Print this page

Spiritual concepts

Gnome

The spirit being of all that is microscopic  - micro-organisms – but excluding viruses [see Goblin].

Gnomes potentially control vast kingdoms.  In 1976, Carl Woese of the University of Illinois grouped living things into three principal categories.

-      Bacteria – cyanobacteria, purple bacteria, gram positive bacteria, green non sulphur bacteria, flavobacteria and thermotogales,

-      Archaea – halophilic archaeons, methanosarcina, methanobacterium, methanococcus, thermoceles, thermoproteus and pyrodictium,

-      Eukarya – diplomads, microsporidia, trichomonads, flagellates, entameba, slimemoulds, ciliates, plants, fungi and animals.

In effect plants and animals 'are relegated to a few twigs on the outermost branch of the Eukaryan limb’.  Everything else belongs to unicellular beings.

Most of the real diversity in evolution has been small scale . Of the 23 main divisions of life, only 3 -  plants, animals and fungi - are large enough to be seen by the human eye, and even they contain species that are microscopic … if you totalled up all the biomass of the planet – microbes would account for at least 80% of all there is, perhaps more.

Traditionally, a gnome was characterised by its extremely small size and subterranean life style.  Our ancestors had got this absolutely spot on, as indeed all these are tiny and most live in the earth.

The diversity in shape and size of all things microscopic was seen in visions by our ancestors and an attempt made to describe them, but as the range of diversity is so massive they never succeeded in describing them all, only managing to give an idea of their vast range of shapes and sizes.

Myths and legends of gnomes also indicated their peculiar habits, habits which are indeed a characteristic of micro-organisms.

Bill Bryson

We now know that there are lots of microbes living deep within the earth, many of which have nothing at all to do with the conventionally organic world.  They eat rocks, or rather the stuff that's in rocks – iron, sulphur, manganese and so on.  And they 'breathe' odd things too – iron, chromium, cobalt even uranium.  Such processes may be instrumental in concentrating gold, copper and other precious metals and possibly deposits of oil and natural gas.  It has even been suggested that they created the earth's crust.

Within myth and folklore, gnomes had an ambivalent character being both extremely powerful and a force for both ‘good’ as far as human beings were concerned and ‘bad’.  The bad aspect is of course particularly relevant to bacteria.

Bill Bryson

Most micro-organisms are neutral or even beneficial to human well being.  The most rampantly infectious organism on Earth, a bacteria called Wolbachia, doesn't hurt humans at all – or any vertebrate, but if you are a shrimp or worm or fruit fly, it can make you wish you have never been born.

Bill Bryson

Altogether only about 1 microbe in a thousand is a pathogen for humans, however, even if most of them are benign, microbes are still the number 3 killer in the Western world.

Bill Bryson

Most micro-organisms are neutral or even beneficial to human well being.  The most rampantly infectious organism on Earth, a bacteria called Wolbachia, doesn't hurt humans at all – or any vertebrate, but if you are a shrimp or worm or fruit fly, it can make you wish you have never been born.

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.