What is symbiosis? What does it mean to you?
Symbiosis, as I understand it is the very act of mutual gratification. Forming a relationship with something on the basis that you are going to receive something in return.
The more I learn about the natural order of things, the natural world, the more I know I've got nothing on what is going on. There is a complicated and interrelated process going on, beneath our very noses. We haven't got a clue. I have always known about symbiotic relationships, but I suppose I never understood them as being glue that binds all things together.
Maybe if I can give you the context, of how I came to understand things, you will realize how I have been able to draw these conclusions. As a child, I was always drawn to plants, to insects, to the mystery that is nature, Gods true temple, the place we inhabit as his creation. I was very curious about the way things worked, more specifically in the natural world. I remember performing all these weird experiments, I would gather moss, and create a closed ecosystem out of soda bottles, miniature examples of the world around me, I would plant seeds into the dirt, water it and let it sit, self regulate, and then just observe it. This was in elementary school. If I by chance, would be eating some sort of fruit, I would save the seeds, and later plant them to see if they would grow into their adult equivalents. At the time, I suppose I didn't realize how the process worked, but I thought I would give it a try nonetheless.
The story of my life can be summed up in these two rules, trial and error, and learning by observation. I am a very hands on kinda gal, so when I read about something, or saw it done on T.V., I would go and experiment myself. My mom would describe me as incredibly curious. I was convinced that you could talk to animals and plants. So I would sit for hours, trying to communicate with a bird or squirrel on a telephone wire, or I would see how yelling or talking soothingly to my tomato plants would work out. When you break everything down, apart from molecular and atomic bonds, you find that every object, inanimate or living, is composed of a conglomeration of varying frequencies.
An example I will set forth here is that of resonance. When you have an Opera singer hit a high note, she has tapped into the frequency of which a glass is also comprised. There are rules about resonance, either frequencies conform, or they destruct. In the case of the Opera singer, by reaching the frequency at which glass is found, she can literally destroy the glass by resonating with it to the point that it simply cannot conform, but rather disassembles accordingly.
An example of resonance, is that of two flutes. Upon one, you have a note being played, the sound waves, will travel, and when they reach the untouched un-played flute, that flute begins to emulate the very same note. I've tried this on my own, where I've listened to a piece of music, and matched the note at a constant rate with my own voice, (perhaps someone is singing) and I have actually began to feel the vibrations, of the frequency of that note in my throat and there is this pulse, that occurs, as each wave is emitted, you can determine the point at which it begins and ends.. Very interesting to try at home!
My point being, that we are all made out of sound. And it all makes perfect sense to me, being that my beliefs teach me that God "spoke" the universe into existence. Now, the reason why I bring this up, is because when you consider this fact, you begin to take on a new appreciation for how things work in life. One of the most influential mediums is music. It has the power to change your mood, to infiltrate your mind and body with it's melody, depending upon the type of music, you can literally be formed by what you listen to.
An example of this in my life is how in high school, I often listened to rather darker music. Some of which may include the likes of Slipknot, Rob Zombie A Perfect Circle, Metallica, System of a Down, etc... The underlying connotations of this sort of music are obvious, and some not so much, but their effects are clearly seen. I spent a great portion of my youth being self destructive, rebellious towards God and hateful towards family, depressed and filled with disdain for much of life on various levels.
I noticed that once I stopped exposing myself to the continuous drab of this sort of depressing music, my spirits lifted. I became something of a new person. And suffice it to say, while that was not the only negative influence in my life, it certainly contributed to the bulk of my demeanor on a day to day basis and my attitude in general. Looking back towards that time period in my life, I can't help but wonder who that person was, I don't even recognize her.
What is so odd to me now, is how sensitive I've become to the effects of deleterious frequencies. There is a time and place for everything, the point I'm trying to illustrate is that, you are either conforming to the surrounding frequencies or you are being destroyed by them. Eventually something has got to give. You go one way or the other. Things are less apparent in today's world, where we are surrounded by electromagnetic radiation from all the appliances and equipment that surrounds us on a day to day basis. The fact that everyone is on overdrive, so fast paced, I-pod in hand, earphones on, divided in a common endeavor. We are all living in our own little worlds, separated from each other, by our interests, by the methodologies, and ideologies in which we live.
We are all operating on differing frequencies. You can feel it can't you? I know how I can get uncomfortable around people who are very high strung, no pun intended. They are too fast for me, their frequencies are not enjoyable for me, and so I avoid too much exposure to them, on the basis that I may begin to resonate with them, and I wouldn't want that, who would? I often find that I am able to recharge when I'm out in nature, perhaps this is the reason why I was so attuned to the outdoors as a child.
Often times, when I am experiencing distress in my life, I take a break and visit a very fast running creek in a town nearby. When I sit next to this creek, streaming by, I begin to calm down. Considering that our bodies are comprised up of over 80% water, I begin to feel myself resonate with the current of the creek. As the water flows past me, I almost feel like I am getting sucked along with it. Often times, this is when I feel closest to God, in a very weird way, it is as if the communication barrier is being overcome, I am more tuned into his language. Usually, not always, I end up shedding tears, letting myself emotionalize my frustrations and allowing the water to take them away. In a weird way, I feel as though it is the water meeting itself, that I am part of it, and it is part of me, and we have just become reacquainted again, old buddies.
This brings me back to the point of my post today, Symbiosis. The fact that we are more connected to that which surrounds us than we can even begin to imagine. On my quest for self sustainability, and the pursuit of the agrarian lifestyle, I began to learn about the relationships that are forged between plants, microbes and fungi. I have written extensively on this subject in an older post titled, What makes your garden go from this, to this to this? If you are so inclined to read it.
I began to learn, that often times, the success of a plant was dependent upon the ability of that plant to form a mutually gratifying relationship with other organisms. In the soil, in the air, along the surface of the leaves, at each point, the plant interacts with it's surroundings, to develop and nurture a love affair with whatever it can get. The plants will actually attract beneficial microbes to its roots and leaves by emitting exudate's, the human equivalent of Pheromones. In doing so, the microbes, the fungi, will travel through the soil until they meet, upon which, the exchange begins.
Fungi are drawn to the plants by way of exudate's, and in return, while the roots of the plant can only extend so far through the dirt to extract nutrients and water, the fungi will loan their hyphae, an adopted appendage in more words or less, that is capable of traveling not inches, but MILES below the surface of the ground in search for food and water, and the fact that it's cell walls consist of chitin, it has the ability to transport nutrients and water for long distances, underground, pressure withstanding. (Think plumbing system and pipes.) It creates a network, of transportation, working for the plants in exchange for the chemicals that the plants harbor. It isn't all that different from what we are attempting to do with our highways, our trains, ships and planes, except these fungi have been doing it for much longer than we have.
The microbes attracted to the plants, will consume nutrients in the soil and from it, in exchange, they will complete their life processes, and immobilize nutrients that upon their expiration, becomes available to the plant as nourishment. They will also create what is called a Biofilm. A matrix, a community of organisms that out competes pathogens for growth in the same vicinity, repelling dangerous organisms and protecting the exterior of the plants tissues.
This Biofiom, well the applications of this phenomenon, have yet to be fully understood, but I believe it can be a source of fuel, pesticides, fertilizers, and even food in some cases for humanity at some point in the near future. Consider the cow for instance. It is such a hearty animal, who appears to subsist on grass alone. To the layperson, this is the idea they get when thinking on Cows, they just eat grass all day long.
Well, aside from the fact that the cows do occasionally eat insects, their main source of amino acids come from the Biofilms located in their stomaches. You see, they have formed a symbiotic relationship with a valuable microorganism that digests the cellulose of the grass, otherwise, they wouldn't be able to eat the grass. Throughout the process, these beneficial bacteria live and die, and create byproducts which is essentially what the cow is eating, but along with Biofilm steaks if you will. Now, consider the cow, a vegetarian right? Well, if eating trillions of dead bodies of microscopic organisms qualifies, then sure, the cow is vegetarian, but it is essentially eating meat, billions of cellular organisms, how is that much different than eating a conglomeration of tissue cells, in the form of that hamburger?
What am I trying to say you ask??? It is much more complicated than you think it is. We are subject to the idiosyncrasies of tiny organisms, that we can't even see. And yet, we are dependent upon them, for our food, for our survival, they are what allow us to even live, by default, by way of their symbiotic relationship with plants. It is this interconnected, complicated display of actions and reactions upon which develop various processes leading to relationships that form amongst what appears to be seemingly, unrelated organisms.
It only goes to show, what little we really know about the methods by which the natural world works. Learning about it for me, is a confirmation of Gods majesty and the fact that there is no denying his intelligence by way of design. A person has got to be blind to not believe in God, when his work has been made so apparent to us, and we now have the means by which to understand it, at least to some extent. How does it relate to me, to you?
I will let you ponder that for a moment.