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This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.

Go to: The foundations of the community  | Growing food  | Eating  | Self-sufficiency  | The community  | The Hare Krishna community’s relationship with the outside

The community

You’ve got to see what the nature of the person is. Generally you have four types of people in the world. You have those who the thinkers, the educators, like yourselves, you call that the Brahmins, they are the thinkers. Um, then you have ah, the administrators, they actually manage the place, they mostly in relation with the thinkers and everything you know. So you put out a PhD on administration and someone comes and see you so you say “you do this” and they start administrating, they do it themself. They’re more like the hands, the arms, this one is more like the head. Then you’ve got those who are involved in business, business, money lending, agriculture, they are more like the belly area, around the food stuff. And then you’ve got those who cannot do any of those three, so they assist the other three. They are servant, government servant, things like that. So when you, your question is what proportion of the community is involved in food production, well that will depend where they’re situated. Because you can’t put a square peg in a round box, or the other way round, whatever you say.

You can’t force someone to do something and say well because here’s the rule you grow food. And you end up just with those guys and you have no head, and no administration, so it’s kind of, you know, odd [laughs]. But you have to see that because the nature of a person is like that, like I couldn’t imagine you for example getting a job as a check out girl at Coles. I think it would be, you know you might do it for a day or two, maybe a week, but after a while it is against your nature.

So the nature of people has to be respected in terms of their engagement, very much so. Therefore growing food is also like that. And you’ll find that people that grow food it is just their nature, just can do it, so people say well he has the green thumb, or whatever they say. Some people just, they just plant stuff and they kill it. They’re just not meant to do that.

It’s a question of administration. Because when, you manage people you’ve got to see who comes in ok. So now we’ve got a lot of these ones, let’s get a few of those ones. We’ve got zero of those ones, let’s get programme in so we can get some helpers so we can do something. Because, none of those, none of those is better than the other, in terms of… if you’ve got a spiritual nature everyone is the same, basically. But their current condition, state, is different, but the one cannot do without the other. It’s like the body you know if I chop your legs off, well it will be ok, you can still survive, but you would be quite, you know… If I chop your arms off, then you would probably be eating mashed potatoes. And if you’ve got no head its quiet difficult. And if you’ve got no belly to digest anything you put in your mouth, then you can’t have a head. But if you’ve got no, some people have no stomach so they have to, you know the bag feeding stuff.

So you can relate to people in society in a community, as well, as those parts of the body. And you can’t really do without each other, so mutual respect has to be there for every one of those activities. So the proportion of who grows here, who is involved, will depend greatly on that, but if the administration is tuned in you will see actually we need food. So we need these type of people. We need administration; we need these type of people. Like this you manage a community so it is balanced, in a sense; because you can be really out of balance also.

Whatever we do we have to have a certain face also. The face of the public at the moment is very much interested in this area. So, you know, should we be the Hare Krishna’s who spray a bit here and there every now and then? I don’t think it really would go down too well. We promote particular philosophy which is, the reason being behind not spraying is not so much to get the organic status but ah, it more like you have to respect and understand that planet earth is actually living entity and we gotta respect it. Not in a way that, what if we don’t respect it, we’re blowing our cake here and then we’ll have nothing to eat, it gone, that’s kind of selfish way. It’s respect in a sense that it is a living entity and we should respect like another living entity. It’s like  you wouldn’t like me to spray some DDT on your hairdo? So we respect it like that. But ah, as far as the WWOOFers are concerned then, they came of course because a lot of this youth are looking for alternative way of living. And of course as far as that’s concerned that did help, yes.

Most people would not be here if it wasn’t for Krishna. I mean if it wasn’t for the philosophical concept that, you know there is a God and there is a certain amount of er… . For one, in says in scriptures that there are four things, four developments that is Dharma, Artha, Karma, Moksha. Dharma means basically a sacrifice, an activity which will make the elements, the powers to be favourable to the next one, which is Artha, which is economic development. Economic development doesn’t just happen. This is the problem in the modern society, economic development doesn’t just happen because you work hard. It’s not just about how, people have this thinking, I’m sorry to say but it’s wrong, that just by working hard you automatically get economic development. I can show you many examples of people that work very, very hard their whole lives and they don’t have five dollars to their hand. Right, and those that have done nothing, they’ve got all the money. Therefore this first item Dharma, which is like the sacrifice, it’s called religious principle if you like. But this is what makes people get favour from higher beings in order to develop economically. Of course you have to work, it’s not going to come, you know, it’s not going to fall out of the sky, you have to do that. Once that’s done then you can enjoy of course, because you have certain amount of economic developments, so you can get the goods that you desire. And then once you got the goods that you desire in this world it is much easier for you to contemplate, an existence in the higher realm. A liberation. So they’re the four aspects.

So how do people relate here in the community here is that everybody is here not because they are the same, but because they understand that this one here that sacrifice has to be done. So when you come to this place because it was very nice, it’s this and that, but there is an element of sacrifice, an element of sacrifice, ah, makes this, ah, this, this peaceful environment pervade this atmosphere, pervade throughout the community. And this, this what you call quote, unquote, religious activity; which ah, basically we’re trying to, to give back, or to sacrifice something. So I, there’s for different ages different sacrifices, in this age happen to be the chanting of Hare Krishna, this is what everyone does. So everyone has a relationship here like that in this community. That is their relationship.

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