Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Power of Qi: A 2000 Year Old Date Seed Sprouts in Israel

An ancient seed from an extinct species of date palm has been germinated and is growing in an undisclosed location in Israel. As reported in the June 13th issue of Science Magazine, the seed was one of several excavated forty years ago on an archeological dig at Masada, a fortress which was the site of an historic Jewish revolt against the Romans around 66- 73 of the Common Era. Radio carbon dating indicates that the seeds are roughly 2000 years old.

An Israeli botanist, Dr. Elaine Soloway, soaked the seeds in warm water and fertilizer; one of those seeds germinated and is now two years old and stands 1.5 meters tall. The Judean date palm was famous in its day for its exceptional sweetness, flavor, and health giving qualities. The tree is being kept in a secret location to protect its safety.

The date seed which came alive after 2000 years of dormancy is evidence of the strength and potential of the "qi" which is present in all living things. "Qi" is an untranslatable concept but it can be thought of as a sort of energy or force. A seed which can transform itself into a living plant under the proper circumstances is an embodiment of this immaterial, invisible force.

Like the date seed, human life depends on proper circumstances for the flourishing of qi. Each person has "ancestral" or inherited qi which is genetically transmitted. In order to fulfill the potential of our DNA, we must receive adequate nourishment in the form of food, air, water, and rest. Although everyone's genetic inheritance varies and we have little control over it, the manner in which we support and cultivate our basic energy day to day is of seminal importance, according to the Traditional Eastern Medicine understanding of health and wellness.

By providing our bodies with the best quality food, air, water, and rest, we allow our inherited qi to develop and thrive to its greatest ability. We are reminded of the invaluable power and vitality of qi by the Judean date palm seed which was abandoned 2000 years ago at the fortress of Masada and is now growing into a strong and healthy young tree.