Backster’s experiments were just some of the research written up in The Secret Life of Plants, that i was sure would lead to a better understanding of our living Earth. Another worth mentioning is the notion that plants would grow more vigorously when played music. This research was all the rage back in the ‘70s, pitting rock music against classical and such. Which music did the plants prefer? The sensationalism at least meant that magazines would report on the research from time to time.
So, through magazine articles and press releases, i followed several research projects that were set up to test the possibility that music affected plant growth. I watched in dismay as proposed experiments were gutted and/or restricted by the bureaucracy of science. It looked like the experiments were being set up to prove that it wouldn’t work. Every time positive results appeared the experiment was modified until that unfortunate anomalies were eliminated. I really felt sorry for the researchers who were trying to find answers, but were thwarted by their superiors.
After a while, the phenomenon was declared a fantasy, and science moved on, proud of another triumph over ignorance and superstition. Not everyone gave up the chase, however. There were several of us who thought there was more than enough reason to look deeper into the situation.
Instead of asking what was wrong with the method that produced positive results, a better approach would be to try identify the process that produced them. There were several folks who took up that challenge without the restrictions of agribusiness sponsored mind set. After all, setting up experiments with growing plants and a sound system doesn’t require big bucks.
One Way it works:
Music played at the right time causes the stomata(openings in the leaves that intake nutrients) to open wide. The result is that the leaves can absorb several times as much foliar feeding with the music. When is the right time? At the crack of dawn. What kind of music works the best? Just about anything within the frequency range of bird songs.
For maybe millions of years, great clouds of birds flew across the land and spent their nights roosting in the trees and bushes. At dawn they all begin to sing and take their morning dumps. Nutrient rich bird droppings would rain down on all the plants below. This was foliar feeding on a grand scale. Plants still remember those days and open their little mouths to catch the bounty. If you are there at dawn with your sprayer, humming a little tune, your plants will thank you with increased yields. Science can say what they will, but you can prove this one works for yourself.
Now that’s not such a mysterious situation that our deans of higher learning couldn’t have figured out if they had given just a little bit more effort. They just couldn’t believe there was anything to it. They still don’t.
That’s not the only effect music can have on plants. Music played with no foliar feeding may even decrease growth rates. Singing songs of praise to your plants is not wasted effort. What you are doing is building a rapport with your plants.
Backster’s experiments showed that rapport was necessary for there to be communication. When you look at the behavior of prehistoric farmers in the light of Backster’s experiments, it becomes apparent that animal sacrifice was used to communicate with plants. Just as the Dracaena in Backster’s office reacted to dying brine shrimp, the crops of ancient farmers reacted to their sacrifice.
Seems to me that this as part of the process of establishing a symbiotic relationship. The plant offers food in exchange for the farmer’s assistance in growth and propagation. The deal is reinforced with sacrifice and ceremony through which the farmers display their intent to do so. This relationship has been successful for many generations of plants and farmers.
Backster’s experiments showed that plants are aware of intent. His Dracaena reacted to his thought of burning a leaf. His thought of harm were in vivid contrast to the thoughts of care he usually directed towards his plant. Rather than fear, i think the Dracaena’s reaction was a feeling of betrayal.
Plants depend on their symbiots for their survival. This relationship grows as the farmer tends his plants. From Backster’s work we can see that the plants are aware of the farmer’s intent. Looks to me like a green thumb has its roots in consciousness.
Planting by the Moon
Here’s another one that shows a shoddy approach to the search for truth. Its the old plant by the moon controversy. Farmers have long planted by the moon while science contends that to do so is superstitious nonsense. All you really need to do to see this in action is study plants that grow in climate zones where the growing season is extremely short. Survival under these conditions depends on precise timing.
One way plants have to determine the time of year is by checking the length of the night during the dark of the moon. When light strikes any leaf, it produces a hormone that acts like a timer. It lasts about eight hours. The timer hormone suppresses the hormone that signals the start of flowering.
So as long as there is no darkness lasting more than eight hours, the plant continues its vegetative growth. As soon as the darkness lasts more than eight hours, the timer hormone runs down and the hormone that signals the flowering phase is allowed to flow.
Take a plant that needs a minimum of 30 days to reach maturity and another 30 days to make ripe seed. In places where the growing season is only 90 days, there is little margin for error. A one month old plant is still very small and not capable of making seed. It really needs another 30 days of growth to build some seed making equipment. A plant needs all 90 days to be successful.
Farmers in these mountains have found that the very best chance for a good harvest is to plant strictly by the moon. The plant has to germinate soon enough so that it can test the length of night on the first new moon of its life cycle. If it misses that first test, it has to wait another moon cycle in order determine the length of the night. That amounts to one third of its growing season. It can’t wait that long to decide whether or not to flower. That means there are just a very few planting days, when a farmer can expect a successful crop. Under these conditions, planting by the moon is the only way. They have done this for a very long time.
Down in the lowlands, with hybrid seed, lacking a history in the local environment, planting by the moon produces no difference in yields. That is all within the context of the current scientific paradigm. Back up in the mountains, that paradigm is inappropriate.
I present these examples, not to demean science or any of its practitioners, but to point out how the assumption of a mindless Universe makes it difficult to impossible to see an intelligent one. The current scientific paradigm has been constructed with faulty components. The paradigm is what scientists use as a lens through which they observe reality. This one gives a distorted view.
Science has always believed that their method would reveal something we could call reality. With so many precise instruments and such careful organization of the data, the result would certainly be reality. But their precise instruments have revealed some unexpected behavior at several levels, especially at the quantum one. The implication of that unpredictable behavior is that current scientific paradigm is fundamentally flawed. Quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. If the current scientific understanding of how the Universe functions was accurate, so would have been their predictions.
This is the core of the confusion bubbling up in our society these days. Our solid world of matter has turned ethereal on us and we don’t know what to think.
Just as in quantum mechanics, where the conscious observer becomes a functional part of the observation, in biology the thoughts of the observer affect the observation. Observation is a two-way street; it is communication. It is an information feedback loop cycling between the material and the ethereal, the visible and the invisible, the real and the imagined. This is especially problematical for people with no spiritual training. They really lack a conceptual framework with which to understand the invisible half of the loop. In other words, the context in which science operates excludes the very area that quantum mechanics reveals as fundamental: the non-time/space, informational/spiritual realm of uncertainty, probability and consciousness.
The context of belief is arbitrary. Our perception and everything we know was learned within a contextual framework. Our reality was molded around this framework provided by our culture. We cannot escape that relationship. Even our most exacting science is only a description of reality, totally dependent on context, and not the real thing. Even though the scientific community has discovered this to be true, they have been unable to look back on their own method and make adjustments.