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  Hauschka's Weighing Experiments

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By: Claus Rasmus
pgs 88A-89A.doc

Stefan Baumgartner: Hauschka's Wae-geversuche. Gewichtsvariationen keimender Pflanzen im geschlossenen System (Hauschka's weighing experiments. Variable weight of plants germinating in a closed system). Mathe-matisch-Astronomische Blaetter, Neue Folge, Band 16. Published by Mathemathical-Astronomical Section of the School of Spiritual Science. Paperback, 22 x 15 cm, 150 pages, Verlag am Goetheanum. DM 28.00.

In the 1930s and 1950s, Rudolf Hauschka, pharmacist and founder of the Wala Pharmaceutical Laboratories, performed experiments designed to demonstrate that matter is an epiphenomenon of the spirit. This would mean that spirit could not be attributed to matter, as is the materialistic view, but rather that matter derives from spiritual principles.

Rudolf Hauschka had noted in his experimental work that the weight of plants germinating in a closed system (glass flask heat-sealed to make it airtight) varied. He interpreted this as life, i.e. spirit, generating and destroying matter.

His findings have not been registered by university scientists, nor are they entirely accepted by scientists working out of anthroposophy. S. Baumgartner considers how far Hauschka's experiments are reproducible and can be confirmed using the more sophisticated measuring technology now available. He hopes that this will also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between spirit and matter.

In the first part of the book, the author describes Hauschka's experimental design and method. He then reviews the findings of other scientists, giving serious consideration to the factors to be taken into account if the results of weighing experiments are to be fully objective. In the main part he describes and interprets the actual experiments.

The book is highly interesting. It provides insights into practical experimental work that are not normally accessible to lay people. It also confirms Hauschka's work insofar as investigations made by the author showed a significant change in weight in approximately 30% of the experiments. "It was noted that the weight of cress seed germinating in a closed system changed at times. This is never seen with dead seedlings and must therefore relate to the plant's vital processes." The question as to possible causes is left open, however.

While confirming the "Hauschka effect" the book also poses new questions, the most important of which is no doubt whether it is particularly helpful in Goethean science to seal life forms in an artificial environment and observe their behavior. The fact is that plants do not live in a closed system but relate to the environment and the cosmos. Plants in sealed glass flasks call up unpleasant visions of the homunculus. As Goethe put it so aptly:
Such is the property of things:
the universe will scarce suffice/or those that nature yields,
but anything artificial
calls for enclosed space.

The supremacy of the spirit clearly has not been substantiated in this book, but it certainly encourages us to give the matter more thought.
Claus Rasmus Jahnstr.38
D-82110 Germering Germany

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