“Like social workers, people from all backgrounds, all races, all nationalities, all physiologies, all psychological types, all social communities, and all spiuritual communities, or lack of any acceptance of all or any above states and biologies of being, may choose for themselves what they want to believe, or even not choose to make a choice. All reactions are welcome, and all choices are acceptable. There is no right or wrong. There only is.” (quoted from the end of Part 4, or the real Part 1)
But, is that true just for humans? I must ask you, Do you really thing we are the only beings who count in our portion of reality? What about the whale, we know not it has sentience–or consciousness. What about the orangutan, possibly humanity’s closest relative? You will give me those, maybe, but certainly nothing else! Why not? Our scientists appear to have proven that the octopus, that alien creature that lives in the sea, with eight legs just like a spider, can have some sort of sentience. One octopus can watch a fellow octopus find its way through a complicated maze, making all kinds of mistakes, until she completes the maze, just once. The second octopus seemed to know she was in a maze, because she kept fighting to get out. Now put the first octopus in a second maze exactly the same as the one the second octopus went through. How many mistakes do you think he makes before he escapes the maze? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? How about, not one? He watched the other octopus just once, making all kinds of mistakes, yet he zipped through the maze like he had done it a hundred times. Will this count as sentience for you. The first octopus had not only to learn what a maze was, but also learn how to escape it, by watching his fellow octopus find her way. I don’t know exactly what that says, but it sure says something. Most adult humans would not remember the correct way through a maze by watching one other human try and try again to get out. Are octopi smarter than humans? Apparently, at least at mazing running.
But, is sentience really a requirement to know how to live, how to be alive. Please allow me to take you on a long ride backwards in history. So far back the only history we can read are the fossils that tell us what life was like, say, 4 billion years ago. Can you even think that far back? 4 billion years is a long, long, long, long, lllooonnnnggggg time ago. The earth was still being formed, it was mostly water, and the crust of the earth was so thin that the heat from the center of the earth probably boiled the water in some places. And in that ocean, so old we called it primordial, or basically “existing at or from the beginning of time,” (Well, actually, it missed the beginning of time AND the beginning of the universe, which has been mearsured at 13.772 billion years, give or take 60 million, or any portion thereof.) we will just say our planet, Earth, had been around only half-a-billion years when living beings began to show up. But, decendants of those early one-celled lifeforms are still around today. They live deep in cold oceans, yet even deeper in warm oceans, but where they live doesn’t matter. New lives are forming every day somewhere on Earth. And they can trace their biology back to the very first one-celled beings that came before them. In fact, every living being on Earth can trace its ancestry back to those unicellular beings who came to life (we do not know how) 4 billion years ago. But how is not important to this philosophy, but who is!
The first unicellular beings had no real building blocks of life, no DNA for certain, but probably no RNA either. Yet through the next 500-or-so million years they learned how to make RNA and DNA, and they were happy little beings. Without going into the history of one-celled lifeforms, allow me to say eventually they became two-celled lifeforms, then three-celled lifeforms, and so on until they can now be as large as hundreds of quadrillions of cells in one lifeform, the blue whale, which is not even the biggest lifeform on Earth. No one knows how many cells are in the largest lifeform, a fungus growing in Western Oregan and British Columbia. We humans are so much smaller than either of these humungous behemoths at an average of only 37.2 billion cells.
But are you seeing what I am seeing? Every living being on Earth has one physical thing in common: From smallest to largest, all lifeforms are made up of cells, the very same cells that lived in the primordial ocean 4 billion years ago. I think that is amazing! Do you?
But let’s look at this sameness a little closer, because now we know all lifeforms, no matter who, no matter what, no matter how, are all related. I always say, never believe anything I say, unless it works for you. But this is the one exception to that insistance, please believe me when I say, “We are ALL related!” Because we are. It may not seem like it, especially if you believe humans are the superior form of life on this planet, which may or may not be (I do not think we are) true, but then so is every other species of life, be it viral, bacterial, plant, animal, or something we have not yet discovered or labelled. When we get right down to basics, “We Are One.”
And this is why I say, the philosophy I believe in is “A Philosophy For All Living Beings.” We are all made of exactly the same stuff as formed the first types of life on this young planet about 4 billion years ago. That same stuff still makes all of us up today.