In 2008 I was at the start of my Awakening, and although I wasn’t yet sure what it was all about, I was fortunate at this time to revisit the astonishing work of Cleve Backster.
A lot of Cleve’s research began in the 1960’s and it’s no wonder to me, for the 1960’s were a seeding time where many great ideas were planted into the consciousness of humanity, to be later grown into being by subsequent generations. Equal rights for women, equal rights for African Americans, and of course new frontiers in consciousness were just some of the items on the menu.
Many people at the time were espousing an alternative-lifestyle, and kids were taking to the hills of California and gathering in places like Topanga to start these new communities. People were reassessing Jesus and his teachings and indeed there was a whole movement at the time called The Jesus Movement.
There was a sway towards simple and natural living. As a result loads of people were talking about gardens and plants and one of the most popular books at the time was The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tomkins which related many of the latest scientific discoveries at the time.
I see Backster’s work within the overall context of this extraordinarily progressive and exciting time. and I think it’s a formative principle and one of the seed events I’ve mentioned; as important to our culture as equal rights, anti-segregation and in-roads to human consciousness.
So… what’s it all about? Let’s lay it down.
Backster was a highly respected interrogation expert at the CIA during the 60’s. He was a polygraph instructor and eventually went on to start his own School of Interrogation in California.
One night, while working late in his office, Backster had the idea to hook the office plant up to his polygraph. He was interested to see how long it would take water to reach the top of the plant and thought the polygraph would be able to detect this. However, he noticed something on the chart which resembled a human response, not at all like what he was expecting. Once he had done so he realized he would have to do as he would normally do in a typical interrogation, and threaten the wellbeing of the plant. He thought that he could go and grab a lighter and burn the plants leaf. The minute he had the thought of doing this, the plant reacted wildly and the graph on the polygraph zoomed upwards. On February 2nd, 1966, Backster says his entire world view changed. The plant had read his mind!
After this time Backster conducted hundreds more experiments demonstrating not only that plants respond to our emotions and intents, but so do leaves, eggs (fertilized or not), yogurt, and human cells. He even found that white blood cells taken from a person’s mouth and placed in a test tube still respond electrochemically to the donor’s emotional states, even when the donor is out of the room, out of the building, or out of the state. He also found that the response could not be faked – you could not pretend you were going to hurt the plant, you actually had to think you were. His experiments were repeated over and over again for the next 30 odd years and his data was very consistent. He ended up calling the effect ‘Primary Perception’ because the perception seemed to take place at a basic or primary level.
Many people have attempted to disprove Cleve’s work and have ended up becoming converts. There’s a great Mythbusters episode on youtube where exactly that happens. In fact the guys reveal the same response as Cleve, much to their amazement!
It is totally transformative work; it creates a paradigm shift to look around at the plants and trees and rocks around us and realise they are all alive
Backster’s work is of course consistent with what Shamans, Vegetals and Indigenous peoples the world over have been telling us for the last couple of hundred years. Plants are conscious. In fact everything biological is conscious!
The work of people communicating with plants intrigued me. I was fascinated and delved deep into the work conducted at the eco-village Findhorn with plant communication. Different terms such as bio-communication crop up about the same phenomena.
I read more and more about bio-communication and began my own personal experiments with it. Very close to this date I read the Near Death Experience of Howard Storm, an avowed atheist who during is Near Deat Experience was shown an ideal future where people gardened effortlessly by sending Love to plants through prayer and meditation. Fascinated by this enormous potential, I travelled to Findhorn in Northern Scotland for a conference and was able to observe this magnificent communicative gardening first-hand.
Back home, I connected with people like Alanna Moore, the respected Geomancer who taught me more about communicating with the nature spirits, which she also calls Devas.
Alanna also taught me how to feel the impressions left by the electromagnetic traces of waterways. She blew my mind further by introducing me to map dowsing, where sensitive people are able to identify things such as waterlines on a map, even if they are thousands of kilometres away from the actual site. Her website Geomantica is fascinating and she has written many great books, of which one of my favourites is ‘Sensitive Permaculture’.
The end result of all of this for me is that in my experience, plants talk to us. They are alive! They often say hi! They don’t always use words, but they can. For example recently while planting out some corn seedlings, the phrase ‘Corn likes to cuddle’ popped into my mind, as I observed one seedling smaller than the rest, which was not touching any of its plant mates. All of the plants that were touching were much bigger. And I heard the words: Corn likes to cuddle. I dug up the little seedling and replanted it so that it was touching another seedling. Now it is of course thriving.
A few weeks after this I was guided by a plant to put three of its flowers into my water bottle. I later found out this plant is a Master Teacher plant, and is considered very sacred in South America for this reason. Who knew? Not me! But the planties told me.
It is this kind of communication that Vegetals and Shamans have been trying to get us to understand for years. Now it is time to listen... What secrets might we learn?
In Lak'ech Ala K'in