On the Philosophy of Ants

This is the first in a series of blogs taken from the research notes of Grad Bernart. Some of you may already know of Grad Bernart as the Collegium scholar who famously talks to plants. A few of you may also know that he was the teacher of Anders, whose adventures feature in my upcoming novel.

To start the series, I’ve chosen a portion of Bernart’s research dealing with the language and philosophy of ants, as well as the moral character of Grad Bernart himself. Enjoy!

2nd Midweek, month 8, second year of Govaert

While continuing my research on the behaviour of insects, I’ve come across some intriguing writings by Grad Orisk Legun. I’ve never heard of her but she claims to have decoded the fungal-spore writing of ants. At first glance, her work looks credible but I have to wonder why such a breakthrough didn’t attract attention. Maybe it’s a waste of time but my curiosity has got the better of me; I’ll have to read further.

 

1st Endweek, month 9, second year of Govaert

Grad Legun’s book is astonishing! I dug up Colony no. 2 in the research garden and, using Legun’s tables, translated everything I could find. This is what I’ve got so far:

“Number is a lie. One, two and three are lies. All wholes can be divided into parts. All parts are whole in themselves. To see only one, two or three is to be deceived. All parts are whole; all wholes can be divided. Truth is many and none. Many is life. None is death. This is true Truth.”

It goes on like that for many lines. Many, many lines. And it’s all blasphemy. If the Church ever found this, I would be dead. They wouldn’t care that I was translating ant philosophy; the executioners likely wouldn’t take the time to ask.

It’s a pity. What I’ve seen of ant mathematics alone would open up whole new fields of study. But this must be the reason why Legun’s work isn’t well known. I bet every grad who’s translated ant writing came up with the same result—blasphemy that they burned and quickly forgot about.

Still, I wonder… I can’t publish this in my own name but what if I slipped it to someone more naïve? Anders would swallow this whole but I like him too much to do that to him. Grad Tanne, though, he’s been getting on my nerves. And he’s ambitious. He’d see this as a way to make a name for himself. Idiot.

I’ll have to be careful and make sure no one can trace this back to me.

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