Forty-one years ago, I could hear the sounds of logging equipment in the Olympic Peninsula foothill above me, so climbed that foothill to see the logging in action, thinking I might like to help, might like to become one of their workers. But the climb took hours, and by the time I got there, the workers had just left and I was alone.
But to my utter bewilderment, I felt a lot of pain and sadness up there; so much so that I instantly knew I would NEVER want to be involved in logging if it causes anything like those feelings. But what/who
was all this pain and sadness coming from? I couldn't tell. It seemed to be everywhere over the freshly logged area, wherever I stepped. Was it small animals who had just lost their homes? I didn't see any. Was it "tree spirits"? (...if they are real.) I just couldn't tell, but felt truly sorry for whatever thing or person was feeling such extreme unhappiness.
Forty years later, I watched a documentary called "Intelligent Trees
" on Amazon Prime Video. It explained at length how with advanced scientific equipment, we have learned how trees do things that seem highly intelligent, such as feed neighboring trees root-to-root who are having a hard time, worn other trees of insect infestations so they can chemically prepare, choose to feed their young who have the best chance of maturing, grow branches at angles that allow others needed sunlight, etc. Sometimes they connect to the root system of a fallen tree, keeping those roots alive and healthy for many years after the tree above has vanished.
The scientists discovered that their root systems are wired together like complex brains, with as many synapses as our human brains have, communicating with each other through both electrical and chemical signals as do our brains, letting countless fungi maintain feeding and connections just as countless glial cells do the same in our human brains. The consensus from the scientists was that trees are apparently alive and conscious like we are, knowingly making decisions and acting on them.
Oh my gosh! THAT's
where all the pain and sadness was coming from which I felt as I walked through the cleared area. All those helpless brains right under my feet, in such despair over having lost their bodies! I would never never
want to be involved in logging; so necessary, and yet so cruel.