Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Thursday 21 December 2017

Do trees possess consciousness?

Do trees possess consciousness? Do they have self awareness? You wouldn't think so; it certainly doesn't bother us as we cut them down, often demolishing whole communities of these majestic plants.
But I've been thinking. The Davies Hypothesis proposes that consciousness (in humans at least) is a consequence of the brain working with the three dimensions of time. These dimensions, roughly equating to the past the present and the future allow us to access memory and therefore knowledge, monitor the senses to establish environment and circumstances, giving rise to understanding and 'imaginary' time which processes the data to enable decision making leading to wisdom. 'Imaginary' time is also responsible for dreaming, man's ineffable traits, the appreciation of the arts, music and the discernment of the abstract.
But what's this got to do with trees? Do trees have access to memory? Yes they do because they feel the presence of predators such as aphids (real or present time sense) and recognise the cause. that's two of the dimensions of time in operation. What about the third? Well in response, the tree releases bitter tannin into the leaves making them  unpalateable to the aphids. Furthermore, it has been shown that some trees have the ability to exude vapours which attract ladybirds to the site of the infestation. How clever is that?
It is, surely, undeniable that trees do possess some level of consciousness but are there degrees. Research shows that trees do communicate by widespread fungi interacting with the tree roots, sharing information on nutrient and water sources. Trees are amazing. It's just as well we can't hear their screams when the chainsaw bites.

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