A Walk About In My Mind

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

Who, then, is “animate” and who “inanimate”? Within the assembly of the Lotus, all are present without division. In the case of grass, trees and the soil . . . whether they merely lift their feet or energetically traverse the long path, they will all reach Nirvana.

— Zhanran the Sixth Patriarch of Tendai Buddhism (1711-82)


As I was walking along the creek’s bank, my head was in a swirl.  So much internal noise, while the outside world remained placid.  Utterly calm and quiet.  The only noises came from the trickling, crystal-clear, emerald water.  The hum of seventeen-year cicadas.  The occasional bee, wearing a cloak of pollen and having a belly full of sweet nectar, barely able to carry its own weight on its flight path back to the hive.  And from the trees swaying, or rather dancing, in time with the Chief Western Wind. 

A Black Swallowtail fritters past, in complete silence.  Not a care in the world.

But, oh so much internal clatter.  An orchestra of out-of-tune instruments each playing a different symphony.  Does this tumult of turbulence comprise what we’ve come to call our Consciousness?  Does all of this internal noise make us “Aware?”  And “Aware” of what exactly?


Now, when I started writing this piece, I had no idea where it might lead.  Frankly, my thoughts have been pretty scattered as of late.  Just too much going on to process.  Yet we do process tremendous amounts of information each day, even if we think we’re not.  And we believe we process more information in our sleep, but how we do that remains a complete mystery.  It’s all just theory.

And who’s to say whether “dreaming” and being “awake” are the same thing?  Which is more “Real?”

Perhaps it’s all a dream.

So, just what is Consciousness?  Or better yet, what does it mean to be Alive?  Where do our identities come from?  Does our physical brain even have anything to do with being “Conscious” or “Awakened?”

By Consciousness, I don’t simply mean being awake from our slumbers or aware of our surroundings, I throw in self-awareness – the awareness that we exist and being aware of that existence.  We talk to ourselves constantly as our rational mind tries to make sense of the world and figure out how we’re supposed to fit into this mess.  Does that internal dialog represent our Consciousness?

And that poses an even harder questions besides determining what constitutes Consciousness.  Just what is our Purpose?  Why do we have such Consciousness in the first place?

What the hell are we all doing here?

Scientists have yet to correlate any specific physical structure in the human brain to Consciousness.  We are currently unable to quantify what our Mind or Soul or Consciousness are.  We can’t locate a physical point of origination.  We can’t measure it.  But we can describe action.  The things we see happening around us and the things we ourselves are putting into motion.  And we can describe thought, even if we lack the means to understand or express exactly where that thought arises from. 

Sounds a lot like Quantum Mechanics.  The physics of atomic and subatomic particles.  Are such unseen particles, only identified by their effects in the environment, the same as our own “Particle of Awareness?”  Do we define our existence or Consciousness then by the effects we have, physical or otherwise, as we traipse through this world?

Since we can’t seem to wrap our heads around what Consciousness is or where it comes from, why not a “Mass” or “Collective Consciousness?”  And if we are all Particles of Awareness from a singular Source, do we essentially represent one part of the internal dialog of that infinite Source?  The Source’s Mass Consciousness.

One thing scientists have confirmed is that different organelles in each of our cells interact with other components of the cells, which by definition is social activity.  Does that mean they are Conscious?  They definitely are “Alive.”  If they are not Conscious, but they are “Living,” does that mean life itself is unrelated to Consciousness? 

The concept of the “Eternal Soul,” might shake its head in agreement.

While we all seem to be packaged up with our own distinct Particle of Awareness, who’s to say we all aren’t linked (MitaKaye Oyasin) in some form of Mass Consciousness or Awareness. For that matter, since various cellular organelles are themselves independent creatures, then we, so-called humans, have direct physical interconnections with billions of other personalities within our own bodies.  Our internal hive.

Ponder that for a while. 

We are multi-beings.  Is that analogous to the Supreme Being having spread its Particles of Awareness out among the eternity of its ethereal body?  A tiny part of which are we? 

Maybe so.

Depending on one’s definitions or beliefs, being “alive” could be totally divorced from Consciousness and all of matter could possess Consciousness. So where does that leave us in terms of what we traditionally call the “inanimate” or unalive?

So enters a new word for my vocabulary – “Panpsychism,” or the idea that Consciousness is inextricably linked to all matter and simply grows stronger as a physical object becomes more complex.  I might take issue with the growing stronger as a part of complexity part, as I believe Consciousness is Consciousness, period.  I mean, how would we judge the Consciousness of a flower?  Does it possess more or less Consciousness than we do?  How would we know?  

It is said that as the centuries passed, humans forgot the language, the means of how to speak to the rest of the Natural community.  Thus, we remain in ignorance of the Real World around us.

Panpsychism rings true with what our First Nations Peoples recognized – there is Spirit in absolutely everything in existence, including the “inanimate,” down to the infinitesimal specks of sub-atomic particles.  For example, in simple to understand terms, we have the Stone People and the Thunder Beings.  Anthropomorphic analogies to honor the Soul Light in every form of matter.  

This includes the recognition that the four basic elemental forces have Consciousness because they’re all composed of matter.  Earth, Air, Water, and Fire – all matter in different forms, perhaps even in transition from one form to another, all possessing Consciousness. 

Have you spoken with your campfire lately?  I have with mine. 😊

Consciousness is all subjective.  It doesn’t have to be made up of thought, reasoning, sight, sound, or smell.   And even if it did, we currently have no way to measure the Consciousness of a Dragonfly or a Stone.  How would we know what they were contemplating?  Or perceiving?  Or feeling?

We go around labeling all forms of matter and cry out that they lack “sentience,” the ability to perceive and feel things.  But we have no way of knowing what a rock senses as it’s skipped across the surface of a lake or ground up by a glacier carving a cirque into a mountainside.

Perhaps, instead of looking at Consciousness like it must be embodied within a physical, live, so-called sentient organism, it is composed of something more similar to electromagnetic waves.  These waves are constantly being emitted by all forms of matter, just like our own Auras. 

If we are perceptive enough, we might just see the Auras surrounding Trees, or Clouds, or Lightning Bolts, or Mountains, or maybe even that Dragonfly.   Maybe we do this all the time subliminally, and we respond continually to cues being emanated from these other beings without realizing how our Consciousness is interacting with theirs. 

Our waveforms colliding with theirs.

In human societal terms, we are very much sense-addicted.  Our Consciousnesses tend to accumulate sensory perceptions, and label these self-generated interpretations as “reality.” If this “reality” matches what others believe they perceive, at least marginally, then we will call that truth.  If there is no match, then it’s called a delusion or a hallucination by those who believe their perception was in congruity with the “Norm.”

I guess I live in a World of Delusion as I prefer to see what others deny.

Physical bodies are Ephemeral, while Consciousness is Ethereal and stretches on into Eternity.


I always find the Life and Spirit in Nature every time I foray out into the Real World.  All Our Relations, all forms of Consciousness, are there waiting to speak to us.  The Creature-beings, the Stone-People, the Standing-People, the Plant People, the Winged Ones, the Finned Ones, the Two-legged, the Four-Legged, the No-legged, the Creepy-Crawlers, Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, the Cloud-People, the Thunder-beings, the Great Sky Nation, the Four Chief Spirits – Air, Earth, Water and Fire, the Four Chief Winds – North, South, East, and West, the Ancestors and, of course, Great Mystery.   They surround us in that Real World.  If some or all of that World is Panpsychic in nature, well that’s fine with me. 

That World is where I feel at Home 🙂

In Metta

Rabbit Holes

  • Channeling

Many thoughts come to me about writing, and I know I’ve said this many times, but it seems to me that, I’m channeling rather than having independent thought.  The thoughts, the words, are foreign in origin.  They simply emerge in my brain from somewhere in the void.  How is that possible?  But then again, how is that not possible?  Why is the concept of collective information or mind sharing so controversial?  Why is it delusional to believe a Butterfly can communicate on an unseen level with us and provide an affirmation or even a warning?  The world becomes so boring and trite if we try to remove all of the Magick in it. 

  • Twenty-One Grams

One doctor, back in 1907, attempted to determine if Souls have a physical weight.  If so, there must be a physical nexus somewhere in our body that houses this indescribable sense of “being.”  So, he measured the weight of people before and immediately after death.  While widely, and appropriately, criticized for selective reporting of the data, this doctor came up with the figure of 21 grams as being the weight of a human soul.  But even assuming that’s true, however nice it sounds, just where are these 21 grams of Soul-weight hiding in our bodies?

  • Phantoms Surround Us

I have certainly met people whom I felt were Phantoms. Lacking self-awareness and awareness of their surroundings.  Soulless.  If Consciousness is independent from “life” that can provide the answer for these apparently oblivious mounds of flesh that merely parrot back cliches and platitudes.  A rock has superior Consciousness to these folks.  You’ve probably met a few of these folks yourself.

Disclaimer: It’s been a while since I posted on the blog (2 months to be exact), and there are a couple of reasons for that.  Once I had a post pilfered, I sort of lost my enthusiasm.  Another, more significant reason though is that my illness has advanced.  That’s a pretty bland statement, but without going into a lengthy discussion on chemical and mold sensitivities, let just say my brain has been scrambled and it’s really tough concentrating and putting together cohesive thoughts.  So if this post seems to be a bit unworldly, maybe that’s why – LOL !  Or maybe it’s just the character of the subject matter 😊

** All of my writing and photographs are copyrighted and cannot be used in any fashion without express permission of the author, Me.

45 thoughts on “A Walk About In My Mind”

  1. Wow! What a fabulous train of thought Harold, I enjoyed every word. Connecting the dots is what creatives do, the ant, the tree, the watermelon all carry their own energy…We just have to listen! Sending healthy thoughts your way, 💕C

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this and was going to comment. But it just got too long. I feel I’ve been hogging other peoples’ posts lately. So I responded with my own post. Read it if you want. But your post is inspiring, to be sure.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I edited a couple of key words in my description that better represent me. Do you ever reread something and think “the way I worded that might make me look pretty narrow minded?” That’s what I just found. Holy mackerel! Anyway. Thanks again for opening the topic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks. Normally I just post these incredibly long responses to people’s entries. I recently realized that it might not be polite. I really don’t know if there are protocols here. But it’s good to see you again. And I appreciate your thought provoking posts!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you! It feels good to be back. I’m not sure what the etiquette is on WP in terms of the length of comments, but I always appreciate when someone takes the time to comment. It shows they read you post, and I usually learn through the interaction, so no problems on comments here

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear the mold has eaten its way further into your brain, but perhaps your altered consciousness is seeing the world as it is….btw, many great philosopher’s would agree with your point of view…everything IS consciousness and without consciousness there is nothing. ALL is consciousness. If more people thought this way, we we treat everything with the care and respect it deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may be right. Not all is bad about having altered mental states. And thanks! Good to know I’m in sync with views on Consciousness. If only people would break from their social programming, they could start to really see the world

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see so many people today chasing money and materials. I hope they stop someday and think about the things that really matter. Yeah we do need to eat, but our minds and our souls need food too

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Where does one discuss these topics you write about? Do you walk into a Starbuck and say…”How about a large cappuccino, and an explanation on the nature of consciousness.”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I really am laughing out loud! Fantastic question George. I have no clue. A philosophy class??? Maybe we could form a discussion group on line. I was in a Tao discussion group for a while before COVID hit and I decided not to go back because a couple of members wanted to turn it into a discussion about Christianity instead of the Tao

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Wow! I don’t mind anyone practicing whatever religion they want, just don’t try to shove it down everyone else’s throat. I have a brother who is a devote Christian, but he doesn’t try to take over conversations and preach. That is what was happening in my Tao group. Geez

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So nice to hear from you and this is an amazing piece. I have always felt that everything is connected as The First Nations people know. I am sorry that you are experiencing physical problems. I hope that you can find a way to make things better. Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Suzanne ! I’ve been meaning to get this one out of my head on paper for a while 🙂 I feel like I’ve been missing out. I need to catch up with your posts and with other favorite blogs. I do believe everything is connected. I see it everyday in the world we walk in. Yeah, these physical bodies have their limitations and the neurotoxic reactions I’m having seem to be set off with smaller and smaller exposures and the reactions are much worse. I’m set up to try a new med this week – a Monoclonal Antibody called Fasenra. My doc says I can try a sample, but if I had to pay for it it’s $5200 per dose ! Holy crap! And I’m not sure insurance would cover it. We’ll see what happens. I hope all is going well with you


      1. Wow! I looked up the drug..(a thing nurses can’t stop doing) and it is fascinating. My memory about eosinophils is lacking. My have to read again about the immune system. I certainly hope that insurance will cover it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Paul. Isn’t that silence amazing. Healing. Calming the mind and body. Sometimes when I’ve come back from a hike I feel like I’m being assaulted by all of the outside noise and that, in turn, fires up my inside noise – LOL. Peace to you my friend

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Consciousness consciousness consciousness…..what about the SUB conscious ??? Loved reading your stream of consciousness post ….. don’t go over to my blog and like anything now….haha …i’ve been really depressed and it shows……very Unconscious blathering baloney……haha and sorry you’ve been feeling icky…..you’ll feel worse if you read my stuff…..just a warning…..((take care )) oh…i almost forgot….BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY !!!!!! Talk about our consciousnesses being one or connected….i started a painting of a butterfly long before i saw this post/photo of yours…..and THE COLORS are identical in my painting …similar butterfly…not exactly….but still………….your photo is one of the most beautiful i have seen………………………………

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much ! I don’t believe in coincidences so your Butterfly and mine – collective unconscious – speaking to one another. Yes, you are right, the subconscious mind can’t be ignored either. I hope you’re feeling better. This past week was both full of promise and full of depression – weird to even say that, but true. Love yourself, just like loving the Butterfly. So much magic out there to tap into 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Studies have shown that we will quite literally die without sleep. Sleep is restorative and protective. Some days it is a refuge. I go there myself to get relief from my diseased body. Interesting question though, we succumb to sleep but we don’t know where our Consciousness goes then. We trust we will awaken, but awaken where ???


  6. I hope you are doing ok Harold. ❤ I really enjoyed your stream of consciousness writing and am absolutely interested in the subject matter you are discussing. I am glad you posted. Thank you for another interesting read. I do think the concepts and questions you attach are important for each of us to ponder. I had not heard of study attempting to measure the human soul. Interesting to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

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