Last week I was speaking with psychologist Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona, my partner in many of these Intention Experiments, and who disclosed an interesting anomaly in our latest Germination Intention Experiment run in Austin on March 1, which has enormous implications for the infectious nature of our presence.
To understand what happened, it’s important for me to explain fully how these experiments are run.
Each time we have run our experiment, Dr. Schwartz’s lab technician Mark Boccozzi prepares four batches containing 30 seeds each. We randomly select one set of seeds as our target to send intention to (and the U of A scientists aren’t told which set we’ve chosen). After we send intention for ten minutes, then notify the scientists that we’ve finished.
At that point the scientists plant all four sets of sets of seeds under controlled conditions (that is, each batch is isolated from the others and planted in separate soil). At the end of five days, Mark then measures the plants.
In our latest study, as in all our others, the seeds sent intention grew higher than the three sets of controls.
Let’s call this kind of procedure the ‘intention’ studies.
But then, to provide another check on our results and so to ensure that they aren’t just a lucky accident, our U of A team runs a ‘non-intention’ Intention Experiment. In this experiment, they plant four sets of 30 seeds. But this time, no one sends intention to them, and after an appropriate interval, Mark plants them. So we’ll call these the ‘non-intention’ studies.
In every instance, the seeds sent intention from the ‘intention’ studies have grown higher than all four sets of seeds from the ‘non-intention’ studies – except, that is, for the non-intention study run after our Austin event.
In this instance, all four sets of seeds from the ‘non-intention’ study grew higher than every batch of seeds in the Austin intention study.
This was the only study where the non-intention seeds grew higher than seeds sent intention.
Dr. Schwartz puzzled over this and asked Mark about the conditions in which these seeds had been planted. Was anything unusual going on in the lab at the time?
Mark then explained that he’d run the non-intention intention study during a week when the lab had been undergoing construction. Parts of the lab were being taken apart over the entire five days, and people were constantly in and out – as was Mark. In every other control experiment, the seeds had been left more or less quietly on their own.
In Dr. Schwartz’s long experience with energy experiments, he told me, this kind of contaminated environment, filled with energetic ‘noise’, can easily affect results. So he hypothesizes (and remember – this is only a hypothesis until it is tested), this final control study was energetically ‘contaminated’, so to speak.
If this is true, it opens up a number of intriguing possibilities. It suggests that simply by being present, the energy of the experimenter can skew results.
It also suggests something far more fundamental – that the very essence of being is a relationship. A change in the environment of any kind – the presence of people, a rainy day, somebody’s bad mood — all may have an effect on the growth of plants and indeed on every other living thing in that space.
Our natural state of being is a relationship – a tango – a constant state of one affecting the other. Just as the subatomic particles that compose us cannot be separated from the space and particles surrounding them, so living beings cannot be isolated from each other. One living system is constantly exchanging information with another.
Any sort of attention, even one’s presence — the very act of a consciousness being present — can affect the relationship.
Mark and indeed all of us attempting to create a science of intention must begin to take account of and test inadvertent influences such as this possibility.