Research and Experimentation
Research and experimentation help us to understand life
Magical coexistence among plants, animals, nature spirits
Damanhur has always invested in acquiring numerous acres of woodlands that were often cut down by the previous owners to have wood for heating, suffering decades of intensive exploitation.
In Damanhur's philosophy, a forest is a magical place where the complexity of life is expressed in a harmonious interweaving of many forms of animal, plant and subtle life. With dedication and patience, Damanhur citizens purchased a huge woods of chestnut trees, one tiny parcel at a time. The dead wood has been cleared and the woods have been transformed through therapeutic cutting from a thicket of small trees to one with taller trees. Working as a community, a team of Damanhurians have cured the woods from a gall wasp infection and reintroduced many plant species.
The Sacred Woods Temple now has dedicated spaces for meditation and contact with trees and nature spirits. There are also intentionally placed spirals and labyrinths that form pathways amongst and around the trees. They stretch for miles into the woods and each has a different function. They are connected to the node of Synchronic Lines that encompass the Temples of Humankind.
Officially dedicated as the Sacred Woods Temple in 2014, it is now an extension of the Temples of Humankind, which is carved into the same mountain where the woods are located. The trees of the woods are considered to be the "hair" of the Temples—if only as a poetic metaphor, and because of the energetic connection that unites these two sacred sites.
Much research and many experiences have made the Sacred Woods Temple alive and full of history, like when citizens of Damanhur went to the woods together for experiments in wilderness survival which also stimulated individual transformation for everyone. Today, the Sacred Woods Temple is accessible through the Welcome Office for all guests who wish to walk the spirals and labyrinths or attend a Music of the Plants concert.
Discovering that plants can appreciate and play music
The Music of the Plants research began at Damanhur in 1976, when resident researchers created an instrument that was able to capture the electromagnetic variations of the surface of plant leaves and roots, and turn them into sounds.
The desire for deep contact with nature has also inspired the "Plant Concerts," in which musicians perform while accompanied by melodies created by trees. The trees learn to control their electrical emissions, so they can modulate the notes, as if they are aware of the music they are producing. This research has continued, and today, the device used for concerts is available to the general public so that this profound experience of plant world communication may be shared by anyone who wishes to do so.
It is possible to purchase the Music of the Plants device online. Then, you can listen to music made by the plants in your home and environment, getting in touch with the sensitivity and intelligence of the plant world.
Music of the Plants concerts are held regularly at Damanhur. They have also been presented at festivals in Europe, India, the United States. Many of these experiences have been recorded and arranged into a music collections, available at CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, eMusic, Rhapsody, Spotify, Deezer, Last.fm, Soundcloud and on many other music sites.
In the Music of the Plants book, which may be acquired online, there are tales from the most significant and moving episodes of exploration in this field, that has spanned more than 40 years.
Reconnecting the human and plant worlds
Tree orientation is an initiative that Damanhur has proposed since 2011. The community participates in this project along with many friends worldwide, most of whom are part of the Popolo Spirituale, as part of the Global Tree Network. The purpose of Tree Orientation is to bring the human and plant worlds closer together, as they once were.
Damanhur's Spiritual Vision gives great importance to communing with the physical and subtle forces of nature that are represented by plants and nature spirits. The trees are large, living antennas of our planet. On the Summer Solstice, the trees launch a signal into the cosmos about the health of our planet, and at the Winter Solstice, they receive a return signal. For many years, their message has been a cry of despair because humans are destroying nature. The community of Damanhur and the many supporters of this initiative around the globe have made a commitment to transform the cries of the trees into songs of joy.
Tree orientation is a huge endeavor, but a tremendously fun adventure. It is a project that anyone can join in by using a simple technique, which involves getting close to a tree while carrying a Selfic pendulum, and walking around the tree as if you were embracing it.