I am the founder of Fecology, but I couldn’t have written this better!
I read this elaborate text on shit and humus (compost) toilets by Hundertwasser before, but I really read it only now. This should be included in every textbook in every school in every country in the world. Please, read every sentence slowly and let it sink in, let it echo, let it produce a reflection and awaken the deep love of shit in you:
“Vegetation has taken millions of years to cover the sludge, the toxic substances with a layer of humus, a layer of vegetation and a layer of oxygen, so that man can live on earth, but ungrateful man then fetches the sludge and the toxins, covered with painstaking cosmic care, back up to the earth’s surface.
Thus the atrocious act of irresponsible man makes the end of the world the same as the beginning of time. We are committing suicide.
Our cities are cancerous ulcers. You can see that clearly from the air.
We do not eat what grows in our own country, but import our food from far away, from Africa, America, China and New Zealand.
Nor do we keep our shit. Our excrement, our waste is washed far, far away, whereby we pollute rivers, lakes and oceans, or we transport it to highly complex, costly sewage works, and only rarely to centralized decomposition plants, or our waste is destroyed. Shit never returns to our fields. Nor to the places where our food comes from.
The cycle from food to shit is working. The cycle from shit to food has been broken.
We have a false notion of our waste. Every time we flush the toilet, thinking it a hygienic action, we violate cosmic laws. For in truth it is a godless deed, a wanton act of death.
When we go to the toilet, lock ourselves in and flush away our shit, we sign and seal the matter.
Why are we ashamed?
What are we afraid of?
What actually happens to our shit afterwards is something we ignore, like death.
The bottom of the pan is like a door opening onto death; we simply want to get away as fast as we can, forget the decay and putrefecation. But we are quite wrong. It is with shit that life first begins.
Shit is much more important than food. Food nourishes only mankind, which reproduces a massive scale, diminishes in quality and has become a deadly threat to the Earth, a deadly threat to the vegetation, the animal world, water, air, the humus layer. But shit is the foundation our resurrection.
Ever since man could think, he has sought immortality. Man wants to have a soul. Shit is our soul.
Shit will enable us to survive. Shit will enable us to be immortal.
Why are we afraid of death?
The person who uses a humus toilet has no fear of death, for our shit makes future life and rebirth possible.
If we fail to value our shit and turn it into humus to the glory of God and the world, we lose our entitlement to be present on this Earth.
In the name of false hygienic laws we lose our cosmic substance, we lose our rebirth.
Dirt is life. Sterile cleanliness is death. Thou shalt not kill and yet we sterilize all life with poison and concrete. That is murder.
Man is just a tube. He puts things in at one end and passes them out, digested, at the other. The mouth is at the front, the anus at the back. Why? It should be the other way around.
Why is eating positive?
Why is shit negative?
What comes out of us is not waste, but the material of which the world is made, our gold, our blood.
The lunatic interruption to the cycle of life makes us bleed, our civilization bleed, our Earth bleed. The person who simply lets blood, only loses blood and newer replaces it, will bleed to death.
Freud was right when he said in his interpretation of dreams that shit is a synonym for gold. We must now realize that it is not just a dream, but a reality.
When Passolini had actors eat shit in a film, it was a symbol of the continuation of the cycle, a desperate short cut. We must devote the same love, the same time and attention to that comes out from “behind” as to what goes in “in front”. The same ceremony as for meals, with table-laying, knives, forks and spoons, chopsticks, silver cutlery and candle-light. We say grace before and after meals. No one says grace when they shit. We thank God for daily bread, which comes from the Earth. Bit we do not pray for our shit to be transubstantiated.
Waste is beautiful. The grading and reintegration of waste is a joyous activity. An activity which takes place not in cellars and rear courtyards, dung-heaps and toilets, but where there is light and sunshine, in our living rooms, our best rooms.
There is no such thing as waste. Waste does not exist.
The humus toilet is a status symbol.
We have the privilege of being witnesses, with the help of our own wisdom, to the transformation of our own waste, our own shit into humus; just as a tree grows and the harvest ripens. At home with us, as if it were our own child.
Homo – humus – humanitas, three faithful words with the same origin. Humus is true black gold. Humus has a good smell. The fragrance of humus is holy and closer to God than that of frankincense. Anyone who walks in the woods after the rain knows its smell.
It is naturally something of a prodigious step to place the rubbish bin in the centre of our apartments and to site the humus toilet on the most beautiful spot as the seat of honour. But this is precisely the about-turn which our society, our civilization must now make if it is to survive.
The smell of humus is the smell of God, the smell of resurrection, the smell of immortality.”
— Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Algajola, Venice, New Zealand, 1979-1980)