Since it’s a vast subject, and don’t let us go bounding over the fences and hedges and think we’re going to discover it all. Let us talk about what is health of plants, for which purpose we must go back to the beginning of the issue where it concerns it. The huge secret. And it is a secret. You can’t escape it. A huge mystery: of what is seed. This birth into the visible world from the invisible. To a degree I have talked with you about seed; to what degree you are highly knowledgeable about seed—it is endless, isn’t it?
Therefore, I must first remind you, if I may, of the capacities of seeds. You can burn them, and they’re still fertile. You can boil them, you can freeze them degrees below zeroes that people can’t even think in their minds about, and they’re still perfectly fertile. It often brings about the fertility, it cracks it. In fact in many cases, there is a ratio on seeds of how many days you should freeze, and then how many days you should apply a certain heat to bring about a quick—quote ‘fertility’. Some of that is very erroneous, and it’s highly experimentative.
Now seed, when she’s born on the plant, is connected with a membrane, and that as the seed fulfills its physical formation, those wires, and those very soft wooly membranes, like a bird’s nest, all change from the softest to the hardest. Therefore by this means, a plant, such as a scarlet runner bean, which takes no frost at all—the whole plant will go black with one degree of frost— stalk, flowers, leaves, the lot, except that one bract from which the beans hang, all the way up, they hang. Those bracts of beans will turn slowly from a beautiful lush edible bean, into a canvas with shellacs with steel casings. And they can hang there the whole of the winter through, but if it goes below zero, not one touch of the four elements can interfere with those seeds inside. Can’t get in.
You can actually make raspberry jam, with raspberries, you may throw that on the ground, and in cases there has been germination.
The whole story about the most beautiful cooking apple in the world, Brambley’s seedling, there was a farmer called Bramley, and his wife made him an apple tart on his birthday, because that’s what he always liked. She threw the remnants of the tart on the compost heap. And up came a bunch of apple trees, and amongst them, one, that left the others, like the Eiffel Tower, sitting. They were so struck by this performance, that they marked it and kept them, and carefully propagated them. And out of it came an apple this size. The one, of course, out of the one.
And so you see this capacitous-ness of seed. Now when that seed is born you must think of it as an egg. You see in an egg is the chick, surrounded by the embryo, and that is surrounded by skins, and then there is what is called the ‘white’, which is a larder. Then at one end there is a skin running across which leaves an air pocket, and that air already is not the equivalent of the outside air—it’s a conservatoire. Now, from the moment that that revolutionibus starts propagation of the embryo, the white is absolved by the embryo, and as the white is absolved, the skin falls in and the air from the outside comes through the shell. It’s entering that way through the area of discontinuity, and so, it is being eaten up at a certain ratio. And this is indeed exactly with seed, that they have within them these casings, endless coverings, but that they all have around what they call the cotyledons or those formations, the same thing as an egg white. They could be oil matters,
protein matters, some of them eat it up instantly in the fall. Some of them keep it for years. I was participant in the raising of the lotus seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamen. Over three thousand years. The plants did propagate, but of course they were so weak, they didn’t exist, it didn’t continue.
Now, you must think very clearly about this matter, about this seed. For you must see that Goethe’s statement is very remarkable: “The seed is the utmost idée, and the least metamorphosis.” It has in a sense then—to wickedly try to translate that further—it has the utmost of the invisible world, and the least of the visible. To be able to sit on this Earth. Whereas the plant growing, pursuing at all times, whether a plant, a creeper, a shrub, or a tree, becomes the least idée—but the same idée—and the utmost metamorphosis. Which is endless. It appears in the physical world and can flow into that ad infinitum, until the whole world almost is absolved, in one seed. Do you follow?
Now when you grasp that you will realize that a seed produces a plant with the revolutionibus at a certain moment: the Moon, in position of the planet, each night getting preparation, in inclination says: clap, clap, clap, wake up, wake up. The next night more: I said: wake up. Half Moon: wake up! Next night: bang, bang, BANG! Wake! Pop. The Moon, with the moisture, has split apart the waters that have opened up the canvasses and shellacs of the seizure of that seed. The seed itself has not done it. And now the two ways up and down are released together. And so you have that and that (root and shoot growth).
Now perceive that there is an area of discontinuity here, what you might call the negative soil, and the positive air. There is a throat matter to the plant now, and that this one is going down, hunting the warm moist gasses; that one is going up, hunting for warm moist gasses. But there is a connection in the middle. And there is the whole beauty of what we live in, the atmosphere of the world; so is the skin of the Earth the area of discontinuity of the plant, in its two areas. Now perceive you, that what is in the seed—we were talking about the embryo, utmost idée, and you begin now to inwardly perceive without verbosity the meaning of this idée—that is voluptuous apparently, and cannot be put into the scales of quantity and quality. It is unique in that. It is beyond quality or quantity. And that the amount of root that goes down, and the amount of top that goes up, has no inference, it is all led by that idée.
Therefore comprehend this. A lie that Darwin said, is that the crown présentement is the mind of the plant. And of course he had to say that because he was only seeking in the mind. Now, here is the whole matter which brings it to the clarity of your perception. So long as in those soils there are the requirements of that plant, and so long as in the airs above there are the requirements to be sought of that plant, the joy, the linkage and the friendship of that ego will remain together. In other words, let’s call that matter which was in the seed, let us call it the ‘protein’, because it is quite a good word. Now so long as that remains linked together—understand that it’s expanding, the plant is growing, and therefore this growth of this ego which is obviously expanding—so long as the fortifications, the health, the fertility of the soil and the atmosphere both are capable to fulfill its necessities, its desires, it will respond in this in remaining amicable, beneficent and will keep in touch with each other. That protein will not be divested. If there is, however, a want, a shortage of that health virility—and again we are talking about the proteins now, that are in the plant, in the soil, and in the atmosphere—so you have got it in the soil as well as in the plant, and if they are not there, what does happen? A little microbe of that protein runs out into a leaf and misses touch with its connection, with the rest of the protein. The moment that happens, the four elements become animos, unfriendly, reverse—call it any word you like, it doesn’t matter—and you have disease, illness at once. Before that the four elements must obey, and are beneficent. Now they are malefic, as you would term it, and here enters the whole scene of health and disease.
See you therefore that it is not a question of the prolific-ality of your seed, of your plant, of your adjustability to an area. It is in all of it combined, the attitude of fertility, that there must be this beatific interplay and that it can’t be let hold of. Are you able to follow this?
Now, there is a further matter connected with that, that the beatific flow also becomes a spreading beatific. In other words, it’s catching. We mentioned in a degree how an opening carnation made the others open, and a dying carnation made the others die. Do you see the purport there? When that protein has separated, and you have lost contact, you have a vital force let loose. Dangerously. And that that malefic not only becomes the word ‘disease’, but it is a spreadable disease. It is a catching one.
Now then do you understand the attitude of the biodynamic and the French intensive? It studies the behavior of man’s destiny of being conductor of the orchestra, and seeing that the control of fertility is correct. And it is terribly easy. For all of the life given to us for it, all of life supplied for it, operates it perfectly. It is a matter of conductorship. Have I explained that to some degree of graspability? You see it’s very difficult because we’ve really gone out of language.