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    Thread: Do Plants Dream?

    1. #1
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      Do Plants Dream?

      I got to wondering how ancient is dreaming, anyway?

      Looking around on the internet, I found sites related to nyctinasty - sleeping plants. I was reading this awesome study, "Metabolites involved in plant movement and ‘memory’: nyctinasty of legumes and trap movement in the Venus flytrap" and happened to notice in section 2 the words, "indoleacetic acid".

      The reason that caught my eye is because I hardly ever recall my dreams, and a while back I had been taking a couple of tablespoons of vinegar every night before bed as a home remedy for something unrelated to dreaming. As a side effect, I started remembering a few, short, but vivid dreams.

      Vinegar contains acetic acid, so when I saw "indoleacetic acid", I wondered if these nyctinastic plants were not just sleeping, but dreaming. Wouldn't that be cool?

      Here are a couple of other links about nyctinasty. (does anyone speak Latin? ha ha):

      Small Wonders: Do Sleeping Plants Dream?

      https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...view=1up;seq=7
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      I suspect my plants are sleeping, they haven't moved or spoken in a very long time. I'll make sure to ask them when they wake up.

      I suspect my bonsai dreams of being a centerfold model. It's dropping all it's leaves no matter what I do.

      What would a plant dream about though? Their behaviour can as far as I know be completely described in terms of genetics. So they don't really "do" anything. Everything is automatic. Maybe they remember their past lives, and they dream about that. Maybe I'm a plant dreaming this world...

      haha

      I tend to think a bit about what I hope it would be like to be different creatures. For a long time my favourite idea of plant existance has been that time would be sped up so that it gets really intense. That way when I am a plant it would be like a super dramatic game:

      OH HOLY SHIT! WE HAVE HIT A HUGE KALSIUMRESERVE TO THE LEFT OF ROOT 52! HERE IS MY CHANCE TO OUTGROW THAT SUNLIGHT HOGGIN PIECE OF SHIT NEIGHBOUR OF MINE! EVERYTHING IS A CONTEST TO THAT BASTARD!!! GRAB IT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!! BWAAAARGH! FUCKING SNAILS! I NEED THOSE LEAFS!"!! And it's like that for a while and then you die and go do something else.

      I like to think about that when I am in nature and get that psychedelic connection to the tranquility of plant life, it would be hilarious if they were actually super stressed out and screaming at each other in plant telepathy.
      Last edited by LighrkVader; 11-27-2017 at 09:32 PM.
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      Ha ha ha.

      I think if I was a plant I would dream of floods that dropped dead fishes on top of my roots. And maybe bumble bees . . . but the bumble bee dreams are a little too explicit to write about in detail, publicly.
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      Thank you for your discretion.

      I have a plant in the window right behind me with a clear view to the computerscreen. It's only 2 years old. Wouldn't want it reading anything inapropriate you know.

      (I know this is horrible... but part of me kinda hopes that it dies before I have to have "the talk")
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      From the perspective of science, no, plants don't have the organs required to dream.

      From the perspective of the spiritual, I'd also have to say no. As, at least in my own religion, dreams are a mark of the highest level of life, and plants are the lowest and defined by their lack of sensory organs and dreaming capacity.
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      I respect your position, LabyrinthDreams! However, I'm not sure I agree with your premise, yet!

      Dreams, in a biological/physiological sense, happen at a cellular level. They are in reality a transmission of chemical and electrical signals. And plant cells are more complex than animal cells.

      https://prezi.com/x1cfrlg00z-x/anima...-more-complex/

      Additionally, there is research showing that plants can see, hear, smell, and respond appropriately to their environment.

      BBC - Earth - Plants can see, hear and smell – and respond

      If some dreams serve as to consolidate daily experience, in order to adjust future behavior as a matter of survival, maybe even plants would benefit from dreaming! So, it's not clear to me that plants don't have the organs to dream, as they have complex cells, or that they are the lowest level of life, since it has been my understanding that they've had far more time to evolve than we have.

      I'm still wonderin'!
      Last edited by amateur; 11-28-2017 at 02:10 AM.

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      Cool article! Of course senses don't mean consciousness, so there is no need for the vegans to starve themselves to death quite yet.

      I try to avoid basing my views on the consciousness related fields such as dreams on scientific findings... it feels like chopping wood with a coffemachine to me.. It's not what it was made for... ( Don't get me wrong though. I love science, actually studying molecular biology)

      Anyhoo. I enjoyed your line of thought at the end there.

      Of course this is a really complex field, and please don't take my opinion seriously.. But I don't think consciousness in plants is something that would arise and become common as a result of natural selection.

      Thats because of how natural selection works.

      1: Far more complex tasks than what plants exibit can be explained in terms of genetics alone.

      2: Every task you assign to a nervous system consumes a ton of energy. So if an organism only performs very simple tasks as set reactions to stimuli I would think that automation is more cost effective..

      Every trait or gene that is subject to natural selection must have greater benefits than cost. Dreaming and consciousness if viewed as a result of chemical energies would need to have a greater benefit than cost. If not a conscious plant would be wasting energy that could be spent survival and reproduction. I don't see how that would be the case in plants.

      Again. Not saying they aren't conscious. Just that it doesn't make sense, as far as I can tell, for that consciousness to have started as a result of evolution.

      In a way I feel like my response is a waste of time... Logic games are bound to be flawed if we include flawed premises, or fail to take into account all relevant premises. I am not very confident in my logic here.

      But! It was still fun to write haha!
      Last edited by LighrkVader; 11-28-2017 at 07:22 PM.
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      Thanks, LahrkVader. (That name makes me smile, btw!)

      I didn't start this thread because it's logical, or the premise isn't flawed, but just to have fun, and explore the idea in any way at all. Even if it's a "no", like Labyrinth Dreams said. I'm not settled on one answer, so I think it's good to hear from lots of perspectives. I have a tendency to read sciencey articles, and that's why I post those links. I'm not a scientist, and don't understand everything I've read! I would really appreciate it if someone came along with good spiritual or metaphysical links, because I think it's all relevant, it's just not my forte. And, of course, it's good to hear from you with your understanding of molecular biology - that's cool!

      I promise not to take anyone's opinion seriously in this thread, ever! ha ha.

      So, in response, I think I'm a little confused about your point #1. Are genes not subject to natural selection? And don't plants have genes?

      I do understand what you're saying for point #2 better! Maybe my mention of evolution, or natural selection was not the right way to say what I was thinking! But I also have some questions about that point, also.

      First, I wondered about your reference to automation. Is there reason to believe that dreaming is not automatic?

      Second, I have a link that says (in humans, obviously!) that sleep is necessary for the brain to get rid of waste, which addresses the cost/benefit question . . . at least for people! If plants also were to clear waste from their systems during their sleep cycle, then the benefit would vastly outweigh the cost, and wouldn't be "wasting energy" at all. Interestingly, this article says that brain cells shrink when you sleep . . . wilting? ha ha. Here's the link:

      Your Brain Cells Shrink While You Sleep (And That’s a Good Thing) | TIME.com

      Barely relevant to this discussion is an article I'll post the link to which seems to say that even the human brain (an energy hog, apparently) doesn't vary considerably in how much "energy" it is expending during differing states of consciousness or activity. And the first article I linked to to start this thread clearly stated that there is a chemical exchange going on within the cells of these plants. There's no question that, for this discussion anyway, there's a chemical exchange already happening. By your own reasoning, there must be a benefit, that doesn't waste energy better spent on survival, growth, or reproduction.

      If (I know it's a big if!) some kind of consciousness is an inevitable byproduct of chemical exchanges between cells, and the chemical exchange has to take place, regardless, in order to remove waste from it's system, then the plant hasn't expended any additional energy in order to attain "consciousness", has it? Here's that link:

      Appraising the brain's energy budget

      For the record, when I'm mentioning "consciousness" and "awareness" in plants, I'm not really thinking of it as being the same as what a human experiences. There are lots of degrees of consciousness, I imagine. And there are lots of types of dreaming, too. So, I still think it's possible that plants have "dreams", even if they're not the vivid, detailed, action packed plays we have going on in our minds when we sleep. Could be something more like, "shadow left. lean right. hunnnnngry." ha ha.

      And just since we're on the subject of consciousness, I was reading about how doctors test for brain death. I don't know anything about medicine, either. But while I was reading it, I was thinking about how a live plant might respond. Here's a copy of the list, along with what I wondered, in parenthesis:

      The positive examination for brain death includes the following:

      The patient has no response to command, verbal, visual or otherwise.

      (Plants do respond to audio/visual and tactile signals in the environment. They just do it very slowly, usually.)

      The patient is flaccid, with areflexic extremities. The patient has no movements -- the arms and legs are raised and allowed to fall to see if there are adjacent movements, restraint or hesitation in the fall.

      (A living plant is not flaccid. It does have movements. Just very slowly, usually.)

      The pupils are unreactive (fixed). The patient's eyes are opened and a very bright light is shined into the pupil. The light will activate the optic nerve and send a message to the brain. In the normal brain, the brain will send an impulse back to the eye to constrict the pupil. In the non-viable brain, no impulse will be generated. This is performed in both eyes.

      (A live plants' chloroplasts are like it's "pupils". If the chloroplast is working, then the plant is not turning yellow, or brown, I guess.)

      The patient has no oculocephalic reflex. The patient's eyes are opened and the head turned from side to side. The active brain will allow a roving motion of the eyes; the non-functional brain will not. The eyes remain fixed.

      (If you rotate a live potted plant so that the leaves facing the sun are pointing in the opposite direction, in a few days it will start to turn it's leaves toward the sun. So it's "functional".)

      The patient has no corneal reflexes. A cotton swab is dragged across the cornea while the eye is held open. The intact brain will want the eye to blink. The dead brain will not. This is performed in both eyes.

      (The first article I linked to in this thread shows that stimulating the leaves of these nyctinastic plants in specific ways will cause the plants to react as they would when going to sleep, naturally. It seems like they're saying that the stimulus has to occur twice within a certain number of seconds, which implies some kind of memory, somehow.)

      The patient has no response -- either purposeful or posturing -- to supra-orbital stimulation. The patient's eyebrow ridge is compressed with the thumb. The resulting stimulation pressure will cause motion of the extremities, either purposeful or primitive posturing, in the living-brain patient, but none in the brain-dead patient.

      (A live, potted plant, placed carefully on it's side will respond by changing the direction of it's growth, for example. They just do things like that very slowly.)

      The patient has no oculovestibular reflex. The patient's ear canal is inspected to ensure an intact tympanic membrane and that the ear is free of wax. While holding the eyes open, ice water is injected into the ear canal. The drastic change in ear temperature will cause a violent eye twitching by the intact brain but no reaction in the brain-dead patient. This is performed in both ears.

      (The BBC link above talks about live plants responding to sound.)

      The patient has no gag reflex. The movement of the breathing tube (in and out) or the insertion of a smaller tube down the breathing tube will cause a gag reflex in a comatose patient, but will not elicit a reflex in the brain-dead patient.

      (Living plants will respond negatively to noxious substances in the soil. That's the closest I can think of to a gag reflex!)

      The patient has no spontaneous respiration. The patient is temporarily removed from life support (the ventilator). With the cessation of breathing by the machine, the body will immediately start to build up metabolic waste of carton dioxide (CO2) in the blood. When the CO2 level reaches a level of 55 mm Hg, the active brain will cause the patient to breathe spontaneously. The dead brain gives no response.

      (Plants breathe through their stomata.)

      Does this mean that plants have a brain, or that they're fully aware and conscious the way humans are? No, probably not! . . . so sad.

      But I'm still not decided that they have no consciousness, or that they don't dream. I think it's possible!
      Last edited by amateur; 11-28-2017 at 11:44 PM.

    9. #9
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      OK guys, as surreal and entertaining as this thread is, it might be time to respectfully inject a modest reality check:

      Plants don't dream. Period.

      Aside from the fact that plants lack brains or anything remotely approaching the incredibly complex neural circuitry that defines even the most modest mammalian brain (much less the brains of higher mammals that can actually dream), plants also lack any kind of perceptual tools that would be necessary to simulate reality (aka, dream). In short, plants literally lack the machinery necessary to dream... even if you subscribe to the "consciousness residing in a brain" school of thought, there still needs to be a brain in which to reside, and plants just don't have one (or anything close, regardless of some other cellular similarites they share with thinking beings).

      Sure, because they are alive, plants do indeed react to stimuli, have cells that do similar things to human cells (with, again, the marked exception of a neural network), certainly have rest periods that could resemble sleep, and arguably even exercise a sort of primitive consciousness. But all those things do not make them able to dream; not even close.

      I know it's fun to imagine stuff like this, but, seriously, plants really are pretty much last on the list of living things to be potentially able to dream (though they might be ahead of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, I suppose)... and be assured this is not conjecture; the neurology of plants, or lack thereof, has been fairly established knowledge for a very long time... plants might react to things like light and weather, but they do not think by any measure, and they certainoy do not dream... I really can't in good conscious even add an "as far as we know" disclaimer here because, well, we really do know.

      I know this is not what you want to hear, so feel free to ignore this post; I'll understand ... and I definitely hope the thread continues, because it's been a blast to follow!

      Last edited by Sageous; 11-29-2017 at 03:42 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      . . . but they do not think by any measure, and they certainoy do not dream... I really can't in good conscious even add an "as far as we know" disclaimer here because, well, we really do know.



      You are likely right, sageous. And thank you for the reality check, too. I'm happy to hear any opinion and talk about it!

      But . . . how do you know plants don't think or dream? Is it proven fact that all dreaming takes place only within a brain? Or is that just where the limited research grant money has gone so far because that's what's relevant to humankind? I don't think we even know definitively if ants dream, much less plants.

      https://antyscience.wordpress.com/20...ants-dream-of/

      Are you dismissing entirely the chance that maybe a being doesn't need a brain to dream, but just a transfer of chemical or electrical signals? If you are, can you support your position?

      Why do you believe that consciousness must reside within a brain, and only a mammalian brain? Is there no chance whatsoever that consciousness can reside in a single cell? Here's a link to an article I haven't read yet by some dude with a whole slew of letters after his name - BA, MB BCh, MD, FRCP - and in the abstract he seems to be saying that he thinks single cells have a version of consciousness or some sentience. I'm not saying he's right. I'm just saying, there it is. I'll get to reading it soon, ha ha!

      Is Consciousness Only a Property of Individual Cells?

      I know, I know. It's just not scientific to think that lowly plants or cells could be conscious, or dream . . . because.

      Supposing I completely agreed with you.

      I would still be wondering about animism, then; and hoping that some practitioner of the Hindu, or Shinto, or Pagan, or other animistic belief system would educate me about the way they view consciousness, and whether they believe plants (or even stones, or rivers, or stars) can dream.

      Sageous, I can't prove it to you, but I once met a really nice elderly woman who had a hemispherectomy when she was a child, in order to control her seizures. Half of her brain was completely disconnected, or removed. I rudely asked her if she had dreams, her eyes lit up, and she emphatically answered that she did. She even told me she had experienced flying dreams.

      I'm not saying that's proof that a being definitely can dream with no brain! But, I don't know that there's proof that a being can't.
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      ^^ Okay. I'm only going to go around once more with this because it seems you're sincere in your hope that plants might dream, plus I feel I'm getting pulled into a Flying Spaghetti Monster argument, and I have no time for or interest in going there. I hope you don't mind that I split up your post, below, it's just easier for me to address things that way:

      Quote Originally Posted by amateur View Post
      But . . . how do you know plants don't think or dream? Is it proven fact that all dreaming takes place only within a brain? Or is that just where the limited research grant money has gone so far because that's what's relevant to humankind? I don't think we even know definitively if ants dream, much less plants.
      I really don't think this has much to do with research grants (not everything does, regardless of what you might hear). We have accumulated a vast amount of information about plants over the last few centuries, and we've been associating quite closely with them for millions of years; I have a sneaking suspicion that if there were ever any evidence that plants dream, we would have stumbled across it by now, with or without grants. Indeed, I would guess that the fact of plants' dreaming (and thinking, by extension) would be common knowledge by now, simply because plants occupy so much of our environment, and our lives.

      Is it a proven fact that all dreaming takes place within a brain? I would guess that a scientist would say yes, it certainly is...and of course if they are good scientists they would stick in the caveat that it is as proven a fact as any fact can be. But I'm not a scientist, and am all for mystical explanations for things (life would be much cooler if we were mystically and not materially based), so let's go with the consciousness exists outside the brain theme:

      I believe that the common consciousness-outside-the brain stance assumes that our consciousness is using human brains/bodies as conduits to the physical world, perhaps even that we eternal souls developed human bodies to better encase our essences. Let's say that's true; but wouldn't we also need to say then that we did not choose plants as our vessels, both because the unique machinery that is a brain does not exist in any form in a plant and also because, well, there would be lots of conscious plants communicating with us by now, wouldn't there? I mean, even if they didn't want to chat, someone would have stumbled upon an intelligent plant by now, right? [EDIT: I forgot to make clear that this consciousness-outside-the brain stance is just one of no doubt zillions, but I thought it made a good example... my favorite version is that our brains actually create, over our lifetimes, a consciousness that potentially can become independent of our physical bodies, so eventually we'll be dreaming outside our bodies, but that example didn't work as well here.]

      Also regarding relevance to humankind and those grants: plants are incredibly relevant to humankind; they are arguably the most relevant life form in our collective existence. I would imagine that seeking intelligence in them -- in any form -- would be a priority of the highest level. Someone by now should have looked into it.

      Oh, and if you told me that you thought ants dream, I would happily present all kinds of arguments agreeing with you, centered mostly about the potentially powerful group minds that may exist within larger ant colonies. Ants, BTW, have the requisite machinery for thought, if you consider each ant a sort of complex neuron that is in constant communication with the rest of the hive, and that ant-neuron is far more capable of delivering bits of information than a plant cell, simply due to its greater complexity and flexibility (i.e., individual ants have simple brains, as well as sensory and communication organs that facilitate them acting like neurons).


      Are you dismissing entirely the chance that maybe a being doesn't need a brain to dream, but just a transfer of chemical or electrical signals? If you are, can you support your position?
      As I just said, I'm not dismissing that at all. What I'm dismissing is the fact that plants lack the physical facilities to transfer that outside-the-body dreaming/thought to the physical world. In these terms, the brain would act as a receiver for our conscious signals so that we can process them physically... and that receiver is, apparently necessarily, an incredibly complex device that simply does not exist in plants.

      Why do you believe that consciousness must reside within a brain, and only a mammalian brain? Is there no chance whatsoever that consciousness can reside in a single cell? Here's a link to an article I haven't read yet by some dude with a whole slew of letters after his name - BA, MB BCh, MD, FRCP - and in the abstract he seems to be saying that he thinks single cells have a version of consciousness or some sentience. I'm not saying he's right. I'm just saying, there it is. I'll get to reading it soon, ha ha!
      Sorry; I misspoke up there. I by no means think consciousness capable of dreaming can only exist in mammals (i.e., my note about the ant colonies above). I also never said I believe that consciousness must exist in a brain; I'm sort of hoping it doesn't, especially as I get older and closer to the day when it will be really nice to discover that my consciousness never needed a brain. No, what I believe, if believe is actually the right word, is that if consciousness does exist independently of physical bodies, it still requires a fairly complex tool to participate in physical reality. Single cells are remarkable, and certainly possess lots of complexity, but from what we know of them they simply lack the chops to process the extremely large amount of information that encompasses our consciousness (no matter where it originated).

      I just realized I need to make something clear here: I'm talking about intelligent consciousness here; consciousness that is advanced enough to include things like perception, memory, some sense of self. I'm not taking about consciousness in general. In my mind consciousness exists in every living thing; it sort of must do so, or else they (even plants) wouldn't be able to survive. But most living things don't get to enjoy the kind of consciousness we humans do, especially when we are able to develop our self-awareness. And yes, I've heard guys with lots of letters after their names make compelling arguments that even inanimate objects have consciousness, though that consciousness would be incredibly rudimentary.

      Supposing I completely agreed with you.

      I would still be wondering about animism, then; and hoping that some practitioner of the Hindu, or Shinto, or Pagan, or other animistic belief system would educate me about the way they view consciousness, and whether they believe plants (or even stones, or rivers, or stars) can dream.
      Ah, but those things are very different, because generally animistic faiths are, well, faith, and not necessarily based in anything other than a given group's mythological leanings; this is where the Flying Spaghetti Monster comes in, BTW.

      What people choose to believe on a religious basis is often very much at odds with reality, and requires a leap of faith in order for them to be real. That said, I still wonder if a Shinto practitioner would look at a plant and tell you it is thinking or dreaming, even if she believes an ancestor occupies it... and again, I'm not talking about any kind of consciousness here, but consciousness capable of dreaming.

      Sageous, I can't prove it to you, but I once met a really nice elderly woman who had a hemispherectomy when she was a child, in order to control her seizures. Half of her brain was completely disconnected, or removed. I rudely asked her if she had dreams, her eyes lit up, and she emphatically answered that she did. She even told me she had experienced flying dreams.

      I'm not saying that's proof that a being definitely can dream with no brain! But, I don't know that there's proof that a being can't.
      Aside from that being a very nice story, keep in mind that your friend still had half a brain, which is far more brainage than any plant could ever dream of having. Half a human brain is still an incredibly complex organ, and still infinitely more brain than no brain at all. And no, since a negative cannot be proven, I too don't know that there's proof that a being cannot dream without a brain. But, like that pesky Flying Spaghetti Monster, that can go for pretty much anything... so yes, we'll never prove that plants can't dream, but we can certainly assume for now that they cannot, based on what we've already proven about physiology, intelligence, and the biology of plants, until someone (perhaps a wise old oak tree?) proves they can.

      I hope all or at least some of that made sense... it felt a bit jumbled to me, but hopefully I've made myself more clear this time around.

      tl;dr: I can't really summarize all this, except to say that yes, every living thing has some level of consciousness, but for that consciousness to be intelligent, aware, and able to dream, an extremely complex medium must exist (whether that medium is creating the dreams or simply relaying them, it's still gotta be there) and that medium is a brain.
      Last edited by Sageous; 11-29-2017 at 08:52 AM.

    12. #12
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      Okay, thank you for your fast, and very thorough, response, Sageous! It's much clearer to me what your beliefs are.

      I don't actually have a hope that plants might dream. I just think that it's possible, and figured it was an interesting subject to explore. I don't think it's been proven that a complicated brain is necessary for consciousness, for awareness (even self awareness), or for dreaming, so I'm just taking a wait and see approach.

      While your posts are peppered with phrases like, "I have a sneaking suspicion", "I would guess", "I would imagine", as are mine; you seem to have adopted a more rigid belief system regarding this subject than I have is all. But if you're unable support your position, then I think it's nice of you to share how you feel, but it's no more convincing to me, than a flying spaghetti monster would be to you. To me, your answers ask me to take a leap of faith . . . that you are just right. Since I still have no evidence that a brain, or a nervous system, a medium, or even a body, is needed for consciousness, intelligent self awareness, or dreaming, I want to keep an open mind, and stay impartial!

      I know that in your musings about a consciousness-outside-a-brain stance, you were only being hypothetical, and anyone could basically make up any story regarding something of that nature. So it's almost silly to mention it, but I did notice that you say that the common belief about that is "we" (spiritual beings) chose or designed human bodies specifically because that's the only vessel that could be conscious and self aware.

      I'm not at all familiar with this consciousness-outside-a-brain stance, but I was thinking . . . who is to say that "we", all of "us" (eternal, spiritual beings), are occupying human bodies? Seems like, if a person (I know this isn't your position) was open minded enough to accept that an eternal consciousness can and does exist outside of a human body enough to choose what body to inhabit, then they would be open minded enough to consider that maybe some of "us" would choose to inhabit the physical "body" of an ephemeral plant, just to see what it's like to bloom in the desert for less than a season. Or maybe some would choose to inhabit the "body" of a bald cypress, in order to live for 1,500 years, watching the swamp. Sounds kind of nice, if you're eternal anyways. lol.

      I don't know why that's the common belief, is what I'm saying! But I understand that's not your belief, so you don't have to answer!

      I can see that you're uncomfortable with spiritual, or non-physical, type of discussions of consciousness and dreaming, so you don't have to address it. I completely understand what you mean that those ideas probably can't be proven, either, and there are likely billions of different opinions on the topic! The only reason I mentioned animism before, is because you seemed positive that consciousness and dreaming occur only within a complex brain, and I wondered if you had some evidence of that. But you corrected that, I think.

      Because you said, "plants also lack any kind of perceptual tools that would be necessary to simulate reality (aka, dream). In short, plants literally lack the machinery necessary to dream... even if you subscribe to the "consciousness residing in a brain" school of thought, there still needs to be a brain in which to reside, and plants just don't have one (or anything close, regardless of some other cellular similarites they share with thinking beings)." I had thought that you were saying that consciousness and dreaming must reside within a brain. I was confused about your phrasing! I hope you can forgive me for the misunderstanding, I have a stinkin' communication disorder.

      And I just want to clear up something I don't think I explained clearly. I didn't post the link to the article by the man with the letters after his name because I thought he was "right", or impressive. I only posted it because it possibly provides evidence that someone somewhere is studying whether there might be sentience or (proto?) consciousness within single cells. And that maybe one cell is enough "machinery" to accomplish the achievement of consciousness of some sort; and if there is consciousness, then possibly dreaming is not out of the question, even if it's rudimentary. (I've still not read much more than the abstract, and I won't tonight! It's very late!)

      As far as I know, consciousness and dreaming both remain far less defined than a flying spaghetti monster. And since no one can yet carry on an illuminating conversation with any living thing other than human beings, I'm not so settled on which living thing might possess self awareness, and which one doesn't, as you are. I'm sure that you have valid reasons for adopting your beliefs on this subject, because I can see that you are strong minded!

      But without evidence that dreaming must take place within a complicated medium (a brain, as you say in your last sentence), and only within a complicated medium (brain), I remain unswayed!

      Thanks again for answering! I understand your position far better!

      (Note: If anyone other than Sageous would like to discuss, besides the science stuff, non-physical ideas regarding consciousness or dreaming or awareness, I'm interested for better understanding of that, too!)

    13. #13
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      Okay, I give up; I have failed miserably, apparently, to make my point. Before I go, and hopefully leave this interesting thread to those who share your position, I need to make a couple more clarifications:

      Quote Originally Posted by amateur View Post
      Okay, thank you for your fast, and very thorough, response, Sageous! It's much clearer to me what your beliefs are.
      It's funny to me that you keep using the word "beliefs" when talking about me. These things I'm discussing here are not my beliefs, but things that I'm pretty sure would exist whether I knew about them or not, much less believe in their existence. I guess I'm one of a dying breed of folks from a different age who understood that we all move through a reality that exists as it is, period, no matter how we choose to interpret it, define it or, perhaps, attempt to recreate it.

      In other words, there is a basic Truth in all things, even if we refuse to "believe" in that truth... and that truth exists and continues on regardless of whether we humans (or any other sentient beings) choose to redefine it, ignore it, or refuse to accept that it exists. I know this doesn't hold up well in this "if you believe it, then it is true" world we seem to live in these days, but I'll stick with it anyway.

      So, in the context of this thread: reality, in the form of biological functions, defines the human brain (and a few others, BTW, I'm not singling out humans here) as the vehicle for intelligence, sentience, and, of course, dreams; its very complexity is what makes consciousness work, and this is true whether you subscribe to the brain producing consciousness or whether consciousness resides in the brain.... which makes me think of one question you don't need to answer but might consider:

      I don't actually have a hope that plants might dream. I just think that it's possible, and figured it was an interesting subject to explore. I don't think it's been proven that a complicated brain is necessary for consciousness, for awareness (even self awareness), or for dreaming, so I'm just taking a wait and see approach.
      If the human/sentient brain is not instrumental in the processes of intelligence, then what exactly is its purpose? Nature isn't really a big fan of creating things as complex as a brain if they are not needed.

      While your posts are peppered with phrases like, "I have a sneaking suspicion", "I would guess", "I would imagine", as are mine; you seem to have adopted a more rigid belief system regarding this subject than I have is all. But if you're unable support your position, then I think it's nice of you to share how you feel, but it's no more convincing to me, than a flying spaghetti monster would be to you. To me, your answers ask me to take a leap of faith . . . that you are just right. Since I still have no evidence that a brain, or a nervous system, a medium, or even a body, is needed for consciousness, intelligent self awareness, or dreaming, I want to keep an open mind, and stay impartial!
      This bit sort of left me floored. I reread what I wrote, and what I see is a fairly thorough (given the format we're working in) set of arguments for what I had to say. Your consistent refusal to consider what I'm saying as anything more than a "belief system" instead of a relaying of what we have established, over many decades (even centuries, or uncounted millennia in terms of our coexistence with plants) of experience, study, and empirical discovery is confusing to me. These are not my beliefs; what I'm discussing here is essentially based in proven knowledge. That you don't see these things as proven is, frankly, baffling. Has our culture of magical thinking reached a point where something is only proven if it is in agreement with someone else's belief system, and I just missed the boat?

      My beliefs, and I do have them, of course, are generally unrelated to these things, though I do include them when I assemble a worldview based on my beliefs (including reality in your belief system only strengthens the system, I think)... indeed, I've written a few books, centered on dreaming but deeply couched in magical realism (aka, a sort of mysticism), that reflect my actual belief that there is much more to reality, and our own potentials, than we can possibly imagine, and it is waiting for our discovery (and dreams may well be a tool for such discovery)... but the fact that I believe that there is "more" doesn't mean I can leave whatever is already known behind as irrelevant or meaningless; could you?

      I'm not at all familiar with this consciousness-outside-a-brain stance, but I was thinking . . . who is to say that "we", all of "us" (eternal, spiritual beings), are occupying human bodies? Seems like, if a person (I know this isn't your position) was open minded enough to accept that an eternal consciousness can and does exist outside of a human body enough to choose what body to inhabit, then they would be open minded enough to consider that maybe some of "us" would choose to inhabit the physical "body" of an ephemeral plant, just to see what it's like to bloom in the desert for less than a season. Or maybe some would choose to inhabit the "body" of a bald cypress, in order to live for 1,500 years, watching the swamp. Sounds kind of nice, if you're eternal anyways. lol.
      Perhaps a being could indeed exist within a tree, but, given the physical structure of a tree, it would be an extremely dull existence, with minimal sensations, glacially slow reactions to, well, anything (because a neural net doesn't exist in plants), and a complete inability to communicate with other physical beings, or to be communicated to by them. Now, I suppose that a powerful being could perhaps infuse the ability to physically think, communicate, and dream into a tree it chooses to occupy, but would it then still be a tree? I'm not sure.

      Also, your position doesn't seem to reflect this position anyway:

      I can see that you're uncomfortable with spiritual, or non-physical, type of discussions of consciousness and dreaming, so you don't have to address it.
      I reread what I wrote once more, and am again baffled. I literally live to discuss "spiritual, or non-physical, type of discussions of consciousness and dreaming," and I am completely comfortable with discussing them; I do it all the time, and, again, have written books about it.

      That said, your OP and subsequent posts were actually not about anything spiritual or nonphysical: you have been saying that plants, in their physical form and without outside influence, might be able to dream, and I was responding to that... ironically, the spiritual stuff came from my comments, and not yours. That you have completely misunderstood me and have chosen to judge (incorrectly) my personal comfort levels is troubling, and I blame myself for failing to communicate my thoughts.

      And I just want to clear up something I don't think I explained clearly. I didn't post the link to the article by the man with the letters after his name because I thought he was "right", or impressive. I only posted it because it possibly provides evidence that someone somewhere is studying whether there might be sentience or (proto?) consciousness within single cells. And that maybe one cell is enough "machinery" to accomplish the achievement of consciousness of some sort; and if there is consciousness, then possibly dreaming is not out of the question, even if it's rudimentary. (I've still not read much more than the abstract, and I won't tonight! It's very late!)
      You seem to have missed it the last several times I said it, so I'll try one last time, in bold so you won't miss it this time: I am fully confident that consciousness exists in some form in all living things, even single cells. What I am talking about, and what your OP demands, is a consciousness with the capacity to produce the higher-level thoughts, memories, and perceptions necessary to generate dreams (even the simple dreams that, say, a dog or mouse might have). I've said that at least three times now, and cannot understand how you have managed to read right over it; should I have written it in all caps?

      As far as I know, consciousness and dreaming both remain far less defined than a flying spaghetti monster. And since no one can yet carry on an illuminating conversation with any living thing other than human beings, I'm not so settled on which living thing might possess self awareness, and which one doesn't, as you are. I'm sure that you have valid reasons for adopting your beliefs on this subject, because I can see that you are strong minded!
      The whole point of the Flying Spaghetti Monster metaphor, I think, is to remind us that some things are defined, and we really are unwise to choose to ignore those definitions -- even if those definitions are subject to change as we learn more, or build upon what we already know -- and fly away in the grasp of "truths" of our own invention, based on nothing but personal fantasy.

      Consciousness and dreaming, though certainly barely tapped by science thanks to their nebulous nature, have certainly been studied substantially, and on many levels by scientists, psychologists, and philosophers. We certainly don't know everything yet about either of these things, and the mystic in me sort of hopes we never do, but the part we do know quite well is about the physiological processes that cause (or support, if you will) consciousness and dreams (and this knowledge has been proven and documented; just do searches for the physiology of dreaming or the neurobiology of consciousness, and I'm sure you'll find lots of information on the subject that might fit your requirements for proof). We know and have proven quite a bit about the brain's participation in the production of dreams and conscious thoughts and memories. To deny this knowledge, or to assume/decide that it isn't known at all, is to deny yourself very important tools for better understanding the dreaming process at the very least.

      But without evidence that dreaming must take place within a complicated medium (a brain, as you say in your last sentence), and only within a complicated medium (brain), I remain unswayed!
      I'm sorry; I had assumed that the brain's importance in consciousness and dreaming is common knowledge, and pretty much a given in any school of thought on the subject. I didn't know I had to provide proof that its functions include thinking and dreaming. I suppose I should have provided links?

      All right, I've said far more than I wished to (or should have, I suppose) and I feel like I'm getting rude here and don't want to do that. I have tried, and failed, to state the obvious in an environment where the obvious, and reality itself, no longer matters. So, bottom line here is this: Never mind, and enjoy your search!
      Last edited by Sageous; 11-29-2017 at 10:35 PM.
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    14. #14
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      It's unfortunate that you feel the need to go, Sageous.

      Having a vibrant debate is one of the things I enjoy most, even if I turn out to be wrong on some points. I like to learn new things, it makes me feel like I'm growing. Some people hate debate, though!

      I'm not sure why all of your posts have been confrontational, in this thread.

      I'm open to all kinds of input in this thread, ranging from scientific to ethereal/spiritual/metaphysical, precisely because I am not settled on a position. I understand that it's disconcerting to you that I haven't settled on a position, and it seems clear to me that it's you who feels it's important that everyone share your position, based upon the "because I said so" approach you've adopted.

      I actually am not the kind of person who adopts the position of everyone I meet, just on their say so.

      It's not because I'm mean, or close minded, or because I don't like you, or because I think your opinion is somehow wrong, or because I'm too stupid to recognize your obvious genius. It's not because I think that you should not believe these things that you claim, or that I think that you're stupid. I have no problem at all if you believe the statements that you make, I just can't promise to adopt your position without you educating me as to definitive reasons why I should do that.

      You are entitled to your opinion, but I'm not required to adopt your opinions just because you said so.

      If, for example, I told you that everybody knows that the sky is made of purple unicorns, that this is reality, and that if you are unwilling to accept my view that you're not living in reality, don't you think you would ask me why I believed that the sky is made of purple unicorns and why I believe that everyone knows that? These are fair questions for you to ask me, and I would be happy to provide you with links showing where I got my information from, rather than links to my own self published books reiterating that I know . . . because I wrote it once before. It's not insulting for you to ask that of me. You're not a mind reader, and while I could pound my fists, and demand that I'm correct because I know I'm correct, and also probably older than you so better than you, and insinuate that you're living in a fantasy land where no one can disagree with you - it doesn't change the fact that you can't read my mind, and access all of the data that has me convinced that the sky is composed of purple unicorns, and that everyone knows that.

      And it doesn't change the fact that you're not likely going to agree with me, just "because I said so".

      However, if I provided you with links showing that there were billions of dollars worth of research funding spent towards studying the make-up of the sky, and a few links (or even titles) showing you that there are specific, peer reviewed, well respected studies proving beyond any doubt that the sky is composed of purple unicorns, you might say, "Oh! I didn't realize that. Thanks!"

      That's how I am, and how I think. I am more than willing to change my position if I'm reasonably swayed. The fact that you haven't swayed me isn't something that I feel badly about, and neither should you.

      I don't think that you've failed to make your point at all! You are convinced that your position is infallible in this matter; that everyone knows that what you believe to be true is true, that you don't have to back up your claims with any sort of supporting evidence, and that anyone who disagrees with you is a fool.

      I think it's time for a reality check on your end.

      For example . . .

      In your second post you claim without supporting evidence:

      "We have accumulated a vast amount of information about plants over the last few centuries, and we've been associating quite closely with them for millions of years; I have a sneaking suspicion that if there were ever any evidence that plants dream, we would have stumbled across it by now, with or without grants. Indeed, I would guess that the fact of plants' dreaming (and thinking, by extension) would be common knowledge by now, simply because plants occupy so much of our environment, and our lives."

      This is the type of statement that seems like a "because I said so" statement, to me, and I'm unlikely to just believe what you've said.

      We may have accumulated a vast amount of information about plants over the last few centuries, I don't dispute that! And I give you that we've been "associating" with them quite closely for millions of years, if you mean making use of them materially, and learning to grow and modify them. But your next statement is silly. Just because you have a sneaking suspicion that we would have stumbled across evidence that plants dream, doesn't mean that we have. You have a suspicion of that. That doesn't make it so. Next you say that you would "guess" that plants dreaming and thinking would be common knowledge to us by now, which is another because I said so statement. Just because you guess something, doesn't make it so.

      I do understand that in your opinion you are correct, and that everyone knows that you're correct, but that doesn't mean that I share your opinion.

      I keep using the word "beliefs" because if you don't supply me with evidence that your statements are anything more than your own beliefs, then from my perspective they are beliefs.

      Here's another example, from your most recent post.

      You say, without supporting evidence:

      "I guess I'm one of a dying breed of folks from a different age who understood that we all move through a reality that exists as it is, period, no matter how we choose to interpret it, define it or, perhaps, attempt to recreate it."

      You probably are. And there's a reason for that. I'm not sure exactly how aged you are, (I know I look young, but I'm in my forties, by the way and don't particularly appreciate being constantly addressed as if I'm a two year old, who lives in Barbie Land; so if you would stop with the veiled insults, I would appreciate it greatly!) but maybe you don't know that around the late 1800's, early 1900's there emerged, and blossomed a "new" field of scientific understanding encompassed by quantum field theory, quantum mechanics, etc.

      What you are referring to, when you make the unsubstantiated claim that "reality exists as it is . . ." is physics, and can't be used to describe all of reality. Your blanket statement is flat wrong, and I can't just accept that as being true because you said it was true, no matter how much you wish I would. Newton would love you. Max Plank would debate you.

      What you think of as absolute truth is simply outdated scientific knowledge.

      Reality is by no means fixed. The new sciences teach not only that particles can be entangled and effect each other over vast distances, but that reality is inherently dependent upon observation. Our interpretations and definitions and recreations of reality are meaningful within quantum mechanics, despite your lack of understanding. And it's not just me saying so!

      Here are a few links about this new science. I didn't write these things!

      https://phys.org/news/2012-04-quantu...n-reality.html

      https://www.livescience.com/28550-ho...fographic.html

      Here's another example of a statement you make without supporting evidence:

      "reality, in the form of biological functions, defines the . . . brain . . . as the vehicle for intelligence, sentience, and, of course, dreams . . ."

      Where did you get this information from, I wonder?

      Here is a link to an 11 page PDF file, which begins with the statement, "Despite a long history of research and debate, there is still no standard definition of intelligence"

      http://www.vetta.org/documents/A-Col...telligence.pdf

      I can't simply believe that intelligence is "defined", because you said so. I know that you're mistaken. It's not true.

      Here's a link (it's not something I wrote, and it's not just me saying it!) that the definition of animal sentience is changing, and has been changing for hundreds of years. It's not at all "defined", as you erroneously claim:

      The changing concept of animal sentience - ScienceDirect

      This link says there's an ongoing philisophical discussion regarding sleep and dreaming, their meaning, their function. Sleep and dreaming are not well understood, or well defined! You're mistaken about that! It's not just me and Barbie saying so:

      https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dreams-dreaming/

      I won't go on with examples. It would take me hours and hours to go through your three posts and pull out all of the wrong or unproven statements that you "feel" are "true" and expect me to "believe", as you do. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with you feeling the way you do, or believing that something is true, or defined, or understood, when it's not. Everyone does that from time to time, even me! However, I like to keep clear when I speak to others if I am aware that something I'm discussing is ill defined, or if I know that it's true, or if I don't know that it's true, and provide supporting evidence for my understanding, especially if asked. I also like to change my position if someone provides me with evidence that I'm wrong.

      But if you're just going to claim that I'm wrong, I'll have to ask you to provide me with supporting evidence that I'm wrong, and that doesn't mean something that you previously wrote. It would have to come from a (preferably) reliable third party.

      You asked a question:

      "If the human/sentient brain is not instrumental in the processes of intelligence, then what exactly is its purpose?"

      The "brain", apparently, has a multitude of functions, human/sentient, or not. For example, there are parts of the brain which are devoted to vision, and parts that are devoted to limbic system response, and parts (in some critters) that perform mathematical equations. But the purpose? The answer is nobody knows. Not even you!

      When you refer to the "brain", I understand that you're imagining an organ encased within your skull. However, that's not really the correct way to contemplate a brain, and I think that is leading to some of our misunderstandings when speaking to each other.

      If you bent me over in a guillotine and chopped off my head right now, my brain would have no purpose. It's my understanding that the brain is just one part of a whole big set of systems, which include things like the nervous system, the limbic system, the circulatory system including the lymphatic system, etc.

      Therefore, when I think of a "brain" being solely responsible for the ill defined processes, or states, of "consciousness", or "dreaming", it doesn't mesh with reality. I am aware that there has been decades of dream research done where sleepers in a lab have electrodes attached to their skulls to measure variations of electrical fields while they sleep, and dreamers are often woken to relate any dreams they might recall during the night.

      But to me decades worth of research is just the tip of the iceberg which rests on the top of Antarctica.

      The science of dreaming is very new, and breakthroughs are occurring all of the time. I'm not making it up! This is 100% accurate. If there was nothing new to be learned about dreaming whatsoever, then the funding would dry up completely, today. People study things that are not yet understood. so your claims that there is empirical knowledge, that these claims are not your beliefs, that I should see these things as proven, is not something I agree with.

      If you would just provide me with links showing the empirical evidence that there have been vast, thorough, peer reviewed, third party studies proving that it is a hard fact that plants do not dream, and that say, 90% of scientists, doctors, and researchers acknowledge this based upon the irrefutable evidence, I would look through them, and if they were reasonable, I would change my stance without a second thought.

      You can't do that though, because there is a paucity of studies regarding whether even all animals dream, much less plants. When was the last time you heard of serious research devoted to plant dreams? You claim that there are mounds of research regarding dreaming, but I think that if you take a minute to think about it you'll realize that you've made a mistake. There is a handful of research regarding Human dreaming, focusing on the skull, mostly. And there's also some, but much less, research regarding Animal dreaming. But there is next to nothing regarding plant dreaming, so if you claim that this subject is settled, or established you're wrong.

      You seem to think that co-existing with something is the same as studying it, and magically knowing everything there is to know about it. I wholeheartedly disagree! I co-exist with my telephone, and it's been in my house for ten years. But if you asked me what brand it was, or how the ringer works, or what is the last number listed on the caller I.D., I don't "know". You're the one with magical thinking, on that front, not me!

      I think that there would be less mis-communication, too, if you took the time at this stage in your life to question what you "know". Really spend some time trying to confirm what you believe to be true. If you think that consciousness is "defined", for example, it only takes one moment to do an internet search such as, "Is consciousness ill defined?" That's right, you should look up the opposite of what you believe, just to find out if you may be mistaken, before you accuse others of being unable to face reality.

      It's all too easy to wrap ourselves in a bubble of ignorance because we never consider that we might possibly be uninformed, especially as we grow. Science is one of those fields of study that is ever changing, and the things we learned in school thirty years ago may have been amended.

      This is what I mean when I say that I think of learning as growth. I'm always learning, and don't think that what I read, learned, or experienced, long ago is always accurate. Sometimes, scientific understanding changes overnight. If I'm not up to date, then I'm wrong, not the new science.

      Challenge yourself. Maybe what is "already known" in your recollection of things has changed. Or perhaps you're not remembering it correctly. That happens to me all the time, so I got used to double checking what I say before I get too adamant that it's "true".

      The reason I thought you were uncomfortable with talk of spiritual/ethereal/metaphysical types of conversations is because that's what you expressed. You poked fun repeatedly with your mention of a giant spaghetti monster, and said that you felt like you were getting sucked into a discussion you would rather not have, or something similar.

      If you say something like that to me, I will believe you. I tend to presume that people say what they mean.

      As far as I'm concerned, this thread is not limited to scientific discussions of dreaming plants. I like reading scientific articles, and learning about science, so that's what you'll mostly see from me, if I post a link. I mentioned more than once though, that I'm very open to talking to members about ethereal ideas regarding the possibility of plants dreaming. I would like very much to learn more, if a member can be respectful!

      If you don't want to discuss that, you don't have to. No member has to discuss anything they don't want to in this thread, and I want to make it clear that I'm not sucking members into discussing anything they don't care to. It makes no difference to me if you want to just discuss scientific concepts, just metaphysical concepts, or just stuff you noticed whilst gardening.

      I disagree that existence as a bald cypress would be an extremely dull existence, with minimal sensations, and glacially slow reactions to anything. Where did you get that information from? Is it your opinion? In my opinion, it would be exciting to think that I could live for 1500 years in a peaceful swamp, stabilizing the soil with my roots, offering shelter to squirrels who scamper up my trunk, reaching for the sunshine, bowing to my friend the winds, and repairing any damage inflicted upon me by pests.

      Your claim that a tree can't think, communicate, or dream is still unsubstantiated opinion.

      You are right! You said:

      "Also, your position doesn't seem to reflect this position anyway . . . your OP and subsequent posts were actually not about anything spiritual or nonphysical: you have been saying that plants, in their physical form and without outside influence, might be able to dream, and I was responding to that..."

      That's true! My original post was regarding a study about sleeping plants, which actually had nothing much to do with dreaming, (discounting the part about the similarity of the chemicals responsible for the nyctinastic actions of the plants being similar in action to neurotransmitters responsible for memory in humans, assuming you acknowledge that at least some dreams have some connection to memory) except the part I noticed about indoleacetic acid, and my own experience with acetic acid seemingly increasing the frequency of my own dream recall.

      But you'll notice that right before you posted, I did mention that I was interested in spiritual or metaphysical discussions about dreaming plants, because that's not something I'm very familiar with, so I welcome any input.

      While you clearly believe that, "ironically, the spiritual stuff came from my comments, and not yours", you can see, if you look, that your first post in this thread was all about doing a reality check, offering up what you figure to be true of physical reality, and had nothing to do with "spiritual stuff". It was in my next post that I questioned you about the ethereal realm. I didn't do that because I couldn't follow what you said, as you seem to think. I did it because you seemed very convinced by your own argument, and I just wanted to know why you believe what you do, and if you don't believe in ethereal/spiritual possibilities, either.

      You seem very upset by this. It seems like you think I should have magically known that you like discussing metaphysical things (although I understand not specifically related to plants) and that you like it so much that you wrote some books about it. But I don't know you. I've been a member for ten days. So when you dismissed any spiritual discussion as being something you didn't want to get sucked in to, it was natural for me to think that you didn't care for that sort of thing.

      If I am missing what you're saying, I'm sorry. If you feel the need to write in caps, instead of being clear about what you mean, then by all means do that.

      You say:

      "What I am talking about, and what your OP demands, is a consciousness with the capacity to produce the higher-level thoughts, memories, and perceptions necessary to generate dreams"

      Where did you get the information that a consciousness with the capacity to produce higher-level thoughts, memories, and perceptions necessary to generate dreams is not available within a plant, a cell, a stone, or a cloud? Can you provide evidence for that, or is it your opinion?

      Some things might be defined, that's true. But you believe things are defined that are not defined. That's the problem. You say we are unwise to ignore definitions even if the definitions change? That's the problem.

      It's my opinion that we should allow ourselves to accept changing definitions for what they are, and readjust our understanding of things accordingly. Even if we're convinced we learned it some other way, thirty years back. Stuff changes, and if you refuse to change with the times, that's flying away in the grasp of "truths" of our own invention, based upon nothing but personal fantasy. It's not the other way around, no matter how confidently you say it.

      If you know that we don't know everything yet about consciousness and dreaming, why are you so adamant in your position? That's what I wanted to know, and I don't think it's mean of me to ask you about that.

      You say:

      "the part we do know quite well is about the physiological processes that cause (or support, if you will) consciousness and dreams (and this knowledge has been proven and documented; just do searches for the physiology of dreaming or the neurobiology of consciousness,"

      What makes you think that we know about the physiological processes of dreaming and consciousness well? These things remain undefined. We've barely studied what is taking place during a whole human brain during dreaming. What about the rest of biology? I doubt very much that there are many, if any, definitive studies regarding what goes on in the human gut while dreaming. The gut is the primal brain, with neural tissue. Here's a link. I'm not imagining it:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...-second-brain/

      Additionally, as far as I'm aware we have no information about the physiological processes that could be going on within a plant, or within a single cell, whether the cell is human, animal, or plant. Research funding is actually important, when it comes to these things. While we spend our limited research dollars on what we guess is most relevant to our well-being or scientific advancement, these other things must wait, and so remain unanswered.

      That is fact, not fantasy.

      To deny that these subjects are ill defined and unanswered is to deny yourself the chance to ask questions. And that's the first step in the pursuit of scientific and spiritual understanding.

      Because you mention it again:

      "I'm sorry; I had assumed that the brain's importance in consciousness and dreaming is common knowledge, and pretty much a given in any school of thought on the subject."

      I'll address it again. These fields are incomplete, and the subject matter isn't even well defined.

      Yes! Providing some links that confirm your wild claims would be a starting point, if you want me to believe them; which probably still won't happen without engaging in a little debate. I don't change my position on something like this based upon the "because I said so" argument.

      Take it easy.
      Last edited by amateur; 11-30-2017 at 02:25 AM.

    15. #15
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      ^^ Wow. That's pretty much all I got ... just, Wow.

      As an aside and for what it's worth: I was never upset, even once, in this conversation; I like to reserve strong emotion for things other than forum posts! Any annoyance I may have expressed was at your persistent need for proofs or supporting links to things I feel are established facts (and yes, be assured that I do understand that established facts can be very ephemeral things). This makes sense to me now, though, since I just noticed that this thread is on a research forum! Also, the link to my books was meant to be a shortcut to clarify my point of view, and nothing more.

      Most importantly to me: though I can be a bit of a condescending ass at times, I was not making ANY veiled insults, or anything like that; I also made no judgements or even guesses as to your age, I only responded to what I was given; I fully apologize if my attitude led you to believe I was insulting or belittling you; I was not.

      Finally, since we seem to have set off on the wrong foot, I hope you might take a moment sometime and browse some of my threads; I think you might find that, though my writing style and occasional arrogance does indeed get me into trouble now and then, my overall perspective on the things you discussed in your last post is remarkably similar to yours... even if I don't include links or bibliographies! ... You also might find that I'm not at all the horrible, close-minded fool that I seem to have made myself appear as here!

      Take care, I'll surely see you around the forums, and I hope I haven't fully derailed your thread.
      Last edited by Sageous; 11-30-2017 at 06:19 AM.
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      Yes, we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot, Sageous. I apologize, too. I'm sure we'll develop a friendship over time. One thing we have in common already is an interest in dreams.

      Here's a gift for you, with a message of peace.

      https://www.manataka.org/page1517.html
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      Anyone who has taken a breath of life has entered the state of dreaming. If it could be said of animals, I can imagine it possible that a plant could enter the state of dreaming. However, dreaming requires experience; and, since all things, with breath, enter sleep; whatever experiences a plant would have would be based on the kind of dreams a plant would have.

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