Regarding “The inner mind of plants” article in New Scientist, August 27, 2022, it would be fitting for articles like this to give credit to the early, well-known pioneers who historically explored the same question about plants. These should include Jagadish Chandra Bose, professor of physics at Presidency College, who invented the radio wave coherer, later used by Marconi and, notably, the crescograph to enlarge the image and track the growth of plants accurately. He is also on record for “proving that plants have empathy” besides stating they “feel pain and understand affection” (Quartz India, November 30, 2016). While these published discoveries from a century ago may seem exaggerated, my favorite pioneer and former colleague Cleve Backster recorded in the recent past, similar simultaneous measurements of such effects with plants and even human leucocytes. Being in his Backster Polygraph Institute in San Diego, I was struck with the precision and careful consideration that Cleve gave to each electrode experiment, also viewed on a split screen television recording to show the quick response of plants (or cells) at quite a distance, to a surprise assault or unanticipated emotional event directed to the plant’s owner. His first report was entitled “Evidence of a Primary Perception in Plant Life” (Int. J. of Parapsychology, Winter, 1968), further reinforced and expanded in his later book, Primary Perception: Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods, and Human Cells (White Rose Millennium Press, 2003). Other books like The Secret Life of Your Cells by Robert Stone (Whitford Press, 1989), The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins (Harper & Row, 1989), and television shows such as “That’s Incredible” and “That’s Incredible Sunday” (NBC, 1984) also documented Cleve’s discoveries and specifics of how the experiment must be spontaneously conducted for successful results. For those seeking to answer the question of the inner mind of plants, researchers will benefit by going back to the fathers of such investigations to save years of reinvention.
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