Light Story 10 - The Swamp
Somewhere in a random swamp, in the middle of a rocky inhospitable environment, on a random planet in this vast Universe, trillions of unicellular organisms are busy zooming about, competing for resources, replicating, dying, and interacting in various ways. Their entire reality, their entire Universe, was that swamp. Anything outside of it was the equivalent of outer space to humans: a place of certain death. “Reality” was the swamp.
Little did they know that one day, a highly evolved multicellular self-aware creature walked by the swamp. The individual unicellular organisms could not perceive this being, even though it was composed of cells. Those cells knew something the unicellular organisms didn’t: they were bound together inextricably to form a global collective organism. That being knew, thanks to its higher intelligence and knowledge of tectonic plate movements and long climate change patterns that in a handful million years or so, that swamp would be frozen over and all of the individual unicellular organisms would suffer an inescapable death. The being felt like he wanted to give those unicellular organisms a fighting change. He took out a knife and cut his finger, letting a few drops of blood fall into the swamp.
The unicellular organisms, at first, had no idea what these new cells were. They died very quickly, but they left behind information that was most peculiar. A kind of complex code. Under its influence, some unicellular organisms started to display a most original behavior. Instead of competing for resources, they started to display cooperative behaviour to be able to access resources in a more efficient and secure manner. Eventually, the first multicellular organisms appeared. They too started to evolve and mutate, and at one point, after thousands and thousands of years, the tardigrade was born. The glaciations period came and went, and wiped out a sizeable amount of life from the swamp, but a great many multicellular organisms survived, including the robust tardigrade. And millions of years onward, eventually, a multicellular organism sophisticated enough, managed to crawl out of the swamp and discovered a new reality, a new Universe, expanded beyond the original unicellular organisms’ wildest dreams.
This short story is meant as an allegory, comparing our own situation, here on Earth, to unicellular organisms in a swamp. The vastness of your Universe, and your ability to move inside of it, depends on many factors. One of these, is linked to the level of development of your consciousness and your belief in separation. Unicellular organisms are still at a level where they firmly believe they are completely separate from each other, and thus their experience is rather limited. Once that belief wanes, it is gradually possible for them to coalesce, cooperate, combine and associate themselves in such a way as to form ever more complex multicellular organisms which experience the Universe and reality in a completely different way. What was impossible for a unicellular organism, suddenly is completely possible for a multicellular organism, even surviving the harshest natural conditions (see the Tardigrade).
In much the same way, our Planet Earth is our swamp, our limited reality and our inability to leave it is much more linked to our inability to cooperate and associate ourselves to form something “bigger” than ourselves than just linked to advances in technology.
Some wild esoteric theories say that humanity originated from Aliens. This allegory is also meant to illustrate how this works in a much more intuitive manner. As humans, we walk all over this Planet. Everywhere we go, we leave traces of ourselves, if only by leaving behind a burned out camp fire. Ultimately, in the Universe, everything is an exchange of information between parts that identify themselves as separate from the “whole”. Most people do not perceive themselves as being one with the chair they are sitting on or the computer screen they read. They believe there is a clear distinction or separation between their body and the “outer reality”. But that is merely linked to an illusion created by a conscious separation between the “self” and the “non self”. The atoms which compose your finger are essentially the same as the atoms of the air surrounding you or the atoms that your chair is made up of. But there is a kind of force which binds your atoms in a coherent “bundle” which you call a body, and which makes sure that any “information” that your body receives affects the body as a whole. For instance, when you burn the tip of your finger, your entire body reacts. As you are sitting on your chair, there is a huge amount of information which circulates from your rear end to your chair and back, to make sure you don’t “sink” into your chair: an ultra complex exchange of information which we would label something like electro-magnetism. But this principle extends to pretty much everything. Whenever a human being does research on primitive life forms, it affects their subsequent development, millions of years from now, and vice versa. Any interaction with anything results in an exchange of information, and we have absolutely no clue what that exchange will amount to in millions of years time.
The “visit” of extra-terrestrials some millions of years ago, might have accelerated our own evolution, just like us, studying unicellular organisms by interacting with them might accelerate theirs. Everything in this Universe affects everything else. Nothing is really separated. But it is through the illusion of separation that the experience of becoming “one” can be lived. These advanced beings could have very well predicted the next big planetary shift, in terms of climate change or the switching of the poles, and dropped information in some form that would affect the primates living on Earth to set them on a course of accelerated evolution, giving them the chance to survive the event by reaching a higher level of consciousness by becoming self-aware humans.