An old friend sent me a package recently, which contained a book titled “A Guide for the Perplexed” by E.F. Schumacher. At first I was perplexed about what he might be trying to tell me with this gift, but eventually got the connection. The book contains a very interesting discussion on four levels of being: matter, life, consciousness, and self-awareness. It asserts that science operates at the first level because it is the only level directly accessible to objective, scientific observations by means of our five senses. Physics and chemistry describe matter, and even the “life sciences” deal with the carriers of life rather than life as such. Life itself, along with consciousness and self-awareness, can be noticed and studied, but explaining them requires a leap of faith. Plants have life, animals add consciousness, and people add self-awareness (we are conscious of our own consciousness). So we share with plants the characteristic of life, but even with our powers of self-awareness we can’t really prove exactly how that happens, or where it starts or ends.
Today marks Sherri’s 60th birthday. She hoped to get past the holidays and make this milestone with us. But on December 5th, the day of her memorial service, we picked out a Christmas tree without her. Or so we thought. This tree has been holding up unusually well and hasn’t started dropping needles, so we decided to leave it up in the house a bit longer. Over the last couple of weeks it started sprouting new growth, though it has no roots or soil. It is still growing. Maybe our botanist found a way to live among us until her birthday after all.
Sherri would say that the soul of a plant has to do with it’s use. From whence cometh it’s life?