A speculative research paper, Spring 2011
The art of coming to terms with psychophysics is to recognise that just as a circle is either concave or convex depending on whether the observer stands inside it or outside, the mind and body, spirit and matter, are only different sides of one reality, and to learn to hold both points of view simultaneously. Art, because in contrast to routine thinking, the creative act of thought is always double-minded.
Our natural environment cannot cope with all that we demand of it. It is out of balance, and humans are partly responsible. Over the last four hundred years we have become increasingly detached from nature – indeed, modern society defines itself by this separation. It is our responsibility to solve these problems, and in order to do this we must change our attitude towards our natural resources and the way we exploit them. The solutions require that we look at the problems in a different way. A novel approach is necessary, a shift from current paradigms to new ways of thinking. We do not advocate abandoning modern science, but it may mean looking to the ancient past and to the roots of human experience and traditional knowledge in order to realise a better way forward.
Recent research into crop circles poses unique questions about our relationship with the natural world. It indicates that the possibility exists that geometrical harmonics plays a role in revitalizing and amplifying specific natural forces, and that by understanding how this works we may advance to more mutually beneficial ecologies.
We are told that it is acceptable to modify the genetic make-up of the ‘staff of life,’ grasses such as wheat and barley, and vegetable crops such as oilseed rape. We are also assured that the chemicals commonly used in agriculture do not cause any irreparable damage to the fabric of the soil, and nor to us. Yet, the evidence shows otherwise. By-products of nitrogen fertilizers in common use today are acknowledged as a major contributor to atmospheric and water pollution. The process of nitrification (that is, the biological oxidation of ammonia with oxygen into nitrite followed by the oxidation of these nitrites into nitrates) is crucial to fertility, but, as so often, artificial processes fall short of nature’s intent. For example, nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more polluting than carbon dioxide, and dangerous nitrates derived from artificial fertilizer often leak into water courses. According to the recent (2010) European Nitrogen Assessment, which looked at the causes of nitrogen pollution across Europe and the costs of cleaning it up, two-thirds of the problem can be attributed to farming practices. This presents us with a paradox, because without nitrogen soils would become depleted and everyone would starve.
In accordance with current agreements, by 2050, British farmers have to meet the Government’s climate change targets by reducing greenhouse emissions by 80% of 1990 levels. This means that over the coming years radical alterations will need to be made to the ways farmers encourage crop yield. More efficient use of nitrogen sources for growing crops will significantly contribute to this reduction. Present best practice is the development and use of nitrification inhibitors which act on the microbes in the soil that produce polluting by-products, slowing down the rate of conversion and allowing plants to access the nitrogen more effectively before it is emitted as nitrous oxide. But this is really a measure designed to counter a systematic imbalance. Instead, the challenge is to strive for a balanced system throughout.
Recent preliminary laboratory studies have shown an increase in nitrogenase expression on the rhizosphere of roots found immediately below ‘ghost’ crop patterns and the surrounding field. This indicates that enhanced nitrogenase activity was associated with changes on the surface, matching the geometrical schema, i.e. the pattern of effected crop. Subsequent analysis of the soil at certain sites suggests that this effect extends through the nitrification process contained within the geometric field. It is our intention to continue this research during the 2011 cereal-growing season with fresh crop patterns.
Geometric Field Theory
Speculations about the nature of this activity range from chemical and/or biophysical changes within the soil caused by an as yet unidentified energy source that lays the crop in geometric patterns, to trace energy generated by the presence of the geometry itself. The visible pattern may be a physical response to a force, the plants behaving just as iron filings do when they form a pattern on paper over a magnet to reveal the two dimensional form of a magnetic field. Alternatively, the geometry may be an expression of a field that is self-generated. The geometry we see is limited to the flat plane of the ground surface but the field actually exists in three dimensions extending above and below this plane. Crop circles are catalysts of conviviality, and it has occurred to us that such fields may be activated by human interaction, an idea supported by previous research into human relations with plants. Another consideration is that the field is revitalized trace ‘memory’ of an earlier presence. The relationship between sacred geometry and acoustics is also noted, and sonic resonance will be integral to our ongoing experimental work.
Some sensitive people have reported detecting geomagnetic energies through dowsing, and ancient ceremonial sites have been rediscovered through the equienergetic space they share with crop circles. We are re-evaluating the extent to which existing theories based on purely material principles are capable of explaining such effects. Microbiological research into subatomic phenomena has revealed a deep-seated interconnectivity at every level in the physical world, forming a relationship where matter and antimatter exist and interact in unity. In existing field theory, physical phenomena are explained by a combination of fields and energy, not in terms of either one. Energy may cause the field to change but the way it changes, and the form it takes, depends on its spatial structure. In other words, they act as geometrical or spatial causes, which, we propose, may have the power to affect their immediate environment.
New, potentially useful speculations unfold when we follow this line of inquiry. Did crop circles first appear at the heart of England’s wheat belt in response to depletion of natural soil nutrients? Are the energy patterns reported by dowsers spectral traces of earlier, more powerful systems? The late John Burke (formerly of BLT Research) led an intriguing study into this territory. He concluded that sites such as Windmill Hill/Avebury were used to store cereal grain, and that something inherent to these places invigorated the seeds, maximizing future crop yields. This was in response to soil depletion in the Bronze Age, not dissimilar to what we are witnessing today. Accordingly, ever-present energies are generated naturally by well-known forces but are magnified locally by geological structures called conductivity discontinuities, which create geomagnetic variations and affect telluric fields. Aquifers beneath chalk downlands are one such example, and these have been cited as a causative factor in the appearance of crop circles. What if these energy fields are attracted or otherwise interact with relational geometry? (Could the light spheres seen in and around crop circles be manifestation of this energy, or even attracted by it?) Were ancient power systems designed to generate energy fields in order to replenish the land? Our findings suggest that this is plausible. As we become reacquainted with the idea that geometry defines sacred space, and that our ancestors were aware of this and were able to manipulate these energies, it is worth asking what potential can be released for ecological benefit.
Landscape as Temple of the anima mundi
Ongoing studies indicate that whatever the cause of crop circles enhances or intensifies, rather than depletes, the site’s natural vitality. Evidence of this on the surface of crop circles has included the appearance of cobweb-like material in abundance. This is a promising sign of enhanced microbial activity, which, where agricultural and ecological benefits are concerned, is a key to efficiency; increased soil nutrition and plant growth ultimately leads to a reduction in the need for artificial stimulus. If we can learn from this and find and develop creative ways to harness these energies in subtle ways that are not detrimental to the environment – rather, the opposite, perhaps by controlled circle-making experiments – it might mark the beginning of a revolution in our relations with nature, and supernature.
At various sites it was also noticed that animals seemed to be attracted to crop circles. This first became evident by tracks, but one site in particular was visited by field volunteers regularly over autumn and winter months, and deer were witnessed repeatedly visiting the site. Birds were also attracted, but this may be explained by the fallen seeds on offer. The avian distribution of seeds would also explain the abundance of wild flowers and fungi that have been noted at harvested sites. Nevertheless, these observations invite questions as to what else might make crop circles attractive to creatures that retain their ‘extrasensory’ capabilities.
Anyone who has witnessed a climbing plant seek its nearest support, or a root seek moistness, or a carnivore’s pickiness at which insects it consumes, knows that plants are capable of intent; they are able to perceive and to react to their environment at a level of sophistication that surpasses present human understanding. Plant behaviour represents a rich vein of potential for ESP research. What if traditional botanical associations with the supramaterial world of cosmic beings, known to Vedic sages as devas, and to Westerners as nature spirits, are allegorical representations of a real truth? This is what Stella Kramrisch (1976) means when she writes that sacred places:
…are potent sites where a presence is felt to dwell. Its support is in the place itself. Whatever makes the site conspicuous or memorable is reinforced in its effect by the attention of the people directed towards and concentrated on that spot. In such places (according to the Mahabharata) “the gods are seen at play.”
Kramrisch identifies important correlations in Vedic scripture between such sites, the ground itself and “the vital assimilation of energies of the soil into the grain and plants,” its consecration as holy ground, and the subsequent demarcation of the templum, of which the Vastupurusamandala (its ground plan) constitutes the metaphysical prototype of its various spiritual rhythms, giving the widest margin to their possibilities.
Relations between the patterns that inspire temple builders and the way nature operates unhindered by human intervention lays at the heart of ancient thinking. The ratios and proportions that define the way natural organisms develop and unfold are precisely the same as those that underpin various ancient buildings, and some crop circles. Crop circles are helping us to recognise a relationship between the geometric field and symbolism of the sacred realm, as manifest in temples, mosques, and cathedrals, and the way nature itself is structured and behaves, as manifest in flowers, shells, and other living organisms.
Studies have linked the recognition of this synonymy with the realignment and restoration of neural pathways, giving rise to corresponding experiences where subjects report a strong sense of wholeness within themselves and an enhanced sense of unity with other living things: a natural state known as vitalism. They invite immersion in natural wonder, revealing nature’s integration into the spiritual life force that humans manifest creatively through such activities as art and architecture, religion and symbolism, returning deep philosophical insights into the meaning and purpose of nature and the cosmos, and our place within it.
We argue that when disciplinary approaches are integrated co-constitutionally it can result in promising outcomes for practical knowledge. Empirical science often assumes authority outside its own bailiwick, excluding voices that play a valuable social role by articulating philosophical and aesthetic considerations. But, just as empiricism puts those elements to its test, so each should do the same in relation to the others. Once primacy is given to one above all and it begins to intrude into other domains the epistemological system breaks down. We can see physical manifestations of this in tilled soil, and throughout nature.
The present research is still in its infancy, but it indicates that the study of geometric fields has a role in future sustainable methods of soil nitrification. This thinking is based on the idea that bioactivity is triggered by a new type of causation through the agency of morphic fields (Sheldrake 2009). For example, diazotrophs (bacterial micro-organisms that fix nitrogen) demonstrate the ability to change their metabolic activities in swift response to changing conditions. As unlikely as a ‘power of geometry’ hypothesis sounds, we do not discount it simply because earlier research into the influence of two, three, and even four-dimensional shapes on local environs stands rejected by mainstream science.
Taking our lead from David Bohm’s notion of an unfolding dialogue that gives breathing space to ideas, as scientists tasked to look beyond these self-imposed limits we are committed to look into ways that may restore this harmony and to keep in mind philosophical and artistic considerations in evaluating the integrity of natural, or supernatural phenomena. We have taken the pragmatic decision to approach this subject from the philosophical stance that the natural world is an immanent, vital, emergent force, which reflects human action upon it, and that this constitutes a reciprocal exchange where we may expect to see phenomenal manifestations in return. We are determined to take a more radical approach that is more in keeping with the nature of our subject matter. In our view, novel approaches of this kind may lead to the novel solutions that are required now.
Burke, John & Halberg, Kaj (2005) Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith-builders, Council Oak Books, US.
Kramrisch, Stella (1976) The Hindu Temple, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.
Sheldrake, Rupert (2009) A New Science of Life, Icon Books UK.