“Life is a phenomenon. Its production is due to the influence of the dynamics of the cosmos on a passive subject. It lives due to dynamics, each oscillation of organic pulsation is coordinated with the cosmic heart in a grandiose whole of nebulas, stars, the sun and the planet.” – Alexander Chizhevsky
Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky (1897-1964) was a true interdisciplinary cycles researcher who studied relationships between cosmological variables such as the solar cycle and human health and behaviour including propensity to fighting wars. Most of Chizhevsky’s work was published in French and Russian and so unfortunately still remains unknown to English readers. (source)
It is necessary to tell how the author of these lines came to the study of this issue – a new issue and at the same time that has long confused the mind of many an inquisitive person. I happened to become a decipherer of the remarkable observations of the ancient chroniclers. For many centuries there have been writings carved on blocks of stone or marble, inscribed on parchment and linen paper. Hundreds of highly cultured people of those distant times turned persistent and inquisitive eyes to the amazing simultaneity of solar and terrestrial phenomena! In 1914 I became fascinated by the concept of this extraordinary synchronicity. In shops, second-hand bookshops and book markets in Moscow, Petrograd and Kaluga, I would buy Russian chronicles and foreign annals and chronicles, read them carefully and tried to understand the simultaneity of phenomena occurring on the Sun and Earth.
I must now say that the idea of a special solar influence on the body does not belong to me alone, but to hundreds and thousands of those chroniclers who recorded extraordinary phenomena on the Sun, famine, pestilence and other mass phenomena on Earth. But I dressed the ancient thought in the form of numbers, tables and graphs and demonstrated the possibility of forecasting.
My work at the Moscow Archaeological Institute in the period 1914-1917 brought me close to these phenomena, to which I paid close attention.
Remarkable coincidences in the timing of a number of terrestrial and solar phenomena have been previously noted, but this coincidence has never been studied. The Chinese encyclopedist Ma-Tuan-Ling (who lived long before our era), the authors of ancient Arabic and Armenian records, the Kiev-Pechersk and Novgorod chroniclers, the creators of the Gallic and German chronicles (which I had to decipher and to comment on in their scientific works on general history or archaeography), often compared the phenomena noted on the Sun in the form of dark “formations” (the word “spot” was introduced at the beginning of the seventeenth century) with terrestrial phenomena in the form of grandiose geophysical catastrophes, deadly epidemic diseases and mass starvation. These wonderful observations, repeated from century to century and recorded in different countries, forced me to pay the most serious attention to them and decided to find out for myself their plausibility, their reliability.
The study of annals and chronicles gives full confidence that all types of ordinary geophysical events are members of one system: drought damage is quickly replaced by water damage. Along with these atmospheric phenomena, you learn about a long-unheard-of earthquake in many countries or entire continents. Volcanoes erupt, but then the press reports auroras visible throughout Europe and even in subtropical countries. A number of years pass, and all these various events subside. We have to look at meteorological and geophysical phenomena as links in a single chain – the system of the entire body of the Earth.
I made my first observations in this direction in the summer of 1915. I got the opportunity to sketch the solar surface using the powerful Secretana telescope. My first sketching lessons were given to me by an acquaintance of our family, (the late) associate professor Sergey Nikolaevich Blazhko, a specialist in variable stars.
I decided to conduct careful observations of myself, recording changes in various functions of my body. Within eight months, I collected material that I could process statistically and then compare the result with daily astronomical observations of the Sun. When at the beginning of 1916 I got the opportunity to work on the processing of the material, I was amazed at the results obtained, they agreed so well with the working hypothesis I had adopted.
At the same time, I invited some of my acquaintances to write down, according to the questionnaire I had worked out, the same phenomena, without informing them of the purpose of the notes. I distributed twenty-five questionnaires, then synchronized the received data and compared them with the activity of the Sun. The coincidence of the peaks of the curves turned out to be amazing! This was a revelation that struck my imagination, and with inspiration I began to develop the question. In this work, I drew on the statistics of mass phenomena of the most diverse nature, and everywhere I found complete confirmation of my observation. Only now, almost half a century later, can one talk about these things without fear of being ridiculed and disgraced. World science is already approaching these phenomena and catching them by the ear. The science dealing with the study of this issue and related issues was called by me space biology (cosmobiology, biocosmics, etc.) and has long been included in the biological sciences throughout the world.
At the beginning of 1917, these records were processed by me and as a result gave the same result that I had obtained earlier: strong perturbations on the Sun in almost all cases and in most individuals simultaneously caused certain changes in increased nervous excitability, pronounced emotionality and an excess of motor skills.
Some have characterized this state as exaltation or as “an excess of vital energy.” In processing the collected data, I noticed that in the records of many individuals weekly, two-weekly and four-weekly periods are found, that is, just those periods that we find in the solstice and which result from the movement of perturbed places on the Sun when it rotates around its axis. Thus, for example, the time interval occupied by the movement of a spot, from the moment it appears on the eastern edge of the Sun to its entry into the plane of the central solar meridian, is 6-7 days; the time interval occupied by the movement of the spot over the entire visible disk varies within 13-14 days. If the spot still retains its vital activity, it, having passed once over the disk, appears in the same places in 26-28 days. Almost all records Ever since the appearance of the works of Gelpakh, Dexter, Lehmann and Pedersen, Nizhegorodtsev and others, it has become known about the influence of a number of meteorological factors on mental activity, such as: barometric pressure, temperature, degree of air humidity, etc.
However, the question of the relationship between explosions on the Sun and physiological phenomena, except for the fluent but insightful statements of the famous astronomer Herschel and the naturalist and physician L. Butzorini, has not been studied.
In my paper published in French in 1939 (Second Conference on Biological Rhythms, Utrecht), entitled “Space biology and environmental rhythms”, I wrote:
“The cosmos, or more precisely the space-terrestrial world around us, is a source of an infinite number of signals that continuously bombard us from all sides. If all these signals were perceived by our consciousness, then a person’s life would be shortened to the maximum, because immediately after the beginning of the life process, a catastrophic overwork of the body would occur. The limits of light and sound vibrations are limited. For the perception of countless other signals, nature has not endowed us with special organs. But some of our very vague and dark sensations, as well as physical instruments, far from perfect, indicate that the world around us is full of vibrations, shocks, currents, disturbances, etc.
Without reaching consciousness, they can cause a number of sensations, cause a “causeless” feeling of cheerfulness or oppression, incline the body to illness or recovery, promote or hinder creative work, etc., that is, they create an environment in which it blooms or fades, rejoices or sorrows, worries or calms down, creates or is inactive, a person recovers or dies.
We are talking here about the environment of life created by unknown forces of the surrounding nature. Only our limited knowledge creates the illusion of freedom, independent of these forces. We confidently move the limbs of our body at will, shake our heads, wave our hands, and it seems to us that we are free to choose our delivery. But we forget that we can only make these movements when we do not encounter obstacles from the external environment. Yet how helpless we become when we grope our way through a dark room. We strive to sharpen our senses, stretch out our arms like tentacles, strain our ears and eyes – slow our pace to the limit possible.
We live in our world as if it were brightly lit by millions of lights, forgetting that we live, in fact, in almost complete darkness. But science reminds us of this! It points to ways of illuminating our path: it requires the study of our environment.
One of the main tasks of space biology is, first of all, the study and identification of the harmful effects of certain environmental influences on humans. Just as we are equipped with organs and functions that allow us to eliminate ourselves from external influences (the eyelid eliminates the action of light, sleep turns off the cerebral cortex from the outside world), space biology should provide us with technical devices that will allow us to protect ourselves from numerous and manifold harmful influences of the cosmos and, conversely, facilitate access for us to beneficial, beneficent influences.
So, a living organism is surrounded on all sides by formidable dangers. With some of them, a person has already learned to fight and defended himself from them. We are partly able to protect ourselves from the adverse effects of weather, rain, snow, hail, high humidity, cold, excessive illumination, etc. Man invented a lightning rod and led lightning into the ground. However, the walls of our houses do not protect us from changes in barometric pressure, from many radiations of the Earth, the Sun and space. Some of these radiations, the so-called hard rays, pass through thick and strong walls, pass through a person and have one or another effect on him.
What rays, in addition to the known ones, reach the biosphere, that is, the surface of the Earth? This question was raised by me in 1915. Already at that time it was possible to consider that alpha and beta rays of radioactive decay are absorbed by a thin layer of matter, and gamma rays by a thickness of air about a hundred meters. It could be assumed that cosmic rays consist of charged electrical particles of enormous energy. This conjecture of the author was subsequently, a number of years later, confirmed by the experiments of Russian researchers D. V. Skobeltsyn and S. N. Vernov. There is no need to talk about the flows of nuclear particles – neutrinos. These amazing particles can freely penetrate billions of kilograms of cast iron. “The neutrino,” writes the famous physicist B. Pontecorvo, “has a colossal penetrating power. The length of its free path in dense matter is measured in astronomical units.
A healthy person usually does not feel the effects of solar radiation of this kind, but apart from his will, subconscious physiological mechanisms react to some of these influences by changing reactivity, functional changes in the nervous or cardiovascular system.
We do not know how to prevent both the appearance of explosive phenomena on the Sun or magnetic storms on Earth, and to avoid force fields around our body, to which our tissues, organs and, above all, the nervous system react. Our body is penetrated through and through by electromagnetic radiations and some corpuscular streams and reacts to them with the greatest sensitivity. In order to discover these reactions of the organism to cosmic radiation, it was necessary first of all to turn to studies of a statistical nature, that is, to study “large numbers”. This is where I started my research.
I paid the main attention to the Sun – a cosmic object of exceptional power, the almighty of the Earth, whose rays not only caress our body and delight our eyes, but which can be angry, and this anger is terrible for all non-living things and especially for all living things on Earth. How little we still know about solar radiation!
“Don’t Play With the Sun”
Hundreds of outstanding minds have devoted their works to the study of the Sun as a celestial body and various cyclical phenomena on its surface and in its depths. This was done by astronomers, astrophysicists, heliophysicists. It turned out that dozens of different phenomena in the Earth’s atmosphere and its lithosphere owe their origin to cyclical solar processes. Physicists, geophysicists, geologists and meteorologists dealt with this issue. Finally, human attention was attracted by the cyclicity of some biological processes, which coincided in time with the cycles of solar activity. This question is now being studied by biophysicists, biologists and physicians in a number of countries in Europe, Asia and America. A comprehensive study has shown that most of the phenomena in the plant and animal kingdom (Earth’s biosphere) are subject to an eleven-year cycle and take place approximately a day (or a little more) after the passage of a disturbed place through the central meridian of the Sun.
Now you can talk about it, speak boldly, without fear that the author will be mistaken for… obscurantist. The world literature on this issue already includes about a thousand biological and medical studies, biologists publish monographs on this issue.
“Don’t play with the Sun,” one influential scientist of pre-revolutionary times told me, “after all, the Sun is a fire in which you can burn out … You are hoping for an advanced idea – an eccentric!”
“But the facts, the scientific facts!”
“People are least interested in facts… Dogma is above facts… The whole history of mankind is built on this.””
It was difficult to convince this man… However, to some extent he was right. This was the beginning of a passionate struggle for new possibilities in science.
The fear of the danger of “changing or clogging up” the thoughts of the classics of scientific literature leads, as a mandatory rule, to a fierce struggle against progressive scientific thought, which, as a mandatory rule, is also ahead of the thought of the classics. This fear severely hampers, to the detriment of people, scientific progress in its various manifestations and leads to a severe lag in those countries where this fear is especially strong.
I did not stop at the preparation of my doctoral dissertation and continued my search further. In the field of heliogeology, they led me to Academician Alexei Petrovich Pavlov, professor of geology at Moscow University. Tall, thin, with a graying beard, Alexei Petrovich, despite his great employment, is always generous. He received me cordially and amiably, seated me in a chair and had a long conversation. Piles of manuscripts lay on his desk, geological maps were hung on the walls. He clarified the question of geological time, a question at that time shaky and largely obscure. He did not doubt that there were large cycles in the activity of the sun, but there was still little material for establishing them.
In the near future this issue can be resolved precisely. Materials are being accumulated. The theory of exogenous* influences on geological structures is not accepted in our country. However, this is of course not true. The sun controls many processes on Earth, and why would it bypass the geosphere? After all, earthquakes obey a certain rhythm associated with the cyclic activity of the Sun.
The Sun’s Moods
Our sun goes berserk nine times a century. Nine times, for 2-3 years each time, it is seized with convulsions and paroxysms, and it sends high-energy fragments of atomic and nuclear decay – powerful photon and radio emissions – into space. Nine times a century, for 2-3 years each time, without exception, all phenomena on Earth – synchronously, in both dead and living kingdoms – undergoes a convulsive shudder: terrible downpours, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity, auroras, magnetic and electrical storms, devastating thunderstorms and the fires they cause in forests, steppes and cities.
Living matter in these years also goes into a frenzy. Epidemics and pandemics, epizootics and epiphytia sweep across the globe. There are sharp deviations from the usual course of chronic and acute diseases, the total mortality in all countries in these years reaches its maximum values. Infectious diseases undergo extraordinary modifications. The number of mutations in plants increases dramatically. Microbes and viruses also experience the frenzy of solar corpuscles and radiation. They are not inferior to the nervous system, this finest device of highly organized creatures, insects, invertebrates and, finally, primates! – a person. Locusts make devastating raids during these years, fish, birds, rodents, and large predators migrate supposedly without any special external reasons. Everything inanimate and living on the planet is in motion! Everything is agitated, included in the general whirlwind of unrest, anxiety and confusion!
Nowadays, the general attention of heliophysicists is attracted by a special type of solar disturbances known as solar flares. These are relatively short-lived phenomena, which, however, have extraordinary consequences for the Earth. Hydrogen in a certain region near the sunspot, which has a normal brightness in the light, sharply increases its brightness. This increase lasts no more than 15-20 minutes and then becomes normal. This seemingly insignificant phenomenon has an exceptionally important influence on some earthly processes. Solar flares increase the ionization of part of the ionosphere, which is explained by a sharp increase in the ultraviolet radiation of the Sun. A day after the flare, geomagnetic storms and auroras are observed, the cause of which lies in the corpuscular flow of powerful energies of excited places on the Sun – flares.
Both the size and the brightness of the flashes are different. Usually they are divided into three classes according to power, that is, according to the area of the hemisphere of the Sun they occupy. It has been established that the average number of flares changes with a cycle from zero at a minimum to several hundred per month at maximum solar activity. It is easy to see what perturbations undergo on Earth during the years of maxima those phenomena that are in direct proportion to solar flares.
The extremely high intensities and rapid changes in solar flares and ejecta rule out their simple thermal origin and indicate that the radiation must arise during grandiose electrical disturbances, which by analogy can be compared with stunning terrestrial thunderstorms or nuclear explosions. There are numerical conclusions obtained from the values of the corpuscular flux and the strength of magnetic storms. The power of one such stream exceeds the power of the Bratsk hydroelectric power station by three hundred, or even more times! This power is enough to excite fast and strong responses of the body. The mechanisms of these reactions have not yet been studied, but one thing is certain: they lie at the level of molecular or even atomic phenomena and, obviously, obey the laws of quantum mechanics. It is possible that the essence of the phenomena will subsequently be reduced to a change in electronic levels, and this is already of decisive importance in the life and behavior of the organism.
From the statistical regularities covering a huge period of time and tens of thousands of cases, the assumption was born about the direct influence of the cyclic activity of the Sun (mainly the influence of flares and emissions) on the functional state of the nervous system – was born to be strengthened in further fundamental and long-term studies of the author of these lines . These studies made it possible to establish that the functional state of the human nervous system is directly dependent on the passage of perturbed places on the Sun through its central meridian.
It is believed that solar flares are caused by a sharp compression of the plasma by magnetic fields. During such flares, grandiose plasma streams erupt into space. The magnetic fields of outer space capture solar plasma emissions into a kind of magnetic traps filled with solar plasma, which are located near the Earth. These are the terrestrial radiation belts, which represent a huge danger of lethal exposure of astronauts! Particles of the greatest energies, ejected from the Sun, penetrate into outer space in the form of a grandiose cone or broom, and it is a disaster for man if the spacecraft does not dodge this deadly broom. I informed Konstantin Eduardovich about this danger at the same time. We often discussed this question in his room.
“This is a serious and very important matter, but … this is where different buts begin …” said Konstantin Eduardovich.
you say, Alexander Leonidovich, then the engineers will stop designing rocket engines and the whole thing will freeze for decades. So we need to remain silent about these dangers for the time being. Let them build interstellar ships, and by then astronomers and biologists will have studied all these dangers and invented ways to get around them by building special trajectories taking into account solar dangers. Otherwise,” he continued, “the business of cosmonautics will be put off for a long time.
Naturally, I agreed with Konstantin Eduardovich. His suggestion was well founded. Let Friedrich Arturovich Zander and other design engineers build a spaceship, and I will deal with space biology … from various angles.
Not only the chroniclers, the compilers of the annals and chronicles were on my side and have already seen the upcoming science in hundreds of years, but I found in the history of natural science the firm statements of the famous English astronomer William Herschel about the connection of the menadus with solar and terrestrial phenomena — statements over which the obscurans have been frantically amusing for more than a hundred years. The years 1898, 1899 and 1904 include the publication of the German scientist Friedlander, who noticed that the sexual dispatch of the sea worm Palolo reveals those matches. I found, with the help of Swiss scientists, the observation of the Kindliman doctor, relating to 1910 that sudden deaths occur on the days of the passage of sunspots through the central meridian of the Sun.
In 1925, Kindliman published the results of his observations for 1904 — 1924, which was a great confirmation of my work, and, knowing that I was looking for him, he sent me a print of his work. Russian Admiral N. AND. Skalovsky in 1908 drew attention to the fact that sharp increases in the cholera epidemic occur on the same sunny days.
The more I buried myself in scientific literature, the more I found disparate and diverse observations in this area. As a result of these scientific and literary developments, I found at least a dozen highly qualified authors in about a century and a half who collected observations or reflected on this issue. Nevertheless, this question was completely new, far from everyone took it seriously.