During the last few weeks I have been confronted with several troubling images of caged and chained animals, some in circuses, which affected me deeply.
It made me wonder whether my feelings of sadness, anger, and empathy would have been similarly aroused if I had seen a computer tethered to a desk, or a rock chained to another rock.
Of course not.
It reminded me deeply of one of the Dalai Lama’s suggestions for meditation — that within stillness one try to sense the interconnectedness of allsentient beings.
On a scientific level we usually attribute sentience to the presence of a brain and nervous system; it is interesting to consider that at the smallest molecular levels some viruses are alive sometimes, and inanimate substances at other times. (Sometimes this is a matter of whether they are in a host organism.)
In any case there is something in…
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