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Tendrils and Telephones

by A. N. Suranimala

(July 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I am hanging around, waiting for my good wife to finish her lengthy telephone call and while so being I observe, not merely see, the handset cable that caries her gossip. It is coiled and then halfway it changes its mind, like all genuine females do, and coils the other way. Now my clever grandson tells me that the change of direction is to prevent super-coiling of the cable on itself when long calls, like my wife’s, are being made while the caller shifts the handset from hand to hand.

Now while idling in the garden I observe, not merely see, that our passion creeper has tendrils that do the same thing. They are coiled, then they reverse direction and are coiled in the opposite direction. Now I get thinking, not merely observing. It is perhaps for the same reason; to prevent super-coiling. If that is so, then did the telephone-maker copy the trick from the passion creeper or did the passion creeper crib the idea from the telephone-maker? The latter is patently absurd. But then an equally seemingly absurd question looms large. It is said that a good speculation is at the root of many a scientific discovery. So let me speculate. Were both instances, examples of the Universal Consciousness that I am tempted to invoke and which philosophical egg-heads have thought about long before I did. Then it means that this Universal Consciousness is intelligent (no, no for heaven’s sake, I am not talking about that subterfuge called Intelligent Design, heaven forbid) and we humans show it up when the telephone makers make the cable embodying a universal idea that is common to his intelligence and the creeper’s evolutionary design both of which are manifestations of the Universal Consciousness. (LJ)
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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