An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of October 1, 2017
Issued from Rancho Regenesis near Ek Balam ruins 20kms north of Valladolid, Yucatán, Mexico

SPACESHIP ME

Not only does Spaceship Earth majestically and mysteriously sail through space and time toward an unknown destination but also I am a spaceship doing the same.

I needed seventy years to realize that I am a spaceship. As a child I felt as if I were bound with a thousand umbilicus cords that not only nurtured but also engorged me, by their own agendas. Coddled as an only child, already by First Grade I was so fat, lazy and out of shape that doctors put me on diets, but I just got fatter and softer, weighing ±340 pounds (154kg) when I left the farm for college. I felt bad physically and was depressed and ashamed of my body, but couldn't seem to change how things were going.

In about the third year of working toward a degree in Biology, for the first time certain elementary biological facts began making belated impressions on me. Probably in high school I'd learned that we breathe air in order to take in oxygen, which is necessary for deriving energy from the oxidation of complex organic substances we eat, but only now, in a vivid flash of insight, did I truly grasp the implications.

It meant that I as a human was constructed along the same lines as a machine. All these biochemical reactions kicking into gear when I breathe and eat can as well take place in test tubes as in the gut and circulating blood. Veins are plumbing; bones constitute a chassis; the heart is a pump; kidneys are filters... on and on...

This realization was like a sword that violently cut me free from all my umbilicuses.

For, if I was an awareness residing inside a machine, then I alone was responsible for my machine's maintenance and mission. This concept co-evolved with my attitude toward the old car I was driving. By my last semester as an undergraduate I owned not only How to Keep your Volkswagen running, for the Complete Idiot, but also my weight had been reduced to what it should have been for my height. I'm sure this metamorphose saved my life, if not from an early heart attack, then from suicide.

Years later, when home computers came along programmed with code just like human-forming information is encoded in our genes, it further became clear that I was an awareness mysteriously residing within the electro-physical circuity of my body-vessel's onboard brain/computer.

Now, at age 70, like a good mechanic with his oil can, toolbox and manual of engine specifications, I monitor my body's performance and keep it running smoothly. I choose the course my vessel takes, and though it could as well have been a car or a boat, I declare that my vessel is a spaceship, a spaceship voyaging on missions its captain chooses. And here's Spaceship Me's mission:

To explore and experience Spaceship Earth as alertly as I possibly can, leaving the least possible negative impact behind me. And to conduct these wanderings in a way that feels harmonious with what seems to be the flow of the rest of the Universe.