At its simplest this could be defined as the belief that everything has some degree of consciousness.
Sound crazy? Well, let’s say that consciousness could be loosely defined as an awareness of ones existence in the world. As humans, because we are complex creatures capable of abstract thought, our degree of consciousness seems both self evident and multi-layered. But that’s just how we experience it…
Depending on the complexity of the organism (or even molecule, perhaps even on an atomic level), the degree or type of consciousness may be much simpler, but still there.
A plant, for example, is certainly aware of its world. It seeks the things it needs, and grows away from danger. Animals, for the most part, may not be self aware like humans, but they are certainly aware of their existence – and the ones with higher intelligence may very well be capable of some degree of abstract thinking. There is no question that animals who live in social groups form bonds, which in itself implies some degree of consciousness.
I realize that this kind of thinking relies heavily on how one defines the terms, and I am certainly no expert. It’s just an area I am interested in and would like to explore further. Panpsychism is a different way to look at and think about the world. I have no idea whether its true, or even if I believe it might be.
But it seems to be a valid thought worthy of serious contemplation.