Agriculture is not just an economic activity like industrial production. From a utilitarian point of view we can see that agriculture (in which we also include animal husbandry) is the basic condition for the subsistence of humanity, one of the principal sources of raw materials and nourishment. However, agriculture should also deal wisely with the maintenance of the environment. But we still consider it extremely reductive and selfish to use only “economic” evaluations of agriculture.
The farmer deals directly with the laws of Life. He has no assurance that all the seeds he has sown will germinate, or that the climate won’t hinder his fatiguing job, because Life is not an insignificant and predictable variable. Perhaps this is the reason why in ancient Persia (the civilization which gave birth to agriculture in the history of humanity) agriculture was taught to the highest initiates. The correct way to appreciate the laws of Life and, therefore, cultivate were taught only to those people who could comprehend and engage with them with extreme respect.
We don’t normally consider the laws of celestial Life but only those of the terrestrial existence, or rather those of the life that is confined in matter. A new type of farmer is needed to understand and deal with Life, a person that can discern with consciousness and, therefore, not just consider immediate material interests (and consequently the exploitation of the Earth), but also the good of the Earth and all her children, from point of view of their evolution.
The Earth must be considered to be much more than a medium upon which to grow crops, a substratum that often hinders our work, hosting various weeds and pests. The Earth is a living being, a mother that fondly and generously grants us her fruits, a creature that must maintain a proper equilibrium in order to survive – one that we are destabilising through chemical agriculture and pollution.