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Reflections on Water

By Hans Kronberger

Water is a cosmic matter,”Johann Grander said to me when I made my first TV interview with him. Driven by an old reporter’s reflex, I seized on this immediately and wanted to know in detail what he meant by this sentence. Today I consider this ques­tion to be the most nonsensical I have ever put to an interview partner. “Water is a cosmic matter!” There is no way to answer this ques­tion of the nature of water more clearly, unequivocally, and at the same time, more comprehensivly and precisely.

It took me quite a long time to understand that, with his statement, Grander had perfectly described the dimension of how to approach the element of water in order to get one step closer to it. Whoever takes notice of water only in its momentary state – in a water glass, in a river, a lake or in the ocean – or sees it as an ice block or a cloud, will only realize a fraction of the whole. It is essential to scrutinise water in its function within the en­tire cosmos, which means nothing less than to open one’s thoughts to infinity and reflect upon why water has strayed to planet Earth. How it has come into being and what is its function for the origin and preservation of life. From this point of view it is worth­while to scrutinise the early mythologies and to investigate the history of water observation as a whole. In the first written reports we read of an infinite primeval water with no top or bottom, but a purely “endless depth”. Along with the reflections on good and evil, the separation of heaven and hell developed. Little by little the single ancient cultures visualised their imag­inations in the form of gods. It is remarkable that this was also the time that bipolar thinking emerged, i.e. it distinguished between man and woman. The Babylonians speak of the mother creature Tiamat and of the father Apsu. According to the Bab­ylonian belief, the uniting of salt water and fresh water led to the procreation of the first race of gods, whose descendants created heaven and earth from the cosmic ocean.

Indian mythology also talks of a primaeval water, from which the wonderful lotus burst into bloom. Out of the flower emerged Brahma, the creative god and great architect, who formed the universe in accordance with his memories of former worlds. When the work was completed, he went to sleep, not to awake for billions of years, when the worlds had vanished and there was a demand for the creation of new worlds.

The ancient Greeks made water the home of a superior, powerful god. According to Greek imag­ination,
Poseidon, the ruler over oceans and rivers, lived in a water palace and crossed over the waves in a golden wagon pulled by white horses. Surges and sea spray obeyed his command. Later on they created hosts of goddesses and gods, naiads, dryads and other nymphs, who – in their fantasy – had human attri­butes, among them gracefully beautiful as well as ugly, fearsome and destructive characteristics. The rivers and springs where these gods were considered to live were therefore places of power.

The Greek philosopher and mathematician Thales of Miletus (625-545 B.C.) was the first to introduce the “logos”, i.e. reason, into the contemplation of water. He defines water as the “raw material” which is the “original source of all being”. From this time on, people tried to approach the phenomenon of water with “reason”: examples are both Empedocles (483-420 B.C.) and – in particular – Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), who for the first time divided the world into four fundamental elements. According to him, fire, earth, water and air are the basic components of the world. These four elements determined the thinking of the medieval alchemists, who – among other things – were searching for an elixir to change raw materials into gold. In the following centuries, the striving for refinement of natural materials was perverted to the point that any “considered benefit” had absolute priority over the preservation of nature.

The great natural scientist, physician and philosopher Theophras­tus Bombastus von Hohenheim, known as Paracelsus (1493-1541 A.D.), combined the traditional knowledge of the ancient myths with the empirical methods of the emerg­ing rational natural sciences.
In his opinion the four elements were animated by the appropriate elementary spirits: “Those in the water are nymphs, in the air sylphs, in the earth pygmaei, and those in the fire salamanderae.” This is how he described the forces (well acknowledged by himself), but however, not compatible with modern natural science.

The “sceptical chemist”(called so after his book The sceptical Chymnist), the Irishman Robert Boyle (1627-1691), broke with Aris­totle’s theory of the elements after he real­ised that all the alchemist’s work had been based on this principle, and did not describe materials but rather properties.

Towards the end of the 18th century, Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) found out that the Aristotelian element of water was composed of hydrogen and oxygen. He cre­ated a new definition of water as an element which can in no way be decom­posed into other materials. This view was maintained up to the mid­dle of the 20th century. By reduc­ing water to the chemical formula H2O, water observation was reduced to a purely mechanistic approach. This absolute edifice of natural science remained unshaken until the cluster formation of water was discovered and the first attempts were made to prove the information transmission in water.

And here the idea of the naturalist Johann Grander joins with one of the most important water scientists of the 20th century, namely Viktor Gutmann. To my question whether water had already been entirely researched, the sixfold doctor and candidate for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry answered: “Today scientists proceed from the assumption that water is abnormal because its highest density is at plus four degrees Celsius and not ­– as science wants to prescribe – at zero. It is not water that is abnormal, but our formulae, which are insufficient to describe the phe­nom­enon of water.”

At this very moment I again remembered: “Water is a cosmic matter!”

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