I am SO over the flaccid discussion about the 'intelligence' of animals. David Bohm wrote about the implicate order where he postulated that as the structure becomes more complex it becomes capable of new capacities possible because of the more complex structure. This is sort of a duh, particularly when you think of the brain, which was what he was talking about. That said, we now know that octopuses have 'brains' in each tentacle and that some life forms can 'think' without a brain. Consciousness as it is expressed in nature is capable of WAY more than we know, even now.
We have the human centric audacity to assume that if a life form is not concerned with mathematics and financial interest calculations, that it doesn't think. The cleverness of other life forms is always situated about survival, and more to the point, about how to 'fit' into their environment so that life is both safe and as easy as possible. Surly, you can relate to that.
Life is all about relationship. Most of us Westerners have missed the boat here as we believe that everything is about 'being the best we can be' when it really is about who we know. It's about the interdependencies we create that actually determine whether we live and how well. You may have seen this in your Linkedin stream, and I'm indebted to Ruchira Somaweera • 2nd Principal Environmental Scientist at Stantec | Adjunct Research Fellow at UWA | National Geographic Explorer for sharing this most amazing tidbit about Southern Dumpling Squid: CUTENESS. These cuties are Southern Dumpling Squids (Euprymna tasmanica), a type of bobtail squid, which are closely related to cuttlefish. They only grow to ~5 cm long and are mostly found over sandy areas in shallow coastal waters, during the night time. They will burrow themselves into the seafloor during the day and special mucus cells on their skin acts like glue to hold the sand in place. Fascinatingly, they have special acid cells on the skin that allow the sand coat to disconnect all at once when needed. Even more fascinatingly, they have a light organ on their mantle cavity (“body”) filled with symbiotic bioluminescent bacteria species Aliivibrio fischeri. The bacteria are fed a sugar and amino acid solution by the squid and in return hide the squid's silhouette when viewed from below by matching the amount of light hitting the top of the mantle (counter-illumination)! How amazing is nature!
How amazing indeed!! Now, THINK about this for a minute. Here we have a contract between a squid and bacteria. Brain size anyone? The bacteria measure the light at the surface and then match it. How long do you think it took to: know that was what was required, develop the capacity to both measure and match? Spontaneous? Casual? Come on - this takes practice, lots, and lots of practice.
We believe that we can design something that will solve long-standing problems as a sort of one off event. In the real world, ecologies take time, lots of time. Each member must divine how they can contribute and then figure out how to make that happen. Each member has to recognize what works and what doesn't and be willing to shift and change for the greater good. We, on the other hand, think we can do it ourselves. You can see where that has gotten us!
WE are an interdependent web of interconnected beings that functions through reciprocity and right relationship to form a more perfect union. That is what WE are, both as individuals and as community. Wake up! Love us, love us all, love all of us, and work to see what your unique contribution is and develop that!
Kathryn Alexander MA has been absorbed by trying to understand how we should live. Is there some way to actually determine right from wrong and ensure a moral life - and there is. It does not conflict with any religion, creed or ethnic culture. It clarifies and strengthens them all, and at the same time can be independent of them, as it stands on its own. Live in connection with the Earth.