I’ve been showing you patterns in the leaves, and patterns of birds. Here they are together.
One version of the theory of evolution holds that it’s all survival of the fittest, that there are predator species and prey species and it’s nasty out there. I dunno. Look at these starlings again. Look at that weeping willow again.
There’s an important relationship here. The trees reach for the light and draw water out of the soil and make sugar. The birds sit in the trees. The trees don’t need the birds, but the birds need the trees.
According to the theory of evolution, that would be a random or an incidental effect. A holder of a radical version of that theory would quickly point out that the birds are seeking safety from predation up there. That’s a curious thing, you know, because the scientific culture that holds that thought also holds a different one: secondary effects in the mind are as important as physical ones. Sometimes this means that social relationships, in all of their intangibility, are complex and vital. Sometimes it means that theories of data organization trump human social relationships, or even physical relationships. Such thinking has infiltrated all of the arts and all of the sciences. It’s the cutting edge of philosophy. Determining webs of this nature and exploiting them is the purpose of the contemporary university. Curiously, though, this secondary level of organization is withheld from the earth, which means it is withheld from this relationship, which is as real and complex and intangible as any other:
That’s a bit arrogant. Nebulous relationships between abstract categories are vital. They aren’t human, but exist among humans. They also exist between starlings, between the million leaves on a willow tree, between the willows and the starlings, between the trees, the starlings, the air, and the man walking by, and between the car and the birds, and the physical memory of gunshot. That used to be called God. You can’t see God, but you can see where he just was, the blink of an eye ago, or even closer than that.