Sentient:

able to perceive or feel things.

Some say that life must be carbon based. Recently, NASA uncovered that life can actually exist without carbon. I am going to assume that we can all agree that life exists in a myriad of forms and that even in the scientific realm it is very difficult to classify. Knowing this, a topic of debate remains and that is what is sentient? Sentience brings forth another layer of what humans consider to be life. Science tried to describe its physical form, sentience tries to describe its ability to experience life. Can it feel? Can it perceive? And others will add an even extra layer of what life may be by adding sapience into the picture. Can it think? Can it make decisions not based on instincts?

These are all great questions, but is life not alive according to these standards? Is life robotic in some sense because it appears to make decisions based off of instincts? Would we not be more instinctual if we had to fend for our livelihood at all hours of the day? I tend to think this way. We cannot ever truly know what goes on in the mind of a living organism. We cannot truly measure its ability to think for itself, to understand life, to learn. We cannot know these things because they are immeasurable. Sure, we can perform experiments with human brain scans and compare them to other living things, but that only shows what is similar. Life is much bigger than us. It is much more expressive than us. To understand that all things, living and nonliving we must be able to take a few steps back from the human race and understand that we are not the only things living. We must open ourselves up to the idea that life can exist differently than us.

I believe that life is valuable. It is beautiful and unique at every level. I don’t agree with the idea that because humans have central nervous systems (CNS) or brain matter or whatever else you decide to throw into the picture to make us seem superior is relevant. If something is alive, who are we to say it is not sentient? Who are we to decide that life is not life? We are not the creators of this universe. We are products of it and the universe has expressed its life in various colors and shapes. If we can agree that something is alive then we should agree to stop there. Life is life and if we want to save the earth and save the creatures of the earth we must respect all things like we respect ourselves. This is just my philosophical viewpoint on life. Here are some examples of non humans expressing sentience.

Cleve Backster performed several studies on plants. He came to the conclusion that plants not only had consciousness, but could also read minds. His studies were never successfully reconstructed, but the CIA took notice and began their own experiments with plant communication. Cleve Backster was also a CIA member himself and so I find it curious that CIA members would find interest in a subject as plant consciousness when the scientific world has deemed it nonsensical. Maybe I am just always suspicious of the government, but I think that is something worth mentioning.

Another woman named Monica Gagliano performed an experiment that suggested plants can learn from experiences and retain memory. She created a device that would drop a mimosa plant without hurting it. She did there every 5 to 6 seconds. The first several times the plant curled up as it fell, but after that it stopped. It was no longer scared of the drop. Does this mean the plant learned that the drop was safe? Does it mean that the plant remembers the previous falls? Other scientists have come up with different explanations as to why the plant no longer curled up, but Gagliano insisted that they were aware and remembered the previous drops were not harmful. That is why they no longer curled up when falling. Her research was controversial and was rejected before it was finally published.

Daniel Chamovitz is another scientist diving into the world of plant awareness. He was originally studying the genes that generate a response to light in plants when he realized that humans retain these same genes. What are the genes used for? Well, “cell division, the axonal growth of neurons, and the proper functioning of the immune

System.” They have a pretty important function within human beings but what can that prove? Plants have the ability to smell. They can react to pheromones released by ripened fruit or amp up defense systems if alarming chemical signals are given off. Plants also have the ability to communicate through their roots. They can send signals and warn neighboring plants of troubles via the root system. Chamovitz agrees that plants have memory. He says that they have three different types of memory, short term memory, immune memory, and transgenerational memory. Chamovitz does not believe that plants are conscious, but he admits to the facts that they are aware and can respond to various signals. In the simplest way we can at least admit that plants are sentient.

Dr. Emoto, who is controversial in the world of scientists, has performed several experiments pertaining to water. In his experiment he spoke words and set intentions towards the water which he then froze and examined afterwards. Looking under the microscope he was able to uncover various shapes that the water revealed depending on what was said or sent to the waters. He also performed a similar experiment on rice where he expressed love to one container of rice and hate towards the other. The one that was sent hateful energies became moldy very quickly while the rice that was sent love took longer to even begin to mold. There are several of these experiments being re-created on youtube and you yourself can even try it.

How can we define who and what is sentient? Using our own physical manifestations of sentience is not enough. Sentience is suggested through a variety of different experiments whether we consider it “pseudo-science” or real science. We can see that plants are sentient beings, we can see that water is sentient, and we can see that rice may even be sentient.

Everything is made up of vibrations. That is a fact that we can all agree on. When waves hit other waves they change. In that case, water sends out its own unique vibrations into existence. When we speak we create waves through the sounds and those vibrations affect the things and people around us because they are vibrations too. It’s like the ripples in a pond. They clash with each other. This is happening constantly and it is why people tend to remember the feelings they had when someone said something rather than the actual words being spoken because words create vibrations that we feel and interact with. Knowing this information it is plausible that water sending out its vibrations can feel and interact with ours. It is plausible that negative and positive vibrations can create and alter the shapes of the waters. This is why our intentions must always be positive and full of love because they are powerful and can change the reality around us.

What I find to be a problem is the fact that human beings have a tendency to use their experience as a source of measurement. Human beings can be ego centric. They think everything is about them and if something does not move, think, breathe, speak, or look like them then they must be less than or they must not experience pain, love, life in the same way we do. While I agree that plant life, stone life, and all the other sentient beings do not experience life in the way that we humans do that doesn’t mean they do not experience life, pain, and love. They have their own unique experiences. They have a totally different set of senses. They experience the world in a vastly different way than we do. There is no scientific way to measure how much pain a plant feels versus a cow. There just isn’t. That is subjective. You cannot measure subjectivity. It is personal and because I cannot know what the plants, stones, waters, bugs, etc. feel I cannot declare that what they feel is less than what I feel.

If you cannot see the interconnectedness of us, all of us, then you are missing a very big and important picture. It is one that most people seem to resonate with, but few people actually live it. We are one is more than a cliche saying. It is a legitimate statement that I hope we will all be able to fully understand and realize. If you differentiate yourself from the earth and the life of the earth, then you will never understand how we are all one entity living on an even larger entity, Mother Earth. I believe it is important to respect all living things. I believe it is important to respect the plant nation, the stone nation, the spirit of the waters, the spirit of the air, the spirit of the fires, and the spirit of the earth and everything else that I cannot include in a short essay. All of us who inhabit the earth are experiencing life. We all perceive and feel, whether we all perceive and feel in the same capacity is irrelevant. What is important is that WE ALL PERCEIVE AND FEEL. That is it.

This message is vital to our existence as a human race. We absolutely must begin to understand all things, living and nonliving, as sentient. This is how we can learn to truly respect and care for all things of the earth. If we do not care for the earth we do not care for ourselves and we will be the cause of our own demise. Teach the children about life. Do not allow your human-ness to be the bar of measurement. Take yourself out of the picture. We are one in the same.

As above, so below. Remember that we are one.

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  • s k

    The subject has only just began, with water and plants. It is the right hemisphere that grants sentience…as in to Thou. Mcgilchrist is a good read.