Wednesday, October 11, 2006

This is me, this is who I am

One could wonder, what would a "right livelihood" be?

I think that people, all people, should produce their OWN food, clothing, housing & warmth -- and do everything else they do for free. That's pretty radical, huh? I don't do it either.

Basically, we should be able to exchange real goods for real goods (milk for socks for example), products for products – but singing for one’s supper would not be looked on as a moral living. Nor would most anything else that is today so admired. No intervening, coordinating, educating, or making a statement. No art, writing, healing, or counseling. Not that those things wouldn’t be done, no. There are not many Michaelangelos, and there aren’t many people who ought be able to make their living through art. There aren’t many Saint Francis’s, and no monk is owed a morsel of bread. In a culture where the art of story is practiced by everyone, it becomes truly high art. Friends can act as real friends, not mindless yes-men. Family can act as family.

Midwifery would not only be hands-off, it would be for free. But cleaning up the house after, or cooking the meal during, that’s real. Does that make it more clear?

Further, time is not for sale.

Christley and Cora were my great-grandparents. He never had a paying job his whole life. She milked cows and sold butter for cash. They had sixteen children, all of whom lived to adulthood. Once a year he took the butter money and paper outlines of each child's feet to town and bought shoes for them.

That's an example of right livelihood.

If it were not illegal, I could milk three cows and support my farm and family. The state prohibits me from the right livelihood my grandmothers knew.

Edit: Finally, what really bugs me about this. This state interference is why I sometimes take piss ant jobs working with immoral dunderheads. This is why I hate the state, why whenever someone says "more regulation" I say "NO!" (no matter what the regulation is about, it is about someone controlling someone else), why I can never be a Liberal (ok, I can't be a Conservative either). I sometimes have nightmares that the state will come in and MAKE me go to work for more money, make me "use" my education, my smarts, my competence, to their ends instead of to my own. And I see, they do that even now.


laura said...

"Basically, we should be able to exchange real goods for real goods (milk for socks for example), products for products"

i really believe that too. i wish we lived in a world where that were still the norm. i think of that a lot when i have my utopia fantasies. we once got info on an "intentional community" (commune!) where you lived there and worked for your keep. the idea that each person within the community served a purpose that met a particular need for all, well i really like it.

i think...what would we do? given what skills we have right here and now. i can clean real good, i can cook too. so can he. he can play guitar. is that useful to anyone? i can make a perty picture =). but we've got the ability to learn and grow. i can't say the same for a lot of people. they seem content to stay just the way they are. i guess the same could be said for me, right here and right now. but given the opportunity...i can be made useful.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, I think the key is, produce your own food, clothing, shelter, heat. Produce your own. Can't play a guitar for that, mostly. Not and live an independent life. The life of a slave maybe. But the life of a slave is what most people have. So I guess that is a clue.

the Contrary Goddess said...

and you know, there's two damn laura's on here, and damn but I can't tell them apart unless I click the profile! Can't you all put your pichurs on here? (grinning)

And these are ideas we've been playing with, ya know? What I have trouble with is seeing other options as being moral.

Madcap said...

Was his name really Christley? Well, not so far removed from all the "Christian"s that seem to be roaming over the earth these days, I guess.

It grows on me more and more what strange times we're living in. What's real and contributes to the real everyday needs of real human people is devalued, and the paper-pushers are worshipped and adored. Until they're supplanted by a bigger, better paper-pusher.

I'm getting a little weary of being told, even at this stage, that I should go to university and get a degree to validate my brain.

"You're smart! You should go to school! You'll love it!"

"I'm smart! I don't need to go to school! I'd hate it!"

And the things I want to learn, like cheesemaking and stacklog construction, anyone could do that, right? Right. I guess that's why the planet is littered with homemade cheese and stacklog homes. Cuz anyone could, so nobody will.

I guess I should have posted on my own site, huh? Sorry. Ya got me going!

the Contrary Goddess said...

love it mcm! And yes, his real name, although that was before anyone in the family was a Christian -- his wife was converted after marriage actually, and she drug the rest along. Christianity was not always the religion of choice in the mountains.

Laura said...

Just checking the mirror here - I think my pichur shows up, doesn't it?

Oh, now this is funny. I scroll down to do all the hoop jumping to post my comment, and instead of a pic of some distorted letters, I see a neat line of text saying "Visual verification" - I bet those letters won't cut it! Nope, they didn't, but now the word pic is back. Here goes...

Madcap said...

You know, I'm back and looking over that midwifery thing, and I've been thinking about that example all day. So, why is cleaning the house afterward real, and baby-catching not? In my hierarchy, that's one of things on the "real" list. Kind of like masonry. Not everyone is good at it, but it's a needful thing. Real.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Basically, a midwife shouldn't be "catching" a baby. A woman, maybe her husband, should. Midwife may help.

But my reason is this -- it is healing and art and ministry -- all things that are corrupted if paid. So far I haven't come up with anything much that I think is moral beyond providing your own food, clothing, shelter/heat. Everything else, every other proposal, involves exploitation somewhere along the line and exploitation is immoral. So far I haven't got past the hard line of that.

laura said...

there you go, i went and added a pic to my profile even though i never use blogger anymore...hell i don't even blog on my other one. but we'll see, maybe soon.

Anonymous said...

MadCa[:"Was his name really Christley?"

'Ley' on the end of a name means "field". Long ago people were named for place names hence 'Ford', 'Clayton' (Clay Town), 'Bridges' etc.

'Stanley' means 'Stone Field'. Sometimes the places were named after the old gods hence 'Wodesley' (Odin's Field), Thorsley (Thor's field. One of my family names is 'Frailey' which is "Freya's Field".

Some time in the past someone has waxed evangelical and renamed one of the old fields "Christ's Field" or Christley.

Madcap said...

The town we're moving to has a name that means "Thor's Hill", which is pretty hilarious because it's the flattest piece of ground on the good earth. Some poor pioneer's wishful thinking. Maybe a supplication? Or maybe, more prosaically, just a transfer of a name from back home where Thor really did have a hill.

Up in the Peace Country, where I'm from, there's a town called Sexsmith. There's a Bible school in Sexsmith called.... the Peace River Bible Institute. They just couldn't bring themselves to call it the Sexsmith Bridal College, I guess. (grin)

When you're from there, the name doesn't seem funny, but all the newcomers fizz and splutter. So, what would the "sex" in Sexsmith refer to? Instrumentation?

Ren said...

You know, it really pisses me off that it's so hard for me to pay someone for raw milk. Yeah, I could raise my own cow, but I'd rather pay you.;)

My kids and I have a lot of conversations about the "why's" and "how's" of freely sharing stuff and information. It sounds Utopian in some ways, but limiting in others. It's all perspective. I like the idea of more people making more of their own STUFF.

Anonymous said...

MadCap:" So, what would the "sex" in Sexsmith refer to? Instrumentation?"

It refers to scythes. The Germanic people who invaded England and Ireland were variously called Ingles because they worshipped the fire god Ing (at the hearth in the home called the Inglenook). They gave their name to England and English. They also had a characteristic short wide sword they called the Seax. The two vowels being at attempt to account for the many vowel glides in Anglo-Saxon. Dropping the 'e' gives you "Saxon", that is, people who go about armed with a seax. Dropping the 'a' gives you 'sex' (in a manner of speaking) and accounts for all the place names that have 'sex' in them such as 'Essex' (East Saxons) and 'Sussex' (South Saxons). The word 'seax' (from which we also get 'ax', 'se - ax' = 'the - ax') also refered to sickles and scythes. So 'Sexsmith' is a sickle maker.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Most of the laws against freely sharing (or directly engaging in commerce) come from someone rich protecting their turf. Big dairy wants you to think raw milk is dangerous -- and they always mention e-coli. When was the last time someone got e-coli from unpasturized milk? It isn't that it *can't* happen, but that it generally doesn't.

Midwives in Tennessee ruined the law here in order to protect their turf -- and hoo oh boy are they hostile to me since I tried to stop it.

The problem I see is mostly industrialization -- I *don't* think one should be able to buy raw milk down at Kroger's. But bread directly from the person who makes it? Why not? Because Kerns, et al. doesn't want you to.

But three cows would hardly be industrialization.

Nice to see ya Ren

Madcap said...

Well "scythe-maker" certainly makes plentiful sense. I always wondered, but never saw anything in my book travels that gave me a proper clue. Thanks.

So CG, are you saying that you can't buy bread directly from someone who bakes it in their kitchen? Even here you can buy baked goods from the farmer's market.

marybeth said...

you are awesome. my friend passed me on your link. you're living somewhat my dream (one of them, at least). I look forward to soaking in your experiences and learning about what goes on with goddesses in your part of the world.

and everything you said in this post, i totally agree. if my 3 year old wasn't begging to watch her father's Simpsons DVD right now, I would have more time to respond.