Parasite Rex

A while ago I wrote about how parasites, viruses, and bacteria all contribute to who we are and how we relate to each other. I referenced the book, Parasite Rex, which talks about our interaction with our environment – in this case, very small creatures.

On Sunday in a NY Times opinion column, i.e., not necessarily endorsed by the paper, Moises Velasquez-Manoff discusses autism as possibly a function of the lack of parasites whose presence is known to suppress inflammation.

I don’t want to get into an argument about this – what I think is so important is that our interaction with our world, macro and micro, is so significant.

Maybe it’s because i was horrified when I was introduced to Rene Descartes in college. I haven’t gotten over it. How could someone leave out most of the body’s attributes and focus in on a single aspect! (no question mark here, this is rhetorical)

It’s so human of us to isolate one person, idea, phylum and have it support one huge idea. The most obvious to me at the moment are the religious views that would have us be evil or incompetent or superior depending which side is talking.

I know it is often hard for me to feel my connection to the universe in a palpable way. I allow the concept of the universe in me and I in the universe to penetrate my consciousness, I seek it, I believe it. Until I get in a pinch, then it’s really easy to separate.

When I read the article on Autism – and I am drawn to them thanks to my godson Jacob and his teachings – I think of all the places I’ve seen where people live, their relative health and happiness. With my Western mind it is hard for me to fathom how they can live at all. No flush toilets or Saran Wrap, no Betadine or Hydrogen Peroxide. How do they do it? And then I think how I just had the opportunity to walk around in Retail Land for four hours on Saturday and Sunday as Chandrika took a required course for the DMV in preparation for her driver’s license. We don’t look so healthy here. No, not at all. Happiness is a bit of a stretch too. And I think to my time in Nepal and India, many months spent fending off all the disease and dirt and allowing in the smiles, the happiness, the easy and available color, the simplicity within the cacophony of life.

I’m not winding to a Conclusion except to say that I eat organic food because it has withstood the onslaughts of bugs, thereby making the plant stronger and hopefully giving me some of that benefit and I’ll take my answer off the air but I think having a bit of the universe in me in the form of a little dirt wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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