The Class Arthropoda is made up of 800,000 kinds of insects.
By far the largest group is ants. Six-legged creatures crawl all over our planet. As they scale the side of your house the gravity pulling against the sticky feet on this new surface is the only indication of up. The ants go marching in through the window and across the cupboard to the sugar bowl. The appliances grow larger, mutate each moment, twist and contort with foreshortening. Edges flare and recede nonsensical as they pass.
To ants the Earth is flat. A two-dimensional world; forward and to the side. Our third dimension is incomprehensible in minds devoid of concepts. According to P.D. Ouspensky in “Tertium Organum, A key to the Enigmas of the World”, time replaces our third dimension for these creatures of the 2d world.
Flocking behind the leader, who is the ant in front of you, struggling beneath enormous loads, they return to the nest. They have remarkable memories. Labyrinths of tunnels covering up to an acre are negotiated only by remembered sequences of turns and of smells.
“No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women, no fun, no sin, no wonder it’s dark.” This song, “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors, sums up the worker ants’ life. They build the new colony from nothing. They are the whole defense of the colony and nurturers of the young. Besides gathering food, they plant gardens of mushrooms in the depths, and herd and stroke the cow-like aphids for sweet milk. Mother Earth is God. Through floods, and winter they perservere. Death comes from attacks by giants and aardvarks.
For citizens of a society that provides survival for six or seven years, if not freedom and concepts, there are benefits and obligations: Ice cream socials, community action committees and service projects, PTAs, bowling leagues, giant square dances and an underground system to shame that of London.
Individualism cannot be tolerated in a society that only tries to survive, thrive and share equally. Are we wrong to proclaim INDIVIDUALISM as the ultimate social manifestation? Or are the complexity of language, nuance of manners and solid social customs just survival schemes in a land where people live on top of each other? Small differences within the same limitations?
If ants represent the 2D and our world is 3D, what is next? Is any man/woman able to take the next step, beyond concepts and become the future fourth dimensional being?