The Last March of the Ents

A few days ago, I posted something about trees and my affinity for trees (in “The Word for World is Forest“).  Probably some people didn’t take me seriously. But by odd coincidence, “The man who thinks trees talk to each other” appeared yesterday in The Guardian, about a German forester who also has what we might call an “unconventional” understanding of trees — unconventional perhaps only in the sense that it is an old understanding. It brought to mind, though, the “Ents” of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the movie Avatar.

The tone of the article is rather mocking, indicating to me, at least, that its author was completely unaware of recent biological research in plant consciousness and plant communication, as highlighted earlier. This has been going on since at least the publication of The Secret Life of Plants back in 1973. More recently, even conventional science journals have published research into plant sentience, such as “Do Plants Think?” in Scientific American or “The Intelligent Plant” in The New Yorker, along with a TED talk by plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso on “The Roots of Plant Intelligence“.  So, there’s no reason to be skeptical or mocking of the more intuitive perceptions of a German forester.

This is truly a living world that justifies the notion of an interconnected intelligence sometimes designated as noosphere that is co-extensive with the meaning of “biosphere”, and yet from which man’s own participant intelligence (such as it is) has seemingly become estranged and alienated — the universal narcissistic condition called “egoism”. We are a necessary and integral participant of that “noosphere” which is the intelligence of the whole, yet we’ve forgotten that in our estrangement. Isn’t that the meaning of the parable of the Prodigal Son? And in becoming estranged from the web of life we have also become anti-biotic.

Who wants to be anti-biotic?



11 responses to “The Last March of the Ents”

  1. donsalmon says :

    The parapsychological literature is full of well-conducted experiments showing intelligence not only in animals and plants, but in so-called ‘dead matter” as well. If the “magical” and mythical orientation of parapsychology could free itself from the domination of their ill-fated attempted to please the deficient mental-rational consciousness of their still skeptical peers, a truly integral science of the subliminal (Frederick Myers’ word for those inner phenomena which the Indians refer to as the world of swapna, dream) might emerge.

    I think it’s well within the realm of possibility some time in the next 20-30 years. Though we may not be wise enough to handle the opening to the inner worlds.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I think it’s well within the realm of possibility some time in the next 20-30 years. Though we may not be wise enough to handle the opening to the inner worlds.

      That’s my concern about “the return of the repressed”. Gebser probably wouldn’t have called that an “irruption” if he thought it would come on little dove’s feet rather than ferociously. But I do think Blake’s struggle with “Leviathan” in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a model for how to integrate it into consciousness — his description is alchemical process and a description of the “effective mode” of the magical consciousness

      I really do think Blake’s “memorable fancy” (parable of the Leviathan) holds the key to everything. Leviathan is what Seth calls the return of “the ancient force”, and Blake shows us how to handle that without losing our grip through a kind of transubstantiation or transmutation of the ancient force and perception.

      Blake truly was a master in that sense that he was able to turn all adverse energies into his allies, and grow from strength to strength. Very masterful. Exactly what the Buddha would call “skilful”.

      • donsalmon says :

        Turning adversity into practice is almost a perfect summary of the Lojong teachings

        About that irruption – I’ve often said, as much as Dean Radin and other parapsychologists hope for more acceptance of the paranormal, if we don’t get our acts together, when people like D T***p get paranormal abilities, we will look back with much fond nostalgia for the days when all we had to be concerned about was nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

        But getting back to Lojong, the ultimate answer is; “see all things stemming from one” – or as the commenters say, the root cause of all suffering is nothing about there but the belief in the inherent existence of a separate self.

  2. Scott Preston says :

    Robert Koehler “Reflections on the Anthropocene” from The Oakland Press

  3. Scott Preston says :

    Apparently the Guardian article on Mr. Wohlleben and his living trees has really caught on. Here’s a piece in Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine about it as well

  4. abdulmonem says :

    And the quran says repeatedly that everything in this wide universe are alive and are in constant recitation, praising the creator except the ungrateful humans who have been created from a raw fetus only to turn into an arrogant challengers, an arrogance that prevented them from comprehending the language of the things around them for a long long time. It seems, however, we have reached a time when we have become able to comprehend their language in light of the divine promise that He will show them his signs across his creation and through the human self, the self that has been divinely provided with the tools of knowledge and has been taught what it knows not yet it negates the divine tutorship. The deniers that will face their spiritual deformity in an unhappy ways. Indicative disturbances are everywhere, may the oblivious humanity wakes up before the deluge.

  5. abdulmonem says :

    The story of the interaction of the human forces and that of nature is as old as the human existence on earth , Noah told his people to ask the divine forgiveness in order to bring the rain back. We separated nature from its operator, the creator and make it a machine that works by itself and the rain stops and pours by itself, so does the wind etc etc, how recklessly immature and short-sighted can we get. No wonder there are so many voices calling to return to the real away from the fabricated gods of flags, nation states and anthem and to put everything in its proper station. This is the price for surrendering to the irrational and to the spiritually empty.

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