Public Citizen ~ Larry Barnett

Larry Barnett Larry Barnett lives in Sonoma where he was elected to three terms on the city council and served twice as Mayor. He has been married for 40 years, has two daughters and three grandchildren.

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Your life as an amoeba

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Larry Barnett

amoeba2
Amoebas, as you likely know, are one-celled animals you can only see with a microscope. Tiny enough to swim freely in a drop of water, amoebas animate themselves using pseudopods, projections of its cell wall into lobes that move. They surround and absorb the living tissue of even tinier life forms, digest that tissue and use it for cell maintenance and continued health. Sensitive to touch, capable of physical reaction, able to reproduce, in the scheme of living things, amoebas are primitive mobile sensory units.

Let’s jump ahead two-and-one-half billion years give or take, and honestly evaluate the human species, also mobile sensory units, yet anything but primitive; humans are extremely sophisticated amoebas.

Reflective self-consciousness differentiates us from the amoeba just as it differentiates us from virtually all other animals. We imaginatively anticipate the future and have accomplished what no other species of animal seems to have achieved: imaginative ego projection of individual identity [Your Name Here] and even more impressively, collective ego projection of group identity [Your Country of Origin]. This is high level programming; human beings – extremely sophisticated amoebas – are self-aware, programmable sensory units with infinitely large imaginations.

A vast project of wealth and industry is necessary to sustain the various levels of animated projection within the matrix of mind itself – the sum total of myths, truths, superstitions, experiences, love and hardship that each human sensory units records. This includes the imagined super-structure not only of self, but also the relationship of imagined self to the imagined super-structure of society. Ethnologist Dorothy Lee called it “codifications of reality.” Human amoebas are specialists at conforming individuals to the collective ego projection of group identity. Deadly good.

We also specialize in conforming planet Earth and its denizens to human codifications of reality; if it can be imagined, it can be done. We’ve told ourselves this for a long time and so far we’ve been right. Well, sorta right. This is why imagination can be so frightening; human mobile sensory units have run amok.

The keyword here is run. As mobile sensory units we can literally smell fear and are constantly reacting – to our environment, body signals, and thoughts – in emotional ways. The mind is running too, always, imaginatively stitching together a narrative that supports individual ego projection.

The contemporary nature of that projection includes individual identity tethered to various bits of data placed within collective ego projection’s information network – birth, health, assets, real estate, bank accounts – the whole, like we say, enchilada. Even if various tethers to imaginative collective ego projection are cut, the imaginative ego projection of individual identity continues. Extremely sophisticated amoebas are feisty and don’t give up our ego projections easily, right down to our “cold, dead hands.”

The rest of the animal world seems to have gotten on quite well without sophisticated individual or collective ego projection. They communicate, of course, and find things to eat, make babies and run around. But human amoebas live in a world created by human imagination, where, under the collective ego projection of law. my projection is equal to your projection. We obsessively document our activities, yet ironically, individual ego projections are subject to inspection and detention by armed agents of our collective ego projection.

Below all this imaginal effort of ego our genetically primitive but highly sensitive amoeba is still simply seeking some eats and good water.



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