Plant intelligence

The thinking behind this month’s theme can be summarized in the following quote from Stephen Harrod Buhner, who is also this month’s interview subject:

Because all life-forms, irrespective of their nature, must, to survive, have a sense of not me, they all have a sense of self, they are in fact self-aware.

“Because all life forms, irrespective of their nature, must, to survive, be able to analyze the nature of the not me that approaches them and, further, must be able to determine its intent, and further, be able to craft a response to that intent, all life-forms are, by definition, intelligent.

“Because all life-forms have to be able to determine the intent of the not me that approaches them, they also have to be able to determine meaning.

“In other words, all living organisms can not only process data, they also engage in a search for meaning, an analysis that runs much deeper than linear cause and effect. Thus, three capacities—self-awareness, intelligence, and the search for meaning that have—erroneously—been ascribed as belonging only to human beings, are in fact general conditions for every life-form.

Buhner has spent most of a lifetime interacting with plants as conscious entities and shares a bit of what he has learned from them. His books offer more of this knowledge–along with a profound sense of the nurturing and care he has received from his relationships with the plant realm. As our indigenous elders have been telling us forever, the Earth is our Mother…and loves us like one. I know from experience that this can be hard for Westerners to accept.

This month’s other contributors have also been willing to consider as equals the photosynthesizing life forms with whom we share the planet. Jack Belck pens a humorous essay on the subject, while fiction writers Fiona Jones, Jenean McBrearty, Simon Read, and Garrett Rowlan contribute exceptional short stories–some from the human perspective; others from the viewpoint of the plants themselves. We’re also proud to offer poetry from Emily Bowles, Eirlys Chui, Joe Cottonwood, Bob Findysz, and Barrett Warner. Plus, we offer MOON Shine and Movies You Might’ve Missed (but shouldn’t).

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Photo credit: Apostol Voicu for Unsplash.com