N and T my dear, an angled entity,

you are all my world my dear, For G made you for me

GUI – graphical user interface, how humans interface with computers

E=MC2 – e = m x c x c Einsteins equation showing that energy and mass are the same thing

N and T – N is the symbol for Newton and T for Time. Newton formulated the laws of motion

Entanglement – quantum entanglement shows that our physical universe is created by observation and does not exist independently. This was finally proved by John Bell in the 1960’s following intense debate between Bohrs group and Einsteins.

Entanglement and relationship is the fundamental concept in existential philosopher Martin Bubers work “I and Thou”