What is a Tsotl?
This article is going to get a bit confusing before it gets clear, but the end result is a reality-model — a way of looking at things — that I use to unify my views of evolution, memetics, genetics and perception. It also made it possible for me to appreciate the oneness of existence.
Okay, here comes the really confusing part. I apologize for this, but I need to write it out. Examples will clarify it later.
A tsotl is what makes a thing seem a thing. A tsotl is a pattern for patterns; it is form. A tsotl can be made of other tsotls. A tsotl is a thing that seems to contain other things.
There, that was the really confusing bit. If you didn't get it, don't worry. Now let me give you examples, starting with some sciencey bits. If you don't fully get it at first, just keep reading, since it will get to more familiar territory later on.
Sub-atomic particles (like quarks) are, for reasons we need not explore here, brought together to form an atom. They are not eternally bound there, but for the moment that's where they are. The coming-together of smaller units into what we can consider a larger whole is a tsotl.
Special note for quantum physicists: Note that I said “we can consider” — I am not forgetting about Heisenberg. But let's not complicate matters too much.
For reasons we won't explore, but which any scientist can explain quite well, the atoms cluster togther into molecules. The coming-together of smaller units — atoms, in this case — constitutes a tsotl. So to review: this particular tsotl — a tsotl from atoms — is made of another tsotl — a tsotl from sub-atomic particles.
Entropy doesn't “like” this stuff happening. If you don't understand that remark, don't worry about it.
Special note for physicists: I put the word “like” in quotes; I'm not suggesting entropy actually gives a darn. I'm trying to keep this simple, okay?
The molecules cluster together in a particular way to form a cell. This, too, is a tsotl, and it is made of tsotls.
Entropy really doesn't “like” cells. They are anti-entropy incarnate. If you don't understand what I mean by that, don't worry about it; just keep reading. It will get more clear in a bit.
Special note for scientists: I did not put quotes around the word “anti-entropy”. I consider it an important enough principle to get its own actual word.
Cells come together to form organs. These are tsotls, which are, of course, made of tsotls. Organs form organisms — such as your body. A body is a tsotl, and it is made of tsotls.
Special note for biologists: Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about mitochondria. I'm trying to emphasize the linearity of the progression, here. I've written about mitochondria in another article. Actually, it's a poem.
Things get a bit more complex at this stage. Your body is host to countless other organisms. Your digestive tract contains something like ten times more bacteria cells than your body has human cells. You are a walking ecosystem for the bacteria. From their point of view (to the extent that they have one), your entire purpose for existing is to provide them with a place to live. And since they outnumber your cells, it might be argued that they're right and your opinion doesn't count! But let's ignore their vote for now and keep climbing up the size scale.
Bodies come together to form groups of people, like a family, or a social circle, or a city. These are tsotls, made of tsotls.
Groups come together to form communities (which are tsotls), which come together to form regions (also tsotls), which come together as countries (which are also tsotls). All countries taken together form the human race, which is a tsotl. Obviously enough, we can say it's made from tsotls.
But the planet isn't just made from humans. There is all life to account for, like those (hopefully) friendly bacteria in your gut. And house cats. And dogs. And sheep, and horses, and wolves, and gorillas, and ants, and beetles, and mosquitos, and so on.
And let us not forget plants, or the countless single-celled organisms like algae upon which so much depends.
Taken all together, these smaller units contribute to one larger unit, the biggest tsotl we can conveniently conceive of, which is our planet. It is sometimes called Gaia, and it shows signs of self-regulation. It, too, is a tsotl.
Gaia must really annoy entropy. The principle of entropy is that disorder in a closed system increases. Gaia is not a closed system, but it does slap entropy in the face, so to speak.
No, it's definitely not a closed system. Mother Earth depends upon Father Sun to provide the energy to make things happen. Without Father Sun we would not have the energy to live, love and evolve. (I hope you can forgive me for referring to our planet and local star as Mother and Father, but I feel a great reverence for both of them. For one thing, if it wasn't for them I'd have never been born.)
Well, that's enough about tsotls to serve as an introduction to the subject. And now I'm going to do something I should have done years and years ago: tell people how to pronounce the word tsotl!
I'm comfortable with either of the two following pronunciations:
tuh-saw-tuhl or ts-aw-tl (if you can manage that).
I use the second one.