Stephen Harrod Buhner

All organisms encounter a specific kind of environment from the moment they are born. And every one of them has to be able to percieve that environment, take in information about it, and process that information in order to survive. There are no organisms that can or do exist in complete isolation from their environment and there never can be.
In human beings, as in most animals, informational environmental inputs are processed through the sensory modalities all of us are familiar with: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell and feeling – which is similar to touch but different from emotion, i.e. How a place feels to you when you encounter it. (this is in fact a primary and sixth sense that all humans possess – we could not survive without it.)

5 thoughts on “Stephen Harrod Buhner

  1. shinichi Post author

    Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm:
    Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth

    by Stephen Harrod Buhner

  2. shinichi Post author

    Because all life-forms irrespective of their nature, must, to survive, have a sense of not me, they all have a sense of self , they are in fact self-aware. Because all life-forms, irespective of their nature, must, to surive, be able to analyze the nature of the not me that approaches them and, further, must be able to determine its intent and further, be able to craft a response to that intent, all life-forms are, by definition, intelligent. Because all life-forms have to be able to determine the intent of the not me that approaches them, they have to be able to determine the intent of the of the not me that approaches them, they also have to be able to determine meaning. In other words, all living organisms can not only process data, they also engage in search for meaning, an analysis that runs much deeper than linear cause and effect. Thus, three capacities—self-awareness, intelligence, and the search for meaning that have (erroneously) been ascribed as belonging only to human beings, are in fact general conditions for every life-form.

  3. shinichi Post author

    All organisms learn to do this after they are born, to restrict the background sensory inputs that are not relevant to immediate tasks. And the And the more familiar your surroundings are, as are those in your house or on your regular route to work, the less such visual inputs tend to intrude on your awareness. It is possible, as you probably know, to drive to work or back home from a familiar place and not remember any details of the trip. During such drives, a part of you filters out the sensory inputs of the drive from your conscious awareness – but the unconscious parts of you do pay attention to all the visual data coming in. They drive the car for you, they just don’t bother your conscious mind with the details.

  4. shinichi Post author

    They all have mechanisms for taking in and processing sensory data—and they all have mechanisms for reducing the amount of sensory inflows. They possess what are called sensory gating channels—or as William Blake and Aldous Huxley more comprehensively described the phenomenon, we all have within us the doors of perception. Sensory gating channels can be thought of as tiny apertures or gates or doors in specific sections of the nervous system’s neural network. They are similar to the lens in our eyes.

  5. shinichi Post author

    One begins to see bacteria, not as individual species, but as a vast array of interacting constituents of an integrated microbial world.


    Bacteria, as a group, are, in actuality, an extremely large self-organized system that covers the entire world.


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