Plant Consciousness

de vine

De Vine.

Here is a potted plant outside my front door. Notice the vine that has come to say hello. That vine traveled from across the fence and over concrete to meet the plant. The plant’s roots are in a pot on concrete, obviously not in the ground. So then… how did the vine know it was there?

Perhaps what we see as a vine growing is, to the vine, more like traveling. The vine isn’t just growing, it’s walking–and with purpose. This is self-evident and does not need study. Repeatability before the human eye is needed for inventions that could kill us, like the elevator or the rollercoaster, but when we observe nature being nature, it’s always being nature. There is no beginning point called “discovery,” and from that moment on it’s true. That’s arrogance.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

If we’re stuck on an arrogant question from 17th century white male philosophy,  are we growth-stunted?


6 thoughts on “Plant Consciousness

  1. You’re actually entering a dangerous area, here, Vaeni. Plant scientists are at war over “animizing” plants or talking of their “neurobiology.” Yet the most fascinating article I’ve read in years is “The Intelligent Plant,” by Michael Pollan in Dec. 23, 2013 New Yorker. I will let him tell it:
    “Scientists have since found that the tips of plant roots, in addition to sensing gravity, moisture, light, pressure, and hardness, can also sense volume, nitrogen, phosphorus, salt, various toxins, microbes, and chemical signals from neighboring plants. Roots about to encounter an impenetrable obstacle or a toxic substance change course before they make contact with it. Roots can tell whether nearby roots are self or other and, if other, kin or stranger. Normally, plants compete for root space with strangers, but, when researchers put four closely related Great Lakes sea-rocket plants (Cakile edentula) in the same pot, the plants restrained their usual competitive behaviors and shared resources.”

    It gets wilder and weirder than this. An entire grouping of trees can sense when one of their members is running short on water or other nutrients and faster than I can spell Rhizome, other trees in the system come to their companion’s aid. They use the underground network of tiny roots that join the grouping of trees together and send life-saving supplies to the one(s) in need.

    Very cool stuff. Your vine is in the know.

  2. the most magnificent part of “trying” to wake up is the realization of all the life around me. I see plants and bugs and trees and animals now as life that is just as important as a humans. It is a wonderful feeling that I truly enjoy.

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