Thursday, 2 February 2012

Coltsfoot Speaks Again

Does the nose cause the smell? Do the eyeballs cause the thing beheld?
Why, then, do we cling to this pernicious idea of consciousness arising from and caused by the brain?

It was the middle of last night when I was almost forced to get out of bed. Phlegm had trickled down into my lungs as I slept and I was wracked with useless unproductive coughs.

I took a slice of bread and peanut butter and some water in the dark. It was then that I remembered the promise to a colleague which had slipped my mind for days - I took out the boxes of dried Coltsfoot flowers and Artemisia, mixed them together, and sealed them in an airtight bag.

As I did this, the Coltsfoot spoke directly to me. Under its direction, I picked out a pinch of Coltsfoot flowers, crushed them a little, and inhaled the tussilaginous aroma. I could feel the vapour dispelling the phlegm from my chest as I drew it in. After a couple more sniffs, my lungs were clear and I went back to bed.

As I have ranted before, parsimony compels me to ascribe such knowledge as coming from the plant, rather than that murky, somewhat abstract and completely undefended notion of the-brain-making-shit-up.

Unfortunately, we seem to have bought that idea hook line and sinker: that consciousness arises in and is created by the brain, rather than the idea which more closely fits all the experiential knowledge, that the brain is an organ of reception for consciousness just as the nose is an organ for the reception of smell and the eye an organ for the reception of sight.
Sometimes, I just don't know what to do about humans. I just don't.