Entangled, networked and blurred boundaries — Moral Imaginations at The Serpentine

General Ecology Programme https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/general-ecology/

So take a deep breath and make yourself comfortable and just sense into the feeling of your body. We’re starting by focusing on everything that’s solid in the body. So I’m asking you to think of your bones of the solidness of your feet.

Explore the material of your bones. Calcium carbonate is the same material out in the world, thinking of rocks and the very same atoms in your bones or atoms that may have been part of bones as dinosaurs, many many years ago
and essentially the same solid…

This rock inside your body returns to the earth and we’re shedding skin all the time, shedding bacteria, taking in new bacteria.

So now let’s think about everything that’s liquid.
The saliva in your mouth,
In your eyes, in your nose,
The mucous lining your throat, your stomach,
Now think of everything that’s liquid outside the vast oceans and rivers…
Rains and clouds water stagnating in the soil,
And water inside other organisms…
The saliva of a sheep,
The blood of a salamander,
And these water molecules on your breath that you’re breathing in and out, The very same water molecules were acted on by cyanobacteria…
A billion years ago as they first converted water into oxygen,
which allowed us to be here…
And this brings us on to the element of fire.
These tiny bacteria deep inside your cells are working very, very hard all the time
To provide you with the energy that allows you to walk, to think…
Millions of years ago,
Mitochondria were converted from a free living bacteria
Into the tiny power houses
Inside every single one of your cells today
They were enslaved.
They are kept captive…
Allowing you to live.
If you focus in on the warmth of your breath as it comes out,
That heat…
You can thank the millions of mitochondria
For keeping you warm.
Now focusing into your heartbeat.
This heartbeat has been a continuous heartbeat down the whole evolutionary chain of living beings that led you to be here today.
When you were an ape,
when you were a small mammal,
A fish…
and then think about
The time before there even was a heartbeat
When you were just a cluster of cells
And then when you were just a single
And from that single bacteria now,
A multicellular organism
Housing millions of bacteria all working together in concerted action.
We really here thanks to cooperation
When we have
huddled small mammals,
When we came together as intricate and complex symbioses
Engulfing bacteria.
Becoming multicellular mosaics of beings.



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Phoebe Tickell

Phoebe Tickell

Cares about the common good. Building capacity for deep systems change. Complexity & ecosystems obsessive. Experiments for everything. 10 yrs #systemsthinking.