17th May ‘11  (taken from my personal journal…)

I wonder if plants have a mind?
To me it seems very narrow minded of us to believe that only the higher forms of animal life possess what we normally refer to as a mind.
But if we were to think again about what ‘having a mind’ means, then perhaps we could see a little further…

My current understanding of ‘mind’ is that it is not the thinking part of a person, but that it is the hidden driver, it is the impetus, behind everything that we do (but in my definition, this is not the same as ‘spirit).
The body is simply a biomechanical machine that is under the direct control of the person within.
Admittedly, there are many, many automatic functions that go on all the time with no input from the conscious mind. However, each of those functions occurs again and again, as and when required due to an awareness of purpose, even if a particular organ has no self-awareness (although I might argue that there is self awareness because the conscious mind inhabits the same physical body as those automatic functions. And my feeling is that ‘mind’ extends throughout the physical body; it doesn’t only reside behind the eyes.)

Obviously we have a greater capacity to affect the world around us than a plant has, but this is because we have an active, analytical, brain capable of anticipation and forethought, and a body that, unlike a plant, allows us to transplant physical entities from their place of origin to another of our bidding.

The ‘mind’ behind this is what I might refer to as our inherent nature. It is the part of us that has an awareness of purpose, but no awareness of self.
I would argue that it is the conscious part of our being that has awareness of self, but that there is this other, deeper, more primeval part of our being, that defines our nature and drives us toward what we naturally strive for.

But for human’s, all too often the thinking part gets in the way of real personal development. So many people strive to be what others have told them they should be.

The biggest mistake that any of us can make is to believe what other people say about us. – Madonna

In terms of a plant (or any other living thing that we traditionally think of as having no mind), the mind within, would be it’s impetus to develop towards what that type of plant always becomes.

An acorn always grows to an oak tree.
A poppy seed always grows into a poppy.
A seed from an apple always grows to an apple tree.

But what drives this predictable outcome?  It is really simple biology?  Or is it more than that?

There is a developing feeling deep within me, (see also 9th Jan ’09) that it is more than simply the measurable parts of the physical world. That there is something intangible that makes it happen… otherwise a seed would just rest on the ground until the next mouse came along and ate it up!

All this has just made me remember what Steve Newell (friend and Christian pastor) suspects I am looking for, i.e. ‘The nature of nature.’
I think he’s right.

And this is what I see as the essence of Tao.
This, to me, is what came before the invention of God. It is greater than God.

‘Love’ as described in a typically Christian way has all the hallmarks of an origin that is greater than that which can be projected by an individual. I can’t help but think that it is very similar in traits to Tao. But, that Tao doesn’t care, it merely provides the life force that can be used or not.

If ‘love’ cares for us, then that implies that it has an awareness of sorts, perhaps even an intelligence?  This is where it fails to work for me.