LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA

April 4, 2009

Systemic Emotion

Emotion: an instinctive response to environmental situations, that is distinguishable from logic and reason.

Many folks feel that emotions are a throw back to our animal past and therefore, should be suppressed in favor of a logical state of mind. To those that see the human species as the pinnacle of evolution, emotions seem like a primitive mechanism that threatens to pull us down, impeding our progress. Our reptilian brain, favoring primitive behavior if survival is threatened, is a case in point.

Primitive or Fundamental?

Rather than looking at emotions as primitive, there are advantages to thinking of them as fundamental, performing valuable functions at all levels of biological systems. The emotional mechanism is just as important in our “advanced” civilization, as ever, it is the recorded behaviors and their settings that are primitive and need to be updated.

In the individual, emotions manage the state of readiness to meet environmental situations. The source of our emotions is definitely in our subconscious. Environmental situations, real or imagined, cause the release of a flood of chemical messengers, that reset the state of all subsystems, in preparation to react.

Security Alerts

One way to look at emotion is that it is a part of the security system, that instantly alerts Captain Self and the rest of the crew to danger or any situational change. Emotions can switch the state of readiness of the entire organism in a flash. Emotions work in real time, but are also intimately involved with memory and recall. In memory, emotions continue their role as an alert mechanism.

Not only is the emotional state recorded in memory right along with events, it also measures and grades the experience. The type and intensity of the emotion becomes a flag that marks the experience, both for a gauge to its importance and for easier recall. We know that emotional state has a lot to do with how well we remember things. So, the flow of data that our memory processes is categorized, referenced and assigned degree of importance(prioritized) on the fly.

Systems Level Emotions

Besides looking at what emotions do for the individual, we want to understand what function emotions perform for the system. From this vantage point it is immediately apparent that, as well as managing the agent’s internal state of readiness, emotions affect the external world. Emotions are part of the communications network that manages social relationships.

Body Language

In animals we see that emotions are communicated, between individuals and groups, by body language and other visual cues. It appears to be a separate channel of information from vocal exchanges. For example, the tails of dogs and cats project their emotional state to any observer. Barking guard dogs will often be wagging their tails while appearing to be vigorously defending their turf. One end of the dog is yelling, “I’m doing my job”, while the other end is saying, “Take me for a walk.”

For we humans, facial expressions and other body language communicate hidden feelings. No matter what the conscious mind is trying to convey, the subconscious is often projecting a different picture. To whom? The subconscious of other agents.

Color Coded

Throughout the animal kingdom, color is used to broadcast emotional state, especially in mating. From the red rumps of female baboons in heat to the colorful displays of cuttlefish, emotions play an important role in the reproductive process. Displays of fear serve to warn local residents of danger. Emotions serve a survival function for individuals and groups, but go even farther, providing realtime feedback to the higher levels of control, like species and ecosystems.

The Brine Shrimp Massacre

Remember the brine shrimp experiments in Cleve Backster’s lab? Death is a radical change of state for any organism. The traumatic termination of any living thing registers on all local agents, and beyond. The Primary Perception revealed by Backster’s experiments, is the core communicator of agent states to the nonlocal environment. This is fundamental emotion, highlighting, organizing and prioritizing the holographic feedback loops of all living things. How agents feel about what they are doing, is important to the system. The total of all agents states, generates the holoverse, the emotional state of System.

Suppressed Connectivity

Our attempts to suppress our emotions has hampered our ability to communicate with our local environment as well as the System at large. Many folks recognize that the root cause of much of our troubles is our separation from the natural world. We have done it to ourselves.


July 24, 2008

More Secret Life of Plants

Musical Fertilizer

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.

Symbiotic Rapport

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.

Mindless Universe?

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.

July 10, 2008

The Backster Effect

The Secret Life of Plants

I remember when i first read of Cleve Backster’s experiments in, The Secret Life of Plants. I was excited because his experiments were consistent with my experience. I thought that this book would spark a revolution in science and our culture in general. Science would now see that plants and animals were to be communicated with, rather than experimented on. I thought that science would be transformed. Wrong again.

Primary Perception

It all started way back in the 60s; polygraph technician Cleve Backster hooked up the leads of his lie detector to the leaves of a Dracaena cane in his office. The first thing he noticed was a rhythmic fluctuation in the response patterns. His instrument was measuring something. He surmised that the electrical resistance measured by his lie detector was because of the flow of water within the leaf. That flow could be variable according to the plant’s “state”. If the plant had a response system that controlled the tension of capillaries within the structure, let’s say, relaxed and tense, changes in the plant’s state should show on his instruments.

He thought of ways he might stress the plant to see if he could get a reaction. When he considered burning a leaf, his polygraph registered a dramatic upward sweep. He had done nothing, but think about harming the plant and his instruments registered increased tension. He decided to find out more about this strange phenomenon.

He rigged up a test that would dump live brine shrimp into boiling water at random times. His plants showed an “emotional” reaction on his instruments to the death of the shrimp. Backster hooked his wires to thousands of plants, each showing the ability to react to this type of remote stimulus. He then found ways to attach his electrodes to infusions of single cells. He tested amoeba, yeast and mold cultures, blood and even sperm. In all cases he found that there exists a primary communication system that carries the message of the dying shrimp to the plants or cells. He found this effect could be produced over distance. He called this Primary Perception.

Sounded exciting to me, so i assumed science would jump on this one. They ignored his research, accusing him of using, “some kind of ESP.” These experiments are easily repeated in the lab and i have personally experienced the phenomenon many times. There are millions of indigenous people who will tell you that plants are aware. Human history is rich with those who have tapped into this Natural system and reported successful communications. Science ignores all this, accusing them of silly superstition or using some kind of ESP.

Direct Experience

People with direct experience in communications with plants don’t apply reason or theories to the belief, they have experienced it. When you receive accurate information from plants over distance, it demands no other explanation. Theories just don’t matter anymore. Once at this stage, the technique becomes available to enhance your life. Further experience reinforces that knowledge.

However, if one comes from the point of view that such communication is not possible, the methodology employed would be designed to find the flaw in the feedback mechanism. While trying to figure out what went wrong, they miss what went right. They just can’t accept the possibility that plants are sentient beings. It goes against their most cherished beliefs: that the intellect of mankind reigns supreme. This is the source of the rift between science and Cleve Backster. Science cannot accept an intelligent universe. It just does not compute. It is in their nature to defend their position.

When you look objectively at the elaborate structure of modern scientific knowledge it becomes apparent that much of it is fabricated in an attempt to prove that there is no intelligence in the system, save ours. Terms like self-organization, mathematical bias, entropy, emergence are meant to describe laws that make universal feedback loops unnecessary. Yet when we build a system, it will not function if we don’t include appropriate feedback loops.

There is always going to be a micro process that does the actual work. It will have the instructions it needs to do its thing onboard. In the holographic model, those instructions are also part of the information available to the system at other levels. Feedback from the micro to the macro allows the system to organize itself.

You’ve heard of the law of attraction? The power of positive thinking? Prayer? Chaos magic? If you believe in them, they work to the degree you can master their technique. If you don’t believe in them, they don’t work at all. Why? Because we are interfacing with an intelligent system. The system doesn’t present you with reality, but with an intelligently constructed model, built especially for you, to the specifications of your culture.

Organic Supply System

Now this new model presents a different view of just how this system works. The system seeks to supply individual agents with their needs. This information processing system responds to queries in the language and beliefs of the user. It is done to you as you believe. Seek and ye shall find.

The system manages resources and logistics for the ongoing construction of organic material. That includes the on-time supply of all the assemblies necessary to complete all of its many projects. As with any manager, problem solving is a major function. The first step in solving any problem is to identify the source. That’s where this dynamic hologram comes in. This is an electromagnetic field generated by the fact that every cell is in laser-like sync. The slightest disturbance in any of those signals reverberates through the entire system, carrying specific information regarding the nature of the disturbance. This is real-time feedback from the smallest functioning unit to the whole. This is Cleve Backster’s “Primary Perception”, the fundamental feedback mechanism for Life.

Scientific Method

Repeatable experiments are important to science, but like so many of their methods they preclude positive interaction with sentient beings. The successful experiments carried out by Cleve Backster indicate that plants react to trauma in their local environment. Doesn’t this at least open the possibility that plants are sentient beings? If so, then to continue to threaten and torture plants until they no longer react is sheer lunacy. If this is indeed a communication between living beings, it needs to be treated as such. But the hard hearted scientists treat the communication as a malfunction in their method and revise it until no more communication is detected. Then they announce to their peers that the evil theory has been properly debunked.

Fragile Rapport

Take communication between a husband and mother-in-law for example. It doesn’t take much for that channel of communication to break down, does it? The slightest deviation from accepted protocol and it can cease immediately. Communication with plants and animals is like that, in that they don’t communicate with just anybody. There has to be a basic rapport or they just clam up. Under these circumstances, the heavy handed approach favored by contemporary science is not likely to be successful.

Attempts to duplicate the Backster effect produced intermittent results that were ignored.

“While this experiment did show a few positive correlations, they did not occur at a rate great enough to be considered statistically viable.”

So, they admit it happens, but not often enough to be real. It only takes once for it to be real, if it happens to you.

Skeptics bring up all the reasons that such communication is impossible while failing to address the phenomenon itself. Backster has forty years of experiments, meticulously documented, just waiting for science to look at, but they refuse. The point is that Backster’s experiments prove that the current scientific paradigm is incomplete. Unable to explain his results, contemporary science has ignored them completely. Without including this system of perception and communication, science has built a seriously flawed model of biological reality.

Full Circle

Just a few hundred years ago science broke off from religion, claiming the spiritual was unsupportable by facts and therefore not a part of reality. Paranormal, religious and/or shamanistic experience was discounted as fantasy and relegated to the trash bin of human behavior. Science declared their method the only proper way to understand reality. Meanwhile, science has gathered an enormous amount of information on this thing called reality and how we perceive it. Reality is not what it seems; matter is not solid. Science has discovered that our perception determines our reality. Consciousness has been recognized as a functional element in all observation. What this means is that even our most advanced science is no more than description of reality. A description that is totally dependent on a learned set of abstract criteria. A description that occurs within a strict cultural context.

Science has always thought it was being purely objective, now it discovers that objectivity is an illusion. When one considers the cultural context, descriptions of the Universe presented by ancient religions are just as valid as today’s scientific descriptions. Without knowledge of the true context of ancient beliefs, they are not likely to make sense to us. However, many ancient doctrines include important information that modern science has ignored.

As for accuracy, who knows? However, the new model we are building leaves less out than did the old one. It is being built to accommodate all descriptions, regardless of their context. How do we do that? All descriptions and their cultural context are the sole property of the user. Neither the model, nor the system it describes, assume liability. It is all up to the user, and the interface.

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