Five Proof Points That the Birds and Bees are Conscious
Five Proof Points That the Birds and Bees are Conscious
Whether focused on ourselves or the stars, humanity sometimes undervalues the beauty and intelligence of our very own blue planet. As science uncovers the complexities of the birds and bees, and their innate emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills, ancient philosophies about the universal intelligence of all matter come to life.
Animals are Emotionally and Socially Complex
G.A. Bradshaw, who established the field of trans-species psychology, uncovered the emotional and social complexities of elephants in extensive research. Her research, and the work of many others, has established a movement to understand and protect all sentient beings, in recognition of their consciousness and the impact of humans on animals and Earth. Here are five points to consider when contemplating animal consciousness. Make up your own mind, as animals surely will.
1. Animals Sense Danger
Animals sense danger, from attacks by other animals to natural disasters. A telltale indicator of a hurricane or earthquake is actually the silence of disappearance of the animal kingdom, notably birds. Theories abound on this topic, but generally include documentation of the multitudinous variations of sensory input and output animals experience; for example, whales hear a much wider spectrum of sound than humankind.
How Animals Anticipate Danger
2. Plants and Animals Understand Inequity
In “inequity aversion tests, “psychological tests that measure the ability of animals to detect unfairness and to gauge their response. These tests, conducted on primates and corvids, show a hardwired sense of fairness. Some animals even protest when they are treated unfairly. Another notable phenomena is cross-species fostering and the animal kingdom’s propensity for compassion.
The Smartest Animals
3. Animals Experience Stress and Trauma
Much like humans, and often at the hand of humans through habitat loss and capture, animals experience stress, anxiety, distrust, and even post-traumatic stress disorders. Elephants are often cited in studies on the impacts of trauma. If they can experience these negative traits, surely they also experience love, joy, trust, and ease.
Lek Chailert on The Elephant Sanctuary
4. Plants, Insects, and Animals Can Solve Problems
From dolphins to octopuses, the animal kingdom is intelligent (not to mention, essential to human survival). They can solve problems, learn, emulate, and express themselves. In a recent experiment, bees were filmed moving a ball in order to reach nectar. Here is the sting: the bees emulated this action after watching a puppet bee. So with this new understanding, teach a man to fish now becomes teach a bee to roll.
5. Animals Pick Up on Human Energy
This proof point is obvious, especially if you have pets. Pet owners often note that their animals know when they are sad, happy, or anxious. This is not a figment of human imagination, but a documented fact. Even the most aloof cat intuitively picks up on human energies. Animals may even carry or emulate human energy, hence the belief that pets take on the characteristics of their owners.
Our Innate Connection with Animals
Recognition of Nonhuman Consciousness
The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness states that “the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.” While this may seem obvious to many, traditional science is only now officially researching and recognizing the consciousness of animals. Even Darwin recognized the lucidity of animals: “We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.”
What About Nonhuman Rights?
Several groups are actively working towards a future where animal consciousness is recognized and even celebrated. The Nonhuman Rights Project is a civil rights organization that has filed lawsuits on behalf of sentient beings, particularly chimpanzees. They are working to “achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own. Our mission is to change the legal status of appropriate nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty.” Sentience Politics holds a conference focused on reducing the suffering of all sentience beings.
Tiny Crystals In Our Brain Could Unlock Psychic Powers
Magnetite is one of the most magnetic substances on Earth. As you can probably guess, it has a diverse range of uses; from fridge magnets to generating electricity in power plants. But what you probably wouldn’t guess is that your brain actually synthesizes these crystals, and you have hundreds of millions of them inside your head. Much smaller ones of course.
Scientists are still unsure what role, if any, these crystals play in the brain’s function. Studies have inferred that it may play a role in long-term memory. In animals, like honey bees, homing pigeons, and dolphins, magnetite is believed to be associated with the ability to respond to the Earth’s magnetic field.
While similar studies have yet to be performed on humans, we do know that Earth’s magnetic fields effect everything from our mood to our ability to learn. Even stranger, research has begun to provide links between the electromagnetic field of our planet and psychic abilities. Could these crystals act like tiny antennas connecting our brains to each other and to the entire planet? It may sound far-fetched, but surprisingly, the evidence is there.
First, let’s look at what we know about the magnetite in our brains. To be honest, we don’t know much: In 1992, the first evidence of this mineral in the brain was published. It was shocking to uncover that this highly magnetic substance was actually synthesized by our bodies, and while we don’t know exactly what function it plays in brain activity, some interesting theories have emerged. A 2009 hypothesis proposed that magnetite plays a significant role in long-term memory. It suggests that cellular components of the brain communicate with each other through magnetic signals, with the magnetite particles acting as tiny antennas, simultaneously receiving information throughout the different parts of the brain.
Magnetite also acts as an antenna for external electromagnetic fields, including the geomagnetic field of the Earth itself. And this is where things start to get interesting. An enormous body of research is emerging that shows substantive links between magnetic fields and cognitive function.
Back in 1978, research physicist Dr. Robert C Beck published preliminary research on the effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields on the moods of human subjects. ELF fields of 6.67 Hz, 6.26 Hz and lower tend to produce symptoms of confusion, anxiety, depression, tension, fear, mild nausea and headaches. On the other hand, oscillations of 7.8, 8.0, and 9.0 Hz produce anxiety-relieving and stress-reducing effects that mimic some meditative states.
More recently, magnetic fields have been used in successful clinical practices for eliminating depression and bipolar disorder, with over 1300 medical research papers published to date. The non-invasive treatment, known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, uses a wand-shaped gadget to zap away the effects of depression.
While all of this is interesting, and can pave the way for new therapies and treatments, a group of researchers at Canada’s Laurentian University are exploring the role of electromagnetic forces in more extreme cognitive functions. Dr. Michael Persinger is a neuroscientist who has argued that all phenomena, including consciousness, spiritual experiences, and even “paranormal events,” can be explained by physical mechanisms, and can be verified using the scientific method.
Since 1971, he has been researching electromagnetic field effects upon biological organisms, and some of his recent studies sound straight out of a sci-fi movie: Dr. Persinger has shown in the laboratory that magnetic brain stimulation can create metal states conducive to human telepathy. A recent experiment placed two people at a distance in different rooms, each surrounded by an identical, computer-controlled magnetic field. When a light was flashed in one subject’s eye, the person in the other room showed responses in their brain as if they saw the flash of light.
As Dr. Persinger stated:
“We think that’s tremendous because it may be the first macro demonstration of a quantum connection, or so-called quantum entanglement. If true, then there’s another way of potential communication that may have physical applications, for example, in space travel.”
On a much larger scale, correlation has been shown between the geomagnetic forces of the planet and a variety of effects spanning large populations. A 2003 study found “strong empirical support in favor of a geomagnetic-storm effect in stock returns” and “evidence of substantially higher returns around the world during periods of quiet geomagnetic activity.”
Other research has linked geomagnetic activity to suicide, heart-disease, and even birth rates. A particularly curious global effect is related to a standing electromagnetic wave that exists between the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. Known as “The Schumann Resonance,” this wave has a frequency of 7.8 Hz, and is frequently referenced in alternative theories of consciousness. Measurements by Dr. Persinger have shown that the fundamental and harmonics of the Schumann Resonance were discernible in normal human brain activity, and in fact they correspond to Dr. Beck’s anxiety-reducing ELF fields.
Stranger still was Persinger’s study of the remote viewer Ingo Swann. “Remote viewing” refers to a technique used by “psychic spies” working for the CIA; they were able to see far off locations as if they were there; and they could even move through time. Ingo Swann was one of the first, and most accurate, viewers in this program. When Dr. Persinger measured his brain’s electromagnetic activity during viewing sessions, he found a spike in activity at 7 Hz which correlated with the most accurate viewings. Is it possible that Swann was able to project his consciousness by tuning into the standing geomagnetic waves of the Earth?
All of this adds up to a fascinating connection between our brains and the shared magnetic field not only of our planet, but potentially of the entire universe. It’s undeniable that the brain responds to magnetic forces on a local and a global scale. While no one has been able to prove the involvement of magnetite, it seems a likely suspect. If we learn to harness the power of these tiny antennas in our brain, who knows what kind of psychic superpowers we might unlock?