A Seattle Practitioner

PureInsight | May 13, 2002

Eminent British scientist, Jane Goodall, astounded the world a few years ago with her discovery that the chimpanzees she studied in the wilds of Africa used tools. Her discovery created a sensation, not merely in the scientific world, but also for "the man on the street." At first, one of the chimpanzees used a twig while the others watched. Soon, several more used this tool and after a couple of days the whole troupe, male and female alike as well as babies, used their tool twigs.

The possibility of nonhuman primates using tools had previously been an unimaginable concept. One had always assumed that creatures lower than man on evolution's totem pole lacked enough intelligence to think logically and were wanting for the ability to solve problems. Dr. Goodall's observations proved everyone wrong. The chimpanzees she had studied used twigs to extract their favorite insects from inside logs when their fingers could not reach into the opening far enough. We had not given this species enough credit to realize they might exhibit consciousness and reasoning. (More information about Dr. J. Goodall and her research may be found at

Since all living things and all of their intrinsic components, including matter, intelligence, perceptions and reasoning are part and parcel of the gigantic universe, it comes as no surprise that scientists are forever curious about the behavior of humans, animals, plants, oceanic lives, atmospheric conditions, stars, planets, cosmology, the weather and other as yet unimagined phenomena. We must not discount any findings merely because science has not yet been able to prove certain things through double-blind studies or through the scientific method of exploration. If we leave our minds open to new experiences, depart somewhat from the rigidity of European-based scientific requirements for "absolute proof," we might find that our minds will greatly expand and allow fresh probabilities to emerge.

Another scientist, Dr. Cleve Backster, expanded his thinking, to the benefit of all of us, with his by-now famous plant experiments. Those experiments evolved out of his studies with the polygraph. It occurred to him in 1966 to conduct a test to find out if plants might have reactions similar to those he had observed from people who were connected to the polygraph machine. To his astonishment, Dr. Backster discovered that plants do react to voice as well as suggestive thought, their reactions exhibiting similar curves on the polygraph as people do when certain questions are put to them. Answers are interpreted according to "galvanic skin responses" registered on the polygraph. Several detractors have criticized Dr. Backster's experiments, but others defend him and his use of the polygraph, stating that galvanic skin responses are related to anxiety, which is associated with truthfulness, part of the cosmic phenomena. Dr. Chundra Bose of India concured that plants are sentient beings, and one presenter of a workshop at IBM was also able to ascertain that plants do respond to thought. (Additional writings about the above tests and about Sir Jagadis Chundra Bose can be obtained from Robert Todd Carroll's "The Skeptic's Dictionary," or on the web at which also includes peer reviews).

If plants do display such intelligence, does it not stand to reason that they are also connected to an overall system in the universe? In 1992, a modern sage appeared in China whose teachings are based on the Law of the Cosmos, the real truth, expressed through three simple principles: Truth, Kindness and Tolerance. What ought be the intrinsic goals of all scientific research? In modern terms, this goal is thought to require empirical proof as a means to search for possible truth. Pursuit of genuine science means searching for the ultimate truth in all fields of endeavor, even describing changes in societies, humans, plants or animals.

Dr. Ken Keyes. Jr. discovered just one such amazing change in social behavior during his observations of a group of Japanese monkeys on Koshima Island. His findings became part of a television series. These monkeys had been studied in their natural habitat for more than three decades. Their habitat included hilly terrain, sand, boulders, trees and a small stream. One of the scientists threw uncooked sweet potatoes to these monkeys, dropping the potatoes onto the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the potatoes but not the sand. As the story goes, one of the monkeys took a potato to the stream and washed it, right in front of the scientific observers. The other monkeys also watched carefully. One monkey taught another to wash the potatoes. During a span of six years, all young monkeys had learned to wash their sweet potatoes and then one day, everyone in the troupe cleaned their food prior to eating. This activity once more suggests reasoning ability and problem solving skills. The most amazing development occurred sometime later, when monkeys of this species on other islands in the Japanese archipelago also began washing their tubers although no monkeys were known to have gotten to the other islands. This event could only have happened by thought transference, by a connection to cosmic awareness. How else can one explain the adaptation of animal behavior from one island to the next? (For further study, please consult Dr. Ken Keyes, Jr. book, "The Hundreth Monkey," [listed in the Library of Congress catalogue of publications but not copyrighted] or on the web at Dr. Keyes book was published April 1984 by Vision Books/USA.).

For centuries man has assumed that only by following certain scientific principles would learning take place and skills be developed. Is there enough time in human years to search for the ultimate truth, the truth of the cosmos, without benefit of a guiding force? If one wants to seriously pursue the ultimate truth, it might be a good idea to regard modern science with a certain degree of skepticism and pay more heed to these newly discovered teachings coming out of China, all collected in a truly scientific work, the ultimate scientific truth, a book entitled Zhuan Falun.

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