A DIFFERENT KIND OF KNOWING:
Talking with Plants
Many years ago, while undergoing a series of daily talks with a variety of animals on an even wider variety of subjects, I began to receive a persistent recommendation from some of the animals to begin talking with plants. "Experience," the animals told me. "You need more experience - a different kind of knowing, a different kind of opening."
And so one morning, I went to take down the glossy-leafed philodendron hanging in a macrame holder in my living room. Carefully nestling the plant on my lap, I touched my fingers to her leaves and closed my eyes, deepening within.
In just a short time, I felt a sense of flowing. It was a gentle, dreamy sensation, which I could sense with my entire body. As if I was the plant, I could feel my leaves and vines interconnecting. It was an inner flowing - like blood, like water - linking everything. I saw this 'flow' as light and green - as if green was not just a colour, but a feeling filled with glowing light.
And suddenly, I could feel (not know, but feel) how all plants, not just those in my home, but also those in the neighbourhood, in the state, and even in the world, were connected. It all seemed so simple, for in that moment I was aware of an immense network of 'flow' and connection, of leafing and rooting, which was a central element of the Plant kingdom.
For me, the experience of relating to the plant was much different than relating to animals. It was experiential at a different place in consciousness, and there were not so many words as images and feelings. The connection was less linear and more flowing - more literally, a stream of consciousness.
For a second attempt at plant communication, I sat down a few days later with a lovely Christmas cactus, which was getting ready to bloom. As I closed my eyes and tuned in, I sensed a much slower flow, and it took some time to settle deeper.
The cactus invited me to sense her body and experience her root system, to feel it within myself. She asked me to sense the energy both within and without, to perceive the glow of light I had felt with the other plant. Here is what she shared with me.
"It is true that plants, as well as all living beings, have a field of energy emanating from their tissues, from their being. Different types of plants (just as animals) hold distinctive signatures of energy in their force field and work with different aspects of the earth, interrelating with the land to bring about certain conditions which are deemed necessary or needed or desired.
"Plants do indeed move. We shift and grow - both upwards and outwards. Some plants grow more quickly than others do, but we are all aware of our 'movements' both within and on the face of the earth.
"Plants have a unique connection to the earth in that we are physically rooted to her - we are a part of her, and cannot exist without her. Even houseplants have a sense of this, as all dirt holds a unique field of consciousness, which is in constant remembrance of mother earth.
"The Plant kingdom is different from the Animal kingdom in that we work in deep concert with both land and sky and 'hold' our energy in a relatively fixed position. Our goals and desires are not the same as animals. We have a finer vibration and work in a different way; a way which is sometimes difficult for humans, and even some animals, to understand.
"We often think of ourselves as growths or extensions of the earth herself. We are her taste buds, her nerve receptors, her senses - visual, auditory, tasting, feeling, smelling, and many other senses of which humans are not aware. We work with the core energy of the earth (which might be called the planetary Higher Self) as well as with more 'conscious' aspects of earth. Many plants are connected at deeper levels and we are able to transmit 'messages' to and fro.
"As your scientists have discovered, plants hold valuable information for humans. Many animals are already aware of the specific plants, which can restore their health to balance. Though some animals (like humans) do not listen to us, and some die from eating us; others gain health by respecting us and asking us for our wisdom, which we most always share. We do not mind being eaten, by the way, for we have a very large view of life cycles. By being eaten, we become a part of the animal/human and we retain a sense of existence even after being pulled away from our roots, traveling through the digestive processes of the being. Some of us even begin life in this way, as digested seeds, which are later expelled back onto earth, to begin a new life as a plant in another locale.
"Our relationship with humans is designed to help you refocus your connection with the land, with the forces of this planet, and to see on a larger scale how all aspects of earth are evolving to a common goal.
"Different plant species hold different teachings or medicines for humans and animals. Most of us enjoy sharing our wisdom and enjoy the company of animals and humans. As a whole, we perform many useful functions. You would not be here without us. Many of us would not be here without animals. Humans are unique in that most all of us (plants and animals) could survive without you. And yet humans are, in a sense, the common evolution of all of us. You are our future in many ways since it is your species who have chosen to break away so as to discover another mode of being - a conscious way of connecting what we hold, what animals hold and what the earth holds, to our creator. You are helping all of us to see and appreciate life in a new way."
Giving thanks to the cactus for her views and insights, I was reminded of how relating at deeper levels to the many varied aspects of life - whether in the form of plant or animal, rock or cloud, other human or our own inner selves - cannot help but open us to a much larger, grander vision of the world. By attuning to the underlying essence which connects us, celebrating our unique diversity, and learning from one another, we are all enriched.
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A longer version of this story appears in Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions.
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