The myth of the bacterium, I claim, provides us with a decent way of talking about the origin of subjective experience. But this language needs to be wielded carefully.
From Weber and Varela:
The key here is to realize that because there is an individuality that finds itself produced by itself it is ipso facto a locus of sensation and agency, a living impulse always already in relation with its world.
Now that leaves much to be desired. It uses the term ‘sensation’, which is not only mentalistic, it is positively Victorian! It uses the term agency, and that argument is being made, it is not to be assumed. The deep connection between self-production and subjectivity is not made at all. My exegesis of the myth will hopefully help to restate that a bit more helpfully.