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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds,…

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our… (original 2020; edition 2020)

by Merlin Sheldrake (Author)

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6661527,174 (4.12)30
Title:Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
Authors:Merlin Sheldrake (Author)
Info:Random House (2020), Edition: 1st Edition, 368 pages
Collections:New Books website, Your library

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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake (2020)

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Ed recommendation. Fungi and humans
  IlliniDave | Dec 25, 2021 |
Mervin Sheldrake's "Entangled Life" is a magical, mesmerizing book. I am, in fact, extremely glad that I read the book.
When I had gone to a local bookstore in Delhi - yes, they still exist - I was intrigued by the cover. I confess that I was tempted to buy it on Amazon, which is a bit cheaper, but bought it from the bookstore.

Until now, I had looked at fungi as mushrooms (magical, edible, poisonous), growths on bread and clothing, and not much more. When I started to read the book, I found myself entering a world that is, at once, magical, and scientific. It helps that Merlin Sheldrake writes with a rare felicity, which made the experience enjoyable.

There are worlds of networks, symbiosis, and intelligence that are different from ours. In short, the book gave me a glimpse into a world that we live in, and don't appreciate.

This is a brilliant book. A gem. ( )
1 vote RajivC | Oct 22, 2021 |
This was a fascinating and fun exploration of the world of fungi, and if you're the kind of person attracted to that idea than this is absolutely the book for you: there's science, lore, investigation, and potential uses, truffles and psilocybin and crazy interdependences (and maze-solving slime molds, can't forget them). Sheldrake is so deeply engaged in his subject, and such a generous guide, that the book hit just the right tone of scholarly and entertaining—I refer you to "Queer theory for lichens" and the following: "A truffle's fragrance and an orchid bee's perfume may circulate beyond the flesh of each organism, but these fields of odor make up a part of their chemical bodies that overlap with one another like ghosts at a disco." Highly recommended if you like reading about the natural world and learning lots of odd things. ( )
1 vote lisapeet | Jul 25, 2021 |
I'm often uncertain about rating nonfiction, but this was a great text: informative, balanced, clear. ( )
1 vote KatrinkaV | Jul 4, 2021 |
In my natural sciences studies over the years, though I was aware of fungi roles I hadn't focused much on them. I found this book an important other dimension, adding considerable complexity to physical being. It is not only informative, but also interesting — at least I would think so for those that strive to broaden their perspective.

Paraphrasing the author, the relationship between plants and fungi gave rise to the biosphere as we know it and supports life on land to this day, but there is still much more we have to learn. You might remember that in The Extended Phenotype, Richard Dawkins points out that genes don’t just provide the instructions to build the body of an organism. They also provide instructions to build certain behaviors. But, those behaviors can be manipulated.

For example, you may be aware that Ophiocordyceps and other insect-manipulating fungi have evolved a remarkable ability to cause harm to the animals they influence. They can take over insect bodies, effecting zombie-like behaviors to benefit the fungus. Also, The impact of fungal diseases is increasing across the world, such as with unsustainable agricultural practices that reduce the ability of plants to form relationships with the beneficial fungi on which they depend. Rather than working with Nature though, the widespread use of antifungal chemicals has led to an unprecedented rise in new fungal superbugs that threaten both human and plant health.

Of course, in seeking balance Nature's pendulum cuts both ways. Our subjective worlds are underpinned by the chemical activity of our brains. Now, a growing number of scientific studies report that Psilocybin mushrooms have evolved an astonishing ability to cure a wide range of human problems. Recent studies report the dramatic effects of psilocybin on people’s minds, outlooks, and perspectives. Experiences include enduring increases in subjects’ sense of connection with the natural world. Profound changes in people’s minds and personalities are rare; that they should happen over the course of such a short experience is striking. Nonetheless, these aren’t anomalous findings.

Umm, could Psilocybin mushroom consumption be the needed first step in effectively mitigating human caused global warming and extinctions? [My thoughts, not the author's.]

The above but a sampling, there is much more to this book. We exist in a closed loop system, and fungi are an essential component in creating growth and recycling life for new growth. Along the way, various fungi can sap and encourage our being. If one isn't overly encumbered by their human bubble, this book will help in understanding the natural world and our physical being. ( )
1 vote LGCullens | Jun 1, 2021 |
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With gratitude to the fungi from which I have learned.
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Fungi are everywhere but they are easy to miss.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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