Two planets meet:(This Version thanks to Gordon Matzigkeit)
The first asks: "How do you do?"
"Terrible. I've got humans."
"Oh, really? I'm sorry to hear that; I had them once myself. Don't worry too much... you'll get over them."
Me, too, I'd much rather think that this is nothing but a joke. There's only that tiny little thought, way back at the edge of my consciousness, maybe that's reality.
Sure, no sincere human being would think that the Earth could be a living thing, but sometimes the insincere are right. Who'd have believed that man would be able to fly, a hundred years ago?
(By the way, one of the "insincere" would be "James E. Lovelock", who introduced the "Gaia-Theory", describing the earth as a living thing. I don't know if he would believe in a conscious earth, though.)
An interesting experiment of thought: if the earth really is a sentient being, then what would man be? In "The last hours of Ancient Sunlight" there's a refernce to a work, that compares humankind with cancer. This thought surely is no compliment, but it could be very near to reality. Man is a part of the whole organism, that has grown out of control and is now at the verge of killing itself and the whole world.
If you don't feel comfortable with seeing earth as a sentient being, maybe you would like to think about Space Ship Earth first.