Do you believe that everything (like, say, rocks) is conscious?

+3 votes
Jan 28 in Science & Technology ⚡ by TheOtherTink (21,222 points)

4 Answers

Kninjanin Jan 29

No. Rocks are not live beings. 

Rooster Jan 29

I don't know about a conscious but I do believe there is life or a soul in everything on Earth. Plants, rocks, lakes, and finally people. The soul is one of the great unanswered questions. If we supposedly have one? Why doesn't anything else?

Good article there Tink and something to think about.

Marianne Jan 30

Actually, I think that most of us have been reading or hearing about ancient philosophies, beliefs, myths, legends or tales, in which the consciousness of various living or non-living things or elements, had a mind or soul of their own or was inhabited by some spirit or deity.

And who didn't wonder about the spirit, the essence or the mind of water, air, mountains, rocks, a car, a house, clothing, a robot, a sculpture, a tool, a jewel, a toy, a poem, a tiny particle, or a music instrument?

There must be some spirit, soul or conscience in or around these mythic monuments of nature:





On the other hand, consciousness may be an illusion, that has developed in living things because of its great survival value.

Nevertheless, I prefer the more mystical views. :)

Marianne Marianne Jan 31

Well, T(h)ink, we don't really know, and that is why we need also myths, confidence, "colours" and spirituality.

"Man kann nie wissen," as my grandmother was fond of saying.  :)

Marianne Marianne Feb 1

Yes, one never knows. :)


Virginia Jan 30

Dear Other Tink,

I think that this question (of whether everything has consciousness) is a valuable question, but not a meaningful one. Its value is that it leads us out of our comfortable assumptions into a non-dualistic way of understanding.

In other words, you cannot answer this question yes or no, just like you cannot specify an either/or answer to whether light is a wave or a particle. What you CAN do is ask, "What is going on with rocks?" And then just follow wherever that leads...such as the speculation in your article that the universe is built from the top down, the multiplicity descending out from oneness, rather than built by assembling tiny particles into bigger stuff.

* * *

And the last sentence in the link is especially delightful!

“If you think about consciousness long enough, you either become a panpsychist or you go into administration.”

Yes, Virginia, consciousness is a difficult subject.  How do you program consciousness into a computer, for example, or pain, or pleasure?  No one knows at this point, and perhaps these things are transcendental.

Of course, an administrator can't be bothered with such things.  Just get the payroll out, or the profit/loss report, etc.  :D :D :D

Virginia Virginia Feb 1

:D  <3 Yes, I myself tend toward transcendental, rather than consciousness dependent arising whenever you assemble amino acids (or binary stuff/algorithms) in a certain fashion...

Although, hmmm...maybe there is indeed a certain aspect of consciousness that can arise that way, just not one I would want to be accountable to, assessing me...methinks some (more) paradigm shifts are in the horizon of our humankind future!  :dizzy:  :O  <3

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