Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
Beany

Is nature a living entity?

58 posts in this topic

Perhaps so, which would explain why western science produces so much more. Actually I don't think there can really be said to be much in the way of Asian science. Chinese science got as far as the Greco-Roman science and then seems to have gone stale in much the same way, something I don't think has ever been explained for either culture.

In cutting edge academic research its systems theory not a reductionist approach which is being applied - from business management to physics. Its been slowly creeping in throughout the last few decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I know about the Tao is what I've learned from pop culture. Is the Tao itself thought to be sentient? Boy howdy, I get the the part about lacking the ability to know anything about it. Sometimes I feel like I've caught a glimpse of it, but it's no more substantial the the shadow on the ground of a bird flying overheard. I wonder if when we die we'll learn anymore about it than we do when we're alive. That's my idea of heaven, someone explaining just exactly what's going on down here and how it all works, and even better, I'll understand it. In which case, it's going to have to be pretty simple.

I have always had this same wish. That when we'll die we will know everything. But perhaps it will take a lor more than that to achieve that kind of knowing. I am hopeful though.. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an esoteric theory that nature is a living dynamic entity that surges and evolves, that it is more than just a series of connections between animate and inanimate objects. If this is true, does it have some sort of consciousness? Not the kind humans experience, because it's not human, but if it does have consciousness, how could it be described?

I totally believe there Is a conciuos driving force that inhabits nature and all that is within it. I call that god. I feel it can be broken down further in explanation but I havent the words to do so. I do believe that humans are blessed.. that we are not just pawns for an eternal cosmic game or some other type of exploitation but that the created are also given reason and purpose, reward and fulfillment and that this is to the joy of the creator. I totally think that all things are connected and governed by a higher / ultimate source, but also within that structure we are given power to interact and change our environments as an extention of this great source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I thoroughly appreciate Patrick Dunn's postmodern view of panpsychism.

1. Why do you say there isn’t a magical energy, when almost every other book on magic says that there is?

A: I don’t say that there isn’t. I just say that thinking about magic as if it’s energy-driven is one way to think about magic, but there are other ways which are just as valid. Thinking about magic as information – or, if you prefer, messages we send to our deep mind or to God or to the universal consciousness – leads to interesting ideas that thinking about it only as energy does not. Of course, the reverse is also true; thinking about magic as energy leads to conclusions that other models do not. But those conclusions have been adequately explored, while the information paradigm has not. I’m not saying the energy paradigm is wrong and the information paradigm is right – I’m saying clinging so tightly to one paradigm that you can’t see the value in another is probably unwise.

2. If everything is just symbols, as you say, then why should it matter what we do to people? Couldn’t we hurt someone and if they’re just symbols, why would it matter?

A: Saying “everything is just symbols” reflects a misunderstanding. I’m saying everything (that we think, experience, and see) is a symbol referring back to other symbols, and there’s no ultimate thing they all refer to. But that doesn’t mean everything’s “just” a symbol, because the word “just” implies that there’s something that isn’t a symbol to compare it to. Of course treating people well is important, not because you’ll be punished by some ultimate God figure, or because it’s just right, but because the only way to meaningfully exist in this web of symbols is to exist in relationship to other symbols, to look into another person’s eyes and want to know him or her as a person, not just a thing. That’s the basis of my morality, anyway.

3. What is panpsychism, and why do you believe in it?

A: Panpsychism is just a reversal of the dominant attitude, that matter exists first and mind arises from it. A panpsychist argues that there’s no reason to assume that – in fact, there are perfectly good philosophical reasons to assume that the opposite is true, that mind preexists matter. Working under this assumption solves several sticky philosophical problems, such as the mind-body problem. But more importantly, my particular adoption of panpsychism allows – in fact, assumes as a fact of existence – that magic works.

http://pomomagic.wordpress.com/

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why must nature be 'alive'? It's just a compilation of processes that interact in some favorable way for organisms. (usually)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Chinese call that the Tao. It provides sentient beings the ability to do things that physical reality could not permit, such as experience the world and be conscious and make free choices, but we really have no ability to know anything about it; its very nature is self-contradictory.

Well than can Weather make a "Free Choice"? After all we Humans are pretty good at predicting the Weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nature is connected to us and we are to them. We are living beings, but so are the beings of nature.

The problem is that most view animals and plants as objects to use.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happens every day.

That works on several levels, doesn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that plants and animals are living entities, but only animals would have a consciousness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an esoteric theory that nature is a living dynamic entity that surges and evolves, that it is more than just a series of connections between animate and inanimate objects. If this is true, does it have some sort of consciousness? Not the kind humans experience, because it's not human, but if it does have consciousness, how could it be described?

Isn't this the Gaia hypothesis, ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't this the Gaia hypothesis, ?

http://en.wikipedia....Gaia_hypothesis

It could be, I'll have to go out and look. There's a lot more to be said about this topic than I originally thought, between philosophy, religion, and science. The area where all 3 of these come together fascinates me. Thanks for the link.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that plants and animals are living entities, but only animals would have a consciousness.

IDK, I think plants have their own consciousness, not like ours, but a kind of consciousness. I do hereby confess to having an interesting conversation with a redwood tree. And I have a botanist friend who says plants speak to her. Has anyone else had an experience of communicating with plants? Or stones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

That reminds me of the sci fi story, forgot who wrote it, about a human living on Mars who came into contact with a Martian. They were both surprised to see one another, the Martian was going to a party in the city, I think, which the human saw as archaelogical remains containing no life. I wonder if the same kind of thing happens here, that we sometimes run across life forms or consciousness that is so far out of our experience that we don't recognize it for what it is. Just remembered the book, The Martian Chronicles. I need to re-read it to see if I remembered the story correctly.

This is a great thread I have wanted to post but there is so much that can be said, where to start? But anyway. You are right Beany it was the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury starring good old Rock Hudson , my favourite episodes were/are ‘Missionaries’ where 2 priests go too Mars to convert the people and come across some Blue Spheres/energy beings

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=358H6h2f6wg[/media]

and the episode ‘Bored and lonely’ where a man is left alone and tries to find another human and keeps just missing a ringing phone eventually he finds a beautiful woman who’s just into clothes and herself and in the end finds happiness with a robot! Couldn’t find a clip of that part though.

Edited by sutemi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why must nature be 'alive'? It's just a compilation of processes that interact in some favorable way for organisms. (usually)

Maybe that's what "life" is.

I think though that people who talk that way think in terms beyond biology and chemistry and think that in some way the universe is conscious and willful (has purpose). With that definition your question is indeed well taken -- why should we even imagine any such thing? The evidence is abundant that nature neither favors us nor is against us, but just functions on automatic. We can manipulate what it does to a degree, to our advantage and, when we don't think carefully enough about all the consequences of what we are doing, often to our harm. There is no sign of mind in all that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Animals, at least mammals, have sentience. This means they experience the world. There is no good evidence that the responses seen in other animals are anything other than automatic reflexes developed through ages of evolution.

Sentience is something else. It combines reflex with emotion, a "lets get the hell out of here" with fear, a "that's my food, buddy," with anger, and so on. Experience is what really makes us "alive" -- we don't just see the snake in the grass, we "experience" it, and with that experience comes a much deeper and more flexible response -- "it's a grass snake" -- if I'm quick enough I can get a nice lunch compared to, "it's a coral snake" -- sheesh, gotta be careful around here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Maybe that's what "life" is.

I think though that people who talk that way think in terms beyond biology and chemistry and think that in some way the universe is conscious and willful (has purpose). With that definition your question is indeed well taken -- why should we even imagine any such thing? The evidence is abundant that nature neither favors us nor is against us, but just functions on automatic. We can manipulate what it does to a degree, to our advantage and, when we don't think carefully enough about all the consequences of what we are doing, often to our harm. There is no sign of mind in all that.

A sentient nature does not necessarily include favoritism towards human, nor exclude it, I suppose. There's no rule that a sentient entity would consider humans "special" in some sort of way. If nature is sentient, I imagine she has lot of other things to occupy her mind other than a relative handful of human beings existing in a very small corner of space. And why can't I bring my imagination to this? There's no rules about that, either. Sometimes our imagination can illuminate ideas in useful ways by allowing us to adopt a new perspective.

Edited by Beany
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some sign of support or favor would be evidence of sentience. Its absence is a bit of evidence against the idea.

One can imagine whatever strikes ones fancy. I sometimes imagine myself in a very different world where things go a lot better.\

I would say that if one is inclined to picture a sentient or conscious aspect to the universe, it is more readily done by seeing it as something in nature rather than of it -- a Tao rather than a Gaia.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the link that explains the Gaia hypothesis, but I think more or less the way Frank does on this one. The entire planet and indeed the entire univese has a life force and we are part of the whole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the link that explains the Gaia hypothesis, but I think more or less the way Frank does on this one. The entire planet and indeed the entire univese has a life force and we are part of the whole.

Thank you for the link that explains the Gaia hypothesis, but I think more or less the way Frank does on this one. The entire planet and indeed the entire univese has a life force and we are part of the whole.

By life force, do you mean just energy, or an informed energy? Or something else altogether?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, not an informed entity in the sense that humans might recognize it, but a self-contained process and everything on this planet and, indeed, inside the planet is part of it. Energy, life force, whatever it is called, we wouldn't be here if it didn't exist. The entire planet would be "dead." The rain would not fall, rivers wouldn't flow, nothing could live. There is a rhythm to everything and the earth sings its own song, as my grandmother would say. I don't think it's all just chemistry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, not an informed entity in the sense that humans might recognize it, but a self-contained process and everything on this planet and, indeed, inside the planet is part of it. Energy, life force, whatever it is called, we wouldn't be here if it didn't exist. The entire planet would be "dead." The rain would not fall, rivers wouldn't flow, nothing could live. There is a rhythm to everything and the earth sings its own song, as my grandmother would say. I don't think it's all just chemistry.

For me this kind of gets back to the idea of forms of consciousness. Can an entity, human or otherwise, recognize a consciousness that is different than their own, do you think? Can we even conceive of a consciousness different than our own?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me this kind of gets back to the idea of forms of consciousness. Can an entity, human or otherwise, recognize a consciousness that is different than their own, do you think? Can we even conceive of a consciousness different than our own?

I don't think we can simply imagine it. During a journey I believe I was allowed to experience a trees conciousness. It was so different, the only words I have to say to describe it is inwardly focused. Where as our conciousness is outwardly focused responding to our environment plant conciousness send to be entirely flipped and it's internal structure and workings are the focal point if it's existence. It's hard to explain.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we can simply imagine it. During a journey I believe I was allowed to experience a trees conciousness. It was so different, the only words I have to say to describe it is inwardly focused. Where as our conciousness is outwardly focused responding to our environment plant conciousness send to be entirely flipped and it's internal structure and workings are the focal point if it's existence. It's hard to explain.

I've had numerous exchanges with trees & plants, as well as stones so I know what you mean. But I wasn't able to conceive it until I had the experiences. The term I can think of, though still inadequate, is "grokking." Those of you who've read Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, are familiar with this term. It just occurred to me that maybe humans have the same internal organization structure, an internal, physical consciousness/body wisdom/consciousness, maybe all living entities do, the difference being the focal point.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Animals, at least mammals, have sentience. This means they experience the world. There is no good evidence that the responses seen in other animals are anything other than automatic reflexes developed through ages of evolution.

Sentience is something else. It combines reflex with emotion, a "lets get the hell out of here" with fear, a "that's my food, buddy," with anger, and so on. Experience is what really makes us "alive" -- we don't just see the snake in the grass, we "experience" it, and with that experience comes a much deeper and more flexible response -- "it's a grass snake" -- if I'm quick enough I can get a nice lunch compared to, "it's a coral snake" -- sheesh, gotta be careful around here.

Don't plants experience the world, too? Maybe not in a human way, but they do have the experience of taking in water, soil nutrients, energy from the sun, chlorophyll, etc. When I think about spooky action, where two non-sentient particles instantly communicate and respond across space, maybe there is a kind of consciousness at play, or maybe it's an entirely different thing that happens.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

That which we call "life" is a natural property of matter, and always arises where conditions for it's existence occur. Indeed, the terms animate and inanimate are human concepts impressed upon the universe to create a sense of order, and may have no intrinsic meaning.

Edited by hammerclaw
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.