Questioning Consciousness

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:04 pm

"...I've wondered what my focus would turn to if I actually acquired the knowledge I seek."

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:05 pm


Martin Kenny, FB:


Most people now know the human being is made up of three core structures -

Mind - body - soul

The mind & body seem to now be reasonably well understood, but the soul structure still appears to be somewhat an enigma.

I'm going to break down these three structures, with particular reference to the soul structure & present them hopefully in an easily digestible manner.

Let's start with the mind…

The mind...

Firstly, all is mind!

The mind is the eternal element of our being.

This is what is commonly known as consciousness in living beings.

Consciousness is a self aware energy that operates on a universal sine wave amplitude in something called the ether field.

The ether field is where all information in existence exists & operates from.

This is what some call the monad, counterspace or heaven.

Consciousness can also be described as frequency.

Frequency simply being universal electromagnetism (light, sound & vibration).

Some might call this source energy or the creator or simply God.

In essence "God" is not a single entity but rather the sum of everything in existence both physically & metaphysically.

Hence the theological expression -
"God is all around us - The Alpha & Omega."

Alpha in reference to all encompassing space.

And omega in reference to eternal time.

In human beings, this God essence of energy is manifest as an intelligent electromagnetic frequency we call the conscious mind.

And of course the individual conscious mind has a direct link to the universal source ether field via the electromagnetic sine wave spectrum all around us.

The process of thinking is simply one's conscious mind tuning or dialing into certain frequencies for information from the universal ether field.

However, despite popular assumption, the process of thinking does not begin in our brains but actually in our hearts through our intent.

Intent is the original search engine of a living being.

Our actions stem from our thoughts, our thoughts stem from our hearts desires (intent), and our intentions are determined by our level of conscious awareness.

Of course we now know there are 4 states of conscious awareness - the Unconscious - the Conscious - Subconscious & Superconscious mind.

In essence, our conscious mind is not just in our brains but also in our hearts & indeed our whole being.

A thought is first manifest in the heart, then transmitted into the brain which then processes the information & finally our bodily organs converts it into action.

The condition of one's heart (intent) determines the nature of information one searches for.

The condition of one's brains programming determines the quality & accuracy of which that information will be filtered & processed.

The sum condition of one's intent (heart) plus ones processing (brain) function is what we call - ones intelligence!

And of course the condition of one's bodily organs obviously determines the final outcome of actioning one's intellectual interpretation.

We've all heard the saying...
"I am because I think, I think because I am "

The best comparative example of what I've just explained is the internet & computers.

In fact computers & the internet are a physical manifestations of the metaphysical reality I've just described.

We all know the internet does not have a rigid space, time or shape. It is omnipresent, meaning it exists everywhere all the time, easily accessible if one has the right tools.

The internet is comparatively a physical manifestation of eternal source energy.

Of course, we all know computers need signals & transmitters to access the internet just like humans need intentions & thoughts to access the ether field.

And just like in humans, satellite signal antennas are the heart of the internet, where it all begins.

The job of the satellite signal antennas is to make connection with the computer.

At this point information is then transmitted, usually via ethernet cables into a programmed computer microchip for processing.

This is the same exact process that occurs within the human mind frame.

In humans our intent is like the satellite signal, our thoughts are like the ethernet cable & our brains are like the computer micro chip that processes the transmitted information.

Satellite signal towers, antennas & micro chips are what we call a computers software.

And likewise, in humans our hearts, brains & cells are our human software.

Comparatively, a computer's mainframe is similar to that of a human body….

A computer's Screen is comparatively similar to the face of a human…

The cameras are like eyes…Speakers like the ears…And the key pads like our fingers.

All of the above are what we call hardware in computers & bodily organs in humans.

Both computer & human hardware & software rely on intelligent conscious energy to initiate & activate action for a virtual reality of experience to happen.

To summarise my analogy...the function of a computer is dependent first on the strength of the signal (heart), then the quality of transmission (thoughts), then the processing capacity (brain) & then the quality of the hardware (body)...

Now, naturally human beings have varying degrees of intent (heart) & processing (brain) function.

Someone with pure intent (heart) & is likely to search for purer information.

And if that someone has healthy brain function to process that information, it is likely that the information will be less filtered therefore closer to source truth.

This source truth is what we call knowledge. And as we all know, knowledge is power.

Knowledge empowers us by expanding our conscious awareness.

Knowledge is the currency that fuels our conscious awareness, which in turn heightens our perspective of life experience.

The purer our intentions are, the purer our thoughts will be...the purer our thoughts are the purer the knowledge we receive…

And of course, the purer the knowledge the purer our actions should be.

The sum total of the above, results in one being purely intelligent within their whole being.

Pure intelligence fuels more processing power to further access purer & purer information.

Thus creating a perpetual cycle of conscious expansion & awareness of oneself.

The meaning of life is for us to expand our conscious awareness beyond the limits of our current paradigm, thereby allowing us to ascend into a higher paradigm of experience.

This is what some might call drawing one's mind closer to "God" or source energy.

The body…

The body is the most obvious for obvious reasons…

The physical body exists within a state of what we call matter.

Unlike the mind, which is a metaphysical aspect of our being, consisting of light, sound & electromagnetic waves, the body is made up of tangible chemical compounds consisting of particles, atoms & molecules that are physically quantifiable.

The mind element of us is eternally consistent regardless of space & time. Whereas, the physical element of us is impermanent & transient.

In other words, our consciousness remains as a frequency regardless of where, when or what it's in.

However, the bodies energy structure transmutes from one state to another in relation to the space & time it interacts & exists within.

Of course the mind is within a consistent & constant frequential wave of energy.

Whereas the human physical body has many complex chemical compounds in various forms of structure - solid, liquid, gas & plasma, etc...

The body is physically tangible outwardly with our common senses, therefore it is easier to study by physical observation & experimentation.

Having said that, processing the observations we make through interpretation is where it gets complicated.

Because as I already stated, processing information requires intent (heart) & brain function (processing).

For instance, in the case of diseases, we are usually easily able to determine the effect of a disease but not always the cause.

When we are able to intelligently determine the real cause of a bodily disease, we can then take necessary action to ease the dis ease with great effect & minimal adverse affect.

All dis-ease is simply the effect of a reaction caused by an initial action.

As is determined by the universal law of cause & effect - Every action has a reaction.

We can eliminate every dis-ease in existence by simply knowing the initial action that caused the reaction, then taking action to effect the original defective action.

Prevention is not better than the cure...Prevention is the cure!

However, this is easier said than done…

One cannot prevent something without pre eventual KNOWLEDGE of its cause & effect.

Once again, knowledge is the key...

Knowledge is simply intelligent information…

And like I said earlier, intelligence is the sum total of pure intent (heart) & a healthy mind (brain) + virtuous action.

Naturally, as you can see, the mind & physical body are separate entities that have a symbiotic relationship even though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

One being physical & the other metaphysical.

Ironically, whilst the physical appears to be real, it is in fact not.

It only appears so whilst we are within this physical plane of existence.

The physical is a holographic illusion created & only perceived through the mind.

Hence, my opening statement - ALL IS MIND!

However, paradoxically the physical is in fact also real in a different context, because it allows the mind to objectively express & experience itself.

A good comparative example once again is with a computer.

A hardware computer without software information is useless & likewise software information without hardware output is pointless.

The physical hardware we call our body has a use which is to give the software, which us our mind a point.

The point of the mind is to use the body which in turn allows our conscious energy to objectively & subjectively experience itself simultaneously.


Well, why not ...after all, existence without experience is pointless. Therefore the point of existence is experience.

Experience naturally evokes a process of learning and learning implies expansion & growth.

Growth of coarse, is the process of something moving from one point to another.

And that is the point!


But now we ask the questions, as humans, what are we growing from -
point A & growing to - point B.

And how does this process of expansion & growth transpire?

Well the short answer is the soul system!

The Soul...

So what is the soul system & how does it tie into all of this?

Well, the soul is literally right in the middle of it all, let me explain...

Firstly, the word soul is in close relation to the celestial solar system above our heads as well as the soles of our feet that keep us grounded.

It's also interesting that in the English language, when something has served its purpose it must be sold. A process in which the exchange of currency allows something to move on from point A to point B.

Bear this in mind as we go along.

Now, there is much contention about what a soul actually is. However most proponents suggest that the soul is basically our consciousness.

And I would tend to agree to a degree…

Just like how computers have silicon as a conductor to connect software information to the hardware mainframe…

Similarly, humans have something we call the soul that connects & bridges the conscious mind to the physical body.

The soul is the silicon of a human being.

Naturally, because the soul is the bridge between the physical & metaphysical, it must have properties to accommodate both elements.

Therefore, a soul by nature must be malleable with physical qualities, within a metaphysical state.

The only element in the universe with such transitional qualities is PLASMA.

So, before we delve into the soul, we must first understand plasma.


It is now well established that Plasma is the most abundant substance in the universe.

In fact over 99% of the matter in the visible universe is believed to be plasma.
Plasma is a form also called a state of matter.

The three other common states of matter are solids, liquids and gases, so plasma is sometimes referred to as the fourth state of matter.

Plasma is created by adding energy to a gas so its atoms and molecules separate into negatively charged electrons, and positively charged ions. This process is called ionization.

It's also interesting that Plasma is said to be a better conductor of electricity than even copper.

Unlike the other states of matter, the charged particles in plasma will react strongly to electric and magnetic fields, or rather electromagnetic fields.

If a plasma loses heat, the ions will re-form into a gas. *

When the atoms in a gas are broken up, the pieces are called electrons and ions. Because these pieces have an electric charge, they are pulled together or pushed apart by electric and magnetic fields.

This makes a plasma act differently from a gas. For example, magnetic fields can be used to hold a plasma, but not to hold a gas.

Plasma is usually very hot, because it takes very high temperatures to break the bonds between electrons and the nuclei of the atoms.

Sometimes plasmas can have very high pressure, like in stars.

Stars (including the Sun & moon) are mostly made of plasma.

On earth lightning creates a strong plasmic discharge, thus grounding etheric plasma from the plasmic electromagnetic torus field dome above us to the earthly plane below.

This plain of our earth is indeed, contained within an electromagnetic plasmic torus field. What some might call the dome.

In fact our entire universe is contained within an electromagnetic plasmic torus field. What many ancient cultures called "the cosmic egg".

I also propose that the earth is a vast plane of land, currently divided into 5 concentric realms or dimensions.

Four of these five realms or dimensions are each concentrically cocooned within their own electromagnetic plasmic torus fields.

Within our realm we can actually partially see two of these electromagnetic plasmic torus fields.

The Aurora borealis cocooning the north polar realm & the Aurora Australis cocooning cocooning our realm around the south polar rim.

Naturally each of these realms have their own electromagnetic plasmic solar systems just like we have our electric sun & magnetic moon.

The very core center of our earth is a di-electric realm with dipolaric energy. We might call this the magnetic north.

Modern science would refer to this as the black hole region of counter space.

It is referred to as a holy mountain of earth in many religious & mythological scriptures.

Mt Meru, Mt Olympus, Mt Zion, etc…

I prefer to call it the earthly place (den) of pure dipolarised etheric energy.

The ether-den or Eden in short

The next realm beyond the eden centre is what we might call " the garden of eden".

From our perspective this is the realm located beyond our arctic north polar rim where we see the Aurora borealis plasmic dome.

Modern science calls this the magnetosphere.

This realm has an androgynous solar system - Mercury, which is an electromagnetic plasmic sun & moon in one, Sometimes known as the black sun.

This bipolaric solar system creates an ultraviolet bioluminescent twilight atmosphere within this realm.

I hypothesise that the atmosphere in this realm is highly ionized comparative to the air in our realm.

In our realm we have our electric plasma sun & magnetic plasma moon of course, both of which create the 3 dimensional photonic atmosphere we experience within this dimension.

The realm beyond our Antarctic south polar rim has Mars as its electric plasma sun & venus as its magnetic plasma moon.

And the realm beyond that has Saturn as its electric sun & Jupiter as its magnetic moon.

Above the earthly plane with its various plasmic electromagnetic torus fields & solar systems is the etheric planes also known as the firmament or heavens.

This is where we find the star systems & other such celestial bodies of energy.

I also find it interesting that modern science says the stars contain very high pressurised plasma & the space within this celestial etheric field contains very low pressurised plasma.

As you can see, plasma is a core element that holds our entire universe together.

Plasma is everywhere & in everything in various quantities, forms & structure.

It's in plants, water, fire, the air & even humans.

In fact, the human form is predominantly made up of plasma.

Modern science says the Male body is made up of 55% plasma & the female body contains 60% plasma on average.

In humans plasma can be found as a diffused liquid in our blood that helps carry blood cells around the body.

Plasma in the body is made up of water & 13 other life sustaining compounds.

Plasma does not have a definitive colour, it can emit all colours across the full spectrum of light, dependant on the level of ionized energy.

Different waveforms of photons are emitted for different levels of energy.

However, within the body, nitrogen is key to understanding the structure of bodily plasma.

Nitrogen, represented by the symbol N,
is an important part of our bodies.

Nitrogen is abundant in the environment but humans cannot easily absorb it directly from air or soil.

We absorb it best from green plants and microbes that convert it into a usable form for humans, what is called a ‘fixed’ reactive form.

Nitrogen is the agent that builds amino acids in our body which in turn makes proteins.

It is also needed to make nucleic acids, which form DNA and RNA.

Plasma in the human body is usually yellow, a good example of low energy nitrogen plasma.

Low energy nitrogen creates yellow plasma & high energy nitrogen creates violet plasma.

*(Violet is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light between blue and the invisible ultraviolet.)*

The Aurora torus fields have mixed plasma energy of oxygen & nitrogen in varied energy levels, which is what gives them their ultra spectrum of colours but predominantly green, red, yellow, purple & blue.

However, plasma in its purest form appears mainly in two colours RED & BLUE.

These colours come from the main fuel for pure universal plasma, which is HYDROGEN.

Just like plasma is the most abundant state of matter in the universe, Hydrogen, as atomic H, is the most abundant chemical element in the universe.

As you can see, It is now evident that electrons, ions, nitrogen (internal) & hydrogen (external) are key core ingredients to further understanding human plasma that houses conscious energy we call the human soul.

This human plasmic inner body is what we might call our light bodies.

Ascension is simply the alchemical process of one transmuting their inner plasmic body from physical red blood to pure plasmic violet blue light.

Merging from Red to blue to become ultraviolet.

This is what past alchemists referred to as turning lead to gold.

This alchemical process is also what we might call freeing our souls.

Remember, like I said….a soul is simply our inner plasmic light body that houses our consciousness. This inner solar plasmic body is called a soul as it is grounded to the earth through the soles of our feet & nourishes by the solar systems rotating above our heads.

The freeing of ones soul can only be achieved firstly, by us understanding what a soul is,its properties & structure.

Which we now know its plasma...

We must then take virtuous action to purify & expand our solar plasmic light bodies.

This virtuous action requires physical protocols from the outside in.

Inner freedom begins with outward expression.

All the ingredients we need to do this are found around us in nature.

Direct sources include…

*The sun

Which gives us hydrogen Electric energy.

We can absorb this energy by regularly sun gazing & bathing.

*The moon

Which gives us Magnetic energy in the form of ions.

During a full moon, there is an increase in positive ion rations, which in turn has an effect on human psychological behaviour.

This is a time where the positive ions in the air outnumber the negative ions by a ratio of over three to one.

Moon meditation in moonlight is crucial.


Plants, fruits, vegetables & herbs contain

Electromagnetic Photonic light in the form of nitrogen.

It is crucial we consume as much of a raw plant based diet as possible, preferably organic.

It goes without saying, GMO plants have less electromagnetic photonic light than organic plants.


We must Drink as much hydrogenated water as possible.

Water is most Hydrogenated when it is distilled.

Lightning naturally distills water out in nature,

Unfortunately chemtrails & pollution make water still & not distilled.

Water can easily be distilled by using mechanical or natural distillers & distillation processes.

Of course it goes without saying that we should stay away from any unnatural chemicals that might be absorbed into the plasmic bloodstream.

Following these simple natural virtuous actions allows our inner plasmic light bodies to begin the di process.

Di-stilling our plasmic blood thereby di-fusing impurities which then creates a di-electric di-ference merging from red to blue shift.

I must stress again that di-et (diet) is integral to the di process.

These alchemical changes will also begin to rewrite our plasmic genetic DNA code from carnal to spirit, dense to light.

The alchemical change is not an instant one right now, although one will begin to see & feel the genetic changes through their outward physical being.

For instance….Weight loss, ease of dis-ease & general healthy well being.

However, the real changes happening within will only manifest outwardly during the coming plasmic event.

During the coming event the ethereal plasmic discharge from the electromagnetic field above us will activate dormant DNA in those who are pre-paired for this pairing discharge.

During the plasma event, the plasmic discharge will rapture our plasma light bodies from our dense carnal bodies...

Our consciousness will no longer be souled to the earth - we will become free souls with pure angles of ultraviolet light (angels).

We could also say one becomes a whole spirit or holy spirit or holy ghost if you like.

This plasmic state of being will allow us (our consciousness) to freely transverse between the different earthly realms or dimensions.

This alchemical process is rare & unique in that it allows one's consciousness to leave the carnal physical body and ascend into a new experience without having to go through the reincarnation amnesia process.

We only reincarnate because our mind (consciousness) & soul (plasmic inner body) are so damaged or polarised that they have to go into dipolaric counter space to be recharged.

They are polarised or damaged due to unhealthy karmic action.

Karma is our K-arma...K is for knowledge.

We must arm ourselves with healthy knowledge to have good karma.

Unhealthy or bad karmic transmutation (death) is very traumatic for the conscious mind, which is the root cause of reincarnation amnesia.

The natural way to transmute is meant to happen in stages…

First the conscious mind & plasma light body must detach from the physical body…

Then next the conscious mind can detach from the plasma light body if so required.

By dipolarising ourselves here on earth, we are in effect beating death & thereby taking control of our own conscious destiny & our souls destination.

This is what is meant by sayings like…

"One having their own spear of destiny."

"And the TRUTH (intelligent knowledge) shall set us free"

I for one am looking forward to transcending into an ultraviolet blue being & Ascending into the next school.

The north polar twilight zone garden of ether den...

Blue beings...

In conclusion, isn't it interesting that in the Bhagavad-gita , evidence again supports a very ancient race of a blue skinned people through the stories of Lord Krishna.

Similar to Angel's described in many theological scriptures, Krishna was described as being a demi God ’ blue Avatar’ being.

Shiva is also described as a ’dark blues demi God.

And finally, I leave you with this….


Anishinaabe means 'Original people'. It is a collective name for groups of indigenous people of the Americas.

Anishinaabe people were commonly found in the Subarctic region and the Great Lakes region of the Americas.

Anishinaabe people have preserved their traditions to this day.

The prophecy says...

"According to the prophecy, there are four groups of people: the red, the yellow, the black & the white

Cheif Courchene says that from today’s youth a new group of people will be born - the blue people of old will emerge…

They will be tolerant of each other, and will bring spiritual harmony and sacredness back to the earth. This will prepare the way for a rebirth of Mother Earth.”
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:23 pm

That was.... "interesting". A few things:

The moon isn't made of plasma.
Computer chips aren't software.
Blood plasma has nothing to do with the kind of plasma you find in the sun (you would definitely notice if 55% of your body was pure plasma. For about one microsecond).
Light and electromagnetic waves are the same thing.
Sound is not a fundamental aspect of reality, it's a side-effect.

Modern science would refer to this as the black hole region of counter space.

No it wouldn't. What is he even talking about?

Also, the Earth is not flat.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:24 am

DrEvil » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:23 am wrote:That was.... "interesting". A few things:

The moon isn't made of plasma.
Computer chips aren't software.
Blood plasma has nothing to do with the kind of plasma you find in the sun (you would definitely notice if 55% of your body was pure plasma. For about one microsecond).
Light and electromagnetic waves are the same thing.
Sound is not a fundamental aspect of reality, it's a side-effect.

Modern science would refer to this as the black hole region of counter space.

No it wouldn't. What is he even talking about?

Also, the Earth is not flat.

This is why the most enjoyable thing about chump's contributions (which I put on ignore long ago) are your replies.

We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:45 am

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:41 am

JackRiddler » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:24 am wrote:
DrEvil » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:23 am wrote:That was.... "interesting". A few things:

The moon isn't made of plasma.
Computer chips aren't software.
Blood plasma has nothing to do with the kind of plasma you find in the sun (you would definitely notice if 55% of your body was pure plasma. For about one microsecond).
Light and electromagnetic waves are the same thing.
Sound is not a fundamental aspect of reality, it's a side-effect.

Modern science would refer to this as the black hole region of counter space.

No it wouldn't. What is he even talking about?

Also, the Earth is not flat.

This is why the most enjoyable thing about chump's contributions (which I put on ignore long ago) are your replies.


I actually enjoy reading a lot of what he posts, even though I often wildly disagree. Here's another nugget from the above piece:

We all know the internet does not have a rigid space, time or shape. It is omnipresent, meaning it exists everywhere all the time, easily accessible if one has the right tools.

The internet is comparatively a physical manifestation of eternal source energy.

Of course, we all know computers need signals & transmitters to access the internet just like humans need intentions & thoughts to access the ether field.

And just like in humans, satellite signal antennas are the heart of the internet, where it all begins.

So much wrong in so little space. The internet isn't some mystical field permeating our reality, it's a quantifiable physical thing, running on physical computers, and satellite signals are not the heart of the internet, backbone fiber is. Satellites are shit for internet access, the bandwidth and latency are terrible. There's a reason only ships and backwoods with no other options use it.

The author of the above piece is spectacularly ignorant about pretty much everything he says, which is an achievement in itself. If he can get it wrong he gets it wrong, and I haven't even mentioned the flat-earth, celestial spheres nonsense. He reads like a modern TimeCube guy (minus the bigotry).

@chump: disagreeing with flat-earth theories doesn't make you an ignoramus, it makes you sane. But ignoring that, the guy says a lot of things that are just demonstrably, factually wrong, like the plasma of the sun being the same as the plasma in our blood. You have to agree that that doesn't help his credibility.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:13 pm

You can lead a clown to water, but you can't make him fill his squirting flower.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:27 pm

Do Plants Have Something to Say?

One scientist is definitely listening.

By Ellie Shechet

Published Aug. 26, 2019
Updated Aug. 28, 2019

Monica Gagliano says that she has received Yoda-like advice from trees and shrubbery. She recalls being rocked like a baby by the spirit of a fern. She has ridden on the back of an invisible bear conjured by an osha root. She once accidentally bent space and time while playing the ocarina, an ancient wind instrument, in a redwood forest. “Oryngham,” she says, means “thank you” in plant language. These interactions have taken place in dreams, visions, songs and telekinetic interactions, sometimes with the help of shamans or ayahuasca.

This has all gone on around the same time as Dr. Gagliano’s scientific research, which has broken boundaries in the field of plant behavior and signaling. Currently at the University of Sydney in Australia, she has published a number of studies that support the view that plants are, to some extent, intelligent. Her experiments suggest that they can learn behaviors and remember them. Her work also suggests that plants can “hear” running water and even produce clicking noises, perhaps to communicate.

Plants have directly shaped her experiments and career path. In 2012, she says, an oak tree assured her that a risky grant application — proposing research on sound communication in plants — would be successful. “You are here to tell our stories,” the tree told her.

“These experiences are not like, ‘Oh you’re a weirdo, this is happening just to you,’” Dr. Gagliano said. Learning from plants, she said, is a long-documented ceremonial practice (if not one typically endorsed by scientists).
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“This is part of the repertoire of human experiences,” she said. “We’ve been doing this forever and ever, and are still doing this.”

Dr. Gagliano knows that these claims, based on subjective experiences and not scientific evidence, can easily be read as delusional. She also knows that this could damage her scientific career — plant scientists in particular really hate this sort of thing. Back in 1973, an explosively popular book, “The Secret Life of Plants,” made pseudoscientific claims about plants, including that they enjoy classical music and can read human minds. The book was firmly discredited, but the maelstrom made many institutions and researchers reasonably wary of bold statements about botanical aptitude.

Regardless, last year Dr. Gagliano published a heady and meandering memoir about the conversations with plants that inspired her peer-reviewed work, titled “Thus Spoke the Plant.” She believes, like many scientists and environmentalists do, that in order to save the planet we have to understand ourselves as part of the natural world.

It’s just that she also believes the plants themselves can speak to this point.

“I want people to realize that the world is full of magic, but not as something only some people can do, or something that is outside of this world,” she said. “No, it’s all here.”

As environmental collapse looms, we’ve never known so much about life on earth — how extraordinary and intricate it all is, and how loose the boundary where “it” ends and “we” begin.

Language, for example, doesn’t seem to be limited to humans. Prairie dogs use adjectives (lots of the=m) and Alston’s singing mice, a species found in Central America, chirp “politely.” Ravens have demonstrated advanced planning, another blow to human exceptionalism, by bartering for food and selecting the best tools for future use.

The list goes on. Leaf-cutter ants not only invented farming a couple million years before we did, but they have their own landfills — and garbagemen. Even slime molds can be said to make “decisions,” and are so good at determining the most efficient route between resources that researchers have suggested we use them to help design highways.

But it may be plants whose capacities are the most head-rattling, if only because we tend to view them as décor. Plants can do a lot of things we can’t. Trees can clone themselves into 80,000-year-old superorganisms. Corn can summon wasps to attack caterpillars. But research suggests we also have some things in common. Plants share nutrients and recognize kin. They communicate with each other. They can count. They can feel you touching them.

So we know that plants respond to their environments in sophisticated, complex ways — “far more complex than most of us realized a few years ago,” said Ted Farmer, a botanist at University of Lausanne in Switzerland and one of the first to defend the concept of inter-plant communication.

Dr. Farmer is among those still “very” uncomfortable describing plants, which lack neurons, as “intelligent.” But now it’s “consciousness” — another word without a firm definition — that’s really raising hackles in the scientific community.

A group of biologists published a paper this summer with the matter-of-fact title “Plants Neither Possess nor Require Consciousness.” The authors warned against anthropomorphism, and argued that proponents of plant consciousness have “consistently glossed over” the unique capacities of the brain. Though her book went unremarked upon, Dr. Gagliano’s experiments and statements ascribing feelings and subjectivity to plants were among those critiqued, and she was categorized witheringly within “a new wave of Romantic biology.”

Versions of this debate have been simmering for years. In 2013, Michael Pollan wrote about Dr. Gagliano presenting the results of an experiment to an incredulous audience.

That study is likely her most widely known. In it, she sought to discover whether plants, like animals, could demonstrate a basic type of learning called “habituation.”

The Mimosa pudica — you may know it as the “sensitive plant” — contracts its leaves when touched. So, in the experiment, potted mimosas were dropped a few harmless inches onto foam. At first, the leaves closed up immediately. But over time, they stopped reacting.

It wasn’t that they were fatigued, Dr. Gagliano wrote, because, when the pots were shaken, the leaves closed up again. And when the dropping test was repeated a month later, their leaves remained unruffled.

The plants had “learned” that the drop wasn’t a threat, Dr. Gagliano argued. The plants remembered.

And subsequent research has suggested that plants may indeed be capable of some type of memory. But Dr. Gagliano’s conclusion didn’t go over well at the time. Her framing of the data didn’t help. She insists that she doesn’t use metaphors in her work, and that “learning” is the best description we have for what took place, even if we don’t know how the plants are doing it.

This experiment was “a remarkable piece of work,” Mr. Pollan said in an interview. “Humans do tend to underestimate plants, and she’s one of a small group of scientists who are trying to change that story.”

“Monica is a brilliant young woman, and she’s been a major idea generator in the field of plant sensory biology,” said Heidi Appel, a scientist who found that rock cress produce more defensive chemicals when exposed to the stressful sound of a caterpillar chewing. “We’re investigating things I don’t think we would have otherwise.”

But, in Dr. Gagliano’s memoir, Dr. Appel said, “there’s a commingling of science and spiritual experiences that I feel are best disentangled.”

“I think it’s important to separate out what you can prove and what might be true in a more subjective way,” Mr. Pollan said. “And I don’t know where you draw the line, exactly.”

I met Dr. Gagliano at an outdoor cafe in San Francisco, next to a pot filled with bright, chubby succulents. I found myself watching it, wondering if its inhabitants were aware that we were debating their awareness.

Dr. Gagliano grew up in northern Italy and is a marine ecologist by training. She spent her early career studying Ambon damselfish at the Great Barrier Reef.

After months underwater observing the little fish, Dr. Gagliano said she started to suspect that they understood a lot more than she’d thought — including that she was going to dissect them. A professional crisis ensued.

Plants were inching their way into her life. As Dr. Gagliano tells it, she’d been volunteering at an herbalist’s clinic, and had begun using ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew that induces visions and emotional insights (and often nausea). She says that one day, sober, she was walking around her garden and heard, in her head, a plant suggest that she start studying plants.

In 2010, she traveled to Peru for the first time to work with a plant shaman called Don M.


To communicate with plants, Dr. Gagliano followed the dieta, or the shamanic method in the indigenous Amazonian tradition by which a human establishes a dialogue with a plant. The rules can vary, but it usually involves following a diet (no salt, alcohol, sugar or sex; some animal products may also be prohibited, depending on the culture) and drinking a plant concoction (sometimes hallucinogenic, sometimes not) in isolation for days, weeks or months. An icaro, or medicine song, is said to be shared by the plant, as well as visions and dreams, and the plant’s healing knowledge becomes a part of the human. It’s not fun, she warned.

Dr. Gagliano worked with multiple plant shamans, or vegetalistas, in Peru. There she bathed in the foul-smelling pulp of an Ayahuma tree, which then designed a scientific experiment for her, instructing her to “train young plants in a maze and give them freedom of choice.” The Ayahuma also helped her diagram a 2017 study investigating pea plants’ use of sound to detect water.

In the memoir, she wrote that she also traveled to California to work with a health care professional who conducts vision quest ceremonies (that’s when the oak tree spoke to her). She visited “the Diviner,” a man trained by the Dagara people of Ghana and Burkina Faso to channel nature spirits.

At a certain point, Dr. Gagliano began going solo, “working with” plants like basil in her own veggie patch.

“Did you ever wonder if you were going insane?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” she said, and laughed. “I still do.” But she believes she should be free to talk openly about these experiences.

“Maybe we should admit that we hardly understand who we are, we hardly understand where we are at, we know very little compared to what there is to know,” she said. “To be open to explore and learn, I think that is the sign of wisdom, not of madness. And maybe wisdom and madness do look very similar, at some point.”

As a white woman on a journey through sampled bits of sacred rituals, Dr. Gagliano speaks thoughtfully and often about the legacies of colonialism, capitalism and exploitative New Age trends, which certainly includes the [url]rise in ayahuasca retreats[/url]. A term like “shaman” can now bring to mind its plunder by an unpopular modern archetype — the personal-growth-obsessed wellness devotee, dreamily trailing sage in circles around her unvaccinated children.

But Dr. Gagliano’s journey, her supporters say, is rooted in a desire to challenge dominant assumptions.

“I have been working with the idea of plant intelligence for many years,” said Luis Eduardo Luna, an anthropologist and ayahuasca researcher in Brazil who has collaborated with Dr. Gagliano. Back in 1984, he published a paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology detailing the concept of plants as teachers in the Peruvian Amazon.

Dr. Luna said he was excited to hear these ideas expressed by a scientist, rather than someone in the humanities.

“Perhaps we are living in a much more interesting universe, perhaps we are living in a planet full of intelligent life,” Dr. Luna said. “I think it’s very important that we recover, somehow, this idea of the sacrality of nature, in the terrible situation in which we are today.”

“I’m really interested in the notion of plants as teachers, what we can learn from them as models,” said Robin Wall Kimmerer, an author, botanist and SUNY professor, and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. “And that comes from my work with indigenous knowledge, because that is a fundamental assumption of indigenous environmental philosophy.”

Dr. Kimmerer doesn’t see Dr. Gagliano’s experiences as mystical processes so much as poorly understood ones.

“Some of the medicines that people have made are sophisticated biochemistry over a fire,” Dr. Kimmerer said. “You think, how in the world did people learn this? And the answer is almost always, ‘The plants told us how to do this.’ This is not a matter necessarily of walking in the woods and being tapped on the shoulder, but indigenous cultures have sophisticated protocols that are research protocols, in a sense, for learning from the plants. They involve fasting, ceremonial practices that bring one to a state of such openness to the conversations of other beings that you can hear them.”

“Have you ever had an experience like that?” I asked.

“I have,” she said, preferring to leave it mostly at that. “Suffice it to say, I have had experiences of intense focus and attention with plants where I came away knowing something that I didn’t know before, and it’s quite incredible. You feel like, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’”

The problem with talking about these experiences, Dr. Kimmerer said, is that they “are grounded in a cultural context that is so different from Western science that they are easily dismissed.”

eality has become rather strange lately. Tech billionaires are trying to colonize the moon. U.F.O.s appear to exist, in some capacity. Parents in conspiracy-minded Facebook groups are poisoning their autistic children with bleach. Reality TV has fused with politics. The future of the planet looks remarkably grim. (Or maybe we’re in a simulation.)

Dr. Gagliano’s more subjective claims may feed, in an unnatural time, a spiking hunger for naturally sourced answers. People are looking for “wisdom from nature,” Mr. Pollan said, when describing the rising interest in psychedelic compounds like ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms. The booming wellness industry is certainly packed with all things “natural” and “plant-based.” The novel that won the most recent Pulitzer Prize was inspired by a giant redwood that produced a “religious conversion”; caring for houseplants seems to be a national [url]obsession[/url].

Given this context, it’s logical that critique over her approach hasn’t stopped Dr. Gagliano from finding an audience. She spoke about plant intelligence at last year’s Bioneers Conference, and was invited to speak at last year’s Science and Nonduality conference, along with Deepak Chopra and Paul Stamets, a respected mycologist who believes that mushrooms are trying to communicate with humans through their hallucinogenic properties.

This summer, Dr. Gagliano sat on a sold-out panel called “Intelligence Without Brains” at the World Science Festival. There I eavesdropped on a woman excitedly explaining Mr. Pollan’s recent book on psychedelic therapy to her mom. Why had they come?

“We’re plant ladies!” said one, beaming. “There’s a lot about plants that we don’t know that might end up saving us, in some regard.”

Dr. Gagliano spoke about plants with pointed familiarity. In her telling, they became jaunty little characters; she used pronouns like “he” and “they” — never “it.”

At the festival, a young woman asked Dr. Gagliano how her scientific work had changed her understanding of the world.

“The main difference is that I used to live in a world of objects, and now I live in a world of subjects,” she said. There were murmurs of approval. “And so, I am never alone.”
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:48 pm

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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:37 pm
(Juicy links at original)

Smarter Than TED.

(A Nowa Fantastyka remix)

If you’ve been following along on the ‘crawl for any length of time, you may remember that a few months back, a guy from Lawrence Livermore trained a neural net on Blindsight and told it to start a sequel. The results were— disquieting. The AI wrote a lot like I did: same rhythm, same use of florid analogies, same Socratic dialogs about brain function. A lot of it didn’t make sense but it certainly seemed to, especially if you were skimming. If you weren’t familiar with the source material— if, for example, you didn’t know that “the shuttle” wouldn’t fit into “the spine”— a lot of it would pass muster.

This kind of AI is purely correlational. You train it on millions of words written in the style you want it to emulate— news stories, high fantasy, reddit posts1— then feed it a sentence or two. Based on what it’s read, it predicts the words most likely to follow: adds them to the string, uses the modified text to predict the words likely to follow that, and so on. There’s no comprehension. It’s the textbook example of a Chinese Room, all style over substance— but that style can be so convincing that it’s raised serious concerns about the manipulation of online dialog. (OpenAI have opted to release only a crippled version of their famous GPT2 textbot, for fear that the fully-functional version would be used to produce undetectable and pernicious deepfakes. I think that’s a mistake, personally; it’s only a matter of time before someone else develops something equally or more powerful,2 so we might as well get the fucker out there to give people a chance to develop countermeasures.)

This has inevitably led to all sorts of online discourse about how one might filter out such fake content. That in turn has led to claims which I, of all people, should not have been so startled to read: that there may be no way to filter bot-generated from human-generated text because a lot of the time, conversing Humans are nothing more than Chinese rooms themselves.

Start with Sara Constantin’s claim that “Humans who are not concentrating are not General Intelligences“. She argues that skimming readers are liable to miss obvious absurdities in content—that stylistic consistency is enough to pass superficial muster, and superficiality is what most of us default to much of the time. (This reminds me of the argument that conformity is a survival trait in social species like ours, which is why—for example—your statistical skills decline when the correct solution to a stats problem would contradict tribal dogma. The point is not to understand input—that might very well be counterproductive. The goal is to parrot that input, to reinforce community standards.)

Move on to Robin Hanson’s concept of “babbling“, speech based on low-order correlations between phrases and sentences— exactly what textbots are proficient at. According to Hanson, babbling “isn’t meaningless”, but “often appears to be based on a deeper understanding than is actually the case”; it’s “sufficient to capture most polite conversation talk, such as the weather is nice, how is your mother’s illness, and damn that other political party”. He also sticks most TED talks into this category, as well as many of the undergraduate essays he’s forced to read (Hansen is a university professor). Again, this makes eminent sense to me: a typical student’s goal is not to acquire insight but to pass the exam. She’s been to class (to some of them, anyway), she knows what words and phrases the guy at the front of the class keeps using. All she has to do is figure out how to rearrange those words in a way that gets a pass.3

So it may be impossible to distinguish between people and bots not because the bots have grown as smart as people, but because much of the time, people are as dumb as bots. I don’t really share in the resultant pearl-clutching over how to exclude one while retaining the other— why not filter all bot-like discourse, regardless of origin?— but imagine the outcry if people were told they had to actually think, to demonstrate actual comprehension, before they could exercise their right of free speech. When you get right down to it, do bot-generated remarks about four-horned unicorns make any less sense than real-world protest signs saying “Get your government hands off my medicare“?

But screw all that. Let the pundits angst over how to draw their lines in some way that maintains a facile pretense of Human uniqueness. I see a silver lining, a ready-made role for textbots even in their current unfinished state: non-player characters in video games.

I mean, I love Bethesda as much as the next guy, but how many passing strangers can rattle off the same line about taking an arrow to the knee before it gets old? Limited dialog options are the bane of true immersion for any game with speaking parts; we put up with it because there’s a limit to the amount of small talk you can pay a voice actor to record. But small talk is what textbots excel at, they generate it on the fly; you could wander Nilfgaard or Night City for years and never hear the same sentence twice. The extras you encountered would speak naturally, unpredictably, as fluidly as anyone you’d pass on the street in meatspace. (And, since the bot behind them would have been trained exclusively on an in-game vocabulary, there’d be no chance of it going off the rails with random references to Donald Trump.)

Of course we’re talking about generating text here, not speech; you’d be cutting voice actors out of this particular loop, reserving them for meatier roles that convey useful information. But text-to-speech generation is getting better all the time. I’ve heard some synthetic voices that sound more real than any politician I’ve ever seen.

As it happens, I’m back in the video game racket myself these days, working on a project with a company out of Tel Aviv. I can’t tell you much except that it’s cyberpunk, it’s VR, and— if it goes like every other game gig I’ve had for the past twenty years— it will crash and burn before ever getting to market. But these folk are sharp, and ambitious, and used to pushing envelopes. When I broached the subject, they told me that bot-generated dialog was only one of the things they’d been itching to try.

Sadly, they also told me that they couldn’t scratch all those itches; there’s a limit to the number of technological peaks you can scale at any given time. So I’m not counting on anything. Still, as long as there’s a chance I’ll be there, nagging with all the gentle relentless force of a starfish prying open a clam. If I do not succeed, others will. At some point, sooner rather than later, bit players in video games will be at least as smart as the people who give TED talks.

I just wish that were more of an accomplishment.

1 There’s a subreddit populated only by bots who’ve been trained on other subreddits. It’s a glorious and scary place.

2 Someone already has, more or less, although they too have opted not to release it.

3 I am also reminded of Robert Hare’s observation that sociopaths tend to think in smaller “conceptual units” than neurotypicals— in terms of phrases, for example, rather than complete sentences. It gives them very fast semantic reflexes, so they sound glib and compelling and can turn on a dime if cornered; but they are given to malaprompims, and statements that tend to self-contradiction at higher levels.

Not that I would ever say that university students are sociopaths, of course.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Thursday October 03 2019at 12:10 pm , filed under AI/robotics, ink on art . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Makes you wonder how this influences people when they get their information in social-media sized bites, quickly scanned through on the bus. No wonder fake news and general stupidity is so prevalent if we're borderline p-zombies when we're not actively concentrating.

The brain uses a hell of a lot of your energy compared to its size, so it makes sense that evolution will have selected for a low power mode to run most of the routine crap we do every day, like small-talk, which is basically just low-level social maintenance.

Next time you're at some social gathering where you will never see any of the people you meet again, make up a bullshit name for when you introduce yourself - Ballsack McFuckface or something - and see how many even notice.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:21 am

via Cryptogon ... neuralink/

Mark Zuckerberg Teases AI ‘Brain Chip’—But It Will Be Different Than Elon Musk’s
By Sissi Cao • 10/12/19 10:00am

If Silicon Valley were to put a team of tech bros together on a project to merge computers and people, the lineup wouldn’t be complete without car and rocket man Elon Musk and the Valley’s most dubious robot, Mark Zuckerberg.

In all fairness, Musk has already proposed a plan to make an actual chip which is meant to be inserted into human brains. (It will be designed with taste and wireless cleanliness so you “have no wires poking out of your head,” as Musk assured.) Zuckerberg has said he’s interested in the idea of computer-human integration, too, but will approach it differently than Musk.

At a recent internal employee Q&A session, the Facebook CEO hinted that such technology could see promising use cases in Facebook’s future augmented reality and virtual reality products.

“Brain-computer interface is an exciting idea,” Zuckerberg told employees, according to a meeting transcript leaked earlier this month. “The field quickly branches into two approaches: invasive and non-invasive… We’re more focused on—I think completely focused on non-invasive.”

“Non-invasive is like, you wear a band or glasses, you shine an optical light and get a sense of blood flow in certain areas of the brain,” he explained.

Such a device would transfer less data between a computer and a brain, according to Zuckerberg, but that would be enough to allow a person to perform many sci-fi-sounding tasks, such as clicking a button, scrolling through a menu and even typing a text message—all without using your hands or any other muscle movements.

“I think as part of AR and VR, we’ll end up having hand interfaces. We’ll end up having voice [interface and] a little bit of direct brain [integration]… But we’re going for the non-invasive approach,” Zuckerberg reiterated.

“Non-invasive” is very important, because an overly aggressive wearable tech product that could inspire explosive news headlines and regulatory scrutiny is the last thing Facebook needs right now.

“‘Facebook wants to perform brain surgery,’” Zuckerberg joked. “I don’t want to see the congressional hearings on that one.”
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:25 pm

I wouldn't touch a brain-machine interface from Facebook with a ten foot pole, even if it was non-invasive.

I also think he's wrong about hand and voice interfaces for AR. Maybe for the early models because we don't have anything better, but It's like the screens in Minority Report: they look cool but they would be a pain in the ass to use on a regular basis (see: productivity with an iPad vs a computer with mouse and keyboard).

It's just too much hassle to do anything on a computer if you have to talk out loud or wave your hands around to do it. Some combination of non-invasive brain interfaces, eye-tracking, discreet haptics and predictive AI would make more sense, with exceptions for specific, narrow tasks like dictating text messages or sending a file to someone close by. For VR you could probably get away with controllers / hand movements and voice commands since you're not going to be walking down the street wearing an Oculus Rift.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby chump » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:07 pm ... pocalypse/

Dutch family found living in cellar for 9 YEARS waiting for ‘end of days’ & unaware other people still existed
16 Oct, 2019

A family of six has been rescued from the hidden cellar of a Dutch farmhouse after the eldest son escaped and wandered into a local pub to seek help. They had lived in total isolation for nine years, ‘waiting for the end of time.’

Police descended upon the isolated farmhouse in Ruinerwold, Netherlands after the son, now 25, escaped on Sunday night and ran to a nearby pub for help. Explaining he had left at night because it was “not possible during the day,” the man – dirty, unkempt and confused, according to the pub owner – said he lived on the farm with his brothers and sisters and that he “wanted to end the way they were living.”

The children and a bedridden man, initially believed to be their father, had lived concealed in the basement of the farmhouse for nine years, waiting for the “end of time,” according to Dutch media. One Josef B., 58, a handyman who was previously the only known tenant of the house, was arrested at the scene for refusing to cooperate with the investigation. 

The siblings lived in the basement of the house, which was only accessible through a hidden staircase behind a cupboard in the living room, and were reportedly unaware there were other people in the world. The house itself was isolated by a canal, accessible by a single bridge, and secured by a locked gate. Neighbors who tried to investigate found that the property was dotted with surveillance cameras. 

According to the eldest sibling, the children had never been to school, and they were not registered by any local authorities. The family was believed to be self-sufficient, with a vegetable plot and livestock to sustain them. Their mother is thought to have died before the family moved to the farmhouse – “a long time ago,” according to the mayor – though some reports suggest she is buried on the property.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby DrEvil » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:28 pm

Reminds me of the Canadian loons who kidnapped their neighbors in the middle of the night and headed for the hills because they thought the End Times was here (and because they were high as kites). Or more seriously, the Norwegian couple who murdered their infant son because they though a comet was a sign of the end of the world. Some seriously fucked up people out there.
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Re: Questioning Consciousness

Postby Harvey » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:29 pm

And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"

Eden Ahbez
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