Plant Conversation 1: Jeremy Narby and Sarah Laborde
hosted by Alex Greene
In this episode, anthropologist and best-selling author Jeremy Narby (representing cannabis) and multidisciplinary scholar Sarah Laborde (representing the apple) take us on a journey toward understanding our relationship with plants. Reflecting on plant capacities, they question the utility and meaning of concepts like ‘mind’, ‘intelligence’, and ‘consciousness’ for describing plants’ complex behavior. Delving further, Jeremy and Sarah turn their attention to vegetal processes like cloning, grafting, and rooting, and what they can tell us about our own possibilities as human beings.
“Amazonian peoples don’t say ‘Some plants are smart and some plants are stupid.’ But they do say that some plants talk a lot, and those that talk most are teacher plants.”
“We are individuals, which means that we can’t be divided in two, otherwise we die; whereas plants can be divided in two and then continue to live; they are dividuals.”
“Less thinking, more sensing. All the thinking and all the framing is very human; but the sensing is more shared with beings like plants.”
“Sometimes the probes of Western science are fantastic to target particular questions, but the long-term relationship of being in connection with a place or a plant has a lot to say as well, and differently.”
“Another interesting question is that of grafting, and of this marriage of two different trees within one tree. What’s the essence in that? What does it mean to be grafted, to be mixed in some way?”