Michael F 'Does a rock have any of these things?' [awareness, sentience....]
G. - Not when viewed through the sunglasses of the analytical intellect with hardened preconceived ideas. When sensed over intuitive feeling and a mind open to the possibilities -- perhaps.
How can humans know whether or not a rock is aware of an external object or something within itself, for example?
Certainly the Europeans who invaded what became known as the Americas (and Australia, and India) viewed the indigenous peoples as uncivilized and incapable of governing themselves. Not all who came were of that mindset, but enough who came to North America were to self-justify their destruction of millions of Bison to starve out the plains Indians and commit genocide across the land. The humans inhabiting South Africa were also viewed by the Dutch as animals. What does this have to do with the consciousness of a rock? I am referring to a mindset that is incapable of seeing the whole picture because it refuses to do so.
In addition, as stated, I have another idea of what consciousness means than the ambiguous definition given by Wikipedia. Now, if we take my definition of consciousness as 'the capacity to respond to stimuli,' we can ask, is this part of awareness and sentience? Yes.
Does a rock have the capacity to respond to stimuli? I don't know fully but would like to discover it. Not by jumping up and down can a rock respond, but perhaps in some way that is measurable....
Gary R Smith To all who read this.....
A dear friend I've known for more than thirty years and held in my arms when he was a baby grew up in an agnostic household and materialistic environment.
Yet, his longing to feel a sense of the sacred led him to Catholicism which he practices with devotion to this day. He is the lead engineer in a Fortune 100 company.
Up until today, when I received an email from him, I have felt constrained in my communications to not confuse or cause conflict with his deeply held religious beliefs and scientific training.
Unexpectedly, he has been reading the dialogue which started here with my question, 'What makes magic black or white?' and responded with an openness and sincerity which moves me.
I am moved in fact to shift my focus of attention to continuing a dialogue with him. I feel satisfied with the conversation thread here, it feels completed.
However, I am more than happy to interact with others who have sincere interest in finding the whole truth and can be reached over the Whole Human site or by Messenger or email. The Contents page which links to almost all of this thread and to a variety of articles with a central theme of consciousness and human wholeness is at Heart Breathing - Contents.