Short version: We homestead off-the-grid on Denman Island in the Strait of Georgia. We grow our own organic foods year-round. We keep a variety of rescued pet animals. With the help of 50 artisans, we grow, process, weave, knit, dye, and sew unique sweatshop-free organic clothing, footwear, bed, bath, and home products. And we have done all of this since 1995 (off-grid homesteading) and 1997 (manufacturing).
We handcraft over 1,000 products, many of them things you won't find elsewhere, like hemp car seat cover, hemp sleeping bag, 100% hemp knits, 100% hemp socks, 100% organic linen socks, 100% organic cotton socks, elastic-free organic underwear, hemp shoes (with natural rubber sole and glue-free sewn-on sole), all from organic European hemp. Chemical-free and sweatshop-free. Made with pride in USA, Canada, and Europe. Curious to see and know about our end-to-end growing and manufacturing processes? Read About Our Manufacturing. Wanna know what we mean by sweatshop-free? Watch the VDO below and read About Sweatshop-free Manufacturing.
More and more, we take the time to enjoy the splendor in which we live and to live in the moment. We also encourage everyone who works with us to do the same. So if once in a while, your package arrives a bit later than usual, or a phone call gets returned a day later than normal, please know that we're doing the best we can to balance our life and our work (which constantly threatens to take over our lives).
We came to Denman Island to be happy, healthy, and mindful, and periodically taking some time off goes a long way to keep that true. We believe in living sustainably in body and mind and whole-heartedly support voluntary simplicity, ahimsa, veganism (for health and for the environment), peace, love, and mindfulness." — The folks at Rawganique.com
"We have chosen to become hermits in a society that demands — even requires — of us an over-exposure to its various mind-numbing media outlets and corporate advertising. Life has become a lot more manageable and beautiful since we took ourselves off the treadmill of modern society with all its irresistible trappings.
We can actually hear the sounds of nature and see and feel the simplicity in all things. We have, in effect, become our environment. We can feel its splendor, glory, and sadness, and we do all we can to leave our environment as healthy, sane, safe, clean, and natural as we imagine the original pristine environment to be. That's our purpose in life." — Touch Jamikorn & Klaus Wallner
Rawganique.com is a human-scale family business co-founded in 1997 by Thammarath "Touch" Jamikorn & Klaus Wallner on Denman Island. Rawganique offers sustainable products that are pure and sweatshop-free. Rawganique is also a deeply personal website that reflects the sustainable philosophies of its co-founders and customers.
Touch and Klaus both live off-the-grid. Their sustainable lifestyle and respect for & humility towards Mother Nature are evident in everything they do. And in a big way, their lifestyle is the Rawganique.com story — small is beautiful, sustainable is abundant, quiet is soothing, natural is healing, pure is nourishing, and simple is bountiful and simply awe-inspiring!
Over the years, many people have written and kept in touch with us. They've told us that in some real way, they are living their off-the-grid dream vicariously through us, by reading about our struggles and triumphs. It's hard work. On days when things appeared insurmountable or hopeless, it's their emails that have kept us going instead of giving up.
Thanks to all those who've shared their stories and dreams of off-the-grid homesteading with us. We've thought of going back into society many times for all the comforts of modern life. And yet we've always reaffirmed our commitment and love for this particular piece of land that has fed us and given us so much joy. It's a wonder to behold all the many fruit trees whose trunks are thicker than our hands can wrap around, when we know that these very same trees were mere whips when we put them into the ground a few years back. It's a joy to see the arbors and the balconies covered in green foliage, flowers, kiwis, and grapes, knowing that in the very same spot was nothing but bare gravelly, hardly arable land. At the end of the day, we feel fortunate to live this beautiful simple meditative life.
It's funny that off-the-grid homesteading seems like such a rarefied thing nowadays, since 200 years ago, there wasn't any other kind of homesteading but off-the-grid homesteading.
We came to Denman Island in 1995 to do something good for humanity, for the environment (Mother Earth), and for ourselves (taking ourselves off the Manhattan, Stockholm, and Vancouver rat races (and more-is-better-greed race) and sorting out our assorted health problems such as asthma, epilepsy, etc...). Thanks to our own life experiences and yearnings, the wisdom of the people we admired, and the many books which had inspired us, we had a very clear idea what we wanted to do with our new lives, and that is to tread as lightly as possible in every way on this fragile planet of ours.
We never meant to become business people; we started Rawganique.com as a way to share information on sustainable living with others on a similar quest to live lightly and mindfully. The Rawganique.com website itself was inspired by two events: 1) Touch's mother died of pancreatic cancer. She had gone on a wheat grass diet, whereupon the cancer "went away". Upon returning to a regular meat-based diet, it came back and she passed away two months later. 2) The Portland Raw Food Festival, where Klaus met many inspiring and inspired people who had set out to do good for their bodies, humanity, and the environment.
In loving memory of Touch's mother and in honor of environmental activists, Rawganique.com was created to spread the word on a simple, sustainable lifestyle that would keep people, animals, and the environment happy, healthy, peaceful, and in balance. Soon after we put the word out about alternative ways of living that were more in tune with nature, we got bombarded with emails about where and how to get products that were hypo-allergenic, pure, organic, and sweatshop-free. Having been an enthusiast of the raw-organic lifestyle since he was 18 (he would forgo the other things in life to be able to afford organic foods and clothes on his meager student budget — his college buddies still remember him walking around campus in his all-beige-from-head-to-toe organic outfits), Touch started calling his long-time contacts in the then-nascent eco industry about putting together a collection of sustainably made sweatshop-free products.
Luckily, one of Touch's college friends ran a boutique atelier that made organic bed & bath products, so the bed & bath line by Rawganique was born. Incidentally, the name Rawganique came to Touch in a dream at the precise moment it was needed. Raw, organic, unique: three words that got us started; the same three words that keep us going today. Soon we added clothing, kitchen, and home stuff and off we went into an exciting adventure in sustainable e-commerce. We made a decision at that time that we would only work with natural fibers that don't need chemical processing. We settled on three elegant ancient fibers: organic cotton, hemp, and linen. We happily passed on soy (issues with GMO), bamboo (lots of chemical processing to get to fabric), and tencil fabric (from fresh-cut new wood pulp, plus chemical processing — we don't need to cut down the forest to make clothing; there are many other natural fibers available). Fortunately, we could make most anything anyone could possibly need with the three natural fibers we have chosen to work with without feeling any lack whatsoever.
Rawganique.com grew quickly from there, thanks to the support of our loyal customers who have been with us through the tough times and the good times, always with encouragement, kind words, patience, forgiveness, practical advice, constructive feedback, humor, and a lot of electronically transmitted love. We now offer over 1,000 eco-conscious products. It's heart-warming for us finding a strong, ever-growing global community of people who care about the environment: people from all walks of life living in every imaginable corner of the earth.
From the beginning, Rawganique was blessed with a global outlook borne of its multi-national customers who were making a difference in such diverse places as the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Denmark, Palau, Iraq, Brazil, Hungary, Mexico, South Africa, and more. It's fitting that love for the environment would unite people of all persuasions, economic circumstances, nationalities, religions, and points of view. Since the beginning, Rawganique.com has always been about purity, sustainability, acceptance, comfort, fair labor (sweatshop-free), and practicality, and this resonated well with our core customers. The fact that many also consider our designs stylish and hip is a nice bonus for the effort and love we have put into the whole process. We humbly pay homage to all of you out there who strive to make the world a better place.
Touch has a BA in Comparative Literature/Classics from Bennington College in Vermont and an MA in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. He has lived in Manhattan, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Monticello, Chicago, Princeton, Bennington, Montpelier, Paris, Stockholm, and Vancouver before moving to Denman Island. Touch is 42 years old in 2014 and has been homesteading for 17 years.
Klaus holds a BS in Economics from London School of Economics and an MA and a PhD in Economics from Columbia University. He, too, has lived and taught in many cities around the world. Klaus is 46 years old in 2014.
We have both had a successful career in academia but felt dissatisfied with the mounting stress and pressure of constantly having to do more, be more. In 1997, we gave it all up to live simply on little, growing most of our own organic foods. We believe in local and organic foods and subsist on a mostly raw & vegan diet.
What brought us to Denman Island was the slower pace of life, the relatively pristine environment, and the staunch community of unique and feisty individuals who are not afraid to defend the values they believe in, such as forest conservation, rural community living, chemical-free living, and organic gardening.
Here are some of the people past and present who have inspired us to live the simple life:
Luigi Cornaro for his book The Temperate Life - Discorsi della Vita Sobria (Discourses on the Sober Life). Cornaro lived between 1469 (?) – 1566, but his words are still as direct, honest, true, and inspiring as when they were written. It's a short treatise in three parts. Cornaro lived to be over 100 years old even though his doctors had predicted that he would be dead in his 40's. This timeless work celebrating the joy of living, moderation, simplicity, and contentment in the moment (and abstention from excess) is in the public domain. It's by far the book we treasure most, the one we take with on trips and keep by the bedside table.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca's treatise On the Shortness of Life — De Brevitate Vitae: This short classic transformed our lives. To think that this original uncompromising stoic thinker was advising "don't sweat the small stuff" centuries ago is mind-boggling. It's as if he could see into the future that our lives would get more hectic, complicated, and stressful as the years go by. His words are as compelling today as when they were written; they remind us that we have only now to do the things we love and enjoy and to be with people whose company we treasure. This enduring work is now in the public domain.
James Allen's As a Man Thinketh: Whenever we need inspiration, we pick up this little book and re-read the pearls of wisdom contained within it, each to be treasured like a drop of rain after a long drought. It never ceases to lift our spirits and swell our hearts; it reminds us to always think positive, loving, gentle, and caring thoughts. This classic is readily available in the public domain.
Victoria Boutenko for her advocacy of the raw organic green diet.
Wayne Johahn, whom Touch met when he was 20, a senior at Bennington College in Vermont. Wayne was 45 then but looked no older than 25 and was very of energy and positive vibes. He had the clearest skin and eyes. This intrigued Touch, who at 20 was becoming chubby and full of acne, and set him on a lifelong quest to find the true source of health, happiness, and peace. Thank you, Wayne, wherever you are!
Scott & Helen Nearing for their lifelong work. Scott and Helen jump-started the back-to-the-land self-reliant homesteading movement of the 60's and 70's. They were true pioneers who lived their talk. They homesteaded first in Vermont for 25 years and then Maine. They balanced physical work and brain work and lived a simple, healthy, and long life (Scott lived to be 100 years old).
Joseph Jenkins for his seminal book The Humanure Handbook.
John Tilden for his life's work.
Herbert Shelton for his life's work.
Joe Alexander for his book The Rawfoodist Propaganda, which we read in 1993 and whose Tibetan Rejuvenation Rites we still do 21 repetitions of every morning to this day, in addition to Dr. Salee's Tai Chi and Yoga. The rites originally came from Peter Kelder's 1985 book Ancient Rites of Tibetan Rejuvenation Revealed - The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth (republished in 2008 as The Eye of Revelation: The Ancient Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, by Peter Kelder, edited by J. W. Watt.)
Many Thai authors whose books deal with self-massage, Thai yoga, and calm, meditative, balanced living.
John Robbins for books such as The Food Revolution and Healthy at 100.
Mansanobu Fukuoka's The One-Straw Revolution, a real-life story of one man's courage to do what he truly believed in and to fight for Mother Nature in the face of threats from the chemical industry and chemical-minded scientists. He was a genius for pioneering the highly successful (because in tune with the ways of nature) wild gardening methods of no-dig, no-till, and mulch, mulch, mulch.
Ruth Stout's no-till, no-dig, no-work, mulch gardening books.
Thicht Naht Hahn for his inspiring life and work on peace and mindfulness.
John Lane, who wrote Timeless Simplicity (a sadly out-of-print book from which we quote further down this page). To this day, we do not use any powered tools (except for battery-operated drills). We work our whole massive garden and homestead by hand. We water by hand. We make and fix things by hand. We want to be in touch with the earth, with simplicity, and with our own potential as humans. We want our lives to be hand-made ones.
A handful of West Coast authors who write about year-round gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to them and our own learning experiences of gardening in a soil-less gravel pit using hay and compost, we always find ourselves with an over-abundance of fresh organic foods year-round. (Their books are rare and rewarding treasures to hunt for in second-hand bookstores).
Dr. Salee Supaporn who created the Dan Tien - Salee sequences of Dantien Tai Chi and Yoga asanas for the health of body and mind. It's the most comprehensive set of daily practice we know of that truly calms the mind, tones the body, and promotes the flow of chi. Dr. Supaporn herself exudes a wonderful aura of calm and radiance that's truly beautiful and inspiring.
Iyengar for his commitment to the art of yoga and meditation.
Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements, a simple book with far-reaching depths of understanding and potential. It showed us in simple words things we wish we had known years ago, when we were consumed with self-doubt and worried about what everyone else thought or said. But you only live once! And you owe it yourself to be happy, calm, and peaceful right now. The past is over and done with; the future is yet to come. Don't let the present pass you by without being there in body and soul to experience all of its wonders. Then and only then can you care for others. It's so simple and yet takes a lifetime to implement: Be Impeccable With Your Words. Don't Take Anything Personally. Don't Make Assumptions. Always Do Your Best. Our lives are so much fuller because of these four sentences.
William Bates and Aldous Huxley for their natural eye training philosophy and exercises without the use of (or remedial use of) prescription glasses or drugs. They work!
Adbusters Magazine for their recent excellent issues. Since my days in Manhattan, I've always found Adbusters' blend of corporate satire, parody, and hard-hitting commentaries fascinating (if a bit hard to read — the formatting was a bit challenging for me visually at times), but it seems that they have recently clicked on to something real, tangible, and compelling: the issues in 2009 are just SO amazing, full of right-on articles and letters, all very eloquent, passionate, and hard to ignore (they inspire you to act, to do something NOW to help savage the environment and humanity). The burning message no longer gets obscured by the formatting. I find it hard not to finish an issue cover to cover in one go, that's how absorbing it has become for me. Here's a letter I'm quoting from the November/ December 2009 issue:
"Tin, coltan and tungsten are essential components of our high-tech products. Here in eastern Congo, these minerals are cash machines for vicious rebels and militias — and local governments — who launch wars, terrorize civilians and fight each other to control bigger slices of this multimillion dollar trade. After being taxed or sold by armed groups, blood minerals take a long international journey through processing plants in Asia and eventually into Euro-North American cell phones, flat-screen TVs, laptops and digital cameras.
The result has been a holocaust in the Congo: since 1998, six million people have died, hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been brutally raped, and countless children have been turned into soldiers, forced to kill and terrorize in their own communities.
We consumers must demand that electronic manufacturers are transparent about their supply chains and that governments pass legislation prohibiting blood minerals. To do otherwise is morally unacceptable and implicates every one of us in a crime against humanity."
By Seán O'Flynn-Magee and Greg Queyranne
We live completely off the grid, getting our power from the sun and wind (in fact, Rawganique.com was created off the grid on a Mac). We collect rainwater for domestic use instead of sucking water out of the earth. We compost everything; the finished compost goes into the garden, which thrives year-round in our relatively mild Pacific Northwest climate. We have a solar hot water heater that provides us with plenty of hot water 9 months of the year; we have a hot water jacket connected to our energy-efficient catalytic wood stove (a Blaze King) that yields hot water for the other three months
We are fortunate to live on a slow island in slow island time. Living on Denman Island has certainly mellowed our city-seasoned souls. We appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and we are thankful for being able to do what we do in such an enchanted place. We cultivate our organic garden, enjoy our pet animals (an assortment of feisty and outspoken cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, and geese who thrive on our wild homestead, in addition to the bounty of wild animals that call our place home), and go to work with the goal of replacing bad goods in the marketplace with mindful products borne of sustainable practices and fair labor.
More and more, we take the time to enjoy the splendor in which we live and to live mindfully, in the moment. We encourage everyone who works with us to do the same. So if once in a while, your package arrives a bit later than usual, or a phone call gets returned a day later than normal, please know that we're doing the best we can to balance our work with our life. Don't take it personally, please. Know that we are doing our best and that we care deeply about our work. But we've got to take care of our health and well-being, too!
We feel a sense of freedom in being able to live lightly and still be able to tap into the eco-community / eco-web of people who care about the world (we thank Denman Island as well as the friends and customers whom we have come to know via Rawganique.com since 1997 for that), humanity at large, all forms of life on earth, and about the environment, especially in light of escalating damages already done to our common planet.
We believe in quality, not fads. That is why the organic products we offer will never go out of style: we design our products to be practical, good-looking, and eco-friendly. Eco-friendly means organically grown, sweatshop-free, and without harsh chemicals and heavy metals. Whenever we design a new product, as an exercise, we imagine how it would have been made 100 or 200 years ago, when chemicals weren't the norms of production. With this in mind, we try to replicate heritage traditions as much as possible, resulting in purer, more sustainable products that people can feel safe using in their homes.
This is why, over the years, we've passed up opportunities to sell hyped-up products that promised to make us more money; opportunities like getting cheaply made clothing from countries that condone sweatshop conditions or toxic chemicals or synthetic fibers that are drenched in chemicals. Or new fibers like bamboo which requires a lot of chemicals to turn them into soft clothing fabrics; we love bamboo, but in their natural state, not chemicalized & transformed versions we are beginning to see everywhere; in fact, the authorities are now cracking down on manufacturers who advertise their products as made from "bamboo fibers" when the fibers are in fact human-made "rayon". We remain committed to three ancient fibers: organic cotton, hemp, and flax linen. These three have allowed us to make almost everything we could possibly need in our and our customers' daily lives.
We learned early on that cheap isn't everything. Something that's really cheap is probably designed to be disposable, or made using subsidized materials (like conventional cotton, which is killing the environment — conventionally grown cotton accounts for 25% of the world's pesticides while using 3% of agricultural land) or made under unfair labor conditions (as in sweatshop factories). Human rights is important to us. For what it's worth, green cotton is the same as conventional cotton, the only difference being that additional chemicals have not been applied during the manufacturing process. And that is why we do not carry green cotton products.
We don't try to get people to buy things they don't need. We are staunch advocates of the "reuse" lifestyle. If, however, there is a need to buy something new, then do please make it one that is friendly to people, workers, and the environment.
We're not in the business of consuming and discarding. We constantly try to improve the durability and quality of our products. It's a steep learning curve and we're not always successful at it, but we do our best.
We greatly admire the courage we see everywhere around us, the courage shown by people who do something about the state of our environment. People living separate lives come together on a global level to prevent catastrophes and try to undo damages done by big corporate interests. The most rewarding thing about Rawganique.com is that it has brought us in contact with such people, and our lives are richer because of it. Again and again, we get emails from customers who tell us how they've had to save up for months to be able to buy a pair of organic hemp jeans when they could have bought four pairs of conventionally grown, chemically-laden jeans for the same price at the local big box store. This mindful act moves us deeply.
Activism comes in all forms. We are reminded of Rachel Carson's inspired Silent Spring. In addition to warning us of the chilling scenario of a silent, bird-less spring, the title brings to mind the image of a quiet, deep spring: that is how we think of all the tireless activists out there in the world, in small towns and big towns, in the US, Japan, France, Australia, Jamaica, Ireland, Canada, Zimbabwe, and all other countries out there. They are all doing the best they can to stem the tide of corporate greed and destruction and re-direct energy into positive constructive channels, helping to build communities, save the forest, and support healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. Activists from all walks of life have shown us the true dignity and integrity of the human spirit, which runs silent and deep but with such power and reverberation that all those tuned into it will hear and feel it loud and clear in their own hearts.
Not all activists are famous or rich people. In our own lives, we have come in contact with many real-life activists, some are famous (we hugely admire Woody Harrelson, Alicia Silverstone, Shalom Harlow, Rosario Dawson, and Pia Zadora, among others, for their public and/or private commitments to organic products, the vegan diet, and/or the environment — and the producers of the many Broadway shows, TV shows, and movies that have used our organic products in their productions because of their commitment to the environment), but most are everyday heroes, regular people living conscious lives the lightest way they know how.
To all activists of non-violence, ahimsa, natural living, organic living, sustainability, and the environment: thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are so blessed to share this wondrous planet with you.
May love, peace, simplicity, compassion, and sustainability prevail. Namaste. — Klaus & Touch
Message from Touch: Thank you so much for your wonderful and loving emails sent over the years in regard to our raw organic off-the-grid lifestyle. I'm sorry that I didn't have time to personally respond to all the emails and inquiries, as time is always short when you're homesteading in the country and running a busy website. In response to questions from readers, I've decided to write a series of articles about the different aspects of our lifestyle that people have found most interesting.
You can read them here: Off-the-grid homesteading. There is also a link in the upper right-hand column of this page and in the bottom left-hand column of every page at Rawganique.com that will take you to these articles as well.
Again, warmest regards to those people out there who have contacted us wanting to know how they too can move to the country and enjoy a more rural, natural lifestyle. Vive la simplicité!
Here we extensively quote from Timeless Simplicity, a wonderful gem of a book by John Lane which has sadly gone out of print:
I have never inferred that to live simply it is necessary to imitate St. Francis of Assisi, St. Columbia or the Amish. We can't, and we won't. I have never sought to preach an anti-democratic, anti-populist form of individualism and elitism, but the ever-more triumphant success of materialism, the utilitarian and hedonistic, does need to be countered. It is leading to a grave distortion: an increasing neglect of the eternal values, the values of soul. I am therefore proposing that we might make the attempt to redress the balance: to reduce our commitment to materialism and increase our commitment to play, to creativity, to the care of our souls — the wonderful and challenging world within and the community around us. In a word, I am proposing that we spend a great deal more time searching for and developing what really matters to us and, at the same time, making sure we receive fulfillment proportionate to our expenditure of life energy. I am proposing a concentrated effort to simplify our lives; to pare down, to search for sufficiency, to take delight in what we have — in the small, the accessible, the beautiful and the holy.
From Abraham Maslow: For instance, one woman, uneducated, poor, a full-time housewife and mother, did none of these conventionally creative things and yet was a marvelous cook, mother, wife, and home-maker. With little money, her home was somehow always beautiful. She was a perfect hostess. Her meals were banquets, her taste in linens, silver, glass crockery and furniture was impeccable. She was in all these areas original, novel, ingenious, unexpected, inventive. I learned from her and others like her that a first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting, and that, generally, (un)cooking or parenthood or making a home could be creative while poetry need not be; it could be uncreative.
Gardening remains a significant occupation to this day for several reasons. First, to maintain a plot where a large variety of vegetables is grown is self-evidently healthier, cheaper and more seasonable than anything transported from overseas. It is natural for anyone seeking to live a simple life to have concern for the cost, origin, and purity of their food.
Second, working in the garden, however modest in size, affords continuous opportunities for contact with earth, with living plants and, in all probability, birds. To watch the growth of, say, a drift of early Lenten lilies pushing through the grass, a bed of grey-green leaved hosta plants or the clouds of slender white flowers in the spring, can be one of life's greatest pleasures. So too can be the delight of walking in a garden as the sun sets through the branches of a budding tree. The third reason is that (like preparing meals), the creation of a garden offers continuous and unrivaled opportunities for dynamic creative action... A garden is our opportunity to create a dream-view of the world, and its creation offers an infinitude of choices. A garden — even a window box or some potted plants — is so filled with the possibilities of epiphanies that it must be one of the most important sources for those seeking a solid, palpable appreciation of the beautiful and the sacred.
When all is said and done it is the primal joys that are the most intense. He who conquers a country and rises to great prominence and honor gets out of it not one pleasure more than he who, sitting in the sunshine, watches his first born's efforts to remove a finger, or suck a toe. — Anon.
Let's go back to basics and remember that all we really have to do is put a roof over our heads and meals on the table. Beyond that our time can be better spent enjoying our lives, being with the people we love, creating things we love that don't harm the earth, and contributing something meaningful to the world. — Elaine St. James
The mythologist Joseph Campbell, in a series of conversations with Bill Moyers, draws attention to the significance of the last line of Sinclair Lewis's novel Babbit: "I have never done the thing that I wanted in all my life." Campbell comments: "That is a man who never followed his bliss... You may have been a success in life, but then just think of it — what kind of life was it? What good was it — you've never done the thing you always wanted to do in all your life. I always tell my students, go where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don't let anyone throw you off... No one can tell you what it is going to be. You have to learn to recognize your own depths."
For a look at some contemporary thoughts, we quote a few paragraphs from Adbusters (Sept/Oct 2009) which voice growing concerns over the state of our planet:
"Then Swyngedouw (an Economics professor at Oxford University) asked, 'So, how many of you want to work in the Civil Service when you're older?' I thought for a second. The idea appealed, but my arms didn't leave my side...No other arms were raised; the question seemed absurd. 'So, how many of you want to go work in the City: invest, trade, move money and make money?' Arms shot up all around me. It all became painfully clear: Why, oh why, would anyone want to contribute to society when they could focus on making money?
I think Swyngedouw's aim was to show us we don't have to give in to the system, and the accumulation of money in our hands doesn't automatically lead to happiness. He told us the ratio of raised arms would have been reversed in the 1970s, but people's mindsets had changed. It seems that we're all looking out for ourselves, convinced somehow that profits will bring economic benefit to us all. Mind you, I don't see accumulating money in itself as an evil act. Work hard, make money, sure _ but don't make it your idol. Don't screw everyone, don't screw up the planet, don't isolate yourself, don't become an island. We're in this life together." Luke Sherlock
"(My parents) have a farm with a deep well and a septic tank. They live on top of a hill and have a source of fresh water... I have the sudden urge to buy a trailer home and park it under the old pine trees on the lawn where we used to play football and baseball. I imagine my two brothers and their spouses with their trailers and four kids and how much fun it would be to live like that. We could do it if we had to... grow our own food...
Then I can see this image in Adbusters...It shows how outrageously high our current CO2 levels are compared to the highest points in history. I can't help but wonder if it's too late to save the world — I haven't heard of any policy solutions being considered right now except a gradual process that will have substantial outcomes in a number of years. I don't know all the details, but I just don't think a span of many years is gonna be good enough. I don't think that continuing to pollute at massive rates is a real solution, and I am not sure if a) I'm totally off base, or b) our policy makes are living in la-la land." JJ Strang
The happiest are those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss; the most frustrated are those who have accepted one job or another because they didn't know what else to do, and once employed have never had the time to figure how to get out. To ignore, subjugate or forget your inner being, your destiny, can lead to a gnawing dissatisfaction. Human beings are unmeasurable; the imprisoned spirit only chafes against the bars of its cage.
There can be no joy of life without joy of work. — Thomas Aquinas
Life without work is robbery; work without art is brutality. — John Ruskin
"Work is Love made visible...
And all work is empty save when there is love...
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit..."
— Khalil Gibran
I hope my message is clear: don't put up with a soul-destroying job because it buys you opportunities for holidays and doing what you enjoy in the evenings and at weekends. Don't believe you can't make a change, and don't prevaricate (or procrastinate). A great many people have already taken the plunge, and feel the better for having done so. It isn't easy to do so, but nor is it easy to live inauthentically.
We sure second that notion from our experience of having done just such a thing.
We dedicate our work at Rawganique.com to three very special persons and one very special puppy whose gentle loving spirits continue to illuminate the many of moments of darkness in which we live: Pehtpahn Jamikorn, Jirapat Jamikorn, Yoshiaki Ao, and sweet Hector, Juni, Gem, & Brutus. You are loved and missed by all who've ever known you. And to Earth Workers everywhere who in their own special way give, heal, and empower us all: thank you! May your work continue to blaze a much-needed trail of sustainability, simplicity, slowness, and mindfulness through the hectic jungle and rush-rush mentality of our modern existence and open long-shut doors to let in the light. Namaste.
We are 100% committed to the environment. We believe that hemp, raw veganism, sunshine, pure air, pure water, positive thoughts, and ahimsa awareness can transform the world and make it a safer, happier, and better place for us and our children to live in. We aim to do all we can to help make hemp and raw veganism mainstream, so that the world's economy thrives on sustainability and renewal rather than terrorism, fear, and depletion. Rawganique.com wasn't created to make us rich; rather it was created with love to make sure we're doing the best we can to stop disintegration and to build trust, peace, love, and health for all, one ripple at a time.
We have a long list of people to thank and here's for starters: To Keith Wood, Jessica Johnston, Bill McFarlane, Cassie Simons, Sadie Hughes, Andy Lepore, P'Nok, Salinas van Rikxoort, Jade Pellerin, Churat Jamikorn, Amber Saunders, Elizabeth Morgan, Tachi Barker, Mandy Negin, & all of our eco-conscious customers who've come back year after year: thank you! Dedicated to Pehtpahn & Jirapat Jamikorn & Yoshiaki Ao & sweet Hector Fu Wallner: Adieu.
Read even more about our Off-The-Grid homesteading and grow-your-own-f00d-year-round experience in our series of articles on Self-Sufficient-Off-The-Grid Living (click here).
Here's to the human spirit, which is above all resilient, hopeful, imaginative, kind, simple, patient, inventive, resourceful, full of miracles & love, and the most important instrument of change any of us has in our quest to make the world a better place for all, one mindful thought and action at a time. May the eternal light and truth of the universe shine in our hearts for all time to come. May we never forget that today is the day we need to be happy, loving, and kind, that now is the only moment we have to share the love and light we are made of and the joy we feel. — your friends at Rawganique.com.
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