The Forest

The Forest

One word but not one thing.

We talk about "The Forest" but do we really know what it encompasses?
Not only one thing but a superorganism, a perfect symbiosis of trees, bushes, plants, animals and below the surface an even bigger diversity of fungi, worms, insects and other organisms. At a microscopic level, you'll find tiny beings and very tiny bacteria. All is connected with a huge network of mycelia, the part of mushrooms living below, and a tapestry of roots that encompasses a vibrant community of beings. Beings that are living with each other, beings that depend on each other. Internal chemical reactions and external wind, water and fire from the sun keep them steady on this earth, steady but not stiff, ever-changing, ever adapting - living.

As this abstract word, Forest, we humans are the same. Not only are we connected cells, even within every cell we have microorganisms, mitochondria, that are integrated organisms with their own DNA that have a similar genome like the one from bacteria. Everywhere on our body we are covered by a multitude of known and unknown microbes, namely bacteria, fungi and others.

This skin flora protects us every day. In our digestive system, especially in our gut, we have about 100 billion microorganisms, that's about 1 kg of our body weight up to now only 1000 different species have been identified. Without them we would immediately die. They protect us, they are part of the digestion, they are part of our immune system, they are influencing our thoughts and habits. Take good care of your tiny helpers, eat healthy plant-based food, avoid chemicals like pesticides, medication and most importantly antibiotics. It is in our human nature to try to find ONE culprit, ONE cause for sickness. With observation of the superorganism that we are, how could we think that ONE microbe can cause the whole system to collapse? It seems to me a rather stupid theory (it is still a theory, not proven).

By destroying the flora with medication, antibiotics and disinfectants, you destroy the first barrier of your immune system, the living symbiosis of your tiny helpers. Observe the nature, depending on the environment the expression of nature takes place, different plants, animals and organisms will appear depending on the soil. You wouldn't use the flame thrower to get rid of ONE invasive weed, but you would think about what is lacking that the other plants cannot create the biodiversity that offers life to everyone.

Forest of life that we are, too complex to understand, too complex to apprehend - how dare you believing that a single drug might bring health. The only health a pill brings is the healthy bank account of a pharmaceutical enterprise. Life cannot be treated by death. A healthy person is a superorganism that allows every part of it to thrive. That tends to the garden of tiny creatures, protects them from harming chemicals and gives them a big variety of natural food.

In a documentary, a Connecticut nun, Sister Noella Marcellino, who used to make cheese according to a French peasant recipe, letting the milk sour in wooden barrels rather than the stainless steel commonly used today. After a general outbreak of listeria in the area, health inspectors told her she had to stop using wood. The levels of E. coli in her finished cheeses spiked immediately. Using slick steel instead of porous wood may feel like the hygienic choice in food manufacturing, but it was the bacteria living on the surface of the wood itself, that kept her original cheese E. coli-free. (ref "Cooked" by Michael Pollan)

Don't be afraid of microbes, fear will change the milieu and might be one of the causes for sickness rather than the ONE "bad" microbe. Feed your microbes, love them and take good care of them; without them you wouldn't be alive. Why aren't we told this more often you might ask? ONE culprit, ONE sickness, ONE medication is the simpleton’s answer to a very profitable approach to the "health" system we see established.

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