To honor the passing of the 12/21/12 marker as set by the Mayans and others, e.g. the Hopi, I Ching, etc., I’m writing this post to briefly highlight some of the amazing potentials that are possible with the shift in consciousness that we’re in the middle of.

Now I realize that this may all seem like “New Age” fluff, but in my mind there has definitely been a shift going on for the past few decades.  For instance, it’s pretty amazing to me that war and violence which used to be a common occurrence worldwide is now largely looked down upon.  The same goes for pollution.  In fact, the fact that there is a groundswell in the movement towards sustainability in general, where the Earth itself is considered a stakeholder in people’s minds is really amazing – even though some may just view the earth as a hunk of dirt on which we live; as something to be taken advantage of.

So it is in this post that I’d like to briefly mention a few areas that may seem esoteric in their approach, but have some empirical evidence behind them in their efficacy.

The Effect of Deliberate Intent

One of the most amazing aspects of human potential is our ability to affect the environment around us using consciousness and deliberate intent.

In the Chinese art of Tai Chi (also spelled Taiji) or it’s complementary energetic healing system, Chi Kung (aka Qigong), there is a saying that the “Chi follows the Yi”.  If I remember correctly, it basically means that the “chi” or subtle-energy life-force within the body, flows in the direction of intent.  When I was younger, I was drawn towards taiji as a martial art. After attending a couple of schools where I learned the basic movements, I really wanted to learn what “chi” was – because to me as an outsider, it seemed like “new age fluff”.  But at the same time, I knew that the systems of acupuncture and other similar healing arts have been around for thousands of years – so I knew there was some truth to it, on some level.  It turns out that it’s something that is difficult to explain… it really just needs to be experienced.  In a future post I’m going to explain more about the concept of chi as it related to the human body, but in the meantime, I just want to put out the concept of intent.

One situation where you may have actually felt this energetic intent is from what’s known as the “staring response”. There’s actually some scientific research on the subject – check out Rupert Sheldrake’s page on the subject – The Sense of Being Stared At. If you have ever noticed someone ever looking at you, you get this feeling and turn around.  It is like you can actually feel someone’s eyes on you.  The other person is placing their eyes on you which results in the projection of their energetic intent onto you.

Other forms of intent affecting the physical world can be realized by group meditation, as in the 1993 study on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on Crime in Washington DC entitled: Effects of Group Practice of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Preventing Violent Crime in Washington, DC: Results of the National Demonstration Project, June-July 1993.

Reduction in D.C. Crime as a Function of Group Meditation Time

With regards to plants, though, it turns out that conscious intent can effect their germination and growth as well.  For instance, in the paper, “Modulation of Germination and Growth of Plants by Meditation”, by Max Haid and Shankar Huprikar.  Plant growth and inhibition were significantly affected by the action of meditators applying different thought-forms to the water.  Here are some excerpts from the paper’s abstract:

“Peas: The germination rate of 504 seeds receiving treated water with stimulating intent was 60.3% compared to 51.8% for the 504 controls

Wheat: germination rate of 2970 wheat seeds receiving treated water with inhibitaory intent was 70.7% versus 74.9% for 2970 controls.  The mass of the treated seedlings was statistically significantly lower (mean = 97 mg versus 106 mg for the controls)

We conclude that meditation upon the water supplied to green peas and wheat can affect their germination rates and growth.”

Another study that’s perhaps more well-known are the experiments that Cleve Backster performed on plants as chronicled in the 197x’s book, The Secret Life of Plants. For those who aren’t familiar, he basically ran some experiments that involved “hurting the leaves of plants in some way or form while monitoring the plant’s responses using a biofeedback monitor that was connected to it.  By listening to changes to the sounds that the device made (based on measuring resistance), he was able to hear the electrophyiological changes that were occurring.  So, when a plant gets hurt, it starts sending electrical signals throughout itself, communicating information as to how to respond – e.g. activating a some sort of healing or avoidance response.  After performing the experiment a few times, he found that the mere intent he had of placing the flame onto a plant leaf caused the plant to respond.  Was there some form of ESP (extrasensory perception) taking place?  Below is a video showcasing the hypotheses:

Lastly, there is the research of Masuru Emoto’s Messages From Water.  As debuted in the feature film, What the Bleep Do We Know as well as his book, The Hidden Messages In Water, his experiments show that the shape of ice crystals or snowflakes can be affected by labels written with various words on them.

Positive words create more structure, harmony and organization in the water crystals.

For instance, waters from a polluted source that normally freeze into amorphous globs of ice are transformed into beautiful snowflake structures when stored in bottles with labels such as “Love” or “Peace” applied to them.

What does all of this mean with respect to our world?  I means that our thoughts have an effect on our reality, and making conscious decisions can help turn our world, in a real and physical way, into a better place for all.  Furthermore, if we can find inventive ways of applying intent to the various systems that we work within, then perhaps we can also start to see very interesting results in those systems as well.

Applications In Agriculture

There are a number of ways that agriculture can use these subtle/conscious energies to assist with positive growth and health.  Right now, I think these methods are in their infancy with the exception of biodynamic agriculture.  Aside from that, other methods exist, but they’re purely experimental at this point and have yet to gain mainstream acceptance.

For those who are familiar with it (I am not at this time), biodynamic agriculture, is an accepted form of sustainable farming that is in use worldwide today.  Founded by  Rudolf Steiner, it “emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system” [Wikipedia]. More can be learned at the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association.

Moving to the more experimental technologies, I myself have performed an experiment on honeybee colonies where I was able to realize a more active and productive hive utilizing Dr. Emoto’s “messages” placed on one of my hives.

Here’s a brief summary of what I did…

“I placed printed pieces of paper with words like: “Health, Love, Benevolence, Peace, etc” onto the tops of 3 of 4 hives, where 2 of the labeled hives had the same initial conditions as that of the unlabeled hive – after 3 months, all of the hives with the labels seemed to be significantly more stronger than the one without the label.“

While it wasn’t necessarily a well-run experiment in that the sample size was way too small, and I didn’t take any hard measurements, it was an interesting experiment that I would like to see repeated in a more robust way.  If anyone out there is a beekeeper with a number of hives that are available to try some experimentation on, please let me know and I would love to assist you on the design of it.

In addition to affecting plant growth through “intentionally-programmed” water, they can also grow faster through music, chanting, and prayer.  A friend of mine who co-runs a Siddha Yoga meditation center in St. Louis, MO has shared with me that one year he would sing a chant called the “Guru Gita” to his vegetable garden every day.  He relayed to me that in that year he had more tomatoes than he’s ever had before. This is another topic that I would love to see more research on.

Lastly, I’d like to touch on some research that’s taking place in France right now – work on a form of electroculture that uses natural energies instead of artificially injected electrical currents to stimulate the growth of plants in a beneficial manner.  One researcher, Yannick Van Doorne has been running experiments on plants using a variety of subtle energy and sound-based technologies for years.  You can learn more about his research from his website, http://www.electrocultureandmagnetoculture.com/.  A video of him can be seen below:

Conclusion

Perhaps people in the future will be able to naturally improve the growth of their crops by organizing themselves into intentional communities like those of Findhorn in Scotland, or the Maharishi University, of Damanhur in Italy.  A wonderful side effect of taking on these practices includes not only achieving individual sense of peace and connectedness, but these effects have been known to spread to the greater community at large, as discovered in some research by a group of meditators affiliated with yogi Maharishi Mahesh (see TM study, above) and another group called Fountain International.

If we are capable of affecting people’s behaviors, the crystallization of water, and plants as well, we may be able to affect the weather, too. By organizing ourselves into large collectives of on-demand meditators, especially through the use of mobile technologies, perhaps we can even subvert the creation of the superstorms and other devastating natural disasters that wreak havoc upon humanity.  [If anyone out there actually wants to make an app like that, please get in touch!]

What are your thoughts on this auspicious time in our lives? Have you ever experimented with consciousness, intent or subtle-energies in any way?  Do you know of any other interesting research experiments? Let me know by leaving a comment below!