What about insects. Are they aware that they live. In those teensy little brains, do they know that they exist? That they serve a purpose? Or do they just robotically do what they are programmed to do? There truly is no free-will in the insect kingdom?
I can fathom the fact that it is possible to exist and not know it but to contemplate the idea that a creature could exist, do tasks and react almost intelligently to obstacles is amazing to me.
They see you coming with the swatter and they split. A dog or a paper in the wind zips by and they don't even move. They recognize you. Your color, your scent or perhaps your shape. The heat you give off warning them of your aggressive intentions, something. That "something" is stored and recorded somewhere in the tiny little thing that contains a brain that interprets these messages and helps it calculate a pre-emptive reaction. Something modern science can't yet do in objects so small.
Sometimes it seems as if these little guys don't even know we humans exist. We step on their trail smashing their kindred and they walk around us or over us. They just keep marching along. "I'm doin' ma job I'm doin' ma job I'm
doin' ma job." Different types of ants react differently. Some get aggressive, almost angry and a long distance away (measured in kilominanters of course) other ants start preparing for your presence or attack from the scent communication.
These guys are confusing to me. The scariest of all the ones I've mentioned before. These guys can be both chicken-prey, and predator-fox all at once. I've been there working in the back yard and during moments of rest and relaxation I see a tiny spider by my foot. It seems to be leading a lone blitz attack towards me. Does it know I am here? Does it know I consist of moor than a shoe?
It doesn't seem to care. It comes at me and at times I have been bit by these very same aggressors. Yes I know I am in their territory but DO they know I am here? Do they know the entire mass of my consistence?
When I was young and living in my parents home I had a spider experience I will never forget. As I was sitting on the can (I couldn't yet reach the floor) I see a tiny little white dot drop before my face. Thinking it was lint or dust I just instinctively blow it away ignorant to the fact that it would act as a pendulum and come right back at me.
Sure enough it did and annoyed I ended up smearing tiny baby spider all over my face. All of the sudden I became aware of a tickly feeling on my face, the sides of my head, my arms and my back. I methodically and deliberately start swatting all of them so I don't freak out. After I cleaned up and stood up I looked up and on the ceiling of our restroom was a swarm of tiny little baby spiders running around and just above my head they were diving down on their little strings.
A nightmarish vision for a youth and to this day still believe they were intentionally coming after me. I don't know for what purpose. If they were hungry or just cold but they did seem to be aiming specifically for me.
Did they know I was a creature? Were they aware that I could move? Did I look like food?
Are they and all bugs aware that "we" exist?