Stream of Consciousness

FISH

I think I’ll go this way – hey, there’s a bug – what’s that? oh, another fish – maybe I’ll go down here now – it’s lighter over there – this weed is nice – oh-oh, watch out for that big fish – shall I go this way now? – what’s that? a big rock, I’ll go round it – no, I’ll go over it – mm a nice bug, and another one – more of those weeds – I think I’ll go over there now –

GAZELLE

Oh no, he’s running after me – oh no, oh, no, I can’t run fast enough – jump this way, leap that way – there’s a pathway I know, I’ll try that – damn, I’ve tripped –oh no, I can’t get away, oh panic, oh help! –

GOOSE

This way, this way – follow me, we’ve got to go this way, for a long time – gosh I’m tired – but it will be good there – that’s it, along this coast line – you go first for a bit – yes, I remember that mountain – onwards, onwards, long way to go –

WOLF

Howl, howl, how wonderful to howl – this is our place, go away you others – we hunt here, we kill here – today I ran with my mate and brothers – yes together we chased and killed our meat – we bought meat to our cubs – no hunger today – howl for the joy of living –

ELEPHANT

Grandmother came this way – keep up, baby, here let me help you – a bit further and we’ll find the water – oh there it is, lovely, we can cool down – careful baby, there are lions about –look there are some of those tall monkeys looking at us – don’t come close to my baby, you! – yes I remember grandmother but she has gone now, I know where her bones lie –

MAN

I do not believe that any other animal on this planet has the same level of awareness as us humans, or has deep philosophical or abstract thoughts, but it always seems to me that any creature faced with any sort of decision, even if it is responding only to stimuli like danger or hunger, must have some sort of awareness in its mind, some focus of thought, that makes it turn one way or another, or choose this mate over that, or recognise a familiar place or fellow creature – do you not feel your own self-awareness as a focal point of thought, like a ball floating along at the forefront of a wave of time? – from when you first wake up, to when you rouse yourself to go to the toilet and have breakfast, to when you decide what you need or want to do that day, to when you choose what to eat, who to call – don’t you think that all other creatures, even primitive ones, anything that can make a decision, ‘shall I go this way or that way?’ must have the same focal point of awareness in its brain, must have the same sort of narrative going on it its head every day that we have? – not as complex of course and not able to communicate its thoughts to us – except for those animals that do relate to us to a certain extent, like the dog that deposits a ball repeatedly at our feet, which can only be interpreted, surely, as ‘please throw this for me to fetch again, it’s fun’ – but I think all brains must have that stream of consciousness, even robins, even mice, even frogs – interesting thought, now what shall I do next? –

 

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