Are non-human organisms conscious? This question is deeply flawed because of differences in conscious experiences between species and organisms. What differentiates humans from the majority of creatures on the planet is what many scientists and philosophers define as consciousness; a conscious being has an awareness of its place in its…

I have always had a hard time understanding others. Throughout my life, I can remember instances where I could not keep my mouth shut for whatever reason. To my fourth grade art teacher, mixing tempera paints together into a brown sludge as he taught us about producing different shades and…

I saw the world, rotating, from a perspective; starting in the rain forests of Brazil and receding beyond the stars. I saw arapaima and piranhas swimming peacefully together, the former darting and knocking me into space only for me to swing around and pitch my view into the Congo. I saw crocodiles with hippopotamuses on the banks, but from afar; no sane person would trust their lives to either species. At last, I saw a boat floating away on a vast sea with myself at its bow; I felt disconnected from from myself in an inhuman way. Tales I have heard of sleeping souls exiting their human bodies, ascending to the sky, only to look down and spot their lifeless bodies below. Gravity makes short work from there on. Returning to the Earth from the stars, so too was I a soul, plummeting.

I saw a deer one Sunday morning, early in the day. I had plucked my wilted heart out of bed and into my trainers, willing myself forward and out my door. I looked back (multiple times), thinking about all I had left behind me. It was like I was running…

America, America, may God thy gold refine. All that glitters is gold, and all aspects of American culture are gilded.

I watched a lot of shark week growing up. Shark documentaries, River Monsters, Jaws; anything that confirmed my personal fear of the fishes down below the waves who’d eat my…

This week, returning home, I ended up driving by the Indianapolis Children’s Museum a couple of times throughout my visit. I previously worked at the ICM as a paleontology apprentice; the head paleontologist when I worked there, Victor Porter, was a curious person. He’d never had an official college education…

Samuel carried two pins in his backpack. Small and gold, each a tiny needle hidden by an insignia of sorts; one emblazoned with a picture of Notre-Dame de Paris, God rest her soul, and the other a palette lined with colored paints, the Tour de Eiffel resting in the foreground…

“Tell me what you see.”
A shadow passes over you, cast by light from the moon careening around a pine tree of about thirty meters in height. You can breathe in and know that pine trees sprung up around you a hundred years ago; that exact number, exact age, is to…

‘Bout a minute ago, I got the message: Press. The. Button. Do it. Ask no questions. Obedience is key here, and I’m the one meant to be obedient (by design). My TV screen is filled with images of some rockets headed towards us. You know, “us.” As if I’m grouped…

Zachary Mohan Loudermilk Bhatia

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