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In 1859, Alfred Russel Wallace discovered a pathogenic fungus called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. When an ant becomes infected by a spore of this fungus, the fungus alters its behavior, driving it to seek out an ideal place for the parasitic fungus to “reproduce”. Carpenter ants have adapted to detect this behavior and attempt to counter the effects by a single ant sacrificing itself to drag the infected individual as far from the colony as possible, where the two will die to minimize the losses of the collective. If however, the infected ant is not discovered in time, it will fix itself to a prime location with its mandibles and undergo a transformation. Over the course of several days, the ants body becomes the husk and lifeless host for the reproductive organ of the fungus to sprout. A horn, often several times longer than the length of the deceased ant’s body grows from its head. A bulb develops on the horn-like structure, which eventually bursts, loosing its spores, spreading the pathogenic fungus. In some events, resulting in the total obliteration of an ant colony. It’s been suggested that the specific colony that ophiocordyceps unilateralis targets is often undergoing a state of overpopulation. Acting as a sort of “rectification process”, to cull the insect masses and restore balance to the delicate ecosystem of the rain-forest.

The ant and the pathogenic fungus, are no doubt completely oblivious to the roles they play, the purposes they serve in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. Merely the victims of a system, they could never understand. The seemingly harsh and uncaring balance of the natural world. It’s the same reason the largest shark embryo cannibalizes around a dozen of its siblings while still in the womb. The same reason a starving baby bird might peck a rival sibling to death while waiting for a parent to return. The ugly and instinctual desire for preservation, at the cost of another’s loss. The innumerable “necessary evils” that have kept our planet in check since the dawning of the ages.

You might think, as a human being, the most advanced known form of life on this planet, that you’re generally above such primal turns of fate. You’re simply beyond the cruelty of nature’s grasp. But depending on where you are in this world and your level of exposure to the “system”, you might have a very different opinion on the matter. In the human world, the system is complex, elaborate and often difficult to detect or even comprehend (in some instances). But it is just as real as the systems in the natural world and in some cases, as equally ruthless as mother nature herself.

Could a “will” exist to “sustain”, “control” a societal existence by means and methods many might consider underhand and manipulative?

It’s complicated, because our “system” isn’t purely based around survival, not anymore. Survival is still an element of the system, but it is heavily involved in what we as a collective species believe. “They” want to know what we think and how they can influence that thought. If you can control the worldview, you can control the world. As ominous, daunting and unpleasant as that sounds, rulers have been using this tactic since the beginning of recorded civilization. The only problem is, myths and human sacrifice aren’t going to cut it anymore. So the best option they have is using the closest thing we have to deities, which are idols, idolized humans of the world celebrity status. Using revered individuals to set a standard of thought/opinion you can popularize a worldview just as efficiently as a prehistoric Shaman sharing a foreboding tale aside a campfire. Ruling the world isn’t about mass slave labor to build some grandiose structure anymore (well, maybe a metaphorical structure), it’s about influencing how and where money is spent. Despite all the outrageous explanations for who/what/why/when in the end, the system is only concerned about sustaining what they deem a specific desired standard and also, converting the individual into a more efficiently monitored source of income. The system seeks to preserve itself, at the expense of privacy, truth and the lives of the misinformed.

Belief is the key, because blind unquestioning allegiance has always been useful in the development (and destruction) of nations the world over. Great fortunes have been amassed through countless wars, where more often than not the men dying in them are the least informed of what the conflict is truly about. But that makes perfect sense, because if the “powers that be” at any stage in history were honest about their intentions, such as mere financial gains, there wouldn’t be quite so many willing to lay down their lives. So great elaborate stories are sung on both sides, telling of how either enemy offends and opposes everything the other side ever stood for. Many lives are lost, resources, lands are claimed and those orchestrating events grow a little more powerful.

The “system” is part of the reason that in the year 2019, economists have claimed data has surpassed oil in value. There are some who believe interference in the “system’s” agenda in some events, can lead to the death of an individual. That certain “truths” are kept secret from public knowledge and the control of said truths helps perpetuate the state of normality they have long cultivated (such as those explained in the book by M. W. Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse).

There are even extreme suggestions put forward, such as the belief that the system manipulates which chemicals appear in foods/products, to cause health implications that could cause various ailments (cancers, diseases) to purposefully control the population. Also, suppressing cures, medical technology for the same reason.

For better or worse, we are all part of “the system” or maybe even just “a system”. The depths at which these systems operate may be the general level that is publicly understood or they may run much deeper and darker than we could ever anticipate. At which point, we have about as much chance escaping our fate as the ant from the ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus.

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