Recieved: 1999/11/26 18:39
Subject: [K-list] Sentient plants (was carnivores/vegetarians)
On 1999/11/26 18:39, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
I've had consciousness-raising experiences with trees throughout my life, at
different levels of (my) awareness. About 10 years before the samadhi-tree
experience (which happened after my K awakened), I discovered first hand that
trees communicate with one another and have powerful emotions.
I was recovering from a flu and still felt draggy when a friend called and
enthusiastically recommended I go with him to "hug a tree." He'd read that
trees have positive healing energy and he insisted that if I sat with my arms
around a tree trunk, I'd feel the health benefits that very day. I was
skeptical (and rightly so -- all my friend's spiritual "knowledge" came from
things he read or had been told by someone else). But I've always loved
nature, so I thought it might be a nice way to spend the afternoon, as long
as I didn't have to trek around much.
He drove us up to a grove of trees in a local woodland park. "Just pick any
tree and hug it," he instructed me, marching directly to his own favorite and
wrapping himself around it like an oversized koala bear. I was glad no one
else was in the area, since we looked pretty stupid, each clinging to a tree.
But as soon as I'd put my arms around "my tree," I got a jolt of energy that
felt like terror. I immediately pulled back and thought, "That can't be
right, I must be imagining it." I said nothing to my friend, who had his
eyes closed and seemed to be happily soaking up "healing" from his tree.
I tried again, and the same thing happened. Intense fear-energy radiated
from the tree. "My god," I thought, "is it afraid of me?" I tried to
silently assure it that I meant it no harm, but the terror-energy kept coming
until I just pulled away and sat down a distance from it, not knowing what to
think. After awhile, my friend peeled himself off his tree and asked me if I
felt any healing. When I told him what I'd experienced, he looked at me as
if I were deliberately being perverse.
"That's not possible," he informed me. "Trees are positive energy!"
We stuck around awhile longer, but I was still feeling run down and asked if
we could return home. He took a different road to drive back, winding
through the park until about a mile or so down the road, when we came to an
area where workmen were apparently returning from a break -- to resume
ruthlessly pruning the trees. Huge piles of freshly cut branches lay by the
roadside. It suddenly hit me. "That," I told my friend, pointing to the
carnage, "is what my tree was reacting to!"
The knowledge that plants as well as animals feel fear and pain was hard to
integrate when I turned our yard into a lush garden. We have legions of
plant-devouring snails here which are not a natural part of this area's
ecology (they were imported here from France by escargot connoisseurs).
These snails, which can totally ravage a garden, have no predators to keep
down their population. I tried various means of discouraging them:
surrounding the plant beds by copper wires, which supposedly they won't cross
-- but they did; putting out saucers filled with beer -- they are attracted
by the yeast and drown in the beer, hopefully too drunk to suffer, but this
didn't work too well either because there were just too many of them and most
seemed to have sworn off alcohol, LOL. I also tried setting aside a fairly
good-sized patch of "virgin" growth which I told them they could have for
dinner and promised not to disturb them there. But they either didn't like
the menu (mostly weeds) or didn't care for the deal.
So I would go on periodic snail-hunts to prevent them from destroying all the
plants. The way I found most of them was by talking directly to the plants
and asking them, "Where does it hurt?" And as soon as I'd ask, my hand would
be drawn to the place below the foliage where, sure enough, I'd find a fat
snail -- or often a cluster of snails feeding on the leaves and stems.
The snails themselves I deposited in a paper bag until I'd gathered up a
couple pounds of them. I had read somewhere that they could be killed by
pouring salt on them, but after one time of doing this (I poured about a cup
of salt into a bag of snails), I would never do it again. I literally could
hear them screaming in pain. After that, I would instead close the bag and
smash it with a brick as fast as I could, all the while praying for them,
and asking that they might be released quickly and with as little suffering
I had the same problem with weeding, and also tried to give the weeds the
"free zone" but like the snails, they couldn't resist the richly composted
garden soil. So I talked to them as I uprooted them from the garden,
apologizing to them for not valuing them as much as the other plants (I
always felt guilty about that) and promising them that I would add them to
the compost heap where their sacrifice would become nutrients to sustain the
lives of other plants and animals.
I even talked to rocks. I'm not a "crystal person;" I don't feel emanations
coming from crystals the way some people can who use them for healing. But
when I filled a walkway around my garden with rocks and pebbles, I hand-dug
most of the rocks from our yard. As I did this, I would ask each rock's
permission to use it in the walkway. Most of them seemed to say "yes," but
every once in awhile I got a strong impression that this particular rock
wanted to remain where it was, below the earth, so I would leave it
Once I wrote to several people in a holistic gardener's group that welcomed
questions about organic gardening. I asked if any of them had figured out
how to deal with snails and insect predators (I didn't even mention my qualms
about weeding) in a compassionate way. Not a single one bothered to answer
me; I got the strong sense that my question struck them as ludicrous and they
probably thought I was some kind of nut case.
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