^A sense of "This is Me"
A sense of "This is Not Me".
It goes all the way to Bacteria.
Bacteria can count.
They do not act alone. They have two chemical signals they can send and receive; "You are a form of life" – a generic signal sent by all of them, no matter what kind.
And a more specific signal that says, "You are of my kind."
And within the cacophany of bacterial social communication, they can figure out the strength of their numbers. They do not act until they reach a particular number of their own kind. Then they ACT!
But until they reach a particular number of "This is me", they don't act. They just wait. And count.
There's no reason to believe that Bacteria aren't conscious. Even with all the complexity we like to give to the human brain, the fact that even the smallest of creatures – even ones that aren't even in the SAME ANIMAL KINGDOM, have a knowledge of "These are all me" and "Those are all not me"…
Shows how DEEP the "us, not us" / "me, not me" is in ALL LIFE.
What does that mean?
1) You are not alone.
2) You were never alone.
3) You are social from the time you are born until the time you die.
4) You seek out your own kind, whether they be real, imaginary, fictional, alive, dead, human, non-human, symbolic, or tangible.
5) You know when someone is "not" of your kind.
This is my opinion but it makes sense to me and I believed the source that inspired it.^