The plant breathes the same air as you

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 10 Years ago.

The plant breathes the same air as you

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
I looked closely at a beautiful red flower today and as I gently touched it I thought, “You are alive. You are alive, but you don’t know it. You even breathe the same air as me, but you don’t know it. And that is strange”.

A plant is deemed living as a result of a myriad of processes that unfolds - some of these processes in some way related to the plant. Those processes are what makes the plant live.

Plants are relatively simple organisms and they have not evolved such complex processes as self-awareness.

The process of photosynthesis is born of many other simpler processes, and photosynthesis is simultaneously part of other more complex processes.

And just as this applies to photosynthesis, so does it apply to the process of self-awareness that we humans share with a very few select species of this planet.

Self-awareness is not mystical, just as photosynthesis is not mystical. It is born of many other simpler processes and, in turn, is part of other more complex processes.

The hidden assumption of reductionism is that processes retain a linear complexity as they are reduced into their constituent processes or combined into compounded processes. As I see it, that is not right. Complexity is exponential.

The difference between that expected linearity and the actual exponentiality can be incredible and I believe it accounts for a staggering amount of ignorance.

It is - as beautifully captured in this phrase - more than the sum of its parts.

It is strange to think that the plant does not know about itself. But that is only because there is no plant and I am just being fooled. Actually, it is not strange that the plant does not know about itself. What is actually strange is that I know about me.

Just wanted to share.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: The plant breathes the same air as you

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Self-awareness seems to be a feature of the most intelligent and evolved living things on the planet, like humans, chimps and octopusses.

So we evolve this awareness of self over hundreds of thousands of years, then we want to get rid of it? Did evolution take a wrong step? I guess it must have emoticon
Trent ., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: The plant breathes the same air as you

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hello,

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Plants are relatively simple organisms and they have not evolved such complex processes as self-awareness.


I found your post interesting to read and contemplate, but thought to mention one thing; that is: consciousness is fundamentally a simple process. It is 'identity' which makes it seem complex ... underneath all of 'my' beliefs and views lies the simple mechanisms which breathe 'me' into 'being.' One way by which 'I' complicate matters is through relating one thing to another. If this intuitive tendency is left unchecked, then the more items there are available to 'me' which seem comparable, the more relating 'I' will do; hence: exponential (conceptual) complexity. After all, 'I' have a vested interest in making 'my' dissolution seem complicated, because that serves to substantiate and perpetuate 'my' existence.

*

CCC:
Self-awareness seems to be a feature of the most intelligent and evolved living things on the planet, like humans, chimps and octopusses.

So we evolve this awareness of self over hundreds of thousands of years, then we want to get rid of it? Did evolution take a wrong step? I guess it must have


It is not an elimination of (attentive) self-awareness which brings about the end of suffering (what I assume 'we want to get rid of'); but rather, it is the elimination of the self which intuitively assumes that there will be no sense of self-awareness left after its' extirpation. Keeping in mind the following and this may make more sense (emphasis added)...

Richard:
2. All sentient beings are born with instinctual passions like fear and aggression and nurture and desire genetically bestowed by blind nature which give rise to a rudimentary animal ‘self’ – which is ‘being’ itself – that human beings with their ability to think and reflect upon their mortality have transformed into a ‘me’ as soul (a ‘feeler’ in the heart) and an ‘I’ as ego (a ‘thinker’ in the head).

3. Thus there are three I’s altogether but only one is actual (sensate) and not an identity; I am this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. The primary cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and so on is the instinctual passions which give rise to malice and sorrow and the antidotally generated pacifiers of love and compassion which, if sublimated and transcended, give rise to Love Agapé and Divine Compassion. This ‘Tried and True’ solution to all the ills of humankind lies within the ‘Human Condition’ and, as it has had 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate its efficacy, can be discarded as being the ‘Tried and Failed’.

(...)

8. There is a wide and wondrous path to actual freedom: One asks oneself, each moment again, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’? This gives rise to apperception. Apperception is the outcome of the exclusive attention paid to being alive right here and now. Apperception is to be the senses as a bare awareness, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself.


Trent
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: The plant breathes the same air as you

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
C C C:
So we evolve this awareness of self over hundreds of thousands of years, then we want to get rid of it?


Hehe, I think the boilerplate explanation is that we don't want to get rid of it, but rather transcend it. Not my words though emoticon

C C C:
Did evolution take a wrong step?


Maybe evolution is well served with relatively unhappy humans? Seems to make sense, as we as a race would continue to strive towards betterment if we were not happy with our current state. Evolution plays a continuous trick of bait and switch on us and we keep reaching for the bait. So from an evolutionary point of view, I would say that self-awareness has been a success this far.

What puzzles me though is that we are seemingly able to transcend this. Maybe that is us playing a trick on evolution!

But then again, there is no us to do the tricking, only "evolution" tricking itself. The duality is nauseating. "Big cosmic joke" indeed. emoticon


EDIT:

Trent .:
I found your post interesting to read and contemplate, but thought to mention one thing; that is: consciousness is fundamentally a simple process.

Ah yes. From my current understanding, consciousness is a quite magnificent thing. It is the purest of all mirrors, with only the outmost fundamental structure required to reflect existence. As nature is so complex, the only way consciousness could exist is as this reflectiveness.

Trent .:
One way by which 'I' complicate matters is through relating one thing to another. If this intuitive tendency is left unchecked, then the more items there are available to 'me' which seem comparable, the more relating 'I' will do.


And this is what I call self-awareness. It is a great tool for what we might call "productivity" or perpetuation and betterment of our current state, and so is an evolutionary success.

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