Chrystof Koch explores panpsychism, “The ancient doctrine that consciousness is universal.”
I do agree. To me, consciousness is like plasma and electromagnetic impulses permeating through our bodies and universe. How do rocks know what shape to take? Or trees know where to spread roots to? How come clear skies are blue? Maybe, everything is consciousness. made from sparks on dust whilst steadied by magnetism and polarity to manifest existence. Creation is perfectly manifested. like a spider spinning its web with divine threads, sparking existence.
All species—bees, octopuses, ravens, crows, magpies, parrots, tuna, mice, whales, dogs, cats and monkeys—are capable of sophisticated, learned, nonstereotyped behaviors that would be associated with consciousness if a human were to carry out such actions. Precursors of behaviors thought to be unique to people are found in many species. For instance, bees are capable of recognizing specific faces from photographs, can communicate the location and quality of food sources to their sisters via the waggle dance, and can navigate complex mazes with the help of cues they store in short-term memory (for instance, “after arriving at a fork, take the exit marked by the color at the entrance”). Bees can fly several kilometers and return to their hive, a remarkable navigational performance. And a scent blown into the hive can trigger a return to the site where the bees previously encountered this odor. This type of associative memory was famously described by Marcel Proust in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Other animals can recognize themselves, know when their conspecifics observe them, and can lie and cheat.
Koch distinguishes between mans’ perceived sentience and a consciousness that flows through all beings. He refutes humans at the apex of a neo-Darwinian food chain flow chart myth.
Some people point to language and the associated benefits as being the unique defining feature of consciousness. Conveniently, this viewpoint rules out all but one species, Homo sapiens (which has an ineradicable desire to come out on top), as having sentience. Yet there is little reason to deny consciousness to animals, preverbal infants [see “The Conscious Infant,” Consciousness Redux; Scientific American Mind, September/October 2013] or patients with severe aphasia, all of whom are mute.