What If #1 Random Thoughts About How Venus Flytraps Experience Time

by | October 15, 2013 | General | 6 comments

Saturday morning. 
Sitting in the backyard with a little espresso.  A notepad.  A pencil.  A pack of Biscoff cookies.  Thinking. 
The grass needs cutting, I’m thinking. 
I had that lucid dream again, I’m thinking.  It was the dream about the old house that
needs fixing but also the old house is haunted. 
It isn’t my house, but it may be the inside of my head.  And there was that room and the room was
filled with old shoes I’ve worn at different times in my life, even baby
shoes.  Shoes.  What do they mean, shoes?

The thing is I woke up inside the dream and could have had
dream sex with someone and it would have been okay that way and I didn’t.  The hell’s wrong with me?

A sip of coffee.  A
notebook.  A pencil.  Thinking.

A glance to the right, my little collection of carnivorous
plants in their pots in the sunshine, enjoying the morning.  At night they grow.  At night the insects come out.  The fly traps are beginning to go
dormant.  The tropical pitcher plants
have grown pitchers the size of beer bottles that are catching roaches
now.  They sink to the bottom and ferment
in a nasty soup for the plant’s nourishment.

How does the plant know there are roaches?

I don’t know if God exists. 
I don’t know what happens when we die. 
But when I look at a pitcher plant and the hapless roaches drowned in
its wells, I wonder.  How does it
know?  How does it know there are roaches
to be eaten and that roaches are good to eat?

It knows.

Plants know about the world they live in.  How do they know?  Is it all random selection, pure luck?  They don’t have brains or nervous systems
like we do, they don’t experience the world in the same way we do, but a
dandelion knows the wind blows.  They all
know the sun shines and for how long in a day. 
They know when the days get shorter and winter is coming.  They know there are animals that want to eat
them and they have each taken a position towards that reality.  They stab them and poison them.  They cut deals with them.  There are fruit vines with thorns that have
packed tiny indigestible seeds in sugary fruit. 
“Here,” says the plant, “don’t eat me, eat this instead.  Take my berry, package my seeds in your shit
and drop them where they’ll grow far away. 
This is better for both of us.” 
Pollen.  There are plants that
offer you these bribes – exchanging sex for food.  The oldest and most universal bargain there
is, man, beast and vegetable.  Feed me
and you can fuck me.   I give you
food.  You give me a place to put my dick.  Everybody has what they want.  Nobody has to die.

Random elements.

These random elements. 

Sex and death are God’s great tough love creations to drive
diversity and make sure life survives against asteroids and mega-volcanoes and
every other goddamnedist  thing the
universe does to our planet.  I believe
in science, I believe in natural selection. 
But there is this other mystery I can’t get around.

Carnivorous Plants. 
How do they know?

I think the plants, especially the hungry ones, have taught
me about God.  I don’t believe in God the
way I once did – but there’s something huge underneath all this that
knows.  Plants know. How do they
know?  Is it all by accident?  A flytrap’s trap leaves don’t snap closed in
the way people think; they don’t move together the way a bear trap does.  The leaves of the plant are actually warped
and suspended in an open concave shape. 
The plant shoots water hydro dynamically into the leaves to
counter-warp the shape into a convex form which instantly closes the space
between them.  It doesn’t use movement –
it uses geometry.  Geometry!  Geometry is much faster than movement. 

But a flytrap has a technical problem – how can it tell the
difference between a raindrop and an animal? 
Well, it knows animals move around.  Raindrops don’t.  Somehow it knows that.  So it invented a
motion detector.  How?


A Venus Flytrap can count to three.  One, two, three.  Snap.

A fly trap has three tiny spines standing up inside its trap
leaves.  When an animal touches one
spine, the plant feels it, the plant watches, but it waits.  When something touches two spines, it
knows.  When an animal touches three
spines – one, two, three then snap – water fills the leaves, the leaves change
their shape.   Geometry! Then they
squeeze.  They squeeze until they’re
airtight.  You can’t open them until the
plant does.

Random elements. 
Random elements.

To be in the center of the universe you have to be where the
random elements are mixing.

Sex and death.  I
don’t know if God is a god of love or not, when you look at nature it doesn’t
really look like it.  It looks as though
God is more about turnover.  Life
survives because of the mixing of random elements into an infinite variety of
new forms and no matter what happens to the world some of those forms are set
up ahead of the game to survive the new world they’re in.  That means everybody and everything has to fuck, mix their genes and have orgasms
and feel wonderful.  If there is a god
out there the only thing you can be really sure of is God wants you to get

And then you have to die. 
Everybody has to die.  You have to
clear your ass out of the way so the next generation with the new random mix of
genes can come marching through, get laid and die. 

What if . . . .?

. . .  what if – there
is only one fly trap? 

What if there has only ever been one fly trap in the history
of the world, divided and spread out over generations?  But its all the same one fly trap, making
these decisions as it goes along?  Maybe
a plant doesn’t experience time the same way we do.  Maybe . . .

. . .  what if –

. . .  what if a venus
flytrap is one vast colonial organism spread out laterally over
space-time?  It looks like a lot of
little plants, but it really isn’t?  What
if Time is one block, one dimension.  Not
an arrow.  What if – for a plant – time
exists like a loaf of bread?  You can
slice into it, experience different moments, but all those same moments exist
at the same time?  For a plant?  There is only one fly trap, exisiting
multidimensionally in all moments simultaneously?  Could humans exist like that?  Like brain cells scattered across the ages?

The Dalai Lama is what’s known in Tibetan Buddhism as a
“tulku”.  A tulku is an individual soul,
usually a great teacher, who, after death, chooses to return to incarnation in
order to continue his work teaching others. 
They just reincarnate over and over, their previous students search them
out and raise them and continue. 
Theoretically the current Fourteenth Dalai Lama is the same guy as the
first Dalai Lama.  The same guy has
returned fourteen times so far and picked up right where he left off before he
died.  That’s a tulku.  Death doesn’t even represent a career

What if a fly trap, or any plant, what if they’re all one
tulku spread out over infinite time?

What if  . . .

. . . .what if – human beings, all of us, are one Tulku
spread out over time, like flytraps? 
What if we are all one soul, the same soul, co-existing incarnationally,
over 6 billion life times but all here simultaneously?  Because we experience time as individuals,
instead of being spread out, experience it as an arrow instead of a loaf of
bread?  Maybe nobody else in nature does

What if you reading this are really me, but in a different
incarnation?  Maybe incarnated as a woman?

But what if . . . .

. . . .  but what if
someone found this out?  What would sex
be like for that person?

What if that person woke up, as though waking up inside of a
lucid dream, and realized that every person he met was actually himself/herself in a
different incarnation, spread out, traveling side by side with him?  What would that be like?

I pick up my notepad and pencil, wash down a cookie with a long swig of cold
coffee.  And begin.

           On the subway to
Battery Park, the woman in the black raincoat snuggled over and nudged Ron
gently but assertively in the ribs.  He
lowered his New York Times and looked at her.

           “Excuse me, sir,” she
said.  “Listen, if I should start
screaming?  Just wake me up.”

C. Sanchez-Garcia



  1. Donna

    Oooh, I like this. The ending especially. And somehow it doesn't feel right to say more….

  2. Fiona McGier

    In the great sci-fi show Babylon 5, the race that was beating the snot out of humans all of a sudden stopped winning…stopped fighting us entirely. No one could figure out why. Eventually in the plot-line, one of the Mimbari said that their greatest wise people had discovered that humans were Mimbari souls reincarnated…so in effect, to wipe out humans was to defeat their own people who had chosen to come back as humans. The war was over from then on, and they began to learn how to co-exist. I thought that was a great idea, and one I'm still mulling over.

    You always write such provocative posts. You've talked about the Tulkas before. One such piece was what first caught my eye and made me realize I had to read all of your postings, anywhere. Thanks for reliably making me think new thoughts. I enjoy that.

  3. Garceus

    Hi Donna!

    Isn't that a great kick off line for a story? Now if I could just find the story . . .

    I was talking to some friends in my church over coffee and one of them was telling a story of riding the subway in New York and he said the woman next to him had nudged him and said those exact words. I just thought "There must be something I can do with that." That's why I carry a pocket notebook everywhere I go.


  4. Garceus

    Hi Fiona!

    The weird thing is that this is an accurate representation of how I actually think about stuff.

    Hey – true story – when I was 19? I went to a psychic who gave me a reading and discussed my past lives. He said in fact I was an alien, not a human, not actually of this world at all but had come into karmic incarnation in this world to learn this and that. A Mimbari? It could be true.

    And you Fiona – I always light up when I see your name in the comments, I'm so glad you read my stuff. Sometimes you're the only one. But I love the fact that you get my stuff. Thank you thank you thank you for reading my stuff.


  5. Lisabet Sarai

    A random walk through the twisted mind of C. Garcia-Sanchez. I love it!

    It might even be true (whatever that means).

    The main point to take away from this masterpiece? God wants us to get laid. Here at ERWA we're doing God's work.


  6. Garceus

    Hi Lisabet!

    I believe we are, more than we (or anyone else) gives us credit for. As King Lear said:

    ""Ay, every inch a king. When I do stare, see how the subject quakes. I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause? Adultery? Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No. The wren goes to ’t, and the small gilded fly does lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive, for Gloucester’s bastard son Was kinder to his father than my daughters got ’tween the lawful sheets. To ’t, luxury, pell-mell—for I lack soldiers."
    "King Lear" Shakespeare

    Garce, that gilded fly

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