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.

Bare Bones Biology 065 – Aintitawful

Right from the beginning, my blog has been about power, particularly it is about personal power – our power to build our lives around our own positive values. Of course we can’t do anything or everything that we want to do. Other powers exist that we do not personally control. The power of communities; the power of the corposystem; and most importantly for our survival, the power of the ecosystem. We can not directly control these other things, at least we can’t control how they respond to our mutual environment, and it’s better that we don’t try.

It is better to clearly understand the powers that we are able to control, rather than to stand around comparing notes about what we can not do. Or to cry and complain because we can’t have everything we want. It’s given away, that crying time. We could have used that time to grow our own personal power. When we spend time complaining about the corposystem, whether we hate it or fear it, all that time we are complaining about the corposystem we are actually growing the power of the corposystem, and they count on that help. They nurture it. They want us to believe they can control us. But it’s only true at level three. In the important ways, they can not control us at the level of personal power. Not unless we believe in the corposystem more than we believe in ourselves.

I have spoken often about levels of organization, including levels of power. I am not the ecosystem (level four in my system of categorizing). I am not the corposystem (level three). I am not the community (level two). But I am me, level one, and my personal power is my own to claim and use for the benefit of myself or of humankind or for whatever I choose to use it. I can give it away, but nobody can take it away from me. It lives in the choices that I make right now. Every breath, every millisecond of life, contains a choice – what to do – and whether I think about it or not, whether I believe it or not, what I do with the choice of this moment, including doing nothing, is my personal power (or my weakness). If I choose to spend this moment moaning over the negative power of the corposystem, then I am growing a future, for myself and for other people, that will be one long moan.

The Peach Clubhouse exists because I could not find enough expressions of personal power in the other places where I looked for them, including some educational and progressive groups. What I found instead was a lock-step re-affirmation of the power of the corposystem to rule our lives unhampered.

That’s hogwash.

But it’s easy to understand.

Because it’s hard to see around our training.

For example, I came THIS close to making the Peach Clubhouse into a nonprofit organization, before I realized what that means. The nonprofits are the scavengers of the corposystem. They’re part of the corposystem. Like a buzzard or a maggot, they support the corposystem by cleaning up after it, cleaning up the harm that it causes. And more importantly they support the corposystem mantra. Success is growth – selling, fighting, growing.

Well, damn, selling, fighting and growing only creates more messes, and it defines the nonprofits by the same toxic charter that defines the corposystem. Were I to buy into this system, I would betray the whole purpose of the Peach Clubhouse — this emblem of my personal power — by allowing it to be swallowed up into the corposystem, defined by the greed, fear and hatred of the corposystem. As our media, and our rule of law, have been swallowed up, and even – you can believe this or not – the corposystem evidently thinks it can swallow up the ecosystem. Well that won’t happen, because none of us can live without the ecosystem. And neither will I throw the Peach Clubhouse into that black hole.

Bare Bones Biology 065 – Aintitawful
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at
Audio later this week at


childWe have been talking about fear, and in fact there are many things to fear in the world of today — or any day for that matter — but those are not the real things that the media will tell you about. The media and the politicians, the educational systems and yes, even the religious and charitable organizations will tell you to fear the things they want you to change — not the things that need changing. In today’s world subunits of all these groups make their living primarily off of fear, and even though we are the richest and the safest land — probably in all of history — except for our penchant for killing ourselves — we actually believe this load of tripe. And we continue to believe even though we have been given the antidote to fear a couple millennia ago. Of course the antidote is compassion; what the Bible refers to as love.

You don’t need me to tell you about the politics. You can see it for yourself. The subject of this blog is personal power. How to not be controlled unnecessarily. And it’s perfectly obvious today — just watch the TV — no don’t — that the fat cats are using fear to control us. This has been discussed to death (John Cory, Truthout 03 October 09) for example. Sorry they don’t seem to have a link.

Well, maybe it’s not obvious to scientists. Maybe that’s our trouble. We think too much in square blocks, and then we use those square thought blocks to build ramparts and fortresses where we can hide from our fear. Fear of what? If we don’t know — we can always invent something, and blame that thing, and then we can hate it and our mind is no longer filled with fear but with hatred. I remember one time in my life when my mind was filled with hatred and to tell the truth I prefer the fear. Hatred is an awful feeling. But then fear is also unpleasant, so why are we determined to be afraid of things that are not real when there are real things we should be fixing? Why — besides the half-lies of the politicos, the news media, NGO’s and the corn flake companies et al.?

I asked that question a quarter of a century ago. In fact I was a fearful little thing then, but when I moved to the Bible Belt, I was astonished by the amount of fear that I encountered, the people I was expected to be afraid of, and more amazing the people who were afraid of me. I always thought this had something to do with the shattered remnants of the civil war (and it is convincing evidence for the futility of war as a vehicle for reducing fear and hatred, as the warriors continue illogically to claim. How silly can you be, curing fear with fear).

Wendell Berry (The Hidden Wound) has a somewhat different explanation that is based in his personal experience with the institution of slavery and its toxic impact on our Christian antidote to fear. He says that, because Christianity clearly is incompatable with slavery, the preachers had to modify the Biblical message of compassion/love:

“ . . . the moral obligation was clearly excerpted from the religion. The question of how best to live on the earth, among one’s fellow creatures, was permitted to atrophy, and the churches devoted themselves exclusively and obsessively with the question of salvation.”

Yes, that sounds familiar. When I first moved to South Carolina, I remember attending a church service that consisted almost entirely of a diatribe of hatred directed at another church on the other side of town. So I am inclined to accept Wendell Berry’s analysis.

And that brings us full circle back to our subject. Fear as the father of hatred. We were talking about this a couple weeks ago, and I was spinning my thoughts, trying to free them from those square blocks to understand what I know about fear. Quite a bit, actually, and I learned to deal with it, but I never did learn where it came from until last week when I and a powerful Texas storm front arrived at the dreaded Houston “mixmaster” at the same moment.

The mixmaster is about an acre of land filled with high-speed lanes of traffic where three major highways intersect. OK, so it makes sense to be afraid when there is something to be afraid of, but why do I feel afraid, for example, to speak in public? That fear is entirely artificial, and is a huge handicap for me. What is the function of artificial fear? Besides allowing us to be controlled? And right there in the middle of the mixmaster, trying to get into a wet, semi-visible lane that would end up on 290, I had a flash of insight.

Fear is very simple. It’s a way to be someplace else when I don’t like where I am. When my head is filled with artificial fear, I don’t have to do whatever it is I don’t want to do. Or at least I can pretend I’m not there. Sort of like daydreaming only not as much fun.

Oh, well, that is pretty complicated after all, but forget about me and just remember the important points — fear is the father of hatred, and we do have obligations to other people.

In our culture we receive many false messages:

“You can do whatever you want; you are free to not do anything you don’t want to do.” Hogwash. We have obligations to other people and to the community as a whole, a fact that all true religions make very clear. And the greatest of these is compassion. If we understood our obligations, we would not (as a generalization) need to hide in our fear and hatred.

Compassion is the antidote to fear; fear is the father of hatred. Therefore, compassion is the antidote to both.
Compassion is the core of every major religion (Karen Armstrong, The Case for God).

And reverence is the mother of compassion:

“ . . . the main principle of reverence, that human beings should never play at being gods.” (Paul Woodruff, Reverence).

(Photo from Outside the Circles in production.)