Homesteading is the conversion of unowned (and so unused) material to owned (and so used) property. Ownership must be accompanied by signs of use. This is gestured at in Locke’s labor theory of property by which ownership is gained through the intermixture of body and labor with unowned material. I can’t wait to get back to economics, but right now I am on the track of that which will make economic production most profitably secure–virtue. It is the production of virtue that is to be first attended to. Let us not put the cart before the horse.
The economics of the soul is such that soul material is ever more available for production and production there is ever more important for the two categories in which life can be lived down here–good times and bad times.
One of the insights of the sage Jesus is the analogy that he sees between earthly soil and soil of the soul. If we want something approaching that insight pick a track of land and try and produce. The volumes that can be read about soul soil from interaction with earthly soil would fill shelves.
He who goes to work on either is confronted with the distance between “general” gardening knowledge and “specific” knowledge of what can be done here and now with this soil. The former can be found in books. The latter can only be found through experience. Reading books only goes so far.
He who goes to work on either will find that the going to work and tilling stimulates the growth and agitation not only of the seed he wants but the seed lying latent in the undisturbed soil. How many, in misexpectation about production, have tilled and planted only to be overwhelmed by the vigorous growth of their own past that is watered while they think they are only watering their intentional planting.
He who goes to work on either learns quickly that disciplined management is boring, that being bored is no indication that course should be changed, and that repetitious boredom is the feeling that necessarily accompanies having a good plan and exercising it over and over.
He who goes to work on either learns quickly that unwanted growth cannot be allowed to fester. It will seed again. And neither can it be quickly yanked up in some cases. Some of what shows itself is the sweetest tip of a subterranean monstrosity spreading beneath the surface and quite satisfied with the occasional pruning that the gardener (of soul or soil) thinks is weed pulling.
He who goes to work on either learns quickly that others are there for the fun days alone. Most of his time will be spent alone. The fun of earthly gardening is quickly exhausted. So soul gardening.
In the ancient pre-Hebraic creation myth humans were given a garden that was either tended to by others who are not mentioned or needed no back-breaking tending. Call it utopia. And even today the calls are made: “Put me in charge and I will produce the utopia.” Again, the unmentioned laboring tenders are hidden from view. Their labor is forced. It is not pretty. The Puritanical Libertarian prefers the metaphor of the trekboer imperfect as it is. He ventures into wilderness and converts to production.
Those who govern your screen view on what is illusorily called social media would fill the mind with ease, comfort, satisfaction, bliss, ear-to-ear-smiles, dancing on beaches, you-in-the-center-of-social-attention. It drips with pleasure. Alternatively, you are invited to rage at the absence of such. These are lies from the evil one.
It has always been and will always be the case that production will be sustainable only where free. Freedom depends on property. One has no right to move around at will where one has no ownership. The Puritanical Libertarian recommends venturing into the wilderness of soul and producing the garden, producing that which would sustain self and others, that which once grown could provide shelter and support to others. It is soul-property that each is given. Whatever condition it now is in can be augmented through labor.
I do not imagine that we are all at the beginning of such a journey. Most, I want to invite he who has not yet moved intentionally and freely into the wilderness of the soul–seeing it as wild and ominous in its growth. Know that it can be tamed, that the tamer is near, and that others in the church of good will have and are still engaged in the same. You are not alone. Next, to those who have dabbled in but baled at the labor. It is time to expand. For those already seeing strong fruit from toil–endurance, patience, courage, temperance, justice, mercy, prudence, even the mystical contemplation–carry on.
Labor. Produce. Save. Invest. Material gold can be stolen. Virtue gold cannot. Material gold can be misspent. Virtue gold cannot.
It all begins with homesteading–the willingness to move into the wilderness and stake a claim to ownership by putting to use that which is unused and bears no signs of human investment. Go for it!