3 February 2010

Roads less narrow

A profile of W D Hamilton included reminders of some of the ways in which he saw nature as a vast psychedelic drug enterprise:
  • Clouds as creations of micro-organisms for their own propagation [1]
  • His own death as a liberation into startling new forms [2]
Of the latter he wrote:
I will leave a sum in my last will for my body to be carried to Brazil and to these forests. It will be laid out in a manner secure against the possums and the vultures just as we make our chickens secure; and this great Coprophanaeus beetle will bury me. They will enter, will bury, will live on my flesh; and in the shape of their children and mine, I will escape death. No worm for me nor sordid fly, I will buzz in the dusk like a huge bumble bee. I will be many, buzz even as a swarm of motorbikes, be borne, body by flying body out into the Brazilian wilderness beneath the stars, lofted under those beautiful and un-fused elytra which we will all hold over our backs. So finally I too will shine like a violet ground beetle under a stone.

[1] Spora and Gaia: how microbes fly with their clouds (1998)

[2] My intended burial and why (1991 and 2000)

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