by Dennis Klocek
In the book, Secrets of the Soil, the author, Christopher Bird, mentions the work of T. Galen Hieronymus, the inventor of the cosmic pipe. The cosmic pipe is a 6 foot length of PVC 6″ pipe filled with basalt flour with a copper wire running down the middle of the pipe. The pipe is then stood on end in the ground near a field in which a fanner wishes to grow a crop. This arrangement is said to vitalize plants and produce greater yields. This invention is a variation of towers, obelisks and pyramids used by agriculturists for the same purpose since ancient times. In the same book, Mr. Bird includes an interview with Harvey Lisle a bio-dynamic experimenter who has researched, among other things, the cosmic pipe. Mr. lisle did his research by dowsing and by chromatography. Mr. Lisle experimented by using a cosmic pipe to try to broadcast the Bio-Dynamic preparations. What he found was that the life force in the preparations showed strong deterioration when put inside the pipe. This was checked bychromatography. The article ended with Mr. Lisle questioning why the cosmic pipe would damp down life force when it apparently stimulated growth. This question became a burning one for this author. This paper is an attempt to take a look at the original versions of the cosmic pipe in order to try to gain insight into the problem of stimulating life in the agricultural sphere through the induction of cosmic forces.
Perhaps a beginning angle to explore this question would be to look at the principles of conduction, induction and capacitance in electric phenomena.
As I read Mr. Lisle’s comments about his experiments with the cosmic pipe, the same idea kept returning. I felt the copper wire down the center was in part responsible for the damping down of the life force. A copper wire is called paraelectric in electrical terminology because it conducts electricity, that is, it will not hold an electric charge but accepts it and allows it to move freely within the wire. Substances that are paraelectric are called conductors. Substances that do not allow electricity to pass freely are called dielectric. These substances will hold on to a charge but do not accept a charge easily so they are called insulators. Copper accepts a charge easily and passes it along. It is a conductor. Basalt is strongly dielectric. It does not accept a charge. Conductors create a flowing of energy in one direction. This flow draws energy from one place to another. This is the basic concept behind all of our electrical circuity in the modem world. Wires made of conductors carry charges from one point to another. This is fine except for the fact that in order for a conductor to work, a constant supply of force is necessary at one end. hi the modem world, we harness coal or water, sunlight or nuclear energy to keep a constant electromotive force at the ends of our conductors. In the cosmic pipe, the source of energy is the sun, the stars and the planets. Their charges are very weak but are constant. It is these weak fields which are constantly charging the biosphere with life energies according to the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. Rocks, metals, water, plants, and air are bathed in these weak fields to varying degrees. The basalt in the cosmic pipe acts, in effect, like a sponge or antennae for the weak cosmic emanations. More will be said later about the significance of the form of the cosmic pipe but its circular sides have a great significance for electric or magnetic phenomena. Why, then, did the life force not register in the B. D. preps placed within the radiations of the cosmic pipe? Perhaps the conductor drew them off at too rapid a rate, before they could build up into an energetic environment capable of enhancing the B. D. preparations which were placed inside the cosmic pipe. In order to make sense of such an assertion, it is necessary to take a look at some further concepts in the phenomena of electricity and magnetism.
A central concept which is connected to conduction is induction or inductance. There are many kinds of inductors in electrical studies, but at the basic level, induction simply means the transfer of a charge between two bodies when there is no direct physical contact. In the previous example of a copper wire conducting a charge, the simplest way to produce such a charge is to move the wire through the lines of force of a magnet. The magnetic lines have force in them. The wire passes through the lines and some of the force that is in the magnet is transferred or induced into the wire without the wire physically touching the magnet. As soon as the wire is out of the magnetic field, the induction ceases. If the wire is moved rapidly back and forth in the magnetic field, then the induction of its forces into the wire is increased. This is the basis for all of our electric generators and motors which produce electromotive force. As said earlier, conduction of this induced magnetic current requires unlimited supplies of energy to move the wires in a generator through the fields of a big magnet in order to produce electric power. In this system, the original force of the coal or water or sun is mostly lost as it is conducted through the wires. This is the dilemma of modem appliances which are based i on wires cutting through magnetic fields.
There are, however, many kinds of induction. One form of induction, electrostatic induction, can show us some basic principles by which we can move our idea one step further. Electrostatics or the study of electricity produced by friction, is an ancient way of looking at electricity. It was the primary study of men such as Benjamin Franklin, Luigi Galvani, and Allesandro Volta. The study of electrostatics involves the use of an electroscope. A simple one can be made by hanging a small piece of pith from the center of a reed, on the end of a thread. Take a piece of amber or nylon or PVC pipe and rub it with a piece of wool. Bring the rod or pipe near the pith ball and it will try to touch the end of the rod. This can be continued for a longtime until the rod no longer attracts the ball. By rubbing the rod with the wool, we have created a charge. The ball, which has no charge, is attracted to the rod because experience has shown that unlike charges attract. As the charge in the rod dissipates into the air, the rod and the ball become neutral and lose their attraction for each other. Suppose, however, that we once again charge the rod and let it attract the ball. If I place my finger on one side of the ball and then touch the ball with the charged rod, a curious thing happens. When I remove my finger, the pitch ball is now repelled by the rod. Electrostatics concludes that the rod and the ball now have the same charge. How did this happen?
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