Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Seed Season,

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

We’re planting begonia seeds again.   We’ll drop over 2 million little begonia seeds and hope for the best. 

Wee begonia seeds

Have you ever thought about seeds?  Seeds are amazing.  Seeds are like little time capsules, little messengers of hope for the future. Planting seeds is to throw your lot in with the future. 

Little packets of information.   The tree (or begonia) is not contained in the seed only the code that will unravel, through a complex Boolean network, into it’s own unique natural shape.

15,000 begoina seed. In this case, Hanging Basket White

“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone color and scent, if you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

“Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.”

We have all come from seeds you and I.  Little seeds that were planted on fertile ground.

two million seedlings at about eight months, one sprout at 6 years.

It now seems likely that all life on this planet came from a seed.

You see, back in the long-ago the world was a tumult.  There were complex chemicals as a result of volcanic and other turmoil but no organization.  The planet was bombarded by meteors and comets.   Into this torment came a seed.  From space.  A template. The template organized the complex molecules so that they could replicate themselves.  I’m not making this stuff up. Several people have written about it.  Read one article here.  The pattern arrived and the complex molecules arranged themselves in the pattern, modified themselves and (using the pattern as a means) passed on their modifications to their off-spring.

All life is pattern.  You and I do not have any part of us that was with us only a few years ago, the only consistency is the pattern.  Your pattern, my pattern. 

Life grew from seed, it made multitple models and the patterns grew ever more complex.

So if all life came from a seed, and the seed came from outside, and it found a fertile, warm space to land and to grow, can we literally think this planet is our mother?   Are we unborn in our mothers womb?  The sky is our father, the earth is our mother (sound familiar?).  We can no more imagine what we carbon creatures are to become than an unborn child can imagine breathing air and running in the sun.

Maybe it’s not reasonable to believe in a star-seed.  But we humans abound with unreasonable beliefs.  Old legends or old documents translated many times by people, each with their own agendas, you know what I mean. 

I remember hearing about an anthropologist who visited an island in Indonesia where their cosmology said the universe rested on the back of a turtle (a belief held, by the way by several cultures including some native Americans, Chinese and Hindus).  When interviewing old people living a traditional life style, the anthropologist asked an old lady.
“What does that turtle rest on?” 
The old woman answered “Another turtle” 
“And what does that turtle rest on?” asked the researcher. 
“Don’t start with me, young man” she said wagging her finger at him “It’s turtles, turtles, turtles all the way down”

Yea, I know, funny story.  Are our beliefs any better?

Unquestioned faith doesn’t really make us fully human, does it?  Unquestioned faith is what makes a young man, with his whole life in front of him, blow himself up on a bus crowded with strangers or kill hundreds of people with an airplane, people who have never done him any harm.  Programmed.

Let’s agree not to live by faith, but to live through knowledge.  Don’t let’s mistake what we know for what we believe. 

Life is a big unknowing.  There are some things we can never know.  And let me tell you one thing for sure: people who say they know; they don’t know any better than you and I.  People who say they know are telling you what they believe and they are confusing what they know with what they have chosen to believe.  Consciously or unconsciously we all choose what to believe.

Let’s walk out into the stream of unknowing, you and I.  Let’s move from one rock of what-we-know to another rock of what-we-know ‘till we are standing on solid ground in the middle of the mystery stream and can go no further. 

Because of our limits, we can’t see the other side nor move forward with certainty.  We may have an idea about what’s on the other shore and the path to get there, we can have a belief about where we’re going.   We can decide we really believe in our conclusion and have faith we are right.  Let me know what you believe.

I believe in seeds.

To see things in the seed, that is genius.


  1. Great post. I like the quote from "Anne's House of Dreams." I believe in the magic we see all around us.

  2. Good post, Andy. It was fun to read. Really liked the "Stream" analogy to Life and the many stepping stones as rocks "of what we know."

    I agree with most everything stated and implied, but perhaps see the process from a different perspective (or bias?). Mother Earth, Father Sky, these concepts are founded on an eternal perspective of the planet. But, of course, this planet is as temporal as you and I. Before it was a planet, it was a hot mass of colliding space debris...meteorites, all rushing together under the powerful gravitational pull of the dust cloud that would become terra firm as we know it. All of the molecules on this planet are extraterrestrial in origin, brought here under extreme conditions of pressure and heat. We rose from the Earth, true enough, but an Earth made of the stuff of exploding stars. With more and more molecular concentration, and heat, and external energy from the Sun, the sheer complexity of interactions on the molecular scale made life absolutely inevitable. And when we find life on other worlds, we will then understand more fully our rightful place in the Universe...eddies in the swirl of your stream-of-life, here one moment, gone the next. These visions are the stepping stones, the conclusions of small discoveries within the surging tide of mystery that cradles everything we are and know. Sometimes they provide firm footing. Sometimes not. Better to be prepared for shifting ground than assume certainty in the face of such a crossing.

    I believe in seeds too, the seeds we try to understand through science. They are the laws of nature, as we know them (or not), that guide this restless tide of exuberance we find ourselves adrift in, and we, small, momentary manifestations of consciousness that came, somehow, enfolded within the mix.

  3. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your considered reply. If by “temporal” you mean “transitory” I don’t think the earth is “as temporal as you and I” and who knows, planets may be sentient. We can no more understand this planet than the microbes that live in our gut understand us (they do seem to have definite opinions about what I eat)

    We both know that emergent phenomena are a characteristic of a sufficiently complex system. We can believe in Stuart Kauffmann’s “self-organized emergence of collectively autocatalytic sets of polymers” or we can believe in a seed. We’ll never know for sure. I like the seed theory, it validates old legends of our father/ancestors from heaven, (a belief common among so many cultures), without being the man-with-the-big-white-beard theory.

    Maybe the double helix is the key to this mystery and all life on this blue marble (and who knows where else) has been one long progression to return DNA back to space. Seems as likely as virgin human birth or rising from the dead.

    Best Regards to you -A

  4. Oh, Bill,
    I agree we need to be prepared for shifting ground.