Ming the Mechanic:
The secret life of plants

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The secret life of plants2004-01-09 06:24
43 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Cleve Backster is a pioneer in research demonstrating how plants, or for that matter, any live cells have some surprising abilities to respond to thoughts and feelings and communicate in ways they wouldn't traditionally be expected to.
"My plant read my mind!" On February 2nd, 1966 this realization forever changed the life of the FBI and CIA's then foremost polygraph researcher, and reintroduced modern science to the sentient nature of our universe. On that date the brilliant and disciplined mind of Cleve Backster conceived an irrefutable paradigm-busting scientific protocol. With straightforward electronics that a student or garage-level scientist can replicate, he proved to humans that their thoughts and emotions affect the behavior of their own and other living cells.

For millennia traditional peoples have known that all life forms-plants, animals and even single cells-are not only sentient and intelligent, but that they communicate with one another. This fact got lost a few centuries ago between the mechanistic focus of industrial science and the modern human view of reality that ascribed consciousness only to the human brain. A few 20th century scientific pioneers, like Chandra Bose in India and the Kirlians in the former Soviet Union, had earlier developed technology to demonstrate energy fields and basic emotional responses in plants and animals. Backster's experimental work took the next step and documented a heretofore unrecognized cellular level of interspecies biocommunication.

At the bottom you can find a review of Backster's new book by Paul von Ward. Now, Cleve Backster wasn't particularly the first person who experimented with this subject matter using galvanic skin response meters. For example, Ron Hubbard was playing with this in the 50s, and was generally ridiculed for it. Backster is a more respectable and mainstream character, being essentially the father of modern polygraph testing, so his message has a better chance of getting anywhere. Not that it particularly has.

Now, I know about this not just because I've listened to Clive Backster talking about it, but because I did some experiments of my own. It is very easy to do, and any skeptic ought to check it out for themselves. It is just that you need some kind of galvanic skin response meter. Like this. Which is essentially just an electronic instrument that measures resistance and that is very sensitive. A regular ohm meter isn't good enough as it isn't nearly sensitive enough. It takes something like a wheatstone's bridge, which gives large and fast readings on minute resistance changes. Or some more modern equivalent. And it needs to be attached to some suitable electrodes. For humans that would be something similar to a pair of tin cans. For a plant, the clips that otherwise would attach to the cans would do it.

So, now, for the simple and interesting experiments. You attach the clips to some plant you have standing around the house. Any plant will do, but a big leafy thing would be good. The meter will just show the needle standing rather still. If you cut off a leaf of the plant, the needle will give a sizable reaction. Not very surprising. But the surprising part is that if you take your scissor and approach the plant, intending to cut a leaf off of it, it will also react in a similar fashion, without you having touched it. It seems to react to your intention somehow. Likewise if you have several plants, maybe of the same kind. Put them in different rooms, to rule out that they can, eh, see each other. Attach the meter to one of them and have somebody watch it. Then go to the other plant and either treaten to cut one of its leaves off, or actually do so. Either way, the plant in the first room will react as if it was happening to itself.

Very simple to do. And it should certainly raise some questions in the mind of anybody who believes this would of course be impossible. And you can of course do this more scientifically and systematically, trying to exclude all sorts of other factors. And you can take it much further. And that is the kind of work that Cleve Backster has been doing.

Unfortunately, the scientific community in general has not paid much attention. As, of course, this is all impossible according to the theories that draw the most consensus, so why even bother to check it out.




PRIMARY PERCEPTION: Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods and Human Cells
By
Cleve Backster
Published by White Rose Millennium Press
ISBN: 0-966435435

Reviewed by Paul Von Ward

"My plant read my mind!" On February 2nd, 1966 this realization forever changed the life of the FBI and CIA's then foremost polygraph researcher, and reintroduced modern science to the sentient nature of our universe. On that date the brilliant and disciplined mind of Cleve Backster conceived an irrefutable paradigm-busting scientific protocol. With straightforward electronics that a student or garage-level scientist can replicate, he proved to humans that their thoughts and emotions affect the behavior of their own and other living cells.

For millennia traditional peoples have known that all life forms-plants, animals and even single cells-are not only sentient and intelligent, but that they communicate with one another. This fact got lost a few centuries ago between the mechanistic focus of industrial science and the modern human view of reality that ascribed consciousness only to the human brain. A few 20th century scientific pioneers, like Chandra Bose in India and the Kirlians in the former Soviet Union, had earlier developed technology to demonstrate energy fields and basic emotional responses in plants and animals. Backster's experimental work took the next step and documented a heretofore unrecognized cellular level of interspecies biocommunication.

Many have described specific aspects of Backster's research over the years. Most readers will remember the still-popular, best-selling Secret Life of Plants by Chris Bird and Peter Tompkins first published in 1973. It capitalized on his early work. Some will have read Robert Stone's 1989 The Secret Life of Your Cells which focused on his in vitro testing of human cells. Others may recall articles about Backster's work in national magazines and newspapers, television interviews and scientific proceedings during the late 1960's and 1970's.

This new book is the first extensive and progressive account of Backster's work, which is more innovative and potentially useful to humanity than that of most who receive Nobel prizes in life sciences. By Cleve Backster himself, it includes well-designed graphics and historically valuable photographs that portray a life-time of ground breaking research. Backster explains to the reader how plants perceive and react to human thoughts about them. He then illustrates how electroded eggs react to other eggs being dropped into boiling water. And how plants react to the eggs' reaction to the experimenter's intentions. He shows how yogurt cells communicate with one another and other species. Backster then describes the collection of human cells (leukocytes and blood) and the instrumentation that records their reactions to the thoughts and emotions of their donor.

In an easy-to-follow style uncommon in today's scientific literature, Backster takes the reader step-by-step through his thinking about the design of the protocol, the selection of scientific equipment, and the practical execution of the experiment. He then explains the data and its implications. The reader in effect becomes a collaborator in Backster's research.

Nothing is kept in a black box. Backster describes (and includes photographs of) the experimental process. He gives enough detail that the motivated reader can replicate the experiment or create his own variation. He does not expect you to take his answers because he is such an august authority. Cleve Backster wants you develop proof of your own communications with and influence on other life forms. He wants you to feel the excitement for yourself.

Over 35 years of meticulous research, Cleve Backster has progressively undermined the notion of a universe comprised of discrete units. He has done for biology and psychology what quantum and standing wave concepts have done for physics. He has documented the connectedness of all life forms and the interactivity of their consciousness. In the light of his work, no rational scientist can any longer deny that the living foods upon which we depend anticipate our actions by perceiving our spontaneous intentions. No medical researcher, sports trainer, or psychologist can ignore the evidence that our thoughts influence the activity of our cells, and, thus, the performance of our bodies. His research has given credence to many theories of mind body reciprocity, as in "inner tennis", use of psychic energy or prayer in distant healing, telepathy, dowsing and other thought-matter interactions.

Unfortunately, after the above-mentioned, widespread early media attention to Backster's discoveries, he received a cold shoulder from the scientific establishment. To understand why, we must discuss a limitation in conventional science's model of reality. Most scientific disciplines from physics and chemistry to biology start with the assumption that discrete and independently functioning entities from subatomic particles and cells to separate organisms comprise the universe. In this model, these separate units (at whatever level) are believed to operate mechanistically on the basis of visible and physically measurable interactions. This is known as the Newtonian model. When the conventional research protocols are used to test Backster's hypothesis, they preclude any possible role for the intervention of spontaneity and conscious intention. A science not designed to deal with these self-evident aspects of human experience does not have the capability to theorize about and test such fundamental questions.

Backsters' work, therefore, does much more than document various aspects of primary perception (his term for the most basic level of interspecies and intercellular interaction). It demands an expansion of the boundaries of scientific theory. It calls for the creation of research protocols that can model and test the full range of human experience in the universe. His new book is just that fundamental to the future of science, yet, it can be understood by the intellectually curious layman. Primary Perception deserves to be on the reading list of high school science classes as well as the graduate schools of renowned research universities.


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43 comments

9 Jan 2004 @ 07:19 by jstarrs : Do plants have minds...
...or reactive nervous systems?  


9 Jan 2004 @ 08:24 by swanny : Neural Nets
It may be that plants akin to their
structure have some kind of sentinient
cells and neurons.
I recall reading a book of this title many
years ago. It spoke as well of plants
reacting to different kinds of music as well.
Actually I have felt especially with some
old and ancient trees a kind of
"presence."  



9 Jan 2004 @ 08:25 by ming : Minds
I'm not sure if I think they have minds, per se, like they're sitting around philosophizing about things. One can apparently ask them questions and get answers, but that might just be because they somehow reactively channel some kind of energy. Although, I'd lean towards thinking that everything has some kind of consciousnes, even if it isn't necessarily the human kind.  


9 Jan 2004 @ 08:30 by Emile @61.55.134.161 : Um. *cough cough*
seems mighty suspicious to me.

(Oh and by the way no plants do not have nervous systems, they don't have any nerves at all)

I've heard about plants emiting chemicals (I guess it may be called pheromones, maybe that one's just for animals, I don't know how you'd call it for plants), that can be used to warn each other. To me, those seem capable of explaining the plants "telling each other" when you chop leaves off another one.

I had read something about goats and trees : There were a few trees, goat would eat leaves of the first one, but after a moment the leaves would become poisonous, but the point is *they would also become poisonous on the neighbouring treees* ! The explanation was that the trees percieved the chemicalls emited by the crushed leaves, and reacted by synthetizing poisnous chemicals (it makes sense, it's more economical that way than always having some chemicals).

So this smells like pseudoscience to me, the claims seem fantastic compared to the observations that are probably explainable without invoking some mysterious telepathy and plant intelligence. Call me a close-minded bore if you want, but I won't easily put into question basic scientific explanations for something that suspicious.

(another experiment I'd devise for the leaf-cutting experiment : cut off a leaf of the same type of plant that you are measuring, crush it and put it into a hermetically sealed jar, than bring it to the plant being measured. Open the jar in front of the plant, and see if it reacts the same way)  



9 Jan 2004 @ 08:36 by jstarrs : Apparently,
..that also works with neighbouring acacia trees when attacked by ants.
Guess I agree with Ming, though, that plants don't sit about philosophizing.
Here's a riddle: what do plants & people who eat at McDo's have in common?  



9 Jan 2004 @ 08:40 by ming : Experiments
See, that kind of experiments would make sense of course, to try to exclude various kind of possible sources of the observed behavior. I'd guess it is something electrical or non-local, but one can't say that for sure without testing a variety of possibilities. Personally I only did enough to see that indeed it was happening and it was interesting and strange.  


9 Jan 2004 @ 08:43 by Emile @66.36.249.149 : By the way ...
I feel I sound to negative, I want to add that you have a wonderfull and motivating blog, and that I read it daily. Open mindedness is good, challenging things is good, creativity is good. But I feel uneasy in fromt of new age-looking pseudoscience (that's how I see it), energy, channeling, etc. To me that's superstition, it may have some metaphoricall value but shouldn't be taken too seriously. But then I'm sure you already heard those sort of comments before.

I don't consider scientific theories unchallengeable, it's just that I consider them much more solidly rooted than social sciences, political ideas, etc.

Oh well. This article sums up my opinions on the subject pretty well : [link] (not that long a read)

(And keep on with the blogging ! Je suis francais, mais en chine, et tu est un Ming en France - nice swapping :)  



9 Jan 2004 @ 08:46 by Emile @66.36.249.149 : Biofeedback
By the way, I'd love to have one of those BioFeedback machines :) It's with that sort of gadgets that you can learn to regulate your body temperature and things like that ...  


9 Jan 2004 @ 08:51 by spells : Consciousness
I think a key element is being overlooked here. All is consciousness, from a rock to a human. just denser and different frequencies. Of course, plants communicate...all consciousness is connected via intent, awareness and energy. Just go to the woods and meditate with the earth mind and anyone can experience this for themselves. You don't need scientific evidence or experiments...go and listen, meditate and use your true being, your consciousnes, and "See" this for yourself.

This is a perfect example how we (humans) think that we can do whatever we want with the planet earth. We forget and/or don't recognize that all is consciousness and therefore is aware. Nature, plants trees etc were here before humankind and yet just because we have brains that have the capactity to think and put our thoughts into symbols (words, language), we believe that only we count and "know".

Plants would exist quite well without humans (probably better). Yes biology plays a part, but consciousness leads it all, even biology.  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:07 by jstarrs : Spells...
...then a chair can said to have an awareness of it's environment and it's own existence, sensations, and thoughts? It is mentally perceptive or alert; awake?  


9 Jan 2004 @ 09:11 by spells : apples to oranges, plants to chairs
A chair is not orgainic nor a being of earth. It is made up of atoms that vibrate, but it is put together though by human hands. If it made of wood, it was once a part of the earth, but not "alive" anymore.

Are you disagreeing that plants have consciousness?  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:20 by jstarrs : Just picking up...
...on your statement that "All is consciousness, from a rock to a human..."
Can rock be said to have an awareness of it's environment and it's own existence, sensations, and thoughts? It is mentally perceptive or alert; awake?
If consciousness = mind, then, no, I don't think plants have a conciousness.
How do you accept that natural environments 'degenerate' if left untended?
I do however, think that we've pretty much f**ked up the planet, ecologically!  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:21 by ming : Science and Consciousness
I personally believe that everything probably has a consciousness of some kind and that it is made of consciousness. It fits into my cosmology. But I'm also keenly aware that this is a view that is very difficult to digest for many people. Sounding completely non-sensical, even. Particularly, if one is coming from a more scientific or material foundation, this is certainly not a given.

So, even though I feel very at home in a new age discussion, I try to deal with stuff on my blog here in a somewhat more skeptical manner. I also feel quite at home amongst people who use science as a basis of their ideas of the world. So I try to avoid taking my own views too seriously, and try to bridge multiple world views without getting too attached to any of them.

Eventually I think science will converge with much that is considered mysticism or new age hocus pocus today. But not all of it will check out under scrutiny.  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:22 by swanny : Energy
I suppose it is a question of energy of sorts.
Consciousness that is.
The kind of enegy or consciousness is perhaps
not the same but this is difficult for humans to understand.
Humans tend not to even be able to get along with one
and other therefore to complicate the equation with
having to get along with plants and animals is more
than most are prepared to commit to.
To then even suppose that the planet itself can have
a kind of collective consciousness is more
again then most are prepared to admit.
I suppose it is a question of proofs to some
and value to others. If there is no money to be
made then some are insensitive to that reality.
For others who demand proof that is somewhat
more noble but again sometimes the proof is
in the mere fact of believing and for those who
see fit to believe then it is or becomes a reality.
Ah now theres the rub......
for each man and women reality tends to be uniquely
there own.....


sir  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:31 by spells : mind does not equal consciousness
See for yourself, hold a rock, feel it, see if you think it has consciousness.

Thoughts as we know them? No, but that doesn't mean there is no awareness. Consciousness does not equal mind. Consciousness is awareness, energy and intent. In meditation when all thought stops, does consciousness stop? NO! We are still aware, in fact we are closer to our true awareness then the programmed thoughts that can intrude when we are not using our awareness to lead our thoughts and mind.

If natural enviroments degenerate if left unattended then this may be due to a number of things...the natural cycle of life, mans intrusion on earth etc. Natural life flourished quite well before humans ever walked the earth. It is always evolving. If this means there is destruction, then if left on it's own, it is for the evolution of life.

Yes I agree that we have screwed up the planet. Who knows just how much damage is done through our misuse, waste, arrogance and "genetic modifications". We are not using our minds (for the most part) for the betterment of the planet, but for profit and due to desrespect and waste.

If consciousness were considered and respected (even acknowledged) for the importance and true essence of all life that it is, the earth would be a different place.  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:33 by ming : France
Hi Emile. Enchanté. I'm glad I have some French readers too, also in China. And fun that I got a Chinese nickname and live in France.  


9 Jan 2004 @ 09:34 by spells : Truth is truth
Just because.."But I'm also keenly aware that this is a view that is very difficult to digest for many people." does not mean it is not true. Natural Law is Spiritual Law. Just because human "minds" don't acknowledge this does not make it untrue. Humans are not the beginning and the end. Truth doesn't care who believes it, likes it or agrees with it. Truth just is....  


9 Jan 2004 @ 09:39 by swanny : Anger
I'm pickin up a tad of anger.....
Which is alright....
hmmmm
angers a though one .....
it exists but what to do with it......
Is there anger from the planet.....
might an earthquake be considered
planetary anger..... perhaps....
then Gaia would seem to be plenty mad
herself......
yet what is the concern......
anger is valid......
what would the planet have to be angry about
the abuse the exploitation.....the lack of compensation
the lack of respect......
the lack of recognition as a valid form of life....
the lack of rights......
but how can that be righted if the processes of
communication are lacking......
If we cannot even effectively communicate amongs
ourselves then how the planet....

Communication.......?????

sir  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:44 by jstarrs : Can consciousness exist...
...without a mind?
Does the fact that I may think a rock has consciousness when I hold it, mean that a rock has consciousness?
If so, then the rock is aware?
By what consciousness is a rock aware, tactile?
Is an aware rock with no thoughts, a rock that meditates on deep, still awareness?  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:44 by swanny : Communication
The most fundemental aspect lacking
in communication is the.....





ability to ......






LISten.........


If we were to listen more consicously and openmindedly
we could perhaps then to hear.....
what is truly be said by plants animals the planet and each other
but listening....... rather an art I would say and tends
to take to much time and work.


sir  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:54 by spells : of course consciousness can exist....
Thank Jstarrs, I like this discussion. Of course consciousness can exist without a mind. If there is no consciousness (awareness, intent and energy)without a mind as we know it, then how did the earth exist without human mind/thought/analysis? How did the universe evolve?

I'm not asking you to "think" if a rock has consciousness. I am asking that you hold it, still your mind, and "feel" it's awareness. There is a difference. Just because our awareness includes a thinking mind, does not negate awareness without thought. Also just because our awareness is different does not mean a rock or plant doesn't have consciousness. Perhaps if we were more intuned with our true awareness, we would know exactly the type of awareness a rock or plant has. We are made up of the same three elements of consciousness and if we could put our minds at rest, we would know this intimately.

Please think about the elements I mentioned on consciousness...awareness (doesn't require thought), energy (does not require thought) and intent, (also does not require thought).  



9 Jan 2004 @ 09:59 by spells : meditation...listening
I agree swanny, about listening. But as you said, "what is truly be said by plants animals the planet and each other
but listening....... rather an art I would say and tends
to take to much time and work." It doesn't really take more work, but we are so conditioned to let our thoughts fly without guidance, that it seems like more work. It is only the direction of inertia that makes it "seem" like more work, because of what we are conditioned to and used to. Meditation is the tool for reversing this inertia.  



9 Jan 2004 @ 10:05 by swanny : Thankyou
Thanks spells .....
I suspect another problem we have is
the need to have others "agree" with us
rather and more importantly to "understand"
what we're and others are saying......
Agreement then is not as important as
having been understood......
Would you agree with that??




hee hee

*smiles*


Agreeing to disagree

sir swanny  



9 Jan 2004 @ 10:15 by spells : learning, growing, true appreciation....
yes I would agree with that. But, If what is understood rings true, then why disagree? And may I also add that if one disagrees with facts and points that are presented then please bring up points that show why what is said is not true, so that a progressive discussion can continue. That way the outcome is not who is right or wrong, but what is the truth. I search for the truth, I really don't care if I am agreed with. If I am truly understood but disagreed with, then please present why there is a disagreement. If what I present is wrong, then show me through fact and logic please, I will be the first to admit I am wrong and actually be happy because I will have learned and grown. This is what is appreciated.  


9 Jan 2004 @ 10:20 by swanny : wow
Very nicely put spells.......

sir  



9 Jan 2004 @ 10:37 by swanny : Consolation
If its any consulation spells....
I recently rediscovered the fellow that sort of
set me out on this quest that has been my life
and I'm talking I quess almost thirty years back...
After all that time he has come to the understanding
that the reason that most people can't understand
that / his stuff is it is too complex or abstract .
Now that seems odd to me because to myself
it almost appears as common sense and so it
was to him. John Todd his name by the way.
Anyway they say some people like him, are ahead of their
time and Im not sure if thats a blessing or a curse
and theyve documented that most people aren't capable
of certain thought and mental processes until certain
ages and sadly some never are......
yet I suppose one must keep trying....
I suppose its a question of saying whats common sense
to ourselves in the language of the day.....

hmmmmm now what would be the language of the
day.......????


sir  



9 Jan 2004 @ 10:44 by spells : Karma.....
Thanks for writing again Swanny. I will look up John Todd on the net. Does he have books or a web site? I think it is karma, pure and simple. We are born with the potential of genius. It is inherent in us. It is our way of life, focus, etc that keeps up from what is important. If we were taught in school from an early age about consciousness, instead of rigid instruction, memorizations and conditioning, we could truly evolve and progress. (not to mention tv, media etc) So it is karma, cause and effect. It is not the tools in this life (our brains or minds etc) that are at fault, it is the focus we put in our lives. The potential is there, we have abused it. Hey, Ihave a thought...let's not try, let's do....thanks for your comments...

by the way, have you ever gone to the World Mind Society at [link] ? I think you will find so much of interest...Group Mind series, Perpetual Raising series, Lessons of the Soul series and Software of the Mind series to just name a few of the many articles there...let me know.  



9 Jan 2004 @ 11:48 by David Weisman @68.195.13.53 : The thing is
I haven't studied this issue thoroughly, but scientists have studied and responded to these claims. It would be one thing to disagree with those scientists who claim he is wrong and give your reasons, but to claim they have refused to look at them is incorrect.

Here's a starting point:

[link]

Backster's claims were refuted by Horowitz, Lewis, and Gasteiger (1975) and Kmetz (1977). Kmetz summarized the case against Backster in an article for the Skeptical Inquirer in 1978. Backster had not used proper controls in doing his study. When controls were used, no detection of plant reaction to thoughts or threats could be found. These researchers found that the cause of the polygraph contours could have been due to a number of factors, including static electricity, movement in the room, changes in humidity, etc.

Agree or disagree, the only criticism I'm making right now is that scientists did indeed look at these claims. May I ask, did you find the claim that none ever did so in the book?  



9 Jan 2004 @ 13:20 by ming : Skeptics
The ilk of the Skeptical Inquirer generally make my skin crawl. Their attitude is well illustrated by the introductory comments in that article. "It would never occur to a plant or animal physiologist to test plants for consciousness or ESP because their knowledge would be sufficient to rule out the possibility of plants having feelings or perceptions on the order of human feeling or perception." In other words, we KNOW it is impossible, so why bother testing it, and if you even try, you're a crackpot.

I failed to find the articles online referenced by the guys who supposedly disproved the claims. I'd like to read them if anybody has a source. The 1975 study in particular sounds like it was serious, from finding a few references to it. Otherwise, a lot of this stuff seems to be of the same structure as what usually appears in the Skeptical Inquirer. I.e. everybody knows it is impossible, so therefore we won't really test it, but we'll list a lot of references for why it is impossible, and we'll list some other silly things that the perpetrator also believes in, which will show everybody what kind of hogwash it is. Has very little to do with science.

I happen to believe in the scientific method. And, personally, I apply my own method for deciding what I'll believe in. I.e. I need to see some proof, I need to see it demonstrated, and I preferably want to do it myself. And threats and ridicule and any amount of words stack up very badly against actual experience.

So, if I myself in 1/2 hour can carry out an experiment and notice that some plants in my house mysteriously respond to my intention to hurt them, and I repeat it a couple of times, I verify that indeed there's something to it. I might not know exactly why that is happening, or how. To determine that would take more systematic experimentation. But I do establish that it happened. Which obviously the people who wrote the Skeptical Inquirer article didn't do, or even attempt to do.

Sometimes strange results can happen from something relatively ordinary. Like, maybe I moved my hand differently when I actually was going to cut a leaf off than when I didn't, and I didn't notice. And maybe that created different static electricity, or light reflected off the scissor and that created some effect on the plant. That is possible, even if it is unlikely. But it is very bad science to deny it all based on that it couldn't happen because plants of course have no brains. Figuring out WHY it happened is a quite different matter from noticing that it does happen. You can't pick a silly WHY up front, and then rule out the experimental results because that WHY isn't acceptable. Science is about developing the models that best match the experimental results, not the other way around.

Anyway, I trust that science will progress, even if there's a lot of folks around who pretend they do science when really they're just working out in their mind whether something fits with the prevalent theories or not, and they ignore experimental data that doesn't fit. That's basically the modus operendi of scientific fraud, where you leave out the stuff that doesn't fit, and make up results based on your existing theory.  



9 Jan 2004 @ 18:11 by istvan : Do plants communicate?
It is a question only for those who do not speak or understand their lanquage.All of existence communicates."Listen only to the voice which is soundless"M.C.  


10 Jan 2004 @ 06:06 by jstarrs : Spells...
..me, too, I like the conversation, thanks!
One thing my (little) spiritual education has taught me, is to be 'critical'.
In buddhism, logic is used to refute certain ideas and build others that lead one to an understanding of what is acceptable, logically, or not.
It means that if someone says to you, for example, that the horns of a rabbit exist, you can refute an angle on this, which clears the way to understanding realtive & ultimate truths.
Sometimes, though, one can get bogged down if definitions aren't agreed on.
There is a state of meditation that is 'no thought' and requires much karma and practice. Some (non-buddhist) yogis are said to have achieved it and abide in the formless realm for aeons, with out a thought appearing in their minds. But, due to past karma seeds, every so many aeons, a thought arise :'I am being born' for an instant. Then aeons pass and another thought arises 'I am dying'.
Even without thought, they have not transcended the cycle of samsaric existence and, consequently, still suffer from these thoughts!
It is true that things can be said to exist relatively without a mind to realize them (check out 'Scroedinger's Cat' a modern question on the same theme). When we are not thinking about the cup in the cupboard, it can still exist, relatively!!
A question: what is the basis for awareness, if it does not depend on mind for it's existence?  



10 Jan 2004 @ 07:12 by ming : Minds
A lot of it depends of course on what we think a mind is. And some of us are coming from quite different places. Like, if one thinks that the mind is simply the brain, and that the brain arises from some fairly random coincidences of combinations of matter, all arising from a material universe without consciousness and intelligence, then it easily becomes nonsense to even talk about consciousness. And if the starting point is that all is consciousness, and the universe is inherently intelligent, and matter and life arises from the inherent qualities of consciousness, then everything is completely different.

If we consider a 'mind' to be something that has abstract opinions and thoughts and feelings about things outside itself, yes, I guess things can exist without it. But, according to the Scroedinger's Cat idea, things exist in an ambiguous, potential state. So, depending on how something else then relates to it, perceives it, interacts with it, it might show itself as one thing or the other. Which is very confusing to human minds, but probably very natural and normal to how the universe works. And although that is in accordance with a good and prominent scientific model (quantum mechanics), most people who root themselves in science will not intuitively think like that, and will, in real life situations, rather tend towards defending a newtonian kind of view. E.g. a tree is a tree, and of course the tree is there, even if nobody's watching it. And they didn't notice that science actually moved in the several hundred years since that was the ruling view.

Personally I care more about what makes sense to me, and what checks out by my own observation, than about what most scientists currently believe in. And, to me, a universe without consciousness doesn't fit together logically. It requires some very fanciful contortions to explain very simple phenomena. The better truth tends to be what is more simple and universally applicable.  



10 Jan 2004 @ 08:36 by jstarrs : Ming...
"So, depending on how something else then relates to it, perceives it, interacts with it, it might show itself as one thing or the other."
...this is how things arise in 'play' in tantric buddhism, since anything arising in mind is also empty oif inherent existence.
H.H.the Dalai Lama has been interacting with scientists over the past 15 years, in yearly seminars and the exchanges are truly fascinating...
I agree that personal experience is fundemental, however, it's interesting to see H.H. say that, if science proves any buddhists 'beliefs' to be wrong, then the scientific view should be accepted. I believe he's coming on from a kinda sure angle though! ;0)  



10 Jan 2004 @ 09:54 by spells : Truth is Truth
I’m going to cut and paste your comments and answer them….

Jstarrs:..me, too, I like the conversation, thanks!

Spells: Yes, I enjoy these conversations very much, they lead us to explore truth and truly learn.

*********************

Jstarrs: One thing my (little) spiritual education has taught me, is to be 'critical'.
In buddhism, logic is used to refute certain ideas and build others that lead one to an understanding of what is acceptable, logically, or not.

Spells: Understanding is important, but if it is not logical, then how does one justify what is understood? Truth will follow logic and just because we (as humans) do not understand it, does not mean it is not true. The Truth exists if we understand it or not, if we see it fully or not. It is our understanding that is not logical, this doesn’t pertain to the truth. If it isn’t logical then this should lead one to explore more and truly understand what is Seen. Understanding also does not have to be acceptable. So much in our minds such as thoughts, conditioning, social values, upbringing, education etc are not truth but arbitrary beliefs, issues, systems etc that are not logical or for the good of growth and soul. This is what is not acceptable. You wrote: “logic is used to refute certain ideas and build others that lead one to an understanding of what is acceptable, logically, or not” Well if logic is used to refute ideas and build others that lead one to an understanding, then how can one accept something that is not logical? If one is going to use logic (which is one true tool for knowledge), then what would lead one to accept things that are not logical? This is done to keep people in their so-called comfort zones and/or see things in a way that is preferable to them. This is not truth, this is arrogance, fear, a skewed mind etc. Again, the truth exists, if we see it and know it or not.

*********
Jstarrs: It means that if someone says to you, for example, that the horns of a rabbit exist, you can refute an angle on this, which clears the way to understanding realtive & ultimate truths.
Sometimes, though, one can get bogged down if definitions aren't agreed on.

Spells: Well horns do not exist on a rabbit. Definitions can be clarified but horns are horns and rabbits just don’t have any. There is nothing to disagree on and this is purely evident. Now if someone thinks that horns are ears, yes definition must be agreed upon, but this can be cleared up and the truth found. It matters NOT what anyone thinks, what matters is what is the truth. Putting egos aside and a true quest for truth is the foundation for the accumulation of knowledge. Who cares who is right, who agrees or who is liked? This is not the issue, and yet so many will stick to illogical conclusions just because they want to for any of the above reasons. I say that because people will change the subject, or just stop talking and avoid what is true. They don’t want to be wrong, so a defensive stance is taken. This is acceptable and fewer people are even noticing it, because image and façade are what has become all important. This also leads to “your truth” and “my truth”. Well by saying that, then one can conclude that there are no lies. This is NOT logical, pure and simple. But this is what happens in most peoples minds. I bring this up, to show how the search for truth has become skewed and illogical and therefore arguments that are pointless come up, because the logic and facts that are presented are ignored.

***************************


Jstarrs: There is a state of meditation that is 'no thought' and requires much karma and practice. Some (non-buddhist) yogis are said to have achieved it and abide in the formless realm for aeons, with out a thought appearing in their minds. But, due to past karma seeds, every so many aeons, a thought arise :'I am being born' for an instant. Then aeons pass and another thought arises 'I am dying'.


Even without thought, they have not transcended the cycle of samsaric existence and, consequently, still suffer from these thoughts!
It is true that things can be said to exist relatively without a mind to realize them (check out 'Scroedinger's Cat' a modern question on the same theme). When we are not thinking about the cup in the cupboard, it can still exist, relatively!!
A question: what is the basis for awareness, if it does not depend on mind for it's existence?

Spells: Even if thought arises, this does not negate awareness without thought. Just because humans can’t/won’t do and/or practice it, does not mean it is not reality or true. If we do not think about a cup in a cupboard, of course it exists! It doesn’t depend on our thoughts to exist. This is part of the arrogance of humans. We “believe” that the universe starts and ends with us and our perception. The cup may not be in our perception at the time, but that does NOT negate its existence. The question of the tree falling in the forest, and if no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound…OF COURSE IT DOES. As I have said before, the universe existed for eons without humans and their minds and will go on long after humans are gone. How can one explain that, going along the lines of the belief that if a mind doesn’t think it or perceive it, then it doesn’t exist. This is also just not logical.

Even if you have only stilled your mind for moments at a time, in those moments were you still not aware? Of course you were, you did not cease to exist. How do atoms bond and form anything without a mind if it isn‘t the intent of the atoms, the energy to propel them and the awareness (even awareness we cannot understand) to form what it is they are forming.? There is awareness, energy and intent. Science shows that all is energy. The energy is guided by intent as is all action in life.

Science is a good method of study, but on this planet consciousness is barely acknowledged within the studies. Maybe the concept is starting to be used in science a bit here and there, but as long as this key element is left out, then science will only go so far. So much is compartmentalized in this world. Yet we KNOW that all is connected. Another double message. Science is separated from spirituality. Spirituality is separated from daily actions. So much is done with only profit in mind. As long as these issues/belief and others are followed, humans won’t truly progress as quickly as is their potential. This has been shown throughout history and is a logical conclusion.




**********************************

Ming: The better truth tends to be what is more simple and universally applicable.

Spells: Truth is simple and universally applicable…not the better truth. Truth is truth, not better or worse…wouldn’t you agree?  



10 Jan 2004 @ 10:09 by jstarrs : Spells...
The horns on a rabbits head do not exist, true.
But the mental image of the horns on a rabbit's head exists.
This leads you to differentiate between something that does not exist (as you rightly said) and something that does exist, the mental image of the horns on a rabbit's head.
Then, we can agree on this, right?
I think we agree, basically...
Consciousness & the mind is the basis of buddhist study, since consciousness & mind are the basis for all we experience.

So, Spells, the reason why "the search for truth has become skewed and illogical and therefore arguments that are pointless come up.." is because of our perturbed minds.
Mind is the first place to start...  



10 Jan 2004 @ 13:56 by spells : The Creator of Thought
"But the mental image of the horns on a rabbit's head exists", I askyou is that a rational mind? It doesn't matter if they exist in someones mind. They are not the truth.

I am not clear what you want me to agree to...let me ask you this? Have we come to any conclusions? resolutions? Knowledge? I didn't know we were discussing the basis of buddhist study.

I say the first place to start is in meditation. Becoming aware of the "Watcher" within, without thought. The Creator of thoughts. Then you can go to mind from this place and see the truth. You are not your mind, you are not your thoughts, you are the Creator within. If you start with a mind that is perturbed or delusional or distorted, how can you have the clarity to see the truth?  



10 Jan 2004 @ 16:19 by Roger Eaton @209.55.71.129 : a cheaper galvanic skin meter
Alas I qualify as one of those skeptics who really should check it out for themselves. Ok, I thought, but when I followed the link given to read about and purchase one of these meters, I found the price was 795 USD.  


10 Jan 2004 @ 17:02 by ming : GSR Meter
Yeah, they usually end up around that price, even though a bunch of different outfits manufacture them. So that unfortunately makes it a little harder to check for oneself.  


11 Jan 2004 @ 13:12 by Avi Solomon @82.166.192.72 : Cleve Backster Himself
Listen to the guy himself:
[link]

[link]  



12 Jan 2004 @ 09:05 by Avi Solomon @82.166.192.72 : Cleve Backster Interview
Better Audio Interview:
[link]

Print Interview:
[link]  



3 Feb 2004 @ 22:12 by justin2 : Minds of plants and cells
This is a rehash of an article I did earlier. I think I needed to redo it so as to clarify a few things a bit. It still needs a lot of work, but I have poasted it here in the hope of feed-back so as to progress my own (and hopefully other's) understanding of the cosmos.

Evolution is an ongoing process, just as creation is an ongoing process. Creation takes place by means of cosmic forces, (the powers of “God”), and via the route of evolution.

An amoeba contains not enough cells in which to constitute a “Brain”. So how can a creature without a brain exhibit such attributes as ‘intent’ and ‘purpose’? The following is my brief and perhaps inept explanation of my reasoning:

The argument that the act of thinking is a phenomena of life, a process originating because of the juxtaposition of atoms and molecules, is a tumbler that holds no water. I am going to attempt to show that it is more reasssonable to take the position that thought originates outside the living being.

In the universe in which we dwell many forces are in constant flux. Galaxies crash into each other and black holes consume suns, spewing vast fields of energy into the universe as they do so. All of this takes place simply obeying the laws of physics and seemingly without purpose. However, when it comes to even the smallest of small beings, it is a different matter. Living beings exhibit the the attributes of intent and purpose. This is what distinguishes living things from other matter. Living things have a need to keep on existing, (Intent), so it must search for food. It has a further need. It has a desire to perpetuate itself, (Purpose), which it does by various means of procreation.

In the world of living things, nothing occurs without first the intent and purpose exists. Movement does not ever take place voluntarily, without cause within a living creature. This is the crux of the matter. For purpose to exist in inorganic matter, first there would have to be some sort of thinking device, a brain for instance. There is no evidence that I have seen anywhere that any inorganic matter has such a device. Living beings, however, do have some sort of conceptual device, Even trees have exhibited purposeful reactions to various stimuli. Certain wattle trees, for instance, when one of their number is attacked by an infestation of insects, will sacrifice that one, while the rest immediately infuse their leaves with powerful insecticide.

Amoebae must feed in order to continue their existence. They therefore purposefully go about the business of searching out their food. A cockroach does not have a brain as we know it. Instead, it has a ganglia, or a sort of central nervous system, located in the thorax. Nobody can deny that the insect has a purpose. It actively searches for food and will run like crazy if there is a threat. And they procreate like there is no tomorrow!

A brain is made up of a multitude of cells, while an amoebae is a one-cell being. It does not contain enough cells to have a brain, and yet it exhibits purpose. The question therefore is, where does this purpose originate? To my sometimes inept mind, the only answer that makes any sense is that the purpose comes from somewhere outside the being. This flies in the face of the atheist, as it implies that there must be a being of some sort, which being is described as “GOD”.

Modern research into the human brain seems to favour the suggestion that thought and ideas originate elsewhere, and are apprehended by the brain, which seems to be acting as some sort of receiver. I have long thought this to be so. Many times a thought occurred to me, the origin of which was a mystery to me. If I take the step of putting these two concepts together, I come to the conclusion that there is some sort of thought generating, and purpose generating force or energy which is seemingly pervading the biosphere giving living things thoughts and purpose, without either of which we could not exist.

Your guess is as good as mine as to just what is the origin of life, thought and purpose, and if it requires anything of us other than that we continue to exist. Theologians maintain that "God" gave us rules to live by. It depends on the religion to which one belongs, as to what those rules might happen to be.

Finally, I have come to the conclusion that there is a God. Don't know much about Him/Her, except that anything against life is against that being.  



5 Feb 2004 @ 02:29 by discord @66.228.196.169 : someone share your bootleg s.l.o.p. vhs
we want the movie god damnit the secret life of plans movie  


1 Feb 2009 @ 10:07 by steve @204.116.207.235 : hmm
TOO many think the brain is consciousness, if that was so and since the brain is mearly brain cells, then would we assume each individual brain cell is a tiny bit of consciousness? And that adding them up adds to more consciousness?
Or would we say its all in the wiring that gives consciousness? Perhaps in the bigger truth the brain is mearly a machine that can recieve and transmit. We can say it recieves from our body. But then it only truly recieves electrical impulses, which is all the brain internally does as well, well it recieves them and transmits them within itself and to the body,,and any form of electrical pulse creates radio waves of varying frequencies. So then would that leave us at consciousness is a form frequencies? Or would we say that is the soul? And if everything has a counter part,,then would not even a radio wave, if not in this dimension then perhaps another? And that would bring us back to if cells have electrical properties,,even plant cells,,then it too could be conscious right? I think mankind either dont know,,or assumes there is only one kind of consciousness, and mankind assumes if there is other forms it must be like mankinds to be conscious,,that is the flaw in the assumption of just what is conscious. There are more forms of consciousness then mankind could count, even so many all around you every day. You are never alone, what you are aware of or what is aware of you may vary.  



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