Friday, April 16, 2010

abundance on a firm vs rotten foundation

We are working hard to create abundance. We dig the soil with a shovel and fork, we water with rain water and a solar-powered pump, we plant lots of vegetables. We are thinking about raising fish, we will definitely raise some chickens. Dav built some raised beds with lumber, galvanized sheet metal and soil from Lowe's and pond liner from an online source. We are building a solar shower with scrap PVC and black plastic hose. We have built two rocket stoves, with both scrap and bought stove pipe, bricks, perlite and barrels and local sand and mud for cob. We gather sticks and split wood that someone cut with a chainsaw. Also we split some scrap oak flooring. We have a room hooked up to the batteries, running LEDs and outlets. The rest of the house is just waiting for GA power to release their tentacles so I could safely go in through the main panel and hook up the inverter to the rest of the house. I am thinking about joining the local goat coop so we can get goat milk and make goat cheese. Maybe we could get some goats on the neighbors yard if we build a Kelvin Generator electric fence. We have many projects, all designed to create an abundance of food, water, energy, heat, shelter. I'd also like to have an abundance of ideas, love, discussions, workshops, skills, trade, dance, music. We have started a dance and a meditation.

Yet we have not forgotten that the foundation is still rotten. Almost all the materials come from environmentally destructive, people exploitive, war promoting sources. The money to buy those materials that we don't scavenge comes from companies (that have employed us in the past) that have questionable practices. The economic system (capitalism) is based on selfishness, greed, and making people into wage slaves, rent slaves, and dependents on whatever product or service the corporations are peddling to the masses. We are committed to fixing the foundation.

If one does not mind the foundation and builds or renovates a house on rotten sills, it matters not how wonderful the house is, it will still crumble. In the case of a culture, even if the culture survives a long time on a rotten foundation, the rot affects the souls of the people of that culture.

I am thinking of Ilse Koch, practicing abundance at Buchenwald. She had a horse-riding arena built, she rode horses, she had lots of fancy stuff in her home, like lampshades and soap, she had a zoo she had many lovers. The arena cost the lives of about 30 prisoners. The fancy stuff was paid for by stealing from the inmates. The lampshades were made from prisoner's skin. The soap was made from prisoner's fat. The zoo had a bear who would tear apart prisoners and an eagle who would pick the bones. Ilse's lovers murdered people routinely. Ilse committed suicide in the late 60s.

I am thinking of the Roman empire. I am thinking of antebellum Southern US. I am thinking of the Green sky novels. I am thinking of us.

It is one thing to continue to build on a rotten foundation, while trying to fix the foundation and doing everything so that one has the energy and resources to fix the foundation. It is another thing to pretend like the foundation is not rotten and to fill one's time with fancy stuff. One can be loving and spiritual, but if one's material foundation is rotten, the love will not be quite right. The material and spiritual are intricately linked, as in any complex living system. Perhaps a house is not the best analogy for such a system, not complex enough. An organism or ecosystem would be a better analogy for a culture. Instead of foundation, we can think of roots, or of photosynthesizers and fungi. On the other hand, if one's material foundation is sound but there is no love or freedom of thought and deed, that's not a good place to be either. We need to build a beautiful house on a firm foundation.


  1. I realize this is an analogy, but it is possible to build a house such that the foundation doesn't matter. Like Noah's Ark, for instance, was built on a shaky foundation, that washed away in the first rain. But the Ark didn't need the foundation once the water started rising.

    The fact of human and animal life is that we only need a little food, water, and shelter, and some entertainment or diversion. The "Poor" people in the USA, with no assets or income and no affluent friends or relatives, still have way more food, water, shelter, and entertainment than they need.

    The question is, where do we stop? Once we have enough food, water, and shelter, we want healthcare and education and social security and then we want more of all those things and better and better entertainment and more privacy and faster communication and larger storage spaces and so on.

    Desires are endless, and they gobble up everything, given the chance. It isn't difficult to meet our needs, except when that conflicts with our desires.

  2. It's encouraging to see this issue addressed so directly and personally. Along this line of thought, many people are leaving the city, as well. Some Americans are becoming ex-patriots in light of recent political coups that have occurred here, yet not openly declared to the increasingly aware public. Like the R. Crumb comic said, "I think we should turn Babylon upside down, scrape the sh-- off of it, and give it back to the Indians."
    Maybe it's too late for that; or we can join with the Natives of all lands, humble ourselves to learn of them, and become a NEW HUMANITY, in tune with PachaMama. OM-AH-HUM!