Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gardening in this life, and the life hereafter

Here's a video of a TED Talk given by Ron Finley, about gardening.

It should inspire many people to get out and grow, even if they previously thought that they couldn't garden, for one reason or another.

Here's a link to Ron's website, which features some beautiful photographs, as well as information about Ron and his interests, and more information about urban "guerrilla gardening."  

It also features some quotations from Ron, including this one: 
Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city.  Plus, you get strawberries.
This quotation, plus Ron's successful stand against agents of the State (in this case, the City of Los Angeles)  who tried to deny him his natural-law right to grow his own food in the premises of his own home, as well as the connection he draws in the video above between the destruction of health and the removal of food options by those who, in conjunction with the power of the State, exert enormous control over and restrictions of the available food choices worldwide, reveal that the issue of growing food is a profoundly moral issue that goes far beyond the thoughts most people have when they hear the word "gardening."

In this previous post, Thomas Jefferson (who had a few things to say about liberty and tyranny) was seen to have written back in 1785: "Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and our diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now."  

These are words to think about carefully, since the government (or, to be more accurate, the State) seems to be moving more and more in the direction of "prescribing to us our medicine and our diet," and has actually been doing so for quite some time.  That post also mentioned "guerrilla gardening" and London's Richard Reynolds (although at the time I was unaware of Ron Finley's work and his successful stand for gardening and against local tyranny).

On an even deeper level, it is also very noteworthy that the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead ascribes a very high level of importance to the individual's ability to garden, a fact which does not seem to get the kind of publicity that it deserves.

In his explication of the significance of the 110th chapter of the Book of the Dead, Gerald Massey (whose analysis was discussed in this previous post) says:
This was the subterrestrial or earthly paradise of the legends.  When the manes comes to these elysian fields he is still in the earth of eternity, and has to prove himself an equal as a worker with the mighty khus (khuti), who are nine cubits high, in cultivating his allotment of arable land.  The arrival at Mount Hetep in this lower paradise or heaven of the solar mythos precedes the entrance to the Judgment Hall which is in the domain of the Osiris below, and the voyage from east to west in the Matit and the Sektit bark of the sun, therefore it is not in the ultimate heaven or the upper paradise of eternity upon Mount Hetep.  Ancient Egypt the Light of the World, 207.
In other words, the departed soul in its travels must be able to garden a plot of land, and apparently must do so in a kind of gardening competition or contest, in which its continued ascent towards the land  of light is at stake! Not only that, but the contest of gardening involves proving the ability to equal the work of beings who are nine cubits in height, and (as I have discussed in my 2011 book) there is evidence to suggest that the Egyptian cubit was 21 inches rather than the standard 18 inches, which means that these underworld gardeners are 15 feet, nine inches tall!

While we can be glad that chapter 110 does not tell us that we will have to prove ourselves equal in a game of basketball with the mighty khus or khuti, this information gives us a clear indication of the importance that skill at cultivating our allotted plot of land will have in the life to come, according to the ancient Egyptian sacred texts.  It also indicates that the Egyptians held a very high regard for the cultivation of the soil, and that they believed it was something that everyone should learn how to do, and that everyone should take the time to learn how to do well, if their physical circumstances permit it.

With all of this in mind, it would seem that we should all devote some time during this life in working the soil, wherever that soil may be, if our health and circumstances permit it.  As Ron Finley says, gardening is transformative: "It's amazing what a sunflower will do."