I read a story about a man who had an apple tree on the land where he lived, when he was hungry and fancied one, he picked an apple and ate it. The taste of this apple is beyond the comprehension of most of us today, we are used to buying fruit long since plucked from its source of life, not grown for its nutrition or even taste particularly, more for its shelf life. This apple, however, was freely available to him and contributed greatly to the man’s health and wellbeing.
One day this man looks over at an apple tree on some neighbouring land. He sees others picking all the apples, putting them into boxes. Upon investigation he discovers the apples are being picked for a thing called a wholesaler, who will exchange them for a thing called money with a thing called a shop. A shop is where his fellow man will go with his own money that he has earned from a thing called a job to buy the apple. Some portion of the money the wholesaler and the retailer made, will go towards a thing called a tax imposed by a thing called a government.
I could go further. On neighbouring land he may in fact see orchards full of apple trees, propagated for more so for their looks and shelf life than anything else. This land will be sprayed with fertilizers, insecticides and weed killers to keep the orchard in full production.
What part of this makes sense?
The man could not make sense of it, why would his fellow man take a job to buy something he had freely available? He had planted a variety of trees and shrubs, the plants on the land he tended did not need things sprayed upon them in order to thrive, they naturally attracted insects that were helpful to their growth and the dead leaves and fallen branches of other plants would fertilize the soil.
Once upon a time there was an Earth more abundant with plant life and beasts than it is today. Humans lived in that abundance, freely on the land, man had not yet ‘carved up’ nature proclaiming ownership of some sort. Yet here we are, the proverbial frogs slowly boiled in a pan of water.
How did this happen? I can recount to you several theories, or perhaps you can work it out for yourself. Logic would dictate it was driven by a thirst for power and by people who did much planning and scheming. We had abundance, we cut it up and created ‘systems’ that we now we live in slavery to. Whoever the original source or sources, they had time to think and knew that their thoughts held the key to creation.
Perhaps let’s not dwell on who, because it’s happened over such a long period of time (proverbial frogs remember) and it really is no longer even relevant. What is more relevant is to recognise it for what it is, insanity. It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Mmm, well then, how do we break the cycle?
Well, start by simply becoming aware that you live in bondage to a man made construct called ‘society’ shaped and reshaped over hundreds or years, thousands actually.
Given all the habitable land on Earth (estimated 15.77 billion acres) this is enough for more than 2 acres per person, though as Mahatma Gandi said “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed”. So why it that land, which preceded humans, is something which is ‘owned’?
I used to think ‘living off grid’ was the domain of hippies and doomsday preppers, but lately I’ve been looking at things a little differently. Although I wouldn’t call myself a gardener, I do recall what my dad taught me about planting with the end in mind, with regard to the natural size things would grow, the natural cycles and seasons, to create all year round interest and food. A few of the parents at our kids’ school have taken such courses in organic gardening in recent years. People are beginning to see the sense in returning to the land.
We should not underestimate the difference in taste and nutritional value of plants grown in loving care. Talking to ones plants has always been a bit of a kooky gardener’s thing. Yet think how anything reacts if it is treated simply as one of a number. Perhaps look at the work of Masaru Emoto when he decided to photograph frozen water from various different sources – the difference between water bestowed with good wishes and that which is not is immense.
While I’ve focused on plants here, it’s worth also consider whether humans have yet to make anything anywhere near to the perfection found in nature. Even with plants we have lost a lot of what our ancestors knew about their healing properties. But there is so much about the natural world, including our own bodies and consciousness that eludes us as we have become so entrapped in a different world of our own making.
There was a time when I would aspire to things money could buy: bigger houses, nice clothes, expensive trips and fine jewelry were on the list. I’ve had, and still have, nice things. But nothing we humans have created comes even close to the intelligence and beauty found naturally.
Compare nature to the ugliness of man’s rotting creations of yesteryear, the ever-growing garbage pile of consumable goods, never mind the run down appearance and associated societal issues with old housing and untended parts of towns.
Everything we create requires maintenance. We have becomes slaves of our own creations, creations that are substandard to those that naturally exist, and are freely available in nature.
And nothing – not all the massages, spas and holidays – comes as close to soothing and creating clarity as time in nature. Time to think, to contemplate life, your life.
Time, as another friend reminded me today, another man made construct. It’s the one thing most people yearn for more of, time to do with whatever they feel – the things you want to do rather than the things you feel you have to do.
What can you do about it? Rage against the machine is one thing, but it does nothing but give power to the machine. Better to ignore it altogether if possible, focus on the future you do want.
What is that though? Have you taken any time to think about it beyond the relentless machine you are part of today? Perhaps now is the time. As we approach another new year, a time when typically people reevaluate their lives. What about a commitment to have regular time to contemplate your life, to keep your eye on the bigger picture, to make quality decisions?
Making it a priority to take time just for you, to think, to simply be, is far more important than you realise. You are part of the generations becoming more aware of themselves on Earth, you know you are a frog whose skin had adapted to the boiling temperatures of the pot, but you also feel the freedom beyond the pot and yearn to make the leap.
Go ahead, take the leap, escape the insanity of this man made world and take some time to fill your cup in nature. Not just temporary reprieves, but life changing moves. Take the time to contemplate your life, to do your best thinking, and that will lead to your best life.
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