Archive for Backster

Finding Our Way Home to Peace

In the 1970’s, Cleve Backster, an FBI polygraph expert, began documenting his office plant’s spontaneous reactions to human thought. 1 He actually attached the electrodes of a lie detector to their leaves and recorded the results. It seems that a human thought evokes a response from a plant that can clearly be recorded by the machine. In fact, the readings clearly resemble arousal patterns of the human nervous system. That certainly puts a whole new spin on the benefits of hugging a tree as opposed to chopping it down!

Further research showed that the plants could also tell the difference between a bluff and a serious threat. They reacted to other organisms as well such as bacteria being killed in a sink drain and eggs being dropped into boiling water. This fascinating and important piece of research presents rather graphic evidence that we are indeed all connected – not only to everyone but also to everything in our environment – quite literally.

Defining Truth – the Ultimate Pursuit

What this study also highlights is how unaware we are of all this communication taking place around us. Much of the interaction between us and the living organisms in our environment, including other people, is often invisible and unconscious. Such is the nature of connection. Much of it is often beyond our conscious control although we tend to think otherwise.

This barrage of information in which we exist actually corresponds to a sea of frequencies. The sensitivity of the nervous system and brain to a variety of stimuli, conscious and unconscious, is what keeps us connected. However, not every piece of information is worthy of banking in the vault of awareness. The trick is to discern between the myriad of frequencies pulsing through. The bottom line is that we can’t always differentiate between what our sensory system is registering from the external in the moment and the unconscious content of what we’re “remembering”. It opens “memory” up to many skewed versions of the truth.

Trauma does mold us. Many of the perceptions we hold sacred are a string of fragmented perceptions, past and present, drawn together to form a story, the origin of which may or may not be entirely connected to a current event. The connections we make or seek do not always reflect what is actually happening in the moment. The individual connections are valid, the response to the information as a whole may not be.

Self-trust Versus Self-doubt

Knowledge of the extent to which we’re connected to all things and they, in turn, to us brings a certain sense of responsibility to bear as we walk this earthly path. Are we joined by love or fear, anger and rage or a sense of mutual caring and pleasure? Are we running toward something or away from something or someone else? The matrix doesn’t judge; it merely offers.

Choosing fear over love, trust instead of distrust is even built into the architecture of our brains. We possess two “switches”, amygdala, which affect the course of decision-making. If we perceive a threat to our survival, they click backward, invoking the fight-flight-freeze response of the limbic system and the reptilian brain. This works great in a life-or-death scenarios but the process leaves the cerebral cortex (the conscious-thinking-you) out of the loop. However, when the amygdalae are encouraged to click forward and engage the frontal lobes, then creativity, playfulness, curiosity, problem-solving and resolution prevail.

How do we trust ourselves to tell the difference between what or who is in our way rather than on our way? Deciding who and what to believe can be maddening if we leave it all up to our heads. Do we draw conclusions from what we the raw data we capture or what’s interpreted through the filters of past experience? This is what makes the life skill of determining what’s actually happening in the moment so crucial. In order to accomplish this, we have to stay conscious ( i.e. stay awake long enough) to gather more information than what initially appears on the surface.

This is easier said than done. Remote viewing helps develop the mental discipline to do this. Remote viewers are trained to record raw data, to remain a witness to past events and present realities concurrently. The exercise forces one into a face-off with internalized judgment and self-doubt. As a remote viewer, it’s been my experience that when I stop fighting myself, I increase my scope of choice.

A Remote Viewing Experiment

I once participated in a group experiment to find and follow the connections (“signal line” in remote viewing language) of the imperatives that drive the human condition. After two days of deliberation, we decided on a list of twenty (ten positive, ten negative). We were then given 3×5 index cards and asked to create four separate pictorial representations of the first two imperatives from each list. The entire group (about 60) was blindfolded and then ushered into a room the size of a large reception hall where all our cards had been randomly taped face down on the walls. We were asked to locate our own cards, while blindfolded, within the space of less than an hour with loud music blasting away.

The words represented on the cards were LOVE, INTEGRITY, FEAR and HATRED. Everyone’s illustrations, of course, were unique. The majority of the first cards to be located in this manner were the LOVE ones, followed by FEAR. Over half the class located at least two of their cards in this manner. One person located all four. Only three people found none of their cards. The interesting news is that the majority of us followed the signal line to LOVE first. The upshot of this game of cosmic Pin the Tale on the Donkey is that we do have choice. And although the connections to both love and fear exist simultaneously within us, if we can locate, recognize and follow the frequency of LOVE then that is what will be waiting for us at the other end.

Remote Viewing taught me that the optimal environment for choice already exists. We are urged to leap into what is often ironically referred to as the “unknown”, where the imprint of that which has already occurred is laid bare and the future is an infinite number of possibilities. We move toward what we ultimately seek with no guarantees.

The message: LOVE is out there – go find it by following your inner sensory compass. And by the way, you will have to contend with hatred, greed, betrayal, etc. on the way because the contrasts and familiar temptation will always exist. What a test of unconscious intent!

Viewing From a Limitless Universe

The experience of viewing something distant in time and space leaves no doubt that what we think and do influences the greater whole and vise verse. This expanded sense of unfettered eternal connection not only reframes one’s view of life but also of death. Our dance with the matrix is more than just a brief psychic glimpse or a journey filtered by the archives of one’s memory or imagination. It is the embodied knowledge that not only is consciousness vastly larger than the physical self but that it is inter-connected and profoundly influential.

We can choose to empower and expand or we can choose to limit and control. Physical manifestation will follow the dictates of spiritual intent. If there is a war to wage here, it is intrinsically within ourselves. If a sense of connection is based upon the smokescreen of past experience, good or bad, then that path will ultimately produce the perfect setup for disappointment and suffering. If one allows the direct experience with source to occur, the truth will emerge. It is judgment and self-doubt that pull us off the path. By expanding our realm of possibilities, we create a climate of growth for all things. It is up to each one of us to bring the warring factions of our soul to the peace table, making survival and creativity staunch allies.

There is a Zen saying: ”If you understand…things are just as they are; if you do not understand…things are just as they are.” The matrix of all creation awaits. ‘Intent’ sets the course and ’surrender’ ferries us through the great cosmic sea of infinite possibilities. It is our eternal connection that keeps us afloat.

1 Cleve Backster, Primary Perception, Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods, and Human Cells (Anza, CA:White Rose Millennium Press, 2003) 21-27.

(Copyright Talia Shafir, 2008 all rights reserved)