Free-Range Living

What is Free-Range Living?

'Freerange' living might perhaps be described as the individual(s) aiming to lead an 'independent' style of life, thinking and deciding for themselves, determining their own values, along with aiming to live life in a naturally self and socially responsible manner.

'Not Necessarily So ---- '

November 12, 2019 ·

'Not Necessarily So ---- '

''Wild life --- '



There's recently been a couple of 'blue sky' days making the countryside, with its brown tilled soils, green meadows, blue skies, and gorgeous multi-coloured trees and hedges, a veritable 'living picture' landscape in which to 'survive and thrive' ---- can't be bad, and especially after enduring days of rain prior to that. Seem to be seeing a lot of wild animal action down the lanes recently - getting sorted for winter probably --- Squirrels everywhere, a fox, pheasants, pigeons, crows, magpies, loads of small birds - oh, and nearly every day,











sightings of the secretive and multi-coloured jays, more than ever before, for a couple of weeks or so now. And coming back from a community social club some five miles distant late at night, a couple of fit young hinds on the side of the road - it's not that uncommon to see deer late at night.

'Seasonal trials --- '

At the close of one of the most unusual growing seasons for quite a few decades here at the organic micro-holding (small smallholding) in the UK midlands, there's been one of the wettest periods experienced here. The chickens pen is littered with straw to give them a reasonably clean outside area to be in, which, though, has to be replaced if it gets wet due to rain (and the 'old' bedding' is put on the 'muck' pile to rot down and then contribute to future fertility). The month of October has seen this bedding straw having to be replaced almost continously due to virtually daily rain - far more than at any other period in the last thirty years or so - another feature of the year to add to the lousy first half of the growing season, which then morphed into an excellent second half, producing, for instance, a record celery crop. Ah well, it's all part of what makes the job interesting, variety being one of the spices of life ---- Every year a super growing year - ?  Not necessarily so ------

'Chick chicks ---- '








The three 'new' chickens, quite small birds full of character - they let you know when their happy --- and when they're  not so happy - have been becoming experienced escape artists, flying probably eight feet over their fence into next door's, in spite of having had their wings clipped ----. They've made their point and won the day - the other day they were let out for an hour into the paddock, so are now becoming real 'freerangers' in keeping wih the spirit of the place. Just have to hope that with a new fence and some 'stop gapping', the place is now impenetrable to Mrs and/or Mr Fox, which hopefully is the case, with hens running free in a couple of paddocks nearby and seemingly surviving well. Fingers and everything crossed ----

'Autumn arrives ----- '
Now in early November the runner beans have just come to an end, particularly via the frosts that have occurred the  two/three nights at the end of October. There's still beetroot in the ground, which should last as usual till next February, and of course there's a good bed of celery to go at. The onion crop was poor so will soon run out, there's a few more potatoes to dig up, and the soft fruit has finally finished after a useful crop of autumn raspberries. The winter greens crop - purple sprouting and curly kale - finally decided to grow after a very dodgy start and now is a passable crop, providing, along with spinach specifically grown for chickens' greens, lower waste leaves for the chickens - their very favourite grub. The woodpile is noticeabily starting to decrease, the woodstove having been brought into action in mid October, then being lit at around 4.30pm to provide the evening's warmth, and cosy heat it is too.

'Not necessarily so ---- '
So went one of the pithiest comments from a Zen 'Master', and probably alluding to several areas including the fact that anyone may want to think whatever they might want to think, or that what is being thought is 'right' and 'certain',  or that certain beliefs are right and 'righter' than others - or whatever - the point of the Zen man probably being, 'a person can think whatever they like, whether they're 'spot on' may be a different matter -----'. And what may 'be right' in one moment, may not in an other - life has the dynamic aspect.  Some people seem to need a degree of 'correctness' and 'certainty', maybe as an antidote to life's existential insecurity, and/or to a culture that might seem demanding in its expectations -- .

Thoughts, mindsets and the mind can be tricky things - the process has been likened  to people having the equivalent of a prism in their heads, bending reality as it enters towards a desired direction or outcome, in some cases (fake news and the like) involving quite a curve - ? Alternatively though, there's the notion that real security lies in personal recognition of such 'warping' and 'de-conditioning' work can be undertaken, then re-aligning with 'real self reality', potentially 'down the track', complete with beneficial aspects such as 'wholeness/oneness', overview understanding, positive emotions, and, as above, real security and personal validity. Pierre de Chardin, for instance, suggested that humans were/are essentially spiritual beings having a human experience, rather than the commonly thought vice versa position - something to think about - ?

'Wokey, wokey --- '

Some modern movements though, seem to practice a more controlling approach to security emphasising group collectivity. Maybe the level of insecurity in the world is promoting such 'anti-insecurity' measures - ? The modern 'woke' movement, according to a recent broadsheet paper report, sheds people who don't/won't do their particular 'group think' using the term that they've been 'cancelled', the security of group form heavily outweighing individual validity and 'sovereignty' - ? The limitation of any form of fixed thinking has surely got to be that it's not flexible enough a) to cope with recognition and respect for that of others and b) to take on board the dynamic life effects that occur, and that it could promote 'superiority' mindsets - ? It could also be potentially limiting to those involved in the group 'fix think', in that possibilties to think or 'see' outside their particular parameters don't then exist, potentially then curtailing peoples' growth and development -?

'Wakey wakey ---- '

The ever-expanding movement of 'mindfulness practice' is geared to helping people free themselves from set mental 'auto reactions', the basis for what'd been called 'the tyranny of the mind', where the mind is acting virtually autonomously, in effect controlling the person, and potentially then hindering any 'real persona' development (forthcoming 'Freerange' piece on the books page of this website - 'Finding the Real Self - a Route to Fulfilment - ?'). Eckhart Tolle, a prominent 'New Age' self-realisation writer, had some pithy words of his own on the subject :

' What is awakening? Awakening is a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate. For most people, it is not an event, but a process they go through ------------ Instead of being lost in your thinking, when you are awake, you recognise yourself as the awareness behind it. Thinking then ceases to be a self-serving autonomous activity that takes possession of you and runs your life. Awareness takes over from thinking. Instead of being in charge of your life, thinking becomes the servant of awareness ------- '

 ( A New Earth : Awakening to Your Life's Purpose    Eckhart Tolle )

In terms of personal security, reaching a position where the 'automatic/autocratic mind' is no longer the controller, being replaced by 'real self' operations (the process of working to counter automatic mental reaction patterns in itself then strengthens 'real self'), offers the strong possibility that real security will then be increased, the individual feeling/being less at the mercy of 'mental vagaries'. In an authentic 'awakened' state, a person then has in effect gone 'beyond mind', so maybe it's important to check this - is stuff coming from a mental mindset(s), as if it is it doesn't then fit the authentic 'awakened' tag - ? If for instance, say, spiritual gain is a 'mind want', it can be linked to ego activity rather than authentic internal development, as Tolle goes on to point out. Another 'Not necessarily so ---' case - ?

'Flash/non-flash --- ?'

Modern-day culture appears to emphasise quite strongly such as wealth, fame, luxury,'flash' living, which of course send out messages to people, particularly the one about the more wealth and 'flash' living a person has, the more important and 'ok' a person is ----. Is,though, that the case - in the sense that being based on a man-made construct, it could be suspect, as presumably there's no cast-iron guarantee that any man-made construct is automatically 100% sound - ? Each weekend, the broadsheets' magazine sections are pedalling the 30 best beaches to visit, the 30 best holiday retreats to use, the 30 most amazing worldwide hotels to go to, the 30 best walks to do - and the rest. Tv programmes extolling luxury houses, luxury cars, luxury yachts, luxury cruises, luxury holidays, abound, sending out strong cultural messages in effect extolling wealth - maybe the younger generations, without experience of alternative-style cultures, could be particularly vulnerable to such 'conditioning' - ? Does money bring well being, happiness? - a case of 'not necessarily so' - ? Maybe the reverse could be truer - insufficient (for needs) money can bring unhappiness - ? (which might fit more with the case of increasing insecurity in the world?)

'Shiny, shiny cultures ----- '

Is such a 'shiny, materialistical, success' cultural story quite so wonderful in practice - ? Maybe, again, 'not necessarily so ----' A recent TV documentary  show revealed that in the land of maybe the most conspicuous 'shiny success', the US, in some of the glitzy towns poverty and homelessness were at  quite astonishing levels - Los Angeles, for instance, appeared to have a major social problem on its hands. It seems that such a society may be catering over-well for the top echelons, but leaving significant residues of folks with problems - maybe not the best or most healthy version of a society - ? The wealthy in the UK are reported to be experiencing problems and stress, seeking therapy due to 'concern relating to their position in the rich league table'. Does this indicate that cultural peer group pressures within (certain stratas of) society are being over-played, with a need then to look at ways of increasing personal, individual strength- ? (the rise in the number of large(powerful) organisations in society has been cited by more than a few authors as a reason for a decline in (unpowerful) individual empowerment).

The world has many problems - maybe the young have it right - it's high time to focus less on wealth and the 'flash', and more on solving key existential problems, say, such as, say, the small matter of saving the planet - ? Life could seem to have become a little schizophrenic, with a recent report pointed out that domestic vehicles have become larger and heavier, polluting air trips too seem to ever increase, all along with reasonably alarming news indicating quite severe degradation of the planet - ?

Many individuals of course, particularly maybe those with experience and having had the opportunity to gain 'self strength'( becoming then 'freerangers' - ?), no doubt successfully balance the various strands and priorities of life, particularly maybe the individual/society balance, and such 'balance' positions could well need a level of experience and personal 'self strength' to achieve. Similarly, many individuals probably find that they don't particularly need or want too much 'flash' in their lives, they are focused on more rooted and longer-term priorities and have less need for 'exciting episodes', and/or luxury items, which could yet be features of what's been called 'the age of distraction'  - ?

'Non flash --- '

 It's actually quite reassuring and relieving to find that non-flash activities such as, say, walking in good countryside, can provide a relatively deep source of satisfaction --- particularly in 'unsung' therefore 'unpublicised' areas such as here at the micro-holding, with the added frissonce that therefore many are unaware of its charms, so the area remains relatively quiet and unpopulated -  just yesterday a stroll down a deserted country track provided good 'solace and satisfaction'. Other unfashionable activities are still yet capable of yielding oceans of life satisfaction, particularly here the activities relating to self-reliance and contact and participation with nature. Just seeing at the start of winter, for instance, the full woodstores, instills satisfaction and security - maybe it'd be good for those needing to seek therapy to go for less 'flash' and get more involved with tactile self-edifying practical processes, which can then have 'added value' - the late raspberry home-made jam here is just - well, it has to be tasted ---

'The veg of human kindness ---- '

Fortunately the semi self-sufficient 'small' life here at the micro-holding does provide quite a few opportunities for satisfaction, as well as nourishing 'the independent spirit', rendering then the need for excitement or 'flash' living redundant - quiet, fulfilling living being more the ticket. A recent report in the broadsheet papers indicated that the rich sector of society was less generous than other sectors giving proportionately less to charity. It may not be a lot, but here giving spare produce away to good neighbours gives a good feeling, oiling the wheels of local sociability, with often reciprocal benefits - a local 'give and take' mini society which counters modern 'out-for-self' culture aspects. So do people have to automatically follow mass culture trends? - hey, 'not necessarily so ---- '



Tags: Eco-holding husbandries · Free Range Living


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