A book that made a huge impact on me is Masanobu Fukuoka’s, The One Straw Revolution.
Fukuoka-san was a genius of a man who gave up a blossoming career in agricultural research to move back to the countryside to be a farmer on his family’s land.
He developed a system of farming, particularly for growing rice that harked back to older methods he had seen used on the land as a boy.
He has a huge following of devotees, particularly in the East where his farming methods are helping small farmers to avoid being swallowed up or dictated to by the huge American farming conglomerates that own patents on seeds and pesticides…and amazingly, they are getting better yields using traditional rice varieties and using traditional, manual farming methods.
The most enlightening phrase in the book is when Fukuoka-san says something along the lines of “humans know nothing”.
Now as you would imagine, there is a deep Buddhist tradition in Japan and this phrase is very much a part of that. He was referring to the human obsession with naming things, breaking things down to their constituent parts which of course is our own invention. Birds don’t know what their names are, rice doesn’t know what variety it is…these are human inventions.
When we finally realise and give into the fact that indeed, we know nothing about this life, about nature, about the universe; we can relax into our true role, which is just to be a part of it…no expectations, no goals, no targets…just be!