In his book ‘Manichaeism’, Rudolf Steiner discusses the interrelation and cycle of life and form, describing how life moves from a low form as seeds to the highest form as a flowering plant and then back to a low form as seeds of the flower. All the life force and energy moves from the flowering plant to the seeds for the next generation. The material form of the plant creates a container for the life force and also transmits the energy needed for certain functions as part of a complex system. Cycle of the seed – beginning tiny, goes into earth and suddenly a plant arises and creates form. End stages, flowering and the flower goes down and leaves seeds, and plant comes up and on and on and on…collapses to be reborn. The form of life acts as a barrier to contain energy. Form – structure of plant – holds and contains life energy. If life were formless – unconstrained and left to flow in its full power – there would be no differentiation of species, required for the many life functions present in nature. The seeds from each former epoch provide the form for the next. The biodiversity of life transcends the form and flows into the seed, in order to recreate the same life, over and over in a kind of reincarnation process.
Some years ago, during a house renovation, the old straw and clay mixture was taken out of the walls and thrown out. The house was over 50 years old. As it happened, rain soon fell over the 50-year-old straw and clay waste, and after a while (against all odds) one could observe the shoots of some cereals beginning to grow out of it. A strain from over 50 years previously had come to life and was saved and recovered. What a testament to the miracle of life.
Nature is very effective but not always efficient. In order to secure the continuity of its own existence, a single tree can produce millions of seeds spread by wind, animals, insects or humans to secure one new tree of its variety. Men produce millions of sperm to produce one child. If the life of a tree is threatened – for example, due to water shortage or fire strikes – the tree produces more seeds to ensure it will not become extinct. Bad conditions for a crop could actually prompt a strong harvest of seeds – in plant breeding it is not always wise to use the best conditions to produce base seeds. You do, however, need the best breeders. When multiplying seeds, two very important elements are adequate growing conditions and experienced farmers. The spirit and the energy of the breeder and farmer flows into the seeds and often a dialogue occurs between the parties. Seed, plant and breeder shake hands and bless each other.
Seeds are life, and life is powerful, if we maintain the integrity of the plant and nature. If we believe that life is more than physical material, if we believe in life force, if we want to take care of life and our future generations, then we need to take care of seeds. The structure, form, information and energy are all contained within the seeds, added by nutrients from the soil, air, water and energy from the cosmos.
Conventional farming doesn’t recognize the life force in seeds and instead reduces seeds to pure chemical and biological processes, treating them as objects independent of the ecosystem while ignoring the integrity of the plant. Conventional agro-engineering uses poisonous chemicals or gene-technology to manipulate seeds, which in turn impacts the soil and water. The agro-industrial sector is one of the biggest polluters of soil and water worldwide.