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Settling the dust around Biodynamic applications  RSS feed

 
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I recently attended a Biodynamic regional meeting and was cornered more than once by attendees about the Biodynamic preparations.
It struck me odd that so many differing views about these formulas could be had by people who were devotees of Steiner's methods for agriculture.
Upon some pointed questioning I was able to gain the understanding that these people were more gardener than farmer and it seemed that was part of their problems.
There was some confusion about how I could talk about different methods of creating the preparations than the "Steiner" method.
Heated discussion was present at the meet and greet afterwards.
I was able to give almost all of these folks the answers they seemed to need.
On the way home it struck me that our community here might like to have some of the insights presented at this conclave.

Disclaimer: I am not a "Steinerite" I don't subscribe to a single method, nor do I think his preparations must be created and used exactly the way he described to be valuable. I have done many experiments and that is what my conclusions are based on.

About the Preparations:
Over the years there have been people who have created "extra" preparations, The original 9 preparations are what will be covered, in my experience all the others are fluff meant to gather money for their creators.
"They consist of mineral, plant, or animal manure extracts, usually fermented and applied in small proportions to compost, manures, the soil, or directly onto plants, after dilution and stirring procedures called dynamizations.
In most cases, the actual preparation is used in some manner to treat "compost" which is then further left to process before use. This means you can invest a lot of time in creating the stuff you will use.

The first case in point I'll discuss here is the cow horn manure preparation (BD 500).

In this preparation you take cow (not bull) horns and stuff them full of cow manure.
After this you dig a trench, place the horns open end down in the trench then back fill it and walk away for six months, it is specified you do this in the fall.
If you are like me, the first time I heard this and then read it I was incredulous, WTF came to mind but since this was covered in a university biology course, we (the students) were obligated to carry the experiment out.
Being me I didn't just use the 5 cow horns for this experiment, I also used plastic bottles, glass bottles and heavy cardboard cones.
The idea here is that the horn is going to provide silica?  This is preposterous since cow horn doesn't contain much if any silica, right?
In truth the chemical analysis of the composted manure did have a hint of silica (it came from the grasses the cows ate so it was already in the manure).
Interestingly enough only the plastic bottle didn't produce identical results in the chemistry results, the plastic leached some olefins that we really don't want to be in the soil we grow plants for food in.
Thus I came to the conclusion, in my note book at the conclusion of the experiment, that the horn was not a necessary part of the process.

 So what exactly happens to the manure during this 6 month burial  that makes it better than composted manure?
Well that depends on how manure is composted, far more than if it was done in the spiritualistic realm of Steiner's methods.
If you added some sand to the manure before you stuffed the horn and buried it, you would have a higher silica content of the manure at the finish line because you added it.
If you did a "conventional" composting method with part of your manure used to stuff the horns, you would find the identical amount of silica content, you would have some different microorganisms though since the buried horn poop is lower in the soil, there are different bacteria and fungi living down there.
Does this difference really make a difference to the plants? Not really, but that is because most plants will have roots down at the level of those different bacteria's living quarters and so the plant does have access to them.
Does it make a difference if those deeper bacteria are present at the surface level?
Somewhat, but bacteria are active and they can migrate up a root and end up near the surface, all on their own.
So the only good conclusion is that this fermented manure in a horn has one real difference over a standard method rotted manure and that is that it naturally fermented at depth.
This one difference can be duplicated at ground level though, all you need to do is fill your container (cow horn, glass jar or heavy cardboard cone) turn it upside down in a layer of soil within a container then fill that container with more soil and set it in a deep shade spot for six months, misting the soil with water every so often.
What you will end up with is the same end product of the Steiner method.
What we really need is a way to get that end result in a shorter period of time.
I have developed a way to do that which I will share, along with other "short cuts" at the end of this thread series.

Now what about the other concoctions uh, preparations?
Well all of them but one are fermented single species herbal teas that end up looking like finished compost.
Even the Oak tree bark preparation (505) ends up looking like finished compost.
Only the Valerian preparation is liquid and that is because of the nature of the plant material.
These preparations are actually more pre-preparations since their primary use is to create compost after you have created them.
I've used these preparations made the Steiner conventional way and I've made them by creating a decoction and then evaporating the liquid. Both work, one takes more energy but it also takes far less time.

The biggest stumbling block for a scientist who uses the lectures of Steiner is that Steiner was not fluent in science but was rather spiritual by his education so he talks about "energies of earth", "timing by the moon phase" and other spiritual by nature ideas.
Since I have a background in both of these worlds, it is easier for me to accept what Steiner talked about at this spiritualist level.
I have experience in such thinking, I also live in a duality world, and so it makes some sense to me.
Most scientist types or even uneducated lay people tend to poo-poo what he was trying to get across as "mumbo jumbo".
But even scientist have discovered that there is some wisdom to planting by the moon phases, gravity is the actual culprit in the moon phase planting cycle.


Oops, timer went off, I have to take care of an experiment but I'll be back with more.

Redhawk

 
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Sweet! Another Redhawk authored thread about microbes, compost and soil! I'm very much looking forward to the future installments.
 
pollinator
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That's amazing. I had asked some very Steiner-aligned biodynamicists about the horn thing, but never got a straight answer.

I will confess to cheating a little, but I read in another post of yours that the cardboard cone actually had better electrical conductivity. Does this feed into root-zone communication?

-CK
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Chris, glad I took a look while on this little break time.

Yes the cardboard has a penchant for allowing increased electro-conductivity which does end up in a better ionic exchange rate for roots.
But, and this is a big but, root zone communication doesn't occur until the preparation is removed from the container and used in the soil.
That equates to the conductivity being a residual effect instead of a primary effect for plant roots since roots don't come in contact with the preparation until after it has been removed from the horn or what ever container you use.

The big deal about this conductivity is that it does occur in a manner that helps bacteria and fungi organisms communicate during the fermentation process that is necessary for the preparation.
The whole thing about the (BD 500) is that it decomposes so much that it forms humus which is what forms Humic acids which are the primary end products that we see working in the amended soil and those create the ion exchange (electro-conductivity).

Redhawk
 
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Here in Australia, there is a strong Biodynamic community. It has been inspired by the work of a Polish immigrant, Alex Podolinsky (from memory). He is in his 80s now, but devoted his life to farming and spreading the techniques of Biodynamics.

We are lucky to have him, as he seems to have taught people to have respect for the fragile Australian soil. There is a magazine that Biodynamics brings out twice-yearly, that I have often bought. It has always been interesting to look at the photos of the dark, crumbly soil that practitioners develop. I've always respected the fact that they tested their theories by observing what was going on with their plants, rather than referring to a text and following it without checking the results in detail.

There is another Australian who developed a method of natural farming he calls Natural Sequence Farming. It's core principal is to re-establish natural waterways, allowing them to become overgrown and filled with plant material. They then flood and rehydrate the land. I saw a documentary about him. He said to start a compost pile at the top of your hills, to let the organisms move through the landscape via water.

Here is a link to his site, if anyone is curious:

http://www.nsfarming.com
 
Bryant RedHawk
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What is it about Steiner's methods and preparations that cause so much controversy?  
It seems to me that those who are really put off by Mr. Steiner's work are unaware or not understanding what was going on in his time (1890 -1925).
This period was when Science was really ramping up, it was the Industrial Revolution or as I like to think of it the Mechanical Renaissance.
Science was finding many ancient buildings and coming up with lots of theories of what those people were like, including their religious practices, the Celts, the Vikings, the Druids, and many other cultures were being supposed and for the most part miss-construed to death by science.
Ancient Egyptian tombs were being found and opened, and there was a lot of "hocus pocus" being touted as science, even though science was also being expanded with new discoveries and experiments.
Ley Lines were rediscovered during this period as well and many people tried to imagine the magic of that period, there was even a surge of witchcraft practices.
At the same time a lot of studies were being published, by recognized experts, on methods to bring back already destroyed soils and ecosystems, laid waste by the current methods of forestry and agriculture.
It was just after (1929)  this period that J. Russell  Smith wrote and published "Tree Crops a Permanent Agriculture" and the beginnings of Permaculture was born.

Into this jumble, a combination of charlatan and scientific investigation, came Steiner, who tried to separate many of the "truths" from all the fiction that was floating around.
He had already published several spiritual books, when some farmers came to him with their challenge, "please look into and give us your thoughts on how to improve our soil so we can bring it back to health and grow bigger, better crops."
Steiner took enough time to learn what science was available about soil and plants and then he gave his famous lectures in 1924, he then took ill and was deceased by the end of 1925. but in the interim between giving his lectures and death, he wrote a book on how to improve soil health.
The lectures and his book are the basis for everything biodynamic we have today.

Given the times it should not surprise anyone that he would bring up "energies of the earth" or "electric flow through the earth and those organisms that live in the soil", in his time, these would have been acceptable to most people as wonders of the world.
Today we live in a different reality, one that stresses self over all else. We read about lay lines, conjunctions of energy flow of the earth, and most of us shake our heads and dismiss these ideas as either myth or out right fiction.
Some people go to places where these conjunctions of energy are, most want to experience the energy and see the anomalies such energies can create. Other go to these places to disprove what others senses tell them are there.
Such is what happens when the connections to the earth mother are broken down and forgotten by humans.
If you can't see it, or touch it, it must not be there, how sad that most have forgotten but at the same time, there are some who have either rediscovered that these energies are there, or they are afraid to not believe that they are there.
Probably there are also some who carry the "what can it hurt" point of view of such a thing as an energy flow of the earth.  

Today there are groups of people who follow Steiner's methods to the letter, supporting his methods with enough fervor as to be considered fanatical.
Then there people who summarily dismiss his methods as bunk or so far outside reality as to be unbelievable.
Then there are people like me, who have given his methods the scientific method trials and found that there are indeed merits to his preparations but that to get the desired results his methodology of preparing them doesn't have to be exactly by the book.

Steiner's whole focus was on how to get more beneficial life into the destroyed soil so that it would become even more fertile than it had been before being exhausted by agriculture.
That was his reason for developing his preparations, he used the most advanced thinking of his day to arrive at his methods, even to the point of talking about the spiritual side of the soil and the microorganisms that thrive there.
Since he didn't have as much research to draw upon that we now have available, he did the best he could with the information at hand.
He also made it all fit into his own philosophical knowledge because he was looking for a way to complete the great hoop of life (great circle of life).
The more you learn about the man, the greater sense you can make of his ideas and methods, especially since we have shifted the popular perspective to a singular self rather than being people who look for the whole.

Hopefully this gives you a little better understanding of what biodynamics is all about and how it came into existence.

Now let's take a look into the philosophy of the preparations 502 thru 507, the single herb decoctions.
Four of these six preparations are enveloped in sheaths of animal organs.
All are made with a sensitivity to the rhythms of the sun and zodiac. (this is about timing, similar to moon phase planting schedules)
All but one (valerian) are buried in the ground for a specified period of time.

502, Yarrow (flowers only)

503, Chamomile (flowers only)

504, Nettle (whole top of flowering plant, stems includied)

505, Oak Bark (down through the cambium layer)

506, Dandelion (Blossoms only)

507, Valerian  (flowers)

So the way this works is that you get an animal stomach (usually the preferred organ) stuff it full of the flowers (blossoms) stitch or pin it shut and bury it in the ground for a minimum of 3 months.
The organ tissue decomposes slowly underground and all the "juices" infiltrate the blossoms and the soil around the blossoms. This creates a really good "compost" material with a multitude of bacteria and other microorganisms in the "compost" which you then dig up to use in a regular compost heap.
The way you use them is to dig one hole into the compost for each of the preparations, stuff the preparation into the hole made for it and cover with more compost. Let this compost heap mature and you have the finished product ready for your soil amending.
The Valerian is different, it is a liquid (I use brown Boston bottles to make this one) You stuff your container with the flowers into the container, macerate them completely then cap and set in the dark for at least 3 months. This allows the mashed up flowers to ferment and you end up with a liquid which you then install in one of your compost heap holes as above.

What all this does is infuse the heap with many bacteria both in quantity and species variety, once the compost is ready to use in a garden, you are mostly doing what Dr. Elaine Ingham and I are doing, increasing the biodiversity and quantity of biodiversity in the soil you are treating with the biodynamic compost.
When  you turn that compost into a tea and apply it as a foliar spray, you again are increasing biodiversity, this time to give the plant pest controlling bacteria and organisms as well as providing some nutrient values for the plant to utilize.

I hope you can see from all this that the whole biodynamic thing is similar to what others have found and are promoting to increase soil biodiversity and quantities of microorganisms in the soil.

And now I have to do some experiment notations and will get back to this thread as soon as I can.

Redhawk
 
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Excellent insight and explanations!  Having studied Qigong, T'ai Chi and Feng Shui when I was younger, Steiner's talk of energies didn't raise my eyebrow.  They made sense to me, given the context of my own experience.  My grandparents and great grandparents all planted by the signs.  I was comfortable with this aspect, as well.  But, I have to admit that the specifics of the preparations seemed like superstition.  His explanation of them being like homeopathy for the soil made perfect sense.  But, the stag bladders and cow horns didn't.  You have really helped me understand.  I hope you will write a "common sense" Biodynamics book some day, if you haven't already.   Seen in the light of mycology and the soil food web, this stuff really does make sense, at least in theory.   I'm no longer skeptical... just need to try it out.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Wj,
thank you for the kind words and the book Idea, I think that is something I will do my best to get to since all the 'Steinerite" folks seem to want to keep it "mystical" (I notice they seem to do that for monetary gain, not that there is anything wrong with making money, just how you do it).

I am glad this thread is making the biodynamic method make better sense, that is exactly what I wanted to do. I am going to try and put it all together by the end of this thread.
If you have any specific questions about any part of biodynamics, let me know and I will attempt to clarify them here.

Redhawk
 
Chris Kott
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I thought Steinerites were just worried that too many direct questions would cause their whole mystical rat's nest to unravel. I never attributed a profit motive to it.

I was always sure that there was merit to Biodynamics, despite the mysticism. It wasn't the mysticism that bothered me, but the seemingly unexamined nature of it.

With so much extra time and effort required to make preparations, and no intellectual justification for it, it is no wonder to me that Biodynamics has remained largely the domain of hobbyists.

Mind you, to the profit motive point, I suppose that if you can explain your process in a straightforward enough manner that anyone can understand it and pass that on to anyone else, you've just given away the golden goose.

-CK
 
Bryant RedHawk
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All of Steiner's preparations take what I consider an inordinate amount of time to create, who wants to go find the specified Cow horn, animal (several of the animals are not easy to locate living much less dead and butchered) stomach, intestine or bladder (if you even can locate the correct animal parts), gather up the quantity of plant materials or animal dung, stuff the "container" full and then bury this container or set it in the dark and wait 6 months before you can dig it up so you can use it to create compost. (which takes another 6 months)

Because of this extreme time requirement there are many "companies" that make the preparations and sell them, at a pretty high price. (it is fair though since they took the six months and hunted up the exact right parts (according to them).
These "companies" then want you to make the compost and then use that and they will give you specific instructions on just what to do with your preparations all by the Steiner method.
Now if you have no idea of how to create good soils, this might be an ok thing to do.
But if you have some knowledge on how to create compost and use it to improve your soils, you can create materials that will do everything the preparations can do, faster and easier.

Every one of Steiner's preparations addresses the needs of soil by becoming microorganism magnets and give these organisms great places to live, specific minerals to feast on and these are indeed good things for soil but today we have far more knowledge available to us than Steiner had.
Today we know tons more about the mineral interactions with the microbes, we know which minerals are synergistic, which are antagonistic and we even know far more about what quantities of each major mineral need to be present.
Take for example BD preparation 501:

"Horn Silica (501) is made from ground up clear quartz crystal and buried in cow horns in rich soil from Spring to Autumn where it is programmed by the summer soil forces. A tiny amount of Horn Silica – 1gm per acre is rhythmically stirred for one hour and applied as a fine spray over all crops and pasture in the early morning.  Horn Silica works with the soil silica, taking light forces into the soil.  It also aids photosynthesis and the uptake of minerals and trace elements from the soil.  This potent preparation increases the quality of the final product – its ripeness, sweetness, flavour, fragrance, shelf life and dry fibre content.  It also improves the palatability of pasture, the essential oils in herbs and the protein content in grains.  Horn Silica is sprayed out after Horn Manure at least twice per year in Spring and Autumn. It is the original biodynamic atmospheric spray."

What is really going on here?  
What is happening is that we are taking the second most hard mineral on earth and grinding it to powder, hmmm, why not just use DE?
DE is after all silica and that is also the mineral in quartz crystals so skip the ridiculous step of grinding crystals.
Ok, sure it won't be exactly the same, our DE powder is far finer than we can expect to grind quartz crystals, but that means we will have a better end product because it will go into solution faster and more completely when we are ready to spray it on the soil.
Wait a minute, why spray it on the soil in such a minute quantity?
Why not just sprinkle it exactly where we need it? that way you don't have to have a sprayer and so what if you manage to get more into the soil than spraying  1 gm per acre, is that really bad to do?
Well the answer is no it isn't bad to do, silica is a very necessary mineral for humans, animals and plants, without silica several of our life processes will not occur, the real question is what quantity is too much?
And the answer to that is, if you use a tea spoon of your shortcut preparation and mix it with a compost tea and simply sprinkle that over your large, but not an acre, garden, you will have enough silica for your worms, the microbes and your plants for a years worth of vegetable growing.
What if you use a glass bottle or jar instead of the cow horn, what will that do differently?
Not much difference except that you won't have to hunt down a horn, by the way, packing DE into any container is easier than packing ground up quartz crystals and if you don't live where you can easily dig your own quartz crystals, you will have to purchase them (they aren't cheap).

What is cool about Steiner's preparations is that they do indeed work.
What isn't cool is that they are a bugger to make exactly as he specified in todays world.
Yes you can buy them but why not go the inexpensive method and make similar preparations on your own?
Or better yet, why not make your own and use them in a more conventional, easy to apply manner?
You will find that soils get better even faster by "cheating the preparations", this is because you will be using them in a slightly different methodology which has been designed to be quicker and more intensive in remediation.
If you take one of Dr. Elaine Ingham's courses you will discover this is exactly what she is doing today with great results in under a year.

And once again my research project pulls me away just as I am getting going.
I'll be back with more as soon as I can.

Redhawk
 
Wj Carroll
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Wj,
thank you for the kind words and the book Idea, I think that is something I will do my best to get to
Redhawk



Let me know if I can be of assistance.  I edit and publish small, regional magazines for a living.  I'd be glad to do some editing and proofing, should you wish.
 
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hi Bryant,

Great thread, and awesome that you have done further experiments to validate and modify these preparations.  

I am very interested in your methods and in the possibility of using some bio-dynamic preps.  

I remember when reading about bio-dynamics about the stirring part of things, and the various tools that have been invented for this purpose (namely multiple flow basins and with a pump.   vortex/chaos creating barrel reverse directional stirrers).  I was just wondering if you use these, or do you actively aerate your preps (Elaine Ingham style). before doing foliage sprays?  Or do you have some other methods?  

What do you substitute the animal organs for besides glass jars and cardboard?  Do you think that there is some merit in the decomposing flesh of the animals in relation to the quality of the preparation?  How about just burying small bits of carcasses in the compost pile?-would that not have much the same effect?  

I thought it was Steiner's assertion that there was something in the biodynamic shape of the cow horn (the curving cone) that had some kind of energetic influence on the microbial population.  This is not so, then?  

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts/experience/perspective.  

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Wj,

I'd be glad to do some editing and proofing, should you wish.

 When the time comes kola, I'll be getting in touch. Philámayaye (thank you)
 
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I am extremely interested in this forum entry.  I have some additional questions.  Would any source of manure work or does it have to come from a herbivore?  Are you suggesting that spraying a dilute aqueous solution of DE on the garden would give a lot of the advantages of using these horn preparations?  Also, you reference the similarity of your concepts with Elaine Ingham's; yet you seem to imply that the effect of these horn preparations is to significantly increase the bacteria in the soil, whereas, Elaine constantly references having a significant quantity (often about =) of fungi AND an adequate supply of predators of these microorganisms.  So, did you mean bacteria or were you using bacteria as shorthand for the other critters as well?  If you meant to say just bacteria, how do you explain the significantly increased plant results?  Do you think that  you could get the same results by adding garden soil to the mixture and then just burying the combined mixture in a cardboard container in a slow compost pile?   Thanks.
 
Lee Kochel
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One more question.  You suggest that one of the preparations  produces a lot of humus.  Another prominent agriculturist, John Kempf, strongly asserts that humus is the result of the repeated digestion of fats by fungi until it cannot be digested any more.  Do you see any evidence for this or would you posit another mechanism?  Thanks again.
 
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Interresting for me for various reasons! I am building soil right now.

- Is it possible to burry manure directly at some depth? If YES, I can do it right now, and even today... I am digging my soil, who are old artificial terrasses behing walls and with stones underneath = air, and I remove the stones and put all the wood I can. It is between 0.6 to 1 meter.

- I have no cow here, can I use goat, or better even for me, guinea pig manure? They are not ruminants... Is this an important point? At the moment I keep adding manure only in the top soil, as I thought it needed to be aerobic.

Then about the plant preparations:
I do not have all those plants, I have nettle and camomilla. Comfrey is of any use? What can replace valerian and calendula and oak bark? Here I tried to grow yarrow with no success... It would be great to know what are the main minerals he looks for with those specific plants.

Gracias! Thank you!
 
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I would totally buy a book about "practical biodynamics."  I've been fascinated by biodynamic farming for years but put off by the difficulty of making the preparations.

You may be able to get a book project running with a Kickstarter.
 
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Thanks for explaining these ideas Redhawk,
I have used some of the biodynamic preparations effectively and I have studied them a bit.  I have thought of them as a bit weird, but they seem to work.  I love your explanations.  It is finally making sense to me.  This is so useful about how we can make an easier version of these preps. Once again I am in awe of your understanding of how humans can work within the natural world.  These have been great sets of information so we can finally get it.
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"seems to me that those who are really put off by Mr. Steiner's work are unaware or not understanding what was going on in his time (1890 -1925). "
Fair play to you Bryant  for trying to make sense of Steiners ideas . and putting them to a fair test . I am sure some his ideas work although maybe not for the reasons he gave.
The problem I have with Steiner is frankly his racism and spirituality and I am quite aware of where he was coming from . I find it not life enhancing . http://www.skepticreport.com/sr/?p=480  
Although Steiner did say interesting stuff regarding mans treatment of bees and cows its not enough for me personally .

David
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
Lay Lines were rediscovered during this period as well and many people tried to imagine the magic of that period, there was even a surge of witchcraft practices. ......

Given the times it should not surprise anyone that he would bring up "energies of the earth" or "electric flow through the earth and those organisms that live in the soil", in his time, these would have been acceptable to most people as wonders of the world.
Today we live in a different reality, one that stresses self over all else. We read about lay lines, conjunctions of energy flow of the earth, and most of us shake our heads and dismiss these ideas as either myth or out right fiction.



Alfred Watkins published his books on LEY* lines in this period, but he believed that the straight lines of monuments he found indicated prehistoric roads (I believe an author in Germany had the same idea at the same time). The idea of ley lines as "earth energies" didn't appear until the 1960's (apparently reaching popular consciousness when an actress in the British soap opera "coronation Street" complained about negative ley lines passing through her dressing room!).

I am interested in this subject. The idea of ley lines as earth energies has been fairly comprehensively debunked. For instance, when psychics claiming the power to sense or dowse "ley lines" were blindfolded, taken to random locations, and asked where the ley lines were, they were unable to give consistent answers. Some magnetic rocks and electromagnetic anomalies have been found in some ancient monuments, but no actual lines of energy. Much of this debunking was done by ley line enthusiasts like Paul Devereux. Some new agey types have since claimed that the entirely subjective earth energies can be curves, circles, spirals etc. not just straight lines, thus moving the entire topic to a castle in the sky. I doubt very much that this "earth energy" will ever power a lightbulb. I really like visiting obscure ancient monuments, and have experienced some weird phenomena at the places where multiple lines intersect. Cows seem to be drawn to these places and very protective of them (a place where thousands of people gathered in the past to feast, party bury their dead and maybe make some sacrifices might well today have tastier than average grass, rich in trace elements).

Since Watkins published "The Old Straight Track", people have been drawing lines all over maps, often with very little accuracy (a felt tip pen line drawn on a road atlas might be several miles wide for instance), and most of these lines can be ascribed to chance.
Statisticians found that some ley lines, such as the two passing through the Thornborough henges and devils arrows monoliths in the vale of York could be deliberate, because the chances of these seven prehistoric monuments (unusually for Britain, the only ones in the area) being arranged on 2 straight lines by chance was very small, but then again, with so many thousand barrows, standing stones etc. in the British isles, the odd fluke is to be expected.

In my opinion, if ley line enthusiasts restricted their attention to single types of monuments from a single era (I suggest bronze age), rather than playing dot to dot with barrows, churches, natural rock formations, iron age hillforts, medieval castles etc., the statistical evidence might start to look better. Also many seem to think that ley lines thousands of miles long, passing through 4 or 5 ancient monuments are impressive. Statistically speaking they aren't, a line that long is bound to hit something of interest (assuming you have considered curvature of the earth etc.). Seven bronze age barrows in a dead straight line 200m long (visible near Stonehenge) is far more impressive from a statistical point of view.  Some archaeologists have been caught in unguarded moments suggesting that sometimes ancient monuments may have been deliberately arranged in straight lines, but they are rarely willing to say anything definite on the subject for fear of association with a lot of New Age mumbo jumbo.

Summary: I think bronze age people probably did deliberately arrange barrows, standing stones etc. in straight lines and other precise geometrical patterns, but probably not because of any (hypothetical) earth energies. I also don't think their culture was particularly nice (patriarchal, warlike, environmentally destructive etc.). There is clear evidence of something similar going on in mesoamerica.

Back to topic, yes I agree that Steiner was a product of his time. And thank you very much for the cow horn manure experiment. Isn't the resultant manure also supposed to be really heavily diluted, more like a homeopathic remedy than fertiliser?

Biodynamics enthusiasts do seem to produce what seems to be pretty impressive scientific evidence in support of many of their claims, but with the caveat that they claim many effects are only visible on biodynamic farms, which makes it hard for anyone to independently repeat them.

I also know people involved in Steiner education, some are positive about it, others less so. I suspect Steiner schools may vary enormously, there seems to be a lot of room for manouver in the teaching methods. The one I know best seems to have quite a strongly Christian ethos. Some people I know who worked on biodynamic farms have told me the movement felt like a religious cult.

Generally, the biggest problem I have with Biodynamics/Waldorf, is that so much of the ideas seem to originate from one person, who didn't explain how he developed his ideas or test them in any logical or rational manner. It's kind of like saying "I have a new idea and I know it's going to work" rather than "here's a new idea, let's see if it works, and if not let's try something else". The former statement is one which I would associate with a new religion, the latter with science.

*According to "The bluffer's guide to the Occult" a lay line is the queue for a neo-pagan orgy :-)
 
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Insofar as the Waldorf schools are concerned, I have heard, from a friend who attended one for her elementary schooling, that yes, it was fairly cultish, in the way they approached school traditions and spirituality. She was also of the opinion that, like other alternative schooling systems, it is not one-size fits all. Her brother, for instance, went through the same interview process she did, but he decided that it wasn't a fit for him.

Steiner's schools were a lot like Steiner's approaches to agriculture. He had some ideas, some romantic notions about the nature of energies in the universe, and he had the superstitions of the day. He mixed his ideas into those superstitions and stirred seven times seven times, alternating directions every seventh stroke, and called them, alternately, Waldorf and Biodynamics.

I wonder what his work would have looked like if he could have divested himself of the superstitions and magical thinking and approached things more methodically. My guess is that there would be less woo-woo to both Waldorf and Biodynamics alike, and they would each be more accessible to the masses.

-CK
 
John Saltveit
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I think you all make some good points.  Treating Steiner like a saint doesn't help us.  Abraham Lincoln's views on race wouldn't impress us compared to today, even though he did great things for many people, including Blacks.  I know some people who refuse to accept ideas from people who cheated on their wives, were overweight, or threw litter away without recycling it.  I don't like those things, but I am not doing them, but the ideas are the most valuable to try to use, not their habits.
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Bryant RedHawk
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Rudolf Steiner wrote the book "Agriculture" after he had delivered his lectures, this book is what others have used to invent "Steiner Schools".
Rudolf did not ever organize a school where his methods were taught, so any reference to a Steiner School is not accurate, they should be called Steiner Method Schools or something similar to that.

Now back to his preparations, All of the preparations are designed to increase microbial life in soils, both micro and macro organisms including; beneficial nematodes, springtails, bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi, particularly the mycorrhizal fungi, which we now know are pretty much everywhere in good soil.
The research I am currently doing is showing the broad span of influence the mycorrhizal fungi perform in respect to plant and bacterial communication, utilization.
One of the things that Steiner emphasized was that soils treated with his preparations would allow plants to not only use nutrients from their near by surrounding but also from as far away as "another field, meadow or forest".
I can, at this point in my research, confirm that he was onto something big.
Mychorrizae can stretch their hyphae to connect with other hyphae and this can, in good soils with large, active microorganism colonies, serve as a nutrient highway as well as serving as a communication highway.
The implications are not unlike the soil, tree and animal life communications in the movie "Avatar", in fact they seem to be very similar in the way messages are sent both in scope and in practicality for the plants and microbiology of the soil.
Over the next year I should know much more about these interactions, for now I can confirm that there is electro-communication between the microorganisms in soils, mycorrhizae and plant/tree root systems which allow messages to be sent from one to all the others.
This communication network goes from endomycorrhizae to ectomycorrhizae to bacteria and then to all the other microorganism community, these messages can  travel through the hyphae network thus allowing for nutrient movement further than previously thought.

One of the things I find that is a stumbling block for most people looking into Steiner's agriculture work is that you spend a huge amount of time to make his preparations.
Then you use minute amounts of each preparation to create the compost or compost teas that you then dilute, once again to minute amounts and then you apply them to either soil or directly on the plants.
When you do the calculations it becomes apparent that he intended for us to use quantities in the 5 to 15 ppm range.
Most people don't think about using anything in such small amounts of actual active ingredients.
If you do trials, varying the dilution to higher than recommended amounts, you will find that the higher dilutions work faster but can have debilitating effects on some of the microorganisms we want in balance in the soil.
This can be counter acted by using the weaker dilutions and apply more frequently (i.e. 8 times a year instead of one or two times a year).

Organ tissues do need to be used simply because it is easier than trying to locate each individual component of any organ tissue. The proteins and other chemical bonded molecules that make up any tissue are very hard to find in isolated form and if you should be able to locate them they would be very expensive to purchase.
You can usually find at the least stomach, liver, intestines in good butcher shops and even some of the discount type grocery stores have them in their meat displays.
These organs supply minerals, collagen, calcium, silica, proteins and other items that grow the bacteria species we want and they also feed the mycorrhizae we want to supply to the soil.
It is not necessary to stuff these organs with the preparation components, but it does seem to be necessary to at least make additions of the organ material to the preparation components.

I have three current experiments going to determine the extent of methods usable for creating bionome rich compost.

Most of the preparations require some stirring to create a vortex which is then repeated in the reverse direction, none of my research has shown this to be mandatory but it does make sure that full mixing is achieved.
This is done in my lab with a reversing stir plate.
What does show to be necessary is that the solutions are stirred frequently to make certain there is homogeneity of the suspended particles thus allowing for more complete dissolving of the solids and the aeration of the solution.

Sorry but that is all the time I have for now, as usual I will be back with more when I have time.

Redhawk
 
Chris Kott
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Redhawk, you're absolutely right. I forgot that little detail.

But in my opinion, it amounts to much the same thing. No, he's not solely responsible for the schools, but those responsible were riffing off of Steiner's material.

Nonetheless, I should be more careful in my attributions.

-CK
 
Bryant RedHawk
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No worries Chris,
One of the things I find unsavory about the Steiner Schools (all of them) is that they seem to want you to be fanatical about his work in the field of agriculture.
For a man who was more into writing religious materials and who followed the spiritual (not religion) path himself.
I don't think that these "teachers" are capable of separating chaff from wheat seed.
I think Rudolf would disapprove of the schools to the point of calling them charlatans, but I could be very wrong too.
I have no issues with the way he talked about earth energies or continuity with the spirit of the soil, my people have always held that everything on earth has spirit and that there are energies that come from the earth mother and father sky, brother water and sister fire.
However that doesn't mean that I would tell anyone they have to believe the way I do or what I teach won't work for them.
I teach that this will work for you and here is how it works and why it works as well as how to create the additives for your soil.

Redhawk
 
David Livingston
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I am surprised Bryant that you seem to see in steiners writing a connection with native American beliefs of the spirits present in nature and the respect for life and the earth this entails . I may not share this belief but I admire it's intent , simplicity and empathy for this world we share . Steiners own views on native Americans among others seem to me to lack this basic respect ( see link above ).

David
 
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hau kola David, it isn't that I see my views in Rudolf Steiner's apparent belief system, but I do see what he was trying to express in his writings. Yes I don't believe he had any respect for anything other than his personal point of view of the world.
Sometimes in order for me to try and explain what he was talking about, it becomes necessary for me to go into the spirit world to gain some insight.
The man was (I imagine) a lot like trying to talk with one of those people who claim to be able to see the "energy flowing around the planet" with their bare eyes. (you can prove this? "Why would I have to?")

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The "dust" that is raised about Steiner's beliefs and "treatments", in my humble opinion, is the fact that the basis of his work is pseudo-scientific and full of metaphysical speculation.  Much of it strikes people as downright odd.  In the same way people would say, "Scientology is full of all sorts of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, but if you want to believe that stuff, go ahead", many people take a view of Steiner as being a relatively harmless charlatan.  The people I move among are largely "live and let live" types who would say "If you want to believe that stuff, go ahead."  But you have to understand that if you buy into the claims of biodynamics, you will likely lose credibility with people whose understanding of soil science is based on the scientific method.

There is growing pushback from people who are openly challenging the esoteric claims of the biodynamic folk.  Most significant is Stuart Smith who is outspoken in calling biodynamics a huge hoax.
https://biodynamicshoax.wordpress.com/

To the vast majority of wine buying consumers, they really don't know about some of the weirder stuff that Steiner published, nor the specific claims of biodynamics.  They just like the wine and think that they are doing the earth good because biodynamic is a more sophisticated word for organic.  Thus far, I haven't seen the biodynamic thing pushed any further than the wine industry.  Will Whole Foods start selling biodynamic produce and charging 25% more for it?  

 
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I think that any system you could devise that would result in you spending as much time, effort, and thought energy on your garden as a devotee of biodynamics does would result in tremendous improvements in that garden. To me, biodynamics just seems to be a system for ensuring that the farmer or gardener is fully invested in their farm/garden but I think much of it ultimately comes down to the whole 'the best fertilizer is the gardeners footsteps' idea. Also I do have a lot of respect for the biodynamic community's ability to compost. And if you look at the work of Ehrenfried Pfieffer and Maria and Mathias Thun you can find people that are applying some genuine scientific inquiry to steiner's philosophy.

On another note, Redhawk are you familiar with the flowform water treatment system/theory? It's fascinating to me but it is hard to find anyone manufacturing the components for a reasonable price (often they are large granite instalations) and as far as I know no one in the US is manufacturing them at all.
 
John Saltveit
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One of my favorites of Paul Wheaton's podcasts was with Brian Kerkvliet, who runs a biodynamic farm in Washington state.  Paul doesn't claim to understand or necessarily believe in the principles of biodynamics, but he does say "look at the farm and the amazing quality you see here."  Some people go crazy and get angry when others have experiences that they don't understand.  Some people feel a need to call something they don't understand a hoax.  Spiritual experiences in general aren't done to prove anything, but to have the experience.  It's like when you say, "I love my daughter." Some could say, "Prove it".  Not all experiences need to be explained or proven. We limit our experiences in life if they all have to be rationally proven and explained.  Many of the greatest scientific experiences I have had, including biodynamic practices, happened not because I felt that I had to rationally dissect every step of the way, but because I had an intuitive sense that it might work. On some, I was later able to explain, but not always.  If I have to dissect my joy of experiencing nature, I no longer have the experience of the joy of nature.
John S
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Bryant RedHawk
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I have already shown one example of how a Steiner preparation can be created without all the Hoop-La or "Woo-Woo".
I have no need to worry about his "energies of earth" or any other of his "spiritual" ideas. (which it seems are the basis of every biodynamics school and many of the practicing biodynamisist)
Keep in mind that those who do will probably not like me very much, but then Steiner was a German and he was very bigoted in his view of other races of man, he also had a huge ego, if he didn't we probably would not have his lectures or his book to use as one reference tool in microbiology and horticulture.
Just the same though, he managed to come up with some very good ideas on how to improve soils, albeit his method is tedious and time consuming and I have to wonder just how many of the farmers who got him interested in agriculture actually used all the information he put forth.
When you take who Steiner was by "profession" I find it remarkable that he came up with anything that actually works. We must understand though that he had access to current solid scientific papers and books, published by leaders in this field of science and I am sure that he made good use of these materials.
I can not fathom how else he could have come up with the preparations that do indeed grow all the microorganisms that really great soil must have in quantity. He also seems to have had an insight as to how the world of the plant works in symbiosis and the synergy that this creates in this microscopic world.

All of his preparations can be created without the specific containers/ pouches/ organs and when made this way they will work just as well as the ones created by following his instructions word for word.
When he calls for stirring one of the things I have noticed is that the vortex effect (documented by others working in the water purification sector) does make measurable changes in conductivity.
This is because of the unique properties of H2O, this remarkable molecule can be changed simply by stirring into a vortex a property that is extremely remarkable. This has been done many times in the lab, by many different scientist.
I will admit that the first time I heard of these properties I made the statement "Really Now? I have to see this in action", so I proceeded to perform the experiments in the lab, the results were repeatable, so I accepted it.
When these events happened in my lab, I started digging into what actually happens for the soil, I already knew the preparations from having to make them in one of my horticulture classes.

Every one of Steiner's preparations can be though of as a type of herbal medicine for the soil, some of them can also be used as foliar sprays, all of them have a place in the compost heap as an inoculant.
I look at them as good to use but not imperative for getting great compost.
In other words, If I decide to use them I will make my version and use them, if I don't have them on hand, then I am not going to worry too much about the lack of them.
There are other ways to get similar results in my soil.

Steiner's overall goal, was to add life forms to the soil that would make it better for plant life to thrive.
His methods were not main stream thinking but they worked and they still work because what happens is an increase in the microbiology world of soil, more bacteria both in counts and species variety, more fungi hyphae, again in counts and variety, in fact every beneficial life form we want in our soil will increase in both of these qualities. We can do the same in several other methods but, in this thread I wanted to talk about Steiner since so many have such a variety of views about his method.
When we spray the water on the dust laden air, it comes down to does this really work?  the answer is yes it does work. If we then ask  Do we really need to go through all these hoops to make the preparations and then use them exactly as he prescribed? the answer is No, not really, unless you like jumping through hoops.

Every person that reads Steiner or takes a class at one of the biodynamic schools will come away from that experience with their own views about biodynamics.
Some will jump on that bandwagon and hold on tight, riding it to the end.
Some will jump on that bandwagon and fall off when it makes the first hard turn.
Some will run from the bandwagon and never look back.
This to me is just the way the world works, it is personal choice, hopefully tempered by a judgement based in investigation, experimentation and then conclusions.
Do I care what you think of Steiner and biodynamics?  No not really, that is you and your decision.
Do I have a POV on biodynamics? I would hope so as I hope everyone has taken the time to arrive at their own POV of biodynamics.
The world survives on diversity this is true from any angle you choose to view it from.

I am one of those who sees something and appreciate it for what it is, then I feel a need to know what makes it that way and from that point I want to find out if there is a way to improve it, this is true for me no matter what it might be.
Unless it happens to be like the grand canyon or a life form, in which case I still want to know what, why and how it works. But that doesn't keep me from seeing with eyes of wonderment and appreciation of the view.

Now go, make your soil better and that will make your plants grow better and give you healthier food to eat which will help you be healthier.

Redhawk
 
Xisca Nicolas
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John Saltveit wrote: Some people feel a need to call something they don't understand a hoax.  Spiritual experiences in general aren't done to prove anything, but to have the experience.  It's like when you say, "I love my daughter." Some could say, "Prove it".  Not all experiences need to be explained or proven. We limit our experiences in life if they all have to be rationally proven and explained.  Many of the greatest scientific experiences I have had, including biodynamic practices, happened not because I felt that I had to rationally dissect every step of the way, but because I had an intuitive sense that it might work. On some, I was later able to explain, but not always.  If I have to dissect my joy of experiencing nature, I no longer have the experience of the joy of nature.
John S
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Loved it so much!

I once said "If they were to prove god's existance, we would have to find something else to believe in..." or that "I have the scientific proof that we need to believe with no proof." Some talk about the "inner wise"...

Then considere that science has often proved things men knew before having the proof, or that Semmelweiss simple advice to wash hands before surgery was dismissed though it worked, just because microbs were not known!

Now I find it easy: When we have knowledge it is understood and expressed with the cortex through thoughts, and we call this "science". When we know something but cannot explain it, we call it "spirituality". We can feel it because we have a well-known system inside us that has access to it, but that does not use thinking. Our inner intelligence has 3 connected parts with 3 languages: thoughts, emotions and feeling. (by confusion and closeness, the last 2 are called feelings)

So, it seems that Steiner used some science of his time, then also had some intuitions, that resulted in experiences that could be reproduced, and that the science we have now allow us to step out of the mere imitation, and know what is necessary to reproduce the results without sticking to the recipe. All that Steiner could not explain with science, he expressed it through a spiritual feeling. We do not have only a cortex! Things come to our cortex little by little, but we also can follow some "clinical proofs"!
 
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I wanted to react separately to

John Saltveit wrote:  If I have to dissect my joy of experiencing nature, I no longer have the experience of the joy of nature.



Are you sure it is always like this?
I have managed to get both, but actually I separated the experience, probably. I have practised sledding with a guide, and I was naming ALL the trees we passed, with no leaves, emerging from the snow. I learned to recognize them at distance too. Then in summer, I remember going under the leaves to be sure to recognize a tree! (my summer home was not in this place) I have identified plants, 1st with flowers and a book, then learn the leaves, then learn all stages, then learn to recognize the cotyledons.... I was dissecting! But now, my experience of the joy of nature is more whole. I am not in a strangers crowd, I am with friends, I do not have to ask myself for their names! Even when i do not have the name, I have in mind all stages of their life, and I have this mix in me, as a global experience. When asked, in that case I say "I do not remember the name, but I know her."

I am short sighted but I can get some plants in a glimpse just from the hint of the color, or a form, a movement.... It is not easy to get the cortical experience of something without the felt experience beeing hidden or shadowed, but it is a challenging experience to do it.... I can sometimes have at the same time the same experience at all 3 levels of thinking, feeling emotion, and feeling the embodiment of the experience... The trinity of 3 in 1!
 
Chris Kott
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Whatever your feelings, Xisca, the purpose of this thread, from the OP, is to qualify biodynamics in terms of soil science.

In my opinion, your ideas about inner intelligences suggest a false equivalency between thought, or analysis of data through reason, and emotion and feeling, which are animal-level instinctual reactions to stimulus, in most cases.

I think of it in more straightforward terms. We have organic computers between our ears, and only use a portion of it at any given time. We are probably taking in more information through our five senses than we are consciously aware of. This is assembled into a complete comprehension by our brains, and then our conscious minds draw their conclusions from that. We aren't necessarily aware of what our brains have assembled, but if we trust mental instinct, we often make choices based on it.

I like to think about it like learning to do simple arithmetic in my head. After doing it for decades, answers just pop up like flash cards. Is it so far-fetched to think that we are programming our organic computers to do things like thinking while we are busy going through the tasks of the day?

As to Steiner, I am really glad that someone of your ability and integrity is looking at what can be taken from Biodynamics, Redhawk. I think if it can be broken down to be understandable in terms of soil science, many more can benefit from it, in terms of soil vitality, and not moneymaking schemes.

-CK
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I think I am right into the op topic, as I can explain this and understand it perfectly:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:The biggest stumbling block for a scientist who uses the lectures of Steiner is that Steiner was not fluent in science but was rather spiritual by his education so he talks about "energies of earth", "timing by the moon phase" and other spiritual by nature ideas.
Since I have a background in both of these worlds, it is easier for me to accept what Steiner talked about at this spiritualist level.
I have experience in such thinking, I also live in a duality world, and so it makes some sense to me.
Most scientist types or even uneducated lay people tend to poo-poo what he was trying to get across as "mumbo jumbo".
But even scientist have discovered that there is some wisdom to planting by the moon phases, gravity is the actual culprit in the moon phase planting cycle.



Scientifically, there are some systems in the body that people do not like to talk about, I name the autonomic nervous system, so people call it the inner wise, the embodiment of emotions and people use it every day as it supports life, and it is the basis of spirituality. What our cortex cannot explain, our Autonomic nervous system (or ANS) feels it, and when we want to express in words what has no word and no justification in ourselves, we turn to spiritual and imagery sentences!

I think the purpose of this thread is also to show that what was qualified as spiritual - either in positive or negative way - can now be explained, and that it was working before being explained. This is what allows to not stick to recipes but know within which margin we can move.

I donot htink I have a false equivalence, as I am not talking about just animal-level instinctual reactions to stimulous. I have studied enough of the Autonomic nervous System to know how it works. The cortex can accumulate knowledge, but then our ANS is a major tool to decide very fast what solution can suit the present. This is not all from the Central Nervous System (CNS). The oldest brain is the ANS, the second is the limbic and the thrid is the cortex. Their respective lenguages are physical sensation from what comes from inside and outside, amotions, and thoughts. Of course they communicate, and they are called the triune brain. i do not communicate about random personal woo-woo feelings but about things coming from learning, though also experienced.... and with much more awareness thanks to this knowledge. It is really a pity that the role of the Autonomic nervous system, though known and studied by some scientifics, is kept at bay and at distance, as this is what can reunite science and spirituality. Actually, our 3 parts of the brain are like Russian dolls and fit one into another. Each new brain has never replaced the precedent one.

The language of science speaks to the cortex, and the language of spirituality or art speaks to the Autonomic Nervous System, which means it is far from being only an animal part. Steiner spoke both languages.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Xisca,

It is very true that most of the scientific world does not choose to recognize the other parts of the human inner trinity.
Some of us do however and I personally let meditation be my way to open the doors, the Dalai Lama and my great grand mother led me towards this method when I was a child, I have held to it ever since.

many times inspiration comes from places within us that we are not able to go consciously, dreams are one of the ways we get there, meditation is a pathway we can use to go from conscious to subconscious and be aware of doing so.

For a person who is aware of the things you talk about, this thread would simply show another method of achieving the end products (the preparations and use of them).
For a person who doesn't have such a good understanding, this thread may help them have that lightbulb click on and that could be good for them.

What matters in this thread is that what can seem like dreamer fairytale can be shown that it is based in solid thinking and thus worthy of trials by anyone who might want to give it a go.
Then they have the opportunity to make accurate conclusions from all sides of their perception of reality.

Redhawk
 
Chris Kott
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Thank you for that, Xisca. I am familiar with the idea. I still think it's a needlessly overcomplicated way to look at human cognition, just to justify spiritual feelings. Why does the spiritual need the justification of the intellect?

I am fairly happy ignoring the mystical justification for every little procedure, or dismissing it as part of the trappings of showmanship that were expected at the time.

I am thrilled that we can use what works of Biodynamics, and discard the trappings.

-CK

 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Chris,  Nice nut shell my friend.  
 
Wj Carroll
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My two cents on knowing either through scientific methods or through less quantifiable or provable means.  I believe that both have their place, because people are very different.  Some are more "right brain" some more "left brain".  Some people are very detail oriented and understand through experiments and intense study, while others are more intuitive.  It is very difficult for the intuitive person to prove the validity of what they hold to be true tot he more analytical person.  However, it can be nearly as difficult for the analytical to prove or disprove something to the intuitive, especially if the initiative's experience has yielded satisfactory results.  I often found myself in this position in school.  Although my IQ is in the 150s (which I only know because psychological studies were done on me as a kid because of my problem solving abilities, which were considered to be advanced... I don't think IQ means much in real life success and a high IQ can often be a hindrance to emotional intelligence), I am dyslexic and it is nearly impossible for me to do much beyond simple math.  Much of science was equally unapproachable to me, beyond the concepts.  I could understand the concepts intensely, but the lab work was nearly impossible.  Because I could understand the concepts, I generally got fairly high grades, without earning them - I answered the questions somewhat intuitively.  In college, I majored in economics.  I lacked a perfect 4.0, because I could not pass statistics.  I could answer every question on the principles correctly.  I could take the information and apply the concepts - no problem.  On the "micro" side, when it came to calculating interest on investments and such.... it was a crap shoot.  My mind works best when information is placed in the context of narratives/stories.  I don't belong in a lab.  I have a great deal of respect for those who do, and I value being able to learn from them what they can discover and prove through hard science.  My point is that an intuitive person may be equally as right as an analytical person, but have no way to prove the validity of their point to the other because they essentially speak a different language.  Beyond that, if there are things beyond the physical world, the analytical person has a very limited set of tools to attempt to either prove or disprove such.  It would seem to me that as neither party can truly prove or disprove the existence of something intangible, such debates are generally fruitless.  An attitude of mutual respect and appreciation for each other's talents would likely lead to the most beneficial synergy.      
 
Wj Carroll
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Back to the subject.... have you watched Evan Fold's videos on Permaethos?  Good stuff from a hard scientist who practices biodynamics:



 
Been there. Done that. Went back for more. But this time, I took this tiny ad with me:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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