building a beautiful and bountiful world in collaboration with nature

Another useful thing about all this cool, wet weather is that mushrooms thrive in it.  I was reminded of that the other morning when my friend William called to chat about the connections between mushroom mycelia and heart-based electromagnetic fields.

Mushrooms, in case you haven’t heard, are truly intelligent and resourceful creatures.  Actually, I should say that fungi are intelligent and resourceful.  (Few of us like to be called by our reproductive organs, and I imagine it is the same for the fungi.)  They are creatures, however, being more closely related to the animal kingdom than to the plant kingdom.

What fungi do is network.  They create complex, interlaced threads that are called mycelia.  The mycelia network between the plant roots and the soil.  They search out and unlock minerals and other nutrients that plants need and then trade those for the sugars and carbs that fungus love to eat.  They soak up water and slow its evaporation.  They build soil.  They are essential components of most, if not all, ecosystems.  At least that’s what is happening on one level.

In Mycellium Running, Paul Stamets calls the fungal mycelia ” the neurological network of nature.”  Physically, the interlaced mycelial threads look a lot like the nerve networks of our brains or like the diagrams of the Internet.  The mycelia literally create a “vast, sentient cellular membrane” that infuses habitats with connection and information.  This mycelial network is aware of every impact on a lawn, field, or forest floor – whether from a fallen tree branch or a footstep.  I wonder sometimes what the fungi on this continent thought the first time they received the impression of a boot, rather than a moccasin or a bare foot.  Was it big news?  Did that information travel from East Coast to West Coast?

We know that the trees and plants are already intimately connected to this fungal network, receiving physical molecules from it.  How much information do the plants receive as well?  Do they get the morning news along with that nitrogen breakfast roll?   How could they not?

The added connection that William was making was in seeing how like this mycelial network the combined electromagnetic fields of our hearts must be.  Every one of us is generating EM fields, and the fields generated by our hearts are the most powerful of all the fields being generated in our bodies.   The heart is an organ of perception and communication.  Each heart is.  So we as individuals are embedded in this ever changing field of electromagnetic information.  A second nervous system is what William called it.  Your individual nervous system is operating through your physical body, but it also is hooked into and receiving information from this second, essentially global nervous system.

How cool is that?

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