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NB if anyone reading this attended the conference and spots something incorrect please let me know. There may be a delay in correcting as my software is being upgraded. firstname.lastname@example.org
part of the lovely drive.
I feel this is going to be a long diary entry. I went to Gloucestershire to attend the annual general meeting of a group that Francoise is particularly keen on, the BioDynamic Association.
Before I start, it appears that my monumental review of Holiday Inn Express, Swansea East, was not published, perhaps due to its length. It must have been about 2,000 words and is probably the most intricate and poetic review I have ever written in my 14 plus years with Trip Advisor. So far, four days after the submission, no one has written to me saying why. Perhaps they have cut their staff down, standards have changed. I have only had one of my 2000 plus reviews rejected and it is quite a funny story actually.
I complained that the staff of a restaurant had not made my birthday cake correctly by putting my initials on them. They returned my review saying that I must not use inappropriate language. Thinking I had been unwittingly rude to the staff I couched my language and more polite terms but still it was refused. And then I saw the problem. My initials are B. S. Work it out for yourselves.
So it’s all done by algorithms and I suppose it has to be bearing in mind that TripAdvisor receives thousands of reviews every week, it’s a bit like YouTube videos. If it contains a politically unacceptable word it is not accepted. That is why Savvy interviewees and hosts will use a substitute phrase ‘ being injected by a certain substance’ for example.
I remember another occasion when I was filming a brass band. I got a letter from the copyright protection society because the computer had identified a song for which royalties have to be paid. They let me off eventually but you really can’t do anything these days without being watched.
What is Biodynamics?
Biodynamics is rooted in the work of philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner, whose 1924 lectures to farmers opened a new way to integrate scientific understanding with a recognition of spirit in nature. Biodynamics has continued to develop and evolve since the 1920s through the collaboration of many farmers and researchers. Around the world, biodynamics is alive in thousands of thriving gardens, farms, vineyards, ranches, and orchards.
The Day Begins
Anyway, back to the topic. Journey time for this 35 mile journey was one hour five minutes so we left at 7:30 a.m. and arrived shortly after 8:30 a.m. We had been treated to a wonderful sunrise which was a great contrast to the Rain of yesterday. On entry we were treated by a pleasantly smiling assistant and we were offered coffee or tea with a biscuit.
There were about 20 people there when I arrived but this soon swelled to about 60. During this time I wandered around the building and found to my delight that the wooden materials of which is was built uplifted my spirit.
Generously, there was no charge for the meeting but I saw plenty of £10 and £20 notes in the donation box so they’re probably got more than if they had fixed a charge. I mooched around as I normally do and waited for people to come. I looked at the literature and was impressed by the longevity of this organization which had been going for 100 years.
This showed in what decade local groups were formed. (not easy to see)
I had a wander around the building and found a very large sow servicing her 13 piglets. She seemed to have a good temperament but when I lent over the barrier she looked at me fixedly and snorted. I suppose mothers would do this in defense of their young ones.
There was a young lady standing looking and said that she used to look after Roseanne the pig at another farm but they had to downsize and so this was the alternative accommodation that was found. The lady, called Liis, was from Estonia but sounded as if she was Dutch. She laughed and said that people often make this mistake. Apparently the pig did not recognize her or respond. She thinks it’s because she was not associated any more in the pig’s mind with being fed.
First we had a talk by Oliver Chaney, the director of Ruskin Mill training. This is a facility including for autistic people. He said the main problem with the young autistic people in his care is that they find it difficult to trust. They expect to be let down so in order to gain their trust it is necessary to be consistent in your behavior to develop this quality. The name of the group is the Ruskin Mill Trust and it is a provider of specialist independent education in the UK to children and adults with complex needs, including learning difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions and disabilities. https://rmt.org/
I did meet one of the lads outside and he showed me who he was by holding his name tag up to me and asked me very directly, as some autistic people do, when my birthday was and then what year was I born in. Recognizing the directness of such people I was glad to give the information and he instantly calculated how old I was and said I looked younger. He had some unusual personality characteristics but there was nothing wrong with his mind which I understand tends to focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. I thanked him and said that I wished to retain my teenage type traits for as long as possible. He thought about it briefly, shook my hand and walked off. I do not mind a lack of social skills if someone is just being themselves.
We then broke into three groups for three rotating workshops. The first one was engagement with the history and key points over the years. Information about this can be found on the relevant website
the second group was for me one of the most interesting which involved understanding the four and sevenfold processes for exploring history. In case you cannot read easily, the phases of this research project are
1 data collection,
2 bringing the parts into the whole,
3 finding the Essence
5 May we have permission to recreate?,
6 transforming the past as the future emerges
7 manifesting the intention.
This research project is modeled on a seven-stage Goethean methodology developed by Margaret Colquhoun and Angus Gordon. It works within a Goethean and a spiritual scientific paradigm and shows the complete arc of the research stages.
As you may know I spend most of my time looking at data and watching out for inconsistencies and contradictions. I did not like the item 5, ‘may we have permission to re-create?’ That sounded like old style hierarchical thinking. I suggested we replace the word permission with the word authority. In other words who is the authorship, please show your provenance for your new ideas to be accepted. Once a group of people have agreed on something it is quite difficult to get them to change their minds but the speaker said that that was not the point, he said it was about introducing new dimensions.
Sat next to me was a lady called Odilia. She has a lovely sounding name so I looked up the meaning.
I wondered how this seven stages would be seen in various countries. Some countries are more conformist than others and some are fairly easy to corral, including I’m afraid the British, and others would have a lively discussion at every stage and I’m thinking of the Greeks and the Venezuelans. Sometimes people are too polite for their own good.
I also mentioned that people were confused about what biodynamics was because there was no strap line in the heading. I gave the example later on to the whole group about my own project, the Midsomer Norton Allotment association and the strap line was, ‘grow better together’. I said that without a strap line the term Biodynamics was just something vague floating around in the air. If people cannot relate in practical terms to their own lives they will not be interested and move on.
We then moved on to a rather amorphous session entitled ‘sensing the being of Biodynamics in Britain by sensing beings on the farm’. We were given a sheet of paper with four quadrants,
step one observe with your open senses,
step 2 inquire defining your sensory experience,
step 3 reflect on any inner or outer change,
Step 4 reporting, preparing to share your experience with others in the group
I could only speak meaningfully about mine which was an acute awareness of the weeds on the paths. I cannot describe these as beings but then if you only have five minutes it’s not an awful long time to get into an altered state of consciousness. This is not a complaint, just an observation. We were asked to go out twice more and observe further. Perhaps due to the simplicity of my subject matter, or my federal graphic memory, I did not need to go out again and realized that I felt like apologizing to the weeds for taking them for granted, and recognizing that they had an important part to play in stabilizing the soil. By the way, I made a joke and a pun when I asked is it possible to sit around a square table?
The sector was held in the Field Centre. Do I see the hand of Rudolph Steiner somewhere.
These slippers were felt, and the result of a week’s workshop.
My love of the English language
As you may know I love the English language and when someone asked whether we enjoyed ‘sauntering around’ I had a look at the word saunter which basically means to walk with no aim or to walk casually.
we were also offered some colloidal gold solution and this led to a discussion on the difference between a mixture, a colloid, a solution, a suspension, and a liquid.
we agreed that a solution, for example a salt solution is one where a substance is dissolved by the liquid and cannot be seen.
a colloid was one where very small particles are suspended in a liquid but not dissolved by them.
a suspension is an immiscible particle which sinks to the bottom of a liquid container and needs to be shaken in order to be in suspension.
I was stimulated by the use of the word ‘saunter’ and decided to move on to other words ‘looking’ versus ‘seeing. There are whole lot more words that we can entertain ourselves with, and they will have different connotations.
Are you ready?
looking – this can imply superficiality and passivity
seeing – is much more in depth, for example, I saw into the depths of their soul
Oggle – to look at with greedy or interested attention
Leer – normally with a sexual connotation, it is to look or gaze in a lascivious or unpleasant way
eyeball – to look closely at someone trying to see into their psychology, sometimes with aggression attached
peeping – implies the object is being looked at furtively especially through a narrow opening
glance – the quick and casual look without necessarily taking in any detail
stare – to look invasively normally at another person
looking agape – when your mouth is open and you are amazed at what you see
gawking – staring openly and stupidly
rubber necking – a voyeuristic look at a traffic accident or some incident of disaster
to observe – to look at something methodically and objectively and rationally
I take my mobile with me everywhere and use it if there is a signal. I find that when I use words that I’m not familiar with I get frustrated until I know, so the best thing is to pop it into Google and get an answer straight away. I hope my actions are not seen as disrespectful but I assure everyone I am very much part of the conversation
In between the sessions we were offered coffee and tea with a very heavy duty date and oat cake which I had to eat in small quantities because it was so chunky. It was nutritious but strangely did not make me feel full afterwards. My stomach welcomed it.
At one o’clock a vegan lunch was served. We had rice and a warm compot accompanied by many vegetables. All the food was grown Biodynamically and supplied by the local farm
Anyway back to the topic, the whole point is what is the spiritual side of food? Simon, the person who was running the group with one other, said he will be glad to talk to me about any aspect about which I was not sure.
AGM and Treasurers Report
After lunch we had the AGM proper in which people were elected. This is key as people are not exactly falling over each other to volunteer for committee positions in any organisation. Considering the importance of the subject matter I consider that offering yourself to a position of responsibility should be thought about carefully. The existing and newly elected people seem keen enough. I have offered my services to the ‘back office’.
We had a treasurer’s report which for some reason only went up to March 2022 and the incoming treasurer felt that we should change the dates to make things more sensible. He was enthusiastic and professional and I feel he will sort out future problems.
The first one was they announced the closure of the Seed Co-op, an associated venture, and the representative said they could not discuss the reason for this. My alarm bells rang straight away. Was it lack of trade? Was it political disagreement? Was it fraud? I think if people don’t know what is going on they tend to think the worst.
Dont burn your hands with politics
The other point of disagreement though it must be said a civil disagreement when there was a poster at the show saying that in order to cooperate with climate change we have to treat our animals differently. I said that this was treading on dangerous ground because the whole carbon zero business is a complete fraud and totally unscientific and I should add to my readers here that this is yet another control mechanism for taking over the planet.
When I said this, I got one or two enthusiastic supporters but there was a chap who came out with the usual mainstream Media comments. The chair of the meeting, not wishing for this to degenerate into a political rant, very tactfully and politely said that we must concentrate on values, nutrition, and moving the organization forward and that we have very little resources to investigate political matters.
Afterwards I met a chap called Ben who is going to work on the public relations side and I did mention to him again about the necessity for strap lines and I did offer my services to him as a second opinion in case he was stuck or undecided about something. He was a very decent fellow and I felt he had a good capacity to listen so something tells me that we will be in touch.
We met two women both of whom had bereavements. One of the ladies had a partner who passed on in 2016. The deceased had told her that he had not long to go and also he had many physical problems which were mercifully solved by the passing. She was grateful for 15 happy years. She seemed quite pleased with the situation though added that the daughter had not spoken to her. I said to her don’t take it personally because she probably had some issue that arose and she does not feel comfortable talking to the mother about it.
I also met a woman from the Caribbean who was very bright and breezy as most of them are and I congratulated her on her outwardness and her outspokeness and offered her one of my intuitive readings if she should ever need it. I am always glad to help people who help others and I felt she was in this category. She said that she was on her own at the moment and I said that someone who can see through people can be a threat to the opposite sex. I said that sometimes we are incarnated to serve the world and not to be in one particular relationship.
I like to get the feel that I have been a little bit of help to someone or another. I said to someone that if you rest in your true Spirit you will always be safe even if your body is taken away. I also said that a cork will always float irrespective of the depth of the water.
The day ended with an inspiring talk ‘ the next 100 years of Biodynamic impulse’ (starting next year) in which they hope to see growth at home and abroad, a program of deepening Biodynamics, activities, promotion, celebrations and sharing of our thoughts
Anyway it was about 4.30 pm so we took off and arrived home about an hour later. Some people had come from much further so I am grateful for the very pleasant and brief ride avoiding motorways and enjoying the splendid weather, sometimes sunny periods and showers, but it was all lovely and fresh and autumnal.
Definitely a good day.