Sunday, January 13, 2008

Primary Perception

I remember being interested in boring old science for the first time in (I think it was) fourth grade. I don't think that I was necessarily disinterested in it - I believe looking back that it had much more to do with labels and school talk than anything else. You know - either you are "good at" art, science, math, or english.
Sad, really. Our possibilities for growth and knowledge are so much greater when we're not limited in such a way. Teachers, parents, and eventually students learn to say it and judge. (I chose English, by the way.)

Anyway - there I sat in my middle of the room seat (not in the front, not in the back where I'd be tempted to doodle and not learn anything - but well in the middle where I would forever remain anonymous) when my teacher - don't remember his name - told us that there was no such thing as solid mass. That all things were made up of molecules, and that things just sort of shimmered, bonded together with energy, and they broke apart quite often, but that it happened so fast that we couldn't see it.
That bit of information changed my world. My head. My life.
Forever after I looked at the world around me in a whole new way.

It's possible that I might have been thinking about this in the middle of the night, last night (while sleeping) - for out of the blue I heard MythBusters on, and something about a "Palm tree and a piece of straw." "Yes!!" I remember thinking, just as if I had conjured up that piece out of thin air.
Of course I was fully awake, now, and eager for what was to come.
One of my favorite topics.
It's pretty common knowledge that after tornadoes and hurricanes pieces of straw or grass are often found sticking out of trees. MythBusters was testing if a piece could actually travel through the tree and come out the other side. I wasn't much interested in that. I just like the energy, the separation, the chaos and the force.
In my head (it doesn't matter if it's true, or not, it is what I see and believe) such penetrations are not just about wind. And the force of that wind. To me it's about the energy that surrounds the everything. The chaos of the storm, the incredible power, the subjection to external forces, it's like there is something greater that takes over, and one (even a tree) cannot help but forget for a moment that it is a tree, and that it must hold itself together, and so shimmers itself momentarily into the power of that storm. It gets sort of overwhelmed, if you will. Thus blades of grass and pieces of straw and various other seemingly inconsequential things are found to be amazingly penetrative.

A second piece of this particular MythBusters was even more exciting for me.
"Myth: All living things are interconnected and can communicate at an ESP level. This means that plants have feelings and can even scream in response to a stressful situation."
Now I have a problem with the verbiage here. While I certainly believe that all things have energy, and are responsive, I don't believe that response can be called emotion, exactly. I think things are affected by outside influences, but I don't believe that they judge those influences to be "good" or "bad", and develop fear or anger toward such influence. I believe that things are more just expressions of energy, if you will.
But, as it happens, this was their myth, and their intention to either prove or disprove this particular theory.
The first object (which was the only one I was really interested in - the rest were too fear-based) was a plant, the same specimen that Cleve Baxter used in 1966 when he performed these tests.
You can read a bit about Mr. Baxter's tests here, or in his book The Secret Life of Plants.
Essentially he was the creator of the modern day polygraph machine (particularly the Emotional Stress Monitor, Model #22600), and one day spontaneously decided to hook his machine up to a plant. He found that when he gave it water, it demonstrated on his machine that it was happy. Later he had thoughts of burning the plant - and the plant immediately showed signs of serious distress just from those thoughts.

So MythBusters tackled it. They found that while in immediate vicinity of the plant, 33% of the time (striking the plant and thinking thoughts of "I'm going to hurt you" the plant responded. When they decided to be further away - outside of the sealed large shipping container - the plant responded 28% of the time. Fairly consistent, I'd say.

They went on to hook the plant up to an eeg machine, to test it again, and to also test "live" things - yogurt, eggs, etc. Nothing on the eeg, so the myth was busted.

But I don't care about that.
What I care about is that it was evident to me that life and energy is interconnected. That thoughts really do have relevance in our world outside of our own heads.
I thought it was extremely interesting - fascinating - that while in the beginning of the experiment, the MythBusters (Grant and Tory) were quite astounded at the results they were getting from the 22600.

It is not my intent to take what suits me in this investigation, and leave the rest. What I am saying is that while I don't believe, as I said, that things have emotion, per se, I find it undeniable that the world around us (and macrocosmically the Universe) is affected by what we think, say and do.
Something to consider well, I believe.

The Secret Life of Plants and Diet for a Small Planet
Primary Perception
physics forum
annotated mythbuster


piscesgrrl said...

whoa, duuude, that's like... intense.

But was the egg fertilized? And if so, been kept warm? Cuz otherwise it wasn't 'live'. Ok, that's my practical answer.

Emotionally, this brings up a whole new set of questions that frankly, the answers for which may have very dire consequences. Don't you think?

There was something similar with water molecules... but I haven't read enough to really comment.

Stephanie S. said...

My friend was telling me about the water molecules a few weeks ago. I'll have to ask her for more info.

Regarding the eggs et al - that's what I was thinking - their frame-up was like "If you throw this egg against a wall, will all the other eggs be afraid of you?" which was sort of out of context to
what I was wondering - which is "what effect does certain energy have upon other energy?", if you can see what I mean.
But probably that question makes no sense to anyone but me. :)
I guess what I mean is "Does a destructive and violent thought have an adverse (slowing down, unharmonious, unhelpful) effect upon other things?"
Which of course I believe it does, but experiments that are concrete are always intriguing.

Most interesting to me. :)

Aubrey said...

It was me that told you about the water molecules responding to thoughts, music, appliances, ect.
Here is a lik to the website:
Here is a link to the book:

Very interesting stuff.


Stephanie S. said...

I remembered it was you - and I don't know why I didn't say "my friend Aubrey" - I'm glad for the info!
I'll add it to the list! :)