Life and the Spectrum of Consciousness

When we look in the mirror, we can see ourselves and know that we exist, that we have a independent identity, an independent awareness of life. What does a worm think when it looks at itself in the mirror? How could we possibly know that!? No one knows how to communicate with a worm! But is it aware of itself like we are? The answer is not “No”! The answer is that we don’t know!

I believe that consciousness—awareness—exists throughout the entire spectrum of life-forms. Recent studies have shown that many animals seem to have a sense of being self-aware, (especially dolphins incidentally). But it is not “self” awareness that I’m talking about here. I think that the total spectrum of consciousness is actually “Life” being aware of ITSELF.

A worm experiences the world completely differently than we do. Birds, elephants, snakes, flies, even single celled amoeba’s see and experience the world in a different way than we do. Bat’s and dolphins “see” with their ears! Each life-form has their own unique means of living and experiencing the world. There is even evidence to suggest that plant-life is in some sense aware.

If we put all of these forms of life together—all of the things that are “alive”, that have the life-force within them—from plants, to amoeba’s, to insects, to reptiles to fish to dolphins and whales, to mammals to humans—if we add all of those individual experiences together, isn’t it possible that the total sum equals the whole? Our separate awareness might instead be Life looking through us at itself! The only way that life could in any sense be "aware" of itself in totality, would be by creating the entire spectrum of plant and animal species, making us its witnesses, its observers, seeing itself through our eyes: Life itself seeing itself, as it totally is.

An exciting concept, don’t you think? Something to think about.


3 thoughts on “Life and the Spectrum of Consciousness

  1. Works for me! I think it goes even deeper.

    I agree with Seth Lloyd(MIT) who says that the universe is a quantum information processing system. The info it is processing is matter. Biological systems amplify that fundamental process, through sensory subsystems to produce awareness.

    Studies of single cell creatures show that they are aware of their environment.(quorum sensing) Like you say, it isn’t the same kind of awareness that we use every day, but it serves the same function.

    Yes indeed, an exciting concept.


  2. Thanks, Jim, for your input! Yes, exciting and interesting stuff!.

    I agree with Lloyd also. And, biological systems not only amplify the fundemental process…they ARE the process. Awareness, in my opinion, is their specific biological imperative. And, single cell stuctures, thanks to your input are aware of their environment…in however a small way (compared to us). And they, combined with the rest of the “living” species of “Life” here on earth, make up…they total the sum: LIFE…aware of itself!


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