In this chapter we come to the question: What is the conviction behind it all?
I will quote from my first book, From Vegetable Waste to Fertile Soil.
'The method is based on two main convictions:
- 'That all growth is the effect of the interplay of living forces -- not the result of automatic chemical change. That these forces pass through soil, permeate atmosphere, are carried by the elements, and are behind the mystery, the vitality of plant growth.
'With quick and controlled disintegration, these living forces are released and radiate into the heap. There they work in a vast co-operation with fungi, bacteria, earthworms, and other soil workers, and are returned to the earth strengthened by the herbal essences, ready for use once again for plants and in the same rhythm of life as the plants themselves.
- 'There is life throughout the universe -- life, manifesting at a different rhythm in each of the four kingdoms.'
Those convictions remain unchanged but strengthened.,
One life manifesting in each of the four kingdoms, but at a different rhythm.
There is life in a stone, otherwise it would fall apart and become dust. But a stone cannot grow; the life within it must pulse at a different rate to life in the vegetable kingdom in which plants even in the lowest forms, such as lichens, grow, and die, to become humus -- i.e. vegetable manure.
There are many degrees, many links between the four great kingdoms, but always there are definite differences.
The plant grows; it has vitality, that same vitality which is the basis of all food; but it is restricted. Life gives it much, but it cannot move, it can express no emotion, it has little free choice, it must take what it finds within reach of its roots.
The animal kingdom is a step higher, life is fuller, manifesting in a more complicated way, with larger possibilities, swifter action, greater intelligence. The rhythm of life is quicker.
Then comes man -- with all his potentialities of body, mind, and spirit, of service and sacrifice, of invention and thought, often a battleground of conflicting desires, emotions, and aspirations.
There is a great gap between the plant and man; yet man is linked to the plant by the vitality that comes to him in food, either direct through vegetables, or via the animal; but to feed the plant directly, I repeat, for that is the operative word, to feed it directly with raw matter belonging to other kingdoms, either the mineral (salts) or animal (blood) is to introduce a different rate of life into its being, and thereby unbalance its own rhythm and impair its constitution. Feed it within the rhythm of its own kingdom and all will be well.
The basis of animal manures is plants in an advanced state of decomposition. It is the strong animal juices, digestive juices present in fresh manure, that burn plants and attract pests. Old manure, or composted manure, is one of the finest forms of humus, and plants feed mainly on the humus that they find in the soil.
Yet there is Life in all that exists, and what is life?
Do we not find the answer in the words of the Eastern sage as he writes of:
'The Divinity that sleeps in the stones, stirs in the plants, wakes in the animals, is conscious alone in man.'
The breath of God in all that is.
That is Life.
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