The Dao of the land is not so different from the Dao of Government and citizen

January 22, 2017



Today I added much needed organic material to nourish the land.

This is the way one goes about managing intelligently the land – as it is impossible to always just take, take and take from the land still expect high yields – I don’t deny that sort of corrosive logic may have taken hold of trade and commerce to such an extent where it’s no longer possible for even sane and perfectly reasonable people to believe any longer in the idea – it’s not sustainable to chase economic growth forever….not at least without incurring painful penalties that will only come back and deliver a bite.

The word agriculture, is after all an ancient word. It simply connotes the “cultivation of land.” And cultivation is at the root of the sense both of culture and of cult the farmer. The ideas of receiving and giving back to the land is an indelible act of worship to a farmer. Hence the word agriculture derives from an Indo-European root meaning “to revolve” or to fulfill the compact between man and land. To live and survive in harmony with not only the earth, but to also strive to be in synch with the way of the universe – it is only by reflecting deeply on the philosophy of agriculture and what it naturally imposes on the planter that the largeness of that the mission of agriculture is not simply to yield sweet and heavy fruit that one is able to comprehend it broader vision and that is to create a man who always strives from personal and organizational harmony, peace and mutual co-existence with all things in this world.

It is my firm believe – if more people just learn to press the pause button in their heads when they next visit NTUC and reflect on how the earth first needs to be lovingly tilled, plants nourished and grown to produce stuff that finally find itself neatly arranged in supermarkets shelves – perhaps they will experience a moment of epiphany that there’s actually such a thing as a profound spiritual exchange between man and planet that goes beyond the superficiality of the profit motive or chasing growth like an automaton….as what they hold in their hands is not just a banana or tomato. Rather it is the living philosophy of what it really means for one strive so very hard and diligently to live in synch with nature in the way man is and was supposed to live without being constantly distracted by the perpetual nonsense of hype and spin the world churns out just to sell stuff.

And perhaps they might even be able to perceive, there is value, more now than ever, in the specificity of this constant give and take compact. At a time of hyped promises, incredulous sloganeering, and unfounded factual claims, a person who spends just a moment holding a tomato or a pear lost in his or her thoughts, fastidiously working thru all these frivolous thoughts that might not amount to very much can seem, to me at least, to be sagely.

Trust me when I say this – there is a farmer in all of us….we just need to still our minds and he will emerge.


‘For many many years the only omnipresent doctrine that is the compact between governments and citizens is the notion – all success in both personal and organizational terms MUST only be measured by economic growth even if that may come at a great cost to the mental and spiritual well being of people. As a consequence couples today no longer see the point of raising families – soon the idea of the family man will I am sure lapse in the garbage heap of history. But what led us to this point is not avarice or for that matter a failure to appreciate the cogent – rather it was the flawed understanding that we all harbored as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on like some crazy person running mindlessly on a thread mill that keeps on going faster and faster in steady increments all the time – that idea they sold to all of us as the good life, better even than mother’s milk, which would make the economy grow” and render everything better and newer and fresher. This of course implied at every level of understanding the mad idea that it’s possible to grow in perpetuity or that there exist no other way for us all to procure a better life without having to consume like some furnace that’s hell bent on burning every strip of timber in the house – for many years I struggled with this paradox. Often I was labelled as a closet communist with socialist underpinnings as I venerated the idea of the working man and his elemental right to the dignity of labor – these values I saw as not in terms of hatred of the capitalism. Rather I would much prefer to question why was the field always tipped in favor of growth at all cost and that others things discounted as of no value at all.

Today it seems the idea of no growth may well be a reality – but does it necessarily spell the end of the dream of mankind?

No. I don’t think so – not to me at least, as that is how it could only be. This is how it is….I don’t imagine you can understand the depths of my thoughts concerning this issue and should this entry come across as jumbled with no rhyme to begin or end, the fault is entirely mine….you see, this a moment of deep reflection for me as even I did not expect all this unfold in my lifetime and now…and now, it’s finally here.

Where I wonder does mankind go from this point? Where?’

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