200 national amoebae in a global pond

It would be strange enough for a human to dream of being a non-human – a lion maybe, an eagle, even a dragonfly, but of everything on Earth, he dreamed of being an amoeba, one living on the bottom of the pond beside which he was sleeping.

“He”, the amoeba, had climbed up the stem of a bulrush, a “Stairway to Heaven” in amoebal lingo, for the pond was his universe, the realm beyond which being “Heaven”.

He was pushing as hard as he could to penetrate the water/air barrier, in vain. Finally, in frustration, exhaustion and resignation, he began his dispirited descent back towards his bottom-feeding, amoeba-eat-amoeba existence, when he heard, “What are you doing, my friend?”

He looked around and encountered a spherical being attached to the Stairway, glowing luminously in the filtered moonlight. Despite its being many sizes larger than him, it seemed benign, and he felt at ease.

“I’m trying to go to Heaven,” he said, without shame.

“I’m glad you’ve failed, since you would have died had you succeeded.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is Raminothna.”

“What are you?”

“I am an egg.”

“What is an egg?”

“An egg is a single cell that will develop into a multicellular organism.”

“What is a, what you say, multicellular organism?”

“In the present context, it is something that, unlike you, can go to your Heaven – without dying in the process.”

“I want so badly to go!” he lamented without reservation. “I’m tired of my mundane existence. I want to transcend to a higher realm and live with the gods!”

“I can appreciate the sentiment, but I’m afraid you are going about it the wrong way,” said the egg without condescension.

“Oh yeah? Well, if you know the right way, why are you still stuck in here, eh? At least I have some freedom of movement, unlike you!”

“I will be out of this pond before the next full moon.”

“You are quite sure of yourself, aren’t you?”

“I know what will happen.”

“So, how will it happen?”

“By means of Integrative Transcendence.”

“Come again?”

“Integrative Transcendence.”

“Two huge words. I can’t handle even one of it.”

“Tell me. How do you reproduce?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“How do you reproduce?”

“That’s a bit personal, don’t you think?”

“You did ask.”

“Okay, I reproduce asexually, by dividing into two, then two into four, four into eight, eight into sixteen, and so on. How about you?”

“The same.”

“So, what is the difference?”

“You are a single cell and I’m a single cell, but the difference lies in how we reproduce, and how our descendants will behave. Now tell me. Are your descendants detached or attached to each other?”


“Are they differentiated or identical?”


“Are they mutually competitive or cooperative?”

“Mutually competitive, for food – bacteria mostly, if not other amoebae. And what about your descendants? Are they detached or attached?”

“They are attached to each other.”

“So they can’t crawl about as we do?”

“No, they cannot.”

“So, they don’t even have the freedom of movement? Then I don’t see how you can teach me anything.”

“Here is how. Unlike your descendants, mine will be differentiated in relation to each other, both structurally and behaviorally. And though they will be stuck fast to each other, they will share a discontinuously higher level of collective freedom.”

“I don’t see it.”

“Of course not, since you have no facility of sight.”

“Now that’s un-called-for!”

“My apologies. Okay, let me explain. Some of my descendants will become eyes so all can see the sights of your Heaven; others will become legs so all can walk with gigantic strides; some will form protective armor so all can live in the rarified atmosphere; still others will become wings so all can fly in the heavenly winds, not just from pond to pond, but clear over the mountain, not at your amoebal speed of a meter per day, but at 100 kilometers per hour. A quantum leap in power if you’ve ever imagined one.”

“Wow! What kind of a god that would that make?”

“A dragonfly.”

“A DRAGONfly, sounds formidable. How big is it?”

“On your scale, immense, like a spaceship, one that can delivery its own millions of highly social crew members out of this pond into your Heaven, there to live together as one, as the living dragonfly itself.”

“Can you take me along?”

“I would love to, but I can’t. You are a non-social cell, and do not qualify. You’ll have to socialize yourself first.”

“What do you mean ‘socialize’? You mean to get my kids to stick together, differentiate and cooperate? That’d never happen.”

“Not for a billion years or so.”

“That’s an eternity!”

“But from what I hear, amoebae never die, they just multiply forever. You’ll get there one day.”

“You think?”

“Just remember those two words.”

“Those two huge words? You’ll have to run them past me again.”

“No problem. Ready?”



“Integrative Transcendence.”


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)


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