Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

On a recent road trip I listened to the audio of "The Soul of an Octopus" by Sy Montgomery. I was absolutely mesmerized.

Octopuses have not been a life form I am usually drawn to. But after listening to her book, I am now a HUGE fan of octopuses! I was so surprised to learn about the wonders of consciousness and unique personalities that octopuses have. I was captivated by the interaction stories she had with these creatures. I was enthralled, fascinated, and mesmerized.

The author made me aware that Octopuses have many skills and abilities that we humans don't have - like the ability to sense more deeply than we can. Or the ability to change colors in nanoseconds. Or the skill to change size or shape in a split second. They can also solve problems, open locks, and play games - just like we do, and perhaps even faster than us. These are all pretty incredible skills that let me know there is more "there" within them than I used to know.

She even helped me start to question some of the assumptions I had been taught. You know, like how superior humans are to all the other life forms on the planet. I had just accepted the idea that we are on the top of a big pyramid of life forms and are the smartest things around. But now, I'm wondering if the test we took was rigged, or at least incomplete. And it seems this belief that we are the best seems to give us an excuse to dominate and destroy all the other life forms on the planet, doesn't it?

Here is a brief video with this passionate and interesting author talking about her book.

This is a NYTimes best seller and was also a National Book award finalist. I loved her stories, her passion, and her insights. I recommend the book.