Transcript (click to expand)
Greetings. Good morning. The first half today is a discussion and talk largely about soil. Exactly what soil is; it’s constitution. And also, I wish to refer and discuss to a certain amount, the magic of bees. And the second half, after the interval, we’ll be focusing upon the relationship of the arts of man to this morning’s first part. And I would like to suggest to you that all of these talks are part of a whole symphonic procedure, in a sense, that you will find that they are all balanced in working up towards a certain focal point and that all of these ‘inter-amalgamate’ and to please not to forget that at all times these talks are suggestions and not usual educative matter; and also, please to remember that a great deal of them are being given in a symbolic form. I’m also going to, with your permission, during the talks, during the procedure of the talks, I am going to relate several tales and stories from the ancient parts of the ‘story-ism’ of the world.
May I please introduce to you a matter that I very rarely do, a book. The Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck. I am positive that many of you do know it. But to those who don’t know it, it’s a philosophical magic. It’s almost a book of heaven. That there are endless excellent and wonderful books by scientists and famous bee keepers on how to keep bees, how to look after bees, what bees are and how they live. But Maeterlinck’s book is extraordinary. He indeed loved bees to a degree, and kept them, and he is astonishingly like [Dr. Rudolf] Steiner in this: that in keeping them, he studied them in every degree. He also read and studied with everybody and everything written concerning bees so that he became a total scientist; and also, of course, he was himself a huge visionary. You will find in this book The Life of the Bee, something about bees which takes you right out of this world; a philosophy. And makes you marvel whether perhaps humanity at large, even from a government point of view, had some great laws to learn from the procedure of bees. And if I may, I would like to talk for a few minutes upon this book and this subject, because it is so relevant at this stage.
You understand that bees live in a hive, and you will understand another extraordinary matter, that almost the entirety of the hive is female. Almost totally. That there are three magics concerning that which controls the bees’ life: pollen, nectar and formic acid. Formic acid is a stupid word which is said to be one of the contents of the sting of the bee. The procedure of the hive connected with the comb, the birth of the bees themselves and the whole procedure of their life, has been proceeding in exactly the same way for as long as bees have been known to be existant. It has not changed. There have been ecological differences in families of bees and there is this astute difference between the way of living of bumble bees and other types of bees of which there are many; many of them so small that they are invisible, But the bees that we’re talking about, the hive bee, and of course, it has a Greek and Latin name, which unfortunately I can’t give you (Apis mellifera).
But this one is unique in its methods and is quite different from the wasp. But that this procedure, the mathematics of this procedure, has not changed. That the mathematics of the comb are so intrinsic and so supremely balanced that some small number of years ago the world of science and mathematics combined together to try and find out if it were possible that a more supreme mathematics could find a balance to the manufacture of the best mathematics of the comb and after going through every form of computation made known to man, science and mathematics, they had to come to the conclusion that it was, and it is, perfection.
There are no forms of mathematics have been improved [upon], and that this system has been proceeding since the knowledge of the existence of the bees. That is an astonishing matter and one of the reasons that I relate it here now is that a lot of rather involved thinking people imagine that the system of what is known as organics, which sounds like a terrible disease, and of biodynamics, and such matters, are out of date, old fashioned, and not come within the realm of proper thinking. I’m not arguing the point, you understand. I’m stating two matters on a parallel, that there is the bee, who has lived in exactly the same way and that under no circumstances can man, or has man, been able to improve upon its laws of living.
I would point out the same time that the matters of the entire series of these lectures, as introduced by Dr. Cooley, are not a matter of past history or of present thinking but are an entire involvement of vision into a vision of living into the future. And this is a very important point.
One or two interesting points about the hive and the bee…that not only is it practically entirely female, that the comb which has an indented base, with mathematics connected with it, is not the same on the one side as the other side. And when the bee makes the comb by using pollen and making wax, and all the bees are apportioned in their proper involvement into these manufactures. They have wax makers, they have polishers, they have unloaders, they have fanners, aerators and they have nectar collectors. This is all balanced, and every one of them knows exactly what it’s doing, when to do it and how to do it. And when
they come to make the comb on the frame, because of the mathematics of the comb, that point, that is the center point of each little cell, and the comb builds around it with the sides, is not the same on the one side as the other. And they know exactly what to do, and do it. And they can’t see. And they have no measurements. That we know of.
When a tin plate was inserted by Maeterlinck, he placed on one side the design of the cell, and on the other, none. And they couldn’t find the imprints in the metal which they used in the wax, of the indentation. They built on the one side the cells where the markings were given them and they built them correctly. And on the other side, where they could not find the indentation, or could not see, or could not feel, they built the comb in exactly the right disproportion place as they would have done if the indent had been there.
The laws of the hive leave you aghast. A princess, born, can lay eggs that are fertile without her being mated. But every one of those eggs will be a drone, a male. When that princess has been on her nuptial flight and has been mated by the drone, she can decide whether she will lay a queen egg, a worker bee, which is a female egg, or a drone. And she will decide it according to the law of the procedure of the balance within the hive. And it is operated and has operated for thousands upon thousands of years in exactly the same way, without any change whatever. That the average worker bee being born, and the Queen lays two thousand eggs a day, approximately, and that the worker being born spends the first three weeks of its childhood, of its youth, of its growing up, doing numerous works within the hive. It doesn’t go out. It unloads, does the polishing and numerous other works, all of which are detailed and within the knowledge of each bee. And is performed, totally and adequately and always astonishing, and without fault. Three weeks after that, their time is spent upon the wing, bringing in the production of pollen and nectar. And an interesting note is that having made the wax cells, which are slightly at a downward angle to the center, so that the honey rests in there, they insert into the honey which is placed within those cells, they insert into that honey, a tiny drop of formic acid; the alcohol, if you like, which preserves the honey. It is then sealed and capped. And that honey will keep to perfection for many, many years and will not lose its delicious aroma or sensitive flavor. How beautiful and fantastic is the mathematics of that amount of nectar in that wet storage, which all comes from the plants, the pollen and the nectar, should be exactly the right size and the right method of sealing whereby that just amount of honey is kept in perfect condition. How monstrous and how lunatic are we, that we destroy the whole of this procedure, extract the honey and away goes all the aromas and flavors and we sell it in great jars and pots and boil it and cook it and all the other insanities; when this magic matter, which takes thousands of bees to produce an ounce or so of honey. It’s so fabulously important and valuable as it is, as a food.
That no queen or princess be ever allowed to be slain. But every drone at a certain period, which I will shortly relate to you, is wiped out at a given moment. But the queens and the princesses, no. But you understand that the hive is not pacifistic but it is anti ‘war-istic’ completely. And here is a huge law to observe. That a queen or a princess that has to be destroyed; and I will explain this a little later to you who don’t know; it’s not attacked. No bee in the hive has the right to attack a queen or a princess. They surround her in a ring and every queen and every princess has to be fed for the whole of their lives, by workers, whose job it is. And no queen or princess feeds themselves, ever. Nor do they clean up their matter. The bees do this. And when one has to be destroyed, they surround it in a circle and refuse to ever feed it and it knows exactly what the procedure is; and it dies.
The old queen, according to the cycles of the year and the day and the time and the moment, leaves the hive with the whole retinue of bees that intend to go with her, up to eleven pounds of bees sometimes, and they go out of the hive and they start the whole life anew. It’s just the same as colonization. She has gone because she has lain, in certain of the cells which are much larger and have to be specially made as she ordered them: princess eggs, and the princess has been born. And that princess does not fly with her wings, except at one given moment on one given day of her life. The rest of her life is to be spent in the hive, laying two thousand or more eggs a day. And after her nuptial flight, she will not remarry, and it is not necessary that she remarry. That marriage proceeds for eternity of her life. On a given day, all the drones of the vicinity, not the hive, and there are approximately three to eight hundred drones connected to every hive and that number is pretty static, are aware that the princess is going to fly. And there is a singing of bees and the noise the bees make of an enormous cry and symphony whereby the whole of the drones of the area are aware of what’s going to take place, a nuptial flight. And every drone from the area will join in this enormous athletic procedure. And this princess, as all princesses of the hive, flies faster than any other bee of the hive, except, of course, all queens and princesses. She comes out of the hive, she has never flown before, and she goes straight to heaven, up to the stars, in a direct line. And every drone is excited to the last degree and thinks he is God’s gift on earth. And he says, “She’s mine!” and off they go! And of course none of them are matched to this fantastic creature that’s tearing up to heaven at her own pace, looking back and saying, “Hah! Hmm, here they come.” And every time they start to catch up with her, she just, “Hmm. Come. Here, come on.” (Squerk) Up she goes! And all the drones put on speed and tear up after her and then in great batches they drop panting, simply can’t keep up with her. Finally, the whole of that exuberance of matter, believe it or not, this can finally end in one being the supreme master of the others. Whereupon this fabulous princess, tearing up to heaven, almost forgotten what she is about, looks down and says, “Ooh, (squerk). Oh, I see, it’s happened. Oh well, we better get on with it.” Whereupon she puts the brakes on, changes gear and the drone tears up to her and the nuptial flight is fulfilled. And the drone dies immediately and his corpse falls to earth. The first lesson to overpopulation. That princess goes back to the hive, she alights, everybody knows what’s happening, the whole of the rest of the bees, who remained in the hive, and everything that gets with it, are totally cognizant of what’s going on but they haven’t gone out to watch, they haven’t gone and got binoculars, and they haven’t put the television on. But they know very obviously. You read Maeterlinck and you will see all about it. They know exactly what’s going on. And they have been waiting for this fantastic event, and back comes the princess, and she is received, and the air is kept right, and she is fed and they wait…this enormous expectancy! Like the Prima Vera, the Equinox of birth. And after some days, no measures are taken whatever, the hive proceeds, very quietly, as though nothing actually had happened; but all the time there is an extreme hesitation, and all this excitement about everything and SUDDENLY the whole world tide changes. The princess goes into the first cell and lays the first egg. (Claps hands) It’s finished! Everything is made for the whole law of the hive. And immediately the bees kill every drone, wipe out every single drone, every other Princess cell that is filled, is destroyed, and any princess or queen in the hive, other than the nuptial flight one, is surrounded and must wait and gently, expires.
That law has not changed, nor has it deviated, nor have distant bees said what they thought about it or interrupted or changed its procedures. And at all times, these fantastic insects have accepted the joy of human beings to enjoy the storage of their delight of living; and the huge resultant of the technique of their procedure. And that man has entered the scene of the bees, has actually manufactured charming homes for them, and even made the foundation of the walls of wax to make their lives a little easier and simpler, that they may enjoin the pleasures of their honey, and the bees have responded, as the whole of the garden has responded, and that the whole of Nature does respond, when man lives in classical approach. And the bee has built the cells on that which man has given them. And they have agreed, that it is in balance with their law. And they share the honey and they do not object.
At the time of the nuptial flight, before the nuptial flight takes place, when the queen bee goes out to colonize with all the bees, this is the one day when she goes and settles near the hive and all the bees come and join her, that no bee will sting you. I have been stung. But normally they will not sting you. I actually took once a swarm that had flown to an oak bow and the queen had gone within the crevices of the oak and I never wore gloves nor veil or any such thing and I, unfortunately, carelessly, it was so high in that oak tree, that I was on the extremity of about an eight foot ladder. I swept the whole hive into a box, swarm, and without knowing it, I missed the queen. And they responded….
It is interesting that the formic acid, which is part of the sting, is used in the insertion of the honey, as a preservative. However, I’m not going to attempt to explain more about the bee because I do assure you that this fabulous book of Maeterlinck’s is a magic of magics. I have already bought about twenty six copies. And I had hoped to have one or two here, but this is a university, and they vanished. However, I’ve got some more on the way and next week I’ll have a few here. You do have to order the book.
In saying that the law of the bee has not changed, and that the mathematics of procedure has not changed, you see one has to face the matter that indeed, nothing, basically, has changed. I’m talking about Creation. Let us take up a very simple matter, let us talk about the tomato, one of the family of the solanum. Tomatoes have not been very long known in civilization. And of course, at first they were thought to be poison because the part of the family they come from. And of course, you realize, the more you come to look into nature, everything has a poison within it. But the tomato had been grown for a long time. And that in the early days, particularly in Europe and England, when it arrived, I remember my tutor telling me, very clearly, that they just couldn’t sell the things in the shops. And they didn’t charge for them, they just let people take them away to get rid of them. And that tomatoes do, as you know, grow most voluptuously. You get the most enormous crops of from twelve to fifteen pounds to a single plant if you grow them, just reasonably. A huge quantity of crops. And that they grow in very simple soils, and they grow beautifully in very simple soils. And so, in a sense, amongst it all, we can grow and should grow and do grow more tomatoes than we ever know what to do with. But, what is the answer at the moment? Tomatoes are at such an exorbitant price that the average person can’t afford them! If you go to one of these emporiums and try to buy a tomato on Monday, you’ll just find it so expensive you’ll have to think, “Let me see now. How much deficit am I?” And you won’t be able to afford it. And if you did, what’s the other answer? “It doesn’t taste like a tomato at all.” And it’s probably rather more harmful to you by the way it’s grown, than not. In other words, tomatoes are exactly the same price that they ever were than they when they began, which is nil. They’re free. And this is really what I’m largely what I’m alluding to in the matter; that these changes which we think are so all-important in our pursuing procedures of the aspect of civilization can sometimes be a little bit distortive and extremely mad! So it will mean the cost of the tomato and the supreme charm of the tomato is just as it always was, but today we haven’t got it at all.
Well. My principal subject today is soil. You may, and will probably think, that this talk, it was really a little bit beside the necessities of horticulture and agriculture. My view in dealing with the talks in this way is that if your foundations are totally true, and sound and secure, you don’t have to question further; and matters reveal themselves. So, in this talk with [about] soil I want to deal intrinsically and deeply with the whole subject. And I’m going to relate something of a story which will be extremely childlike. And you must forgive the matter. But it’s going to end up with exactly what soil is, how it’s made and how it has always held its value.
Entertain conjecture then, that there are mountains…there is a mountain. And there is another mountain. And away in the distance, over there, there are three smaller mountains. In a certain sense, without being too relative, these are like families. They’re astonishingly like a father and a mother and the children. And of course, as you know, mountains grow. There’s one in California here that’s been growing tremendously and has only existed, I think, just outside our lifetime. And it’s growing at a measured distance. The people say that they know, are so many feet per annum. And it’s quite a lot. And you also know that mountains suddenly spring up volcanically out of the sea, on islands. And that, of course, they grow up, and they grow down, and they spread. Now entertain conjecture then, that this great thing, this mountain, has, at the very top, what we think is nothing – a huge, enormous head of great, granite rocks. And its head is right up, beyond the clouds, right up in the sky when it must be totally observant of the stars and the huge atmospherics of winds, storms and gales. And then it comes down in a big collar to its shoulders that open out into great, massive lands of the mountainside that fall down eventually into a mantel of enormous forests; huge tree areas all over it that then become wider and more extensive. And think of that enormous body inside that formation; that huge area of enormous, inconceivable weight within, and what must be going on within. And that you come out of those forests and into scrub and shrub, and from there you come down into what you would begin to talk about soils where plants grow and flowers bloom. And it’s protected. And more gentle. Whilst right up at that head that is now out in the clouds in the sky, there are winds blowing briskly and inconceivable things where humanity can’t even live. And down here it’s so gentle and protected by this great thing that rules the whole area with its enormous family. And that out of that comes also, as it were, the limbs of the legs that go into the sea; the stretch over the beaches of the shores and down even into the edges of the sea and down huge gullies right under the ocean and spread out, underneath of everything. And that way up, on the top amongst the rocks is a tiny little exudence of water, a spring, which comes out and disappears. And as you proceed a little bit down this great head, suddenly it’s there again, and there’s a little more water this time, and, it’s vanished again. And then, there’s a slight gully in the side of this great neck that you come to, and again the waters come out and is beginning to actually trickle down and actually…makes a sound. It’s hearing something. And that trickle goes over the edge of a rock and falls! And there’s a spray. And now, there is quite a sound. And then it joins and goes down, and suddenly you are aware that in looking down, there is a tiny little flow of water taking place in a gully. And suddenly it’s much more the course for, another, across the way, and joins another one of these little tiny springs that has now joined it, and it has enlarged, and become an actual little, tiny rivulet that flickers and whistles and whispers. And it runs down over boulders. And eventually you come down, much lower down, into a pool where there’re some reeds and some little leaves floating about and now there is life! There are water spiders and lutes and things in it…living, moving. And flies; and later frogs. And this tiny, little rivulet then flows out of that pool into a stream which goes bubbling and gurgling down the mountainside and joins others. They are all now joining these little streams and rivulets and in the end it becomes a real stream of water which is running down the bank in which there is growth and ferns and things on the sides, drinking. And eventually it gets to a great RIVER and there are many of these, great rivers, coming from mother and father and the family and from other mothers and fathers and families. And they are all joining and there is a huge exuberance and a noise, and the mystery of the waters, that causes vibration and thundering and this great river tears down into the lower lands where it suddenly becomes an estuary flooding over the land. And eventually, in its excitement and its exuberance and its demands, it leaps and joins with its great parental ancestors of the sea. And the sea, it runs out into a turbulence with waves, flowing against, and then flowing with, and then flowing against, and then with. And out into the OCEAN. And indeed, it carries with it all its waters and its influences and it’s then influenced by the ocean. And all the time there is a flow and a fluctuation, a PULSATION, a coming and a going of the great flow of the oceans of IN and OUT, and IN and OUT and these waters are flowing down and then they are pushed back and they flow out again. And then they are pushed back and there is this HUGE pulsation, all the time. AND…and…oh…Look how extraordinary, how very like…and how very like us that is. When you think of this astonishing thing, when you think of a little tiny…vein, and then a number of veins, and they run into an artery. And those arteries all join up in the great rhythms of the body, and then there is the heart, and the breathing, and the lungs. And it’s all pulsation, in and out, and this flow all the time, of movement; of pushing and pulling.…not exactly akin; the fact of everything of animals and insects and trees and bees and WATER, and EARTH, and mountains.
Now in the fall comes the turbulence of the autumnal equinox, equal day and equal night. The whole of this subject, we are going to deal with next Saturday in the cycles and indeed they are so interwoven, it’s impossible to talk about them separately. But as one of these things goes round and round (the clock); it limits us to time. It must be next week.
But when the turbulence of the autumnal equinox comes, because of the equal day and equal night, and is the dying Prima Vera, the gales of the world blow in every direction. The storms, the gigantic rains, come, and the whole of the deck of the mountain, and the sleeping of the mountain, and the forest, and the bush, and the animals, and the insects, is wiped out and destroyed by this huge, monstrous procedure. And all the dead boughs, and the dead leaves and the dead bones, and the dead bodies are swept and cleaned out. And then the gigantic rains with these streams and these rivers and this great pulsation are the waters and the winds and the air and the clouds, they are gathered and taken from areas and placed in areas which are more controlled, where those gigantic upheavals, become less and less until they are protected into what you might call, way down there on the bottom, in the valley…an oasis; a protected area that is pretty level and that is sheltered by all the trees and the growth and is on the bottom; and is always…moist and undestroyed by gigantic winds. And therefore, that when all this rubbish is flying in the air, the leaves and the sticks and the water carrying it – when it gets to this area, because it’s sheltered and protected, it settles, in a great bed of sticks and leaves and a huge, gigantic mass is dropped there. All of this happens. And then comes slightly more gentle weather of the cycle of winds and rain, and all the great granules that have been frozen by freezing on the face and head of this enormous mountain up in the skies, has been loosened. And when this has been loosened, it becomes dry and then a wind comes and roars over its head and this dust falls off and comes down the mantel through the forests, and again is blown out into the air. And because it’s sheltered, it begins to fall, rather than to proceed, a pulsation, a relaxation after the tension. And so the whole of that huge thing of sticks and leaves is now covered by granules. All the granules of the great rocks and the dust and the powders and the parts and the calciums; and they settle upon this and then come gentle rains and rivulets come down through the great mantels and they carry with them what is called sediment. And they also, in their exuberance of getting down to the ocean and to the levels when they come to this protected area, no longer wish to flow, but open their arms and just collapse. And fall upon the whole of this bed, another strata. And when that has been going on numerous times, with the cycles of RELAXATION! and TENSION! and relaxation and tension, Until gradually, a huge collection of stratas. And then has taken place, the blooming of the summer and all the seed pods of the fall and the autumn have BURST! and with their numerous matters of catapults and explosions, and…parachutes.
All these seeds have been up in the air floating in great wafts of air and wind and travelling for miles and miles; even across continents and oceans. But when they come over these oases, there is a gentleness, a relaxation. And because it is harsh, it is moist and gentle, and so there is no reason to travel further, they relax and they all settle down on this bed. And then comes more gentle winds and that comes again off the head and brings pine powder in the air. And then when it rains from the great clouds, which are now low, the huge cumulus, the rain is gentle, and in coming down through the air connects all those little dusts that have come off the great heads of those great mountains, and falls upon this bed that has now got seeds, laid out upon it, and gently covers them with a quilt. And there it sits, throughout a huge dormancy where the atmosphere and the world says, “Sleep and Death” and “Sleep and Death”. And then comes the inclination of the Sun and the inclinations of the Moon; (all of which we should be dealing with next week) AND THEN COMES THE EXUBERANCE…of birth. The huge one period of total birth throughout the atmosphere of the world. And all of these little seeds are drawn by the magnetism of the Moon and informed of the time according to their numerous characters, and which moon it is in ascension (loud clap). It’s time to live! Time to exuberate! Listen to the birds singing! Look at the insects! Watch the animals! See the buds bursting! And these seeds with the magnetism of the Moon drawing every night more and more and the exuberance growing, besieged because of the moistures now enter with the Spring rains, (clap) bursting and begin life. And because it is sheltered and moist and they are on a delicious bed…they grow. And grow profusely. Whereas their brothers and sisters, who fell upon the nicks and the mantles, where there was not this crafted beautiful carpets, these stratifications, do come to life, but have no reason to proceed; like the drones after the princess has returned; and expire. But in this oases they do grow prolifically. For they have everything there for them that the law of Creation has arranged for their happiness of living. And therefore they spring up, and as the moistures come, these little groups of these plants and the breathing of the leaves and the roots are exuberant with these lovely gasses that have taken place, [gases] of the de-composition of the deaths of last year, of the last cycle. And out of that death comes life. And so the cycle proceeds…from life into death into life into death into life into death into life. And so this growth becomes lush and beautiful and green and breathes and smells, and so…little rabbits, who live up in the mountain in the logs, just below the belt of the trees…one day they’re sitting on the rocks, sunning themselves, trying to get warm after it’s been a very cold night; and, one of them, having scratched, happens to look down, “Oliver (tap, tap) do you see? I haven’t seen that before, did you? No, Marietta, I didn’t. Well, let’s go dance!” So down they go and they find it’s true and of course they know all about it, just like the bees in the hives know all about these things. And when they get to the perimeter of this beautiful lushness they just then stop and start to nibble. And they nibble, nibble, nibble. And they have the most delicious lunch and the most delicious dinner, and they eat so much that they invariably have to stop and do their duty. And what an astonishing thing, that that’s exactly what the oasis has just been waiting for! In fact it’s part of the whole procedure of cyclic law! That that lushness was an inducement to other things partaking in those inducements of the laws. And so the rabbits drop their manure. And that manure is more to those plants than the exuberance of the growth or even the beautiful bed that they were on. And this was something that they were needing and wanting from the exuberance of the rabbits. And so the rabbits in eating the foliage have now given something to the oasis that it never had and it vastly wanted! And that this issue is a huge sharing. And, of course, a bird migrating, flying overhead, suddenly sees a huge blossoming with seeds. And it immediately turns around and it flies down and alights, and starts to sing and eat the seeds. And the moment it starts to eat the seed, and to sing, all the other birds are aware of it, and hear it, and they come and join in flocks, and eat and sing. And whilst they eat, they have to stop and do their duty. And they also do something that the oasis does require. They do a certain amount of manure; they also eat all the seeds, which they love, and these then go into a big machine which grinds off, making compost. And having alighted in another area, perhaps not an already growing oasis, but over an oasis, they again deposit their compost. And in that compost are all those seeds and another oasis begins. Meantime, because the birds are coming down, eating seeds, a hive of bees up in the woods. One of them says, “Otto, something’s going on down there, I can hear it. Do you hear all that singing? Well, there’s something there, I mean there can’t be all that singing if they’re not getting some good seed; there must be some plants. Well, let’s go up and take a sight with the Sun.” So up she goes, and she takes the sights of the Sun. She says, “Now, the singing’s down there somewhere. So that’s the line of angle! Down we go.” So down they go, and of course, to find the flowers and they get loaded with pollen and nectar and then they fly up and take a Sun flight and they know exactly where to go back to the hive, whereupon the moment that they arrive, they make a terrific song and dance about the matter, and all the bees inside get terribly excited. “Really? What’s on? What? Down there? What’s the angle, my dear? Oh, North – 50 – East. I see. North – 50 East, did you say? It’s North – 50-East, North -50-East, North -50-East. Alright, North -50-East.”
And away they all go to North-50-East and they have in balance.
And so they inter-pollinate all the flowers which are then capable of producing more seeds; just like the Queen, after her nuptial flight. And so eventually the whole of this thing grows, enormously, with all the different manurings and procedures that even bees, that have lots of manures and they’re always cleaning the hive regularly, every hour. For there’s no dirt in a bee hive, whatever. It’s kept scrupulously clean. Everything that the Queen does is cleaned up immediately. And even the filthy old drones, that don’t do a thing, they don’t do any cleaning up but they merely, just eat the honey and then do their refuse in the hive, and the other workers all have to clean it up. And they do.
And so, eventually, the brambles and raspberries and wild strawberries grow. And down comes Mr. And Mrs. Bruin, and they eat the berries. And so it goes on. And then the deer come and they make multitudes of additions to the oasis. And finally, Old Jim and Moriah, who live in the cave up there. Moriah said, “Well, I don’t know, we don’t seem to have got on very well. I’m awfully tired with acorns.” So Jim says “Well, don’t worry dear, because the other day I was looking over the edge and I saw, down there, there’s a whole lot of stuff growing. It’s a long way away; but I’ll go and get some.” So down he goes and he finds the oasis as he had guessed and he had seen all the animals going there, so he knew there was something up, which hadn’t been there for very long. And of course, he finds all this beautiful vegetation and he knows what roots are good – the helenium and all those kinds of things, and of course, he collects them and goes back. And then Moriah says,
Well, I’m tired of roots. Aren’t there any berries? I want some nice fruit! “Oh yes. There are lots of berries. I’ll go and get some.” So he goes down with a little skin and of course, when he gets there, there’s Mr. Bruin, seething mad. And Bruin says, “No” to Mr. Jim. “These are mine.” And there’s a big argument. And of course it ends up, at that stage, that Jim goes back to Moriah and says, “Well, ah, sorry. Not today.” And then he’s a bit cross because Moriah looks at him, as if to say, “Hmm, darn”. And so he calls out to John and Phillip, who are sitting on a rock, in the Sun, with a skin over them. And he says, “Now look, it is, at your age, it’s ridiculous. Here am I doing all the work. I have to go down to this fertile oasis, and here I am doing all this work and it’s ridiculous. And here your mother wanted fruit and I can’t get it. And here you are, sitting on a rock, doing nothing, and it’s just not sense. Now you try and do some work or there’ll be trouble, do you understand?” “Steady, father, you know you’re terribly old fashioned. You’re really out of date.” The father gets very cross and (he snaps) “See this stick? If you don’t come there’ll be trouble!” And they say, “Well, Father, you come and have a look.” And they go along a path which is level with the cave, quite a long way, to where that stream is running down. And suddenly the father stops, he just can’t believe it. There’s a huge kind of barrage of thorn and prickly pear, and inside, is the most fantastic oasis that’s been made next to a big pool. And that’s what these two have been up to. They’ve been watching Father going down there, and decided – he was really rather stupid – and certainly old fashioned and out of date. When he went all these miles to this place, when he could have done exactly the same thing by studying the methods that it has produced and doing it close at hand! Therefore, they suddenly find the whole of this beautiful little place is full of the most fantastic raspberries and strawberries and roots and leaves. And it’s all protected; it’s really theirs. There’s no intrusion! And they go back to Moriah, with a lovely, great lotus leaf full of strawberries. And she’s delighted, and the Father thinks, “Well, really, I’m really rather good I’ve got such clever children.”
Well, you see this is a very stupid, simple little story but what it brings about is thought. Now, long after that and long before it, came such matters as that oasis was growing beautifully when some butterflies, migrating, were passing nearby and the place was simply full of flowers. And it was a bit too much for them. They alighted, and because they were really rather late in their journey, they missed the 5:15 on Saturday and had to catch the 2:30 on Monday. And as a result of this, they hadn’t been able to deposit their eggs in the right place. And as soon as they land, to feed on these flowers, all the females, who are migrating, had to lay their eggs. (Unintelligible) Well, they had jolly good feed and it was just what they needed to go on their journey south, down to Mexico. But meantime, all the leaves of the plants, had thousands of eggs laid underneath them. And of course, these were laid very carefully underneath them, amongst the hairs, and on certain plants where the birds and the insects didn’t like to touch. All these things came to light. And in a very short time, half the oasis was wiped out with an enormous inrush of feeding caterpillars. And they were so well under way and enjoying themselves they thought, “Heh, heh, we’ve got the whole of this place to ourselves. Wonderful!” And was just having a whale of a time when a huge flock of birds, who were also migrating, happened to be passing and weren’t intending to stop because they too had missed the 5:30 and were in a great hurry. But nevertheless, seeing all this going on, they said, “Gracious! We’ve got to stop here for one night. What’s the expense of this motel?” And down they went. And of course they ate up all the caterpillars, as a result they did a fantastic calcium manuring and they were having a whale of a time when in swept a huge fire. And wiped it out. Wiped out the whole oasis. And the whole place was covered with carbon and wood ashes which made another strata altogether. And then after a long time, nothing very much happened after that. There was a huge spell of nothingness. And then, grasses and plants started to grow again; all of different categories to before. Because different carbon soils and deposits had taken place. And the previous plants, hmm, just didn’t want, didn’t choose to live there. It wasn’t right at all. But all these new seeds and plants started. And a new life started. And this was a plant, and a form of life that enormous quantities of little snails were very fond of, and they found that by entering the scene with their families that they were able to breed and overpopulate and have the most fantastic time, living there all by themselves. And they very shortly covered the whole place with their homes; simply over-covered the whole thing with shells until they’d eaten the whole place out and there was nothing left to eat. Whereupon, they just all sat down and expired. And now came about a huge area of chalk, of calcium, of the shells.
And so, hundreds of years after hundreds of years of cycles of inclination and declinations of the Sun with the Moon and the influence of the stars, and the whole domineering of the great mountain, and all its procedures of breathing and relaxations and tensions, gradually this oasis was again born; and again soils came. And eventually there were many, many deep beds of beautiful stratas in which plants and shrubs and trees found delight. And a huge balance of the laws they required with life. And indeed, the part that is astonishing, because the plants, which being somewhat annual or bi-annual, or tri-annual, or even perennial, needed all those beautiful circumstances for their life. But further down, as it became amalgamated and pressed by the rotation of the cycles of the earth, firmer and firmer and firmer and stronger and more knowledgeable soil went down. So the bushes and the trees, with their older and more established roots, found exactly what they wanted down in all those depths of animals and snails and butterflies and maggots and deposits of calciums and dead mountains and until finally the great roots of the great trees stood up in the most dictatorial manner and said, “You see, we are professors.” And so, this is soil. It is life, into death, into life, with the ever-changing cycles, in which there is not one second that is ever static. Not…ever…static.
This makes you think about education. You understand then, that these soils are stratifications of death into life and into death, into life. And that they are all varied. They change. And that with the changing of those soils are the changing of growths, of trees and plants and of breathing; and because of that, pulsation of air. And because of air, of clouds. And here enters the whole scene of the perpetual change of ecology. Where are the dinosaurs. Where are pterodactyls? How much I’d love to see one. But we have the change of ecology. We have elephants and we have tigers. But all the saber-toothed tigers vanished suddenly.
Now, none of those elements can be extracted and individually taken and dealt with as an isolated matter. Because the moment that that takes place, in sets a balance to remove the opposition to the law of nature; that brings about balance from unbalance, biodynamics.
It has recently been found, a very astonishing matter, that cattle, that is, milk cows, if you like, and pasture. Everybody kind of thinks, “Oh well, cows live in a field and they eat grass and when you pump a tail it gives milk.” And that’s reasonably true. On the contrary, it’s just been recently found that the nonsense about pastures having to have weed killer…and please note anything that you see in a shop that says weed killer should read ‘plant killer’. That’s the truth of the matter. Or rather, plant destroyer; and certainly, the soil destroyer. But, that it has been found and of course, you must understand that I am in all of these matters talking, also totally scientifically, that cows prefer a very great mixture of herbs; plants, weeds, in the grass. And when enormous tests were done recently, and very recently, and more than one; it was a great many, it was discovered that cows, both by choice, that is the excitement of eating, and the giving of milk, and the health of their bodies, was vastly improved in all of those directions when the turf, or the pasture, or the grass was sown and planted with vast quantities of variations of numerous herbs or weeds. And in many cases, having been given this change, they did not want ever to go back to eating grass. And when left in a grass field alone, they didn’t eat at all. They wanted that which they preferred. Now, that’s a note that isn’t particularly isolated in its vision. I’m not simply saying there’s an argument now as to whether you should plant fields of versus fields of weeds. It’s not the argument at all. The argument of the matter or the point of the matter is that we cannot isolate matters to matters, as we think we can. Our vision is that we are part of the granule of the head of the mountain. We don’t know what’s in the ocean. And we can’t conceive it…without vision. And this is the whole reason for last week’s talk that everything must come back to a childlike, humble approach. That is an absolutely indefatigable, classic approach, classic posture. And then, one is in line to receive the cornucopia of creation.
Archive ID: CA1003
Title: Biodynamics of Horticulture, Lecture 2: Soil, Bees
Date: 27 Jan 1972
Location: University of California, Santa Cruz