Excerpt from V.D. Kaviraj’s upcoming epic work
CONCEPTS – QUINTESSENCES
All concepts stand or fall with their ease of understanding and consequent adherence to laws and principles, because events follow cyclical patterns. Many cycles consist of four or six units, such as seasons in the four climate bands that circle the earth or the seasons that may prevail in some of them.
We know from the fact these cycles of four exist, that a fifth – the originating intelligence – needs to be added to the equation. However, this is not the type of quintessence we speak about here.
Here we speak about quintessence’s that can be expressed easiest in five short, terse aphorisms, which by themselves depict truths about the scientific idea they convey and which together explain the entire concept in broad lines. We will meet many of them in these pages regarding diseases, elementary substances, elemental concepts and in the application of the Law of Similars. In this chapter we will give a few of them.
For practical application we have set up this section from the point of view that plant communities form close-knit relationships between all the members.
1. It begins above the surface, with the climate and the weather. Below the surface in the soil we have a fauna and flora, consisting of many billions of living entities which all influence plant life.
2. These include the micro and macro nutrients, the fungi, both of protective and antagonistic perspective such as rusts, slimes, moulds and the like, the subsoil parasites and beneficial animals, the bacteria and viruses and finally the allelopathic chemicals, which help suppress weeds, provide for pest and disease protection and function as stress regulators determining seeding, growth and flowering as well as fruit, nut or seed production.
3. Above ground we have the direct protective and antagonistic plants or companions and weeds, the insects, both beneficial and antagonistic, such as pollinators predators and pests, We also include a section on injuries and the pollution of soil, water and air, which with the appropriate remedies may be alleviated when crops grow on contaminated soils or in heavily polluted areas.
4. Each plant is an expression of the consciousness we experience after partaking of the remedy derived from it. It has its particular mentality and emotional life and is as such a sick individual, specifically in the artificial environment we have created for it. Hence its relationships tend to follow those as expressed in the material medica and what is not there, we can discover by studying the relevant literature.
5. From the material medica we can learn about relationships in communities of plants and the elements they partake of during their life, known from agricultural literature, while from research in allelochemicals and their actions on plant life, much can be learned and deduced about how everything is connected. Even a simple herbal can teach much about relationships between remedies in the garden and in material medica.
These are the quintessential points this book hopes to explain with examples from practice and experience. Throughout these pages, the reader will come across more of these quintessential concepts and they form the basis on which the entire edifice is built. If we observe nature, we see that 5 elements form the engineering structure of all life and these are:
1. Helium, which is the male/female principle or Aether.
2. Oxygen, Air we all need to breathe.
3. Hydrogen, Water we must drink and of which 70% of the body consists.
4. Iron, Fire of digestion and oxidation, providing energy.
5. Silicon, Earth, the building blocks like bones, teeth hair and nails and finally the skin.
This is exactly as the ancients saw it and confirmed by daily life. Elsewhere we have extended somewhat more on these principles and need not explain further here.
Here also the quintessential is of prime importance in understanding the problems faced in agriculture, although to the superficial observer they have little or nothing to do with each other. Quintessentials have in common that they express the same type of principle in a concise and terse manner, which leaves little to the imagination and everything to careful observation.
Another quintessence that comes up frequently is the one on the Law of Similars, on which this entire work is based. It follows the adage that what happens in nature must be imitated by man according to the following five Rules.
1. Like produces like. Monkeys don’t give birth to humans.
2. Like is attracted by like. Monkeys have sex with monkeys.
3. Like is imitated by like. Monkeys have as much sex as some humans and humans often try to have more.
4. Like is neutralised by like. Try making love to a monkey.
5. Like is cured by like. Better stick to your own kind.
Societies of plants seek each other, but they also seek man, because like attracts like – what is in the same vibration of consciousness will invariably seek each other and find them too. The domestication of plants is a logical outcome of man collecting himself around wild grains, which he then began to grow to feed ever-more mouths. Just as grains grow around man, man grows around grains.
It is also often said that the weed that grows abundantly in the garden of a sick man will be his medicine, from which we can learn that plants are attracted by similarities in consciousness and mentality for their favourite places of growth. A little anecdote from my case-books will illustrate this perfectly.
I once had a Scottish friend, who had relations with one of the biggest dope dealers in the vicinity. This man was a rough type, who drank whiskey like water and smoked joints like a chimney. He was rough in the mouth and had the raspiest voice I ever heard. He had a problem – he had an eczema that itched him no end. Could I help him?
Sure, why not? Better than the priest who condemns the sinner, the doctor treats friend and foe – he does not ask how one make one’s income. He asks what type of work he does. When the answer is import export, the doctor may know exactly what is meant. On arrival at the man’s house I saw the yard was overgrown with nettles. I said nothing, but went inside, where the roughneck was drinking whiskey and trying to order his wife around. The living room was huge and a fire burning in the open fireplace, to which the host had stretched his feet and was busily scratching himself voluptuously. His wife asked what I could do for him. So I told her he should get a flogging with nettles, to get rid of his itch. At that he pulled out a gun and told me he’d shoot off my head if I so much as even thought about it. I told him I had a present for him and handed him a few bottles of Glenfiddich, his favourite malt. So we fed him so drunk, he passed out and slid from his crapaud on the floor and was unconscious. Then we went into the garden wearing rubber gloves and cut many bunches of nettles. These we brought inside, then stripped the fellow and flogged him with the nettles till he was swollen and red. We covered him with a blanket and let him get out of his booze. Then I left for the night with my friend to his place and the next day back home.
The next day he called and even his voice was smoother. He had lost the desire to brag and swear and told me his skin was as smooth as a baby’s. If I could come by to get my pay. I told him I did not require to have my head blown off with a big sawn-off shotgun. He told me it was a joke and please come – he is embarrassed by his threat and needs to show his gratitude. Even his wife had asked me to come by. I told him I would be back in six weeks. When I came back, I visited him again. The garden was almost free of nettles. I asked him whether he had cut them down. “No” he says, they had gone by themselves. He had two more flogs by his wife and then by the second time they were almost gone. His wife told me he was much nicer and softer now and his business was booming. Even she had changed, and was much more relaxed. That consciousness left the man and the nettles left with it.
Our hunger for food keeps our relationship with the plants reasonably intact, insofar as we respond to its need for nutrients in one form or another. The preferred method is to apply a massive dose of nutrients at once, in a form that is but slowly dissolved in water, thus appearing to keep nutrient levels fairly constant. In nature this never happens, because natural systems are always in flux. Soil is moreover more than a medium to support plants and to suspend nutrients in, it has to be adequate to the degree of development, which is also in constant flux. To favour one type or even a mix of nutrients over others to enhance development, comes at the cost of many drawbacks, such as pest and disease susceptibility or pest and disease-promoting circumstances. Such one-sided junk food may seem to promote health, but produces instead weak obese plants prone to all kinds of problems such as diseases, retarded or accelerated blooming and fruit setting, without taking into account the ultimate readiness of the crop. The result is a watery taste, without the necessary aromas and subtle sensations that organically grown food gives to the palate.
With homoeopathy, the taste of everything you grow will greatly improve, because the necessary balance underground is equally dependent on that remedy for its complete development. A remedy to control nematodes will act like it is supposed to, because the plant does that in its daily life. Nematicides, even from so-called biological sources, see the nematode as the problem that must be killed, while we (homeopaths) see the nematode as the result of an unbalanced pattern of life. It can be reinforced by the imitation of a natural pattern that is balanced and provides optimum control of all elements in the crop cycle, without adding poisons to the environment. Then the nematode will go its way without attacking our crops, because the remedy has put the plant in an invulnerable position.
ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON!
Four elements are needed by all living entities – earth, fire, water and air. Another way of explaining that the views of the Middle Ages were not as superstitious as most scientists want us to believe is found in the following:
It is interesting and for practical purposes very important, that more than ninety-five percent of the universe consists of the following very few elements.
First of all, the spectroscopy of the universe shows that helium is exceptionally abundant. It is widely distributed. Helium is nothing more than the primordial positive and negative electrons tied together, or in the process of being tied.
Secondly, the same spectroscopy shows that helium is enormously prevalent and everywhere present, although it does not combine with anything and is almost the lightest of the elements. It does not even combine with itself. The earth has retained little of it. If you however look at the radioactive elements and the alpha particle given off by them, you discover it is nothing but helium. Therefore, it must have a particular prevalence, even on earth, for it is part of the structure of the heavy elements.
Thirdly, Hydrogen is the next abundant element, which forms water with the next – oxygen. The spectral lines we see in the heavens are caused by hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Oxygen constitutes fifty-five percent of the earth’s crust and it has about the same proportion in meteorites. Oxygen and nitrogen have nearly the same atomic weight. For the purpose of this explanation, we shall regard them as one. Between oxygen and helium, there are no abundant elements, and you should note this. True, carbon has some prevalence, but having almost the same atomic number, we could say it is a satellite to oxygen.
Fourthly and lastly, we see that nearly all the meteorites consist of oxygen, well over fifty percent; magnesium, at thirteen percent; silicon, fifteen percent and iron, at thirteen percent. Three quarters of the crust is composed of three elements – oxygen at fifty-five percent, silicon at sixteen percent and aluminium at five percent. The others do not have more than two percent each. Iron, supposedly abundant in the core, has one and a half percent.
Aluminium, silicon and magnesium have similar atomic weights, so we give them combined the name silicon, which after all, is the peak of the period, falling in group five. Between oxygen and silicon and between silicon and iron, there are no abundant elements. Iron has an atomic weight of fifty-six.
Now from the point of view of an engineer, the universe is made up of positive and negative electrons; helium and four elements built out of them, oxygen, hydrogen, silicon and iron. Differently expressed, they are aether, air, water, earth and fire, exactly as the ancients described it and which we regard as superstition. Besides, the ancient Greeks knew all about those elements. Here is a quote.
“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed. But they replied:
“Are there then four” he asked.
“Not four,” said Iarchas, “but five.”
“And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius,” alongside of water, air, earth and fire ?”
“There is the ether”, replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made, for just as all mortal creatures inhale the air, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.”
Apollonius again asked which was the first of the elements, and Iarchas answered:
“All are simultaneous, for a living creature is not born bit by bit.”
“Am I,” said Apollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?”
“Yes,” said the other, “if you have a sound knowledge of it, for it engenders all living things.”
(‘The Life of Apollonius of Tyana’, Philostratus, 220AD).
What is more, others also are of the same mind – as is due to great minds, according to the saying.
‘For a truly joyful and auspicious human work to flourish, must man have the capacity to climb from the depths of his attachment at home up to the ether. Ether here stands for the high flight of the high heavens, the open realm of the spirit.’
(Martin Heidegger, ‘Treatise on human thought’)
For plants this is the essential – hydrogen; water – oxygen; air – silica; earth – iron: fire.
What else is fire but oxidation? What else is earth but construction and glue? What else is air but respiration and breath? What else is water, but food and drink? So we trace back the need for nutrients to these four elements. The fifth is the commanding force, so to speak, from where all ideas come forth, either as remembrance from previous existence or obtained by talent.
1. General Remedies
In this Chapter we discuss the remedies that are important to all plants. In the plant world, some elemental substances are essential to all plants. First we discuss the essential components of these subsoil events.
1. Micronutrients and Macronutrients and their associated remedies, all from the subsoil area.
2. Fungi, also from the subsoil area.
3. Bacteria and bacilli, having the same source.
4. Viruses also from the soil.
5. Allelochemicals, coming from plant roots.
Another quintessential relation has been established and the consequences are equally far reaching. For they indicate a quintessential set of influences, which may consist of many different species and in very large numbers, which can be controlled by these very same substances.
The relationship between these remedies is explained as producing similar phenomena, because they live under similar circumstances, although they may react to allelochemicals differently than our crop. What is related in nature always seeks each other and so we see that plant societies are formed, in which similar states of mind are grouped together. After all, similar plants grow on similar soils and have their friendships and enmities, just like humans. We have seen that certain plants growing on acidic soils have cravings for certain elements, which are moreover hard to get – those of the alkaline type. Hence these relationships between soils, elements, plant communities and allelochemicals is reflected by similarity in the relationship between remedies.
To further work out how these remedies are related we have to consider the fact that nearly all plants require microelements of a particular class as well as macronutrients of a particular class. As we saw at the description of the functions of the elemental component, some are related to growth and others are related to flowering and fruit setting. These same relations are found in the macronutrients. Recent research has shown that plants chatter and communicate with their community when attacked by a disease or pest. We have read in the introduction about these phenomena and seen that there are some differences and many similarities with human and animal societies.
These phenomena are important in more than one way. We see certain remedies with a very pronounced picture first, followed by their antidotes, and similars. This is reflected in nature, where we see the nettle and its antidote growing right next to each other. In agriculture, we should imitate nature, with doses so small as to elicit a reaction and thus have the best manageable agriculture. Space age agriculture consists of the manageable use of poisonous substances as produced in the relationships discovered in nature, to imitate as much as possible that natural setting. Instead of unmanageable poisons and an external approach, as is wont in chemical agriculture, homoeopathy has made those and any other poison manageable, and because of its extensive knowledge about relationships in nature is capable of presenting the truly integrated approach to garden problems.
Some plants are genuine companions while others are antagonistic. The same counts for elements, insects, fungi and allelochemicals, which all combine to provide a comprehensive picture of the normal environment. We proceed from the soil and the elements, next the companion plants, then come the insects, the soil fungi and the plant excretions. Each is discussed from the point of view as an individual remedy first, followed by a paragraph explaining its place and function within the community of plants. Thus the relations are explained and enable one to understand the role of each in connection with the remedy under discussion
There are basically 4 main climate zones:
1. Arctic, not here under discussion;
3. Subtropical and
Within these 4 zones, we have many further differences –
A) A coastal climate,
B) An inland climate
C) A land climate
D) A desert climate, each with its own weather type. Within these different landscapes we may also have
^) Mountains, where each valley may have different weather at any one time.
<) River-delta climate.
We then follow with the use of the soil below.
~>:P Grazed Savanna
~!!&) mixed culture
We may have a tropical coastal river delta, a 4A< or a 2B*, a moderate inland hilly landscape. In the first case, we have long warm summers, with not too much rain and a landscape that is cool on the hilltops and warm in the valleys. Rivers may modify the moisture content of the air and soil. It is the latter which determines its use. If it is also forested it becomes 2B*!!. If there is a mixed culture it becomes 2B*!!&
The landscape below determines the microclimate at local spots. A desert with its alkaline soil will not receive rain at all, or may have seasonal downpours. A highly acidic rainforest jungle receives abundant water; a neutral agricultural area receives sometimes too much and at others too little, but generally enough. Dependent on the soil pH below, the weather will adapt to the local circumstances, creating microclimates, all within its moderate, subtropical and tropical climate zones.
We can therefore say that within the 3 climate zones under discussion here, we have 4further subdivisions and 5 more micro-climatological concomitants as enumerated above. That makes for 400 different climate and weather conditions we may be confronted with, within which landscape features may further influence microclimate.
We can imagine to have a 2A* landscape or a 4B!! landscape and we discover also differences in microclimate, simply because a hilly coastal landscape has different soil conditions from a tropical rainforest and thus a different flora, fauna and above all climate. The tropical rainforest could never grow on those moderate coastal hills, while most of what grows on these hills would not long survive or even germinate in that rainforest. We see that each has particular constraints where it concerns the development of a plant community. These constraints begin of course with the climate and weather while also extending into the surrounding vegetation and the subsoil events, which are not of less importance, but simply less visible to us.
Of course the soil determines the type of plant that will grow there, but the climate constraint takes care of details that man likes to forget. Hence we see that Australian plants all have a leathery feel and are tough, have waxy flowers and do not lose the leaves at the onset of winter – they are evergreen, while European deciduous trees have soft leaves, that wilt easily in the dry climate there, have flowers that stand no longer than two days in the climate zone and moreover lose their leaves at the moment they would need them the most – during the wet season, which is the deciduous tree’s rest period. Although it will grow and become large, it does not live under conditions that are entirely conducive to its survival. If shaded by native trees, the heat may be bearable, because also Australian forests are cooler than the surrounding land.
Other plants become outright pests when transplanted to places they do not belong. The blackberry is such a plant in Australia, where one is obliged to remove it from one’s soil entirely, because it takes over vast tracts of land. It likes the soil and weather as if made for it and goes rampant wherever it is not checked. Lantana is such a pest and we shall meet this tree again when we discuss the allelochemicals. It fills up empty spaces, but does not compete with the other members in the forest. But wherever it has taken hold, it does not leave and slowly but surely takes over all the other empty spaces that fall into a forest over time, before any other member has that chance.
We do not advocate such transplants from continent to continent, nor do we condemn it outright. We urge caution and to first try out how it grows in an artificial landscape set up in a greenhouse that resembles the climate and weather you want to transplant in. It is full of local plants and you simply plant the wanted tree or other plant in that landscape in the amount normal to make a living. Then leave it alone and see what happens. If after a few years your plant starts to take over, do not import the plant there. If it grows but suffocated, do not transplant this plant – it will give you no end of trouble. Only when the plant has been accepted as a normal member of the plant community and does not die out or take over, can we say we have a successful transplant candidate.
Climate is therefore more than a simple placement within the three zones important for the subject under discussion. It requires taking into account the soil pH and the flora and fauna that populate it, as well as the particular use that is made of that climate condition.
We shall try to enumerate most climate conditions under which some crops grow, which may include more than one. Brassicas are grown all over the world in almost all climate conditions. Wheat is the grain of moderate climate zones, rice that of the tropical zone, while maize lies somewhere in between in the subtropical zone.
Climate is, after soil, the next great regulator of available crops in a particular area at a particular time. Climate is the regulation and occurrence of the weather over a long period of time. Within the climate we see the occurrence of extremes, and a cyclic appearance, as a confirmation of the rule. Climate is what regulates that cycle of life and carries it through to completion, or in a freak event destroys large portions of it.
The weather type is determined mostly by the type of plants that grow underneath and the proximity to the coast. Both make for a wet landscape, since trees attract rain like a magnet attracts iron. We must not forget that a 30 metre high tree processes about 3000 litres of water per day in the summer. Over a forest, millions of tons of water-vapour are released into the air, making it obviously cooler. When one passes portions of forest in the landscape on the road, that difference in temperature is enough to notice for a human – 5 to 7 degrees cooler in the forest. Cooler air is heavier than hot and sinks to the ground, making everything cool and thus of lower pressure. We all know that low pressure on the weather map means rain.
Over river deltas and moors have a similar situation – massive amounts of moving or stagnant water, which is cooler than anything around it and spreading that cooling property along its banks by osmosis and wind. This lowers the pressure and low pressure brings rain.
Over a desert on the other hand, we have the opposite situation – the pressure is always high, due to the absence of any cooling property. Except at night, when that same absence results in the rapid cooling of these hot sands and drops the temperature often below zero and any moisture that may be in the air is instantly frozen and lies as a film of ice crystals over the sand in the morning and is gone before the sun is more than a hand above the horizon. An hour later, it is already 20 degrees. Fifty degrees or higher by noon is no exception. The Sahara has spots where it soars up to almost 70 degrees and I do not mean Fahrenheit.
Evidently, over agricultural land we are more dependent on the landscape itself to enable accurate weather and microclimate predictions. In river valleys we may expect more rain, but as easily see nothing of it, except in the hilly and mountainous regions and on the coast. On the world’s plains grow most of our crops, and here we have created a zone with almost neutral pH, trying to outwit the acidity or alkalinity of the soil to grow crops that actually often require the opposite of the soil we try to grow them in.