Our Arbitrary Conception of Life
We are all members of a very shortsighted species. As I have discussed in other articles in this paranormal section, our perception of the world is very limited and yet we insist that our perceptions of reality are the only things that exists.
We are like the frog stuck inside a well who thinks that the sky is only a 3 foot by 3 foot circle above him
The frog having never seen the expanse of the sky outside of the well, only believes that the sky is a small and insignificant patch high above him. This frog might even start all sorts of different mythologies and scientific theories comparing the sky to a small lily pad that exist far above. It could come up with all sorts of theories to try to explain why the sky is so small and yet holds so much light, and it might be very satisfied with its answers thinking itself to be very logical.
Like that frog we believe that life only exists within certain parameters. Because of our relative size and our limited perceptive abilities, we believe that life is a hard commodity to find outside of our little well and that it only exists within the parameter of certain rules, which we consider to be quite logical and factual.
We tell ourselves that a rock is not alive because it doesn’t fall within certain criteria for example; criteria which we have rigorously developed using the vast amounts of knowledge that we have been able to gather inside our little well. Seen in this context, can you see the problem with our logic?
The reality of it all is that we are ignorant fleas riding on top of a humongous elephant who sits upon a gigantic turtle the coasts along an infinite river that is filled to the brim with the most exotic and beautiful things imaginable.
We consider the lady that talks to her plants to be a little eccentric. Those that would think that the Earth is a living sentient organism are considered to be outright fools by most of us. Life beyond our perceptive range is as impossible now as the Earth revolving around the sun was 800 years ago in Europe. We might not burn heretics anymore but electroshock treatment is not out of the question.
When we look at something like a rock we cannot consider the possibility of it to being alive. We don’t think that it’s alive because it does not meet certain criteria which we use to separate life from nonlife. For example it does not move on its own, it does not procreate, it does not breed, it does not breathe, and it does not seem to have a will of its own, so it is definitely not a sentient being to be sure. But in many ways this criteria only holds true because of our limited perception within time.
Within our time frame, a rock does not seem to move. Yet if we were to look at the life of a rock within the timeframe of the thousand years or perhaps even longer, we would see that that rock does move. It is moved by the shift of the Earth, the wind, the sun and the very atmosphere in which it exists. It procreates by acting with other geological life, it absorbs certain gases and liquids over time and it even evolves into other states as a coal is transformed into a diamond for example.
Certainly any rational person would tell you that this is not exactly moving or acting on its own since what the rock is really doing is just riding and being changed by the atmosphere all around. A rational person would say that this isn’t exactly moving and it is definitely not any kind of sentience because the rock hasn’t chosen anything for itself it’s just riding a wave.
An economist though would most likely point out that in many ways most of us are very similar to that rock. If we are to look at an individual moving by himself in the middle of the street, we could say that that person seems to have an individual will and is moving as a result of his or her desires. But when we study people statistically and we study thousands of them at once and over a large period of time, statisticians and economists have sometimes concluded that our ideas of free will and independent movement are really a kind of illusion.
People are moved by the forces all around them and are shaped by these forces just like a rock. The individual desires that they hold so dear, and classify as one of the most important parts of their individuality, seem to be shaped completely by external forces. In other words, seen from a certain perspective and within a certain timeline, people are very rock like in their nature.
Looking at a plant we have no qualms about stepping on it or exploiting it to our own benefit without ever considering the fact that it could be a living, thinking, and feeling individual. By our standards, that plant is not alive because it doesn’t react the way we do. And yet if we are to take a time lapse camera and in this way to watch several days’ worth of action within a few minutes, we can see that the plant does move. Within the time lapse film we can see that the plant moves towards those things that it likes and shies away from those things that it does not like. The plant within its own time field, seems to communicate, feel, and even think in ways that are very similar to ours.
Perhaps a brain is just an organ that is required by certain beings living within our particular time frame!
We will never be able to discover the paranormal until we can begin to understand and overcome our perceptive limitations. These perceptive limitations cloud our judgment as to what life and even sentience are fundamentally.