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A Bit of Everything

Work on the farm community is moving at a quick pace this season. We bailed our first few hundred bails of hay last week from seed we threw by hand last Fall-- not enough to sell but plenty for the goats, cows, turkeys, and horses.

whirlwind hay


Here are some Nanking cherries ripening. We will seed these for a fall planting.

nanking cherries

In our perennial garden, sage, thyme, and asparagus are coming up nicely. Horseradish and rhubarb are also leafing. I'm having not as much luck germinating rosemary and oregano. Anyone have any tips?

asparagus sage

asparagus and garden

The annuals are crowded in five beds. No time to maintain the entire garden with annuals, so I seeded the majority of beds with a cover grass, with the cow pea from last season germinating as well.

garden 1

garden 2

Grape vines and fruit and nut trees are coming in all over the farm.

fruit combo 1

I doubt there will be time to pick even a fraction of the fruit on the way.

fruit tree

fruit tree 3

Alkali Sacaton, windbreak for Whirlwind farm and Deepwater ranch, is growing like weeds.

alkali sacaton

Yucca flowers are great with eggs, especially turkey eggs. Add a bit of chillies and cheese, and you're good to go!


Goats are doing well. I think their pens smell great.


Turkeys are strutting around.


Turkey chicks grow like weeds too. We keep the chicken chicks separated from them, as they don't grow as fast.

turkey chicks


Horses eat a lot. Luckily, we're growing a lot.


Comfrey/Alflalfa Patch is mostly used for compost tea purposes.

comfrey alfalfa patch

Tank tower will soon have an observatory on top of it -- just a floor to stand or lie down on and watch the stars. We just built this pump house near the windmill.

windmill tower shed

* * *

Here are some questions I received this week (with minor grammatical edits). If you'd have questions about religion, spirituality, mysticism, or yoga, please feel free to drop me a line.

> My name is _______, and my religion is Catholic. I want to ask you about GODHEAD:

> 1. Can you tell me how to describe about GOD in simple way?

As a verb, God is the expansion of self. As a noun, God is everything, reality, the cosmos. As an adjective, God is blissful, good, etc.

> 2. What do you think about GOD having a thousand names, maybe more?

Every religion, cult, culture, tradition, nation or state, is going to have different ideas of what is good, what is appropriate, and what behavior is acceptable, etc., and so ideas of God, and how to refer to God, will be colored accordingly.

Differences in names come from differences in language, and the different forces of nature, and psychological forces in human beings, personified by various gods.

As reflections of our ideas of self, even a widely accepted god will slightly vary in one person to another's mind. Same name, different god, which is why human beings both within and between religions have been arguing over gods and their attributes and thoughts for as long as there have been gods.

> 3. Beside reading the Bible, I'm also reading Bhagavad Gita; when I believe Jesus is GOD and Krishna is GOD too, what do you think about my religion, confusing or not? :)

Jesus alone is God? Exclusive. Krishna alone is God? Fundamentalist. Both Jesus and Krishna are God? A good first step. Both are avatars, or selves that realized all of God? Even better. Everything is God? True, but words whose meaning must be gradually realized in the expansion of the sense of self.

Confusing to me? I'm a student of all religions. Religions are confusing if one fails to appreciate the psychological lengths to which human beings will go to feel secure in an otherwise precarious world.

> 1. There are differences between religion and institutional religion, do you agree with that?

Depending on how you use the terms, possibly. One could have a personal religion, that may include nearly any habits or practices one may choose to incorporate in it, and one could be a member of an organized religion, following the rites prescribed by the authorities of the religion. But then again, one could use the term religion in reference to an institutionalized faith, and one could belong to a centralized religion but yet keep to oneself and perform rites without much attention given to other members.

> 2. Jesus is religion, what do you think?

Jesus is a mythic image. The Jesus figure is one of many gods invented by human beings. One can certainly center a religious identity or one's practices around the mythic image or Jesus, or any other god.

> 3. When we talk about religion, there are 4 important thing : grace, sin, heaven and hell,
> can you explain that?

When we talk about Christian religion, these four ideas have importance. They are not important in other religions. They are not important to me, at least not in the way that Christian religions value and teach them. If there are heavens and hells, our residence in them would not be eternal, anymore than is our temporal existence eternal. If there are such places, this world would fall into the category of one of them, or both of them, depending on one's lot in life. Sin is a guilt-inducing, overblown, misnomer for mistakes, which are natural to make and useful as learning aids. If mistakes have an ontological value quantitatively equivalent to the one sin has, it would be in reference to the expansion of the sense of self, not to sin's eternal damnation. As for grace, monotheistic religions posit a conduit of grace in the clergy or priesthood. De facto, the authorities of religion become the source of grace, regardless of their rhetoric as being mere servants of God. To me, if I would agree to there being grace and needing to define it, grace is the nature of the cosmos to compound our efforts to expand the sense of self. It may result in good company or abundant free time, but it always comes with knowledge. Grace without knowledge would be worthless.

* * *
The amount of religious baggage with which we saddle our children is probably incalculable in real terms as the toll, the cost, paid in everything from emotional turmoil and confusion to psychological counseling to sexual suppression violently exploding to pedophilia to war. Human efficiency, human progress, and human potential are diminished.

This is not to say that religion is the worst thing in the world. Pollution is pretty bad, too. To the degree that consumerism replaced religion for large swaths of the human race, it would be hard to argue that the consequences of the former in real terms are any better with regard to the general outlook of humanity's future. Religions so happened, without coincidence, to reign when ignorance was at an all-time high, which means science was in the gutter and humanity couldn't destroy itself or its habitat in the way that it can today. Consumerism, on a psychological level, addresses through preoccupation many of the fears plaguing humanity that religion addressed, and sometimes nurtured in controlled ways. But while both contribute toward psychological pollution, religion doesn't cause global warming.

Still, any religion that clings to tired "commandments" to multiply without consideration for limited resources is its own kind of consumer -- consuming humanity's chance at a stable and scientifically and spiritually progressive humanity. Fortunately, exhortations to be fruitful only fly in uneducated minds -- harkening back to religion's reign where ignorance resides -- whether in eras, continents, or hemisphere of the brain. Of course, those poorly educated constitute a large portion of humanity, and one that is most vulnerable to religious indoctrination and in need of the fringe benefits of conversion.

It is come to a point where, as a religious scholar, I am more concerned with an organized religion's stance on contraception and family planning than on the usual targets -- sin, damnation, salvation, monotheism, exclusivism and divisiveness, sexism, right-wing political involvement, etc.

Yoga, for the most part, is not concerned with overpopulation. It assumes the yogi's world is not at all crowded, surplus energy in society is present to a sufficient degree to support asceticism, and people generally know what they are supposed to be doing. More emphasis in society is placed on sustenance than consumption. As such, it has no solution to pollution or population other than the obvious one.

My solution is simple: pay and empower women to have less babies. Parenthood should be entirely planned, even micromanaged to a point; graduation from high school must require a developed understanding of the issues surrounding having children. All of this, really, could have happened long ago, and we would have been better for it.