Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Where Does Land Come From?

When we stood watching the earth cool, from a molten, gaseous ball (not even perfectly round yet) who could have imagined this? We have a beautiful planet, its natural graces are many. So many places that are suitable for family homesteads – vast tracts of land from horizon to horizon.

And then people came. I'll use Australia as an example. Here is a country with a population smaller (much) than North America's on a continent of comparable size. When people come together – they compete for space – on footpaths – in shops – on roads and highways and of course in big cities. How could there not be enough space?

POPULATION DENSITY BY SA2, Australia - June 2013

(This source of the above and below figures 
details the factors affecting Australia's regional/ rural population.)


  Australian people live --  

   At an overall population density of  2-3  
  per square kilometer!  

   0.34 percent, on 84 percent of the land  
  (very low density areas).  

   82 percent, within 50 km of the coast.  

   89 percent, in cities.  

   90.5 percent, on 0.22 percent of the land  
  (high density areas).  

Of course, we have made it this way. But why. 

So, to get some land of your own – I'm not talking about an investment – not to exploit, mine, dig or contaminate – but to live on, to create a home for your family line (don't forget the ancestors!) what do we have to do?

This website [link] has some helpful hints on hoops and hurdles that may be jumped through and over if one understands the system and how it may be used to wrangle what is rightfully ours from those unwilling to give it away. That makes infinitely more sense than buying and selling – because to my tiny mind, that [the latter] only applies to things that people have made themselves, and possibly can carry away.

Following on from the above, this article, Land:  Challenge and Oportunity
 from the E. F. Schumacher Center for a New Economics collection
details one way that land can be put back in the hands of people.

A Community Land Trust (CLT) transfers land from the real estate 
market into a trust that is managed by people in that region.  
Robert Swann of the E F Schumacher Society developed 
the concept, inspired by Ralph Borsodi 
who worked with J. P. Narayan and Vinoba Bhave (disciples of Gandhi).

"Vinoba walked from village to village in rural India in the
 1950s and 1960s, gathering people together and asking those with more
 land than they needed to give a portion of it to their poorer 
sisters and brothers. The initiative
 was known as the Boodan or Land Gift movement, 
and many of India's leaders participated in these walks."

  An example of the Bhoodan - Land Gift Movement.  

LAFTI, Land for Tillers' Freedom (India) stems from a notion of Gandhi's
that land needed to be distributed fairly to promote economic growth in rural areas.

In the state of Tamil Nadu, LAFTI aids people in hundreds of villages.
(Specifically in the Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur districts.)

Krishnammal and her husband founded LAFTI in 1981.
The Land Gift Movement (Bhoodan), brainchild of Vinoba Bave, advocate of Village Community Ownership, involves landholders "voluntarily surrendering their land for community ownership".

This non-violent revolution been realised through Bhoodan and LAFTI campaigns.  
Thus far they have purchased (at a reasonable price) and leased (community trust land)
 4,450 hectares (11,000 acres) for families who would otherwise be landless.  

The above paraphrase comes from,


Krishnammal . . . Winner of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award

But we did make this land [refers to an aspect of creation of the earth that we participated in, for the soul is timeless (and wishes us to have a fine homeland!)]. Does that mean that real estate merchants are self realised mystics? Nice try! I hope that they may be – if they choose. However, I don't think this is the reason land is being sold to us.

  Dreaming the earth into existence. 

  According to Aboriginal mythology, our world  
  (physical life on earth) was “dreamed” by the ancestor spirits who dwell in Dreamtime.  

  “The landscape is almost an externalisation of the individual’s inner world.  

  Each tribe had a traditional area of the land which was theirs alone,” notes dream scholar  
  Tony Crisp in his article “Australian Aboriginal Dream Beliefs.”   

Mutually – we have determined that space is scarce and that resources (aka finances) are limited. Whilst the habitable surface area of the planet is finite – that cannot be denied – we have complete choice in how it is apportioned. Creativity knows no bounds, and the means to create (abundance, that also means money) can flow as readily as the emotions and thoughts that drive said creativity.

Vladimir Megre, author of the Ringing Cedars of Russia books (from photo gallery).

So let's be more creative in imagining how our earth could be used for the good – for the benefit of all. It is really up to us. 

The image that has been created in the Ringing Cedars of Russia series [link], thanks to the creation and dreaming of one woman, Anastasia, is growing and gestating in the hearts of many. I have never seen, or come up with on my own such a positive and helpful approach to our (shared) future.  Both near and distant futures. But we all know it matters what we are doing right now [see Chris Cole post].

It is both clear and helpful [the book series]. It encapsulates complex and heady subjects (such as permaculture) in an intuitive, heartfelt fashion. Concepts need to flow through us freely (through important connections with our heart) to keep the accumulated burden of knowledge and detail from piling up and actually stifling action and creativity.

Each of us is a creator of our own part of earth. That needs to be owned and acknowledged. We do not need experts to interfere with our plans, because we are equal to the task at hand. Of course, it is fine to co-create with others, because not all have equal talents, skills, or identical puzzle pieces to offer. The main idea is that we are the creative force at work in our own unique centre of the universe. 

(Somehow, topologically, every place can simultaneously be the centre!
 Just don't think in 3 dimensions and it will work out.)

Our creation is more powerful when it incorporates the energies of others – this is not the same as letting or getting some one else to think or do for you, which of course is not empowering – but diminishes our true potential.

So if I had land, here's what I would do – I would give it to you! How much land do I need for my family – only a hectare or so. If hundreds or thousands of hectare were under my jurisdiction – it would be of paramount importance to me to ensure that others in my community were fully and fairly accommodated and accounted for.

There is also an element of self interest in allowing others to surround you in an equal/equitable {egalitarian?} arrangement, for one's neighbours are extremely important to one's well-being.

Whatever a land owner's motivations are, the fact is need exists for many of us to have land. Have in the sense that by acknowledgement and allowance of our peers (and neighbours) the space is ours, to spread out, to grow one's food, one's family and to find one's sense of purpose for living at all. When this happens, peace will prevail.

When peace prevails, we may take our place amongst the successful civilisations that have ever existed in the history of our universe. And earn the right to inhabit and humanise (in the most beautiful sense of the word) other lands – on other planets, other worlds.

This is not all there is!

  Land can be found sometimes under water, being cooled and cleansed by it for a period of time.  
  (Apropos of many climate change scenarios that include coastal flooding and rising  
  water/sea levels due to polar ice cap melting in next decades.)  

Whilst a peaceful and law-abiding sort of person, I'm convinced that those who would lead us now need to be shown the way -- to have their hands held for them.

No longer is it every one for themselves, or follow the lemming (I mean leader) but every one learning to harmonise effectively.

Children can teach us this!  And they are not shy about telling us what sort of world they want or to challenge our most cherished institutions (the horrors of war, and weapons of mass destruction, for example.)

It is time to take to the streets!  March Australia's project for August (2014) is specifically to focus on rights!  What about -- universal -- land rights.

These things that we whisper about amongst ourselves -- that we know within but don't always say when the opportunity arises -- can now be aired in the full light of day.

Mass consciousness is ready for a massive purging.  Please participate -- in any way you can.  Shout, if you have to.  Creatively, peacefully.  (Better yet -- sing -- in tune!)


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Robert for this important information and full view! I like your articles! Elena