REVIEW of REVIEWS

Hindu Claims All Life One

Proves That Plants Have Emotions—Startles Fellow Scientists With Ocular Demonstration of Plant’s Heart-beat.

FRANCIS YEATS-BROWN October 1 1926
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Hindu Claims All Life One

Proves That Plants Have Emotions—Startles Fellow Scientists With Ocular Demonstration of Plant’s Heart-beat.

FRANCIS YEATS-BROWN October 1 1926

Hindu Claims All Life One

REVIEW of REVIEWS

Proves That Plants Have Emotions—Startles Fellow Scientists With Ocular Demonstration of Plant’s Heart-beat.

FRANCIS YEATS-BROWN.

OUT of the mystic East has come, once again, a worker of miracles. This thaumaturgist, however, does not specialize in disappearances into the ether or fascinating conjuring tricks involving a small boy, a wicker basket and an ugly looking sword. His wonders are performed in the realm of pure science. In the Daily Mail, Major Yeats-Brown interestingly describes him for us. He tells us that Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, the Hindu scientist whose researches into the nerves of plants have startled all Europe, is a simple, modest, rather inaccessible man.

To-day he is lecturing before the British Association at Oxford. Last week the assembled scientists at Geneva were held spellbound by his demonstrations of the heart-beats of a mimosa. Professor Einstein said then that, if only for a single one of his inventions, he should have a statue erected in his honor in the capital of the League.

After thirty years of work, during which the West has been inclined to make light of his experiments as the speculations of a dreamer, Bose has proved triumphantly that his theories are correct and that all life is one. By actual experiment he has shown that steel can feel, that plants have emotions even as you and I, and that everything created is living, struggling, dying with a spasm which is the same in kind (but not in degree) in a mimosa as it is in a man.

As a single instance of his method I will take his researches into the “reflexarc” of a mimosa. He brings up this plant under glass, screened from all shock

and discomfort. To all appearance it flourishes and grows fat.

But the pampered mimosa grows sluggish. Bose proves with mathematical precision, that it can no longer react to stimuli from without, screened as it has been from contact with reality. He has made an instrument that can measure its nervous tone—an instrument so sensitive that the crawl of a snail is magnified to the pace of a bullet. He charts his results on a graph and proves to you, in black and white, that adversity is good for plants as it is for human beings. These conclusions he presents to the moralists with a smile; they can make what they like of them. He turns to his next experiment.

Bose is a mystic who records his visions to the millionth of an inch. I have seen him at dinner, forgetting completely what is on his plate, while he is outlining some new and delicate experiment on the sleep, sensibility, or sexual life of plants. I have heard him go so deep into the problems of life-bridge such gulfs of thought with a brilliant phrase or two—that his hearers groped after him, amazed, disconcerted He seems not to belong to this age but to the future, to a race that is to come, that shall blend the insight and burning imagination of the East to the cool practicality of the West.

Bose is all enthusiasm—a dreamer who does things with the accuracy of a watchmaker, a hard-headed mathematician who makes miracles happen. From a poor university professor he has become, through no particular wish of his own, an international figure.