Many of us experience defining moments in our lives when a sudden shift in perspective opens up a new path toward our higher purpose in this world.
One of these key moments occurred for me when my chronic pain therapist mentioned that she once studied under indigenous medicine women who told her that every part of the body has its own consciousness, “even the little finger”. Having already established a dedicated meditation practice, a wave of inspiration rushed through me as I imagined incorporating this concept into my routine. I thought to myself, Can my body hear me…can I talk to it to gain its cooperation in healing this bizarre neuropathic pain condition?
I went home, practiced my meditation techniques, and when I reached a state of deep calm, I inwardly engaged my body in a heartfelt conversation, with hope, but having no idea what to expect. After about one hour of this focused communication, something amazing happened. My tissues began to respond. Connective tissue pulled and stretched apart layers of scar tissue. Nerves fired and my calf muscles began to perform flexion and extension exercises independently of my conscious mind. As this response continued, one of my calf muscles that had become paralyzed by the neuropathic condition – diagnosed as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – came back to life as electric-like jolts shot through the area.
My heart pounded as I realized that the path to my freedom from this condition had finally begun. With a background in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, I knew too well how prevalent chronic pain is in this country and I wondered what the implications of this phenomenon could mean to so many others who were suffering. As I continued to make progress with my condition, I formulated my approach into a system that I could teach to clients and shifted my professional focus to hypnotherapy.
When instructing my hypnotherapy clients, I explain several key steps to gain the cooperation of the physical body. First, you must train your brain to enter theta brainwave states through meditation. We spend much of our time in the higher frequency beta brainwave state associated with alertness, logic, critical reasoning and stress. Trying to talk with the body while in a beta state is like talking with someone while you have poor reception on your cell phone. Not much gets communicated and both sides feel frustrated. Slowing our brainwaves down to a theta state, allows smooth, clear communication between the mind and body. Many people who meditate casually, only reach alpha states. A more committed meditation schedule will bring your brain into theta states, where your intention to communicate with your body is most effective. Once you reach a theta state…
- Approach your body with genuine compassion, understanding that it is made up of conscious cells who experience emotions.
- Build trust by engaging your body in mental conversations about your desire for the two of you to cooperate and overcome the ailment.
- Allow changes in the conversation by using different thoughts and words that elicit spontaneous elevated emotions.
From my experience, the above guidelines are necessary to achieve dynamic healing responses in the body. I recently came across a very similar set of factors that were discovered by researcher Cleve Backster, who spent 36 years studying biocommunication in plant, animal and human cells. He referred to these factors as real intent, attunement, and spontaneity and said that they must be considered in order to conduct biocommunication experiments effectively.1
Backster, formerly an interrogation specialist for the CIA, wrote about his defining moment – which led him to his real work in this world – in his book Primary Perception.2 This moment occurred one February morning in 1966 when he decided to monitor the Dracaena plant in his lab utilizing polygraph equipment. He attached the electrodes to a leaf and began to think about ways that he might induce a surge in electrical activity in the plant. In humans this surge in electrical activity is associated with intense emotions. He suddenly imagined burning the electroded leaf. The same instant this idea entered his mind, the polygraph pen shot to the top of the chart showing a dramatic reaction on the part of the plant. Astonished, he walked to his secretary’s desk to retrieve a set of matches while pondering the possibility that this plant was somehow detecting the force of human intention.
When he returned with the matches, the plant was still showing the same high level reaction which would interfere with tracking additional changes on the chart. Backster decided to “remove the threat” by returning the matches to the desk. At this point, the chart displayed a downward trend as the plant apparently began to calm down.3 When Backster attempted to repeat the same results by pretending that he was going to burn the plant, there was no reaction. The plant seemed to sense the difference between real and artificial intent. He eventually discovered that plants become attuned to their care takers, responding to both their positive and negative emotions and to their return after being away for a time.4
Backster continued to have success when testing plant and also animal cells for signs of consciousness and later expanded his research to include human cells. He collected white blood cell scrapings from the mouths of human donors, electroded them in vitro (in a test tube) and recorded the cells’ reactions as the donors experienced different emotional states. He found that spontaneous emotions were necessary in order to elicit an electrical reaction in the cells. For example, if a donor deliberately forced herself to feel an emotion the cells were unresponsive. However, when a donor received a distressing phone call from her daughter, the cells reacted significantly. Reactions correlated with specific points in the conversation when the daughter discussed problems she was having with her boyfriend. 5The donor in this case was Myra Crawford, research director at the University of Alabama Medical School, who later stated “I have been shown in a scientific demonstration, the apparent reality of conscious nonlocal instantaneous communication between my thoughts and my cells”.6
He noted that distance seemed to be irrelevant to the cell’s ability to register the donor’s emotions. NASA astronaut Brian O’Leary participated in several of Backster’s experiments. One of these involved leaving his electroded white cells behind in the lab, then keeping a detailed log of any spontaneous stressful emotions that he experienced on his trip home from California to Arizona. Included in his log were missing a turn on the freeway, standing in a long line at the airport, and the take-off and landing of his plane. Later, comparing his log with the chart recording showed a strong correlation between the timing of the stressful events and the electrical reactions in his in vitro cells. The chart became quiet again when he arrived home and went to sleep.7 Having witnessed confirmation of this phenomenon during multiple experiments, O’leary wrote about his own defining moment in his book Exploring Inner and Outer Space: “Now I was finally convinced that reality was truly far vaster and more mysterious than our accepted science can embrace”.8
Scientists, including those at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, The Heartmath Research Laboratory and the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (studying Advanced Human Technology), who carefully followed Backster’s protocol, were able to repeat the capability to witness plant, animal and human cell biocommunication.9 Others, who did not give consideration to the factors of spontaneity and attunement, were unable to repeat the results.
Backster explained that attempts by certain scientists failed because they planned the experiments in advance and tried to repeat them over and over, which eliminated spontaneity. In a Sun Magazine interview, Backster described how to ensure spontaneity in these experiments: “Go about your work; keep notes on what you are doing at specific times, and later compare them to your chart recording. But don’t plan anything or the experiment won’t work.” He also stated “It all boils down to this: repeatability and spontaneity do not go together, and as long as members of the scientific community overemphasize repeatability in scientific methodology, they’re not going to get very far in consciousness research”.10
[Update Dec. 2019: Dr. Philip Goff, Deputy Director of Philosophy at Durham University recently published Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness, where he describes how our standard scientific method was specifically designed to exclude consciousness. The “father of modern science”, Galileo Galilei “wanted a purely quantitative science of the physical world, and he therefore proposed that qualities [such as colors and smells] were not really in the physical world but in consciousness, which he stipulated was outside of the domain of science.” Goff writes that we shouldn’t be surprised that our standard scientific method struggles when studying consciousness and that nothing less than a revolution is called for in the area of consciousness science.]11
Scientists who neglected to consider the attunement factor failed to replicate Backster’s experiment involving the reaction of plants to the stress response of brine shrimp that were being dropped into boiling water. This experiment required the prevention of human-plant attunement, so that the plants would tune in to the emotions of the shrimp instead of those of the experimenters. Backster determined that their first mistake was that they washed the leaves of the plant prior to the trial, which initiated the attunement of the plants to the experimenters. Their second mistake, was that they observed the plants on a closed circuit television (CCTV) from the other side of the wall. The plants remained attuned to the experimenters (who had bathed them) and prioritized their emotions over those of the shrimp, altering the results. Backster wrote “[they] didn’t understand how to automate human consciousness out of an experiment…that wall meant nothing as far as plant-to-human attunement was concerned.” 12
Studies researching the effect of being watched on CCTV support Backster’s point. The work of William Braud PhD, senior researcher at the Mind Science Foundation in Texas,13 demonstrated significant positive results when experimenters used polygraph equipment to measure the electrical skin response of human subjects who were being watched on tv monitors. In one study, the observers, who had no previous contact with the subjects, watched them from a separate room, and were instructed to alternately stare at the subjects on the monitor and then look away. The subjects’ skin registered a surge in electrical activity while they were being stared at. In another study, the observers and the subjects were allowed to talk in- person and get to know each other first. This lead to an opposite reaction in the subjects who were being watched: the electrical activity calmed down while they were stared at by the observers, who they were now “attuned” with.
Backster conducted his experiments on human cells while surrounding the white cells with equipment that screened out electromagnetic radiation. The cells behaved as if the screens weren’t there, suggesting that this communication between donors and their cells is carried by a field outside of the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, light, etc.), which are the usual electromagnetic energies used for communication and information transmission.14
Some scientists believe that further development of quantum physics (which studies energy changes in the ultra-small ingredients of matter), may help guide us to understand this field that communicates emotional intent between living things.15 Quantum Entanglement is a process where two particles of matter which have interacted with each other, still behave as if they are connected after being separated by many miles. When an energetic change is made to the properties (position, momentum and rotational spin) of one of the particles, the properties of the other distant particle will change at the same instant.
This scientific phenomenon and the research of Cleve Backster and others, point to the Eastern concept of oneness – the view that all of nature is interdependent. Ancient cultures understood this interconnection as a living universal energy field that sustains life while guiding the evolution of consciousness throughout the universe. The meditation techniques involved in my practice bring the mind into attunement with this field. Energy from this field is then focused into a physical healing event through clear intention – delivered by means of a conversation that evokes spontaneous emotions – and attunes the physical body to the conscious mind. This method which I call Antara (Sanskrit for within), enables one to experience the raw creative healing ability generated by an alliance of the mind and body with this living universal energy field.
Visit abridged version of this article here.