fukuoka masanobu

On my way to the One-Straw Revolution

Francesco Mossolin’s Letter to Pia Pera

Dear friend,
these reflections of mine on the One-Straw Revolution arise from a journey that began 15 years ago, and they are the account of a short stretch of my journey, because this Revolution, within me, is still running its course, with its joys and sorrows, its successes and especially its failures. My intent is to analyze the experience so far, gather its essence, and turn it into words, perhaps advice, for those who feel the same desire and longing to walk the One-Straw Revolution Trail.

I embraced this cause at the age of 14, when at the Agricultural Institute, a lecturer, who has become a close friend over the years, with great conviction apostrophized as “useless” all the notions we were painstakingly learning, adding, “read Masanobu Fukuoka’s texts and you will understand what agriculture really is.”

In spite of my young age, the writings of that Japanese farmer resonated with me as pure truth; it was like having found the Main Path again after years of uncertainty; an ancient call to return to Nature. Indeed, I felt that he really understood Nature, and from that moment I decided to walk this Path myself.

Reinforcing my convictions was the work that from an early age my brothers and I had to do in the home garden: the techniques we used, so unfriendly to nature, pushed me further and further away from the methods of traditional agriculture, while more and more in me burned the desire to try and experiment with Natural Farming, certain that it would be a success.

The five years of High School passed without my experiencing this method, but in the meantime, the imagination created, and slowly, immense fields, full of vegetables, fruit trees, grains, a kind of Earthly Paradise, made room in my imagination. In my mind everything was clear, all that was missing was the ground on which to realize this vision of mine, but the belief was that everything would be easy, simple, immediate.

My arrival in Florence unexpectedly created the conditions for the manifestation of this possibility: a beautiful olive grove on which to experience and bring into reality that Paradise that had been crowding not only my mind but also my heart for years now.

Dear Friend, If I told you now that, in four years, not a single blade of grass grew from thousands of seeds in the clay balls, and if I told you with how discouragement each year I noted the failure of my attempts to apply this method, you would wonder what made me continue, persist and want to believe in this farmer named Fukuoka.

However, the image of my little Paradise was always in my mind, and inside I felt deeply that Fukuoka had understood something, had intuited and grasped the secrets of Nature, but I really could not understand how he had done it and, above all, I could not recognize my own mistakes.

Thinking back to those four years, to the experiments in the olive grove in the hills of Bagno a Ripoli, I can clearly see that I, at that time, was not well, I felt spiritually burdened, and the agricultural failures reflected an inner state devoid of joy and serenity.

Heaven willed that after four years of existential difficulties, I should meet my spiritual Master, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, thanks to whom I was able to transform my existence and begin to know and live my destiny.

So I can say that it is thanks to Master Aïvanhov that my life has been able to change course, to find its goal, its joy and serenity, and it is always thanks to Him that my path along the Straw Thread Revolution has been able to deepen and find meaning and logic, even in its failures.

Thanks to his presence, not physical but spiritual, I understood an essential first thing: the One-Straw Revolution is an inner revolution, it is a spiritual path, of reconnecting with Nature and our Essence. I thus began to delve into the philosophical aspect of it, trying to understand and “identify” with Fukuoka’s thought.

In this regard, I well remember that one day at a work camp for preparing clay balls to green a burned area, during the lunch break, I asked if any of the participants were able to tell me about the Fukuoka Philosophy. The answer puzzled me, “But what philosophy, here we sow and there is nothing else to do!…”

I deeply understood why this method did not develop as well as it could have, because, before being a technical method of cultivation, Natural Agriculture is a discipline of life, a philosophical method, which must therefore be understood, applied and experienced first on the spiritual level instead of the material level.

Thanks to Master Aïvanhov, there was another important step toward a greater understanding of this path of mine. Indeed, He often mentions the Deva of Nature in His lectures: I had already heard of them, but it was only through His Teaching that I began to understand that Nature is alive; it is inhabited by invisible Entities, who care for and sustain it in every aspect: its beauty, symmetry, colors, scents; all of this is the work of these invisible Intelligences, whose presence is manifested in tangible and admirable results.

A magical world that of the Deva … it was like becoming a child again, leaving aside many preconceptions, opening the heart to new points of view …

As many know, methods of cultivation in “collaboration” with the Deva have found its concrete and high manifestation in the Findhorn experience and the Perelandra Garden, thanks to women with special inner abilities who were able to communicate directly with these Intelligences.

Over the past few years I have continued to experiment with various natural methods, and although the results obtained are not yet comparable to those obtained at Findhorn or in other similar realities, I can say that the garden and the orchard in which, together with two spiritual brothers, I work every day, are now special places: there is an air of peace and harmony there, the plants are healthy and lush, and you can feel that Nature is alive, joyful.

When I go down to the field, and go to the vegetable garden, I greet the Entities living there, bring them my affection and feel that they smile, greet me and are glad to be recognized; in fact, when you thank them for the work they do they are happy and rejoice, and my heart also warms and expands.

Wanting to foster a deep understanding of the philosophy and spiritual dimension of the Straw Strand Revolution, I can say that Fukuoka acted according to the logic of intuition, through a kind of Higher Intelligence, which prescinds from the intellect. He was in such harmony and attunement with Nature that through its invisible inhabitants, and through his intuition, he received information on how, where and when to act. In other words, he was no longer separate from Nature, but had become an integral part of it, and his Revolution aims to bring man back to this very condition.

We could also go so far as to say that man’s purpose is not only to return toward Nature, to cultivate it with natural methods, with Love and Gratitude, trying to become one with it, but also has the task of making it beautiful, of creating Harmony and Poetry. The ancient Scriptures speak of the Garden of Eden and therefore, just as the great philosopher-gardener Jorn de Précyargued, man is born with the task of cultivating Harmony and Beauty on this earth.

However, this great ideal, which gives impetus to all those who embrace the One-Straw Revolution, must be accompanied by other considerations: indeed, one cannot hope to succeed in this great undertaking simply by scattering clay balls on fallow fields. The revolution must be made first of all within oneself, first of all by knowing Nature in a deep and spiritual way, but also from a scientific point of view.In fact, Fukuoka was a biologist, he knew Nature and traditional agriculture from an intellectual point of view, and if subsequently his superior intuition was able to guide him so well, it is because it was based on technical knowledge. Although Fukuoka rejected scientific knowledge, stating its uselessness, a minimum knowledge of nature is indispensable. One day when man is more spiritually evolved, there will be no need to have any technical knowledge, he will simply always know what is correct to do; but until then intellect and knowledge will have to help and support our work.

In fact, if we do not know the type of soil, the climate, the resistance of the plants and many other things, our Revolution will not have sufficient tools to be able to be realized. To this technical knowledge must be added knowledge of the unseen world, to know who these intelligent Entities that populate Nature really are and how to get in touch with them. Only when these two aspects have developed and harmonized can we try to develop and apply the intuitive plane, a type of knowledge that we can precisely call “Higher.”

The One-Straw Revolution, for those who have not yet understood, is a spiritual revolution, pushing man back toward Nature and, through him, toward God, that God who manifests Himself in all of Creation, in every flower, every tree and shrub, every brother and sister, and every creature in the Universe. This return to God is the road that leads Man to a Universal Brotherhood in which, as St. Francis teaches us, the sun is not just a bright star but is Brother Sun, the moon is not just a satellite but is Sister Moon, the wolf not a ferocious beast but Brother Wolf…

I have written these few lines because in my heart lives the hope that more and more people will be deeply touched by the desire to give birth to this Revolution, so that Man will understand the importance of looking at Mother Earth with different eyes, of loving, understanding and cultivating her with natural, therefore loving, methods … in order to recreate the Earthly Paradise, a new Eden …

As you see, my dear Friend, the Straw Strand Revolution has brought in me many fruits, sweet and juicy, it has brought in me the joy of discovering what Nature is, the pleasant feeling of always being surrounded by many Friends, the understanding that even failures are an essential step for learning and for one’s own growth, but most of all it has given me a Way back to myself.

February 2014

Francesco Mossolin

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