A Halloween Reminding

The greatest fear in 21st Century civilization is the loss of self. It must be controlled by extravagant ritual.


Some of its ways are the binary relationships of delineating self from not-self and life from death. It is done, in part, by assigning “life” to self-replicating structures, operating in a binary exchange relationship of birth-dying, which is called “reproduction.” By this reckoning, the smokebush leaf below is dying. It is said that the “life” is flowing out of it.

If one were to set aside the binary intellectual model, there is no point at which death enters it or life leaves, and the generational change is an opening, and an opening again, in the same way that a bud, a leaf, a flower, and a seed are all the same plant, but viewed in sequence, from what has come to be called a human perspective. However, outside the binary thinking…

… all time is visible at once, physically:

Like this:

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

To the on-off, 1-0-1-0, calculations of the domesticated 21st century mind, this is called “nature”, and is considered “other”, in the pair “human”-“nature.” It is, in other words, “that-which-is-not-human,” with “human” being defined as a particular kind of self-replicating organic structure, picked out at any particular time in the birth-death binary focus. Here’s a 21st century image of one of these creatures in its native binary environment in Penticton.

Note how it escapes the loss-of-self of the “death” pole of the binary relationship by being an expressive object. Note as well, that this expression exists in a world of such expressions, including street signs, power poles, road barriers, garbage cans and the barred window of a music store. It is, in other words, hardly a binary at all. So, have another look:

It might be called “nature”, but it is an expression of self outside the life-death binary of the computational code that humans align themselves with in the 21st century. It is called a “park”, but it is really a “leaving”, on the basis that it is not understood and so should be left for others in the future to understand. There are, of course, those who do understand it, though. To them, it is not a ‘leaving’ but a ‘minding’. By ‘minding’ I have in mind …

Mind. Many fine neural nets here, of chokecherry and siya?


…this bear tree…


Feral apple, tended by bears among the choke cherries, minded by a human, kept in mind.


as opposed to this tending…

Tomatoes, unpicked at self-pick season’s end.

… which has built into it a leaving, which is not seen as waste but compost, rot, death, out of which springs a new cycle of birth. From the point of view of a mind …


… this is careless, even shocking and murderous, but it is in such ways that the human self is separated from life and given over to the world of death as a sacrifice, which tames it and secures the individualized human self within a group mind of such selves …

… and so releases the terror of separation. This is called culture …

… and art…

… in the great protective ritual…

… of building a new world, such as the wooden body to house a self, its art and culture below…

… for a view out of the binary into death …

Autumn Smog Over Okanagan Lake

It makes a 21st century human feel so warm, you know. And still the earth minds us.

And it’s not like we don’t know what’s going on. Even in the 21st century, we call this “being reminded”.

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