Consider the task of constructing the Eternal City.
1_ By inspection the unit of eternity is the family, not the individual. Individuals cannot self-replicate! Only families reproduce.
While the essential nucleus of family is the nuclear family, family comprises more bonds than blood. Neighbors in belief are a kind of family–its members reproduce the future family-that-believes.
The Eternal City is Eternal iff the families that comprise it reproduce the belief that enables eternity. This belief is simply the statement “The Eternal City is Eternal.”
Note that belief in this core statement will yield different conclusions in different people, and that this process is strictly necessary for eternity. The conditions around the City will change in ways that are fundamentally unknowable to its inhabitants. A mono-culture of ideas does not contain the requisite variety for survival.
2_ Knowledge is situated. It is about some place and its people.
The Eternal City exists in some particular place. The particular environment of the Eternal City places constraints on how the City may be eternal.
Stories from one place may not contain information to the people of another place. It may concern plants that won’t thrive there, may be about people who do not live there, and so on. These stories may not make a difference in our lives.
Families are keepers of stories. They pass on useful stories, and in the process pass on themselves, the lives of those that came before.
3_ The lowest trophic level of eternal human order is the farm.
All the higher orders of the Eternal City, their businesses, places of worship, the centers of science, engineering, and the humanities, all these must be fed. If the food supply collapses, all of these collapse with it.
There can be no cleaving of the Eternal City into two separate spheres, the “rural” and “urban.” While one is more dense with people, citizens must recognize themselves as actively regenerating the entire whole of the City.
4_ The eternal farm is a family farm.
The family is a storehouse of situated knowledge. Farming is art and engineering empowered by this knowledge. A well kept farm is both beautiful and bountiful.
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains individual sugar pine groves were often tended to by single clans, climbed and harvest from for a dozen or more human generations (sugar pines can yield rich pine nuts for three hundred to five hundred years).
Imagine harvesting food from a tree that your great-grandfather planted, that your grandfather then climbed to harvest nuts from, that your father climbed and rested beneath, who seeds your mother made a flour from to nourish you, that your son will feed your grandchildren from, that your grandchildren, when the tree dies, will use the wood from for shelter, the inner bark for medicines, the resin for fire starter, the needles as incense in a ceremony for the tree and the lives that the tree made possible. Such is the life of a people who live close to trees, intentional in their legacy.
The Resilient Farm and Homestead
QED_ The foundation of the Eternal City is the family farm.