In a recent on-line discussion on the evils vs the science of GMOs, one of the participants brought up something I had never heard of called “Biodynamic Agriculture.” Being the inquisitive person that I am, I started doing some research. Right away, I found a page describing this amazing approach to agriculture and found its origins.
In the early 1920s, a group of practicing farmers, concerned with the decline in the health of soils, plants and animals, sought the advice of Rudolf Steiner, founder of anthroposophy, who had spent all his life researching and investigating the subtle forces within nature. From a series of lectures and conversations held at Koberwitz, Germany, in June 1924, there emerged the fundamental principles of biodynamic farming and gardening, a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the farm-organism to that of the entire cosmos.
This takes us immediately to “anthroposophy“, another new term for me.
Anthroposophy is a modern spiritual path that cherishes and respects the freedom of each individual. It recognises however, that real freedom is actually an inner capacity that can only be obtained by degrees according to the spiritual development of the individual. The striving for this capacity, and the corresponding spiritual development, can be greatly assisted through a scientific study of the spiritual nature of humanity and the universe.
Who, we may ask was Rudolf Steiner?
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of biodynamics, was a
highly trained scientist and respected philosopher. Long before many of his contemporaries, Steiner came to the conclusion that western civilization would increasingly bring destruction to itself and the earth if it did not begin to incorporate an objective understanding of the spiritual world and its interrelationship with the physical world. Steiner’s spiritual scientific methods and insights have given birth to practical holistic innovations in many fields including education, banking, medicine, psychology, the arts and, not least, agriculture.
Steiner perhaps best known as the founder of the Waldorf School System, was more of a philosopher and a spiritualist and much less of (actually not at all) a scientist or a farmer.
From its description, Biodynamics incorporates “New Age” mysticism into organic farming: reiki for the earth. While scanning the Biodynamic site, I came across a related topic—Phenomenology—also developed by Steiner. He was a creative guy.
Phenomenology assumes both a physical and a spiritual world, supposedly based upon Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s. Certainly it seems little knowledge has been added since Goethe’s death in 1819, despite the fact that Steiner wasn’t born until 1861.
The objectives of phenomenology are:
- to examine the spiritual activity behind visible appearances by examining visible phenomena;
- to develop personal, individual and specific actions that do justice to an object and suit its development.
It would take years to properly debunk everything in these beliefs. In phenomenology, there are 12 senses: touch, life, movement, touch, smell, balance, sight, temperature, hearing, speech, thought, and ego. Four elements: earth, water, air, and warmth. Four ethers: warmth ether, light ether, chemical or tone ether and life ether. These ethers…
arise from the environment and their effect runs counter to that of the earth’s gravitation. They work from the cosmos, and attract earthly matter. An example of such an ether working from the cosmos is light. You can observe the force of light when a seed germinates into a plant, which starts to grow and elongate upwards, breaks through the asphalt surface and grows towards the light. The plant grows away from the earth and towards the light, that is, towards the cosmos. Light gives the plant power to overcome gravity. The etheric force overcomes the weight of material substance.
For some esoteric reason, the number 3 is important in phenomenology. There is a “threefoldness” of man; mouse, of lion, and cow; horse, pig, and cow; of odd-toed ungulates; of suina (pigs, peccaries, and hippopotamus) and of dog and cat. There is also a section on embryology that, while based upon some facts, also makes some major generalizations that allows the insertion of their spirituality. For example:
In anthroposophy the inner life of animals is linked to the inner space of the body cavity. The cavity is the basis for the astral body, the non-physical body in which the soul capacities observing and thinking, feeling and willing and doing take place. Plants do not have a soul nor body cavities. Plants and animals both have an ether- or vital body. Plants can grow freely, animals cannot, because they are orientated on their centre.
Biodynamic agriculture is a sub-set of the organic movement, in that it promotes composting, and eschews synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. However, it goes the extra step of imbuing a life force within all plants and animals that, for the best results, must lie in harmony with the earth and the cosmos. In addition, much of the practice of biodynamic agriculture relies upon astrological timing for planting, harvest, and even ingesting the crops.
Apparently, there is a reason why wine tastes differently on different days.
Fruit days (red) are BEST for bringing out the taste of the wine
Flower days (yellow) are neutral in terms of taste
Leaf days (green) will not do the wine any favours
Root days (brown) will have a negative effect on the wine flavour
Not only does biodynamic agriculture ensure that the universe is in harmony, the crops are much healthier for us. The added ‘vitality’ in them, improves our own vitality.
There is so much more. Too much more. Evolution, evil, consciousness, the list goes on, and on, and on, and it’s all wrong. So wrong it isn’t even wrong; but of course, these are all concepts that modern science has not yet caught up to.