Sunday, October 18, 2015

Consciousness & Empathy

Humans are not the only form of consciousness on this planet. There are thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands that have some level of scientifically documented self awareness and empathy for others -- from elephants to birds to plants. What happens when we join these species in awareness and empathy? I suspect our corn fields and business parks would look much different, our feed lots, our shelters for the abused and neglected, our systems of welfare, our gardens and our roadways.


Diana Studer said...

there would be flowers alongside the roads.

Brian T said...

I'm not sure consciousness is such an important ruler against which to measure what we should cherish and respect. The stars, the sun, clouds, a rock outcrop, a sand dune, a soil profile aren't worth less because they don't exhibit behaviors reminiscent of our own. What we can do is allow matter and energy to express themselves in as many of their myriad ways as possible without feeling compelled to control, sanitize, and monetize. Rather: appreciation, wonder, awe.

Benjamin Vogt said...

BT -- I'm not sure wonder and awe are enough; they are good starting place, the most typical one (and powerful), but that's not the end. When we can become the stars, the sun, the clouds, the rocks, the dune, the soil then we take it up a notch. How can we experience the world not just from our privileged perspective, but from the perspective of others? How do we move beyond seeing the world through our subjective and fallible filters that objectify?
DS -- For sure! Yes!