The Mycelian Ego

mycelia mushroom

I feel as though I know nothing, yet I’ve been learning about it for some time.

Thy self.

This is a journey as deep as any river flow, and as wide as any ocean shall be. And yes, of course just as ebb and flow as any tide can be.

I remember the first time I was confronted with a multiple of tides.

I have always written journals and books of poetry. I would always find little notebooks that my mother had somehow squirreled away into a corner of the house without me knowing, and I would ask her if I could use it; the natural start to any great new journal.

Write and write and write. This is my unsheathing and recognition of a shell, this is my silence, this is my alcove of me.

This blossomed music, and expression. This fueled poetry, and self expression. But as this self expression butted heads with cultural expectations, resistance was felt so strongly, just walking the hallways of school felt like an exercise of confidence.

Truth is, I began to realize for the first time that my inner voice was conflicting with every single outward movement of my world.

How does one share their talents and passions with the world when all the world does is earnestly suggest that this ‘hobby’ should be put aside for a while, letting the focus rest on real life? You know, more important matters.

mycelia mushroom
Lobster Mushroom

I have been learning a lot about Fungus lately, and can’t help but find fascinating the easy comparisons between fungii and humans. For instance, the mycelia is an interconnected web of vegetable that exists a few layers below the earth that we wiggle our dirty little toes in. Interconnected, meaning it’s connected indefinitely like the friends that you have around you or the family you hold close.

Unless, of course, disaster happens like logging or heartbreak. It is said that mycelia can then lay dormant for dozens of years until the fertile ground proves just right for it to flourish once again. Trees and shrubs and decay and health.

A wild crafter I stumbled upon explained to me how, like humans who are each infinitely unique, mushrooms that bloom out of the mycelia are also just as unique. He explained his theory on how these mushrooms are representations of the mycelia’s ego flexing, much like a peacock in mating season arrays it’s plumes.

What does this mean? It means that this mushroom is itself! It’s unique. It could be named and has a birth and a death. It exists very much a part of the mycelia, but also is its own self.

I bring this comparison forward because ego is a funny concept. Ego is natural and expressive, but it’s also hinged to those challenging voices when we’re trying to grow. The word ego makes people cringe and discard the filth it leaves behind like a spider web.

That’s unfortunate.

What I know, or don’t know, is that ego is just as unique as our own fingerprints, and so is the definition of what ego really is and how it manifests itself for each of us.

What I don’t know, is understanding where ego stands in the hierarchy of control over myself. Every day is a new challenge for recognition. Each day I wake and look out at the surf and guess at how high the water be, mama. Each day I wake and analyze the situation for truth.

Sure, ego manifests itself but does it manifest itself because it’s hungry for food, or does it manifest itself because my soul is hungry for expression?

Take the challenge. Tell me about it.

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