“Why Write? Imagination: Evolution, Revolution, and Roots (Part 4 of 7)”

Be good to the mountains, and they will be good to you.

We write to know ourselves, to fight against ourselves, and to return somewhere inside of ourselves where we have never been. It all happens simultaneously.

Evolution is a tough topic to discuss because it shows how we are very vain and ugly human beings, but we do not like to admit this. Let us understand that humans took this 19th century racist colonial biological Darwinian theory of evolution and corrupted it to mean everything. Mix it into a cocktail including Nietzsche’s philosophical “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” and you have a total abomination: spider symbols on steroids!

Natural selection, survival of the fittest, evolution as the ultimate state of being, only the strong survive. All of it.

It is not true. Chance decides more than any other make-believe word what happens to us. We can even attach Chance to the wisdom of religion and call it G-D. Many faiths believe that you are not supposed to even construct an image of G-D by using the letters G-O-D (thus G-D), because the spider symbols themselves would be transformed into a graven image of blasphemy, as none of us have absolutely any idea how any of this works.

Revolution is more powerful than evolution. Let’s use just one concept of modern day evolution, and challenge it: only the strong survive. Humans like to imagine themselves the strongest, but after a nuclear blast, only the most despised will survive: the Cockroaches.

In 1973 Oscar Zeta Accosta, drunk, drugged, sexed-out, wrote The Revolt of the Cockroach People at the Hotel Royan across the street from the Valencia Gardens Housing Projects in La San Fran Mision.

He wrote one of the most politically and morally incorrect novels of the 20th century. It was not evolution, but writing revolution that gave Cockroaches a voice and identity. Evolution, through the system, would have wanted me to take the straight and narrow approach and sell my soul to it. Instead, reading that vida loca book and stealing some of Zeta Accosta’s writing style, I became who I am today, for better and worse. Some perfect systemic algorithm was not going to evolve me into Nirvana.

But revolution, simply for the sake of revolution, is also a vanity. Through the Underground Man, Dostoevsky proves this well: “I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but, if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing, too.” We love to fight, even to our own destruction.

Evolution and Revolution: we keep transforming these spider symbols in a vain attempt to gain evolution and also to stick us deeper into the web.

Revolution is more natural for us, but we do not even need to call it that; it simply is nature, our Roots, which is the best combat against evolution. Evolution does not have to mean perfection, just like revolution does not have to mean absurd anarchy. True Roots are beyond those things. Spanish poet Leopoldo Maria Panero wrote,

“A bird is beautiful
only when it is destroyed
and slain by poetry.”

The tree is revolution yet does not need a battle cry.

Evolution, Revolution, Roots. Independence and community, all of it is everywhere at all times. By looking at yourself in your writing, you can be everywhere at the same time—your past, present, and future. You can question why you are the way you are and try to figure some things out and discover a You that you never knew.

Through writing, you can marvel at the mountain and think of it as something that will eventually evolve into dust, and you can imagine the mountain rebelling and ready to explode off its back, and you can realize that the mountain was created from a single root that sprouted into roots of bones and atoms that we cannot even see but that make up everything we see.

You can imagine. Then those things can come true, but be careful, for your words can be powerful beyond your mind and can even move mountains.

Be good to the mountains, and they will be good to you.

Mount Tamalpais, The Sleeping Lady Ready to Strike
Climbing to the Top of Mount Fuji, 1991

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