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In January 2001, my mother suffered a stroke from which she never fully recovered. As her condition worsened, she was eventually admitted into a nursing home for round the clock care. In June 2003 her condition rapidly deteriorated. She was no longer able to recognise her family and her body began to shut down. On Wednesday 3 July 2003, the day she died, our family was maintaining a vigil by her bedside. At about 4 p.m. my sister suggested we go back to her home for a rest break. While we were there, a call came through telling us that my mother was slipping away and we should come back immediately. As we raced through narrow country lanes, our car was forced to stop at the traffic lights at an intersection just a few minutes from the nursing home. The sky had darkened considerably since we started the journey and as we waited for the lights to turn green, the heavens opened. Sheets of rain fell from the sky. At that precise moment, with rain pelting the car windscreen, I was gripped by an overwhelming feeling that my mother had died. When we got to the home a few minutes later, we found my father and my other sister coming out of my mother’s room. She had died at the exact moment of my strange intuitive feeling.
Years later, I was reading a book on strange phenomena and came across the true story of a gruesome experiment carried out by Russian scientists during the Cold War. In 1956, Dr. Pavel Naumov, of Moscow’s Pavlov Institute, conducted tests involving a female rabbit and her litter. The mother was confined to a laboratory with electrodes implanted in her brain. Her offspring were put on board a submarine and taken out to sea. As the submarine sped away, the scientists killed the first of the baby rabbits. At the precise moment this happened, the mother became highly agitated. Her brain activity and heart rate soared. The remaining babies were killed at predetermined intervals as the submarine travelled further away from the shore. Every time one of her offspring died, the mother rabbit became more distressed. Eventually, at the moment the last baby was killed, the mother’s blood pressure soared to the level where she suffered a brain haemorrhage and died.
Similar intuitive connections have also been found in the world of plants. In 1966 a polygraph specialist called Cleve Backster decided to test whether the pot plant in his office was able to experience stress. He wired the plant’s leaves up to a polygraph machine. He then dipped some of the leaves into a cup of steaming hot coffee. The plant displayed no reaction on the polygraph. He then decided to try burning part of one of the plant’s leaves. At the instant he made this decision, the plant’s polygraph tracing pattern spiked. Yet, he had not even reached in his pocket for a lighter, he had simply experienced the thought. Amazed, Backster decided to test the plant’s apparent intuitiveness further. He brought a pan of water into the room and set it down some distance away from the plant. He gradually heated the water until it was boiling. Then, one by one, he dropped a living brine shrimp into the boiling water. Every time a shrimp died, the plant’s polygraph recording spiked. When he dropped dead shrimp into the water, the polygraph measured no change in the plant’s reaction. In further experiments, Backster found that fruit, vegetables, yeast, mould and even blood showed similar reactions to sentient life in distress.
These extra-sensory phenomena suggest that everything in the universe is conscious and connected. One is reminded of the quote by the metaphysical poet, John Donne, ‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.’ The gut feelings we experience are often reactions to the energy frequency within the unified cosmic field. In such an interconnected universe, when one part of the web of life experiences trauma, those shock waves inevitably reverberate throughout the whole.
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