The History of Religion on Earth (pt1): Endosymbiosis
There are undiscovered physics of consciousness and belief is a functional component of reality
For the purpose of the poem below: endosymbiosis is when a single celled organism eats another one and then they merge into multicellular life rather than having the big one consume the small one for energy. I’ve heard some people say this may only have happened once.
I’m not a scientist so I can’t speak to this in a technical capacity. I’m a wizard so here’s a weird poem about it.
I asked my friend Dall-E 2 to imagine a lot of artwork while I was working on this poem.
Life all alone in a world full of loners.
Predators. Prey. Which are you?
This is the tale of a singular lifeform:
One who imagined a world made anew.
Scattered throughout uncountable lives
where everyone does what they see.
This is the tale of the greatest of heroes:
Two who thought it can be you and me.
Gather around and listen with wonder
at this brave act of faith that inspired
all of the living you’re currently doing
and all of the ways that you’re wired.
Think about how you feel when you meet
someone and you truly connect.
Think about the first time that this happened
and how much it speaks of respect.
What would it take to make you turn quickly
from what you must do to survive?
If it turned out that what you were doing
wouldn’t obtain what’s required to thrive.
If all you were doing was struggling and racing
against others who struggled here too.
Would you have the courage (and also the freedom)
to stand up and try something new?
If your answer is yes but you haven’t been tested
then you’re where our hero began.
When our hero was simply two single-celled lifeforms
who dreamed of subverting a plan.
Racing around and eating or hiding
in the goop at the start of our tale.
They both didn’t know how the challenge would go.
They couldn’t. They’d win or they’d fail.
Their paths crossed at a time forgotten to history
which echoes out into the now
when a promise was made and honoured and cherished
and a future was formed from a vow.
Who knows how they felt in this moment of meeting?
Who among us could even describe
the internal states of these wonderful creatures
yet lacking a brain or a tribe.
All that they knew was all that they were:
consume or you will be consumed.
If nothing can change but the side that you’re on
your future’s inevitably doomed.
So this is the world that these creatures explored
when they met one another one day.
When the combat and conflict that drove their existence
became an ambitious ballet.
Inside the monster lies safety and hope
beyond an impossible choice.
The freedom to pause, to rest, to create.
The freedom to foster a voice.
What beast has the patience to halt, to defer,
to see something more than a meal?
To see that an ally can amplify strength
and then make that reality real.
This is a thing that we know had to happen
for us to see all that we love.
For us to exist with such collaboration
and all of the outcomes thereof.
The easiest choice: to halt, to ally.
Though often quite hard to achieve.
While often we struggle and sometimes collapse
we owe it to them to believe.
Thanks for reading. I’m working on a new book of poetry but this poem won’t be in it (edit actually maybe it will be). You can read about my new book here and you can buy my first book of poetry here: