Continuing from last time:
. . .
To break experience in half and call one side physical
and the other spiritual is narrowing and confusing. People
do not live dependent on food. Ultimately, we cannot know
what food is. It would be better if people stopped even
thinking about food. Similarly, it would be well if people
stopped troubling themselves about discovering the "true
meaning of life,-" we can never know the answers to great
spiritual questions, but it's all right not to understand. We
have been born and are living on the earth to face directly
the reality of living.
Living is no more than the result of being born.
Whatever it is people eat to live, whatever people think
they must eat to live, is nothing more than something they
have thought up. The world exists in such a way that if
people will set aside their human will and be guided instead
by nature there is no reason to expect to starve.
Just to live here and now — this is the true basis of
human life. When, a naive scientific knowledge becomes
the basis of living, people come to live as if they are
dependent only on starch, fats, and protein, and plants on
nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash.
And the scientists, no matter how much they
investigate nature, no matter how far they research, they
only come to realize in the end how perfect and mysterious
nature really is. To believe that by research and invention
humanity can create something better than nature is an
illusion. I think that people are struggling for no other
reason than to come to know what you might call the vast
incomprehensibility of nature.
So for the farmer in his work: serve nature and all is
well. Farming used to be sacred work. When humanity fell
away from this ideal, modern commercial agriculture rose.
When the farmer began to grow crops to make money, he
forgot the real principles of agriculture.
Of course the merchant has a role to play in society,
but glorification of merchant activities tends to draw people
away from a recognition of the true source of life. Farming,
as an occupation which is within nature, lies close to this
source. Many farmers are unaware of nature even while
living and working in natural surroundings, but it seems to
me that farming offers many opportunities for greater
"Whether autumn will bring wind or rain, I cannot
know, but today I will be working in the fields." Those are
the words of an old country song. They express the truth of
farming as a way of life. No matter how the harvest will
turn out, whether or not there will be enough food to eat, in
simply sowing seed and caring tenderly for plants under
nature's guidance there is joy.
Source: The One-Straw Revolution, https://archive.org/stream/The-One-Straw-Revolution/The-One-Straw-Revolution_djvu.txt, opened 28 Feb. 2017
Since Fukuoka-san’s words strongly echo the life lived at typical Orthodox monasteries, we have included a few pictures from one, the Holy Dormition Dalmatovo Monastery in Western Siberia, http://www.pravoslavie.ru/foto/set1624.htm, opened 3 March 2017:
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð!
Anathema to the Union!