Hieronimusing originally posted 6/14/01

The Spindrift Institute

William Sweet talks about prayer, the same way a farmer talks about good weather, with a familiarity , with an intimacy, and an acknowledgement that the laws of nature impact our earth. But Sweet’s interests and occupation as former Director of the Spindrift Institute under the direction of its founders, father and son team, Bruce and John Klingbeil, made a study of prayer. As Christian scientists the Klingbeils were interested in the actual science of prayer that seemed so effective in their lives and the lives of millions across time.

Between 1975 and 1993 the Spindrift Institute conducted thousands of tests on various types of seeds like rye, mung and soybean, on yeast and molds, in order to see just how prayer effected living systems and what kind of prayer effected it in a way, which produced an outcome beneficial to that which was prayed for. Commenting when we spoke, that funding for human experiments would have been cost prohibitive, they designed studies that were replicable using standard scientific protocol for testing theories, designing tests and then evaluating the results.

‘When One Or Two Are Gathered In My Name’

In discussing just one of thousands of tests and test cycles on various plants, such as the mung bean experiments, the question they were asking about prayer “is what a lot of people are asking. What happens when you get a lot people together and they pray together, ‘when one or two are gathered in my name’, we called it the x,y,z, test. We would put mung beans in each cup and a control group out of sight. Daily one of our Spindrift researchers would pray for the x and the y cup of mung beans and then later in the day pray for the x and the z cup of beans. And what happened over a period of time, this middle cup, the y cup, was getting double treatment everyday. The more we applied prayer, the more effect it had.”

The significance of what they found out about prayer in this instance should be acknowledged and yes, utilized by us. Or at least draw our attention to their results and test it in our own lives as well.

In one of their soybeans tests, adding various stresses to the seed, such as extra water or too little water, the prayer’s task was simply to pray for these seed’s welfare. Some doing the praying were told which seeds were under what kind of stresses, while others that prayed did so without having been told which were over or under soaked.Bill shared my excitement in telling the results.

“Spindrift is probably most well know for two types of intentional thought that we tested, “ he said, “goal directed thought and non goal directed thought. What we found is consciously or unconsciously, most people pray with a goal in their mind… the non goal directed thought, the one we found to be the holier type of thought involves more quality, is of a higher intention of what’s being prayed for,” I closed his thought “as in thy will be done.” This kind of prayer, over and over again was more effective in creating beneficial results.

What they found was “the difference between the two is that when we think in our minds what we want, usually our own ego and our own goals get in the way. Either we directly or unconsciously have these goals. So we tired to set our experiments up in tricky way so it would catch our goals.” “When most of us pray for something or someone, we are praying for a change towards improvement, so we thought it best to deviate the seeds from their healthy norm.”
Often times, Bill stated “what happens, what we want to happen, may not be in the best interest of that which we are praying for. What we want versus what the plant or persons we are praying for really needs.”

Pointing out that our intentions can be good, but the result we want could be the wrong thing, I commented that perhaps our own will, acted as formative force and if we were determining what outcome a person should have, we were entering our willing volition, which in some people is very well developed, and thus we could be creating what in physics is called an interference wave.

“The Klingbeils considered goal directed prayer to be like particle prayer and non directed prayer to be wave prayer. Finding as well that in non goal directed prayer, the prayer’s actual impact was shown on a graph as an amplified wave form, directed prayer, the kind where we determine what we think would be the best outcome, did not in fact do so. “

When they prayed a wave prayer, he explained, “ to support and love that soybean they found that type for prayer released the stress in the soybeans. The soybeans that were over soaked gave off moisture, and moved back towards normal, and those that were under soaked started to take on moisture.”

I commented that the key word seemed to be love. “It’s amazing,” he said with a sense of surprise, “that you even said that, as I was going over some of Bruce’s original writings today, which I have read many times and just never saw this before. He says prayer is the love of God…John Klingbeil said we often grab the particles in our prayers but we should learn to catch the waves.”

The Placebo as Expectation

Discussing briefly the placebo effect, the Spindrift Institute would say that our faith in something, builds a big expectancy, where as prayer pulls us towards our best outcome or “pulls for a fit.”

Bill pointed out that once again it’s our goal directed thought showing itself even in placebos. Showing that in stressed yeast experiments, where it gives off carbon dioxide gas, prayer enhances this gas being given off when being prayed for. This means the yeast is being assisted by prayer for the yeast to become normal again. This test was run over 500 times “and what was shown was that within a 2 hour period a person’s effectiveness of prayer could be measured.”

Bill Sweet was clear. “we have to give up what we are praying for, give it to the universal stream of love, and let love do the work that is required by the organism to achieve its greatest balance.”

Genetically Engineered Seeds Unresponsive to Prayer

In other experiments, their effort to discern the resonance the universe might find for genetically engineered seeds, showed what what in my estimations, is one of them most important studies to have taken place to address the energetic reality of human’s undertaking genetic bio-engineering. A seed call triticale, which was designed to with stand extreme heat and drought, created,it was hoped to alleviate world hunger, was tested. When these seeds were stressed like others and prayed for, there was no change at all. The Klingbeils felt that this suggested an inability of the our natural force of love, to transform these manufactured organisms. Or as Sweet said of their beliefs, “ the universe did not approve of it. There was no resonance.” Are we entering a techno- dark age of ingesting dead foods making us automatons, rather than spirit driven humans, whose love of world and other is what adds coherence to light and cohesion to matter.

Bill Sweets explanation of the Spindrift’s name, deriving from the froth at the edges of violent sea storms, thirty years ago it was indeed heroic to have ventured into the science of spirit with such forth right proof and subsequent confirmation,that our dear friend Christopher Bird, wrote about so long ago in his book. The Secret Life of Plants. Plants do communicate with humans, and we with them. Made of similar organic compounds, we resonate our essence of light. Love brightens it, puts it into an entrainment. Chris was right, we should sing to our plants and our forests and pray for the seeds of the earth that they take hold where they should.

Love, which is non goal directed, can nourish the seed and the planet, for as the Spindrift experiments showed us, loving prayer is a restorative power. Love is a natural force that all natural life systems benefit by.

Zoh Hieronimus