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plasma and electricity

Dragons and the phenomenon of "earthquake lights"

In the previous post, we discussed the exciting upcoming total solar eclipse, and the connection between eclipses and the lunar nodes.

Previous discussions of the lunar nodes noted that many ancient civilizations -- particularly in the east, such as those whose traditions survive in India, Tibet, and China -- are known to have portrayed the lunar nodes as a celestial being which temporarily devours the sun or the moon, sometimes as a disembodied head with no lower jaw (similar to that seen at top center of the image above), and sometimes as a dragon (or two dragons, for the two lunar nodes, or the head and the tail of one dragon).  In fact, the lunar nodes are also known as the "draconitic points."

That previous post about the nodes noted that we should be careful not to assume that such a description is an example of ancient ignorance.  In fact, no less an authority than Aristotle tells us that what some assume to be ignorant myths may actually be a subtle way that the ancients preserved and transmitted advanced scientific understanding.

This lesson -- which is one of the central themes of the vitally important Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, published in 1969 -- comes to mind when considering the controversial phenomenon known as "earthquake lights" (sometimes abbreviated EQL).

The term earthquake lights refers to luminous discharges that have sometimes been reported prior to, during, and after powerful earthquakes, at times being seen in the area by witnesses for many days or weeks before or after an earthquake or series of earthquakes.  Previous posts have discussed this phenomenon and some of the historical reports of these lights -- see for example this previous post, which contains a link to a 1912 book describing numerous reports of "glows" and "light flashes" seen during the New Madrid earthquake in the United States in the early 1800s.

While this phenomenon has been reported for centuries, it was generally not accepted by the "scientific community" until fairly recently (and is still not widely taught to the general public, perhaps because its causes are still not agreed upon, and perhaps because it is still not universally accepted).  Many scientific papers published in journals in the past several decades cite photographic evidence of earthquake lights taken in conjunction with the earthquakes in the region of Nagano, Japan from 1965 - 1967 as being the crucial turning point that led to widespread acceptance of this phenomena by the greater seismological community.

This report, entitled "Size and Some Features of Luminous Sources Associated with the 1995 Hyogo-Ken Nanbu Earthquake" by Tameshida Tsukuda of the University of Tokyo reports that during the Nagano earthquakes of 1965 - 1967, "A resident succeeded in taking photographs of the light five times or more" and cited texts published by geophysicist Y. Yasui in 1971 and 1972.  

This 1973 article on earthquake lights published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America also cites those texts by Y. Yasui.  The abstract states:
The best documented observations of earthquake lights are from Japanese earthquakes in the early 1930's and mid-1960's. In the latter case, color and black and white photographs were taken of bright, hemispherical, white luminescences based at ground level, about 20 to 200 m in diameter, of duration 10 sec to 2 min, restricted to mountain summits in a quartz-diorite faulted rock. Great difficulties and uncertainties accompany any attempt to explain the phenomenon.
A list at the bottom of the above-linked page to other articles citing this one include at least seven others acknowledging the existence of earthquake lights and attempting to explain them.

Later studies have carefully documented reports of earthquake lights in other parts of the world, sometimes with photographs.  This study, entitled "The earthquake lights (EQL) of the 6 April 2009 Aquila earthquake in Central Italy" discusses "luminous phenomena which were abundantly observed on this occasion"  (page 968 of original pagination, or page 2 of the pdf linked).  Reports which could possibly have resulted from confusion with electrical lines shorting out, gas pipe leaks, or even the planet Venus were discarded, leaving dozens of startling descriptions which make fascinating reading.  The sightings are plotted on a map of the effected earthquake area, and some photographs of luminous spheres which were taken by witnesses are included.

Some of the interesting aspects of the reports include the fact that what were reported as flames were always red in color but afterwards no signs of burn marks could be found, nor were any fires started by these flames (974 or page 8 of the pdf).  Many of the sightings appeared to be electrical discharges, either vertical or horizontal, and the vertical discharges always emanated from the ground (same page).

Previous posts have cited Dr. Walt Brown, the author of the hydroplate theory, on this phenomenon of earthquake lights.  Dr. Brown's theory proposes a different mechanism for the cause of earthquakes than the mechanism put forth by the conventionally-accepted tectonic theory.  See for example this post and this post, each of which contain detailed discussions of the cause of earthquakes as proposed by Dr. Brown, along with links to his book -- available for viewing online -- in which he discusses the extensive evidence which supports his explanation.

Note that Dr. Brown's discussion of the phenomenon of electrical discharges and luminous phenomena accompanying earthquakes -- as well as ionospheric disturbances preceding large earthquakes, sometimes for a matter of days in advance -- involves plasma discharges.  His theory also maintains that powerful plasma discharges began on earth (or greatly increased) during the events surrounding a cataclysmic global flood, and that the aftereffects of this event are the cause of earthquakes (and the occasional plasma discharges that accompany them) to this day.

The possible connections between earthquakes and plasma discharges is fascinating in light of the fact that Chinese dragons appear to have been associated with earthquakes, and also appear to embody many features associated with plasma discharges (even though the modern study of plasma discharges is relatively new).  

The image below shows the famous seismographic urn designed by Chinese astronomer Zheng Heng (thought to have lived from AD 78 to AD 139 in China), which clearly connects earthquakes and dragons.

This previous post also discusses the dragon / earthquake / plasma connection in Chinese tradition -- still evident in the discussion of the start of the Year of the Dragon (which we are still in) by a Feng Shui master in the video in that post.  

While it is possible that impressive phenomena such as those reported in the eyewitness accounts above might be interpreted as being caused by actual dragons, it is also possible that the ancients were using mythological metaphor to convey advanced scientific understanding of plasma-electrical phenomena which we are only now beginning to understand with our "modern science."  

It is also possible that -- if Dr. Brown's hydroplate theory is correct -- ancient earthquakes taking place in the centuries immediately following the initial cataclysmic event were more powerful and more often accompanied by visible plasma activity.

There are many accounts on the web of "rainbow clouds" or so-called "earthquake clouds" which might be confused with the earthquake lights discussed in the articles cited above, but it is clear from reading the earthquake accounts that the luminous orbs, discharges, and flashes being described there are probably quite different from the rainbow clouds that are popularly called "earthquake clouds" (which may be caused by simple atmospheric conditions not associated with earthquakes).

It is also worth pointing out that the reports of the earthquake lights that resemble plasma discharges go back many decades and even centuries.  Some people discussing the phenomenon of earthquake lights blame them on the HAARP program created by the US government, but it seems clear that the earthquake lights reported in the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 (for instance) cannot be associated with HAARP.  

This does not mean, of course, that any connection of HAARP to strange atmospheric phenomena (or even attempts to manipulate the earth or the weather or even to cause earthquakes) cannot be possible -- it only means that the phenomena of earthquake lights appears to predate any such modern programs.  It is, of course, still possible that people who realize a connection between electromagnetic energy and earthquakes could try to make use of that connection, but that is beyond the scope of this post.

Unfortunately, some who rush to "debunk" the connection between "rainbow clouds" and earthquakes do not make any distinction between theories that connect earthquakes to one sort of phenomenon or another, and appear to throw out any possibility that atmospheric disturbances and earthquakes may actually have scientific linkages (such as this "Bad Astronomy" column on the subject, in Discover magazine).   

The smug tone of that article -- and of many of the comments from readers responding to the article -- embodies the kind of ridicule Alfred Wegener faced when he proposed a new geological paradigm, and which is often leveled at those who suggest new possibilities that lie outside of or beyond conventional models.  The tone would hardly be less condescending if those who believed atmospheric disturbances accompanying earthquakes -- and the earthquakes themselves -- had suggested that they were actually caused by flying fiery dragons.  

But, as we have seen, those who connected dragons with earthquakes in ancient times may well have known more about plasma-and-earthquake connections than "modern science" did until quite recently (and perhaps they still knew more than we have managed to rediscover).  This fascinating connection bears careful consideration.

Birthday of Nikola Tesla (1856 - 1943)

July 10 is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, born this day in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia.

Tesla was an amazing genius and creative thinker, a designer of new inventions who explained that he could visualize an apparatus in his mind, assemble it in his mind, test it in his mind, and then disassemble it and inspect it for wear and binding and friction . . . in his mind! (Autobiography, cited in The Tesla Papers, edited by David Hatcher Childress, 13).

The introduction to the Tesla Papers (cited above) explains that, although he is not popularly given credit for the following inventions, it appears that Tesla's designs were the first in many areas that are usually attributed to later inventors:
Ask any school kid: "who invented radio"? If you get an answer at all it will doubtless be Marconi -- an answer with which all the encyclopedias and textbooks agree. Or ask most anyone: "who invented the stuff that makes your toaster, your stereo, the street lights, the factories and offices work?" Without hesitation, Thomas Edison, right? Wrong both times. The correct answer is Nikola Tesla, a person you have probably heard of. There's more. He appears to have discovered x-rays a year before W. K. Roentgen did in Germany, he built a vacuum tube amplifier several years before Lee de Forest did, he was using fluorescent lights in his laboratories 40 years before the industry "invented" them, and he demonstrated the principles used in microwave ovens and radar decades before they became an integral part of our society. Yet we associate his name with none of them. [. . .] His practical career started in 1881 in Budapest, Hungary, where he made his first electrical invention, a telephone repeater (the ordinary loudspeaker) and conceived the idea of a rotating magnetic field, which later made him world famous in its form as the modern induction motor. [. . .] Another one of Tesla's inventions that is familiar to anyone who has ever owned an automobile was patented in 1898 under the name "electrical ignitor for gas engines." More commonly known as the automobile ignition system, its major component, the ignition coil, remains practically unchanged since its introduction into use at the turn of the century. Nikola Tesla also built prototypes of a unique fuel burning rotary engine based upon his earlier design for a rotary pump. Recent tests that have been carried out on the Tesla bladeless disk turbine indicate that, if constructed using newly developed high temperature ceramic materials, it will rank as the world's most efficient gas engine, out-performing our present day piston type internal combustion engines in fuel efficiency, longevity, adaptability to different fuels, cost and power to weight ratio. 12-15.

Tesla is perhaps best known today, however, for his ground-breaking work in the transmission of electricity over distances, and the dramatic propagation of bolts of energy from high-energy Tesla coils. His later work led into extremely low frequencies including the resonant frequency of planet Earth, the production of huge bolts of artificial lightning, the search for signals from extraterrestrial life in outer space and the creation of devices that could send signals to other planets, the investigation of radiation, and the investigation of the science of plasma energy (which remains a largely open field for study to this day).

Through his science, Tesla was able to transmit electricity wirelessly to remote devices, using wireless electrical power to light the lamps at his own laboratories. However, his efforts to deliver inexpensive or even free power were stymied by business rivals (most notably Thomas Edison, who went to great lengths to portray Tesla's AC power as dangerous in comparison to Edison's DC power, including funding a road show in which Edison's representatives electrocuted dogs and one time even an elephant).

As explained in the Tesla Papers, Tesla believed our planet's conditions could provide free and abundant energy for all:
Tesla wrote in Century Magazine in 1900: ". . . that communication without wires to any point of the globe is practicable.  My experiments showed that the air at the ordinary pressure became distinctly conducting, and this opened up the wonderful prospect of transmitting large amounts of electrical energy for industrial purposes to great distances without wires.  Its practical consummation would mean that energy would be available for the uses of man at any point of the globe.  I can conceive of no technical advance which would tend to unite the various elements of humanity more effectively than this one, or of one which would more add to and more economize human energy . . ."  This was written in 1900!  After finishing preliminary testing, work was begun on a full sized broadcasting station at Shoreham, Long Island.  Had it gone into operation, it would have been able to provide usable amounts of electrical power at the receiving circuits.  After construction of a generator building (still standing) and a 180 foot broadcasting tower (dynamited in World War I on the dubious pretext of being a potential navigation reference for German U-boats), financial support for the project was suddenly withdrawn by J. P. Morgan when it became apparent that such a worldwide power project couldn't be metered and charged for.  14-15.
Whether Tesla had really discovered the secret to providing free and abundant power to heal the divisions between a divided mankind remains unknown.

It is indisputable, however, that powerful business and political interests sometimes labor mightily to prevent new and less expensive forms of power being made available -- in fact, it can be demonstrated that such efforts to block sources of new or less expensive or more abundant energy continue to this very day.

It is also indisputable that Tesla was an incredible genius, an example of the incredible power of the human mind, and an inventor who truly sought to benefit others.

What can Maat Mons on Venus tell us about the origins of radioactivity on earth?

The presence of radioactivity on earth, and its unique characteristics, cause a multitude of problems for conventional theories of earth's origins and geological history.  Some of these difficulties have been mentioned in previous blog posts, such as "The important questions surrounding earth's radioactive isotopes."  

Many more are discussed in much greater detail in the section of Dr. Walt Brown's book about the hydroplate theory, in which he examines numerous pieces of evidence related to radioactivity and compares the conventional explanation for this evidence to the hydroplate theory's explanation.  This page in particular in the online version of his book (all of which is available online for examination by anyone for free) goes through numerous pieces of evidence point-by-point.

On that page, Dr. Brown explains the evidence which supports his assertion that: "The inner earth is hot, because the flood produced large-scale movements, frictional heating, electrical activity, and radioactivity within the earth. Similar events never happened on Mars or Venus. Therefore, the interiors of Mars and Venus should be colder."

This assertion is quite startling, and if correct quite significant.  It flies in the face of the assertions of conventional theorists that almost all of the radioactive material in the universe (including that found on earth) was produced inside stars and supernovas in particular, then expelled (some of it finding its way into forming planets).  Whereas the conventional theory argues that radioactive material was present in the original formation of the planets of our solar system (including our earth), the hydroplate theory says that unique and powerful forces on earth (accompanying cataclysmic geological events surrounding a global flood) created most of the radioactive elements on earth.  

Dr. Brown does not argue that no other forces can produce radioactive isotopes -- for example, it is obvious that the sun's radiation does create isotopes in the atmosphere.  However, while the sun's radiation does produce some radioactive isotopes as well, it is not responsible for all or even most of the radioactive elements on earth (it is not responsible for uranium, for instance).

The hydroplate theory argues that powerful forces surrounding the flood created intense electrical discharges.  The massive electrical forces created plasma discharges and bremsstrahlung radiation which created the radioactive isotopes in earth's crust.  They were not uniformly concentrated throughout the earth but only in the crust, and where this activity took place, the crust is still warmer than average to this day.

These forces, as well as other massive movements of rock (for more on those see here) caused by forces surrounding the global flood heated up the core of the earth to levels not found on our neighboring rocky planets Mars and Venus, according to the hydroplate theory.

Is there evidence that Mars and Venus are cooler on the inside than we would expect from the conventional theory (which argues that all three originated as molten balls and which denies that earth experienced a catastrophic flood, and would certainly deny that our planet's internal heat -- and radioactivity -- is a result of that catstrophic event)?  There appears to be!

Dr. Brown points out that recent measurements taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows that the crust of Mars deforms less than scientists expect during seasonal shifts of its ice caps, and that in fact the weight of the cap does not deform the crust as much as it should if the interior were as warm as scientists expected.  This evidence is discussed in a 2008 article by Dr. Matthias Grott entitled "Is Mars Geodynamically Dead?"

Dr. Brown also points out that evidence from the surface of Venus imply that its interior is nowhere near as hot as we would expect based upon conventional theories.  For example, the enormous terrain feature shown above, Maat Mons, on the surface of Venus rises five miles in height (26,400 feet).  By comparison, Mt. Everest rises only about 12,000 feet to 15,000 feet from its base (depending on estimates).  If the crust interior of Venus were as hot as it should be based upon most conventional theories, it would not support such a massive mountain.  

Dr. Brown points out that the atmosphere of Venus is about "860°F—so hot its surface rocks must be weak or 'tarlike.' (Lead melts at 622°F and zinc at 787°F)."  If the planet really evolved the way conventional theories say that it did, then much of this heat should have seeped into the crust over the billions of years that it has been orbiting the sun, and Maat Mons would not be expected to hold its steep-sided shape, and the crust would not be expected to support this five-mile-high massif.  

Not only does Maat Mons pose problems for those who argue for a billions-of-years-old Venus, but it also appears to be additional evidence from our other planetary neighbor which supports the idea that earth's interior heat -- and radioactivity -- originated in a catastrophic flood event which did not take place on either of our two neighbors in space.

There are other startling ramifications of the idea that earth's radioactivity may have originated in a cataclysmic event.  For one thing, if humans existed prior to this event, then those who lived prior to the creation of so much radioactive material may have lived longer than we do today.  For another thing, the plasma events that surrounded the cataclysm (perhaps continuing for some centuries afterwards) might have been memorialized in the rock art around the world that many authorities in the emerging science of plasma physics have noticed bear a striking resemblance to plasma phenomena.

In fact, the tremendous impact of this event on human consciousness would be so important that we probably could not understand the evidence of ancient history without taking it into account.  The Mathisen Corollary book attempts to begin the exploration of the important new perspectives that Dr. Brown's theory offers on the mysteries of mankind's ancient past.  Many other examinations of this kind are needed.  The compelling evidence that supports the hydroplate theory is extensive, both on this planet and throughout the solar system.

Largest solar storm in five years approaching fast!

Here is a link to a NASA page containing a video showing incredible imagery from the recent solar flare, which erupted when the earth was positioned at the 06 March to 07 March point in its orbit and turned such that it was about 1900 Eastern Standard Time on 06 March (which corresponds to about 0000 on 07 March for Greenwich or Universal Time).

According to NASA:
This flare was categorized as an X5.4, making it the second largest flare -- after an X6.9 on August 9, 2011 -- since the sun’s activity segued into a period of relatively low activity called solar minimum in early 2007. The current increase in the number of X-class flares is part of the sun’s normal 11-year solar cycle, during which activity on the sun ramps up to solar maximum, which is expected to peak in late 2013.
The NASA page goes on to say that shortly afterward, "at 8:14 PM ET, March 6, the same region let loose an X1.3 class flare. An X1 is 5 times smaller than an X5 flare." This Wikipedia page explains that the scale used measures flares in terms of Watts per square meter at peak flux as measured by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, using letters A, B, C, M and X to indicate increasing ranges of intensity, with X indicating the highest.

The most amazing part of the video linked above is the visible shock wave that can be seen rippling across the surface of the sun. NASA tells us that these so-called "EIT waves" move at over a million miles per hour and can travel the entire breadth of the sun.

As most people have now heard on the news, these relatively intense solar flares triggered two corresponding coronal mass ejection (CMEs), which are now speeding towards the earth (and towards Mars, which is currently quite close to us in its orbit, as discussed in this blog post and in the blog posts describing the apparent retrograde motion that observers on earth perceive when earth passes by Mars on our inside track around the sun).

A coronal mass ejection consists of solar material streaming through the interplanetary medium (space), a form of plasma energy containing solar energy particles including protons, electrons, and ionized gases. When it impacts the earth's magnetosphere, these plasma streams will create magnetic storms with a variety of consequences on the electromagnetic spectrum on earth, including the possibility for visible aurora in the night sky.

The NASA site tells us that the CMEs are heading towards us at more than 600 miles per second, and this Wall Street Journal article explains that they should begin to arrive between 0100 and 0500 on Thursday 08 March (Eastern Standard Time, or between 0600 and 1100 Universal Time the same day). For observers on the west coast of North America, that means between 2200 this evening (07 March) and 0200 early Thursday morning (08 March) -- in other words, just a few hours from now!

As discussed in previous posts, while outer space was once thought to be empty (just a lot of "space"), it is now believed that it is actually full of powerful plasma flows. This page from hydroplate theory originator Dr. Walt Brown discusses the importance of plasma and notes that at least 99.9% of the matter in the visible universe is plasma. Previous posts discussing this important subject include "Across the (Electric) Universe" and "The important questions surrounding earth's radioactive isotopes."

Here is a link to a website dedicated to exploring some of the implications of "plasma cosmology" and the "plasma universe." Note that this website is also associated with the work of theorists such as David Talbott, who believe that Saturn, Mars and Venus once lined up much closer to earth than they are today, creating a dazzling (and plasma-charged) spectacle for observers on earth, which gave rise to most ancient mythology.

I have touched on this theory in the posts linked above, as well as in this post and in many of the message board conversations from my month as Graham Hancock's "Author of the Month" for January 2012 (convenient links to those conversations are provided here).

As I have briefly explained, while I believe that plasma science is extremely important and that there are many clues there which will certainly shed light on crucial questions about the geology of the earth and about ancient mythology, I do not agree with the planetary assertions of Mr. Talbott and his colleagues -- I believe that most of the ancient mythology they are discussing is much more coherently understood based upon the thesis proposed by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend in Hamlet's Mill (discussed extensively in previous posts, and also in my book itself). If those planets filled the sky in ancient times (a proposition which would be very difficult to explain under currently-understood laws of physics anyway) they would have drowned out the stars that mankind clearly observed with a high degree of accuracy at a very early period.

Nevertheless, while I think the speculations about an arrangement of an awe-inspiring alignment of Saturn, Venus and Mars are incorrect, I do acknowledge that plasma is extremely important -- in fact, the hydroplate theory shows that plasma discharge did play an important role in the events surrounding the flood, and thus it is quite possible that some of the other assertions about the connections between plasma science and ancient art (and some ancient legend) could be on the right track.

Some of my blog posts linked above discuss the ways that Dr. Walt Brown has shown that plasma phenomena on earth are connected to the events surrounding the global flood. He also shows that today's earthquakes are directly connected to the events surrounding that flood, and points to evidence of electric discharge prior to violent earthquakes to this day (some of that evidence is also discussed in this previous blog post).

Finally, the magnetosphere that protects us on earth from the most damaging effects posed by such solar ejections is also an important clue which appears to support Dr. Brown's theory. See for example the discussion entitled "The Origins of Earth's Powerful Magnetic Field" which is located about seven-eighths of the way down this page in the online version of his book which he makes available to all for their examination and consideration. For more on that subject, see also this previous post and this previous post on this blog.

The excitement surrounding the impending arrival of these solar disturbances can be the occasion to explore these fascinating and important topics. It can also be an occasion to get out and see if there are any beautiful auroral phenomena created in your part of the globe by these recent solar flares.


Many readers have no doubt already seen the video above of the presentation by Paul Stamets filmed in March 2008 discussing "Six Ways Mushrooms can Save the World" (many thanks to my good friend Mr. DY for alerting me to this video some years ago).

Now, there is a new video just recently uploaded to the web, also featuring Paul Stamets in a TEDMed talk from October of 2011, which goes into more detail on some of the amazing subjects discussed in the video above, as well as discussing some recent advances he and his colleagues have made since then. It includes a very moving story at the end that you won't want to miss.

As Mr. Stamets himself mentions in both talks and discusses at greater length in his writings both on the internet and in his published books (such as Mycelium Running, Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, The Mushroom Cultivator, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World), there is extensive evidence that ancient civilizations were keenly aware of the incredible powers of mushrooms -- perhaps more aware than we are today.

In this selection from Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, Mr. Stamets provides some descriptions of the evidence of ancient mushroom use, including cave art in the Tassili region of Algeria in which "mushrooms with electrified auras are depicted outlining a dancing shaman." The "electrified auras" -- as well as the descriptions and images Mr. Stamets gives in his talks of mycelium as "the Earth's natural internet" -- brings to mind the topics touched on in previous posts such as this one and this one. Mr. Stamets also notes that the man known as "The Ice Man" (whose mummified remains were found in the Ötzal Alps) apparently had three different species of mushroom among his possessions.

There is strong evidence that the ancient Egyptians, Hindus, and Maya all revered mushrooms. This website outlines some of the arguments that have been made concerning the possibility that the manna described in the sacred Hebrew Scriptures was actually a form of mushroom (it was small and round, it was gathered in the morning "in the morning dew," and it would breed larva and melt to mush if kept and not dried).

Books by Dr. Dan Merkur (Mystery of Manna: the Psychadelic Sacrament of the Bible) and Dr. Carl A. P. Ruck (Sacred Mushrooms: Secrets of Eleusis and Mushrooms, Myth, and Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe) provide extensive evidence that the ancients incorporated psychoactive mushrooms in some of their most important attempts to interact with the divine and the supernatural. The writings of the first Europeans to encounter the civilizations of Central America indicate the same thing, as do the hundreds of "mushroom stones" which have been found in the Americas.

Mr. Stamets has another article available on the internet which explores some fascinating history of mushrooms in Asia, demonstrating connections to the warrior "Flowering Knights" of Korea and to shamanic practice, as well as pointing out that "Prominent within many Buddhist temples are representations of medicinal mushrooms, particularly Ganoderma lucidum, also known as Ling Chi, the Mushroom of Immortality, and the Tree of Life Mushroom."

Whatever your assessment of these various arguments, it is apparent from the work of Mr. Stamets that modern science is only just beginning to take note of the amazing secrets surrounding mushrooms. It is also quite clear that ancient advanced civilizations perceived the importance of these amazing organisms.

While more examination on the topic is warranted, the prominent place of mushrooms in ancient times in Asia, Central America, and the Mediterranean, as well as the fact that they were apparently referred to as "The Bread of God" by civilizations in both the Old World and the New World, seems to point to the possibility of contact beyond what is countenanced in conventional history.

Much more can be said on this subject, beyond the scope of this short post, but in conclusion it is also important to point out a subject brought up in both of Mr. Stamets' videos above. That is the fact that there are very rare and very beneficial fungi species which can only be found in old growth forests. These species (such as the Agarikon fungi, or fomitopsis officinalis) were apparently known to the ancients, but have disappeared from Europe with the disappearance of the old growth forests, and now can be only rarely encountered in the few remaining patches of old growth forest in the Pacific northwest.

It seems that in the process of stamping out ancient knowledge in much of the world, the agents of anti-knowledge also nearly stamped out a species that the ancients recognized as incredibly beneficial to mankind. No doubt there are many other species that were in fact lost forever, whose potency mankind will now never have the opportunity to rediscover.

Note: the fact that mushroom expert Paul Stamets feels the need to place the warning in bold type and red ink on his website which reads, "WARNING: Never eat a mushroom unless it has been positively identified" should be taken with the utmost of seriousness. There are mushrooms which can destroy the human liver before any ill effects are noticed -- by the time the symptoms show up, it is usually too late. Fungi on one continent that look just like the fungi of another can be edible in one continent but can be a deadly look-alike species on another. Every year there are tragic stories of families from Asia living in California who pick wild fungi for a New Year's dish and all are poisoned by the same meal. Please use extreme caution and respect the power of mushrooms -- they are an organism which is not to be taken lightly.


From Esoterism and Symbol, by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, translated by André and Goldian VandenBroeck, 1977 (translation of Propos sur Esotérisme et Symbole, 1960):
The heart beats its rhythm, not because it is driven by a motor, but because it is itself the motor of blood circulation. Each cell of the heart beats this rhythm, and Dr. Carrel's experiment demonstrated what was well known to ancient wisdom concerning innate intelligence and consciousness. Each organic being (and even each cell of the organs of an organized being) has its part in the general life which is its personal specification. Man's heart is not alone in beating rhythmically like a motor: there are aquatic beings that are entirely a heart of this kind and represent the awakening of the consciousness which will become "heart." Another consciousness will become liver, another will become lung, and thus each function has its organ. Compared with an apparently inert mineral, for example, such an organ is the incarnation of a consciousness, of a cosmic function which has received corporeal life. A museum accordingly classifying "The Evolution of Consciousness" or "The Becoming of Life" as natural history would be much more authentic than our displays of dead specimens. 13
See the previous discussion in this post which says:
"Certain cultures preserve the knowledge of the fact that different organs of our human bodies have different times during the day at which they are at higher and lower energy levels (traditional Chinese medicine, for example, places great importance on these cycles)."

This topic is also related to the subjects discussed previously in this post.

At the end of this particular discussion, Schwaller de Lubicz says in a footnote: "The 'microcosm' is an image that makes it possible to perceive the idea being developed here. In reality, man is the universe, and not a miniature universe in the image of a large one" (14).

Note: the inclusion of the above quotation from 1960, which contains a reference to Alexis Carrel, does not constitute an endorsement by the author of this blog of either Dr. Carrel's actual experiment or his other views -- the quotation from Schwaller de Lubicz does not stand or fall upon his reference to the celebrated experiment of Dr. Carrel.

Birthday of J.C. Willis (1868 - 1958)

Earlier this month, in a post entitled "Across the (Electric) Universe," we encountered the work of one of the modern era's foremost botanists, John Christopher Willis, who was born this day (February 20) in 1868.

The Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society for Dr. Willis tell us that:
John Christopher Willis was born at Birkenhead on 20 February 1868. He studied at University College, Liverpool, and at Cambridge and for a time was an assistant in the Botany Department at Glasgow. In 1896, he was appointed director of the Royal Botanic Garden, Peradeniya, Ceylon, and held the post for 15 years. From 1912 to 1915 he was director of the Botanic Garden at Rio de Janeiro and after his retirement he worked at Cambridge and later went to live at Les Terrages, Avenue des Alpes, Montreux, Switzerland, where he died on 21 March 1958. He married Minnie, daughter of T. Baldwin, in 1897, and she died in 1931. There were three daughters of the marriage. He was an M.A. and Sc. D. (Cantab.), and was given an honorary S.D. by Harvard. He was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1897 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1919. The Annals of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradiya, was a periodical founded by him, volume 1 part 1 appearing on 27 June 1901.
Based on his extensive study of plant speciation and distribution (beginning with a deep study of the varieties of of the Podostemaceae family), J.C. Willis reached the firm conclusion that the accepted mechanism of Darwinian natural selection could not possibly account for the evidence found throughout the plant world. He allowed that natural selection could and did play a subsidiary role at times, but that it could not explain the origin of species.

Dr. Willis argued that the Darwinian explanation of a series of small and gradual changes was fatally flawed, and proposed in its place a process of major mutations bringing forth entirely different (widely divergent) genera that then branched out into different species.

The addition of evidence from botany highlights the weaknesses in the Darwinian theory. Even today, most defenses of Darwinian evolution tend to focus on arguments supported by the natural selection of animals rather than plants. Plants pose some difficult problems for the natural selection theory, and Dr. Willis argues that one of these was considered the strongest argument against his theory by Darwin himself:
On the face of it, this suggested mechanism for the carrying on of evolution, to which Darwin gave the name of Natural Selection ("or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life") seemed eminently reasonable, and one that could do the work required. But the struggle was necessarily of each individual of a species for itself alone, and if one individual showed a favourable variation while its neighbours did not, the variation would soon tend to be lost by crossing. This was shown by Fleeming Jenkin in a criticism which Darwin considered as the best that was ever made of his work. [. . .] When Darwin gave way, as he was forced to do, to this criticism from Fleeming Jenkin, the freedom of the natural selection theory was really lost. Course of Evolution, page 5 -- all pagination references are to the original pagination in the 1940 text, seen in the online version by the page-numbers at the top of each page.
In that text, Dr. Willis systematically illustrates examples from the world of botany that cast serious doubt upon the proposed Darwinian mechanism for the origin of the species.

For example, he points out that plants and trees typically display leaf patterns which are either alternate or opposite, and that they are always either perfectly opposite or perfectly alternate, with no intermediaries. (Below see detail from a diagram in Wikimedia commons which illustrates the distinction between leaves that are alternate and leaves that are opposite -- opposite leaves are here described as "pinnate," from a Latin word meaning "feathers").

Dr. Willis writes:
Gradual change, picking out advantageous variation, would be very unlikely indeed always to produce the same structural character, such, for example, as is shown by a berry or a drupe, or by opposite leaves. Why should berries be most often found in the near (systematic) neighbourhood of capsules, drupes in that of achenes or nuts? Why should selection pick out leaves that were exactly opposite, ovules with the raphe exactly dorsal or ventral, or why such clearly marked and exactly formed fruits as capsules, berries, etc.? Selection would obviously act with decreasing force as the leaves came nearer and nearer to being opposite (or alternate for then they show a definite phyllotaxy or arrangement), or the raphe to being dorsal or ventral, etc. In actual fact, between many of these characters, intermediary stages are not possible. One could only take the one or the other side of a very divergent variation, such as alternate or opposite leaves, dorsal or ventral raphe, etc. 45.
This is a devastating critique, and one that is uniquely evident in botany (not as easily made using the arguments from the animal kingdom that are popularly put forward to support the Darwinian or neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory based on gradual mutation plus natural selection).

Related to this argument is the lack of "intermediates" found either in existing species today or in the fossil record. In describing his rejection of the theory of "progress by small, gradual and progressive adaptation," Dr. Willis points out: "But fossil evidence gives but little support to this conception. Real intermediates are rare; [. . .]" (43). Later in the same work, he reiterates: "Lastly, there should be mentioned the all but complete absence of transition stages in the fossils, a fact which violently disagrees with the supposition that evolution was gradual and continuous" (73). He goes into even more detail on this point on page 12:
One does not find to any serious extent in the fossil record, species which represent real intermediates between existing or fossil species. One finds rather examples of species that have some of the characters of the one, some of another. But one does not find species (as from the constant occurrence of the few characters side by side in existing species one might expect to do) that show intermediate characters between alternate and opposite leaves, between palmate and pinnate leaves, between erect and climbing stems, between racemose and cymose infloresences, between flowers with and without a cyclic perianth, between isomerous and heteromerous flowers, between imbricate, valvalte, and convolute aestivation, between flowers with the odd sepal posterior and with it anterior, between stamens in one and in more whorls, between anthers opened by splitting or by teeth, valves, or pores, between 3-locular and 4-locular ovary, between ventral and dorsal raphe, between loculicidal and septicidal fruits, and so on through all the important structural characters. 12.
Later, on pages 79 through 80, he gives another long list of variations within different plant families (such as "seed without wings; seed with wings" or "leaves usually 5-nerved; leaves usually 3-nerved") and then concludes:
Both in the monotype and the ditype families it will be seen at once that the characters that distinguish the species in the one and the genera in the other, are of the "family" type rather than of the specific or generic type found in large families. And most often they allow of no intermediaries. 80.
Along this same line of argument, Dr. Willis notes that, while the natural selection theory generally maintains that mutations that provide some kind of survival advantage tend to survive, the numerous attempts to explain how plant differences (such as three petals on a flower versus four petals on a flower) could provide a survival advantage often fall flat or are completely strained. He says, "Morphologists have long maintained that structural characters have nothing to do, directly, with the life or functions of the plant, and it would appear that they are right in this contention, which violently contradicts the supposition of selection as a chief cause in evolution. The evolution that has produced more than 12,000 genera and 180,000 species has not been, primarily, an adaptational evolution, as the writer tried to show twenty-five years ago in the case of the Podostemaceae" (54).

In addition to these major difficulties, Dr. Willis offers other examples from the plant world which are very difficult to explain using the mechanism of natural selection. One of these is the fact that, while climate may change gradually, there will usually be periods of unusual weather within those longer gradual changes, and these would often kill off any gradual changes that had begun to take place within plant species:
For example, the climate (not the weather) must change gradually in the direction of warmer or cooler, wetter or drier. But these changes are well known to be so slow that they can only be detected in averages of a century or more -- a period longer than the life of most plants, except many trees -- whilst weather is continually changeable. Suppose a plant to have begun to vary in the direction of suitability to increased drought, and then there comes, as so commonly happens, a cycle of wetter years; what is going to happen then? 55.
Similarly, he argues that major new "adaptations" such as climbing plant species can hardly be explained by a series of gradual mutations:
A very great difficulty in the path of acceptance of natural selection as a cause for gradual adaptation is the fact that so many of what look like real morphological adaptations require so much correlation. Climbing plants come into this group, though they are obviously well suited to climbing. The habit cannot be difficult to acquire, for there are so many cases of the closest relatives, one climbing, one erect. A climber also needs a support, which is usually an erect plant, so that erect plants must have been the earlier. But one cannot imagine natural selection picking out the beginnings of weak and flexible stems, whether by gradual change or by small mutations. And when at last they were formed, as obviously there would be no value in developing tendrils or other means of climbing until the stems were weak, they would collapse into the darker lower levels of vegetation and would have to undergo physiological adaptation to living in greater darkness. Then they would have to learn to form climbing organs, and finally, learning to climb, they would once more have to adapt themselves to life in greater light. And what use would the beginnings of tendrils or other climbing organs be? And why, after having learnt to live in greater darkness, should the plant want to grow up into the light once more? Yet it would be dragged up by the tendrils, and would probably suffer from the excess of light. 56.
It must be pointed out, as noted in the previous post that mentioned Dr. Willis, that the author of these powerful criticisms of Darwinism was not himself a creationist, and that Dr. Willis did in fact accept the theory of evolution. He simply did not believe that the evolutionary mechanism offered by Darwin was correct. In its place, he offered a much different and more radical mechanism, and one that has never gained widespread acceptance.

Dr. Willis was a proponent of a theory called "Differentiation," in which some unknown force caused major mutations that diverged tremendously from previous forms, rather than the endless gradual changes which characterize the Darwinian theory. He explains this theory in pages 65 to 73 of the text linked above (it is almost worthwhile to read this chapter first when tackling that 1940 text, and then going back to the beginning to follow the rest of his arguments). One can also find a summary (with some points of disagreement) of the theory of Differentiation as proposed by Dr. Willis in this review of one of his later books, found in Volume 50, issue 1, pages 135-139 of New Phytologist, May 1951.

In general, this theory proposes that very large mutations found new families, which then branch off into different genera and species and sub-species, without the extinction of the parent family. This progress is very different from the general thrust of Darwinism, which argues that species arise through gradual changes, and that only the fittest are selected over time to propagate, such that existing species (including man) must be the product of other species that are no longer on earth.

In describing this theory, Dr. Willis explains:
There is nothing inherently absurd in the idea that a family might be founded by a single mutation. About 1902 the writer became a convert to theory of mutation, but it seemed to him completely illogical to insist that mutation could only be very small, when before us, in every family, there lay so much evidence that species, genera, tribes, sub-families and families were so continually separated by such well-marked divergent characters as leaves opposite or alternate, anthers opening by slits or by pores, [. . .]. They could only, it would appear, be the result of definite single mutations, and therefore mutations must at times be large. And if large in regard to these characters, which are very often of "family" rank, why not in all cases? 67-68.
Dr. Willis saw this theory as occupying a middle ground between two extremes that he rejected: special creation of the species, and natural selection as proposed by Darwin (which he described as a religion of its own on page 6, saying "the name Darwinism became attached rather to the theory of natural selection, which became a cult, and which now exercises enormous influence in the world at large, even national policies being in some instances largely tinged with it").

Between these two extremes, he says, lies his proposal, saying: "Special creation went too far in one direction, natural selection in the other, and differentiation may be called a kind of compromise" (7).

Even while he rejected a divine origin for the families and species that he describes in his book, he admits that at present we do not know the cause for the large and seemingly purposeful leaps that plant and animal families appear to have taken in their evolutionary path. As mentioned in the previous post on the theories of Dr. Willis, he believes that there may be some force in the universe which propels evolution forward, and that this force might be somehow electrical.

In addition to the quotation cited there, from page 188, he also proposes some electric force on page 46, in the text and in a footnote there, saying:
There might for example be (probably is) some physical or chemical law that at present we do not know, compelling genes or chromosomes to behave in a certain way. [Here there is a footnote, which reads: "My friend Dr C. Balfour Stewart suggests that it is probably electrical, as is probably the splitting of the chromosomes in reproduction."]
As noted previously, recent science has suggested that electricity may play a much greater role in the universe than was ever previously admitted, and so Doctors Willis and Stewart may have been onto something bigger than anyone at the time realized.

The important thing to note about the work of Dr. Willis, and the reason I have dwelt at length on the details of his work, is his willingness to challenge conventional entrenched theories, theories that even in his day could accurately be described as forming a sort of Darwinian "cult."

He was willing to examine huge amounts of evidence that seemed to point to a conclusion other than the accepted explanation, and to go on record as saying that this evidence cast grave doubt upon the conventional academic orthodoxy. He was also willing to propose an alternate theory, no matter how strongly such a theory was opposed, based upon the evidence that he found -- even if he had to admit that all the details of how this theory could work were not yet known.

In doing so, Dr. Willis exhibited what I believe to be tremendous integrity. Even those who believe that the evidence supports a conclusion in the other camps that he identifies (the camp of special creation and the camp of natural selection) should agree that all possible explanations should be identified, and the evidence that supports or does not support each theory should be honestly and thoroughly examined.

Unfortunately, this attitude is rare today.

Previous posts which deal with this important subject include:
and, on a slightly different tack,
For all these reasons, J. C. Willis and his work should be more well-known today. And the theory of Darwin should be more carefully considered, rather than accepted as an article of blind faith.