Humanity knows nothing

From Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (Rodale, 1978):

“Scientists think they can understand nature. That is the stand they take. Because they are convinced that they can understand nature, they are committed to investigating nature and putting it to use. But I think an understanding of nature lies beyond human intelligence.

“I often tell the young people in the huts on the mountain, who come here to help out and to learn about natural farming, that anyone can see the trees up on the mountain. They can see the green of the leaves; they can see the rice plants. They think they know what green is. In contact with nature morning and night, they sometimes come to think they know nature. But when they think they are beginning to know nature, they can be sure that they are on the wrong track.

“Why is it impossible to know nature? That which is conceived to be nature is only the idea of nature arising in each person’s mind. The ones who see true nature are infants. They see without thinking, straight and clear. If even the names of plants are known, a mandarin orange tree of the citrus family, a pine of the pine family, nature is not seen in its true form.

“An object seen in isolation from the whole is not the real thing.”

(25-26)

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