Saturday, 30 May 2009

LCM-7: Propagation or Survival of the Species

Arithmatic of Life

LCM-7: PROPAGATION or Survival of the Species
1
Propagation, hopefully, now, is not an outcaste subject from the public discussion in the polite society, in the times of world population explosion. We take it because it is one of the five autonomous, vital intrinsic functions of all the species.
2
Among humans there are some eunuchs, some impotents/ barren. Some of them certainly must have discovered their creativity in arts, not in Atom Bombs, which you can’t call a Creative Work!
3
Propagation, among mammals, is generally connected to male-female genitals, yet the “uterus” and “breasts/udders” besides other vital parts that relate to propagation. In the modern times of aesthetic hedonism, even some of the educated women need to be told, “Breast feed the babies; it is healthy”.

Mother Godess

4
The organs of propagation give “Sex-Sense” and “Mother-Sense”, both, which is giving birth to and bringing up the offspring. There are matriarchal communities among humans too, not only elephants. There are worshippers if Fertility Goddess, just as those who worship “Lingam”. When “sex” (a function of a species), when identified as “need”, which is rather a “want” like all other “wants” of civilised societies. It results in perpetuating prostitution. Among the aborigine communities there is no prostitution.
5
Some government functionaries, politicians and bureaucrats, here in Maharashtra, have been toying with an idea of “sex education” in the schools, so that their families are spared from educating their children in the matters of “sex”? Indeed, the Authority does not want to spare even your personal domain! What a noble concept!

Water lettuse

6
Nature, just as has created various species, so also the designs for propagation. Some fish give birth by their mouth, some lay million eggs. Cow gives birth to a single calf, dogs and cats produce litter (their eyes are closed for first few days). Deer’s calf starts to jump and run soon after birth. Koel lays eggs in crow’s nest. Water lettuce (See: Illustration) multiplies in numbers like amoeba.
7
The designs of propagation also indicate the life span, the numbers, and the survival rate of various species. Some species live for few minutes/hours, some for years. Grasses, wheat, rice live for few weeks, a banyan tree lives for more than hundred years. In the natural environment, the life span of different species, their possibility to survive, and their numbers are interrelated, to maintain ecological, environmental and energy balance. (Big fish eat small fish.)
8
By the extensive use of modern chemical insecticides, the insect population is increasing, because they develop immunity to chemical insecticides. This of course is according to Nature’s Law for the “protection to species”, to keep ecological balance. Humans, particularly the industrial society intervenes Nature’s schema at an unprecedented rate. Whatever may it result in sooner or later; Nature is ruthless unlike gods in whom humanity believes.
9
Greed of capitalist Industrial Society has reached to such enormous heights that it has assumed a role of worst predator since the beginning of time. It does not only annihilate plants and animals, defile land and waters and air on which all living-beings sustain, but doesn’t even spare its own species – humans – directly or by proxy, under some pretext or other – religion, energy or Peace – for power and profit.
10
Vasco de Gama with his army attacked Fort at Mahim in Mumbai. He won. But he was not satisfied with the victory. He went along the village streets, and butchered the peasants just to terrorise them. On his heels the missionaries came with the Good News. Columbus did similar thing when he found the “new land”. And what about the British Rule? Jallianwala Bagh massacre is enough of an example. The story does not end here.
11
The late Mr. Morarji Desai was trained in the Indian Civil service (ICS). He was no lesser democratic person. He shot dead 105 unarmed demonstrators during the Movement of Sanyukta Maharashtra. He was indeed a Khadi-clad pseudo-Gandhian. Since Independence of India there have been many similar examples.
12
When the powerful annihilate, trample, exploit, suppress, marginalize and displace the poor and the downtrodden, Nature’s Fundamental Law empowers them to propagate for the survival of the species, thus the population grows.
13
“The World Population is exploding” is a lie, big lie like that of Joseph Goebbels, propagated and repeated a million times by the powerful and their puppets, to fool the world, to hold their powers. They don’t have any ethical obligation either to fellow humans or the posterity. Altruism then is only an idea to earn tax rebates, and for living room talk.
14
The real life India, however, presents a disturbing picture. Bride-burning, dowry-deaths, sex crimes, gender atrocities and discrimination… take place, where the victims are women. Besides there are other atrocities that relate to religion, castes, language, regional territories, sharing resources… which of course are initiated by the powerful. The society fails to resolve them.
15
With the so-called progress and development, wealth and means are our Nature-given Senses becoming blunt?
_ _ _

NOTE:
(1) In all the discussions I do not stick a gender to the word “Nature”, just as “rta” – Sovran Good – is not an adjective but a noun, unlike God who is attributed male gender? Nature manifests in and around us that we can witness with our senses and intelligence.

(2) Illustration: Mother Goddess:
A 35,000-year-old ivory carving of a busty woman unveiled Wednesday, is believed to be the oldest known sculpture of the human form. Whatever way the scientists may interpret this artefact, there wasn't any civilised society, and possibly there was matriarchal system, which still prevails among many communities. And particularly the aborigine communities continue to worship Mother Goddess or Fertility Goddess. (Source: Mumbai Mirror, Dated 15 May 2009. See Link)

(3) Illustration: Water lettuce, a floating aquatic plant: Once after moving among the tribes of the Dangs, I came down to Songad, on Surat–Bhusaval Railway line. I climbed up the hill nearby, where there was a fortress. In the campus was a pool of water, almost covered with the water lettuce, a floating plant, which I saw for the first time. It looks like rose flower with dark green petals. At the same time a Bhill reached the place. He came walking nearly thirty miles to collect some of these plants for medicinal or as nutrient for his pregnant daughter who had come for her delivery, as is the custom. Adivasis – the aborigine – have a wealth of knowledge flora and fauna, which may not have been recorded. Later on I saw the plant in a village pond in Vasai taluka near Mumbai. (Graphic by the author)

(Links to Privious Posts: 1. Arithmetic in Real Life, 2. Dharma or Fundamental Law by Nature, 3. WORK - Breaking the Mind Block, 4. Leisure - Perpetual Crave for Rest, 5. HEALTH or Forgotten Nature Within and Outside, 6. Learning to Learn
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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Monday, 25 May 2009

LCM-6: LEARNING TO LEARN



Lowest Common Multiple-6 : Learning to Learn


Learning, as we know, begins when the child is in the womb. S/he cannot see, but can listen to the sounds in the surrounding environment: mixer-grinder, washing machine, radio-TV...traffic; singing... sound of running water. She can feel mother’s emotions, and the touch and warmth of the oceanic womb.

2
There are familiar stories from Epic Mahabharata: Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, learnt about “Chakravyuha”, strategic circular maze formation of army in war, while he was in the womb; Ashtavakra learnt Vedas while in womb, from his father’s recital. We have a saying, “musician’s child cries in tone”.

3
Ekalavya, a youth of Bhill tribe, learnt and excelled in archery himself – by self-access. When Dronacharaya, his absentee guru, demanded his right hand thumb as his fees, he promptly cut it off and gave. Little though may be known that the Bhill tribe do not ever use their thumb in
archery, in his memory, to this date.
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4
Mother elephant knows where the water sources are during the days of draught, and shows them to her herd. Honeybees hunt new sources

for miles; their social organisation and communication system are unique. A spider builds its web at strategic places (otherwise it would go hungry). Weaver bird finds places safe from the predators to build his nests.
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5
In India 900 million peasants (some of them languishing in the slums in urban India) have been using their five intrinsic autonomous functions, for three needs – food, shelter and clothing – with the help of Nature-given Seven Senses – hearing, smell, sight, taste, touch, sex and intuition – for their survival (survival, says J. Krishnamurti, means living sanely). They had no access to Sanskrit – gods’ language – or to scriptures or Vedas, which were monopolised by Brahmin caste. Such monopolisation of education continues.

6
The kings, feudal lords, emperors, nawabs, landlords, usurers… exploited the peasants to extract their meagre earnings (in kind) for their luxuries and powers. Their exploitation was limited to religious, social or economic effects, until the British Rule came.

7
The British Raj brought new and most powerful weapon of exploitation, not only of the land and waters, but also of the people, i.e. the Industrialisation, which is shrouded by the concept of “social and economic development”. It destroyed their personal autonomy, which had survived for thousands of years.

8
Independent India’s government, following blindly the model established by the gora sahib, only expedited the process in the name of development and progress. It brought also new laws of development etc. to take over the people’s resources, but without appropriate means of Rehabilitation of the people, in the changed political-economic-social environment. The people were subjects before the white man came, now they are objects, to be manipulated at will.

9
India’s variety of natural environment has resulted in a great cultural variety too: food, shelter, clothing, arts, languages, literature… It is simply amazing. One lifetime is not enough to comprehend and assimilate it.

10
However, the mass education system, besides other institutions, imposed by the white man, and followed by the successive Indian Governments, of various brands and colours, for the past sixty years, are moving towards monoculture that mimics western values and life style.

11
And the Indian culture that I just mentioned is on the brink of extinction along with the traditional wisdom of people, their accumulated knowledge of land and waters, and the skills developed through many generations. No. We are not talking about Vedas and sacred scripture; they are in the safe deposit vaults of the elite castes and classes.

12
Certainly there are many well-intentioned do-gooders: social workers, missionaries, non-governmental organisations, of various colours, brands, ideals, dogmas, with their political, cultural, religious agendas, working among the people.
13
However, all of them want to “teach” blah, blah, blah… the people. (All their life they learnt through books on the assembly line of Mass Schooling.) None of them is ready to “learn” from them, from the people themselves, to find, “How did they survive for millennia”, instead of from the scholarly treatises and books of history.
14
They – the do-gooders – don’t quastion themselves, “if they are stripped of their degrees and doctorates, their credibility and social hierarchies, would they be able to sustain themselves with their knowledge in the same natural-political-economic-social environment?” in my opinion they follow double standards.

15
They, the do-gooders, come from Indian elite class/castes and foreign countries. What is their credibility? They are learned, resourceful to raise money; they have strings at the authority. They distribute doles in cash–n–kind, but not the “democratic justice” even within the accepted (constitutional) norms. But one thing they can’t do is to remove the parasite that is savouring the people.

QUOTE:
'The distinction of "educatd" from the "uneducated" is merely technical. It is no longer of degrees of consciousness but more or less of information.' - Anand Coomaraswamy
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Illustration:
1. Engineer's Safety Key, the author of graphic is unknown. The text is by Remigius de Souza.
2. Weaver bird's nest - a study: Even animals have intelligence,; only we cannot measure it.


Links to previous posts:
1. Lowest Common Multiple ,
2. Lowest Common Multiple-2: Dharma by Nature,
3. Lowest Common Multiple-3: Work -Breaking the Mind Block,
4. Lowest Common Multiple-4: Leisure - Perpetual Crave for Rest ,
5. Lowest Common Multiple-5: Health - Forgotten Nature Within and Outside,




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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Monday, 18 May 2009

LCM-5: HEALTH


LCM-5
: HEALTH - Forgotten Nature Within and Outside

HEALTH means healthy body and mind. Health means absence of illness, disease. Health does not mean medical care. Indian traditional medicine recognises the body – mind connection; if one is healthy the other is.

2
Work and Rest, likewise the Environment too, influences our physical and mental Health, for good or bad. We are conceived in our mother’s womb which is ecological niche provided by Nature. No sooner the breast feeding is stopped and/or outside food is started, innumerable bacteria start to make the child’s gut their home. Some of them are helpful, some harmful. But we can’t stop outside food. What food and how to feed it is our problem.

3
Now, environment is not only natural environment, but also the manmade environment – social, economic, political, and habitat. The places where we live, work, move, our means of travel, and how safe (unsafe) are the air, water, food that we continuously consume, and their quality and safety to our health, are holistically parts of our environment. Which Authority can give guarantee of their safety?

4
In brief, we cannot separate Environment, Ecology and Energy from each other. Unfortunately the professional and pundits, politicians and traders, the State and its policies continue to keep them apart, and wage wars of words, or of arms. Environment is not merely a climate change, or depletion of ozone, or melting glaciers in polar or Himalayan regions... These are effects used merely as populist propaganda, to divert the attention from the real reasons of how this situation has come about and accelerated since the rise of Industrialisation, to hide the truth by the vested interests of the “powers” and the “power-hungry”.

6
They assume that rest of the humanity is dumb. Isn’t it funny? Even the animals intuitively understand environment. Birds and bees migrate seasonally. During the recent tsunami in Asia, the animals were the first ones to run to safety at higher places, their senses being alert.

7
Of course, the villagers and the tribal are very sensitive to environment, because it holds their lifeline. But like plants and animals, they too are feeble before the invisible powers, whether there is democracy or dictatorship. Recently a visitor to Andaman – Nicobar islands informed me the tribes in Nicobar were least affected by the tsunami, because they, as well as animals moved towards higher grounds. (See: (1) “Tsunami Warning Systems of Aborigine Tribes”, by Manmohan Melville (2) News)

8
In the present circumstances social–political–economic disparity and inequality is so extreme among regions, that the people, the so-called masses, are tongue-tied, their hands and feet are shackled. They work hard. But their labour, toil is not a mindless activity: It is an intelligent action, contrary to what the educated class, with blinkers on, believe.

9
There are a few individuals and institutions, who try to do something about the masses and the environment. Though they are well-intentioned, and despite their size and resources, their standards are, qualitatively and quantitatively poor. They lack holistic approach in the first place. Hence their efforts are like “managing the herd of sheep while riding on camel” as the Marathi saying goes here. Of course, a faceless entity called government, too, is not an exception.

10
But when the entire civilised society including the educated urbanite, has been a victim of the poisoned environment, how much and what anyone can expect? Their efforts amount to “curative” measures.

11
What are the effects of prevailing environment not only on our physical and mental health, but also on Work, Rest, Learning and Propagation must be studied, a bit by bit, regularly, by each one, individually. There is only one option left, which is to observe with attention our daily living. It adds a lot of fun / live entertainment, also. In this, I must remember there is no authority, no power, over my health, other than myself. The same rule goes for all my other intrinsic functions and my needs (food, shelter and clothing) over which I have autonomy granted by Nature.

12
Lack of wholesome Rest would not only affect our other intrinsic functions but also the Health of body and mind. How far these situations help us in Learning? The illiterate have no access to what is happening in the farther world; even the media is biased. The literate don’t practice their literacy. The educated are ignorant about other compartment of disciplines than theirs.

13
Birds and animals, however attractive some leaves-flowers-fruits may look, keep away from them, boycott them. Whether they get this knowledge by intuition or mimetic pool or from watching the clan is a different matter. They have no gurus, no scriptures, and no institutions. The nature and their intelligence are their gurus. Perhaps we my make them our gurus.

14
How helpless is this human animal?
What is the “Lowest Common Multiple” in this story?

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(Links to Previous Posts: 1. Arithmetic in Real Life, 2. Dharma or Fundamental Law by Nature, 3. WORK - Breaking the Mind Block, 4. Leisure - Perpetual Crave for Rest

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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.


Monday, 11 May 2009

LCM-4: Perpetual Crave for Rest




Lowest Common Multiple -4
: Perpetual Crave for Rest


Rest is for the body and mind that get tired by Work. However, our internal organs – vital but invisible parts of the body – heart, brain, lings, veins etc continuously work; they can’t take rest, hence they need to remain healthy.
2
Heart, kidney etc organs are removed from the body and kept alive by providing energy artificially during the transplant surgeries. Indeed, what I call my, mine... But what is mine? Not even heart! But what do we do to keep them in Health? This is directly related to Environment, Ecology and Energy: our home and habitat, our food and clothing, our work and lifestyle and how we perform our intrinsic functions. We shall explore this in the following post – Part 5.

3
Rest could come in several forms: sleep, leisure, entertainment, satisfaction... Joy.
Persons of different ages or constitutions may sleep for more or less period of time. Children may sleep for nine to eleven hours, while old people may have five to eight hours of sleep.

4
Therefore, even while awake we may need rest, in form of leisure. Hence body and mind should not be used for any productive (economic) work; that’s leisure. This period of time should be spent without any purpose, in peace, that is, not even a thought about the past or the future. Only watch, look at, be aware of the immediate present the NOW (Krishnamurti), wherever one may be, without applying likes – dislikes – dogmas – judgement.

5
But mind keeps constantly fluttering. Particularly those who are accustomed to the fast urban lifestyle, would go mad if they have to sit quiet. That is why they carry noise-making gadgets even when they go for picnic to a forest. Perhaps they suffer from “peace-phobia”!

6
For some the post retirement period, which creates a void in their work-life, is a very delicate situation. If they have never taken Rest in their earlier life, what else could happen? For the old there is canned “Satsang” – religious discourses – available in the market.

7
And, surely some people want to avoid physical as well as mental work for all the possible time; that’s their idea of comfort and/or luxury. Instead what they might prefer is entertainment all the time, to keep occupied. Certainly market provides many gadgets. Canned food, canned milk, canned water, and similarly there is canned “24x7 Entertainments” i.e. caned games, canned music, canned dances, canned cinema, canned pornography… readily available.

8
All these gadgets lead a mind to “Virtual Realty”, which proves to be intoxicating: Opium of Modern Age, which Karl Marx may not have ever dreamt!

9
Modern urban lifestyle has taken divorce from the nature – nature outside and nature within – in spite of the advancement in sciences. External nature is polluted: toxic gases, smoke, dust, noise, heated concrete jungle, piped water, and by some chance holy basil – Tulasi – planted in a tin/plastic box in a gallery hanging on a baluster, and the rickety trees/shrubs in concrete boxes along the road pavements.

10
Internal nature – heart, lungs, brain, stomach, uterus… are absent from the mind.
Even while eating and drinking, to fulfil our basic need, we gossip, discuss business matters, watch TV; or press a button and hundred Mallikas are dancing and singing in chorus on a screen! What a supplement to Food! What is this? The buddy says, ‘I love dance and music.’ Exactly like kings and nawabs of yesteryears: One at home, hundred at harem. We hardly attend to eating: What we eat; how we eat; what for we eat? Same goes for the other senses.

11
Market is smart! It first creates our tastes and needs, then comes to our help, like God, in our pleasures and the pains. Some suggest, ‘change in work is leisure’. That’s again Work – physical or mental or sexual. This is indeed cheating.

12
Dance, singing, music, play, games, walk in the ambiance of nature – alone or in a group – are also forms of wholesome entertainment. Rest means to stop dissipation of energy. (Switch off the TV. Take it or leave it.)

13
In India, however, not all are yet the slaves of Virtual Reality like the urbanite. They neither need weekly holidays of Sundays nor the gadgets for entertainment, like white man, like the urbanite.

14
The Third World India and the Fourth World India are rich in folk traditions: arts, crafts, dances, music, folklore are in abundance and in variety, in all regions. There take place in hundreds of fairs, feasts, festivals, pilgrimages which people attend in thousands. Their schedules, set by traditions, are remarkable. These synchronize with their farming schedules, religious rites and rituals. The places are usually near rivers, lakes, seashores, mountains, groves, deserts… in close proximity of nature.

15
And the First World India is out to drag them in the market web of so-called progress and development, no matter even if they are marginalised and displaced , in the name of “common good”.
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( Links to Previous Posts: 1. Arithmetic in Real Life, 2. Dharma or Fundamental Law by Nature, 3 WORK: Breaking the Mind Block )

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NOTE:
(1) The illustration above: "Bhills celebrate Holi Festival" by Remigius de Souza.
“To live in harmony with nature” does not merely mean “external" nature but also in harmony with “internal nature” i.e. to live up to five autonomous intrinsic functions endowed to all living beings. Tribal do not suffer from the split personality of newfangled humans, and their community is not a fractured society like capitalist industrial society.

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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.



Monday, 4 May 2009

Lowest Common Multiple -3: WORK



Lowest Common Multiple-3: WORK - Breaking the Mind Block


Eight Hours by Ricardo Levins Morales
WORK is one of the intrinsic functions endowed by NATURE to all the living beings. Work implies both, physical and mental work. Work expends energy – physical, mental and energy derived from nature in various forms.
2
Why work?
Nature must have planned this function for humans, like all other species, to sustain themselves, to make them able to fulfil their “needs”.
3
Food, Shelter and Clothing are the three – only three – needs of humans; the rest implied to be needs are only “wants”, which are transient, changeable, or dropped. Nature has created sufficient resources for the sustenance of all the living species, including humans, therefore, for their needs – food, shelter and clothing, therefore, no one, an individual or an institution, is authorized to intervene in these fields.
4
For the species other than humans, Nature provides designs that are as unique, varied and in abundance as there are species. Some have wool, some have shell, some eat soil (earthworms), some eat honey, some are herbivorous, some are carnivorous… some thrive on blood. Work is a must to fulfil three “needs”: Food, Shelter and Clothing (as needed).
5
FOOD: For this need, broadly, the following works are involved. To raise grains-fruits-vegetables, or take them from nature, prepare or cook if needed, eat (this too is work), cleanse utensils etc. In all the aspects of WORK, the body and mind work concurrently.
6
Just imagine, how did the humans domesticated wild plants of grains and vegetables and fruits, ten thousand years ago. The civilized society and its division of labour, godpersons and sex-workers as well as Incarnations and Prophets did not exist then.
7
In WORK, intelligence (i.e. intellect plus senses) operates. Inevitably, intuition awakens and develops with the use of senses. During Work, the success and failures and difficulties that arise help the function of Learning – education and learning to learn – is fulfilled.
8
Senses evoke emotions, which too are form of energy, if used creatively, bring Joy – a form of Rest; otherwise loss of energy, destruction. Work makes body and mind stronger, intuition to grow, and become more able, and together help to keep Health.
9
Human invented tools for ease, and machines to increase production. Why, when and who felt the need (sic) to produce more than the “needs” is another question. There still are communities who don’t produce more than their “needs”. To produce more than need is called “wants”. And only “power” and the “power-hungry” have the “wants”.
10
Millions of villagers and the tribal work hard. But their labour or toil is never a mindless activity: It is an intelligent action, contrary to what the educated class believes: It is vocation.
11
It is machine in modern times, on the contrary, that brought mindless activity; to keep the body occupied, i.e. occupation, and perpetual boredom to mind, which craves for excitement – 24x7 Entertainment. Hence illness to both, mind and body: Loss of Health. The “mechanical” personality penetrates the collective consciousness of other sections of mass society.
12
In the place of five/ ten/ hundred/ hundreds… of persons, a single person works with the help of machine; it is denial of autonomy granted by Nature, of those people. It also destroys ecological balance. (City, for example, as a form of habitat, started by the civilised societies, symbolises the centralised power. Hence “city” denies one’s autonomy over “Shelter”, likewise, “Food" and “Clothing”.)
13
It, also, affects all the intrinsic functions of humans and all other species. It brings their very existence to annihilation. For example, if one large tree is cut from the virgin forest, hundred other species of animals and plants are either destroyed or displaced or affected. The loss, however, cannot be recovered by monoculture plantation. It is sacrilege.
14
By consenting and obeying the “Powers” and the “Powerful”, all the citizens of so-called civilised societies are going the way of entropy. Even the so-called dumb animals and plants can see and understand this inhuman act, only if we could understand their language!
15
Without holistic view, we cannot comprehend or imagine what calamity the agrarian society of India must be facing. Is this what we call “Democracy”, “Development” and “Progress”?
16
It is important to keep counterbalance or equilibrium, not only between the physical work and mental work, but between all the functions. Otherwise there shall be inevitable fallout: Pay the bills for medical, legal etc. services; Make new laws; Leave 300 million Indians "below poverty line"; Keep 400 million Indians illiterate!
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Note:
(1) more on "shelter" see “Housing: Shelter as Basic Need”, and on "architecture and planning" see Architecture and Biodiversity in India (my published papers).
(2) Illustration above: "Eight Hours" by Artist: Ricardo Levins Morales | quoted by Anders Hayden , "Sharing the Work, Sparing the Planet: Work Time Reduction, Consumption and the Environment" (Paperback)

(3) Links to Previous Posts: 1. Arithmetic in Real Life, 2. Dharma or Fundamental Law by Nature
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© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.