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Spiritual agriculture

23 Mar

That’s it …. It’s not exactly a job, not a very cool thing, I can’t deny I am doing it and yet it is obvious that it is not me who does it, as a farmer would be ridiculous if he affirmed “I make my plants grow.” No he doesn’t, yet he does something.

I felt that the metaphor I received this morning is very accurate: spirituality has many similarities with agriculture. Some might hope with gardening, but unfortunately no, agriculture. When effort is involved in spirituality, it is considerable, and you have to get your hands dirty. No protective gloves, at least sometimes you just have to take them off. You put yourself into the game, in a way it is a matter of survival. If your plants die you risk personally, a tad more than just your mood. Rarely you can start by buying something ready made. If it seems to happen, it just means that the price and the preparation were addressed earlier, perhaps in a non formal yet substantial way. You do not get to true spirituality without having paid a significant price, without having understood – for one reason or the other – that this aspect of your life is absolutely central. It is not, and can’t be, a hobby. Must it be a job? If you ask me: I’m afraid so, although nothing prevents you from having a second one. At least the intensity of the commitment should be of that kind, and as far as I know also the centrality of the theme. Mind you, you can live very well taking care of it (quite a?) bit. After all, who says that the work we came to do has to be completed in this life? One must feel what is right for him or herself. Yet if at some point you came to the conclusion that you should “finally resolve” this life, in the sense of getting to the bottom of it, I’m afraid there is no other chance: the effort that will be required will be total.

It is also important to know, though, that the real part, just like a farmer, won’t be done by you. The miracle will be performed by the sun, the rain, the earth, the wind, some unknown animal or insect, and at the innermost core. In a word: Life. You just have to show up on your fields. Day after day. Do what is necessary, which sometimes might require an investment, or quite some effort, or perhaps a specific and deep preparation. You see it, you feel it, usually you know, like a farmer: if you just bought the field you know you will have to plow. You have just planted? You will have to irrigate. If you do not know what to do, you go seek advice from a friend or a professional. “Do I need a guide, a Teacher?” This is an important question, which would require a separate treatment. If I were pointed a gun to my head, for an immediate and definitive answer, I’d say yes. Yet this answer is subject to what you just read, too: you see it, you feel it, you usually know. And when you’re ready, he or she will find you.

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