top of page

On Growth

Richard Ellis


I have prostate cancer - it is a growth.

When my father’s sperm entered my mother’s ovum it triggered a growth that became me over 90 years ago.

When people do the same in all parts of the world individuals like me are produced and the population grows.

When the heater in my house is working the temperature increases. (The molecules jiggle more).

It is hard to stop growth when it gets out of control.

The temperature is limited by a thermostat – whose purpose is to control the heat so when the temperature reaches a set value the source of the heat is turned off. The thermostat is a switch – the manifestation of a purpose.

As my body grew from the divisions of the first cells, it included a purpose, a limitation on the sort of function subsequent cells should have, and they in turn incorporate further purposes, each purpose being a material thing, a bit like a switch, and if all these sequences of switches operate as they should a living person is produced, of finite size and capable of controlling the rate of growth over the many years of its life.

The growth within the mind of awareness of the world around us can only be stored as a network that already exists—I apply the term qualia to this bunch of brain cells and as a baby grows so do the qualia within giving it the world of motion, of space and love of mother. It continues throughout life with no attempt to change at least to start with but is perhaps impeded later by cruelty. (Hurt is a quality which may well be switched to off).

I have found within myself certain thoughts as if from another deeper thing –paths through woods - red skies - love, as if they were hard wired even before awareness comes to exist - possibly from the DNA? Such a thing as one’s innate ability not to get lost - knowing which direction is which as I had when I was small; but some “inputs” are at cross purposes and muck up or distort further acquisition.

The substances that constitute the body and our purposes last, and direct the enjoyment that one has in living. Amongst other things it affects the enjoyment of particular types of food that may not harmonise with the whole body for there may be a lack of feedback. Food includes the impressions one absorbs in the form of ideas and these may well include purposes that could change one’s world .

To limit the growth of world population an idea combined with the natural ‘emotional’ chemical balance in normal people could provide a purpose with the necessary negative feedback – but it would not be popular with most people and may take generations to have the necessary effect – too late?

As for prostate cancer – apoptosis, programmed cell death, should be the answer but it doesn’t always work.

So many words - endorphins - orgasm - kinship - preservation - all mixed up with love of life, the beauty of a rose and the touch of a loved one. How can this be used to reduce the population to less than a billion?

Perhaps Disgust - the perception of Disgust has changed remarkably in the last 100 years or so. If population growth is not stopped we are all lost.

bottom of page