About 100 years ago, a new breed of scientists broke from the Newtonian physics of the previous 400 years. Their experimental results with energy, particles, and light did not fit into the Newtonian principles created during Renaissance times. For a comprehensive and persuasively insightful history of Western culture’s shift to materialism since the 1600’s, please read Chapter 4 of the book Harmony, by The Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness Charles.
During the 1900’s, Quantum Physicists explored the nature of matter and of light determining that everything is energy and all matter is fundamentally connected. Fritjof Capra, in his book The Tao of Physics, drew parallels between the new physics and ancient spiritual principles. In his 1975 classic he made three important points:
- Everything is energy.
- All matter is shown to be physically connected at the most fundamental levels in much the same way that mystics throughout the ages have taught.
- Linear thought developed by Descartes and Newton during the Renaissance works for large scale and practical science but it does not work at the level of the quantum. At the level of photons, a new kind of thinking–holistic and systems–is what works.
In the last 20 years, scientists world-wide have studied different aspect of what it means to be a living system. In their search for a fundamental definition, they have explored a full range of systems including biological organisms as well as computer models. Dr. Capra assembled and summarized all of their work in his 1996 work The Web of Life. There are three fundamental criteria for a living system. Trees and all plants qualify as living systems by all three criteria.
- “Network Pattern.” Trees/plants operate with a complex pattern of organization like a large orchestra. They have countless interacting and interdependent parts and functions which work in feedback loops.
- “Dissipative Structure.” Living systems undergo dynamic change and yet maintain a stable structure. As an oak tree begins as an acorn and grows into a massive tree, so it has a stable structure while dynamic changes occur constantly.
- “Cognition as the Process of Life.” All living things show intelligence or cognition. Not only do sunflowers follow the sun’s progress East to West during the day, but in the morning, they are waiting for the sun in the East again. This is not human intelligence, which is the result of language and culture; it is “cognition” in the same sense that a single celled organism in a Petri dish will go toward the food and away from the poison.
According to Dr. Lipton in his book The Biology of Belief, every cell–whether human, animal, or plant–is itself intelligent. The membrane of cells must “decide” what to allow in and what to keep out. Even though very different in structure and physiology, trees and other plants share a similar fundamental cellular biology with humans. All cells have walls, internal structures and operate based on energy exchanges and patterns. Aggregates of cells–systems–must interact in coordination with other systems for the benefit of the whole. This is the same in all living organisms.
Human Energy Fields
In the 1990’s, sensitive new equipment and new human experiments revealed that that heart has as much neural tissue as the brain-in-the-head. More than that, the heart generates a measurable bio-electro-magnetic field. This discovery lead HeartMath Institute scientists to declare that the heart is a brain. As such, it is similar to radio technology: both a transmitter of information and a receiver. Coherence between the heart-brain and the head-brain leads to enormous health benefits for people. Please check out the illustration on page 34 of the bestseller The HeartMath Solution by Childre and Martin, to see how the heart’s field is depicted as a sphere-shape around the human body.
Stephen Buhner, on pages 93 to 111 of The Secret Teachings of Plants, reminds people that their own bodies generate powerful oscillations from the heart, the gut, and the brain. In a practical sense, how can you use this knowledge? If you are within about 5 feet of another person, your heart field and their heart field are overlapping. That often shows why people feel good around certain people and not so good around others.
Plant Energy Fields
When it first came out in the ‘60’s, The Secret Life of Plants was a best-seller. It was full of history and anecdotal information about plants as living organisms and about the people who worked with them. One of the most notable was lie detector expert Cleve Baxter, well known for hooking up his lie detection equipment to a houseplant in his office. He threatened the plant with fire. The results were amazing: the plant’s energy fields were detectable by the lie-detector equipment! Cleve Baxter has continued his work, extending it to other living organisms as well. Check out Primary Perception.
In her book, The Intention Experiment, Lynne McTaggart reports on countless studies relating to human healing and the use of hands-on methods, the role of human attention, and intentional concentration. Two of the studies relevant to plants are
- Fritz-Albert Popp has proven that light emanates from organisms. Photons are generated by the DNA of all organisms.
- Konstantin Korotkov’s bio-energy fields research shows that there is a 2-way flow of information between living beings. Ms. McTaggart suggests that this research may confirm the lie detector work of Cleve Backster’s.
Overlapping Energy Fields or “Interference Patterns”
To recap what was said above, human beings generate measurable bio-electro-magnetic fields––also known as bio-energy fields––primarily from their hearts. Trees and plants, as whole organisms, have “smart” cells and countless inner functions operating in complex feedback loops. Like human beings, trees and plants also generate bio-energy fields. This illustration is found on page 57 of Conroy and Alexander’s book Tree Whispering: A Nature Lover’s Guide.
Overlapping coherent energy patterns–or “interference patterns” – are proven to contain information. This suggests that there are overlapping energy fields––waves of energy––interacting between you and another person or you and a tree or plant. You probably can’t see the waves of energy which come to your cell phone…but it rings and you talk with the other person. No wires needed. Similarly, the overlapping bioenergy fields between you and a tree exist and carry information.
Stephen Buhner looks beyond the human heart’s bioenergy field from pages 111 to 115 of his book The Secret Teachings of Plants. He reminds us that all living beings––humans, animals, plants––are bonded together inside and out by the living fields that they generate. Over billions of years, plants not only learned to use their own biofields to maintain their own health, but have also learned to put information into their fields to share with other organisms in the ecosystem.
The Science of Intentionality
In her book, The Intention Experiment, Lynne McTaggart reports on countless studies performed in last 100 years, and mostly in the last 20 years, involving the use of human intention and focused attention to impact matter, including other human beings’ health. Ms. McTaggart is conducting intention experiments in which anyone can participate. Go to theIntentionExperiment.com to learn more.
Recent work photographing water as it freezes into snowflakes by Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto, reveals amazingly beautiful crystals. As might be expected, water taken from pure sources produces well shaped, beautiful crystals while water from polluted sources produces misshapen, “ugly” forms upon freezing. However, what was not expected in Dr. Emoto’s work was the effect that attention, prayer, the written word, music, meditation and focused intention had on water. All of those activities had a dramatic effect in changing the appearance from the original crystal photo to the resulting crystal photo. For instance, “thank you” written on a container changed the resulting appearance. These amazing pictures can be seen in his books: The Hidden Messages in Water, Secret Life of Water, Water Crystal Healing, and others.
People and plants are mostly water. If free-floating water can be influenced by intention or music or words, what might happen to the water in our own bodies or in trees and plants if we use intentional concentration or focused attention?