Practising Elementary Farming over the years has led me to a number of conclusions concerning the relationship between rationality and extemporaneity.
Like improvised and reactive behaviour or an excess of asceticism, the exaltation of rationality is a poisonous virus that has accompanied humanity since time immemorial. It is a metastasis that is capable of spreading subtly, which appears to be a friend when looking at the short-term results but is actually an exterminator when it continues to be applied.
The destruction of the planet’s health started with fire, when we were still just a few small units dedicated to hunting and then pastoralism. From the very beginning, agricultural technologies have flushed the life out of the soil, progressively destroying its primary source: humus. Ancient Rome, the Renaissance, colonial conquests, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and now postmodernity: a chain of destruction of environmental resources in the name of progress, brought about by a misunderstood sense of rationality. It is an enemy that is difficult to identify and restrict in spite of the attempts made by a spiritual and philosophical study that is clearly not yet sufficient, resulting mainly in dogmatic, or in any case institutionalised, religious conventions. In fact, those in positions of power use their idealism and spirituality rationally to reabsorb the demand for change from those who want a more complete and balanced existence that cannot be controlled for the purpose of exploitation. And I would say, we’re still up to our necks in it. I look for my equilibrium between rationality and extemporaneity in Elementary Farming. However, I believe that anyone can apply this reflection starting out from their own inclinations.
8th January 2019
Gian Carlo Cappello