BY HAILEY MERKT
About 50 years ago Grover Cleveland Backster, a world-renowned polygraph expert and CIA interrogation specialist, revolutionized our perception on plant and human interaction. Backster’s polygraph experiment proved that plants can “feel pain” and have extrasensory perception (ESP).
The experiment has been conducted numerous times since then. In 2007, The TV show, MythBusters, replicated Backster’s plant experiment for viewers. They began by hooking up a person and plant to a polygraph machine. Then they had the person subject the plant to physical and mental harm. First the person slapped the plants leaves, then sprayed it with a fire extinguisher and lastly, just envisioned the plant catching fire. All three of these tests made the polygraph needle race up and down, showing significant levels of stress.
Understanding exactly how people and plants can interact on an emotional level has left many scientists in a debate. Megan Piercy, owner of Chrysalis Therapies in Kitchener-Waterloo, which provides everything from counseling and psychotherapy to energy healing and hypnotherapy, strongly believes there is a deep spiritual explanation.
“Everyone has the potential to communicate and connect with their surroundings, though some more than others,” Piercy said. “Some people can tap into their ability through their unconscious.”
Piercy also believes that every living thing is connected in a spiritual dimension. “It makes sense that people and plants can connect emotionally. Some natives can communicate with plants for medicine and have for thousands of years. It’s called, the spirit that moves in and through all things. This is not uncommon.”
Piercy also said that Buddhists believe in life energy that connects us all.
Jordan Snider is a third-year computer programming/analyst student at Conestoga College and also a practising Buddhist. Snider said there is no doubt in his mind that “this study justifies the coexistence of life … not just species.”
Snider believes that a less literal form of reincarnation can explain how people and plants connect and communicate. “We all become something else,” Snider said. “And our energy becomes many forms of life, not that a human would literally reincarnate into a plant.”
“Most times people are too busy in their lives to take the time to listen, but all life speaks. Not always in ways you can hear, but you just know it’s there.”
Just three weeks ago, Macleans posted an article online about a new plant intelligence study that proved plants keep time, count and even know themselves.
So, think twice before snapping a limb from a tree or ripping the dandelions from your front.