…The amputee can occasionally feel the ghost of a sensation that seems to come from the place where the limb once was. The arm, or leg, or foot, or finger is gone, and so are its functions, but the nervous system does not immediately adjust to the loss. For a long time after the trauma, the amputee may feel signals from the absent limb; feelings of warmth or cold, a twinge, the painful numbness of the limb gone to sleep.

Each creature, each organism, has some functional role in the intelligence of the web of life out of which it has emerged. The local field of being we call the ecosystem must experience a period of adjustment when one of its organisms has disappeared—even if the disappearance has occurred over a period of time beyond a person’s memory. When people, accidentally or purposefully, experience engagement with their fields of being, the direct, ineffable sense of the ghosts of lost creatures may come visiting.

The ghosts are globes of emptiness bubbling through the neural pathways of life, nearly lost memories of the void left by some absent life form. Ecosystem absences can become a palpable presence, a weird stillness moving against the winds of existence and leaving a waveform perturbation behind. The lives of plants and animals must be full of such ghosts but humans are slower to see and feel, surrounded as we are by the noise of machinery, the buzz and hum of electricity. We need a tsunami of absence to get our attention. But on a dark night in a quiet garden, the ghost may find a voice in the human imagination. When a place is full of ghosts, the search for peace of mind can fill up with such perturbations…

Read more: “Ghost in the System” by Freeman House


About jay babcock

JT Homesteader, Arthur Magazine ... Joshua Tree, CA ...
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