It was during a field trip for the Plants and Soils section of my Geography 101 class where we went to check out the loess deposits of eastern Nebraska, that aeolian silt or “rock flour,” the dust from thousands of square miles of rocky terrain ground into powder by the receding glaciers of the last Ice Age and then carried by the wind to form the deep, fertile farmland of the American Midwest.
I finished taking my notes and returned to the van ahead of the others. Just sitting there, enjoying being outside of the city, my eyes settled on a sand cherry bush about six feet from my open window. I had been reading Michael Schneider’s Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe wherein he talks about numbers, fractals, and sacred geometry. It turns out that as a bush grows, its stems and leaves form definite patterns, fractal in nature, as they emerge from the stalk. These patterns relate to a certain number – in this case the number 5. From ancient times, the number 5 has been the symbol for Regeneration or Life. The Greek philosophers called it the Pentad and the Quintessence. It is the whirling spiral, that which raises each succeeding cycle of manifestation to a higher level of evolution.
All at once, the sand cherry bush was transformed in front of my eyes. It was no longer just a bush. Its upward momentum, the way it filled the space around itself with geometrical precision, the growth of its cells, the inspiration and expiration of its leaves, its very intelligence, and its link to the entire universe – all of this made the bush appear as though it were on fire. Life itself was blazing, and this bush was its flame.
Now, I like Bible stories as much as anyone, and the story of Moses and the Burning Bush is one of my favorites. And one of the things I like about Bible stories is the way they have layer upon layers of meaning – they go about as deep as you can take them. And there are people like Rudolf Steiner who have the ability to see into the workings of nature, the life spirits and their intelligences. For this one brief moment, I felt like I was sharing their vision. I was seeing beneath the veneer of life into its inner workings. In that instant, the whole world was on fire – the fire of life, the Quintessence – generating and regenerating itself – the genesis of creation!