Monday, 8 February 2010

Methodology



Being a Mad Person, yesterday I undertook to help Warren load an entire chopped-up Pearl Acacia and an entire chopped-up Bougainvillea onto the bakkie and take it to the composting centre near Roodepoort. 'Flu bug and all.*

In recognition of the fact that I was not 100 percent well - still shaky, nauseous and sore - I took frequent sitting-down breaks in the lapa.It was on one such interlude that I noticed a plant growing down near my feet.

I've had a small amount of experience with plant communication by now, since the Coltsfoot opened the dialogue a couple of years ago, so I went ahead and asked the plant what it was we call it.

Plantain came the clear reply.

Now, the leaves of this plant are deeply veined but have a somehow comforting look about them, as if you would not hesitate to apply them to wounds, stings and grazes. And it is indeed possible that I have read about Plantain, stored that information in the brain, and accessed it when my gaze fell upon a specimen.

This is the standard scientific answer to why I identified a plant which I had had no ready knowledge of, up to that point.(For yes, on consulting the books, this was indeed plantain I was looking at).
Except, of course, that we don't really know how memory gets stored, or where it gets stored, or exactly how an arcane piece of it becomes retrieved and reactivated, accessible to the top of the mind following a sensory cue.There are theories,and models, and we have seen memory recall in action in live brains, but we don't know precisely how this works, because we lack a fundamental, all-encompassing explanation of how the brain does stuff like this. So we make shit up, basically, and call it neuro science.

The paradigm I tend increasingly to go with is laughably woo to neuroscientists, but it goes like this:

The plant lives, and by dint of this, has a consciousness about it. It may not look like human consciousness, but why should it? I, as another consciousness-bearing life form, may receive communication from it, which may be triggered by sight, smell, sound or touch, or indeed by another method entirely for which we don't have a word as yet. In other words, the plant identifies itself to me upon questioning- much as another human might offer hir name to me in response to a raised eyebrow, or other interrogative modality.

Since I began weaning myself off of the sometimes glib and usually unsatisfying answers that science purports to give us some time ago, of course I'm going to prefer my own interpretation of what happened in those seconds under the lapa.

The plant spoke to me, and told me its name.

I don't have any more of a road map to explain the method of this communication than science has to explain the method of data retrieval - but I'm infinitely more at ease with it.

*=Have you noticed how decomposing vegatation has a scent which is very nearly pleasant, under some circumstances? A kind of fizzy green aroma which I, at least, find acceptable (but then, I'm a Mad Person, as I believe I've just mentioned). There was another, underlying smell at the composting plant however-instantly identifiable as rotting animal matter, which I guess I'm not alone in finding far more distressing. Warren and I marinated in these assorted odours for some time, unloading the garden refuse, and then proceded to walk into the auto-spares shop, which was full of customers, and stand in line to buy brake discs.Smiley face icon goes here.