The Lichen and the Weed

Builds Upon: Best Possible Persons,
The Inevitability of Orthodoxy

It always seems to happen sooner or later.  The inevitable transition of a new, dynamic great idea into the next robotic McDogma.

Thus, Christianity has been a fantastic success while Christ has failed utterly.

Thus, Martin Luther’s well intended ideas enjoyed great success because European rulers needed a justification for breaking away from Catholicism.  The horrors of the Thirty Years War, social tumult across the entire continent ensued.

Thus, the ideas of Descartes and Newton, devout Christians, soon came to be used against Christianity.

Thus, the Fordist vision of a consumer utopia has resulted in a consumer dystopia.

I’ve long wondered if it’s possible to grow a great idea like a lichen rather than a weed.  A lichen that meticulously plans and reinforces every new spot of growth into something that can endure the elements indefinitely while generations of weeds grow quickly all around and then die just as quickly.

Most ideas that have mass success seem to indiscriminately replicate themselves through anyone who’s willing to call themselves a disciple or a follower.  This strategy without fail results in a chaos of weeds.

Like a game of telephone, the original message gets irreparably distorted as it goes indiscriminately from person to person.

A lichen, it seems, must choose its adherents with extreme care always putting quality before quantity, group chemistry before group power and influence.  Nothing says more about the integrity of a new idea than the type of people it adopts as followers and the real impact of the idea on their lives.

Thus, a lichen clearly must follow the model of a tribe rather than that of a mass society.

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