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RE: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF

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  • Linda Shewan
    With the recent exchanges I am getting a better understanding of where you are all coming from with your dismissal of permaculture in Natural Farming. PC says
    Message 1 of 32 , Jul 7, 2007
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      With the recent exchanges I am getting a better understanding of where you
      are all coming from with your dismissal of permaculture in Natural Farming.
      PC says take your current environment and change it to grow food and
      integrate with the natural environment - which as you say - simply makes
      life in prison more comfortable. The reality is that for most of the
      population I think that is all that can be hoped for in our current space
      and time and NF does little for people living in that reality. Where land is
      available then NF becomes a viable option.



      BUT - this is what I still can't get past.



      You want to be a natural farmer.

      You get some bare land.

      You need to build a house.

      NF provides no framework for that so you just choose wherever you gut feel -
      but we are conditioned by so much history that our gut feel just may be
      wrong.

      Doesn't it make sense to use PC design principles to help you find the most
      appropriate space and design for your home - one that works with and in
      harmony with nature instead of against her. One that means your future life
      will be more comfortable because your home is integrating with nature,
      rather than remaining separate from her.

      To use PC design principles to select the best areas on your land for
      firewood crops to be grown (because grown in amongst everything else would
      cause destruction later which could be avoided with planning a specific
      space for it, a pond or dam to be dug for water supply and a more balanced
      environment and many many other things.



      PLEASE NOTE THAT I BELIEVE THIS IS APPLICABLE ONLY AT THE START OF THE NF
      JOURNEY.

      When you arrive and need to in some way design your space.

      NO-ONE can tell me that they don't at some level design their space.



      And I have not read the last recapitulation book but certainly Fukuoka-san
      used techniques to start his NF journey as well. Lots of different ones,
      some of which I have outlined in previous posts. Perhaps by the time he
      wrote the last book he was in the state where he felt he should not have
      done this - but he was no longer at the START .



      Down the path a little - once our spaces are designed - we can simply be at
      one with the land and approach NF as we feel right - we might scatter seeds
      of firewood trees, not plant them, or wait for nature to produce them
      naturally? Scattering seeds and living on, whilst truly revelling, natures
      bounty. Our space in it wonderfully integrated to achieve the ultimate
      do-nothing farming.



      I believe PC design then NF (in)action allows us to expand further beyond
      those prison walls than either of them individually.



      Linda





      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ingrid Bauer
      Sent: Thursday, 5 July 2007 4:40 PM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF



      <jean-claude, sorry that I must make note of your fatalistic outlook. >

      You can release the thought because it is not a fatalistic outlook , in fact
      quite the opposite.
      it is because i knows that human potential is far greater than he imagines
      that i am not afraid to state that he is in far worse condition than he
      believes.

      To really transform ourselves we need both a vision of human intrinsic
      greatness , and a clear picture of his actual degradation and shortcomings .
      the first one without the second is day dreaming and the second one without
      the first one is a nightmare .

      we made a prison for ourselves and i wish we will be clear that life outside
      of it is so much more beautifull rather than spending all our` efforts to
      better our condition inside .

      i can't stop myself to see permaculture as an attempt to makes life in the
      prison more confortable , more acceptable .
      I see natural farming as an invitation to see and expand beyond the walls .

      could you let me knows if you are getting more understanding of where i am
      coming from ?

      jean-claude

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Linda Shewan
      No, not to esoteric. Thank you. This message rings resoundingly true for me. I look forward to creating my future in NF and hopefully sharing some of it with
      Message 32 of 32 , Jul 11, 2007
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        No, not to esoteric. Thank you. This message rings resoundingly true for me.




        I look forward to creating my future in NF and hopefully sharing some of it
        with the wonderful souls I have met and will meet on this journey.



        Bless you all, Linda



        From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jamie Nicol
        Sent: Wednesday, 11 July 2007 8:59 PM
        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF



        Dear Linda, you ask "what does someone who wants to practice natural
        farming, to find the path, do, if they have not had this experience,
        not reached the realisation of nothingness?"

        To this I would answer that there is no path to find. It is common to hear
        people speak of 'the path' but this only confuses the issue: paths are not
        found they are made - made by the actual choices (actions) we make and thus
        every path is unique to every individual and when beginning a path there is
        just no way to see where it will lead.

        Therefore, the question becomes, how do we make choices that get us onto a
        path which might be called Natural Farming? The answer to this is by no
        means clear but is at the heart of the struggles we all have in our lives...

        ...when we want something we can normally see what we need to do to get it,
        however, in NF there is a problem that arises, namely, that NF is prior to
        any subject-object dichotomy. Therefore, however much I might desire to do
        NF, NF is itself not an object that can be obtained. There are just no
        conditions that will enable me to attain an end that is impossible to grasp!
        Every effort I would make to attain NF is self-defeating; but, then, if I do
        nothing it would seem that I shall get no nearer my desire either.

        How can we escape this dilemma often called the 'paradox of practice'?

        There are perhaps two possible answers to this dilemma, both reacting
        against our thought-constructed dualism between practice as a means and
        enlightenment as a goal, each attempting to overcome any separation between
        practice and enlightenment. The two main ways are either to subsume means
        into ends or ends into means. Specifically this can be understood as
        enlightenment being prerequisite to the practice of NF or the practice of NF
        being the prerequisite of enlightenment. In Fukuoka's case it would seem
        enlightenment comes first - but despite how my contributions might sometimes
        sound, I do not see any reason why to actually practice the NF as described
        in Fukuoka's books cannot be enlightenment itself - providing it is
        practiced wholeheartedly (mindfully).

        But what is most important about both ways of being, is that they end up
        with a nonduality between means and ends, subject and object, us and them,
        humans and nature...etc i.e. the only path to follow is no-path!

        Does this help? I hope it doesn't sound too esoteric. Hopefully it does mean
        that we can all, individually, find our way. For myself, a path opened up
        when I realised there was just nothing I had to do with my life - it was
        only then that I began to feel I understood what Fukuoka was saying.
        Unfortunately, it was only a fleeting glimpse some 3 years ago. It was no
        stunning, life-changing vision, such as Fukuoka enjoyed and I find myself
        stumbling on this path with only a very occasional sense of confidence in
        the unfolding direction. Any confidence I might suggest in my emails to this
        list come from having closely read the books of Fukuoka and practice growing
        veg, not due to a stunning vision that has banished all doubts that it would
        seem very few people enjoy and certainly not any belief that I am
        enlightened.

        Jamie
        Souscayrous

        **

        On 7/11/07, Linda Shewan <linda_shewan@...
        <mailto:linda_shewan%40yahoo.com.au> > wrote:
        >
        > Hi Jamie,
        >
        > To understand NF as practiced by Fukuoka there needs to be the experience
        > of
        > insight into this 'nothing', however fleeting or shallow.
        >
        > I agree totally. I also think many who wish to begin NF have not yet had
        > that experience.
        >
        > SO my final question (I promise) is. what does someone who wants to
        > practice
        > natural farming, to find the path, do, if they have not had this
        > experience,
        > not reached the realisation of nothingness? Are they 'out' of the club or
        > is
        > it ok to practice Hinayana natural farming and accept that as their garden
        > progresses so will their spirit (this is I think what happens with a
        > majority of people).
        >
        > If we accept Hinayana NF is a valid form of NF then we should be able to
        > answer practical questions in a practical way and spiritual questions in a
        > spiritual way without returning to spiritual rhetoric when someone clearly
        > wants a practical answer. Or at least a practical answer as well as a
        > spiritual answer.
        >
        > I guess that is all I ask and want from the group. Not a rejection of
        > either
        > but recognition that both are valid parts of NF and all NFers should be
        > given the same level of respect - regardless of their spiritual space at
        > this moment in time. From earlier posts it has seemed to me that some feel
        > that unless you are at Mahayana then you are not really practicing NF and
        > need to 'get it' first. But no one can just get it - you need to
        > experience
        > that moment when it all becomes clear - it is not an intellectual process
        > and we need to allow time for it to happen to each one of us, when we are
        > spiritually ready.
        >
        > Linda
        >
        > From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
        <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
        > [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
        <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>]
        > On Behalf Of Jamie Nicol
        > Sent: Wednesday, 11 July 2007 2:01 AM
        > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
        <fukuoka_farming%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: growing into NF
        >
        >
        > Dear Linda, I quite understand your frustration with any facile statements
        > of the kind that we should all eat immediately from bare fields only
        > through
        > the use of seedballs. Such advice would be thoughtless.
        >
        > Particular emails in this thread seem to either fall into one of two
        > extremes; either the 'spiritual' (of which I think you class me) or the
        > 'pragmatic' (which would include yourself perhaps and Bob Monie?). And, of
        > course, you wont be surprised if I suggest that such a dichotomy is itself
        > the problem - and I have the sense that you would see the construction of
        > such a dichotomy as a problem also.
        >
        > So, indeed, we agree on much. Certainly, I don't think you have misread
        > those passages in One-Straw or Natural Way - Fukuoka is ever practical
        > about
        > farming and it is indeed true that he changed a great deal in his practice
        > over the years and has continued to change down to this day.
        >
        > Yet, the point that seems to have been forgotten, ignored, or perhaps
        > never
        > observed in our struggles to promote a more spiritual or more pragmatic
        > sense of Fukuoka_Farming is that the beginning of NF came not in Fukuoka's
        > father's paddies or orange groves but in the vision of nothingness he had
        > at
        > the age of 25.
        >
        > You make just such an ommission when you write: "I have read the analysis
        > of
        > the different types of natural farming and I believe it is a journey to
        > get
        > there - not something we can just assume to do straight off. It took
        > Fukuoka
        > years of experimentation to refine his techniques and methodologies on his
        > unique piece of land before he was at 'do-nothing' (but let us not forget
        > that he was still 'doing' - just not as much as other forms of farming)
        > and
        > yet some people seem to assume we should behave, both physically and
        > spiritually, as if we are there already."
        >
        > Fukuoka began not with gradually learning to do nothing as you suggest but
        > with the realisation of nothingitself *this* is the start of NF.
        > He writes:
        >
        > "Recently people have been asking me why I started farming this way so
        > many
        > years ago. Until now, I have never discussed this with anyone. You could
        > say there was no way to talk about it. It was simply - how would you say
        > it
        > - a shock, a flash, one small experience that was the starting point. That
        > realization completely changed my life. It is nothing you can really talk
        > about, but it might be put something like this: "Humanity knows nothing at
        > all. There is no intrinsic value in anything, and every action is a
        > futile,
        > meaningless effort." This may seem preposterous, but if you put it into
        > words, that is the only way to describe it."
        > From the first paragraph of the second chapter of One-Straw.
        >
        > To understand what Fukuoka means when he farms and when he writes we need
        > to
        > first of all get a sense of what it was that he experienced when he was
        > 25,
        > otherwise Fukuoka will sound just like Bill Mollison with some added
        > religious bits! But the point that I'm sure you feel too, is that there is
        > no separation between spirit and practice, they are the very same thing.
        > But
        > NF didn't begin with the idea of being (whether we call this being God or
        > Truth, Beauty, Justice, The Ideal, The Absolute etc) as we understand it
        > in
        > the received wisdom (common sense) of the West, but in nothing.
        >
        > NF continues to be regarded as PC with added religion! To understand NF as
        > practiced by Fukuoka there needs to be the experience of insight into this
        > 'nothing', however fleeting or shallow. Because, once there is this
        > experience NF isn't difficult or complicated, it has no techniques but
        > neither does it not have any techniques - it becomes the methodless
        > method.
        >
        > Quite honestly you can do anything and still call yourself an NFer because
        > there is nothing, no-one, who can say you are either right or wrong.
        >
        > If I seem to be excessively 'spiritual' it is simply because this is an
        > area
        > that rarely gets mentioned on this list. But as the quote above makes
        > patently obvious and, in the same way so does, "NF is not about the
        > growing
        > of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human being", the status
        > of
        > techniques (seedballs, food forests, ploughing or pruning) in NF is rather
        > dubious.
        >
        > But, perhaps such sentiments are wasted because while we can and do talk
        > endlessly about techniques, to talk about the inspiration behind NF is far
        > more difficult as Fukuoka says: "You could say there was no way to talk
        > about it." I think he's right and probably I was wrong to even try.
        >
        > If I finish my contribution to this thread in a slightly terse manner I
        > hope
        > you will forgive me, but, for the life of me, I cannot understand why the
        > majority of the conversations on this list ignore what Fukuoka plainly
        > wrote: NF is a methodless method that begins with the realisation of
        > nothing...
        >
        > Jamie
        > Souscayrous
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >

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





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