An Anchor for this Time

«What’s new?» Frederick the Great asked his court astronomer, who, according to tradition, replied: «Do you already know the old, Your Majesty?»

A woman harvesting rice in Nedumangad, Photo: Nandhu Kumar, Unsplash.

A farmer or a gardener would probably have answered: «It’s the old!» Where technology and culture hope for the unknown and the foreign in the new, earth workers trust that the old will return anew – the stalks break through the ground just like last year, and the buds open just like last year. Agriculture is the great counterforce to the rush forward towards the promise of salvation, to the belief that solutions lie in the future, that in tomorrow I leave today behind me. With the sun religions Christianity and Buddhism, with civilization and technology, we have left time as a wheel or cycle behind us and put the timeline in its place. To put it simply: Wouldn’t it be best to make progress on a timeline with a wheel? Life is rhythm! Therefore, a life-affirming technological culture needs a sense of cyclical time right down to the muscles and bones, and that is what agriculture, the work in one’s own garden, provides.

Translation Monika Werner

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