"You know, the thing is, it's like...The bottom line here, all of the craziness and the tension between you and I, is based on illusion. You have to understand it. It's an illusion of seperateness, an illusion that there's a you and a me because it just, it ain't so, you know? I mean, we're like these mushrooms. These single individual outcroppings are all part of the whole. You know, there's no seperateness here. There's no other. It's the same with human beings, it's the same with us, you know what I mean? See the thing is, we're really, we're just one. We're part of the same big mushroom. The same big self. You see, what I'm trying to tell you is I never left you, okay, I'm always there."
-Joel Fleishman, Northern Exposure (while he is orating, Maggie is imagining him being strafed by bullets from a fighter plane)
I really enjoyed this scene from the episode "The Great Mushroom" of Northern Exposure. Here is the video clip.
This transports me back ten years when I started to become fascinated by mushrooms. The reality of what these organisms do for the the soil and planet still fascinates me. They are so integral to life as we know it.
They feed off of cellulose, both living and dead, and create organic matter in their own demise. Their mycellium are so fragile, yet they support entire ecosystems. They provide communication between different part of the forest. They are miraculous and deadly. The largest and smallest living beings on the planet.
But in the context of the quote, they provide an apt metaphor for us humans as well. Are we so removed from each other? Is separation and death of the body the end of our relationship with one another?
We are fascinated by the colorful and mesmerizing fruiting bodies that pop out of the earth, but underneath it all is a vast network of hairlike strands of life that support our fragile skin of dirt on this planet.
The way they live is the way that love lives.
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