Sunday, August 11, 2013


Continuing on with Vogel's researches  (from the earlier post of Aug 2),  he seems to have become quite obsessed with the notion of the interaction between human and plant.  As he puts it,  " [I charge] the plant with some energy in me...[causing] the plant to build up a sensitivity... It is extremely important that one understand that the plant's response is, in my opinion, not that of an intelligence in plant form, but that the plant becomes an extension of oneself."*

The German mystic Jakob Boehme, in the 16th century, had described being able to psychically join with a plant and rejoice with it at  growth and life.  Vogel wondered if an sensitive person would be able to do something similar.  A young woman, Debbie Sapp, seemed to him to be unusually successful at establishing rapport with his philodendron.  He asked her one day if she could get into the plant.  This is Debbie's description of what happened.

    Mr. Vogel asked me to relax and project myself into the philodendron.  Several things took place as I began to carry out his request.
     First, I wondered exactly how I could get inside a plant.  I made a conscious decision to let  my imagination take over and found myself entering the main stem through a doorway at its base.  Once inside, I saw the moving cells and water traveling upward through the stem, and let myself move with this upward flow.
     Approaching the spreading leaves in my imagination, I could feel myself being drawn from an imaginary world into a realm over which I had no control.  There were no mental pictures, but rather a feeling that I was becoming part of, and filling out, a broad expansive surface.  This seemed to me to be describable only as pure consciousness.
    I felt acceptance and positive protection by the plant.  There was no sense of time, just a feeling of unity in existence and in space.  I smiled spontaneously and let myself be one with the plant.
    Then Mr. Vogel asked me to relax.  When he said this, I realized I was very tired but peaceful.  All of my energy had been with the plant. *
Vogel continued to repeat this study with dozens of people.  He continually found that people needed to be tuned in to the plants in order to achieve results in working with them.  He also worked with a number of children, finding them especially adept at achieving the necessary state of mind.

As Vogel's and  Backster's experiments showed over and over, there seems to be some kind of energy produced by human thoughts and emotions, that is somehow picked up or responded to by some plants.

Despite dismissal by establishment scientists, who scoff that the "experiments" are not properly set up or controlled, and that the results are not repeatable, one has to wonder what is going on.  Unless Vogel and Backster are complete charlatans,  something must be going on, or so it seems to me.

As a prelude to further revelations, I'd just like to note the findings of a researcher at State University at Hayward, California, Randall Fontes, who discovered an electrical potential running from cell to cell in a philodendron plant, and has interpreted it as an indication of a simple nervous system.

So, in my next installment of this curious subject, I'll have some more examples for you of strange things some people have done with plants.

Till then,
                  *Tompkins, Peter and Bird, Christopher, The Secret Life of Plants.  New York, Harper and                            Rowe. 1973
(By Marlie Graves)  

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