…or as Dr. Seuss would put it…
“ON BEYOND HUMAN”
Just look how far down the road of evolution it took before there were beings on this planet who even recognized that they were separate and unique from the world outside of them? It’s not everything that thinks… ’I’ am in here… and ‘you’ are out there.
Obviously not rocks. They aren’t aware of themselves as separate from their environment. And they don’t take the initiative on anything. Yes, there are rockslides and avalanches where rocks take the fall. But they don’t know what they’re doing. They are simply affected by the outside forces… pulled by gravity… eroded by water… crumbled by weights pressing down on them. And through it all they just sit there and let the world act on them… stoned.
Plants are much more advanced than rocks in relating to the world around them. They react to outer stimuli… turning their leaves to face the sun… sensing something that makes them twist. And they initiate actions… reaching down for water… saying “I’m thirsty” with their roots. Their survival instincts do what they do without thought. They may not know what they are doing… but what an evolutionary step up from rocks.
Simple animal organisms don’t think for themselves either. There are part of a group mind… what researcher Rupert Sheldrake called a Morphogenetic Field. It’s what permits schools of fish… all tuned in to a single awareness… to turn on a dime, while butterflies and birds fly thousands of miles to places they’ve never been before. This group mind is aware of it’s separation from ‘it’ or ‘out there’ or whatever you want to call it. That’s why the fish turn… to escape the predator.
However, the separate physical beings aren’t capable of recognizing themselves as different from the rest of the herd. Army ants, for example, will walk in a straight line through the jungle till they come to a river… and, without stopping, will keep on going. The lead ants drown and build up a pile of dead ant bodies till there are enough for the rest to use to cross the river. I can’t conceive of any army ant thinking, “Damn. I finally make it to the front of the pack and we’re coming to a river. Bummer!”
It’s not till we get to more evolved animals that we get creatures who experience feeling different and unique from everything else…
…to be continued…
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