Thursday, June 05, 2008

CONSCIOUSNESS EXPLAINED?

(written in response to a debate forum topic concerning Daniel C. Dennet's, CONSCIOUSNESS EXPLAINED, and Jared Diamond's GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL)

Somethings are so obvious, they seem obscure. Obscurity is ripe for profit, which is what most scientists seek.

Is the brain a computer? Is the body a genetic robot? What is culture? How does consciousness really work?

The answer is so simple, we have overlooked it. In truth, not just have we overlooked it, we have hated it and sought to cast it out of society. What is the answer?

Plants.

Jared Diamond almost nailed it when he published his book, Guns Germs and Steel, for which he won the Pulitzer. But, his thesis is incomplete. For example, it is a known historical fact that the European navies required the fibers of cannabis sativa to sail the high seas and conquer the New World. This fact was left out of Mr. Diamond's book, probably because it hadn't dawned on him that the same plant that harnessed the wind for the great Old World imperial navies was the same plant that the gangs in L.A. go to jail for selling. Mr. Diamond eloquently illustrates how the resources of the natural environment influence cultural development. He failed to address how the natural environment influences human cognition.

Why does Cannabis sativa produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and why does mammalian physiology also produce endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide? Why do Psychotria viridis, Acacia, Mimosa, and Pomegranite trees produce DMT, and why is this hallucinogenic molecule also produced in the human pineal gland? Why does caffeine mimic endogenous adenosine? Why do nicotine, atropine, and scopolamine mimic endogenous acetycholine? Why do psylocibine, LSA, LSD, and Ibogaine mimic endogenous serotonine? Why do mescaline and cocaine mimic endogenous dopamine? Why do opiates mimic endorphins? Why do secondary botanical metabolites mimic neurotransmitters in the animal central nervous system?

After all, ants have nicotine and GABA receptors, goats are stimulated by coffee, spiders and fish trip out on LSD, and monkeys hallucinate on DMT. In sum, the reason why human consciousness evolved the way it did is found in the subsistence relationship our genetic ancestors had with the plants of the natural environment. The earliest archaeological records of the "Creative Explosion" circa 40,000 - 30,000 B.C.E. suggests that shamanic cultures in prehistory were investigating the cognitive capacities for altered states of consciousness. It is a fact that all animal life is dependent upon plants for survival. What we forget is that we share much of our DNA with plants.

The building blocks for human consciousness were first forged in the genetic darwinian battles of plant survival. These genes were later passed down genetically to ALL animals. Thus, plant metabolites are the foundation of intelligence in the animal kingdom. We have just overlooked it for so long because we've trained ourselves to believe that these are "bad drugs" and not what they truly are, that being, sacred ethnobotanicals that represent some of humanity's first cultivated crops.

Despite the War on Drugs, these plant metabolites still represent commodities, cognitive release from cultural stress, and passageways for access to the divine. That they have become addictive, that is our own fault. We have taken what was once sacred, and ultimately turned it into a weapon.

Thus, you have a better understanding of how animal intelligence evolved in a symbiotic relationship with botanical life. Now, how consciousness actually works, that comes down to the circuits, which are represented by the endogenous metabolites like DMT, acetylcholine, dopamine, adenosine, and the internally produce marijuana cannabinoids.

Unfortunately, American scientists are limited in understanding these metabolites.

This will continue as long as Uncle Sam sees demons, and not history.

4 Comments:

Blogger david said...

Great rant. Symbiosis is the word. Plants have utilised us just as much as us them. E.g., by being so versatile and tasty wheat has become an uber plant.

Nice blog. Q. Where'd you get the traffic counter to work on blogger, I can't seem to find one that works?

Cheers,

D

http://psychopraxis.blogspot.com/

10:27 AM  
Blogger sourmonkey said...

thanks.

the traffic counter is from easy hit counters:

(click the link in the counter to go to the webpage).

8:50 AM  
Blogger sourmonkey said...

and you are right,

symbiosis is the key.

8:51 AM  
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