[quote author=“Iisbliss”]I suspect he is from the same one I am, only he uses alot of words.
It is quite possible the “life force” is a quantifiable natural force like gravity, and carries with it the formula for consciousness, and we can’t discern it yet, prolly cause we are too busy being the trees to see the trees.
Lawrence, you know about the monarch butterfly?
Now there is a life cycle that is absolutely confounding to me.
An incredible migration pattern carried out by succesive generations.
Words are symbols for concepts. Concepts catagorize experience. Experience provides knowledge. Knowledge is expressed in words that are symbols of concepts.
I love Monarch butterflies.
One year when we went to camp and hike in the Mojave National Preserve there was an explosion of Monarch butterflies.
They spun a type of sac, looked sort of like a spider web, in which the new caterpillars hatched. I saw these ‘sacs’ hanging on many ‘cats claw’ bushes. (Mormons called the plant a ‘come-along’ bush, when you walk by it and it grabs you, you must ‘come along’, retrace steps to allow removal of the vicious hook, shaped and functional as a cat’s claw.)
I was curious about the sac so I split it open and found a mass of caterpillars.
As we stood below the summit of a hill hundreds of Monarch’s floated by with the breeze all heading south to the Mexican border.
When I see a Monarch I stop and watch it and marvel at the beauty of life.
(I also stop to smell the roses, the ‘peace’ rose is my favorite, sort of a subtly fruity smell that is not as sweet as fragins osmanthus, the base of most perfume)
What is life? No one knows. Life is aware of itself the moment it becomes life, that much is certain - and yet it does not know what it is. Consciousness, as sensitivity to stimuli, is undoubtedly aroused to some extent at even the lowest, most undeveloped stages of life’s occurrence; it is impossible to tie the emergence of consciousness to any particular point in life’s general or individual history - to link it, for instance, to the presence of a nervous system.
The lowest animals have no nervous systems, let alone a cerebral cortex, and yet no one dares deny that they are capable of responding to stimuli. You can anesthetize life, life itself, not just the special organs capable of the response that informs life, not just the nerves. You could temporarily suspend the responses of every speck of living matter, in both the plant and animal kingdoms, narcotize eggs and sperm with chloroform, chloral hydrate, or morphine.
Consciousness of self is an inherent function of matter once it is organized as life, and if that function is enhanced it seems to turn against the organism that strives to fathom and explain the very phenomenon that produced it, a striving of life to comprehend itself, as if nature were rummaging to find itself in itself.
What is life? No one knows. No one can pinpoint when life first emerged from nature. Nothing in the realm of life is self-actuated, yet life seemed to have actuated itself. If anything can be said about life, then, it is this: life’s structure is so highly developed that nothing like it could occur in the inanimate world. The distance between an amoeba - a pseudopod - and a vertebrate was minor, insignificant in comparison to that between the simplest form of life and inorganic matter, which does not even deserve to be called dead - because death is merely the logical negation of life. Between life and inanimate nature is a yawning abyss.
What is life? Life is warmth, the warmth produced by instability attempting to preserve form, a fever of matter that accompanies the ceaseless dissolution and renewal of protein molecules, themselves transient in their complex and intricate construction. Life is the existence of what, in actuality, has no inherent ability to exist, but only balances with sweet, painful precariousness on one point of existence in the midst of this feverish, interwoven process of decay and repair.
What is life? Life is not matter, it is not spirit. Life is something in between the two, a phenomenon borne by matter, like the rainbow above a waterfall, like a flame. But although it is not material, life is sensual to the point of lust and revulsion, it is matter shamelessly sensitive to stimuli within and with out - existence in its lewd form. Life is a secret, sensate stirring in the chaste chill of space. Life is furtive, lascivious, sordid - nourishment sucked in and excreted, an exhalation of carbon dioxide and other foul impurities of a mysterious origin and nature. Out of overcompensation for its own instability, yet governed by its own inherent laws of formation, a bloated concoction of water, protein, salt, and fats - what we call flesh - ran riot, unfolded; and took shape, achieving form, beauty, and yet all the while was the quintessence of sensuality and desire. This form and this beauty are not derived from the spirit, as in works of poetry and music, nor derived from some neutral material both consumed by spirit and innocently embodying it, as is the case with the form and beauty of the visual arts. Rather, they are derived from and perfected by substances awakened to lust via means unknown, by decomposing and composing organic matter itself, by reeking flesh.
-from The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann (won the noble prize for literature)