Cleve Backster's Primary Perception Research
We communicate with one another physically, emotionally, and mentally. Besides communicating with other people, we communicate with the very cells that make up life.
Cleve Backster has been demonstrating that for more than 40 years.
In 1966, the same year that Jose Silva taught his first public "Silva Mind Control" class, Cleve Backster conducted an experiment that changed his life and changed our way of thinking about the world around us.
Backster was a polygraph expert. At the time he had his offices in New York City. Late one night after everyone else had gone home, he decided to conduct an experiment just to see what would happen.
"For whatever reason, it occurred to me that it would be interesting to see how long it took the water to get from the root area of a plant, all the way up the long trunk and out and down to the leaves" he explained.
So he connected the galvanic skin response section of a polygraph onto a leaf of a dragon tree plant in his office, poured water into the pot and sat back to watch and see what happened.
The plant reacted, but not the way Backster expected.
"The tracings on the printout had the contour of a human being tested," he said, "reacting the way a person does when you are asking a question that could get them in trouble.
"So I forgot about the rising water time and said to myself, 'Wow, this thing wants to show me people-like reactions.'
"So I began to wonder what I could do that would be a threat to the well being of the plant, similar to the fact that a relevant question regarding a crime could be a threat to a person taking a polygraph test if they're lying."
Then the idea occurred to him that he could burn the plant.
That's when it happened:
"I didn't have matches in the room," he said. "I wasn't touching the plant in any way. I was maybe five feet away from the desk. I was essentially away from the plant.
"The only new thing that occurred was my intent to burn that plant leaf.
"In an instant, when I thought of burning that plant leaf and the image entered my mind, the polygraph went into a wild agitation.
"Now this was very late at night and towards morning. The building was empty and there was just no other reason for this reaction. I thought, 'Wow! This thing read my mind!' It was that obvious to me right then, and my consciousness hasn't been the same since."
Backster continued to work with what he calls "primary perception."
One year at a Silva International Convention in Laredo, he showed split-screen videos of a woman watching television in her home in San Diego and some of her white cells in a container in Backster's laboratory a couple of miles away.
The cells in the laboratory, that had been taken from her body, reacted when she saw a scene on the television of a woman being assaulted, which is good evidence that human cells are unique to each person's body.
Influencing human cells
Here is a transcript of what Backster had to say at a Silva convention in 1995, about his work with human cells:
These white cells are so instrumental in the immune system that they are very important.
The work that we've done in hundreds of hours of testing of the white cells is just absolutely fascinating.
There's no doubt about it that your thoughts can permeate every cell of your body, without going through any of the conventional communications systems.
In other words, if your thoughts, when your cells are separated from your body and being tested, under glass or in vitro, if they can react to your emotions when you are separated from them, you know in your body that they are going to react to emotional changes, particularly the negative emotions.
The problem is, nothing is quite as disruptive as negative thinking.
We use negative thinking to see these reactions when they do occur.
The positive stuff you don't see. It shows a free flowing changes on the chart.
But the negative stuff, right away you these bursts of electrical activity from the cells that have been separated from the donor.
So it means that when you are thinking negative thoughts, you are not doing yourself any favor. This would certainly bear that out.
The Silva Mind training, all the way through, is always talking about the quality of your thoughts, the positive thinking, better and better. This is so important. And it does have a scientific basis...there is no doubt about it whatsoever.
The next slide is an example of the first time when I got the technology of how to collect these cells - these are my own white cells that I'd collected, and I'd bought myself a centrifuge and whatever I needed to do this work.
Here I was going through a shelf and looking for some little sterile lancets. I wanted to cut my hand just a little bit with these sterile lancets and put some iodine in there because I'd always been able to get good reactions with plants when I did that.
Here is the thought of doing this. While I was looking on the shelf for the lancets, it caused this reaction here. Not when I did it, because the cells were prepared; it wasn't spontaneous. It was spontaneous as I thought about doing this and was looking for these lancets on the shelf.
You can see the size: these are not subtle reactions, these are huge reactions.
So this was my first experience with the white cells, and it started in a whole bunch of white cell testing that grew to be very important.
You can read all about Cleve Backster's more than thirty years of research in the book that he did with Dr. Robert B. Stone: The Secret Life of Your Cells (Whitford Press, 1989). The author, Bob Stone, was another good friend - a Silva Instructor for twenty years, and coauthor of several books with Jose Silva.
You can see Backster's old Primary Perception website at the Wayback Machine.