The Consciousness of Trees is the latest work by Jack Adams and will be published as a hardback book in October 2023. The following is the preface to the book presented as a ‘taster’ of what is coming soon.
Study: Earth Has More Than 3 Trillion Trees
Sep 2, 2015 by News Staff, Sci-News.
“Trees are among the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth, yet we are only recently beginning to comprehend their global extent and distribution,” said … Dr Thomas Crowther of Yale University. The new study used a combination of approaches to reveal that there are 3.041 trillion trees – roughly 422 trees per person.
original source: T.W. Crowther et al. Mapping tree density at a global scale. Nature, published online September 02, 2015; doi: 10.1038/nature14967
The Consciousness of Trees
In 2022, we made 8 billion human individuals on our planet.
There are more than 3 trillion trees.
There are 10 quintrillion arthropods.
8 billion = 8,000,000,000
3.04 trillion = 3,041,000,000,000
10 quintrillion = 10,000,000,000,000,000,000
There are 422 trees for every person you know. There are 1,250,000,000 arthropods for every person you know. That is one billion, two hundred and fifty million living arthropods for each and every one of us. Yet still we persist with the idea that this world was made for us, this planet is ours to manage and control and smothered in such smugness it is difficult to see how insignificant we are.
Some might say that our impact on the environment is what defines our primacy on Earth. Some might say. The Consciousness of Trees listens not to the buzzing of insects or the prattle of humanity. They shaped and built this environment. They made the surface of the planet fit for animal life. They have built all the environments in which all the animals have ever lived. Most are now extinct. The trees remember them well. As they will remember us.
Trees are not a taxonomic group but include a variety of plant species that have independently evolved a trunk and branches as a way to tower above other plants to compete for sunlight. In wider definitions, the taller palms, tree ferns, bananas, and bamboos are also trees.
The Consciousness of Trees
This World of Trees
We are very much agitated by the debate about climate change and gripped by nightmares over a projected extinction event. Fears and inflamed passions are negatively damaging our ability to have reasoned debate. Our politics have undermined our science and our social technologies have reduced discussions to raging binary partisanship.
We have been identifiably part of the Earth as homo for 2 million years. In the last 6 thousand years, we have come to believe that we own and control this world. Now we are arguing about the idea that we might have been destroying the planet over the last 250 years.
Plants have been on earth as an identifiable life form for nearly 800 million years. Wattieza was the first recognisable tree to our knowledge and grew 385 million years ago. This is the planet of plants. The environment in which all animals have been able to become terrestrial was and is created by plants. The trillions of trees are one of the primary creative forces behind life on land. They have been through 19 extinction events and are still here.
Maybe we should listen to them.
How much do we know about extinction?
1. Serpukhovian extinction
(Ma = million years ago)
2. Carboniferous rainforest collapse 305 Ma
3. Olson’s Extinction
4. End-Capitanian extinction event
5. Permian–Triassic extinction event 252 Ma
6. Smithian-Spathian boundary event
7. Carnian Pluvial Event
8. Triassic–Jurassic extinction event
9. Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction (Toarcian turnover)
10. End-Jurassic (Tithonian) extinction 145 Ma
11. Aptian extinction
12. Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event 94 Ma
13. Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event
14. Eocene–Oligocene extinction event 33.9 Ma
15. Middle Miocene disruption
16. Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary extinction
17. Quaternary extinction event (I)
640,000 years ago
18. Quaternary extinction event (II)
74,000 years ago
19. Quaternary extinction event (III)
13,000 years ago
Note: There were 13 more known extinction events between 325 Ma and 2,400 Ma.
Our stories are the repository of our humanity.
How we tell and what we tell,
describes something of us
makes us known
as who we are.
Everyone has a story
it is never a science but an art.
Without an understanding of our art the nature of truth will always elude us and we will travel down false paths. The real challenges begin not with what others think of our oral histories but of how we see our own stories.
If we consider what we tell to be what defines us, then we are already wandering astray. Our words have power and can capture the weak mind with the belief that they own a truth.
We need to look beyond words to understand what we say and why we say it. In metaphor we find the honesty of our experience. The mirror of our soul can only be glimpsed in poetry rather than mathematics.
The cruelest dictator does not believe he is an incarnation of evil. In his own story, his personal history, he will explain why he is reasonable, why he is good, why he is necessary but always his first audience is himself.
The greatest saint does not believe that she is an incarnation of goodness. In her own story, her personal history, she will explain why she is un-reasonable, why she is flawed, why she is un-necessary but always her first audience is herself.
This is the black and white, the two sides of the coin, the binary understanding. A cold plate mirror in which we see what stands opposite us. In such reflections we should always remember the old saying, “What we oppose, we become.”
All that we see reflected is our own imagination rippling on the tide of time. The ones and the zeros betray our sensitivity and cage our perception. Good and bad are false gods set fast in our own hand made shrines.
The trees ignore such idiocy and grow past our infancy.
The world we have created with our stories, the histories we have made with our tales and the societies we have built on our fables is a reality woven from mythologies. This is why the mature study of mythology is the foundation of all adult consciousness.
We need a new story to awaken us from the mumbling unconsciousness and release us from the chains of captivity we have forged and locked around our necks. If we do not understand the mythologies we speak, if we cannot comprehend the mythologies we are told, then we are living in the nursery of intelligence.
The Consciousness of Trees is a story.
That narrative uncurls its leaf in the title.
We start by listening to what these words mean and then give them time to rub the clotted sleep from our eyes. They are a combination of sounds which should open the gate to an adventure for those who would see more in our universe than evaporated ink on a dry page.
For those whose faces are covered with wode, just the association of these words, consciousness and trees, is enough to have them wielding the axe. We should leave them in their own stump strewn clearing and stay within the forest of our imagination. We should listen to the consciousness of trees and feel their leaves rustle in our thoughts.
Recover the magic of the world you once held in your childhood hands. Renounce the crippling of your soul by those who would sell you the air you breath. Stand away from the mythologies of power and status, release yourself into the enchanted woods to feel delight in your heart and freedom in your spirit.
The Consciousness of Trees is a personal journey shared.
You will find in its glades and dells whatever you choose to seek.
You will start my story here from the outside looking in.
My greatest desire is that you finish the story on the inside looking out.
Jack Adams Tokyo 2022