Serialised book: “The Subtle Dance” – 5th instalment

Part I: The subtle side of reality

Water and stones

Water and stones are essential parts of material reality on our planet. They are not usually considered “alive”, but as is becoming obvious from the previous chapters there is far more to reality than meets the eye.

While conventional science says that water is essential for life, only recent advances at the frontier of science have revealed that water seems to possess characteristics which one would expect from living organisms but not from a supposedly simple chemical substance. We’ve all learned that water is H20. The slightly more scientifically educated may be aware of the complication of hydrogen isotopes and “heavy water”. But by and large, most people view water as pretty simple and neutral. For instance we tend to think that the quality of a sample of water is exclusively a matter of its degree of purity and of the substances within it. We talk of polluted water when unhealthy products are present in significant quantities. And we consider the degree of pollution to be simply related to their amounts. Conversely, we believe the quality to be good when substances present are considered favourable or harmless.

But now visualize water from a clear mountain stream. If you have ever drunk such water, you know what a wonderful experience it is. There is evidently something more about that water than just being reasonably free of pollutants and possibly containing traces of “good” products. That water does more that quenching your thirst; it brings you a fresh, invigorating, joyful flow of life.

From the point of view of physical chemistry water possesses very unusual properties. For instance only water shrinks when it melts. In its liquid state water behaves differently at low and high temperatures and its density increases when temperature rises. Its surface in contact with the air is denser than the bulk. We could go on and on. There are around seventy such known “anomalies” of water and it appears that no single scientific model can explain them all.

A number of complex models are under study for application in different circumstances. They all try to figure out what happens within an H20 molecule and between molecules. In particular they consider the bonds involving hydrogen atoms. It appears that these bonds are not evenly distributed and that molecules tend to form clusters. Furthermore hydrogen atoms migrate very rapidly amongst clusters. At that “nano” scale of observation, everything is changing continually within a fraction of second. If we move up the scale by a factor of millions and look at snow flakes, we see beautiful structures, and we notice that they are all different, that each flake is unique. A reasonable assumption is that these unique shapes of snowflakes are linked to conditions at the nano scale of clusters of molecules. But how? This is beyond the grasp provided by current theoretical models.

When water samples taken from different environments, such as a river, a mountain torrent, the sea, a sewage, etc., are frozen, and the ice obtained is observed under the microscope, very different structures are revealed. If the source was in a preserved natural environment, the structure tends to be pleasant and harmonious, whereas if the source was, say, a sewage, the structure of ice tends to be deformed and ugly. And here too it would seem reasonable to assume that the different structures are linked to conditions at nano scale. Each water sample leads to a unique ice structure, in the same way that each snowflake is unique. But there is something even more fascinating. When the water sample is brought in contact with a substance or receives an electromagnetic radiation, the structure of ice changes noticeably. And when the sample is considerably diluted with water from the same source to the point that there remains hardly any molecule of the added substance, the ice displays a structure that is practically the same as before dilution. Similarly, when electromagnetic radiation is discontinued, the ice obtained still shows the same structure.

Some call this phenomenon the memory of water. But many in the scientific establishment reject the idea of water memory and the subject happens to be very controversial. You might candidly wonder why. The reason is that the concept of water memory provides a possible explanation for the working of homeopathy. This form of treatment involves very extreme dilutions of an active substance, so extreme that the substance can’t possibly have any effect according to conventional science. But, if the memory trace left is significant in its structural impact, it becomes quite conceivable that the remedy may work on the patient even thought quantities of the active substance are quasi nil. The controversy is particularly vehement due to the vested interests involved. On the one hand, “Big Pharma” with its allopathic drugs, and on the other hand homeopaths with their completely different approach. As there are also a few significant medium sized companies specialising in the preparation of base homeopathic treatments, it is not unfair to say that vested interests are found in both camps, though in very different proportions. In any case, honest science is always the victim of controversies fuelled by vested interests.

Even more controversial are claims that the structure of ice observed under the microscope can be influenced not only by physical factors such as contact with a substance or irradiation, but also by messages written on the container in which the water sample was kept. If words such as “I love you” had been written on the container the ice would have a nice, harmonious structure, whereas the structure would be ugly and tortured if words such as “I hate you” had been written. And the same would be observed whatever the language used in the messages. This is of course totally unacceptable to hard line materialists, for reasons that go far beyond the defence of specific vested interests as in the case of water memory and its link to homeopathy. The suggestion that mere written words might have an effect on physical matter hits directly at the core of materialist thinking.

Let’s bear in mind though that there are other strong indications of linkage between thoughts and the physical world. For instance it is now well established in mainstream medicine that a patient’s positive or negative thoughts produce significantly different outcomes in the evolution of his physical health. The phenomenon is called the placebo effect, or nocebo effect when it’s negative. However, that effect takes place within the complex human organism where mind and living matter are both involved, whereas water within a container with words written on is supposed to be completely lifeless.

In a holistic vision where everything stems from Source, where energy, information and matter are intimately merged, water might not be lifeless at all. In fact in such a vision there is no sharp distinction between life and non life, because there are no firm boundaries, because everything forms a vast, infinite continuum.

Once again, we have to remember that science, however brilliant in our eyes, is only a set of extremely simplistic theories and models which amount to very little when contrasted to reality with its infinite facets and unimaginable subtlety. Given that water plays a central role in the development of life, it is not illogical or so far fetched to assume that it could in itself possess characteristics such as memory and response to emotions. If serious observations tend to support this assumption, and if adopting the assumption leads to fairly coherent explanations of a number of phenomena, why not consider the theory useful, and use it?

Anyway let’s leave water at this stage and turn now our attention to stones. These are seen in mainstream Western culture as the very opposite of life and emotions. We speak about somebody having “a heart of stone” or remaining “stone faced”. And yet in many traditions stones have been used since time immemorial not only for appearance and decoration but also for well being and symbolic power. Besides, there is a form of alternative therapy fast growing in popularity which is entirely based on stones and crystals.

So here too there must be something subtle going on that dry conventional science doesn’t quite grasp. Many alternative folks will be tempted to think “well, who cares if official science doesn’t get it, as long as our heart knows”. But we are on a journey that passes over bridges between science and intuitive knowledge.

From the point of view of physical chemistry stones and crystals have more stable structures than water, at least in its liquid and gaseous forms. But it doesn’t mean that all is quiet further down at the subatomic scale. Science has no idea of what is really happening at that sort of scale, as all it can offer are just mathematical models which do not in fact provide an explanation but only a set of relationships between parameters. And parameters need to refer to assumed “objects” such as elementary particles or photons of energy. If one digs deeper to reach a scale below that of elementary particles, science is completely at a loss, as there are no more detectable objects or factors to be translated into parameters of mathematical equations. As we approach the infinitely small the intellect simply ceases to be any use.

So we are left with no rational option but to tune down the pure intellect and allow intuition and subjective emotions to take over. If in that frame of mind we move back towards larger scales where direct observation is possible, we can see that many stones are utterly fascinating and beautiful. And the science of crystallography which analyses the regular structures formed by molecules within crystals reveals the geometric harmony of these structures. There may not be life as we usually understand it in stones and crystals, but there is definitely a pleasing display of proportions and colours, i.e. frequencies, which doesn’t leave the soul indifferent. In exploring the heart of earthly matter it’s a good idea to let science partner with metaphysics and art. This may frustrate and enrage cold materialists but should delight everybody else.

Copyright © Leo Foresta 2014




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