Collective Karma: how caring can shape our future and health

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Whatever you consider karma to be, this article may keep you pondering about two opposing forces for a long time to come…

These are the evolutionary tasks that humanity is currently facing.

Agriculture is only one of many systems that are experiencing total transformation, and will eventually enjoy revolutionary renewal, because the new systems that are waiting to be birthed show it is possible.

The evolution of human consciousness

We’re beginning to make a shift as a collective. For some this is very exciting. We are on the precipice of wanting something different in going forward that is quite revolutionary. Our lives are aiming towards a harmonious simplicity that can benefit everyone. We are questioning the work-life balance. We are questioning the pattern of working our way to the top, at the expense of personal health and human relationships. People are waking up to their personal and collective need for heart-based kinship.

Consumers want to connect with ethical farmers for nutrient-dense, nourishing foods that promote health, Communities want to enjoy meaningful social interaction. Both farmers and consumers

are waking up to the need to tread lightly on the earth, and to nurture and preserve its natural beauty. Farmers also want to receive fair compensation for their products, because producing higher quality food, is going to cost more. It involves recognising real value, and making the effort to obtain it.

We are redefining our social values, but in the process we’re also asked to look at the institutional forms that are not in line with the overall trajectory of the collective. There are two areas of life currently highlighted: one asks to be embraced, and the other asks to be let go of. The challenge is to find balance between where we want to go, and what is outdated and needs release.

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What wants to be released?

We are currently facing the disillusion, wearing down and restructuring of institutional forms and systems that are not in line with what lies in the heart of the human collective. We are releasing attachments to old rigid structures and rules. We are surrendering our collective attachments to old outdated ways and old systems that don’t really serve us anymore.

We are facing lessons about how we have given up our authority. There are authoritarian opposition of control in facets of our lives. There are those who say they know better than us, and we should surrender to them, and enable them to manage our lives, on our behalf. We are facing where we have not assumed our own inner authority as individuals. We are also facing where and how there has been a distortion in the collective consciousness. We are also exploring why we have abdicated our responsibility as a collective as well.

We are learning to assume more maturity and to firmly stand on our own two feet, rather than allowing the powers that be to make our decisions for us. We are learning to deal with the business of becoming spiritual adults. When we assume our own inner authority, there is no question that our relationship to various institutions will change. We won’t be giving up the human being’s natural tendency for self-directed inner authority, to be at the mercy of various kinds of imposed control. This restructuring is creating tension, because as the collective begins to break away from the status quo, those who support it may try to impose even more control. Many old systems are disintegrating before our eyes, like sand slipping through someone’s fingers. Attempting to delay, divert or fight total transformation of decaying systems, is a futile business. The process of transformation may be slow, but it is underway and it is a reality.

What are the corrective remedies of our time? What is asking to be embraced?

We are moving away from an understanding of power, and moving toward an understanding of care.

How can we provide support for each other? What does it mean to empower each other with a healthy form of caring?

It’s about what it means to be part of a village, and raising a village, and understanding our interconnection with each other: this is powerful. We want to feel a sense of equilibrium and a safe transition from childhood into spiritual adulthood. We want to enjoy a social foundation that feels solid and strong. We want physical safety, security and comfort.

We are in a cycle where we are experiencing the power of the community and the power of emotional ties, versus the power of the institution. We are invited to introduce less rigid boundaries. We are invited to expand our sense of relationship, especially in the face of institutional policies which would like us to do otherwise…

The institutional narrative would like to see us cut off from each other, and would like us to maintain a sense of separation and division. There are people saying: you cannot cross that line, because I am superior to you. Governments and corporations are coming under increasing amounts of scrutiny, ultimately leading us to surrender our collective attachments to old, outdated ways. We are changing and learning responsibility for each other as a collective. We are increasingly navigating primarily through our emotional intelligence. What was once seen as a weakness, is now becoming a primary strength.

We are developing a stronger consciousness of emotional belonging to the human family and to one earth. We are embracing heart-centered care. The more we protect and include others, it amplifies our sense of tribe, creating more heart-based kinship networks. We are strengthening our position collectively, relative to the authoritarian, hierarchical, institutional control that has been historically imposed on us. There is an instinct to protect each other from abuses of power.

Where are we seeing tension in the human collective?

  1. Home remedies vs Big Pharma

    Many people want to invest in alternative therapies because they have lost faith in mainstream medicine. Government and big business, who are big influencers of how tax-payer funds are spent, however, want to invest in more hospitals and medicine for all the sick people they are expecting. Alternative therapies, like homeopathic remedies, was recently removed from the private insurance list. Big business also now seem to have secured a monopoly on the legal production of medicinal cannabis. Some raw milk supporters want to apply cultured raw dairy products for increased health benefits, because they already have experience of its various healing benefits, especially raw dairy as a great source of beneficial microbes. Regulation in Victoria installed in 2014 has now made that impossible for some, unless you can own and keep your own dairy animals.

  2. Sterilised foods vs food in its natural form

    It has become clear that decisions have been made, on our behalf, to marry Australians to sterilised, industrial foods sold in supermarkets. In December 2014, raw milk supporters hoped for regulations that will allow the sale of raw milk from cows, with fair quality controls in place. Instead, then Minister of Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett gave directives to prevent its consumption with new draconian regulations. Authority figures say they fear that raw dairy may contain pathogens, but in the process, they deny that it can be produced as a low-risk food. All food has risk, and are allowed to have a manageable risk, but raw dairy has been singled out and unfairly targeted. Those who assume authority also deny consumers access to essential, life-giving, diverse-species beneficial microbes.

    In addition, it seems that decisions have been made to declare a large range of imported raw milk cheese, that Australians have been enjoying for years as unsafe, unless it has a government stamp of approval on it. It is not clear what lead to this decision, but the end result is the elimination of competition for big business. Many consumers cannot afford to buy the locally produced raw milk cheeses that have to sell for around $200/kg due to “strict and impractical” and unfair Australian production requirements.

  3. Local artisan food for local enjoyment vs shipping valuable foods overseas as exports

    Consumers want access to local cottage industry foods, and farmers want to take on the responsibility and entrepreneurship opportunities to produce it. The recent $2 million investment into Victoria’s Artisanal Agriculture and Premium Foods program initially sounded good. Recently the Daniel Andrews’ Labor government made election promises to establish a $10 million grant fund, if re-elected, to take Victorian-made food from small-scale businesses overseas.

    A $68,000 grant was also given to four South Australian cheesemakers to "help raw milk cheese producers crack the luxury food market overseas". What’s the use of these investments if they are not designed for locals to enjoy? Why craft these beautiful foods with care to enable an unknown, faceless person on the other side of the globe to enjoy it? What about the heart-based relationships that local farmers and consumers desire to form with each other over valuable food?

    Dairy farmers are concerned about the $1 a litre milk sold in Australian supermarkets as a loss-leader. They are also concerned about the milk they produce, often under cost of production, selling for around $9 a litre in some Chinese cities. What kind of profit margin do the exporter or middleman take? Local consumers are in the best position to give dairy farmers a fair price for their produce, especially if they are allowed to produce high value foods, like raw dairy created under fair regulatory controls. Local consumers feel a social and moral duty to dairy farmers that government and big business sorely lack. Local food consumers really care because they are intimately involved in a local community and the health of it. Raw dairy becomes the fastest growing sector in the dairy industry in places where it is allowed or enabled to flourish. Local commerce between farmers and consumers explode. Local wealth and resilience can grow fast. Local small farms often become social food hubs. Middlemen and government may have a primary interest in generating opportunities with local artisan food, which they may see as yet another commodity that can be exported, over assisting the farmer with a fair price.

  4. Nutrient-dense food vs ‘empty’ food from intense farming operations

    People are coming to the realisation that our health is in crisis, because agriculture in Australia is in crisis. Food is medicine. They are also learning that agriculture is in crisis, because money is often the primary motivator in the farming sector, and farmers are herded towards industrial agriculture with the ‘get big or get out’ mantra. Consumer choice for nutrient-dense food is often thrown out of the window. The consumer’s need for more nutritious, unprocessed, chemical-free food and more ethically raised, have been ignored and discouraged for many years. Instead, investors are encouraged to start more hydroponic farms, some which involves the application of carbon dioxide, which experts say are making food less nutritious and will create malnutrition in the future. In some of the intensive farming operations, the foods farmers are encouraged to grow, don’t require sunlight or healthy soil. This article explains how this crisis evolved: agriculture has become an investment engine for cashed-up investors who seek a financial return. These investors, or those who create these investment opportunities in government, don’t seem to understand or take heed to the human cost of the investment opportunities they divert people towards, some of which may create a health crisis for consumers in the long run. We need nourishing foods, not to generate investment opportunities, or money, for investors that may end up being an ‘empty’, unkind investment. We don’t want to become malnourished due to the lack of naturally-acquired nutrients, minerals and trace elements that have to come via food grown in health soil. We don’t want to become part of the hospital sick care system either. Long term mineral deficiencies can lead to decreased resistance to disease and sickness.

  5. Care for the planet and all its inhabitants vs corporate practices

    We are seeing the tension of corporate practices that introduce environmental or social harm versus the need to protect and care for all sorts of species, like beneficial microbes and animals. More people care and want to preserve and protect life. The nurturing mother and father principles in the collective want to return to restore balance. There is a questioning of laws, rules and social regulation that are emotionally unintelligent. We want to see regulations that are humane and good for everyone. We want to realise our potential for healthy development and growth.

Examples of care in society:

Charles Massey - regenerative farmer

Charles Massey recently gave a profound TEDx talk in Canberra. He was an only child, who at the age of 22 had to take over the running of the farm after his fathers illness, but he knew nothing about management. It was through damaging the landscape and ending up with huge debt, that he came to understand how to regenerate the landscapes, finances and mental health of farmers. He explains how he learnt that regenerative agriculture can both save the planet and renew human health. He reminds people that we have to nurture and care for this earth, because solutions are not going to come from big business or government. He asks three things: that we help farmers convert to regenerative agriculture, that we source healthy food to nourish our communities and that we love and nourish our green planet. He now educates through his book and his educational talks, changing lives.

Graham Cockerell - delivering hay and essentials to farmers in need

Need for Feed’s Graham Cockerell — now a veteran at organising emergency aid in the form of invaluable goods and fodder - is someone who knows empathy with with the fragile psychological state of farmers affected by extremes, and how to provide real care. According to this article, he lost his own father to suicide at the tender age of 11, due to financial pressures beyond this control. "Mental health issues weren't dealt with at all well back then," he told the ABC. He began in late 2006 by donating his first hay and thanks to others who joined in, fodder is now sent to farmers affected by floods, bushfires and drought. He runs a garage and spray-painting shop, but many of his waking hours are spent coordinating the logistics of collecting and disseminating aid to farmers in need. His cramped office is crammed with donations of food and toys. This is generosity and care for the community, by the community.