Dear Homo Sapiens of Earth:
He woke up from the dream still submerged in the amoeba’s scale of perception, such that, as soon as he stood up, he felt as if he was ten miles tall, and had to sit down to prevent toppling over.
The pond, which was but 60 feet away, now looked like a lake, but one a hundred miles distant. There was a dragonfly poised on a bulrush stalk at the edge of the pond, and though they looked small, on the amoeba’s scale they were enormous, so his eyes saw them as being huge, but very far away.
Further to this space dilation, even beauty was enhanced. Take the pond, for instance. Were it really a lake a hundred miles away, it would look discoloured and hazy, but now, it looked crystal clear, with its colours in shining in all their glory. The only way his eyes could handle this was to interpret the pond, the bulrush and the dragonfly as all emitting some kind of inner light, and that the air was 110% smog-free. This invoked Aldous Huxley’s hallucination in “The Doors of Perception”.
“I see what you mean,” he said, entranced.
“What is the one word that comes to mind while perceiving yourself as being ten miles tall?”
He hunted for the word, then said, “Majestic.”
“How about a down-and-out homeless person on skid road?”
“Down and out, but still majestic.”
“And the dragonfly?”
“I’m awed by it, as I would be by the starship Enterprise were it hovering right in front of me.”
“You may now consider you having experienced half of Perceptual Pliancy.”
“What is the other half?”
“What you have experienced is to see the small as large, or the tiny as huge, depending on the degree of spatial dilation involved. The other half of Perceptual Pliancy is to see the large as small, or the huge as tiny, depending on the spatial contraction involved.”
“So how can I experience this other half?”
“Soon you shall see.”
While still on spatial dilation, he regarded the landscape all around – the acacia trees, the soaring eagles, the wild flowers, the bees, the termite mounds, even a blade of grass… are all majesty personified, the present tense appropriate to their majesty’s being timeless. And how could he bypass the butterflies, which should have been called the Beautifly, one of which having just landed on a flower within arm’s reach.
I posed to him a puzzle. “As a cell, is the amoeba social or non-social?”
“We’ve been through this before. As a cell an amoeba is non-social.”
“And the egg of a butterfly, or any cell in its body, is it social or non-social.”
“What is the product of Integrative Transcendence of social cells?”
“A cellular society called a Multicellular Organism.”
“‘Multicelluar Organism’, being two words, is cumbersome for future use. Give me a single word for it.”
“In biology, a multicellular animal is called a Metazoan.”
“What about a multicellular plant?”
“Hm, I don’t think there is any such word. You might call it a ‘Metaphyta’, I suppose.”
“Give me a single word for ‘Multicellular Organism’, embracing both animals and plants.”
“I could make up one. How about ‘Metabion’?”
“‘Metabion’ it is. So then, is a metabion, say a dragonfly, or butterfly, social or non-social?”
“Both are non-social.”
“Do you see any Social Metabions around here?”
“I do. There are bees, ants, termites, lions, and the Masai.”
“What is a society of bees called?”
“What is a society of lions called?”
“What is a society Masais called?”
“A boma, or village”
“What is your own society called?”
“A city, called Vancouver, of a country called Canada.”
“So now, abstractly, what do you see?”
He pondered for some time. “Abstractly, I see a multi-levelled structure of at least two levels – the Cellular level and the Metabion level – each comprising nonsocial and social organisms.”
“And, abstractly, what do you call one of these levels?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Give a generic word for one of these levels.”
“I still don’t…”
“If I ask you to fill in the blank, what would you put into the blank in ‘Level of _______”?
Again, he pondered, then said, “‘Organization’. I would call each level a ‘Level of Organization’.”
“You got it.”
I am Raminothna,
the Fortunate and Called Upon,
at your service.
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)