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Seth on Plant Consciousness Via the Ouija Board

(Session begins and ends at the Ouija board. But, Jane mostly dictates.

To begin we sat silently at the board, hands on the pointer. As was usual now Jane began to hear Seth within almost immediately. After taking a few words through the board she laid it aside and began to dictate. Her eyes darkened considerably. At times, they appeared to contain no highlights.

This is our longest session to date. And, at its end, we were both weary. Jane smoked 16 cigarettes. Her voice was normal most of the time. She had a few periods of loudness. – Rob [Robert Butts])

“As to Jane’s feeling about the tree having certain consciousness, of course, this is the case. What you have here is much latent energy and vitality and capacity, with much of it withheld or suspended momentarily.

“The tree is, of course, dissociated in one manner. In some ways, its living forces and consciousness are kept to a minimum. It is in a state of drowsiness, on the one hand. And, on the other hand, it focuses the usable portion of its energy into being a tree. The state of consciousness involved here is dull as compared to the highly differentiated human ability in many ways.

“However, in some other manners, the experiences of the tree are extremely deep, dealing with the inner senses which are, and properly so, properties of treedom. There is something here difficult for me to explain clearly. The inner senses of the tree have strong affinity with the properties of earth itself. They feel their growing. They listen to their growing as you listen to your own heartbeat. They experience this oneness with their own growth. And, they also experience pain. The pain, however, while definite, unpleasant, and sometimes agonizing is not of an emotional nature in the same way that you might experience pain.

“In some ways, it is even a deeper thing. The analogy may not be a perfect one, far from it. But, it is as if your breath were to be suddenly cut off. In a manner, this somewhat approximates pain for a tree.

“The tree makes adjustments as you make adjustments. The tree listens to its growth up from the earth and listens also to the murmur of the growth of its roots beneath. It adjusts each root ending according to what impediments might lie in its way. Without the so-called mind of man, it, nevertheless, retains this inner consciousness of all its parts above and below the ground and adjusts them constantly.

“The tree is also inwardly aware of its environment to an astonishing degree. It maintains contact awareness and the ability to manipulate itself in two completely different worlds, so to speak, one in which it meets little resistance growing upward and one composed of much heavier elements into which it must grow downward. Man needs artificial methods, for example, to operate effectively on land or in water. But, the so-called unconscious tree manages very nicely in two worlds, as diverse certainly as land and water, and makes himself a part of each. I am speaking now of a tree as a “he” for reasons that I will go into in a further discussion.

“And, as far as motion is concerned, the tree moves upward and downward. It is quite unfair to say that it can not transport itself, since it does so to an amazing degree, the roots and limbs moving in all directions. The inner senses of all plant life are well attuned, alert, and very important. All these fragments have consciousness to a rather high degree, considering that man holds them in such ill repute.*

* For an example of plant and human (inter-species) communication read: Inside Ivy. To see what it’s like to be part of the consciousness of a tree, read: The Ball of Light – A Lucid Dream about the Nature of Being and Creation. – Pete

“If you will remember what you know of the trance state, you are, for example, in a light trance, able to maintain awareness of yourself, your environment, and your place in it. You simply behave somewhat differently, not bestirring yourself in any direction unless the suggestion to do so be given you.

“The awareness of plant life lies along these lines. In a deep trance there is oblivion afterward. That is, the subject, though fully aware of what is going on while in deep trance, can remember nothing of it afterward. The awareness of plant life is also like the awareness of a subject in deep trance. Except for the suggestion and stimulus received by regular natural forces on your plane, the plant life does not bestir itself in other directions. But, like the subject in trance, our plant is aware. Its other abilities lie unused for the time and latent. But, they are present.

“The awareness is focused along certain lines. The energy is likewise focused. Much of the ability, again, is suspended as for a subject in a trance. But, consciousness is present. Your hybrid plants merely demonstrate this susceptibility to new suggestion which your plant, like your susceptible trance subject, will gladly follow. I will have more to say along this road of thought but am detoured for just a moment as to which fork to follow.”

(Break at 21:43. Jane felt that Seth wanted to go on but had so many points of departure to choose from that he couldn’t decide which to pursue first. “I can feel him buzzing around,” she said just before she resumed dictating at 21:50.)

As you have probably supposed by now, there is consciousness in everything. Visible or invisible to you, each fragment of the universe has a consciousness of its own. Pain and pleasure, the strongest aspects of all consciousness, are experienced strongly by every fragment, according to its degree. Differentiation is, of course, various. And, it is in the degree of differentiation that consciousness is different.

“In some fragments, such as much plant life and vegetative life, there is strong use of certain inner senses. Your rocks, Joseph, I will call vegetative. Rocks are far from lifeless. Other types of life, including your own, rely on the recognized outer senses. The ideal, of course, is a consciousness that is adept at using both the inner and outer senses fully.

“Your tree lives through its inner senses, experiencing many sensations and reacting to many stimuli of which you are unaware. Minute earth tremors, even the motion of small ants about its lower trunk, are recognized and experienced by tree consciousness. Such invisibilities as humidity, radioactivity, and all electrical earthly values are felt as quite real things by your tree and recognized as being separate from the tree itself.

“A tree knows a human being, also. Not only, for example, by the weight of a boy upon its branches but by the vibrations in the air as adults pass, which hit the tree’s trunk at varying distances, and even by such things as voices. You must remember my earlier remarks about mental enzymes and my remark that color can sometimes be heard and sight be seen.

“In drawing up his list of so-called natural laws, I have said that man decided that what appeared to be cause and effect to him was, therefore, a natural law of the universe. Not only do these so-called laws, which are not laws, vary according to where you are in the universe, they also vary according to what you are in the universe. Therefore, your tree recognizes a human being, though it does not see the human being, in your terms. To a tree the laws are simply different. And, if a tree wrote its laws of the universe, then you would know how different they are.

“The tree does not even build up an image of man, which is why this is difficult to explain. I have no intention of going deeper into this matter than you can follow at this time. Nevertheless, the tree builds up a composite sensation which represents, say, an individual man. And the same tree will recognize the same man who passes it by each day.

“Beside the recognized outer senses and the inner senses, of which you are just now beginning to gain knowledge, there are other inner and even outer senses, which you are not quite ready to understand. They deal with finer distinctions than you know now, being somewhat of the nature of your body’s ability to sense another person’s aggression. As your body senses temperature changes, so it also senses the psychic charge not only of other human beings but, also, believe it or not, of animals. And, to a lesser extent, it senses the psychic charge of plants and vegetative matter. Your tree builds up a composite of sensations of this sort, sensing not the physical dimensions of a material object, whatever it is, but the vital psychic formation within and about it.

“Size, however, is sensed by a tree, perhaps because of its inherent concern with height. The table around which Ruburt (Jane Roberts) now walks senses Ruburt even as Ruburt senses the table. At a later date, I intend to go quite intensively into the means by which other fragments sense each other and man. The abilities of the tree are latent in man as, dear Joseph (Rob) , are the abilities latent in the tree.”

From The Early Sessions, Book 1, Session 18, Jan. 22, 1964

Thank you, Seth/Roberts.org!


If you haven’t already, read the book: The Secret Life of Plants. I read it years ago and it’s absolutely fascinating.

To watch the video of the same name on the website, Top Documentaries.com. YouTube is not allowed to play the audio at this time and the copy of the film is poor on Top Documentaries but still worth watching. – Pete

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