Reflections 14th March

Mycelium. Image: Christian Schekhuber

Connections were on my mind last week, and they still are this week. Not only does it seem that we are myopic in terms of what is connected to what and how, sometimes we are wilfully blind. We tend to value what we can measure, and ignore what we cannot, because there is no “proof”. We override our intuition, our emotions and senses.

When you’re next out walking, consider that underneath your feet are mycelium networks that may spread for large areas of tens, or even hundreds of hectares and are quite possibly thousands of years old. They connect all living things and moderate exchanges of water and nutrients and provide channels of communication. We know as yet very little about them, and some think that these networks have an intelligence of their own. When we destroy them through intensive agriculture and building, we diminish the capability of the soil and plants to thrive.

It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to consider our own human “mycelium” – those things that connect us invisibly underneath the surface. Tone of voice, respect, empathy, consideration, body, written, social and other forms of language. We plough through them at speed to be “efficient” and pay little attention to what we are doing to our human infrastructure.

Just as we diminish the soil we depend on for food by inconsiderate treatment of it, so we destroy our social fabric by not paying attention to our communication with and respect for each other, and letting the myth that is money take priority.

It’s more than a little humbling to realise we are not in charge, and that we are dependent for our wellbeing and survival on networks we cannot see and measure. Just because we cannot prove them, and measure them, or understand their reach and complexity does not mean they are not real, and that the wellbeing of those yet to be born is dependent on them.

We know enough. We need to act on it.

Books I’ve liked this week

Unhurried, Johnnie Moore. This is one of those valuable books that I like to keep to hand. A collection of observations, ideas and connections around the frequent foolishness of rushing. Great references. It’s joining a small select books of similar quality on my “go to” bookshelf that I use to trigger thoughts.

Plant Intelligence. Stephen Buhner. I bought this to go alongside “Entangled Life” which I referenced last week. There is much here to ponder and I’m finding this genre a rich surce of metaphor.

Beyond Order. Jordan Peterson. I have to admit I’m ambivalent about Jordan Peterson’s views, but have admiration for his clarity and writing. Something to push against is valuable. His work “Maps of Meaning” is another on my “go to” bookshelf.

Articles I’ve liked

Your thinking rate is fixed. Great thinking is inherently inefficient and messy, and cannot be rushed. From FS Blog.

Nature is irregular and messy. It’s how it works. it also takes it’s time. This from PBS on Mandelbrot, a brilliantly messy thinker.

The lessons in your back garden. From Psyche Magazine. Slow down and learn.

A quote that resonates for me.

The soul of human beings is revealed in the stories they tell about themselves:

The Philosopher and the Wolf. Mark Rowlands.

Have a great week.

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