Research Essence Program

The FES Research Essence Program:
Values and Vision

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Research Essences are those essences that are in various stages of preliminary investigation, before we have sufficient information to publish their therapeutic indications. There is no set time for this process, as it depends on the quality of cases received and not necessarily the amount of time the plant remedy has been known to us. Thus some research remedies have remained in this category for nearly twenty-two years while others have moved very rapidly forward due to the clarity of the clinical cases gathered.

Our Goals for Developing New Research Essences

There can be only one primary purpose for developing any new healing remedy: to address the suffering of sentient beings and bring a measure of good to the world. However, in order to honor such a purpose, we must keep in mind that the goal of flower essence therapy differs from other healing modalities. The primary purpose of allopathic/chemical medicine is to palliate, or suppress painful or dysfunctional physical symptoms. The therapeutic use of flower essences also differs from psychoactive substances and consciousness-altering techniques that are intended to manipulate states of consciousness, without involving moral processes and sustained inner work.

Flower essence therapy is meant to be a path by which the body and the spirit become quickened through soul transformation. The aim is to develop thoughtful reflection and emotional insight about patterns of imbalance so that greater compassion, self-responsibility and conscious individuation is achieved.

Seven Generations

Because of these goals, FES realizes the need for strong moral accountability in developing flower essences. Such a method involves social responsibility and professionalism to ensure that what is offered is based not only on one's personal opinion or psychic projection, but also upon careful reflection of what is revealed both within the realm of Nature and within the arena of the human soul. Only in this way will flower essence therapy be safeguarded from becoming a "New Age" fantasy or fad, and develop into substantive wisdom that can nourish seven generations and beyond. (The idea of being able to envision an ethical basis for one's actions that encompasses seven generations is a Native American teaching, although its inherent truth is a fundamental tenet of all advanced spiritual philosophies.)

Aquilegia formosa

Two Principal Paths of Research

The Realm of Nature

Two main paths characterize the research work of the Flower Essence Society. These two directions are not linear or hierarchical, or even sequential. Instead, they constantly interweave with each other, bringing each component into greater transparency and wholeness. The one path involves the ability to investigate the realm of Nature, learning to comprehend the unique language being spoken. Endeavoring to understand plants as they really exist in Nature is a challenging mission. On the one hand, it cannot be equated with current intellectual, scientific knowledge that regards matter as a mere "thing" lacking in qualitative properties. On the other hand, genuine Nature wisdom requires a luminosity of thinking and objective perception and listening. This activity is distinguished from psychic claims that are often a personal projection from the unconscious realm of the soul. Understanding plant qualities is an active, conscious process of perception and relationship with plants as they exist in Nature. It requires a true meeting of inner and outer modes of knowing.

The language of plants is spoken in many ways, including the formative gesture of the plant, its growth patterns and seasonal affiliations, color and aroma signatures, botanical classification, environmental relationships, and use within human culture. These "windows" of investigation for each plant are kaleidoscopic, each allowing a glimpse into the plant, yet each one shifting and revealing new relationships and insights. Therefore, these methods of investigation are not static, but continuous and dynamic. Just as we speak human words that have a context of meaning beyond the individual letters or words, so the language of Nature has an inherent wholeness that is reflected in each part, yet is greater than any single part. The Twelve Windows of Perception comprise a method of investigation that has allowed us to gain new insights into even the most well-known of Dr. Edward Bach's original flower essences. For a fuller discussion of our plant research modalities please see the essay on the Twelve Windows of Plant Perception.

The Human Soul

The second path of knowing examines the realm of the human soul. Here again we are challenged by the prevailing paradigms in our modern culture. On the one hand, some psychological modalities are oriented toward external behavior, approaching the human soul through quantitative studies, abstract statistics, and behavioral programming. Most of these modalities attempt to alter or control human experience through biochemistry and neurological mechanisms. On the other hand, more liberal psychological therapies can be excessively narcissistic, involving endless self-examination or psychic experimentation, with no objective means for facilitating the individual's real relationship to the larger World Soul.

Thus many psychological modalities change temporary emotional states of consciousness or provide palliative relief for external behavioral symptoms, rather than achieving the qualitative changes in human potential and long-term moral development that are the primary goals of flower essence therapy. Despite the biases of our culture, we have found that it is possible to document genuine levels of soul transformation when using flower essences. For a brief outline regarding these levels of transformation, please see The Four Levels of Flower Essence Response (The Four R's).

Just as we have striven to develop careful listening and perception within the realm of plants, so we have used similar methods in studying the phenomenology of flower essence therapy. Our primary means is to collect case studies and observations from skilled practitioners. While individual cases are not conclusive in themselves, these reports, taken as a whole, can give us valuable corroboration, correction, and refinement of our initial indications for a plant.

Cases which use a single essence are most valuable, but we can also learn from cases in which the research essence is combined with other essences of known qualities. In these cases, discerning practitioners can gain a sense of the unique contribution that has been made by the research essence. To report your results, you can use our on-line case reporting form, or e-mail to We can mail you printed case reporting forms if you prefer.

It is also very important for us to schedule in-depth interviews with skilled practitioners to review overarching patterns and related clinical phenomena in the use of one or more research essences. These appointments can be made through the Flower Essence Society. Please e-mail us or call our toll-free number 800-736-9222 (USA and Canada).

Make a Vital Contribution to the Flower Essence Society

The poet Rilke wrote, "Take your well-disciplined strengths, and stretch them between two opposing poles, because it is only inside human beings that God learns." As we enter this new millennium, it is time to enliven our scientific research with soul-spiritual awareness; and to discipline our soul-spiritual understanding with the clarity of scientific research. We believe that such pioneering work in flower essence therapy is a significant contribution to our larger cultural repository of plant wisdom and soul therapy.

Your participation is vital. Ultimately each of us must realize that this effort is not for ourselves alone, or even for our personal clients. Genuine wisdom is only possible through a collective endeavor in which one's individual work becomes married to a larger vision. We hope you will join us in our goal to build a true Flower Essence Society of responsible practitioners.

Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz
for the Flower Essence Society

The preliminary research essence profiles for the Range of Light essences are available for members of the Flower Essence Society. If you are not yet a FES member, click here to join. If you are a member, click here to log in. If you have already logged in as a member during this visit to our site, click here to go directly to the essence profiles listing. (If you have not yet filled out our research essence questionnaire, you will be directed to that page. Once filled out, you will be able to go directly to the page in the future.)


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