The Secret Life of Plants

The Secret Life of Plants: by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, 1973

reading_notes by Cocky_Eek in progress

Picture 5—At the beginning of the twentieth century Viennese biologist Raoul Francé(1874-1943)put forth the idea, shocking to contemporary natural philosophers, that plants move their bodies as freely, easily, and gracefully as the most skilled animal or human, and that the only reason we don't appreciate the fact is that plants do so at a much slower pace than humans.

—No plant is without movement; he describes a summer day with thousands of polyplike arms reaching from a peaceful arbor, trembling, quivering in their eagerness for new support for the heavy stalk that grows behind them. When the tendril, which sweeps a full circle in sixty-seven minutes, finds a perch, within twenty seconds it starts to curve around the object, and within the hour has wound itself so firmly it is hard to tear away. The tendril then curls itself like a corkscrew and in so doing raises the vine to itself.

—Plants, says Francé, are capable of intent- they can stretch toward, or seek out, what they want in ways as mysterious as the most fantastic creations of romance.

—the inhabitants of the pasture -or botane- appear to be able to perceive and to react to what is happening in their environment at a level of sophistication far surpassing that of humans.

—Some parasitical plants can recognize the slightest trace of the odor of their victim, and will overcome all obstacles to crawl in its direction.

—Plants seem to know which ants will steal their nectar, closing when these ants are about, opening only when there is enough dew on their stems to keep the ants from climbing. The Acacia actually enlists the protective services of certain ants which it rewards with nectar in return for the ants' protection against other insects and herbivorous mammals.

The ingenuity of plants in devising forms of construction far exceeds that of human engineers. Man-made structures cannot match the supply strength of the long hollow tubes that support fantastic weights against terrific storms…

—the orchid Trichoceros parviflorus will grow its petals to imitate the female of a species of fly so exactly that the male attempts to mate with it and in so doing pollinates the orchid…. night-blossoming flowers grow white the better to attract night moths and night-flying butterflies, emitting a stronger fragrance at dusk, ….the carrion lily develops the smell of rotting meat in areas where only flies abound, …. flowers which rely on the wind cross-pollinate the species do not waste energy on making themselves beautiful, fragrant or appealing to insects, but remain relatively unattractive.

——the leaves of the sunflower plant, Silphium laciniatum, accurately indicate the points of the compass. Indian licorice, or Arbrus precatorius, is so keenly sensitive to all forms of electrical and magnetic influences it is used as a weather plant. Botanists who first experimented with it in London's Kew Gardens found in it a means for predicting cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. So accurate are alpine flowers about the seasons, they know when spring is coming and bore their way up through lingering snowbanks, developing their own heat with which to melt the snow. France insists that plants are constantly observing and recording events and phenomena of which man-trapped in his anthropocentric view of the world, subjectively revealed to him through his five senses-knows nothing. Plants have beenfound to be able to distinguish between sounds inaudible to the human ear and color wavelengths such as infra- red and ultraviolet invisible to the human eye; they are specially sensitive to X-rays and to the high frequency of television.

— The most effective way to trigger in a human being a reaction strong enough to make the galvanometer jump is to threaten his or her well- being. Cleve Backster, America's foremost lie-detector decided to do just that to his plant; a Dracaena massangeana: he dunked a leaf in the cup of hot coffee perennially in his hand. There was no reaction to speak of on the meter. Backster studied the problem several minutes, then conceived a worse threat: he would burn the actual leaf to which the electrodes were attached. The instant he got the picture of flame in his mind, and before he could move for a match, there was a dramatic change in the tracing pattern on the graph in the form of a prolonged upward sweep of the recording pen. Backster had not moved, either toward the plant or toward the recording machine. Could the plant have been reading his mind?

related libarynth topics:


Picture 20— —Marcel Vogel (1917–1991)found that some of the philodendrons he, like Backster attached to his galvanometer, responded faster, others more slowly, some very distinctly, others less distinctly, and that not only plants but their individual leaves had their own unique personality and individuality. Leaves with a large electrical resistance were especially difficult to work with; fleshy leaves with a high water content were the best. Plants appeared to go through phases of activity and inactivity, full of response at certain times of the day or days of the month, “sluggish” or “morose” at other times. To make sure that none of these recording effects was the result of faulty electroding, Vogel developed a mucilaginous substance composed of a solution of agar, with a thickener of karri gum, and salt. This paste he brushed onto the leaves before gently applying carefully polished one-by-one-and-a-half-inch stainless-steel electrodes. When the agar jelly hardened around the edges of the electronic pickups, it sealed their faces into a moist interior, virtually eliminating all the variability in signal output caused by pressure on leaves when clamped between ordi- nary electrodes.

—1972 related notes: “As an example, while working in the laboratory with leaves of a plant attached to a galvanometer by electrodes, Bob accidentally yawned, and this was markedly recorded on the machine's graph. They then both began yawning, with similar results on the graph.” “People have various levels of consciousness, many of them hidden, and through the use of highly sensitive plants that soon will be developed these levels could be measured.'This could, for example, be especially useful in career selection as you could tell if a psychologist has the ability to help people, a lawyer is good at law, a politician at politics, or artist at art. Many brilliant people or geniuses going unnoticed could be discovered.  ” If that seems rather far out, an electronics engineer not too long ago was able to build sophisticated equipment to mentally trigger a device through a plant at considerable distance. In one experiment he set a philodendron on a laboratory bench 2 1/2 miles from his home, and sent a strong emotion to the plant. When the plant received his telepathic message, it triggered a radio signal that turned on the ignition of a car in the laboratory parking lot, starting the motor.“ source:

—the pen recorder oscillating wildly on the chart. This led to speculation that talking of sex could stir up in the atmosphere some sort of sexual energy such as the “orgone” discovered and described by Dr. Wilhelm Reich, and that the ancient fertility rites in which humans had sexual intercourse in freshly seeded fields might indeed have stimulated plants to grow.

—electronics engineer L. George Lawrence believed that biological radiations transmitted by living things are best received by a biological medium. biological-type sensors are needed in order to intercept biological signals, applies particularly to communications from outer space. As he puts it: “Standard electronics are next to worthless here, since 'bio-signals' apparently reside outside of the known electromagnetic spectrum.”

—1969. Lawrence; Four main questions, were starting to attract serious attention: Could plants be integrated with electronic readouts to form major data sensors and transducers? Could they be trained to respond to the presence of selected objects and images? Were their alleged supersensory perceptions verifiable? Of the 350,000 plant species known to science, which were the most promising from the electronic point of view? Pg 56 “There are certain qualities here,” he wrote, “which do not enter into normal experimental situations. According to those experimenting in this area, it is necessary to have a 'green thumb' and, most important, a genuine love for plants.” Pg 57

Picture 21—film by Panishkin “Are Plants Sentient?”

—biologist Karamanov published “The Application of Automation and Cybernetics to Plant Husbandry.” He builded a.o. microthermistors, weight tensiometers, to register the temperature of plants, the flow rate of fluid in their stems and leaves, the intensity of their transpiration, their growth rates, and characteristics of their radiation. He picked up detailed information on when and how much a plant wants to drink, whether it craves more nourishment or is too hot or cold.

–He showed that an ordinary bean plant had acquired the equivalent of “hands” to signal an instrumental brain how much light it needed. When the brain sent “hands” signals, “they had only to press a switch, and the plant was thus afforded the capability of independently establishing the optimal length of its 'day' and 'night.' ” Later, the same bean plant, having acquired the equivalent of “legs,” was able instrumentally to signal whenever it wanted water. “Showing itself to be a fully rational being, it did not guzzle the water indiscriminately but limited itself to a two-minute drink each hour, thus regulating its water need with the help of an artificial mechanism. Pg 67

—Beans, potatoes, wheat, and crowfoot after proper “instruction” seemed to have the capability of remembering the frequency of Hashes from a xenon-hydrogen lamp. The plants repeated the pulsations with “exceptional accuracy,” and since crowfoot was able to repeat a given frequency after a pause as long as eighteen hours it was possible to speak of “Long-term” memory in plants. The scientists next went on, to condition a philodendron to recognize when a piece of mineralized rock was put beside it. Using the system developed by Pavlov with dogs, whereby he discovered the “conditioned reflex,” the Kazakh scientists simultaneously “punished” a philodendron with an electrical shock each time a mineralized ore was placed next to it. They reported that, after condi- tioning, the same plant, anticipating the hurtful shock, would get “emotionally upset” whenever the block of ore was put beside it. Further- more, said the Kazakh scientists, the plant could distinguish between mineralized ore and a similar piece of barren rock containing no minerals, a feat which might indicate that plants will one day be used in geological prospecting. Pg 69

—V.n. Pushkin, psychological scientist surmised that a hypnotized person should be able to send emotions to a plant more directly and spontaneously than a person in a normal state. Hypnotizing a young girl by the name of Tanya, who was described by Pushkin as of “lively temperament and spontaneous emotionality,” they first implanted in her the notion that she was one of the most beautiful women in the world, then the notion that she was freezing in harsh raw weather. At each change in the girl's mood the plant, which was attached to an encephalograph, responded with an appropriate pattern on the graph. “We were able,” says Pushkin “to get an electrical reaction as many times as we worked, even to the most arbitrary commands.”

—Pushkin and Fetisov decided to see whether the plant could detect a lie, as Backster had claimed. It was suggested to Tanya that she thinks of a number from 1 to 10. At the same time she was told she would never reveal the number, even if pressed to do so. When the researchers counted slowly from I to 10, pausing after each digit to inquire whether it was the one she had thought of, each time Tanya responded with a decisive “No!” Though the psychologists could not see any difference in her answers, the plant gave a specific and clear reaction to her internal state when the number 5 was counted. It was the number which Tanya had selected and promised not to reveal. Pg 71

—plants have memory. They are able to gather impressions and retain them over long periods. We had a man molest, even torture, a geranium for several days in a row. He pinched it, tore it, pricked its leaves with a needle, dripped acid on its living tissues, burned it with a lighted match, and cut its roots. Another man took tender care of the same geranium, watered it, worked its soil, sprayed it with fresh water, supported its heavy branches, and treated its burns and wounds. When we e1ectroded our instruments to the plant, what do you think? No sooner did the torturer come near the plant than the recorder of the instrument began to go wild. The plant didn't just get “nervous”; it was afraid, it was horrified. If it could have, it would have either thrown itself out the window or attacked its torturer. Hardly had this inquisitor left and the good man taken his place near the plant than the geranium was appeased, its impulses died down, the recorder traced out smooth- one might almost say tender-lines on the graph. Pg 73

—In addition to a plant's ability to recognize friend and foe, Soviet researchers also noted that one plant supplied with water can somehow share it with a deprived neighbor. In one institute of research a cornstalk planted in a glass container was denied water for several weeks. Yet it did not die; it remained as healthy as other cornstalks planted in normal conditions nearby. In some way, water was transferred from healthy plants to the “prisoner” in the jar. Yet they have no idea how this was accomplished. Pg 73

—As fantastic as this may seem, a kind of plant-to-plant transfer has been taking place in England in experiments begun in 1972 by Dr. A. R. Bailey. Two plants in an artificially lit greenhouse in which temper- ature, humidity, and light were carefully controlled were suffering from lack of water. Bailey and his collaborator measured the voltages gene- rated between two parts of both plants. When one plant was watered from the outside through plastic tubes, the other plant reacted. As Bailey told the British Society of Dowsers: “There was no electrical connection between them, no physical connection whatsoever, but somehow one plant picked up what was going on with the other.” Pg 74

—research of the American Nobel Prize winner Melvin Calvin in photo· synthesis, wherein he discovered that plant chlorophyll under the influence of the sun's rays can give up electrons to a semiconductor such as zincoxide. Melvin and his co-workers created a “green photoelement,” which produced a current of approximately 0.1 microamperes per square centimeter. After several minutes, the plant chlorophyll becomes desensitized or “exhausted,” but its life could be extended by the addition of hydroquinone to the salt solution which acts as an electrolyte. The chlorophyll seems to act as a kind of electron pump passing electrons from the hydroquinone to the semiconductor. Calvin has calculated that a chlorophyll photoelement with an area of ten square meters could yield a kilowatt of power. He has theorized that in the next quarter century such photoelements could be manufac· tured on an industrial scale and would be a hundred times cheaper than silicone solar batteries now being experimented with. Pg 76

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Picture 19—the Bengali Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose in 1899 betook himself to his greengrocer and purchased a bag of carrots and turnips, which, of all vegetables, appeared to him the most stolidly nonsentient, and found them to be highly sensitive. When he chloroformed plants, Bose discovered that they were as successfully anesthetized as animals, and that when the narcotic vapor was blown away by fresh air like animals they revived. Using chloroform to tranquilize a huge pine tree, Bose was able to uproot it and transplant it without the usually fatal shock of such operations. Pg 87

—Since Bose knew that in plants there was respiration without gills or lungs, digestion without a stomach, and movements without muscles, it seemed plausible to him that there could be the same kind of excitation as in higher animals but without a complicated nervous system. Bose concluded that the only way to find out about the unseen changes which take place in plants and tell if they were excited or depressed would be to measure visually their responses to what he called “definite testing blows” or shocks. “In order to succeed in this, we have to discover some compulsive force which will make the plant give an answering signal. Secondly, we have to supply the means for an automatic conversion of these signals into an intelligent script. And, last of all, we have ourselves to learn the nature of these hieroglyphics.” Pg 92

—Bose was able to show how the skins of lizards, tortoises, and frogs as well as those of grapes, tomatoes behaved similarly. He found that the vegetal digestive organs in insectivorous plants, from the tentacle of a sundew to the hair-lined flap of a pitcher plant, were analogous to animal stom- achs. He discovered close parallels between the response to light in leaves and in the retinas of animal eyes. With his magnifier he proved that plants become as fatigued by continuous stimulation as animal muscles, whether they were hypersensitive mimosas or undemonstrative radishes.

—Working with the Desmodium gyrans, a species whose continuously oscillating leaves recall the motion of semaphore flags and led to its common appellation, telegraph plant, Bose found that the poison which could stop its automatic ceaseless pulsation would also stop an animal heart and that the antidote for this poison could bring both organisms back to life. Pg 92

In Desmodium gyrans, or the telegraph plant, Bose found that if the cut end of a detached leaflet was dipped in water in a bent glass tube it recovered from the shock of its amputation and began to pulsate anew. Was this not like an excised animal heart which can be kept beating in Ringer's solution? Just as the heart stops beating when blood pressure is lowered and starts again when pressure is raised, Bose found the same was true for the pulsation of the Desmodium when the sap pressure was increased or decreased.

— One day Bose found that when all motion stopped in his plant, it suddenly shuddered in a way reminiscent of the death spasm in animals. To determine exactly the critical temperature at which death occurred, he invented a morograph, or death recorder. While many plants met their end at sixty degrees centigrade, individual plants exhibited variations depending on their previous histories and ages. If their power of resistance was artificially depressed by fatigue, or poison, the death spasm would take place with temperatures as low as twenty-three degrees Centigrade. At death, the plant threw off a huge electrical force. Five hundred green peas could develop five hundred volts, said Bose, enough to fulminate a cook but for the fact that peas are seldom connected in series. Though it had been thought that plants liked unlimited quantities of carbon dioxide, Bose found that too much of this gas could suffocate them, but that they could then be revived, just like animals, with oxygen. Like human beings, plants became intoxicated when given shots of whiskey or gin, swayed like any barroom drunkard, passed out, and eventually revived, with definite signs of a hangover. These findings together with hundreds of other data were published in two massive volumes in 1906 and 1907. Pg 94

Boses invention the Crescograph not only produced a ten-thousand-fold magnification of movement, far beyond the powers of the strongest microscope, but could automatically record the rate of growth of plants and their changes in a period as short as a minute. Bose showed the remarkable fact that in countless plants, growth proceeds in rhythmic pulses. each pulse exhibiting' a rapid uplift and then a slower partial recoil of about a fourth the distance gained. The pulses in Calcutta averaged about three per minute. By watching the progress of the movement on the chart Bose found that growth in some plants could be retarded and even halted by merely touching them, and that in others rough handling stimulated growth, especially if they were sluggish and morose. Pg 99

—The roots of plants are called “geotropic,” because they burrow into the soil. Leaves turn to light because they are “heliotropic” or “phototropic.” Roots questing water are described as “hydrotropic,” and those bending against the flow of a stream “rheatropic.” The tendril's touch is known as its “thigmotropism.” Pg 99. related libarynth topic: plant movement

—Bose now in retirement summud his scientific philosophy: “Is there any possible relation between our own life and that of the plant world? The question is not one of speculation but of actual demonstration by some method that is unimpeachable. This means that we should abandon all our preconceptions, most of which are afterward found to be absolutely groundless and contrary to facts. The final appeal must be made to the plant itself and no evidence should be accepted unless it bears the plant's own signature. —————

Picture 18—Why botany, a potentially fascinating subject dealing with plants, living and extinct, their uses, classification, anatomy, physiology, geographical distribution, should have been from the beginning reduced to a dull taxonomy, an endless Latin dirge, in which progress is measured more by the number of corpses cataloged than by the number of blossoms cherished, is perhaps the greatest mystery in the study of plant life. Pg 104

The pollen of most plants has a highly inflammable character; when thrown on a red-hot surface it will ignite as quickly as gunpowder. Artificial lightning was formerly produced on the theatrical stage by throwing the pollen grains of the Lycopodium or club mosses onto a hot shovel. In many plants the pollen diffuses an odor bearing the most striking resemblance to the seminal emission of animals and man. The spermatozoa of certain mosses carried in the morning dew in search of females, is guided by its taste for malic acid toward the delicate cups at the bottom of which lie moss eggs to be fertilized. The spermatozoa of ferns, on the other hand, liking sugar, find their females in pools of sweetened water. Pg 107

—For years Goethe had been distressed by the limitations involved in a merely analytical and intellectual approach to the plant world, typified by the cataloging mind of the eighteenth century, and of a theory of physics, then triumphant, which submitted the world to blind laws of mechanics, to a “jeu de rouages et de ressorts sans vie.”

Picture 15—Gustav Theodor Fechner (1839): “Was it not one of the ultimate purposes of the human bodies to serve vegetal life, surrounding it by emitting carbon dioxide for the plants to breathe, and manuring them with human bodies after death? Did not flowers and trees finally consume man and, by combining his remains together with raw earth, water, air, and sunlight, transform and transmute human bodies into the most glorious forms and colors?

The Harmonics of plants

Picture 14—In 1950 T. C. Singh, head of the department of botany at Annamalai University , began wondering whether sound, properly prescribed, could spur field crops to greater yields. From 1960 to 1963 he piped the “Charukesi raga” on a gramophone via a loud- speaker to paddy rice growing in the fields of seven villages on the Bay of Bengal, and got harvests ranging consistently from 25 to 60 percent higher than the regional average. He also was able musically to provoke peanuts and chewing tobacco into producing nearly 50 percent more than normal. Singh further reported that merely by dancing the “Bharata-Natyam,” India's most ancient dance style, with- out musical accompaniment and executed by girls without trinkets on their ankles, the growth of Michaelmas daisies, marigolds, and petunias was very much accelerated, causing them to flower as much as a fort- night earlier than controls, presumably because of the rhythm of the footwork transmitted through the earth.

— In the mid-1960s two researchers at Canada's University of Ottawa, Mary Measures and Pearl Weinberger were conversant that ultrasonic frequencies markedly affect the germination and growth of barley, sunflower, spruce, Jack pine, Siberian pea tree, and other seeds and seedlings However, the very frequencies which stimulated some plant species inhibited others. They wondered whether specific audible frequencies in the sonic range would be as effective as music in enhancing the growth of wheat. In a series of experiments lasting more than four years, the two biologists exposed the grains and seedlings of spring Marquis and winter Rideau wheat to high-frequency vibrations. They found that, depending on how long the wheat seeds had been vernalized, the plants responded best to a frequency of 5,000 cycles a second.

—1973 Dr. Weinberger said basic farm equipment of the future will include an oscillator for production of sound waves and a speaker.” He set up large-scale tests to determine the practicability of their idea. they discovered that experimental “pink” noise, which, at 20 to 20,000 cycles per second and 100 decibels, sounds to the ear about the same as the noise received 100 feet away from a 727 jet plane about to take off, caused turnips to sprout much faster than those left silently in the ground. Pg 152

—Allotting one chamber for a control group, Mrs. Dorothy Retallack, a Danish professional organist and mezzo soprano in 1968 used the same plants, as in the first experiment, setting them in identical soil and affording them equal amounts of water on schedule. Trying to pinpoint the musical note most conducive to survival, each day she tried an F note, played unremittingly for eight hours in one chamber and three hours intermittently in another. In the first chamber her plants were stone dead within two weeks. In the second chamber, the plants were much healthier than controls left in silence.

—The cucurbits were hardly indifferent to the two musical forms: those exposed to Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European scores grew toward the transistor radio, one of them even twining itself lovingly around it. The other squashes grew away from the rock broadcasts and even tried to climb the slippery walls of their glass cage. Pg 154 The plants gave positive evidence of liking Bach, since they leaned an unprecedented thirty-five degrees toward the preludes. But even this affirmation was far exceeded by their reaction to Shankar: in their straining to reach the source of the classical Indian music they bent more than halfway to the horizontal, at angles in excess of sixty degrees, the nearest one almost embracing the speaker.

Picture 13—Just as plants respond to the wavelengths of music, so also are they continually being affected by wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, from earth, moon, planets, cosmos and from a proliferation of man-made devices; only it remains to be established exactly which are beneficial and which are harmful. Pg 163

—1747, Jean Antoine Nollet, a French abbot and physics tutor, was informed by a German physicist in Wittenberg that water, which normally issued drop by drop from a capillary tube, would run out in a constant stream if the tube was electrified. Nollet put several plants in metallic pots next to a conductor and was intrigued to note that the rate of their transpiration increased. In a long series of experiments, Nollet carefully weighed not only daffodils but sparrows, pigeons, and cats and found they lost weight faster if electrified.

—Italian physicist, Giuseppe Toaldo reported that in a row of jasmine bushes the two which were next to a lightning conductor grew thirty feet tall whereas all the others attained only four feet. Pg 168

—Bertholon, had a gardener stand on a slab of insulating material and sprinkle vegetables from an electrified watering can. He reported that his salads grew to an extraordinary size. He also invented what he called an “electrovegetometer” to collect atmospheric electricity by means ot an antenna, and pass it through plants growing in a field. “This instrument is applicable to all kinds of vegetal production, everywhere, in all weather.”

–As it had been known that sharp points were especially attractive to atmospheric electricity, Finish scientist Lemstrom reasoned that “the sharp points of plants acted like lightning rods to collect atmospheric electricity and facilitate the exchange of charges of the air and the ground.” Pg 175

—London Journal of the Horticultural Society published the “Influence of Electricity on Vegetation” by an agronomist, Edward Solly, who, suspended wires in the air over garden plots, and, tried burying them under the soil. But of Solly's seventy experiments with various grains, vegetables, and flowers, only nineteen were of any benefit, and nearly as many were harmful. The conflicting results of these researchers made it obvious that the amount, quality, and duration of electrical stimulation was of crucial importance to each form of vegetal life. Pg 174

—Lemstrom connected a series of flowers in metal pots to a static generator by an overhead network of wires sixteen inches above them and a pole set into the soil as a ground. Other pots he “left to nature.” After eight weeks, the electrified plants, showed gains in weight of nearly 50 percent over their electrically deprived neighbors. When he transferred his apparatus into a garden he not only more than doubled the yield of strawberries but found them to be much sweeter; his harvest from barley plants increased by one-third. He reported his success in 1902 in a book Electro Cultur The English translation of Lemstrom's book, entitled Electricity in Agriculture and Horticulture. Pg 176

— engineers, unlike researchers in pure science, are less concerned with why or how something works than with whether it will work. This attitude can free them from the shackles of theory, which in the history of science has often caused pedants to disregard the brilliant new findings of geniuses be- cause there was no theoretical basis to support them. pg 178

—Dr. George Starr White, pubished Cosmoelectric Culture, discovered that metals like iron and tin could facilitate plant growth if bright pieces were dangled from fruit trees.Where Hay attached metallic Christmas tree balls to tomato plants, they would bear their fruits earlier than normal. pg 180

—electronic engineer James Lee Scribner believes that: it is the electron that is responsible before the photosynthesis can take place, for it is the electron that magnetizes the chlorophyll in the plant cell that makes it possible for the photon to assert itself and become a part of the plant in the form of solar energy. It is also this magnetism that draws the molecules of oxygen into the ever expanding chlorophyll cells of the plant, and so we must assume that moisture is in no way integrated into the plant through any absorption process whatsoever, for the integration of moisture is purely an electronic one. The so-called root pressure (moisture droplets) appearing on plant surfaces is not root pressure at all, but an abundance of electrons working with the rather excessive water energy in the bed. pg 181

—Because, of all living things, they seemed the most enduring and the least moble, Burr charted the life fields of trees over nearly two decades. He found that recordings related not only to the lunar cycle and to sunspots, whIch flare up at intervals with many years between them, but revealed cycles recurring every three and six months that were beyond his explanabon. His conclusions seemed to make less suspect the long- mocked practices of generations of gardeners who claimed that their crops should be planted according to the phases of the 197

—To try to establish the cosmic origin of energy, Lakhovsky decided to dispense with his device to produce artificial rays and tap natural energy from space. In January, 1925, he picked one of a series of geraniums previously inoculated with cancer and surrounded it with a circular copper spiral thirty centimeters in diameter, its two unjoined ends fixed in an ebonite support. After several weeks he found that whereas all the control geraniums inoculated with cancer had died and dried up, the plant ringed with the copper spiral was not only radiantly healthy but had grown twice as high as uninoculated controls. These spectacular results led Lakhovsky into a complex theory as to how the geranium had been able to pick up from the vast field of waves in the external atmosphere the exact frequencies which enabled its cells to oscillate normally and so powerfully that the cancer-afflicted cells were destroyed. pg 185

—Other first and second colonies of cells, separated by the quartz glass, both perished when only the first colony was murdered with chemical poisons or lethal radiation and the second left unexposed. What killed the second colony in each case? Since ordinary glass does not permit ultraviolet rays to pass but quartz glass does, it seemed to the Soviet scientists that here was a key to the mystery. They recalled that Gurwitsch had theorized that onion cells could emit ultraviolet rays, and they resurrected his ideas from the limbo to which they had been consigned in the 1930s. They found that when life processes in the tissue cultures remained normal, the ultraviolet glow, invisible to the human eye but detectable as oscillations on the tape, remained stable. As soon as the affected colony began to battle against its infection, the radiation intensified. Reports on this work in Moscow newspapers disclosed that, however fantastic it might seem, the ultraviolet radiation from the afflicted cells carried information encoded in the fluctuation in intensity which was somehow received by the second colony. Since the second colony seemed in each case to die in exactly the same way as the first, the Soviets realized that it was as dangerous for healthy cells to be exposed to the transmitted signal of dying cells as it was for them to be exposed to viruses, poisons, and lethal radiation. It appeared that the second colony upon receiving the alarm signal from the dying first colony began to mobilize for resistance and its very “restructuring for war” against a nonexistent enemy proved as fatal as if it had it had indeed been attacked. pg 189-199

—Inyushin had written up his research into the Kirlians' work in 1968 in a book-long scientific paper: The Biologlcal Essence of the Kirlian Effect. Though Kirlian himself had maintained that the strange energy in his pictures was caused by “changinng the nonelectrical properties of bodies into electrical properties which are transferred to film,” Inyushin and his collaborators went several steps further. They declared that the bioluminescence visible in Kirlian pictures was caused not by the electrical state of the organism but by a “biological plasma body” which seemed to be only a new word for the “etheric” or “astral” body of the ancients. pg 203 (Kirlian technique is used in the industry to scan vegetables if they are fresh or not.

— Viktor Adamenko and other Soviet scientists had been able to determine that the “bioplasma” not only undergoes a drastic shift when placed in a magnetic field but is concentrated at hundreds of points in the human body which seem to correspond to the ancient Chinese system of acupuncture 205

—If there is a change in the universe and environment, say the parapsychologists, a resonance is produced in the vital energy of the human body which in turn affects the physical body. It is through his bioplasmic body that parapsycholo- gists believe a man can be in direct contact with a living plant. pg 206

—The mystery of the link between human emotional or psycic states and emanations radiating from the fingertips is deepened by Moss,s finding that pictures done with Kirlian techniques of both her own and Kendall Johnson's fingers differ from day to day and hour to hour. Since the photos of leaves change with variations in parameters, Moss conjectures that “at whatever frequency we take a picture, we are resonating, or vibrating at the same frequency, with one particular aspect of the material; thus, not a whole picture, but different pieces of information are picked up.” pg 208

—Kirlian photos of faith healers reveal a smaller glow after healing, while those healed have greater emanations, indicating some sort of energy flow from the hands of the healer into the body of the patient, giving substance to Galvani's and Mesmer's theory of “animal magnetism.”

Pfeiffer had developed in his native Switzerland a “sensitivity crystallization method” to test finer dynamic forces and qualities in plants, animals, and humans than had thus far been detectable in laboratories. Dr. Steiner asked Pfeiffer to find a reagent which would reveal”etheric formative forces” in living matter. After months of tests with Glauber's salt, or sodium sulfate, and many other chemicals, Pfeiffer discovered that if a solution of copper chloride to which extracts of living matter had been added was allowed to evaporate slowly over, fourteen to seventeen hours it would produce a crystallization pattern determined not only by the nature but by the quality of the plant from which the extract was taken. Pfeiffer developed an even simpler and less time consuming method to demonstrate how life veritably pulsates from living soils, plants, and foods, but not from inorganic minerals, chemicals, and synthetic vitamins, which are dead. Requiring none of the complex equipment of the standard chemical laboratory, it uses circular filter-paper discs fifteen centimeters in diameter, provided with a small hole in the center for insertion of a wick. The discs are laid in open petri dishes in which stand small crucibles containing a 0,05 silver-nitrate solution. This solution climbs up through the wick and spreads over the discs until it has expanded about four centimeters from the center. From the brilliant-colored concentric patterns Pfeiffer has been able to disclose new secrets of life.

Pfeiffer laboratory has series of beautiful crystallizations, looking like exotic undersea corals. A strong, vigorous plant produces a beautiful, harmonious, and clearly formed crystal arrangement radiating through to the outer edge. The same crystallization made from a weak or sick plant results in an uneven picture showing thickening or 244

—Pfeiffer came to realize that it is only our human egotistical point of view that labels a weed a weed, and that if they were viewed as a functioning part of nature, weeds would have much to teach. Pfeiffer proved that a whole group of weeds, including sorrels, docks, and horsetails, are sure indicators that the soil is becoming too acidic. Dande- lions, which lawn owners so feverishly dig up; actually heal the soil by transporting minerals, especially calcium, upward from deep layers, even from underneath hardpan. The dandelion is thus warning the lawn owner that something is wrong with the life of his soil. Pfeiffer came to the conclusion that, when soil lacks lime, silicon-loving plants such as daisies move onto it. When they die, they bring to the soil the missing calcium. pg 264

—with Pfeiffer's chromatograms established scientific proof that certain plants beans and cucumbers, for instance grow better if planted in coniunction with each other, and other plants, such pg 263as beans and fennel, seem to fare badly together. related to companionplanting:

—The New Alchemists say: “To Restore the Lands, Protect the Seas, and Inform the Earth's Stewards.” This is what the planet's vegetal covering on terra firma has been doing since long before the advent of man to his stewardship. In that sense, plants are the oldest alchemists.

—Baranger: there's no way out; we have to submIit to the evidence: “plants know the old secret of the alchemists. Everyday under our very gaze they are transmuting elements.”Bold Text pg 279

—Tillandsia, or Spanish moss can grow on copper wires without any contact with the soil.

—Kervran (1901-1983) medical scientist and engineer: powerful energies are at work in the germination process of seeds which synthesize enzymes, probably by transmuting matter within them. His experiments have also convinced him that lunar forces are extremely important in germination, though botanists have long asserted that only warmth and water are required.

—Though not applied as abusively as in America, even the more limited European use of artificial fertilizers has led, says Kervran, to a mounting lack of resistance in plants to pests. The increase of infestation is no more than a consequence of biological imbalance. pg 286

—Simoneton found that the normal healthy person gives off a wavelengt radiance of about 6,500. Bovis and Simoneton's thesis: human beings should eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, and fresh fish that give off radiations higher than their own normal 6,500, if they wish to energize themselves and feel healthy.

—Myrna I. Lewis, taken by the Soviets on a visit to several sanitariums in the Black Sea city of Sochi to find aging Soviet citizens, afRicted with a variety of ills, both physical and mental, being treated not with drugs but with vibrations from flowers in greenhouses where they were led to smell specific blooms so many minutes a day. They were also being treated with music played in their rooms and the sound of the sea recorded on tapes. pg 308

—During his months in Wales, Bach felt his senses quickening, becoming more developed. Through a finely developed sense of touch he was able to feel the vibrations and power emitted by any plant he wished to test. Like Paracelsus, if he held a petal or bloom in the palm of his hand or placed it on his tongue he could feel in his body the effects of the properties within that plant. Some had a strengthening, vitalizing effect on his mind and body; others would give him pain, vomiting, fevers, rashes, and the like. His instinct told him that the best plants would be found blooming in the middl,e of the year, when the days are longest and the sun at the height of its power and strength. pg 309-310

—Though many of the flowers did not contain the healing properties he sought, Bach found the dew from each plant held a definite power of some kind, and deduced that the sun's radiation was essential to the process of extraction. As collecting sufficient dew from individual flowers could be laborious he decided to pick a few blooms from a chosen plant and place them in a glass bowl filled with water from a clear stream, leaving them standing in the field in the sunlight for several hours. To his delight he found that the water became impregnated with the vibrations and power of the plant and was very potent. To potentlize his water Bach would choose a summer day with no clouds to obscure the sun's light and heat. Taking three small plain glass bowls filled with fresh water, he set them in a field where the flowering plants were growing, then selected the most perfect blossoms and placed them on the surface of the water. To lift the blooms from the water without touching the fuid with his fingers he used two blades of grass. The water was then transferred by means of a small lipped phial to bottles. When half-full the rest of the bottle was filled with brandy designed to preserve the mixture. Before the next experiment Bach would destroy both bowls and phials. pg 310-311

—blindfolded ruddy-cheeked Scotsman, Alick McInnes, can put his hand over a ripe bloom and tell from the wavelength of its radiation just what plant it is and what its medical properties may be. In India, where he spent thirty years working for the British Raj, Mcinnes got his first introduction to the fact that plants not only give off radiations which are sensible to humans, but are themselves sensitive to the radiations given off by humans; this he discovered when he visited the Bose Institute near Calcutta. pg 312

—By the entrance to the Institute stands a luxuriant Mimosa pudica. Visitors are requested to pick a small frond from this compliant horticultural guinea pig and place it in one of Bose's complicated machines, which provides a schematic pattern of the vibrations of the plant on a sheet of paper. A visitor is then asked to place his wrist inside the machine and watch as a duplicate of the pattern is produced, demonstrating that mimosa is so sensitive it can pick up and faultlessly reflect individual human radiations. pg 312

—Mcinnes: Each flower species has a time when its radiations can best be transferred to water, usually, though not always, when the Howers are at the peak of their maturity, which is also usually near a full moon. Potencies, as Mcinnes calls the radiations which are transferred to water can be taken from the rose around midsummer, or June 21, and from the dandelion around the Easter full moon. When conditions are right, transfer of the radiations is instantaneous, the water can actually be seen to change, “an awe~inspiring experience never to be forgotten,”

— T. Galen Hieronymus suspected that the unknown energy emitted from metals might be somehow linked to sunlight; since it could be transmitted over wires, it might have an effect on the growth of plants. To find out, Hieronymus placed some aluminum-lined boxes in the pitch-dark cellar of his Kansas City house. Some boxes he grounded to a water pipe and connected by separate copper wires to metal plates on the outside of the house exposed to full sunlight. Other boxes were left unconnected. In all of them Hieronymus planted seed grain. In the connected boxes the seeds grew into sturdy green plants. The seeds in the unconnected boxes had no trace of green and were anemic and drooping. This brought Hieronymus to the revolutionary conclusion that whatever caused the development of chlorophyll in plants could not be sunlight itself but something associated with it, which, unlike light, was transmittable over wires. He had no idea at what frequency this energy might be located on the electromagnetic spectrum, or even if it was related to it. more on hieronymus:

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