You wrote earlier: "I agree with Anita - even if that only makes two of
us. I don't think you can have a meaningful discussing of
sustainability that excludes spirituality."
Let me say here that I am in agreement with you both about the necessity
of including spirituality in a discussion of sustainable ag. (I guess
that makes three.) We may even be missing the boat by not having it be
the guiding principle.
And later you wrote: "Who decides whether or not a list that carries the
name sustainable agriculture is a place to discuss sustainable
agriculture, in all of its dimensions, or is limited to discussion of
the physical dimensions of sustainable agriculture - thereby excluding
its social and ecological (i.e. spiritual) dimensions?"
What we may need to keep in mind is the history of western
philosophy/religion. When western science "discovered" that the earth
was not the center of the physical universe and religion was saying that
it was, a deal was struck- "Science" would say what goes in the physical
world and "Religion" would say what goes in the metaphysical. Hence, our
present dualism and the pervasive idea that what we do in the physical
world has no impact on the metaphysical and vice versa.
Many are still living in this historical perspective. How else can we
explain the devastation of our planet and each other? Anyone who comes
full circle, back to reuniting their existence, must necessarily put
aside justifications and try to look at all actions in a deeper
In agriculture, this leads us beyond the immediate needs of our bank
account to what is the best long-term decision for the health of the
land (on which all other health depends). And we must ask the question,
"What is in the best interest for all?" Not just, "What will benefit me
And you wrote: "Perhaps there should be another list for those who wish
to discuss only the physical dimensions of sustainability."
I have to say that there is no way to have a discussion on just the
physical dimensions of "sustainability" and I'm sure you're aware of
this. Sustainable Agriculture, as I've said before, is not about farming
techniques. Techniques should be the expression of our deeply held
beliefs, not something we think up as better ways to make money.
In a truly sustainable system, sust. ag. is only one expression of our
spirituality. Where people relate to each other from a spiritual base to
determine what our physical relationships should be, it is my belief
that there would be no need to discuss the "financial" aspects of
sustainability. We would sustain each other.
OK, I've crossed the line again to stand beside John and Anita. The
choice is to load your ammunition or consider what we have said form a
spiritual perspective. Or, as the Zen in me says, "Or not."
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