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The Secret Life of Plants, Soil and Nature - Tompkins & Bird Pack

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Three decades, three books, three literary treasures by two fantastic writers with curious minds that pushed, then shattered, their readers' perceptions of what they thought constituted the lives of plants, soil and took a deep look at the entire natural world.

The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird (1973)

# Pages: 231
# Harper Paperbacks (March 8, 1989)
# ISBN-10: 0060915870
# ISBN-13: 978-0060915872
# Originally Harper & Row (September 1973)
# ISBN-10: 0060143266
# ISBN-13: 978-0060143268

Enjoying its twenty-year anniversary of the release of the paperback version, this classic treatment of bio-energy and the sentience of all life has been both revered and reviled by critics on both sides of the “fringe science” community. When it was originally published in 1973 by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, it brought to light a part of science that had long been willfully ignored.

The premise of the Secret Life of Plants was to present a body of factual evidence that suggested not only that all things have a life force – plants, rocks, metal – but also that all things experience a certain level of sentience and awareness. It posited that even though not all things that exist have a neurological presence (you won't find the brain stem of a rod of iron), there is still yet some kind of awareness that all things possess. Absolute laws of hard physics do not seem to apply to the quantum level.

The Quest for Objectivity

As you join Tompkins and Bird on their journey of exploration, it is easy to get caught up in their unabashed enthusiasm. As they present case after case and data point after data point, the authors walk a very fine line just this side of making a scientific faux pas: they never quite draw their own conclusion exactly, but they do make a point of presenting the proposed conclusions of all of their subjects, regardless of whether those conclusions were supported by peer-review or even subsequent experimentation.

If one approaches the material objectively – without expectation nor scientific prejudice – you can see the edges of a new understanding emerging from the scene. Perhaps humans are not exclusively sentient, and perhaps our purpose here on Earth is not so much to be the masters over this domain but rather the servants and keepers of it. The Secret Life of Plants suggests that we should be saving the planet and treating our environment with love and compassion because doing otherwise will not just kill us but we will be doing our life-force equals a greater disservice.

Critics Respond

The main point of contention that critics have for the Secret Life of Plants is the validity of the experiments that are presented. Many have been replicated with successful results, but others have not. The authors suggest indirectly that there is an entirely new scientific understanding that has not been achieved to comprehend why one experiment produces one result and another produces something completely different (or wholly unsuccessful). One of the main cases that is often cited for shoddy scientific method is the very first case in the book – Cleve Backster's psychic plants – but if the authors are to be trusted with their source material, one can only assume that those attempting to recreate Backster's results are not entering into their experimentation with honest intentions.

Of the many books available that suggest proof or evidence that supports a universal life force in all things, the Secret Life of Plants is definitely one of the better choices if not the best. Even if you consider yourself a skeptic, you will find something of value in the pages to expand your understanding of the universe just a little more.

Review Source:

The world of plants and its relation to mankind as revealed by the latest scientific discoveries. Plenty of hard facts and astounding scientific and practical lore.

Exploring the world of plants and its relation to mankind as revealed by the latest discoveries of scientists, The Secret Life of Plants includes remarkable information about plants as lie detectors and plants as ecological sentinels; it describes their ability to adapt to human wishes, their response to music, their curative powers, and their ability to communicate with man. Authors Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird suggest that the most far-reaching revolution of the twentieth century-one that could save or destroy the planet-may come from the bottom of your garden.

"Almost incredible bristles with plenty of hard facts and astounding scientific and practical lore." ~S.K. Oberbeck, Newsweek

"This fascinating book roams over that marvelous no man's land of mystical glimmerings into the nature of science and life itself." ~Henry Mitchell, Washington Post Book World

"According to The Secret Life of Plants, plants and men do interrelate, with plants exhibiting empathetic and spiritual relationships and showing reactions interpreted as demonstrating physical force connections with men. As my students say, 'hey, wow!'" ~Richard M. Klein, Professor of Botany, University of Vermont (in Smithsonian)

The Secret Life of Nature: Living in Harmony With the Hidden World of Nature Spirits from Fairies to Quarks by Peter Tompkins (1997)

# Pages: 240
# Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (June 1997)
# ISBN-10: 0062508474
# ISBN-13: 978-0062508478

If you don't believe in fairies, this startling book by Peter Tompkins, author of the New York Times number one bestseller 'The Secret Life of Plants' (1989), will convince you otherwise.

Peter Tompkins uncovers the history, past mystical organizations (as well as current ones), mystics, scientists and others and then factually pieces together the existence of this hidden worldaround us. This book is out of print and is not available at the bookstores in the U.S. I might concur with the prior reviewer that the material was before its time.

There's more to nature than green leaves and twittering birds: it's a world that only the gifted and dedicated observer can see, using techniques of the mind that transcend the limits of the five senses, much as the scientist peers into the subatomic world with supercolliders and electron microscopes.

Talented clairvoyants describe devas, elves, gnomes, fairies, sea nymphs, sylphs, and other beings that live in air, water, fire, and the earth. Going beyond the usual fairy dialogue, Tompkins also draws fascinating connections between the natural world and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the astral and etheric body, angels, and other esoteric mysteries.

Secrets of the Soil: New Solutions for Restoring Our Planet by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird (1998)

# Pages: 422
# Publisher: Earthpulse Press (October 1998)
# ISBN-10: 1890693243
# ISBN-13: 978-1890693244

Introduction (p. xi)
“No creature, not even swine, befouls its nest with such abandon as does Homo sapiens, poisoning his habitat with fiendish concocted chemicals and their deadly toxic waste…That the earth is ailing—almost beyond repair—was clear enough as early as 1912 to Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel…Today soils are tired, overworked, depleted, sick, poisoned by synthetic chemicals. Hence the quality of food has suffered, and so has health.”

These sensational, introductory words arouse passions of great concern for the next generation as well as our own. “Malnutrition begins with the soil.” Ever wonder why so many obese people inhabit the planet and yet are undernourished? Carrel stated, “Chemical fertilizers cannot restore soil fertility…Only organic humus makes for life.”

According to the book (p. xiii), doctors in general know very little about food. Their average training (at least at the time of its publication) during four years of medical school is 2.5 hours per physician…“The emergence of industrialization, with its massive toxic wastes coincided with the appearance of many of the new diseases.”

Chapters I-III (pp.1-25) discuss a novel way to create organic humus (refer to ) which includes some detailed practical application of astrology observed and recorded for thousands of years by the ancients. The introduction of biodynamic compost, credibly stimulated by long-forgotten (or poo-pooed by 20th century soil scientists) cosmic forces, releases the potential of the soil in correlation with certain seasonal patterns of the constellations. Speaking of a hard-to-find volume on agriculture written by Rudolph Steiner, its author (p.3) avoids “chemicals, concentrating instead on natural composts inoculated with the products of certain processed and revivifying herbs.” These are selected “to help microorganisms quickly decompose the raw organic matter of the compost heap into simple compounds, reassembling them into the ingredients of a long-lasting, earth-smelling, dark-brown, light-textured, friable humus, a substance which, because of it colloidal state, holds it structure, resists leaching, helps fix nitrogen directly from the air, and increases the availability of minerals to plants—the staff of life.

Chapters IV and V (pp. 26-48) delve into unlocking the potential of microbes to perform all sorts of use decomposition purposes. Mind you the ravings of these “green”- conscious people are the same scientists who brought us Streptomycin for the treatment of tuberculosis and many other wonder drugs derived from their understanding of microbiology first observed in the soil. A tantalizing series of facts reproduced from page 37 reads, “A single microbe reaching maturity and dividing within less than half an hour, can, in the course of a single day, grow into 300 million more, and in another day to more than the number of human beings who have ever lived. As computed by Lynn Margulis and her son Dorion Sagan in their brilliant Microcosmos, bacteria, in four days of unlimited growth, could outnumber all the protons and even all the quarks estimated by physicists to exist within the entire universe.” On this sort of scale the usefulness of bacteria could be almost limitless in its ability to decontaminate the earth. Pages 40 – 49 explain the equally fascinating and invaluable contribution of earthworms to the creation of fertile soil.

Chapter VI continues to explain the interplay amongst bacteria, gravitational pull, celestial light, and natural compost to enrich agricultural harvests with an intriguing expose on Alex Podlinsky’s experiments and discoveries in Australia. Chapter VII heralds Dr. Kirchenmann’s valuable work in North Dakota mirroring some of those same organic farming principles.

The influence of water, vortices when stirred--and don’t forget minerals, are all related in Chapters VIII and IX (pp. 90-115). At the convergence of the Middle East and Asia lies a fascinating region known as Hunza with wonderful stories and documented longevity records flowing from the abundance of mineral waters for which the area is famed. “…The Hunza minerals (p.96) go into the soil in a colloidal state, which is described as the state of a solute when its molecules are not present as separate entities, as in a true solution, but are grouped together to form solute ‘particles’. These particles, approximately one hundred thousandth to one ten-millionth of a centimeter across, only detectable by means of an ultra-microscope, carry a resultant electric charge, generally of the same sign for all the particles, usually negative, and it is their colloidal state that enables the human body membranes directly to absorb essential mineral elements without their having first to be processed organically by plant and animal. Every cell of the human body is made of colloids arranged to perform specific functions. Colloidal particles are so small, and therefore have such a large surface area—a teaspoon of particles has a surface greater than a football field—that, according to Gustave Lebon in Evolution of Energy, they generate surface energies that have powerful effects on physical chemical reactions.”

Claws of Chelation (Chapter X, pp. 116-127) pays tribute to Dr. Albert Schatz ( ), and his expertise in the field of pedology (meaning, “soil science” from which we derive the word “peds” from the Greek. For additional detail on soil structure, please consult: )

About the Authors:


Peter Tompkins (April 19, 1919 in Athens, Georgia - January 23, 2007) was an American journalist, World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) spy in Rome, and best-selling occult author.

He was war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune and CBS during World War II. In 1943 he was recruited by the OSS and utilized as an undercover agent in Italy in 1944. In 1962 he published his diary, titled A Spy in Rome (New York: Simon and Schuster).

His best known books are The Secret Life of Plants (1973), Secrets of the Great Pyramid (1972; paperback reprint, 1997, and Mysteries of the Mexican Pyramids (1976).

He was the father of author Ptolemy Tompkins.


Christopher Bird (May 11, 1928 - May 2, 1996) became a science journalist after serving in the U.S. Army. His special field of interest was unconventional scientific phenomena. He served as vice president of the Planetary Association for Clean Energy (PACE). His works included:

* The Secret Life of Plants (co-authored with Peter Tompkins, 1973) ISBN 0-06-091587-0
* Nikola Tesla: Great Scientist, Forgotten Genius (with Oliver Nichelson, 1977)
* The Divining Hand: The Art of Searching for Water, Oil, Minerals, and Other Natural Resources or Anything Lost Missing, or Badly Needed (1979) ISBN 0-924608-16-1 (A history of dowsing)
* Secrets of the Soil: New Solutions for Restoring our Planet (with Peter Tompkins, 1989) ISBN 1-890693-24-3
* The Trial and Persecution of Gaston Naessens (originally: The Galileo of the Microscope, 1991)

Bird travelled widely and spoke many languages, among them Russian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Serbo-Croat. He had degrees in botany and Eastern Studies.

He was born in Norwood, Massachusetts and died in Blairsville, Georgia.

Related Video and audio based on or concerning and referencing the books in this compilation:

Video: The Secret Life Of Plants (1979)

Radio: Truth Hertz(2008-01-18)Mysteries of the Plant World)AdFree

Radio: Truth Hertz(2008-01-17)Amazing Powers of Animals)AdFree