Fungal Lessons

Maybe the title sounds odd. Lessons from fungus? In a previous post I related a few concepts, including tree root systems which utilize fungal pathways, to an idea of quantum entanglement. Here, I ponder something different.

I was speaking to a close friend the other day, and though we have different viewpoints, we stimulate each other to think about our opinions. We were talking about the polarization of our country, specifically in regard to politics. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I strongly believe that if we try to understand what fuels someone’s belief system then we can avoid hatred and even polarization. It may not solve the immediate problem, but it can keep us on a more positive path and perhaps a more influential one.

After my friend and I had this deep discussion, I spoke with two other women, spiritual giants in there own ways. I also spoke with my husband, who is very balanced and also quite brilliant. What was their take on the polarization of this country? Three themes emerged:

1) Political division is not the problem, it is one symptom of the problem.

2) The jump that humans take to hatred toward one group or another is not the highest version of ourselves, and

3) The problems in our country (polarization being one) are not due to politics but of a culture of fear rather than love.

Fear fuels selfishness. Fear fuels hatred. Fear fuels corruption. When fear fuels our responses it becomes a twisted mess in which no one solution fixes the problem. Extreme actions often lead to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

There is so much division in this country, in this world. Technology helps to connect, but it can also cause some to retreat and isolate. Human beings are meant for community. Some may of course feel less inclined to be “social,” and some may be physically unable to connect with others, but the optimal state of human life is in connection.

Interestingly enough, city planners in Japan used slime mold networks to double-check subway routes to determine their efficiency. The mold worked together to solve a problem. If fungi, if molds, if primitive life, exist in connection with each other, can’t we? And not just within our families, neighborhoods, cultures and political groups, but with all humanity. What is our network, our pathway to connection? Is it a spiritual one? Is it sending energy? Is it prayer? It certainly comes from a choice to move past fear to love.

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash