A look at the recent conferencet Plant Consciousness: Revolutionizing Our Relationship with Plants.
When I decided to join the Plant Consciousness event in London, I was still enjoying the traveling life in Peru. As I had slowed down to become more sensitive to the subtle life of nature, I was excited about these topics of consciousness, quantum physics, the amazing intelligence of the plant world and teacher plants such as Iboga and Ayahuasca.
Plant Consciousness, set in the beautiful Regents Park (the University Conference Center to be exact) with over 300 people in attendance, opened my mind. Opened to the wide range of sensing, seeing and hearing that exists in plants and trees, the direct influence plants have via chemical compounds in our brain – and therefore our mood and behaviours – and why and how to start listening to what plants, in essence our elders, have to say to us.
Pam Montgomery pointed out that plants have a long view, as they have been around 400 to 450 million years, and in fact multiple scientific studies have proven plants have ability for memory. Let me remind you, the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago, so if plants have intelligence and memory, they will hold a lot of knowledge for us.
Plants in Relationship to Human Intelligence
Bonny Casel made the point that our right hemisphere, which sees the world as whole and interconnected, needs a plant-based diet to survive. Whereas our left hemisphere, which focuses on more narrow solutions, familiarity and separate parts, can get by with just simple low energy foods. A very interesting point in a world that is in crisis because of our worldview of separation. (It also reminds me of the famous TED Talk of neuro-anatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, who experienced the shut down of her left hemisphere during a stroke and gained some profound insight.)
Plant Senses, Consciousness and Cooperative Evolution
Plants can perceive emotion because they can sense body heat. Plants can feel something 1/8 the pressure, heat or cold of what a human can feel. Just look at something as simple as a plant adapting their direction of growth long before touching a rock on it’s path. Another fascinating behaviour is that in dense forests large trees feed little trees through mycelium networks, even more, they favour their own offspring in times of scarcity.
A Quantum World
Space is a profound part of the equation when we look at plant consciousness. -Bonny Casel
She explained the famous double slit experiment, proving that our human observation changes energy waves to particles, or, matter. All life is energy, and plants may just be more aware of this the us human beings, stuck in the limited view of just the material world. Bonny connected these insights to the therapeutic benefits of essential oils and flower essences, healing trauma and increasing health on the physical, emotional and mental level. I am leaving out a lot of information here, but starting to understand what plants can perceive and remembering that the universe is energy, was important to see the very real benefits of natural medicine for healing trauma and raising consciousness.
Ayahuasca, Iboga and Other Teacher Plants
Dennis McKenna spoke about Plant Human Coevolution Origins Of The Imagination, and the past and future of Ayahuasca. Like his brother, Terrence McKenna, he has been immersed in plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, culture, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness. His view is that plants may have given us the ability to understand meaning and abstractions, the foundation for language, and the ability to share ideas across time and place. As our culture shapes our world more than anything, in the form of law, education, religion, and so on, this means the impact of teacher plants to the future of earth can be immense.
Yann Guignon came to the stage as a voice for Iboga. Iboga is a small tree native to west and central Africa, and is used both for spiritual purposes, as particularly a potential ‘interruptor’ for drug addiction. With it’s growing popularity and due to unsustainable practices, tabernanthe iboga has been declared an endangered species. Yann and his team have now taken the responsibility to preserve, study and share knowledge about this medicinal plant and the indigenous traditions of the Gabonese forest people, and can be followed on Blessings of the Forest.
Even though these teacher plants stand out, Pam Montgomery also helped us remember that in fact all plants are our teachers, as she connected us with the essence of the Ash Tree.
Nourishing Mind and Heart
Many other speakers and performers reminding us both of the times of crises we are in, and emphasising our responsibilities and relationship with each other and all living beings. Join Plant Consciousness on Facebook for regular inspiration on these fascinating topics.
“Creating the world we want is a much more subtle but more powerful mode of operation then destroying the one we don’t want.” – Marianne Williamson