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RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF

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  • Linda Shewan
    Chris - the point you make about it being only available to the rich is really the crux of the matter. Land is not available to all and even if it was, most of
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 2, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Chris - the point you make about it being only available to the rich is
      really the crux of the matter. Land is not available to all and even if it
      was, most of us need to eat from the day we get onto our land. Without
      income to buy food whilst our quarter acre does her thing means that most
      would perish. In some countries ¼ acre would never sustain life without
      major landscape change. The aboriginals in Australia lived extremely healthy
      lives before us white men came – but they did so on a lot more than ¼ acre
      per person.



      This is where the thread started – Brad realised that their decision to ‘do
      nothing’ and wait for nature did not enable them to survive without buying
      in food. Felt this was arrogant and so turned to bio-intensive gardening as
      an interim measure. (Brad - if I misinterpreted your post please accept my
      apology)



      Maybe a challenge Jamie – Make that decision to do nothing. Find ¼ acre of
      denuded or even relatively good land (say a woodland or even an open field
      that hasn’t been trashed by agriculture) and live in a tent on the land for
      a month eating only what the landscape provides. The real test would be the
      exhausted farmland because that is the state of most of our world today.
      Throw as many seeds as you like from day 1. See how you fare and let us know
      how you get on. Good luck.



      In spirit I utterly agree with everything you have to say. If we let her –
      nature will support us, in the long term. In the short term, we need to
      support her as well – help her find her feet again so we can all thrive. I
      love your ideals and believe they can be all of ours one day… I just don’t
      think we are there yet.



      Linda



      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of chris opler
      Sent: Tuesday, 3 July 2007 8:12 AM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re : [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF



      Dear All, Please forgive if the following is off-topic for you. I will
      gladly discontinue posting if I am off base.

      "But PC is simply the western instrumentalist conception to 'save the earth'
      through the maximisation of energy use. It makes not one step toward the
      question that it might be this very western instrumentalist approach, where
      the earth is seen as a great storehouse of raw energy and materials, that
      might be *the* problem."

      To take it a step further, Jevons Paradox has it that "as technological (or
      organization) improvements increase the efficiency
      with which a resource is used, total consumption of that resource may
      increase, rather than decrease."
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox) And so the gains of PC will
      create more room for growth of the global economy.

      However, I would add while I agree very much with "But it is no knew thing,
      no new knowledge but a new perspective we need. NF

      is one name for this new perspective", as well as "PC is part of the problem
      because it has not adequately understood the roots of the thinking from
      which it grows," I can't help feeling that there is something important
      missing in what has been expressed. And that is, principally, that the vast
      majority of humanity is not free to make that leap to the quarter acre. For
      us "to turn to a quarter acre, for us to be content not to do", we must be
      free to not to do and we must have access to land. You cannot just say to a
      prisoner, come outside and live. You cannot stop doing if you have to keep
      doing the way you have been just to survive. Is Natural Farming only for the
      rich and the liberated ?

      And even if we do make that leap, we live in a system that is designed for
      exponential growth at its very core. This is why "with every passing year
      and the growing information we

      have of this devastation, the rate of destruction has only increased!" One
      example of the built in drive for growth: The price of a stock is based on
      future revenues. A high stock price, represents a strong belief by the
      investors that the stock will produce high rates of return -- high profits.
      And even if a company has produced high returns, the day its prospects for
      ever increasing profits are over (losing markets to competitors or no more
      new markets to conquer), and there is either no more growth or negative
      growth, capital leaves the company in the form of sell-offs and the value of
      that company goes down. Grow or die is the driving force of capital. Every
      day in the market is a fight for your life, and what this means is that
      there is a tremendous internal force driving the growth is has brought us to
      the brink of destruction.

      In other words, its not just about making a decision to not do. The 'fight
      for your life' drive for growth in our reigning economic system means that
      NF cannot happen on its own. The destruction of our earth is part of the dna
      of our economic system. An those decisions are made by folks fighting for
      their lives. So the deciders are not going to agree, willingly, to everyone
      deciding to stop working and start living.

      Does it have any role in the liberation of all of those Natural Farmers out
      there, waiting to be, but shackled by the irons of debt, poverty,
      exploitation and famine -- those who do not have a choice -- those whose
      suffering pre-sages the future of all, but perhaps the very, very wealthy ?

      Best to all,

      Chris

      ----- Message d'origine ----
      De : Jamie Nicol <souscayrous@... <mailto:souscayrous%40gmail.com> >
      À : fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
      Envoyé le : Lundi, 2 Juillet 2007, 15h51mn 44s
      Objet : Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF

      Dear Linda, I believe that even if we do nothing the earth will support us.

      It is our doing that is eating up the fertile land of the earth. If we all

      were to stop doing (and, yes, even our attempts to 'save the earth') then

      everyone would have enough to eat.

      If each of us had a quarter acre and ate from what we grew (without recourse

      to off-garden/farm inputs) there would be more than enough food. The fragile

      regions would stop being exploited and begin to revegetate naturally (helped

      along by the return of viable seeds through seedballs perhaps).

      But for us to turn to a quarter acre, for us to be content not to do, this

      is the leap we need to make and that is something that cannot ever be

      instilled from outside by any technique, theory, religion, or meditation.

      PC is indeed a design process, and apologies for not being more precise

      before. But PC is simply the western instrumentalist conception to 'save the

      earth' through the maximisation of energy use. It makes not one step toward

      the question that it might be this very western instrumentalist approach,

      where the earth is seen as a great storehouse of raw energy and materials,

      that might be *the* problem.

      Or to approach the same point from another angle: we have known about the

      growing ecological disaster since perhaps Rachel Carson's ' Silent Spring'

      in the 1950s, yet with every passing year and the growing information we

      have of this devastation, the rate of destruction has only increased!

      PC is part of the problem because it has not adequately understood the roots

      of the thinking from which it grows. It is no surprise that PC is an

      Anglo-Saxon construct; pragmatism accepts the existence of the world and

      material 'things' as beyond obvious, as complete common sense! It accepts

      that there is a world and there are humans and humans through knowledge

      learn to use the ' things' of the world - hopefully for the betterment of

      mankind (and, yes, for the betterment of the world in general) and this is

      the idea of progress that is found in the Christian world (fallen humanities

      movement toward God's Kingdom on earth as espoused by Jesus Christ) and now

      the 'progress' that science and technology can produce for the very same

      ends.

      But what if there were no things, only relationships? Wouldn't it be likely

      that a world used by humans by manipulating 'things' would ultimately begin

      to fail if there were no such thing as 'things'? Just as we are seeing about

      us everyday! We are destroying the world every day by trying to save it when

      we would do much better by stopping all activity that relies upon the

      projection of things onto existence and the seperation of the earth into the

      human and nature.

      I repeat: Heraclitus was right to make us think about whether we can truly

      be said to step into the same river twice, but Cratylus does even better

      when he asks us whether in the light of Heraclitus' question it is really

      possible to step into the same river even once!!!

      All words lie that is their function, they are the very absence of that

      which they would bring to presence in the effort to name existence.

      Words are things, just as PC techniques are things, as knowledge is things.

      But it is no knew thing, no new knowledge but a new perspective we need. NF

      is one name for this new perspective.

      Jamie

      Souscayrous

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • chris opler
      Hi Linda, The road to NF is really a process of learning, of taking a leap towards a different perspective. What you have to DO to get there is less important
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 2, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Linda, The road to NF is really a process of learning, of taking a leap towards a different perspective. What you have to DO to get there is less important -- and what you have to do will vary from place to place and from time to time. And perhaps for me, the most valuable insight from this conversation is that we too often assume that we know what to do. Start by not doing, and watch the beauty unfold. Best, Chris

        ----- Message d'origine ----
        De : Linda Shewan <linda_shewan@...>
        � : fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Envoy� le : Mardi, 3 Juillet 2007, 1h40mn 47s
        Objet : RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF













        Chris - the point you make about it being only available to the rich is

        really the crux of the matter. Land is not available to all and even if it

        was, most of us need to eat from the day we get onto our land. Without

        income to buy food whilst our quarter acre does her thing means that most

        would perish. In some countries � acre would never sustain life without

        major landscape change. The aboriginals in Australia lived extremely healthy

        lives before us white men came � but they did so on a lot more than � acre

        per person.



        This is where the thread started � Brad realised that their decision to �do

        nothing� and wait for nature did not enable them to survive without buying

        in food. Felt this was arrogant and so turned to bio-intensive gardening as

        an interim measure. (Brad - if I misinterpreted your post please accept my

        apology)



        Maybe a challenge Jamie � Make that decision to do nothing. Find � acre of

        denuded or even relatively good land (say a woodland or even an open field

        that hasn�t been trashed by agriculture) and live in a tent on the land for

        a month eating only what the landscape provides. The real test would be the

        exhausted farmland because that is the state of most of our world today.

        Throw as many seeds as you like from day 1. See how you fare and let us know

        how you get on. Good luck.



        In spirit I utterly agree with everything you have to say. If we let her �

        nature will support us, in the long term. In the short term, we need to

        support her as well � help her find her feet again so we can all thrive. I

        love your ideals and believe they can be all of ours one day� I just don�t

        think we are there yet.



        Linda



        From: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com

        [mailto:fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of chris opler

        Sent: Tuesday, 3 July 2007 8:12 AM

        To: fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com

        Subject: Re : [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF



        Dear All, Please forgive if the following is off-topic for you. I will

        gladly discontinue posting if I am off base.



        "But PC is simply the western instrumentalist conception to 'save the earth'

        through the maximisation of energy use. It makes not one step toward the

        question that it might be this very western instrumentalist approach, where

        the earth is seen as a great storehouse of raw energy and materials, that

        might be *the* problem."



        To take it a step further, Jevons Paradox has it that "as technological (or

        organization) improvements increase the efficiency

        with which a resource is used, total consumption of that resource may

        increase, rather than decrease."

        (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Jevons_paradox) And so the gains of PC will

        create more room for growth of the global economy.



        However, I would add while I agree very much with "But it is no knew thing,

        no new knowledge but a new perspective we need. NF



        is one name for this new perspective" , as well as "PC is part of the problem

        because it has not adequately understood the roots of the thinking from

        which it grows," I can't help feeling that there is something important

        missing in what has been expressed. And that is, principally, that the vast

        majority of humanity is not free to make that leap to the quarter acre. For

        us "to turn to a quarter acre, for us to be content not to do", we must be

        free to not to do and we must have access to land. You cannot just say to a

        prisoner, come outside and live. You cannot stop doing if you have to keep

        doing the way you have been just to survive. Is Natural Farming only for the

        rich and the liberated ?



        And even if we do make that leap, we live in a system that is designed for

        exponential growth at its very core. This is why "with every passing year

        and the growing information we



        have of this devastation, the rate of destruction has only increased!" One

        example of the built in drive for growth: The price of a stock is based on

        future revenues. A high stock price, represents a strong belief by the

        investors that the stock will produce high rates of return -- high profits.

        And even if a company has produced high returns, the day its prospects for

        ever increasing profits are over (losing markets to competitors or no more

        new markets to conquer), and there is either no more growth or negative

        growth, capital leaves the company in the form of sell-offs and the value of

        that company goes down. Grow or die is the driving force of capital. Every

        day in the market is a fight for your life, and what this means is that

        there is a tremendous internal force driving the growth is has brought us to

        the brink of destruction.



        In other words, its not just about making a decision to not do. The 'fight

        for your life' drive for growth in our reigning economic system means that

        NF cannot happen on its own. The destruction of our earth is part of the dna

        of our economic system. An those decisions are made by folks fighting for

        their lives. So the deciders are not going to agree, willingly, to everyone

        deciding to stop working and start living.



        Does it have any role in the liberation of all of those Natural Farmers out

        there, waiting to be, but shackled by the irons of debt, poverty,

        exploitation and famine -- those who do not have a choice -- those whose

        suffering pre-sages the future of all, but perhaps the very, very wealthy ?



        Best to all,



        Chris



        ----- Message d'origine ----

        De : Jamie Nicol <souscayrous@ gmail.com <mailto:souscayrous %40gmail. com> >

        � : fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com

        <mailto:fukuoka_ farming%40yahoog roups.com>

        Envoy� le : Lundi, 2 Juillet 2007, 15h51mn 44s

        Objet : Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF



        Dear Linda, I believe that even if we do nothing the earth will support us.



        It is our doing that is eating up the fertile land of the earth. If we all



        were to stop doing (and, yes, even our attempts to 'save the earth') then



        everyone would have enough to eat.



        If each of us had a quarter acre and ate from what we grew (without recourse



        to off-garden/farm inputs) there would be more than enough food. The fragile



        regions would stop being exploited and begin to revegetate naturally (helped



        along by the return of viable seeds through seedballs perhaps).



        But for us to turn to a quarter acre, for us to be content not to do, this



        is the leap we need to make and that is something that cannot ever be



        instilled from outside by any technique, theory, religion, or meditation.



        PC is indeed a design process, and apologies for not being more precise



        before. But PC is simply the western instrumentalist conception to 'save the



        earth' through the maximisation of energy use. It makes not one step toward



        the question that it might be this very western instrumentalist approach,



        where the earth is seen as a great storehouse of raw energy and materials,



        that might be *the* problem.



        Or to approach the same point from another angle: we have known about the



        growing ecological disaster since perhaps Rachel Carson's ' Silent Spring'



        in the 1950s, yet with every passing year and the growing information we



        have of this devastation, the rate of destruction has only increased!



        PC is part of the problem because it has not adequately understood the roots



        of the thinking from which it grows. It is no surprise that PC is an



        Anglo-Saxon construct; pragmatism accepts the existence of the world and



        material 'things' as beyond obvious, as complete common sense! It accepts



        that there is a world and there are humans and humans through knowledge



        learn to use the ' things' of the world - hopefully for the betterment of



        mankind (and, yes, for the betterment of the world in general) and this is



        the idea of progress that is found in the Christian world (fallen humanities



        movement toward God's Kingdom on earth as espoused by Jesus Christ) and now



        the 'progress' that science and technology can produce for the very same



        ends.



        But what if there were no things, only relationships? Wouldn't it be likely



        that a world used by humans by manipulating 'things' would ultimately begin



        to fail if there were no such thing as 'things'? Just as we are seeing about



        us everyday! We are destroying the world every day by trying to save it when



        we would do much better by stopping all activity that relies upon the



        projection of things onto existence and the seperation of the earth into the



        human and nature.



        I repeat: Heraclitus was right to make us think about whether we can truly



        be said to step into the same river twice, but Cratylus does even better



        when he asks us whether in the light of Heraclitus' question it is really



        possible to step into the same river even once!!!



        All words lie that is their function, they are the very absence of that



        which they would bring to presence in the effort to name existence.



        Words are things, just as PC techniques are things, as knowledge is things.



        But it is no knew thing, no new knowledge but a new perspective we need. NF



        is one name for this new perspective.



        Jamie



        Souscayrous



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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      • Jamie Nicol
        Dear Chris and Linda, there are many streams of conversation converging in this thread, responding adequately and specifically is difficult. I am currently
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 3, 2007
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          Dear Chris and Linda, there are many streams of conversation converging in
          this thread, responding adequately and specifically is difficult.

          I am currently clearing and planting about 500m2 of old veg garden and
          overgrown plum and wild cherry trees. We, my wife Anne and our two children,
          eat from this garden but by no means do we subsist entirely from it. We
          supplement this food with some wild foods from the scrub maquis of the local
          countryside, but we still shop for a lot of our food.

          I do not suggest that anyone try to subsist immediately from a quarter acre
          of bare, exhausted land - modern conventional agriculture shows us just how
          much work and materials are needed to produce any food from such soil.

          I am working to clear more of this overgrown garden and would hope to have
          1000m2 (a quarter of an acre) eventually providing much, but not all, of my
          family's food. However, we also have nearly an hectare (about 2 acres) of
          old vineyard that I am going to be seedballing over the coming years with
          every different edible plant seed I can get my hands on. I shall also
          continue casting acorns of the native oak tree on the denuded hills above.

          Even if we do nothing the earth will sustain us is not just a pious
          sentiment. Because, as has been expressed by Fukuoka and many different
          people on this list many times before ' do-nothing' is not about doing
          nothing. 'Do-nothing' is about ceasing our goal-driven, instrumentalist
          actions. It is about perceiving afresh so that the myriad human worlds we
          all carry about with us fall away to reveal the only world, which I will
          call 'earth'.

          I am expressing this perception in saying that even if we do nothing the
          world will sustain us. I am not expressing a dictat that must be followed by
          everyone. To do so would not be NF. To my understanding to work with what
          you have, right now, is NF. This is what I am trying to do.

          Chris you bring up the question of freedom again and I would, like Bart,
          refer you to Chogyam Trungpa's ' The Myth of Freedom' - "Freedom is
          generally conceived as the ability to achieve goals and satisfy desires. But
          what of the source of these goals and desires? If they arise from ignorance,
          habitual patterns, and negative emotions - in other words from
          psychologically destructive elements that actually enslave us - is the
          freedom to pursue them true freedom or just a myth?" (from the back cover)

          How can we understand the roots of the thinking from out of which we have
          grown? How can we see the structures that define the way we perceive the
          world? There is much to be said for questioning one's own (one's ownmost)
          from the perspective of the foreign. It is Fukuoka's foreign perspective
          that I have most appreciated, because it has laid bare my unthinking when I
          thought myself to be most thoughtful!

          I recommend that we honestly confront our own preconceptions by struggling
          to understand what Fukuoka actually says. That has been my hope across the
          last couple of years and it is an ongoing process. What I say now bears no
          relation to what I wrote before on this list 2002-2004.

          Chris and Linda, I honestly believe I understand what you both say and the
          problems you have with what I say. I raised many of the same points as you
          before - PC and Emilia Hazelip's Synergistic Agriculture were my starting
          points after all. But I do wonder if you have really tried to understand
          what I'm saying? I know it was only with reading Fukuoka's 'One-Straw: A
          Recapitulation' that I began to feel my thinking was not deep but parochial.

          Here is a challenge of my own to the both of you: Here is a passage from the
          book I mention above. Considering this a list dedicated to the discussion of
          Fukuoka Farming and not PC or Peak Oil, or Die-Off or Synergistic
          Agriculture, or organic farming etc, why don't we discuss what this means
          for us in what we do on a farm or in a garden?

          "A. The Grass and Trees Are God

          If you look with the mind of attachment, then nature will be nothing more
          than mountains and rivers, but if you look with detachment, the mountains
          covered with greenery and the rivers, just as they are, will be transformed
          into the true form of God.

          Fifty years ago nature clearly appeared to me as God, but until now it has
          not occurred to me to declare that the grasses and trees are God. I have
          been lost in confusion for many years, foolishly wandering around the
          periphery of God.

          This morning I was able to confirm that the sun that rose, breaking through
          the dawn clouds, is the God I once was certain of and that the chirping of
          the birds is indeed the voice of God. Today I again experienced the same
          throb of emotion as I did that instant in the spring of my twenty-fifth
          year.

          The singing of the birds in the dawn light gave me a blessing. I have been
          able to confirm once again that the crystalline dew on the flowers of the *
          daikon* radish is the pure water of God that cleanses my heart.

          So long as one does not seek or make inquiries about God, God will appear
          with great beauty and clarity to anyone at any time.

          I am filled now with a sense of reassurance that at last I have been able to
          grasp the heart of God. God is always present before our eyes. Anyone,
          anywhere, can hold God within his grasp.

          Nevertheless, it is not given to man to discern with ease that the grass and
          trees he sees everyday are God. Throughout, the true form of God never
          appears to man, nor can he touch the body of God.

          In the flower, which is God. there is no shape that is the true form, and
          there is no heart that can be called a soul. The form that people see as a
          flower is nothing more than an expression of their minds (a mental image),
          and the heart, or mind, that is thought to exist within the flower is only
          the vanity of the human mind, bewitched and swayed by the form
          (concreteness) of the flower that has been turned into a mental image. When
          people look at the shape of a flower, they are not seeing its true form, and
          even if they attempt to enter into its mind, there is no mind they can
          enter.

          Even though God is each tree, each blade of grass, each flower, God is
          always without form and without mind. Therefore, God is a formless form and
          a mindless mind that transcends human knowledge. In order to approach God
          and to know the mind of God, all human knowledge and inquiry are useless.

          We must understand, before anything else, that we don't even have the right
          to talk about or speak the name of God."

          Jamie
          Souscayrous









          On 7/3/07, Linda Shewan <linda_shewan@...> wrote:
          >
          > Chris - the point you make about it being only available to the rich is
          > really the crux of the matter. Land is not available to all and even if it
          > was, most of us need to eat from the day we get onto our land. Without
          > income to buy food whilst our quarter acre does her thing means that most
          > would perish. In some countries � acre would never sustain life without
          > major landscape change. The aboriginals in Australia lived extremely
          > healthy
          > lives before us white men came � but they did so on a lot more than � acre
          > per person.
          >
          > This is where the thread started � Brad realised that their decision to
          > 'do
          > nothing' and wait for nature did not enable them to survive without buying
          > in food. Felt this was arrogant and so turned to bio-intensive gardening
          > as
          > an interim measure. (Brad - if I misinterpreted your post please accept my
          > apology)
          >
          > Maybe a challenge Jamie � Make that decision to do nothing. Find � acre of
          > denuded or even relatively good land (say a woodland or even an open field
          > that hasn't been trashed by agriculture) and live in a tent on the land
          > for
          > a month eating only what the landscape provides. The real test would be
          > the
          > exhausted farmland because that is the state of most of our world today.
          > Throw as many seeds as you like from day 1. See how you fare and let us
          > know
          > how you get on. Good luck.
          >
          > In spirit I utterly agree with everything you have to say. If we let her �
          > nature will support us, in the long term. In the short term, we need to
          > support her as well � help her find her feet again so we can all thrive. I
          > love your ideals and believe they can be all of ours one day� I just don't
          > think we are there yet.
          >
          > Linda
          >
          > From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
          > [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com<fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>]
          > On Behalf Of chris opler
          > Sent: Tuesday, 3 July 2007 8:12 AM
          > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
          > Subject: Re : [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF
          >
          >
          > Dear All, Please forgive if the following is off-topic for you. I will
          > gladly discontinue posting if I am off base.
          >
          > "But PC is simply the western instrumentalist conception to 'save the
          > earth'
          > through the maximisation of energy use. It makes not one step toward the
          > question that it might be this very western instrumentalist approach,
          > where
          > the earth is seen as a great storehouse of raw energy and materials, that
          > might be *the* problem."
          >
          > To take it a step further, Jevons Paradox has it that "as technological
          > (or
          > organization) improvements increase the efficiency
          > with which a resource is used, total consumption of that resource may
          > increase, rather than decrease."
          > (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox) And so the gains of PC will
          > create more room for growth of the global economy.
          >
          > However, I would add while I agree very much with "But it is no knew
          > thing,
          > no new knowledge but a new perspective we need. NF
          >
          > is one name for this new perspective", as well as "PC is part of the
          > problem
          > because it has not adequately understood the roots of the thinking from
          > which it grows," I can't help feeling that there is something important
          > missing in what has been expressed. And that is, principally, that the
          > vast
          > majority of humanity is not free to make that leap to the quarter acre.
          > For
          > us "to turn to a quarter acre, for us to be content not to do", we must be
          > free to not to do and we must have access to land. You cannot just say to
          > a
          > prisoner, come outside and live. You cannot stop doing if you have to keep
          > doing the way you have been just to survive. Is Natural Farming only for
          > the
          > rich and the liberated ?
          >
          > And even if we do make that leap, we live in a system that is designed for
          > exponential growth at its very core. This is why "with every passing year
          > and the growing information we
          >
          > have of this devastation, the rate of destruction has only increased!" One
          > example of the built in drive for growth: The price of a stock is based on
          > future revenues. A high stock price, represents a strong belief by the
          > investors that the stock will produce high rates of return -- high
          > profits.
          > And even if a company has produced high returns, the day its prospects for
          > ever increasing profits are over (losing markets to competitors or no more
          > new markets to conquer), and there is either no more growth or negative
          > growth, capital leaves the company in the form of sell-offs and the value
          > of
          > that company goes down. Grow or die is the driving force of capital. Every
          > day in the market is a fight for your life, and what this means is that
          > there is a tremendous internal force driving the growth is has brought us
          > to
          > the brink of destruction.
          >
          > In other words, its not just about making a decision to not do. The 'fight
          > for your life' drive for growth in our reigning economic system means that
          > NF cannot happen on its own. The destruction of our earth is part of the
          > dna
          > of our economic system. An those decisions are made by folks fighting for
          > their lives. So the deciders are not going to agree, willingly, to
          > everyone
          > deciding to stop working and start living.
          >
          > Does it have any role in the liberation of all of those Natural Farmers
          > out
          > there, waiting to be, but shackled by the irons of debt, poverty,
          > exploitation and famine -- those who do not have a choice -- those whose
          > suffering pre-sages the future of all, but perhaps the very, very wealthy
          > ?
          >
          > Best to all,
          >
          > Chris
          >
          > ----- Message d'origine ----
          > De : Jamie Nicol <souscayrous@... <souscayrous%40gmail.com> <mailto:
          > souscayrous%40gmail.com> >
          > � : fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
          > <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
          > Envoy� le : Lundi, 2 Juillet 2007, 15h51mn 44s
          > Objet : Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF
          >
          > Dear Linda, I believe that even if we do nothing the earth will support
          > us.
          >
          > It is our doing that is eating up the fertile land of the earth. If we all
          >
          > were to stop doing (and, yes, even our attempts to 'save the earth') then
          >
          > everyone would have enough to eat.
          >
          > If each of us had a quarter acre and ate from what we grew (without
          > recourse
          >
          > to off-garden/farm inputs) there would be more than enough food. The
          > fragile
          >
          > regions would stop being exploited and begin to revegetate naturally
          > (helped
          >
          > along by the return of viable seeds through seedballs perhaps).
          >
          > But for us to turn to a quarter acre, for us to be content not to do, this
          >
          > is the leap we need to make and that is something that cannot ever be
          >
          > instilled from outside by any technique, theory, religion, or meditation.
          >
          > PC is indeed a design process, and apologies for not being more precise
          >
          > before. But PC is simply the western instrumentalist conception to 'save
          > the
          >
          > earth' through the maximisation of energy use. It makes not one step
          > toward
          >
          > the question that it might be this very western instrumentalist approach,
          >
          > where the earth is seen as a great storehouse of raw energy and materials,
          >
          > that might be *the* problem.
          >
          > Or to approach the same point from another angle: we have known about the
          >
          > growing ecological disaster since perhaps Rachel Carson's ' Silent Spring'
          >
          > in the 1950s, yet with every passing year and the growing information we
          >
          > have of this devastation, the rate of destruction has only increased!
          >
          > PC is part of the problem because it has not adequately understood the
          > roots
          >
          > of the thinking from which it grows. It is no surprise that PC is an
          >
          > Anglo-Saxon construct; pragmatism accepts the existence of the world and
          >
          > material 'things' as beyond obvious, as complete common sense! It accepts
          >
          > that there is a world and there are humans and humans through knowledge
          >
          > learn to use the ' things' of the world - hopefully for the betterment of
          >
          > mankind (and, yes, for the betterment of the world in general) and this is
          >
          > the idea of progress that is found in the Christian world (fallen
          > humanities
          >
          > movement toward God's Kingdom on earth as espoused by Jesus Christ) and
          > now
          >
          > the 'progress' that science and technology can produce for the very same
          >
          > ends.
          >
          > But what if there were no things, only relationships? Wouldn't it be
          > likely
          >
          > that a world used by humans by manipulating 'things' would ultimately
          > begin
          >
          > to fail if there were no such thing as 'things'? Just as we are seeing
          > about
          >
          > us everyday! We are destroying the world every day by trying to save it
          > when
          >
          > we would do much better by stopping all activity that relies upon the
          >
          > projection of things onto existence and the seperation of the earth into
          > the
          >
          > human and nature.
          >
          > I repeat: Heraclitus was right to make us think about whether we can truly
          >
          > be said to step into the same river twice, but Cratylus does even better
          >
          > when he asks us whether in the light of Heraclitus' question it is really
          >
          > possible to step into the same river even once!!!
          >
          > All words lie that is their function, they are the very absence of that
          >
          > which they would bring to presence in the effort to name existence.
          >
          > Words are things, just as PC techniques are things, as knowledge is
          > things.
          >
          > But it is no knew thing, no new knowledge but a new perspective we need.
          > NF
          >
          > is one name for this new perspective.
          >
          > Jamie
          >
          > Souscayrous
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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        • witchessocks
          interesting analysis about whether it is possible to use permaculture as a stepping stone to get to natural farming. i would like to include a few quotes to,
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 3, 2007
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            interesting analysis about whether it is possible to use permaculture
            as a stepping stone to get to natural farming. i would like to include
            a few quotes to, if you wish, meditate on...


            about pessimism/aloneness vs optimism/community...

            from the preface of "the natural way of farming"...

            "natural farming is based on a nature free of human meddling and
            intervention. it strives to restore nature from the destruction
            wrought by human knowledge and action, and to restore a humanity
            divorced from god.

            while still a youth, a certain turn of events set me out on the proud
            and lonely road back to nature. with sadness, though, i learned that
            one person cannot live alone.

            *one either lives in association with people or in communion with
            nature.*

            i found also, to my despair, that people were no longer truly human,
            and nature no longer truly natural. the noble road that rises above
            the world of relativity was too steep for me.

            these writings are the record of one farmer who for fifty years has
            wandered about in search of nature. i have traveled a long way, yet as
            night falls there remains a long way to go.

            of course, in a sense, natural farming will never be perfected. it
            will not see see general application in it's true form, and will serve
            only as a brake to slow the mad onslaught of scientific agriculture."

            from chapter 2,

            "the laws of modern agriculture are; the law of diminishing returns;
            equilibrium; adaptation; compensation and cancellation; relativity;
            law of minimum"...

            "the fundamental law that natural farming stands upon is 'the dharmic
            law that all things return to one'... all things fuse into a circle,
            which reverts to a point, and the point to nothing. to man, it appears
            as if something has occurred and something has vanished, yet nothing
            is ever created or destroyed"...

            "in his desire to know and understand nature, man applies numerous
            laws to it from many different perspectives.as would be expected,
            human knowledge deepens and expands but man is sadly deceived in
            thinking that he draws closer to a true understanding of nature as he
            learns more about it. for he actually draws further and further away
            from nature with each new discovery and each fresh bit of knowledge.
            these laws are fragments cut from the one law that flows at the source
            of nature. but this is not to say that if reassembled, they would form
            the original law. they would not...

            no matter how many fragmentary laws extracted from the single unnamed
            law of nature are collected together, they can never add up to the
            great source principle. that the nature observed through these laws
            differs fundamentally from true nature should come to no surprise.
            scientific farming based on the application of such laws is vastly
            different from natural farming, which observes the basic principle of
            nature.

            as long as natural farming stands on this unique law, it is guaranteed
            truth and possesses eternal life."



            my opinion...to borrow from al gore...however inconvenient the truth
            may be, there it is and here we are.
            witchessocks, zone 7, virginia
          • Linda Shewan
            To Chris and Jamie, I am not as eloquent as yourself and Jamie but I believe I move forward with the same soul intent ... My awakening came after living in
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 3, 2007
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              To Chris and Jamie,

              I am not as eloquent as yourself and Jamie but I believe I move forward with
              the same soul intent ...

              My awakening came after living in Australia for 6 years and just not being
              able to come to terms with the landscape here. I was so fixated by the lush,
              green beauty of my homeland, New Zealand, that my heart simply couldn't
              resonate with what I perceived as the harsh, dry, barren landscape of
              Australia.

              About 6 months ago I sat in my garden, staring at the eucalyptus which
              precludes growing anything for metres around it. I loved the eucalypt, both
              for it's beauty and for the Koala it supports from time to time, but was
              frustrated by the lack of 'useful' space in my assigned vegetable growing
              area!

              Then in a flash it felt like my heart captured the essence of that snow gum
              - how to describe the overwhelming love and acceptance that came with that.
              From that moment on the landscape was transformed. It is almost painful,
              that beautiful heart pain that love brings - I feel as well as see the
              extreme beauty of the natural world. Trees do seem to have the most intense
              affect but really almost everything in 'nature' (I am still struggling with
              the bull ants and poisonous snakes and spiders that abound in this land...
              not with their beauty, simply their bite, which REALLY hurts!)


              Regarding this thread - what I did not understand was why I was condemned
              for the process I was taking as being an anathema to NF when in fact I was
              simply attempting to start on the journey in the way that felt right for me.
              I must confess it still does. I consider the journey my soul is taking to be
              in harmony with the process I am using to take the landscape to one where I
              can achieve a similar style of 'do nothing' farming that Fukuoka-san
              discussed. I do believe we need to 'act', have a process to get there... and
              I may well be wrong in that assumption but I believe that following this
              path I will attain both my inner and outer goals in due time - when I am
              ready I guess.

              I will be reading and re-reading your words of wisdom in an attempt to more
              fully understand the substance behind them. My heart feels it but my
              analytical side keeps saying be real - for example you say that 'Do-nothing'
              is about ceasing our goal-driven, instrumentalist actions. But everytime we
              seedball or clear some land to plant a fruit tree or vegetables - we have a
              goal. To say cease goal-driven actions means that none of these things would
              happen... It is that conflict that I am struggling with! Perhaps it is my
              perception of conflict that is the real problem here.

              Thank you for the discussion. I fully acknowledge I have a long path ahead
              of me and truly feel blessed to have found so many wise souls to support me
              on my journey.

              In peace, Linda
            • Jamie Nicol
              Dear Linda, your humility speaks far more eloquently than my many words. Such openness is just what I understand NF to be and I doubt I have yet achieved such
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 4, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear Linda, your humility speaks far more eloquently than my many words.
                Such openness is just what I understand NF to be and I doubt I have yet
                achieved such openness of spirit.

                I'm sorry if you felt 'condemned' by anything I have written, such was
                certainly not my intention. My wish has been simply to be clear that
                'official' PC is not NF, although I know many PCers who could easily be
                described as NFers. And also know at the same time that such differentiation
                is the very problem itself.

                Here are some of my thoughts on 'do-nothing' (wei wu-wei, the action of
                no-action):

                How can we do without doing? This is a paradox, seemingly without
                resolution. What I'd like to suggest is that ' do-nothing' can only occur
                when we no longer are we (opposed to it or they) but that we become one with
                it or they.

                I would call this non-dual action. This opposes the dualism of Descartes for
                example (I think therefore I am), which is a touchstone of western
                understanding. The suggestion is that in non-dual action there is no
                difference between the agent, the self that does the action, and the
                objective action that is done.

                'Do-nothing' occurs when there is no 'I' to do, but just the world (earth)
                acting. If the grass and the trees are god (as Fukuoka expressed), then so
                are you and me. If we are all god then we are not you and me but it, that
                which is. When we act with this understanding this acting is not acting (as
                agents or subjects) at all. We are no longer 'things' and neither is the
                world an array of things upon which we can act.

                The poetry of Gary Snyder expresses this far better than I can.

                In the Bhagavadgita such an understanding is clearly explained: He who in
                action sees inaction and action in inaction - he is wise amongst
                men...'Having abondoned attachment to the fruit of works, ever content,
                without any kind of dependence, he does nothing though he is ever engaged in
                work (IV, 18, 20) (32)

                And, of course, within Daoism and Zen (Ch'an) there are numerous such
                mentions of this understanding of 'do-nothing'.

                If we move further West again, to Europe, such an understanding of non-dual
                action is also expressed by Meister Eckhart: the soul must open itself to
                receive God's gift. This opening can only occur when our self-love (ego
                self) is let go. So that we are no longer subject but belong as one because
                we let go our self-will and attachment to our own desires. It is in this
                opening openness that humans can attain to their greatest beauty...

                Eckhart writes: God's ground is my ground and my ground is God's ground.
                Here I live on my own as God lives on His own...you should work all works
                out of this ground without why. Indeed, I say, so long as you work for the
                kingdom of heaven, or for God, or for your internal happiness and thus for
                something outward, all is not well with you." (Q.180, 5-13/Bl.,126-7)

                What I hope I'm suggesting is that NF is not NF at all. It is Zen, Dao,
                Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Christian Mysticism of the Rhenish School,
                American Indian inspired poetry...it is anything you want to call it as long
                as this calling recognises the need for the releasement from the dictates of
                our ego-selves into an action that does not depend on any dualism at all -
                even if you believe yourself working for God (or for NF or Fukuoka for that
                matter)!

                I am not a Fukuokan nor am I an NFer, I do not believe in God nor the Dao. I
                am a writer who does not believe in words, a thinker who does not believe in
                philosophy, a religious person who does not believe in religion, a farmer
                who does not believe in farming.

                This thread is called ' Growing into NF'. Well, I hope that everyone in this
                world would grow in to NF, but I also hope that no one will lodge there but
                continue to move on with the ever changing flux, because, as was made plain
                more than 2500 years ago:

                "1. The Reason that can be reasoned is not the eternal Reason. The name that
                can be named is not the eternal Name. The Unnamable is of heaven and earth
                the beginning. The Namable becomes of the ten thousand things the mother.

                Therefore it is said:

                2. "He who desireless is found
                The spiritual of the world will sound.
                But he who by desire is bound
                Sees the mere shell of things around."

                3. These two things are the same in source but different in name. Their
                sameness is called a mystery. Indeed, it is the mystery of mysteries. Of all
                spirituality it is the door.


                Jamie
                Souscayrous




                On 7/4/07, Linda Shewan < linda_shewan@...> wrote:
                >
                > To Chris and Jamie,
                >
                > I am not as eloquent as yourself and Jamie but I believe I move forward
                > with
                > the same soul intent ...
                >
                > My awakening came after living in Australia for 6 years and just not being
                > able to come to terms with the landscape here. I was so fixated by the
                > lush,
                > green beauty of my homeland, New Zealand, that my heart simply couldn't
                > resonate with what I perceived as the harsh, dry, barren landscape of
                > Australia.
                >
                > About 6 months ago I sat in my garden, staring at the eucalyptus which
                > precludes growing anything for metres around it. I loved the eucalypt,
                > both
                > for it's beauty and for the Koala it supports from time to time, but was
                > frustrated by the lack of 'useful' space in my assigned vegetable growing
                > area!
                >
                > Then in a flash it felt like my heart captured the essence of that snow
                > gum
                > - how to describe the overwhelming love and acceptance that came with
                > that.
                > From that moment on the landscape was transformed. It is almost painful,
                > that beautiful heart pain that love brings - I feel as well as see the
                > extreme beauty of the natural world. Trees do seem to have the most
                > intense
                > affect but really almost everything in 'nature' (I am still struggling
                > with
                > the bull ants and poisonous snakes and spiders that abound in this land...
                > not with their beauty, simply their bite, which REALLY hurts!)
                >
                > Regarding this thread - what I did not understand was why I was condemned
                > for the process I was taking as being an anathema to NF when in fact I was
                > simply attempting to start on the journey in the way that felt right for
                > me.
                > I must confess it still does. I consider the journey my soul is taking to
                > be
                > in harmony with the process I am using to take the landscape to one where
                > I
                > can achieve a similar style of 'do nothing' farming that Fukuoka-san
                > discussed. I do believe we need to 'act', have a process to get there...
                > and
                > I may well be wrong in that assumption but I believe that following this
                > path I will attain both my inner and outer goals in due time - when I am
                > ready I guess.
                >
                > I will be reading and re-reading your words of wisdom in an attempt to
                > more
                > fully understand the substance behind them. My heart feels it but my
                > analytical side keeps saying be real - for example you say that
                > 'Do-nothing'
                > is about ceasing our goal-driven, instrumentalist actions. But everytime
                > we
                > seedball or clear some land to plant a fruit tree or vegetables - we have
                > a
                > goal. To say cease goal-driven actions means that none of these things
                > would
                > happen... It is that conflict that I am struggling with! Perhaps it is my
                > perception of conflict that is the real problem here.
                >
                > Thank you for the discussion. I fully acknowledge I have a long path ahead
                > of me and truly feel blessed to have found so many wise souls to support
                > me
                > on my journey.
                >
                > In peace, Linda
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • chris opler
                Dear Friends, Thank you for your words. I feel strongly that we are not working against each other, but truly as one. As we each push to clarify, we are
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 4, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear Friends, Thank you for your words. I feel strongly that we are not working against each other, but truly as one. As we each push to clarify, we are coming closer together. Each has her own path to follow. Yet our paths cross and intertwine and we become lighter, and higher. As you say, Jamie, NF is really an expression of a different perspective, one in which the dualism between the I and the world is collapsed into a single One -- God, the world. I would suggest that this dualism is what permits the system to keep rising. Black/white, woman/man, third-world/first-world, ... . These dualities are both in spirit and in form. The oppression of the other is the condition of the profit of the I. If we live as one world, as one with our fellow beings, then we can no longer
                  accept to 'profit' from the exploitation, because the other does not
                  exist, she and I are all part of the same One.

                  One Love, One Heart, One People,

                  Chris

                  ----- Message d'origine ----
                  De : Linda Shewan <linda_shewan@...>
                  À : fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
                  Envoyé le : Mercredi, 4 Juillet 2007, 7h45mn 27s
                  Objet : RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF













                  To Chris and Jamie,



                  I am not as eloquent as yourself and Jamie but I believe I move forward with

                  the same soul intent ...



                  My awakening came after living in Australia for 6 years and just not being

                  able to come to terms with the landscape here. I was so fixated by the lush,

                  green beauty of my homeland, New Zealand, that my heart simply couldn't

                  resonate with what I perceived as the harsh, dry, barren landscape of

                  Australia.



                  About 6 months ago I sat in my garden, staring at the eucalyptus which

                  precludes growing anything for metres around it. I loved the eucalypt, both

                  for it's beauty and for the Koala it supports from time to time, but was

                  frustrated by the lack of 'useful' space in my assigned vegetable growing

                  area!



                  Then in a flash it felt like my heart captured the essence of that snow gum

                  - how to describe the overwhelming love and acceptance that came with that.

                  From that moment on the landscape was transformed. It is almost painful,

                  that beautiful heart pain that love brings - I feel as well as see the

                  extreme beauty of the natural world. Trees do seem to have the most intense

                  affect but really almost everything in 'nature' (I am still struggling with

                  the bull ants and poisonous snakes and spiders that abound in this land...

                  not with their beauty, simply their bite, which REALLY hurts!)



                  Regarding this thread - what I did not understand was why I was condemned

                  for the process I was taking as being an anathema to NF when in fact I was

                  simply attempting to start on the journey in the way that felt right for me.

                  I must confess it still does. I consider the journey my soul is taking to be

                  in harmony with the process I am using to take the landscape to one where I

                  can achieve a similar style of 'do nothing' farming that Fukuoka-san

                  discussed. I do believe we need to 'act', have a process to get there... and

                  I may well be wrong in that assumption but I believe that following this

                  path I will attain both my inner and outer goals in due time - when I am

                  ready I guess.



                  I will be reading and re-reading your words of wisdom in an attempt to more

                  fully understand the substance behind them. My heart feels it but my

                  analytical side keeps saying be real - for example you say that 'Do-nothing'

                  is about ceasing our goal-driven, instrumentalist actions. But everytime we

                  seedball or clear some land to plant a fruit tree or vegetables - we have a

                  goal. To say cease goal-driven actions means that none of these things would

                  happen... It is that conflict that I am struggling with! Perhaps it is my

                  perception of conflict that is the real problem here.



                  Thank you for the discussion. I fully acknowledge I have a long path ahead

                  of me and truly feel blessed to have found so many wise souls to support me

                  on my journey.



                  In peace, Linda














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