InnerNet Weekly: The Difference Between Natural and Unnatural

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from CharityFocus.org
The Difference Between Natural and Unnatural
by Masanobu Fukuoka

[Listen to Audio!]

tow1.jpg

For thirty years I lived only in my farming and had little contact with people outside my own community. During those years I was heading in a straight line toward a "do nothing" agricultural method.

The usual way to go about developing a method is to ask, "How about trying this?" or "How about trying that?" bringing in a variety of techniques one upon the other. This is modern agriculture and it only results in making the farmer busier.

My way was opposite. I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming which results in making the work easier instead of harder. "How about not doing this? How about not doing that?" — that was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary.

The reason that man’s improved techniques seem to be necessary is that the natural balance has been so badly upset beforehand by those same techniques, that the land has become dependent on them.

This line of reasoning not only applies to agriculture, but to other aspects of human society as well. Doctors and medicine become necessary when people create a sickly environment. Formal schooling has no intrinsic value, but becomes necessary when humanity creates a condition in which one must become "educated" to get along.

Before the end of the war, when I went up to the citrus orchard to practice what I then thought was natural farming, I did no pruning and left the orchard to itself. The branches became tangled, the trees were attacked by insects and almost two acres of mandarin orange trees withered and died. From that time on, the question, "What is the natural pattern?" was always in my mind. In the process of arriving at the answer, I wiped out another 400 acres. Finally I felt I could say with certainty: "This is the natural pattern."

To the extent that trees deviate from their natural form, pruning and insect extermination become necessary; to the extent that human society separates itself from a life close to nature, schooling becomes necessary. In nature, formal schooling has no function. […]

Almost everyone thinks that "nature" is a good thing, but few can grasp the difference between natural and unnatural.

If a single new bud is snipped off a fruit tree with a pair of scissors, that may bring about disorder which cannot be undone. When growing according to natural form, branches spread alternately from the trunk and the leaves receive sunlight uniformly. If this sequence is disrupted the branches come into conflict, lie one upon another and become tangled, and the leaves wither in the places where the sun cannot penetrate. Insect damage develops. If the tree is not pruned the following year more withered branches will appear.

Human beings with their tampering do something wrong, leave the damage unrepaired, and when the adverse results accumulate, work with all their might to correct them. When the corrective actions appear to be successful, they come to view these measures as successful accomplishments. People do this over and over again. It is as if a fool were to stomp on and break the tiles of his roof. Then when it starts to rain and the ceiling begins to rot away, he hastily climbs up to mend the damage, rejoicing in the end that he has accomplished a miraculous solution.

It it the same way with the scientist. He pores over books night and day, straining his eyes and becoming nearsighted, and if you wonder what on earth he has been working on all the time — it is to become the inventor of eyeglasses to correct nearsightedness.

–Masanobu Fukuoka in One Straw Revolution

Share the Wisdom:
Email Twitter FaceBook
Latest Community Insights New!
The Difference Between Natural and Unnatural
Tam-tam wrote: I remember reading Mr. Fukuoka’s book, One Straw Revolution, twenty five years ago with the enthusiasm of one discovering about natural farming. I remember him saying that if you encapsulate the …
Edit Lak wrote: Wow – Okay ‘The Difference between Natural and Unnatural’I’ve luckily reached 46 years and in that time, I’ve learnt that; The following method doesn’t work, i…
Ravi Sheshadri wrote: Dear MasanobuI agree completely with you. We have become so unnatural that we are not aware about what our natural self was originally. We have been improved so many times that our original ‘avatar’ w…
susan schaller wrote: We, in the industrialized world, are so far from what is natural, it is almost impossible to imagine what would be natural. On one hand, I am thankful to be alive, after unnaturally being cut op…
Conrad wrote: Thanks Somik for the opportunity to respond. What is natural for an aware adult is what one feels, thinks, and believes is natural. If that person does something that he or she feels, thinks, and beli…
Share/Read Reflections >>
Wednesday Meditation:
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and later became “Wednesdays”, which now ripple out to living rooms around the world. To join, RSVP online.

RSVP For Wednesday

Some Good News

A 15-yr-old Dog’s Gift
Stillpower: A Path to Flow, Clarity, and Responsiveness
Economics of Happiness: The New Economy

Video of the Week

Young Leader of Rural India

Kindness Stories

Practicing a Little Patience
Running To The Record Shop
A Small Act Of Kindness Multiplied By Another.

About
Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, CharityFocus blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start a Wednesday style meditation gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.

Forward to a Friend

InnerNet Weekly is an email service that delivers a little bit of wisdom to 68,941 subscribers each week. We never spam nor do we host any advertising. Archives, from the last 10+ years, are freely available online.

You can unsubscribe anytime, within seconds.

A Gift Economy offering of CharityFocus.org (2008)

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: