Upon the Mantle of Mycelium
To be self aware is to gain awareness of everything outside of yourself. Of course, this is the complete antithesis of what we have come to know about self awareness. This thinking builds upon the thought that we cannot grasp our ego within the vacuum of our single existence. Nothing, not even the intricacies and extramities of space, is separate to anything else.
Perpetuating this understanding of self awareness (that says that it is the “capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.”) is incorrect for me. It's inside out. I am self aware because I am aware of the other, I know myself because of how I exist / have always existed / will always exist, within the other.
Opening up your every sense to what it takes to survive, you begin to see the value in every bacterium, every virus, every plant, every insect, every life. Every life (and non-living life: water/virus/mineral) is value in a way capitalism cannot quantify. We begin to see or uncover uses for the smallest and simplest natural things. In the pre-apocalypse we have the years of scientific (and non-scientific) uncoverings to map out why things work the way they do, sometimes to uncover new exploratory routes to newer innovations or find the answers to the greatest questions the universe continues to entice us with.
In this way mycelium will blow your fucking mind. Mycelium was there before us all, a bajillion years ago, creeping them hyphae steadily along. When you pick up a mushroom, when you eat it, you never think of how fucking old that DNA is. The way mycelium and insects live in community, even having little fungi pouches, is the sweetest of life's loves. Fungi is e v e r y w h e r e.
Mycelium is the vegetative part of the fungus, the strands of growth that reproduce asexually (in the same way that strawberry plants reproduce asexually, or potatoes, or bananas). These strands find their way through rock, through the earth, through decaying matter and in any suitable substrate.
The sex bits of the fungi, the mushrooms, are the parts we eat for food and medicine, the parts we notice in the state of awareness when we forage, hunt or gather.
A Recipe Ode to Upon the Mantle of Mycelium
"Just lie down and try not to fall through the floor" - Kilindi Lyi
Your human body
1. Grow mushrooms in various wild, nondescript yet suitable for mushroom cultivation, locations throughout the Apocalyptic Megalopolis.
2. Harvest them, eat a small amount to gauge the strength of that particular batch, dry them and label them according to harvest location.
3. A week after having tested them (allowing the temporary immunity you'd built to dissolve), find a comfortable and safe place to lie down in a pool of your own divine vomit essence and eat em up!