Genetic Engineering in the light of Biodynamic Concepts.
This essay was written in response to one published in the BDAA newsletter by Terry Foreman. In that article Terry asserts "GE will cut plants off from the cosmic forces" The BDAA has not acknowledged my offer for this article to be published in their newsletter. Part of this discussion is "what are the cosmic forces we are talking about". I have extended them from Terrys two fold second lecture view to take into account the Cosmic forces of the lecture 8 context.
As a preface to this article I wish to clearly state I am putting this picture forward more as an artist than a scientist. It is picture of what could be rather than any statement of fact as to what is. If you can sharpen some of the details of this `process' please do.
Genetic engineering presents us with an interesting dilemma. While the principles of GE appear relatively straightforward and akin to hybridisation there are an endless array of changes to plants that can be achieved, so making blanket statements about the effect of GE has on plants in relation to the Earthly and Cosmic streams is very problematic. Materially we can see the introduction of a new gene into the DNA of a cell as a rearrangement of the "Earthly Substance" however I believe this generalisation is not strictly true.
We are presented through the Agriculture course with a picture which on first viewing appears to be a simple polaric interplay between Cosmic Forces and material substance or Earthly Matter. However on closer inspection and most notably in the eighth lecture it can be seen that this simple polarity is actually a more complex interplay of four `players'. We are not just confronted with Cosmic Forces (Cos Si) and Earthly Matter (Ter Ca) but also Cosmic Matter (Ter Si) and Earthly Forces (Cos Ca). Once this connection is made then the whole of the course and Biodynamic concepts in general can (and needs to) be reinterpreted in the light of this four fold activity. In lecture 8 we are shown how the Cosmic Forces and Earthly Matter join together in the development and maintenance of the nerve sense system of physical forms while the Earthly Forces and Cosmic Matter join together in the activity of the metabolic regions of physical forms.
RS has challenged us to find the Cosmic and Earthly processes in plant growth and that through this experience we will be able to influence plant growth to the point of developing new species. In investigating this question I have come to see these four processes are active in every stage of plant growth, in much the same way that we can discuss the functioning of the ethers in various stages of growth. I have no doubt that the ethers and the four streams of Cosmic and Earthly activity are intimately linked (as outlined in other posts) however I feel more comfortable working with these terms than the ethers.
So in recent times I have sought to identify how these four activities are present in each stage of plant growth. That is, it must be possible to see them all active in the formation of the root or the trunk, or the leaf, flower or fruit. This suggests the variety of plant forms we find on Earth is due to a myriad of different relationships between these four activities at various places on Earth and stages of growth.
To simplify things and to broaden the field of reference I have made the assumption that these four activities present in physical forms are an end result of the four `spiritual' bodies activity which stand behind matter. Therefore we can see that Cosmic Forces (Cos Si) are a result of the Ego /spirit, that the Earthly Matter ( Ter. Ca) is a result of physical activities, the Earthly Forces (Cos Ca) is related to Etheric processes while the Cosmic Matter ( Ter Si) are akin to the Astral bodies activity.
My thesis states each of these processes are active in each of the parts of a plant. While this investigation is not yet complete there are a few principles that have arisen to shed a little light on this question of GE. I have come to see creation functions in a holographic manner. This means there are a series of principles which work to arrange matter in exactly the same way no matter how small a piece of the whole you separate off. The grain of salt example is a good image to start with. Another I have pointed out is the gyroscopic formations present in Galaxies, Solar systems , planets, life forms and atoms. The same can be said for a plant, this gyroscopic formation is present and displayed through the manifestation of the vertical plane of the stem and the horizontal plane of the leaf. This two fold vertical and horizontal picture is actually maintained by a polarity relationship on each axis. The vertical is maintained through an interaction of two forces, in the case of our example and discussion this is the Cosmic Forces ( Ego/Cos Si) interacting with the Earthly Matter ( Physical /Ter Ca), while the horizontal axis is maintained through the interaction of the Cosmic Matter (Astral / Ter Si) and Earthly Forces (Etheric /Cos Ca). When we come to a more intimate investigation of the plant according to this principle it should be possible to find these four processes active in all aspects of plant growth, from the fruit formation right down to the cell.
We can establish the basis of these four activities imprint through how the spiritual body manifests in plant growth. As general principles it can be stated that the Ego, active in the Cosmic Forces, carries the spiritual archetype of the plant. This force is concerned with the carrying on of the `will' of the plant, to remain as it has always been and to carry on this impulse into the future in the new seed. In Lievegeods terminology this `archetype' is carried into manifestation as the primary Saturn processes carried right into the earth as the Cosmic Silica stream which after being crystallised in the Earth at mid winter is then carried upwards through the process of plant growth finalising its journey as the new seed as Saturn 2. In its excarnating phase this force produces the upward thrust of the stem finally culminating in seeding.
The Earthly Matter processes are best described as the Moon process by Lievegeod who outlined them as being involved in cell reproduction (Moon 1) and tissue formation ( Moon 2). So I have imagined that the Earthly Matter process and in particular the Moon 2 side of it, in any given situation is responsible for the outward moving development of tissue. This process identifies the quality of the tissues which can then be taken up and altered by the other three activities. This force can be seen in plants as a wandering expansive growth. It is when this `aimless' Earthly Matter process is taken up by the Cosmic Force stream that we have the development of cell growth into tissues which grow into strong upright stems and the nerve sense system in animals.
From lecture 8 we are provided with the images that it is the etherically charged Earthly Forces ( Cos Ca) which provides the mass of substance and our ability for mobility gained from food intake, while it is the astralised Cosmic Matter ( Ter Si) coming in through the senses which leads to the quality and maturity of substance into proteins for muscle building. In plants we can see that the Earthly Forces (Cos Ca) is stimulated by humus content in the soil & is responsible for the enlargement of mass while it is the Cosmic Matter (Ter Si) which works from the outside of the plant and is enhanced through silica sand which forms and matures the plant ready to be fit for human nutrition. We also see a marked strengthening of cell walls wherever the Silica processes and light are increased.
We can now descend into matter following the path to the DNA. If we take a fruit as an example we could say the Cosmic Force (Cos Si) is manifest in the seed -the carrier of the future archetype, the Earthly Matter (Ter Ca) is present in the quality and quantity of the fruit tissue cells, while the quantity and size of the flesh is determined by the Earthly Forces ( Cos Ca) while the nutritive quality and the skin quality is determined by the Cosmic Matter ( Ter Si).
So when we look to the cell it can be imagined that the Cosmic archetype - the seed in the fruit - is contained in the nucleus and especially within the DNA structure of the cell. This is after all the part of the cell which carries the archetype ( Saturn 1) the plant will follow. The Earthly Matter is the overall cell structure and especially the nuclear and cellular membranes. The cytoplasm along with the amount and content of cell fluids could be seen as the Earthly Forces ( Cos Ca) while the strength of the nutrients and activity of the mitochondria, lysosome etc within the cell as well as the hardness of the cell wall are regulated by the functioning of the Cosmic Matter (Ter Si) .
By these two steps down the hologram of life we have followed the path of the Cosmic Forces. This leads us to see that genetic engineering of DNA is taking place within the Cosmic Force ( Cos Si) sphere of the cell. If we take another step inside the hologram and move from the cell to the DNA we can see that it is made up of four different types of players called bases. These nucleotides are called C -cytosine, G - guanine, A adenine, and T - thymine. Interestingly these four players always organise themselves into polarities - C with G and A with T. The chemical formulas for these molecules provide interesting indications as to who is who. Firstly the CG polarity has an extra Hydrogen atom in its chain and is more stable than the A/T molecule. When the DNA makes messenger RNA the T base is replaced with uracil (U). The T molecule has an extra oxygen atom compared to the other bases, while the A molecule has extra nitrogen. This suggests the CG polarity, with its extra Hydrogen and inherent stability will be a manifestation of the vertical Cosmic Forces/Ego ( G), Earthly Matter/Physical ( C ) pole while the AT polarity is the manifestation of the horizontal Earthly forces /Etheric (T), Cosmic Matter/Astral (A) axis. This moveable base T, with its extra oxygen would equate to the activity of the chemical ether at a nucleic level. The exact science of gene classification is beyond my study at present however I would surmise that the most effective genetic implants would be achieved by the insertion of new G genes as this is pin pointing the Cosmic Force/Cos Si/Saturn 1 `home' in the DNA. Whether this is so or not I do not know.
In GE we have a physical restructuring of the seeds archetypal message, or that which entered the incarnation process as Saturn 1. The specific change made and the way this is achieved is the part of this discussion which indicates what any changes to the spiritual bodies relationship will be. From my minimal investigations and visualisations it is apparent that GE is altering the basic arrangement of the `message bringer' (from the spirit). This very physical alteration will influence the formation of the proteins and amino acids which lead to the physical formation of the plant. We have already established that the chemical make up of any environment will influence the spiritual activity of that environment. Therefore as the chemical make up of a plant is changed through GE so it will influence the way in which the spiritual forces manifest in and around that plant. For example, if a snake venom gene is implanted into a plant so that the plant produces a toxic poison as a defence for itself, we can assume this will have a marked influence on the way the Astral body works with and around the plant. This in turn can effect the plant form and the elemental beings which are attracted it to maintain the plant. So what we have with GE is an alteration of the way the plant mediates the Cosmic and Earthly forces not a cutting off of the plant from the ( 2 fold) Cosmic Forces. The alteration of DNA is taking place at such a fundamental level of the physical process that the etheric and astral bodies just have to pick up what they are given and develop it as they can. If the alteration is so radical that it can not be supported by these bodies then the plant will die. While a plant lives and thrives it must be using the four bodies and other forces albeit in a changed manner to the original.
The morality and consciousness surrounding this question is a significant aspect of this discussion and I agree with the most vocal of critics that those practising GE at present are acting massively irresponsibly.
The message RS was presenting in lectures 2 and 3 was that the real mediation and earthing of the cosmic forces and strength of the resulting chaos is created and maintained by the quality of the soil and by the way we manage it. Not by the genetic make up of the seed. RS points out that if we wish to alter the Cosmic and Earthly proportions within a plant we need to alter the environment and the ratios of clay, sand, humus and lime. It is primarily the life and chaos potential of the soil which meets the seed not the other way round. As long as a seed can grow in a good soil it will be met by the local Cosmic and Earthly forces.
The discussion of Carbon as the basis of matter and the carrier of the Cosmic Spirit has been discussed before - "Is it Hydrogen or Carbon which carries the Ego into Physical form?" and has relevance to how we view GE from a Biodynamic standpoint. A thorough reading of the course and other RS literature reveals that it is the hydrogen which carries the Cosmic spirit into matter through its joining together with Carbon "moistened by Sulphur". It is once Hydrogen separates from the Carbon again helped by Sulphur that Hydrogen then carries the other bodies away from matter. In plant growth we see this joining together of the Carbon based Earthly Matter and the Hydrogen based Cosmic Forces primarily in the root (nerve sense) region of the plant and together they move upwards from the earth. (Note what happens in the biennial plant when the Cosmic Forces are retained in the root for the first season.) In normal growth this upward growth supported by lime and clay, is met by the downward moving Earthly Forces and Cosmic Matter processes above the ground which bring in the mass and nutritive quality depending on the availability of humus, moisture, sand and light. When dealing with GE we need to be clear about both these forces, Cosmic Forces and Earthly Matter, and not just join together as RS has done in lecture 3.
Before we start waving big sticks of injustice at GE should we not reflect upon our own peppering process which halts the formation of seeds within seed heads of weeds within the first season after treatment and in the following season causes such bizarre growth formations as to suggest it has been sprayed by a hormone. Are we not doing exactly the same thing as we are charging GE makers of doing. We are interfering with the balance between Cosmic and Earthly streams of activity which results in a terminator process. How many BD growers have found that an inappropriate application of the preparations has created an alteration in the desired plant form such as extra leaves in a broccoli head or stems swelling in an inappropriate place. We in BD are playing with exactly the same forces as the GE boys however in a different manner. One of the interesting things about DNA is that large parts of it seem unused most of the time, somewhat like the human brain. Research by Dan Carlson of Sonic Bloom fame found that in his growth experiments a leaf form from a related species of his trial plant would appear occasionally on his experimental plant. This lead him to conclude there was a massive amount of genetic information available for a plant to draw on as it needed it. What I see possible with BD is that we are not initially effecting the physical gene however we have the possibility to effect the environment both physically and spiritually that a plant grows into, and thus triggering different parts of the DNA message not seen normally. This new emphasis is then carried forward in the new seeds and becomes a standard characteristic from there on. The GE boys and BD folk may be working towards the same goal however from different ends of the game.
IMHO it is not the act of GE which is the problem but the inherent unconsciousness and lack of any substantial trials or the involuntary evolutionary environmental impacts of genetic engineering which are the greatest concerns. The methodology in itself is just a materialistic attempt at achieving the task RS set us in lecture two when he said we can control the development of species using what he has outlined in 1924.
This essay got a very reactive response from the BDNOW list. Most writers were suggesting I was say BD annd GE are one in the same thing (which I am not saying) or they were reacting to the immense lack of morality and ethic shown by GE scientists and felt BD could not be mentioned in the same sentence.