Is Geology Conscious

Can what gives you life be lifeless?

In the day the earth became dormant. While she sleeps is she not still alive?

Is there life in stone, or is It is unconscious, without life? Walking over the dry landscape, Death Valley appears barren. As a casual passerby one would assume it a wasteland of worthless desert, but in the cooking soil lay dormant the seeds of a life cycle full of pause.

Death Valley

Wait ten years for the fall rains to drench the landscape—and in spring see the super-blooms, where Death Valley becomes a meadow. As humans we depend on a more frequent cycle, so we move on. Nothing lives here. Be a great place for a mining operation if it wasn’t so damned hot!

Walking over a cracked riverbed—four years now and no sign of life, but underfoot in the hard pan sediment thrives the lungfish. Sealed in a self created pod and breathing air, the lungfish of considerable size patiently waits for rain, estivating.

Now we say we’re unconscious in sleep and self-conscious in the wakeful state. Which is the Reality? Are they not both states of living? As a stone lay dormant, is it unconscious, which in its sleep is a form of consciousness?

Reality is continuous and eternal. Neither the unconsciousness nor the self-consciousness of the present is any more real than the other. Unconscious and conscious are both consciousness. Tread lightly, slow down, and listen.

Earth gives off a relentless hum of countless notes completely imperceptible to the human ear, like a giant, exceptionally quiet symphony—Charles Choi, Live Science. Is there consciousness there?

Death Valley



Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

22 thoughts on “Is Geology Conscious”

  1. That’s a little too abstract for me. I can’t really imagine what sort of consciousness geology would have other than to presume its time scale would be very different to mine.

    I tend to wonder more about consciousness at scales.

    Does an ant nest or bee hive have a consciousness that emerges from the interactions between the individual consciousnesses of its members?

    Some models posit that each human brain hemisphere has a separate consciousness that collectively gives rise to the single consciousness of the whole. Does each half still retain a separate consciousness the whole has no access to? Does each neuron or ganglia have its own consciousness?

    And what about going up a level of organisation?
    Do nations, religions, corporations etc exhibit a collective consciousness by virtue of the complex interactions of their members in the same way some believe our own consciousnesses emerge from the complex interactions of our neurons?

    The so-called unity of consciousness is an illusion. It is really a wish-dream. We like to think that we are one; but we are not.” – Carl Jung


    1. As far as split brain, new evidence suggests a single consciousness as referenced here. I did a post on this a bit ago.
      But I don’t really want to go there today.
      One of the problems I see is peoples inability to grasp the time involved in some of these life cycles. If one is able to carry it out beyond the comfortable norms, I would guess there are no dead planets or any part dead, but performing their normal cycles.


      1. Yeah, I saw your previous post and checked the link and the research. As you can see here there’s several problems with Pinto et al, the most obvious one being he only had two subjects and no way to evaluate how thoroughly the hemisphere’s were separated or whether the subjects’ brains retained their lateral specialisation (for example lesions in Broca’s region – especially if acquired while young – can result speech production developing in the right inferior frontal gyrus instead).

        But from my reading there’s another big problem no one seems to be mentioning.

        In the studies by Sperry and Gazzaniga it was considered vital to isolate the visual input into each eye so that both eyes didn’t take in both sides of the visual field by flicking from side to side, thereby feeding the visual input to each hemisphere. This was done either with an eye patch or a screen that prevented one eye from seeing what the other was looking at. There is no mention of such a precaution by Pinto et al.

        But in any case I’m not sure how relevant any of the studies are to consciousness rather than perception. I think a lot of people confuse ‘consciousness’ with ‘consciousness of …”. Just because perceptual information is unable to cross a severed corpus callosum doesn’t mean consciousness isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This reply is direct to you, cg, and is little to do with Jim’s post. At least not directly. This is “my” understanding. Where does our human consciusness come from? Our bodies are made of conglomerations of cells, all working together towards one set of goals, Sustainability (the maintenance of life), and productivity (the creating of new life). These are exactly the same goals attributable to one-celled beings, to live as long as they can, and to procreate as much as they can. Whether we are talking about viruses, bacteria, plants, or animals, and whatever kind of living beings that exist inbetween these beings, all life has those same, shall we say, potentialities and urges. That “life” is inside each cell. And the more cells that are put together in one body, the more “life there is in that body.” So, to me, the potential for consciousness increases with the number of cells in one’s body. Our human conciousnesses, though they seem individual to us, are really the collected consciousnesses of every cell that exists in our bodies.
      We humans like to see ourselves as the ultimate conscious beings, the highest thinkers on the planet, maybe even in the universe, or universes. But, more and more science is finding that we are not the only conscious beings, that in fact, all beings are conscious in there own way–and especially in ways that we humans do not recognize as conciousness. My favourite example of this is the more recent discovery that plants are conscious, and can communicate with other plants through the mycelium that permeates the soils of the world. (See: Magic Mushrooms: The Mycelium Network by Rich Hamilton.) Therefore, I surmise, not being a scientist of any kind, that every single lifeform, meaning every single cell, is alive on its own, even when it is part of a larger whole, and whatever bit of consciousness it has, potential or realized, all adds up to our own consciousnesses, wherein the whole is greater than its parts!


  2. I don’t know if a stone is conscious or whether it makes sense to use consciousness to describe it or the earth’s geology. Only thing I know is how to sling a stone and aim well

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, Jim.
    In my own understanding of life, the basic building blocks of said life are not alive, and therefore not themselves conscious. (Not saying it is not possible, just saying I cannot see it.) Meaning everything from subatomic particles to rocks and water molecules to molecules of granite and metals and other minerals, etc., these things are “not living beings!” I admit, they could be living on such a large time scale that we humabs cannot see the life in them, but for me they do not meet the critetia of life, and therefore they cannot have consciousness.
    But. I do love how you try to play with words, trying to make unconscious sound like “not capable of consciousness at this time” yet “non-conscious right this moment”; and self-conscious to try to mean “having awareness of self.” I am not going to refer to dictionaries or encyclopaedia, but the accepted normal usages of these words are “unconscious – capable of consciousness though not currently conscious” as in sleep or under the influence of natural or chemical sedatives; and “self-conscious – to be critically aware of one’s selfness.” We (I) talk about the inadequacies of language all the time, but here you seem to be purposely muddying the waters of consciousness. In most usages of the word consciousness, that means capable of some level of thought, or awareness of being alive. I am not going to say your above usages are absolutely wrong, but they certainly “feel” wrong in the flow of communication. I know I stumbled over both usages as I read your post. Both times I had to stop, and decipher what it was you were attempting to say. And both times “I” was uncomfortable with your usages.


    1. Link away if you like. I was watching some old interviews with Richard Feynman the other day. He certainly had a passion for imaginative thinking and processes. It’s like he could see the connections and was just giddy about the whole illusion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is something that I recently discussed with a friend. In the Buddhist worldview, once we die it could take untold aeons before we are reborn again in a human body. If we don’t look at it as strictly soul transmigration, perhaps it is the matter in our brains that will one day enter nature’s cycle, spend countless millennia as inert matter, then at some point become part of living matter that is consumed by sentient beings that becomes part of grey matter, leading to another chance at self-awareness.
    I can’t fully explain the implications this would have for the enlightenment state aimed at by Buddhists; I just thought this was a nifty idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wouldn’t rule it as impossible, but the likelihood of consciousness – as we understand it – is vanishingly small. 😳
    Benny the Bookie is being buried in Reno. The preacher at the front says, “Benny is not dead. Benny is only sleeping.”
    A voice at the back says, “Twenty bucks says he don’t wake up.” 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I agree that there’s something imperceptible. It’s why I don’t understand how atheists are so adamant. Just because you can’t observe it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, right? You essentially say that or at least imply it regarding consciousness (though I admit that I don’t fully follow what you say). It sounds New Agey. But I agree that there is a reality that is at least harder to observe but nevertheless real! Thanks for your post. (And I’m a Christian) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just because you can’t observe it doesn’t mean it does exist either.
      I have a question for you regarding the creation. Can you or anyone on earth tell me what everything is made of? If your god created everything, why is there still nothing? If you’re curious about this reality I can explain—


      1. I’ll admit I have no idea what you’re saying. So I don’t know how to answer your question. A lot of everything is made of carbon, to my basic Chem 101 understanding, or I may have made that up. And water, we have a lot of water, lol. Maybe more water than carbon. XD

        Liked by 1 person

        1. None of those things are made of any dirt. No stuff, but particles, which by definition and observation are “excitations of a field”. What does that mean? It means your form is the same stuff that makes up a projection in a movie, or a hologram. The quanta has no mass. This is the illusion. Your just as likely to be the character in a dream. What we are made of makes us apparitions. So that is my question; why is there still nothing? God has used deception to animate his sims, or life is of itself so. The animation of consciousness.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Things are made of dirt, which is made of particles. Dirt is a visible level we can see with our eyes, there’s obviously a whole subatomic level that I think you’re referring to? You’re not wrong that there is a spiritual realm that we are largely ignoring as a western culture in the 21st century. But I think all of this has very little evidence, is very “out-there”, and frankly, the Bible has a TONNNN more validity than anything you just said, even if you don’t like it super much. I think you’re getting to spiritual realm though. But the spiritual realm isn’t really all that interesting, honestly. Been there, done that. Not literally… but I’ve had my interactions with it, as many have throughout time and in other areas of the world. Which is scriptural, of course! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, since you believe the validity of the Bible do you believe the esoteric verses that are much more Hindu or Buddhic than Christian, if Christian at all?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. That Jesus and the father were one. Jesus did not think his situation peculiar to himself. He thought it was a method that could be taught to his disciples and others. His problem was showing he was god to the hierarchy. That has always been the big taboo, but not in Hinduism or Buddhism. Realization of the self (there is nothing that is not god) has happened all over the world since time immemorial. But in Hebrew culture, what the shaman saw as normal progression, the Jew saw as blasphemy. Likely because of the patriarchal tradition that stemmed from the kings courts of the Tigress and Euphrates cultures.

              Liked by 2 people

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