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See them throb with life – they don’t need anything but prey, water, and air to breathe, do they? See the maggots squirm in and out of each other in their thousands, and the worms tunnel through the dirt – do they worry? Do they fear isolation? The flesh of one maggot scrapes against another’s day after day, but they never speak to one another. The snail has only his shell for company, and he rests with perfect contentedness in his own slime. The mantis sits alone, week after week, and anybody who enters his presence is killed. Whether these creatures lay alone in wait or wriggle in a sea of other bodies, they have no anxiety about being alone.

So why do I fear this isolation? Why can I not learn from my children? It is because those amongst them that do work in groups, do so in perfect harmony. The leaf cutter ants, the wasps, the bees – there are no petty disputes within their ranks. But I know that when I climb to the surface, my kind will not respond to me with any likeness to these wise animals.


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