Bare Bones Biology 136 – Corposystem Community

Last week we overviewed the relationship between the corposystem and the whole earth ecosystem. The earth ecosystem is the unique unit of life that consists of the sum of all the other units of life on earth and the climate they generate. The ecosystem uses light energy to make food energy (Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook*). It then uses the food energy to do the work of staying alive – that is, it keeps all the earth organisms alive by making food for them. Then it recycles the products of life, that we think of as waste products; but the ecosystem puts the products together with more energy from the sun to make more life. The ecological miracle of life is that it is sustainable, as long as the products are recycled and there is light energy from the sun.

Earth Systems Final2 copyThe corposystem is the modern corpo-political culture. It uses the food energy from the ecosystem to feed the humans who do the work of making money. That work includes withholding from both the human community and the biological community any services that are not profitable. In other words the corposystem retains the money and also, for the most part does not recycle its products.

The problem the corposystem is now facing is that money (despite the clever misuse of the term by some authors) money is not energy. No matter how many clever games we use to make more of it – money cannot grow food energy to feed the humans who do the work of the corposystem. Only the process of photosynthesis can energize life on earth, and we can’t do photosynthesis. Even if we could, we would just unbalance a different node of the web of Life.

It is people working and living that drives the corposystem. It is the resources from the ecosystem (food energy and other resources) that feed the work of humans, and it is the work of humans that drives the corposystem cycle. Not money. Money is a product we play with.

This is good because it means, whenever we take a mind to, we humans can stop the insanity of competing with the ecosystem. We can change our culture to one that collaborates with the work of the ecosystem and so is more sustainable. Whenever we decide to, we can use the work of our hands, minds and bodies to support the cycles of life that actually do feed the welfare of the whole of Life itself. To do this, we need to understand how the corposystem generates a human culture of fear, anger, hatred, greed and dominance, in spite of our normal human need for the kind of a compassionate community that I have described in earlier blogs in this series (beginning with Bare Bones Biology 092).

HeroVictimVillain copyThe cycle of human roles that drives the work of the corposystem is shown within the corposystem cycle in the diagram on my blog. The culture diagram is my perception of our modern American culture: It can be a guide to ourselves, and a hope for the future if we can understand what we are doing to ourselves.

First let’s remember that a cycle is not me or you as individuals. A cycle is more like a set of job titles, or life-styles. I claim that our modern American corposystem culture limits us to three available over-all life styles: Victim life style: Villain life style: Good Guy-Hero life style. Some individuals choose to become very good at one or other of those life styles, but we aren’t specifically stuck. If you are raised with all the life skills of a Victim you can choose, and if you work very hard to figure out what keeps you in that life style, you can change to another lifestyle. But in our culture you will not be recognized, understood or rewarded if you try to choose any lifestyle that is too far apart from the available three. This is really difficult to explain, so I have placed a personal example on my blog directly below the transcript of this podcast. (

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play
next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely
nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at

Recommended References:

Bare Bones Biology Ecology Energy Handbook
Go to the right side of the page under Chapters and download your free no strings PDF.
Bare Bones Biology 135 –
A Heads Up –

Question for Discussion

Most people who read this blog are aware of the concept of Yin and Yang. For every earthly action or event, there is the possibility of both a “good” and a “bad” result. If we are really paying attention to the results of our actions, we can observe that this is true in our human experience. Why do you think this is true?

Try this for an Idea

Watch your actions for a whole day. You will be happy with some things you do and not happy with other things you do. Why is this? Is it because of peer pressure or because of some negative or positive responses of other people? Or is it because you have really considered the right or wrong of your actions? Ask yourself, why are they right and why are they wrong?

Whole Earth Ecosystem = All the species of organisms on earth and the environment that they generate to live in.
Corposystem = The modern American corpo-political system including its international entanglements.


That’s funny. This is the one day of this month that is perfect for photographing the full moon, because the sky lightens just as the moon is setting. So my dog and I packed up the gear into the car, and just as we set off the rain began to fall. Funny. I was meditating on anger at the time, specifically how I respond to other people’s anger, and trying to think of a name of someone — I know so many people who are angry all the time. The generations express it differently. There are the morose (that’s me) and then the chipper (I would die of exhaustion), and now we have the hype/hip/hop generation. Among these new generations, if you just relax and enjoy they think you are angry. They require constant reassurance. I don’t know how they can stand the strain, but I do know it’s not nearly as much fun as relaxing back into one’s self and looking around at the world with a modicum of compassion rather than an imperative rooted in someone’s never-ending, unfocused anger that spills out over everything and washes away the opportunities that have been there all along to fix whatever you are angry about.

So I was driving along, trying to think of a name of someone I don’t know to use in the opening example of this little tale of woe, and into my head popped Sam. I do not know anyone named Sam.

Or do I?

Wait – I think Sam was my grandfather, wasn’t he? A master of the art. It’s funny, what enlightenments your subconscious will burble up if you let it.

Being a master of the art of aggression is not funny, however; it’s a good way to ruin your own life with no help from anyone else. I know, because I was even better at it than Sam was. He had no subtlety, and would resort to fists if necessary, or so I am told, and everyone knows the damage that can do. We women can do a much more effective job; but the price we pay for the control it gives us is that we mostly beat up on ourselves. We do not see the options that are available to us to escape whatever is making us angry. When I figured this out I was a kid in a candy shop gobbling up the world of opportunities I had never seen. Moderation is better, I finally discovered, but that’s another story.

And I would never on this earth have figured all this out through the “compassion” of other people, although compassion abounds and a lot of it came my way. Or as the Christians call it “love.” For two reasons. First, I had never experienced the feeling of compassion and didn’t know it existed so I didn’t see it when it came my way. Second, when I finally did run across it in my later years, it was usually a surface thing without real feeling, not believable because the people who were peddling it were obviously trying to sell things. To sell cars; to sell one’s self to other people; to sell “Christianity.” Selling things is not compassion. Or love. My real anger was a more satisfying emotion than their fake love.

The only way I did figure this out — the only way I possibly could have — was first to see compassion manifested in small but real ways, most of them small tragedies of my own making. They were not small to me; the pain I was trying so hard to not cause others. They brought the lessons home. And then to finally recognize passive aggression in myself and track it — logically and unemotionally.

Passive-aggressive is a way to control people who can not get away, usually because they don’t want to go away, but also if they have been victimized. I guess people in prison learn to hide away inside their heads. I guess some people commit suicide. When I was a child I would go out in the barn and curl up in the hay with a good book, as did my mother in her own way. I still get the willies when I sense the old silent rage emanating from someone in my circle. Someone won’t talk; someone won’t answer questions; someone begins to re-interpret my every innocent or clumsy act into her frame of anger; there is some invisible unspoken need to which I am expected to respond. “Oh, no,” I think. “Now what have I don’t wrong?” Nothing, usually, but I am well trained and easily controlled. Or — not really, because then I go away.

July09.DSC_8048-Blog091004Damn. It turns out we can’t control other people anyhow and we have wasted the glory of our God-given chance at life abusing ourselves in the effort. If it’s someone I care about or a stranger in an elevator, we both have lost another opportunity for getting what we all want, and we all want the same things.

Other people’s rage — or our own — it’s not one of them. Maybe that’s why Americans are so unaccountably afraid of each other — afraid even to talk with each other below the surface niceties. And that’s funny, but not hahah funny, because we really are among the nicest people in the world, and the most creative, we have some very important problems to solve together, and we are afraid of words.

Meditate on that for a few months, compassionately, and see if you don’t find a better life for yourself.

You can thank me after you get over being mad.