Science will teach us there is a clear-cut web which binds all creatures, from housefly to blue whale, each occupying a unique niche of their own. There are food chains in place. The weaker is eaten by the stronger which, in turn, is eaten by a larger predator. The harmonious chaos in nature is a delicate thread, but one that has stood the test of time, and one that dictates the existence of all. However, Homo sapiens are a distinct anomaly in the mechanism of the planet Earth. This species, the most complex of all living things, has for centuries been hindered and nearly crushed by a self-made weight. It is a condition I call the ‘parasite syndrome’.
Evolution has pushed humanity to grand heights. It was the human who learned to make and use tools, to till the land, to explore what lies beyond the safety of their tribe. Progress was steady. There were eras defined by advancements, not only in technology and understanding of the world, but in the newfound, burgeoning ability to debate; to share ideas and grow together as one. As expected of all animals, wars were fought. Differences were settled when club met bone, arrows met flesh, blades pierced ribs. Some may call the violence a necessary evil, others may insist it’s a blemish on the face of so-called human superiority. Between times of bloodshed, evolution continued to take its course, and the Homo sapiens blossomed into a puzzle of innumerable contradictions; the upright animal has come into its own as the arrogant figurehead of a web it has disrupted and become detached.
When one mentions that money is “the root of all evil”, they are, of course, referring to the feelings people have attached to it and the destruction these feelings may cause. I believe it’s fair to apply the same principle to knowledge. However, in this case, the quest for knowledge is not the destructive element; instead, it is the mere understanding among humans that they have evolved this far. This has led to a stagnation that impacts every facet of the self. Startlingly, the majority of the population is content in their position, looking not to the possibilities of the future, and rarely even the tangible present, but to the past and the supposed lower life forms at the mercy of their will. A wall, fortified by contented ignorance and stubborn pride, has not only disconnected humans from each other, but it has also cut them away from the next rung in the ladder of transcendence. The existential journey to understand life itself, beyond societal norms and limitations, is a vital responsibility among all people; to “plug oneself in” to the web which we belong. When this journey stops at the realization that humans are the top of the food chain, and are free to exploit this dominance as they see fit, a parasite is bred. The parasite is contagious.
Fundamentally, the human is a sick animal. It will torture, rape, commit genocide, among countless other atrocities, not only towards the “lesser species”, but towards one other. Warring tribes have descended into baseless violence, sometimes born from morbid curiosity and other times to protect the supreme ego. Conversely, the human will go to great lengths to help another, to provide shelter and sustenance and even cast an emotionally comforting light in the proverbial storm. This is the dichotomy that makes Homo sapiens a remarkable animal. The human has grown enough to become aware of its place, aware of its own strength, aware of its capabilities for both compassion and pain. Intoxicated by this flawed wisdom, the human has lost the instinct to function as one diverse, yet effective unit. The human exists in its own self-defined space. So many will refuse to travel the paths set before them, and are instead content with remaining still, consuming everything around them and only giving back a temporary footprint of their existence through the damage they have done. This unsettlingly large group of the human experience is the most dangerous parasite – rejecting ideas, refusing to consider outside perspectives, exclusive outward thought patterns, and self-imposed segregation from the group while taking advantage of resources, leaving behind a corpse that never dipped its toe into the deeper waters, its existence wasted on devouring worms in the shallow bank and drawings its name in the sand.
The parasite furthers its havoc through the death of respect. In the dominant human perspective, the tree is not a producer of oxygen, an organism worthy of reverence, but a disposable thing to be used in any manner the human sees fit. Absurdly enough, even water, the sacred and life-giving force which is necessary for existence itself, is a commodity to the human; it is packaged and sold, it is recklessly poisoned, and it is polluted by the cavalier “rulers of the world”. The parasite syndrome grows stronger at the same rate of ignorance. One cannot pinpoint the exact moment that Homo sapiens felt entitled to disfigure nature, inwardly and outwardly, rather than coexist. The jellyfish cannot fight the current, as it knows this is an exercise in futility. The human’s fight against the current, if only to reinforce its insatiable ego, casts out waves which disrupt the very wavelengths that made the human possible.
If the parasite’s birth is mysterious, then its death is equally out of reach. Humanity has restructured reality in its own image, a project which only grows more complicated and dark, with little to no regard for every other inhabitant. The parasite has no conceivable goal, no endgame, only a need to assert itself in the face of an uncaring universe. “You are under my control”, the human barks to the wind, the land, the species’ at its feet, and to the distant members of its tribe. A certain humor can be found, buried deep inside, when one considers how much effort and blood the human has shed to assure itself that it owns a mote of dust among myriad counterparts. The possibilities of the human spirit are fantastic. Only a few have been unlocked, and are thus the only ones that the human considers. Murder. Love. Debate. Conscience. The human is burdened by its struggle to control even these most basic traits unique to their kind. In that sense, humanity is a pitiful comedian. It is a toxic vessel around minds far more significant than they realize, endowed with repressed drive to connect with each other and look to the next dimension. These same minds, ironically, spawned the parasite, reinforcing a conclusion that impurity has the upper hand over the human experience. Impurity, not in the ridiculous sense of religion or politics which are the premier, sharpened tendrils utilized by the parasite, but the impurity of our loneliness. When the thread between us has been severed, and the ego takes root, only the parasite syndrome remains, eating without abandon to horrific stature. It is an addiction and a bloodsucking companion the human collective must cut away like cancer. The world does not worship the human, while the human worships itself, and in death their conceit is destined to blow away like a handful of autumn leaves.