There was no beginning. See, reality is not like a story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, so I can't start the history with something like "In the beginning". If I did, I'd start it with something like, in the beginning, there was everything. Most of the stories you hear have some presupposition similiar to that anyway: what created the Creator, or where did the mass from the big bang come from, and all that shit, but the storytellers always give some lame answer like "God was as God is" or that all matter was leftover from a previous cyclical universe. I'm not pulling that punch.
There was no beginning. In several places at all times in the universe, there has been stars, brightly pulsating and fading and dying in a relatively slow, rhthmic grace tugged by the tides of the eternal creator Gravity.
These stars are creators, too, in a way, using sheer heat to fuse simple hydrogen into more complex and pretentious elements, before dying and scattering their remains across the universe like so much intergalactic spunk. More stars pick up the beat and spread the love and some at some point are orbited by debris and tiny cute planets that manage to catch a tiny fraction of the incredible amount of energy constantly pouring our of these stars on their spinning surfaces.
The planet I'm on now particularly interests me. Not really because I think it's so special, but because the entanglement of mass and energy it forms results in a intricate infrastructure upon which my consciousness rests. Oh, and you know how important consciousness is. Man, if there is one thing that motherfuckers rave about, it is the ability to reason. Humans (or at least those I'm exposed to in Western society) just think its the best thing since sliced bread, and many would argue, better! They're also absolutely convinced that we're exclusively rational, and that it grants superiority and free reign to do what we please. "Look at the food chain, bro. If it's on my plate, it ain't eating me."
I'll grant that reason and language are pretty nifty. I like talking my ass off constantly. Makes me feel important to rattle on for a while before someone interrupts me with something relevant. Thing is, reason is just another survival mechanism. It allows beings to blast through so much time of genetic trial and error. Now, one may pass on learned information so much longer before it would become programmed in at an instinctual level. It allows for the development of culture -- the system of practices and rules that pattern behavior. Hell, culture is almost an organism of itself. But I'll come back to that.
However, a lot of people don't regard reason as a survival mechanism, but as a crown. Some believe, though they may not say it, that it makes us king over all other life forms, because while some of these other lifeforms may be able to see the world, we see it, and we know it, and we understand it. Unfortunately, that is simply egotistical banter. It feels good as hell to say stuff about yourself that makes your feel good, but just because it can't be proved wrong doesn't make it true. Nobody believes you shit potpourri because you spray freshener before your leave the bathroom. Reason doesn't automatically grant understanding of reality. That's bullshit. Yeah, maybe you can figure that with some serious meditation, but I can't back that up with personal experience. All reason gives us is speculation and science; speculation gave us religion and science gave us a rapidly-growing list of stuff we've proved doesn't work. We don't really get it. It's disgusting how prepared we are to worship ourselves.
The food-chain argument falls apart from a gradeschool observation: we don't live forever, and try as you might, you can't stop other life from eating our dead for long. Goddamn, we try so hard to build walls and distinctions between us and the rest of nature, but it really doesn't work. Pump 'em full of preservatives, seal 'em in a box and bury them, burn them, sink them, whatever, but we try so hard to forget the flora and fauna that eats us. My culture cannot seem to stand interdependence. We are more like a small organ, or the tissue of an organ, of a much larger organism, the entire ecosystem. Our role? We collect and bring nutrients to the trees that let us live. We may forgive ourselves for forgetting this, because they speak not our language.
Flora is a perfect queen, piously worshiping the sun, collecting its love without a thought, breathing calmly and uncommandingly feeding fruit to the animals that serve her.