Is the Sun Conscious?

What we believe about someone
May not be wholly true.
We calculate the outside stuff
And measure till we’re sure enough,
But when we think we’re finally done,
Our doubts then surface, too.


Text: Linked to dVerse Poetics where Lillian is hosting with the request to write a poem on one of four photos from ESA/Hubble.

Photo: I picked the first photo, below, from Lillian’s list with credit to ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO); ESA/Hubble.

Artist's concept of exoplanet orbiting Fomalhaut Credit: ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO); ESA/Hubble
Artist’s concept of exoplanet orbiting Fomalhaut Credit: ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO); ESA/Hubble

YouTube Video: A few months ago I found out that there are people today who think that stars generally might be conscious.   Source: machc1234golf

 

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

73 thoughts on “Is the Sun Conscious?”

  1. What a fascinating question! Just looking at the solar system, I do know there’s a man in the moon — I see him every time there’s a full moon! 🙂 Wonder what he’s thinking looking down on us???? 🙂
    And oh yes…..there is so much more than meets the eye — even Hubble’s eye!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most people today don’t. I was surprised when I saw the video because I didn’t realize that I took for granted that the Sun was not conscious and now I don’t know why not? It’s a self-organizing system. There is variability in its activity. Is it willfully doing any of that? Thanks, Bjorn!

      Like

    1. The very question was a surprise to me when I first heard it a few months ago. What surprised me most was I realized I took for granted something I really didn’t know one way or the other and probably couldn’t know. Thanks, Alison!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are important questions as well, but you will know the answers tonight and tomorrow. Whether the Sun is conscious or not will never be known (or I don’t think it will). Thanks, Jane!

      Like

  2. What is the value of the sun having a conscience? Man has a conscience so we are accountable for our actions. Should the sun have some accountability for heating and lighting the universe? I like the poem though about everything coming to the surface.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t thought of it as “conscience”, but consciousness implies the ability to make a choice. But if one can make a choice there may be a moral the Sun should follow. So your mentioning of “conscience” raises more questions for me.

      There are multiple reasons why people are considering these ideas influenced by whether they prefer theism or atheism. It is mainly a philosophical issue, not a scientific one. The middle ground is something call “panpsychism”–a belief that at some level everything is conscious, that is, can make real choices. At least that is how I understand it at the moment.

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    1. I was reading Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” earlier this year. He seemed to have data, as I recall, showing how our thinking is motivated by what we already believe to be true or false. Without this motivation we would not be able to think effectively. This is good and bad news. The bad news is we can get trapped in our initial beliefs by our rationalizing (thinking). The good news is we can find better answers faster and maybe modify those beliefs. But there is a difference between believing and thinking. Thanks, Annell!

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        1. Sheldrake is a Christian, although I don’t remember what kind. As I see it, any God worth believing in shouldn’t be any less personal than we are or why bother. Admittedly the people promoting panpsychism today are generally atheists (“materialists” or “physicalists”) who are struggling with the “hard problem of consciousness”. Consciousness is only a “hard problem” for physicalists. It is no problem at all for theists especially for those who believe in a Personal God, as you mentioned. I don’t think the Sun would be such a God even if it were conscious, but the idea undermines physicalism.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. My external views of people are often put in doubt by what I see them doing or the choices they make and what they actually like. I often find that I misjudge them. That is the underlying message of the post whether there is more to the Sun or not. Thanks, Hank!

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  3. SMiLes mY friEnd
    for i’ve surely
    Book Marked
    Your Share heAR NoW
    on “Is the Sun Conscious”
    for Sure the Iron that picks
    up and carries the Oxygen
    iN oUr Blood Borne
    of Super
    Nova’s
    eventually
    Bringing Oxygen
    to Atmosphere before
    that on Earth through
    Photosynthesis of
    Smallest Cells
    of Green
    Plants
    First..
    So Stars
    And Suns the same
    Are Flowers and Seeds
    The sAMe and Different too
    And for now before i watch the
    Video.. A Sun Before surely remembers as me too..
    at
    Least..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those supernovas are the source of the chemical elements for our bodies. One of the things I’ve wondered about is how stars move away from each other after being born. Do they make choices there as well? Consciousness can be shown in apparent choices being made. Thanks, Fred!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RhyMes
        OuT oF TiME
        GoD SonG LonGeR NoW..
        Interesting to me.. NoW2..
        so many
        people
        wanna
        label and
        own God
        when we are free
        time out of time distance
        out of distance space out
        space infinity out of infinity now
        iF
        Free
        And GoD..
        aLWays
        sAMe
        ChanGinG
        NoW Free JusT Free
        HoWEveR as Science SHows
        For some that is a greatest fear.
        Free.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes and interestingly
          The original meaning
          Of Taking God’s
          Name in
          Vain was
          The shame
          Of Daring
          To Label
          ‘I AM’ with
          Any
          Name
          At
          All and per the
          Gnostic Gospel
          Of Thomas
          Look within
          To Find ‘the
          Living one’
          But
          Still
          The message
          Gets lost
          Even though
          The poem still
          Exists in
          New Testament
          Verse too.. but of
          Course Tribalism
          Is always looking
          To be lead
          Instead
          Of
          Driven within
          Free with Relative
          Free
          Will NoW taking
          The Higher
          Force
          From
          Within
          Away
          So
          Sad
          To
          Me.. my FriEnd..:)

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Good point here: “The shame
          Of Daring
          To Label
          ‘I AM’ with
          Any
          Name
          At
          All”
          I started reading the Gospel of Thomas using online commentaries as well as comments from someone I know. He is guiding the reading, picking out sayings in order. We are only on the fifth one.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. We normally don’t think of the sun today as being conscious–nor much of anything else. It is a good shift in perspective to ask why not. Matloff hopes to show it by observing irregularities in the paths of some stars suggesting they are making a choice. Sheldrake suggests one looks at the variable electromagnetic radiation, if I understood him correctly, to suggest choices being made more subtly there. And the motivations for looking at all stretch across many philosophies, theologies and atheologies. What I wonder is why do we understand things the way we do?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your poem resonated with me because I listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink!” not long ago; Gladwell looks at how we assess someone (or something) and whether that initial assessment turns out to be valid. Although I realize your focus was on the sun, the poem has many applications.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose it depends on what a “thing” is. A table may be conscious because of its atoms, but not as a table which is a rearrangement of those atoms. One of the problems would be to distinguish what objects are and are not conscious. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can easily believe that the earth is conscious, so I’m surprised that this idea of the sun being conscious never occurred to me. It’s like a door just opened that I didn’t know existed, and I’m peeking through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just heard about it a couple months ago. I didn’t think it was true until I read Gregory Matloff’s summary of his research. The Sun doesn’t show the Parenago Discontinuity presently, but it may have in the past. If other stars show intentional activity, then the Sun might be doing so as well in ways we don’t recognize at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

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