The Embecibiotic Philosophy
- Intro, what I want people to get out of this:
In this article I want to help people understand the connection between metabolism and justice. I want people to come away with an understanding of the importance of Embecibiotic decision making. Additionally, I want people to understand what MBCBO is, how it exists in the world, and why it’s important.
-Conscious decision making is a useful tool:
The ability to make informed decisions that impact reality is useful. The degree to which humans are able to recognize something, and change it systematically is why we’ve wildly changed our experience, and the earth as a greater whole. Networked conscious decision making, where people’s choices can build upon and synergize with one another is how all massive tasks are accomplished.
-Systems of injustice, ignorance and consciousness:
As awareness increases, people notice that others are impacted. The sphere of impact that we see increases as we gain greater understanding that others are beings. All of us are perpetuating systems of injustice; Most through ignorance, some through necessity with our current society, metabolism, etc.
Increased awareness starts with beings that we both interact with regularly, and have many traits in common with. As we continue to open ourselves, we realize that systems we participate in harm people who are dissimilar to us. This leads to focus on dismantling systems like racist policing, ableist medical insurance, etc. As we continue to expand our awareness to beings who look and behave less like us, we become aware of animals. Just as we wish justice for ourselves, humans who look like us, and humans who look less like us, we see that suffering is a sign that the system needs healing. We expand our desire for justice past the animal kingdom, to all replicating patterns.
-Metabolism and why it’s the base everything is built on:
As self replicating patterns, we have biological needs: eating, sleeping, exercise and social interaction. To continue to exist we need to meet these needs. I focus on metabolism and food, since that’s the foundation which influences the most other beings. Since we need to eat, but don’t have the tools to confirm consent, one of our foundations is built upon deep injustice. All of us participate in this system of oppression consciously or unconsciously.
When a pattern is present in the foundation of a system, it will show up in everything built on top of it. We see this oppressive pattern manifest itself in how humans interact with resources. This influences how we interact with this planet, generating destructive patterns that have made it impossible to farm in many locations around the fertile crescent.
Adjusting how we fundamentally think and interact with food is the primary objective behind Mutually Beneficial Consent Based Omnivorism.
-What is Mutually Beneficial Consent Based Omnivorism?
Because I have a strong desire to devour that extends beyond the prey that our society condones consuming, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to think about the impact of metabolism a lot. In my process, I temporarily came to the conclusion that many arrive at. Minimizing harm was what I viewed as the most important priority in decision making. Having zero impact was the goal. This is the driving principle that brings a lot of people to vegetarianism or veganism.
After many years of processing, I came to a different understanding of what the optimal goal was. Why suffice for a system that causes no harm, when we could generate one which creates value for all parties? The question of what is a resource, what is waste, and what is a poison is entirely determined by the system in question. Just as human life needs to harness oxygen as our source of power, it’s simply a byproduct for many plants and cyanobacteria. I looked to nature to see how reality had already built embecibiotic connections.
-Examples of MBCBO in reality.
In my search, I found a variety of mutually beneficial tactics that had been crafted by nature! The most familiar of which is fruit. There are a variety of plants with fruiting bodies, these are grown with the intent to be eaten. The animal gets the nourishment of the complex biochemicals from the fruit. The plant’s offspring gain access to other environments through the movement of the animal.
Unfortunately for humans, our metabolisms are not structured in a way that can thrive when only eating fruit. Thus fruitarianism, despite being the most beneficial relationship for the plant’s reproduction, is not a complete way to achieve MBCBO.
As I continued to delve into symbiosis, I came across this study on Mutualisms and Aquatic Community Structure http://wolfweb.unr.edu/~ldyer/classes/396/hayetal.pdf . This is where I found mutually beneficial devouring that had the greatest alignment with my feelings. There is a relationship between a variety of Daphnia (Zooplankton) and Sphaerocytsis Schroeteri (phytoplankton) which exemplifies this relationship. The Daphnia eat the Phytoplankton but their digestive process doesn’t destroy them! In fact, the metabolic system of the Daphnia stimulate enhanced growth in the Phytoplankton! The Phytoplankton exchanges energy it generates through photosynthesis, nourishing the daphnia while also increasing its own ability to grow.
In my studies on symbiosis, I came across the work of Lynn Margulis. Although I find much of her research fascinating, Endosymbiotic theory reached me deeply. She put forth the currently accepted theory of endosymbiosis as the origin of eukaryotic life. The most expressive understanding of this is mitochondria. Mitochondria are in all of us and are necessary for us to exist, they’re the power plant that allows our bodies to function. Mitochondria are not something coded for by our DNA, they have their own independent genome. This is because their ancestors were an independent species!
Lynn Margulis discovered the first evidence that Eukaryotic life developed when one prokaryote absorbed another, but instead of breaking it down, integrated it whole within its own body. Multicellular life exists because one of our ancient ancestors consumed the ancient ancestor of mitochondria but did so in a non destructive way. This tactic has made mitochondria one of the incredibly abundant species today, while simultaneously powering many new varieties of life.
This tactic has been a path between a simpler form of reality, and a more complex network. I posit that this pattern is a property of systems that universally repeats at many scales. The path to complex systems that have greater ability to make reality just for all beings is Mutually Beneficial Consent Based Omnivorism.
You may have noticed that although the systems I’ve described are certainly examples of increasing a species ability to grow and reproduce, that there hasn’t actually been any consent yet, why bring this into the process? We make assumptions about what other beings want, or would want if they had the tools to do so. As a species, humans have viewed everything else as systems whose only goal is to self replicate. It’s fascinating that although we fall into these same patterns, we want more for ourselves and our species than just replicating. With humans it’s far easier to get people to agree that just replicating is not enough, building systems that breed humans but generate awful conditions is unjust.
This understanding has taken humans a pretty long time to get to, and there are a lot of systems in place that are still antithetical to this truth. Being able to communicate with and understand one another is largely how we can understand what benefit is. Consent is important, because assumptions of what something desires can be wildly wrong. There were many slave owners who felt they were doing something good for black people they owned by providing them with food and housing, that was a very incomplete and problematic view. Consent is a necessary security measure to insure that what we think benefits something, actually does.
-Consciousness and Scale
Although systems of consent are part of justice, manufactured consent is a serious problem. Beings can agree to things which are not in their best interest because they have been programmed by their oppressors. Is engineering a cow to feel pleasure when it is killed wrong? I view this as less terrible, but still a problematic system. Mutual benefit is not only on the scale of instantaneous individual experience experience. An interaction is mutually beneficial if it increases the options for each being to achieve their goals. Building a system where something sacrifices itself happily only benefits the consuming oppressor on larger scales.
I started this primer with why conscious decision making is an effective tool, this is an extension of the problem of consent. If a being does not have the awareness of what mutually beneficial is, it cannot fully attain value. A fundamental viewpoint of embecibiotic philosophy is that all beings deserve the greatest access to consciousness possible.
-Why eat everything?
As shown by the development of Eukaryotic life, this toolset gives access to higher levels of influencing reality. People forget that systems of injustice develop when a powerful tool is only accessible to some. Those with access to the tool will outcompete those without, leading to power imbalance and injustice. I view it as a moral necessity to not only build these metabolic systems, but to build the effective spread of these tools into their structure so all beings may be blessed.
When there is equal or greater capacity to interact with one’s internal world as one’s external world, it is effective to internalize all things. The capacity to bring something in without breaking it is why smartphones are so wildly effective in reality. Instead of having many external tools, the smartphone internalizes them into a single tool. This increases the value of all tools. People, like smartphones, benefit when their resources are available within. I believe all parts of reality have value, wisdom and gifts to share. Internalizing all of reality is the most effective and most just option. If something is both most effective and most just, I’m excited by it
Although my focus has been on the foundation of metabolism, this applies to any interaction. Taking the time to think about mutual benefit and consent helps reframe challenges in a way that supports acting more justly, getting value out of resources, and setting up patterns that will improve over time. Embecibiotic thinking has been incredibly effective for me at generating healthy relationship dynamics and setting up networks that generate more resources. While our lives are currently built on systems of injustice, we need to forgive ourselves for this truth. We didn’t choose to be born in a system that requires continuous murder of other beings for us to function. All of this is an opportunity! There is no shame in doing what you need to survive. As the resources become available, investing in systems that are embecibiotic will benefit all beings including you.
May your gifts bless the world and the world bless you.