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Grof, Dr Stanislav - Experiencing what it is like to be a plant



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

LSD Doorway to the Numinous – Professor Stanislav Grof

The instances of experiencing consciousness of various plant forms are in general much less frequent than those concerning animal life.  An individual tuned in to this area has the unique feeling of witnessing and consciously participating in the basic physiological processes of plants.  He can experience himself as a germinating seed, a leaf in the course of photosynthetic activity, or a root reaching out for water and nourishment.  On other occasions, a subject might identify with the Venus flytrap or other carnivorous plants, become plankton in the ocean, and experience pollination or cellular divisions occurring during vegetable growth….. they [can be] aware of the biochemical synthesis underlying the production of auxins, vegetable pigments, oils and sugars, aromatic substances and various alkaloids.

The experiences of plant consciousness represent an interesting category of transpersonal phenomena.  No matter how fantastic and absurd their content might seem to our common sense, it is not easy to discard them as mere fantasies.  They occur independently in various individuals in advanced stages of treatment and have a very special experiental flavour that cannot be easily communicated in words.  It is difficult to identify their source in the unconscious or explain them from some of the more usual unconscious material; also, the reason why the subject experiences them is also obscure.

Elements of plant consciousness can be accompanied by philosophical and spiritual ideation and insights.  Several subjects, for example, have pondered over the purity and unselfishness of plant existence and have seen plant life as a model for ideal human conduct; unlike animals and man, most plants do not kill and do not live at the expense of other organisms… and their ability to transform cosmic energy is absolutely indispensable for life on this planet.  Plants are uncontaminated by questions about purpose, awareness of goals, or concerns about the future; rather they seem to represent pure being in the here and now, the ideal of many mystical and religious schools.  Not exploiting and hurting other organisms, most plants serve themselves as a source of food and bring beauty ad joy into the life of others.

Several individuals who have had experience of plant consciousness felt that they now understood the relevance of scientific work of Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose in Calcutta and Darjeeling or the more recent experiments done by Cleve Backster

The source of the experience

Grof, Dr Stanislav

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps