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  Pelage and Seed

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By: Werner A. Fabian, M.D.

Human pelage and plant
The hairs on our outer body surface grow throughout life. To gain insight into the mystery of this continuous vegetative process we compare the human being with the plant world where the growth laws are presented in their purest form. An apple falls to the ground following the laws of gravity. It is, however, thanks to the powers of growth that it has developed up there on the branch of the tree. The life body acts in the opposite direction to the physical body, and we can see that the physical human being has an inverted living plant inside him. The root, as the mineral pole of the plant, corresponds to the human head where the sense organs are least alive and show greatest resemblance to outer physical apparatus. The leaf organism of the plant corresponds to the human lung. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged as opposites here. Flower and fruit correspond to the reproductive pole in the human being.

Let us now consider the growth zones of a plant, which show characteristic differences at its aerial shoot and its underground root poles (Fig. 1). In the root, the growth zone is in the apex. "Extension growth is limited to a short zone immediately behind the growing point. This prevents curvature when growing against resistance from the soil" (Strasburger). Visualizing all the root tips of a plant, we get a more or less spherical form that is continually expanding. The growth image of the root is thus a sphere. Rudolf Steiner described it like this:

Someone able to see will never see the root in any other way but that in seeking to go down into the earth it creates at the same time a roundness in the soil. The root rounding into the soil - that is the image we must see of the root.1

The blackboard drawing shown in Fig. 2 (15 Sept. 1924) should not be seen as a realistic representation of roots showing radial growth but as a comprehensive image, rounding itself out, of all the root tips, the growth zones of roots. This living image of the root can be directly compared with the sphere of the human head, with the "growing points" of hair at the periphery.

In the aerial part of the plant, the growing points are not at the leaf tips but in the leaf axils. The primordia of side shoots lie in the axils of the leaves enveloping the shoot apex. In the outer human form we must look for the leaf.

* Original title: Haarkleid und Samenkom. Der Merkurstab 1996; 49: 123-7. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA

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