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What Is Primary Perception?

By Christina Hall
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Primary perception is a scientific hypothesis that was initially proposed by Cleve Backster after he demonstrated cognitive communication with plants using a polygraph machine. Backster, while not a trained biologist, was appointed to the position of Chairman of the Research and Instrument Committee of the Academy for Scientific Interrogation because of his meticulous and exceptional study of the behavior of living organisms. Primary perception is a controversial and highly-debated concept in the scientific community and has given rise to the study of the nature of cell-to-cell communication in plants, animals, and humans. Some research shows the suppositions of primary perception to be relevant in the study of human and animal instinctual behavior. Replications of Backster’s original experiment have been mixed, but Backster explains that some researchers do not succeed because there is a requirement of sincere intention and belief required for cognitive biocommunication to take place.

The primary perception hypothesis is unique in its position that plant life is cognizant. In addition, the hypothesis purports that plants read intentions and thoughts instantaneously. The postulate of instantaneous communication, or the transfer of information without orthodox pathways being accessed in the brain, has led to research in the area of unique human behavior. For example, great pianists report that cognition dissolves as they begin to play an emotionally-laden, error-free piece on the piano. Some theorize that the musical score has been learned by independently intelligent cells coming together and instantaneously communicating and executing the pianist’s finger movements. The medical community officially recognizes instantaneous primary perception on a smaller level, as experiments show that cells from the body that are separated in a lab continue to synchronize themselves with each other.

Backster’s original experiments measured significant biocommunication with plants from a distance; he sat in another room and “talked” to the plant by focusing on either positive or negative sentences or thoughts. Quantum physicists hypothesize that that primary perception is the result of non-local quantum correlation. In this regard, according to the non-locality rule, two particles, or intelligent minds in this case, separated by long distances, act as one entity and transfer information instantaneously. Backster and other researchers recognize sincere human emotions as quantum events as well. This could explain the negative reaction of the plant when Backster said “I’m going to burn you,” and the positive reaction of the plant to “I love you.”

Primary perception, while still disregarded by some in the scientific community, is gaining support as quantum theory is expounded upon. The concept continues to be researched and scrutinized. According to professional holistic medical practitioners who use mind-body medicine successfully, the concept of primary perception and intelligent cell-to-cell communication is a welcomed actuality.

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