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Every day we commit a sacrilegious gesture of death.


Aperson should be buried only half a meter, or two feet, below the surface. Then a tree should be planted there. He should be buried in a coffin that decays so that when you plant a tree on top the tree will take something out of his substance and change it into tree-substance. When you visit the grave you don’t visit a dead man, you visit a living being who was just transformed into a tree. You say, “This is my grandfather, the tree is growing well, fantastic.” You can develop a beautiful forest that will be more beautiful than a normal forest because the trees will have their roots in graves. It will be a park, a place for pleasure, a place to live, even a place to hunt.

It took millions of years for vegetation to cover the sludge and toxic substances with a layer of humus, a layer of vegetation and a layer of oxygen, so that humans can live on earth.

And now ungrateful humans are bringing the sludge and toxic substances – which have been covered with tedious cosmic effort – back up to the surface.

In this way, through the misdeeds of the irresponsible human species, the end of the world is becoming the beginning of all time. We are committing suicide. Our cities are carcinomas.

We don’t eat what grows near us – we import food from far away, from Africa, America, China and New Zealand.

We don’t keep our shit. Our rubbish, our waste is flushed far away. We are poisoning rivers, lakes and oceans with it, or we transport it to complicated and expensive purification plants, or more rarely to centralized composting facilities. In other cases, our waste is destroyed. The shit never returns to our fields, and neither does it return to where our food comes from.

The cycle by which food becomes shit is functioning.
The cycle by which shit becomes food is broken.

Whenever we flush our toilets, with the conviction that we are performing a hygienic act, we are breaking cosmic laws, because in reality it is a godless act, a sacrilegious gesture of death.

When we go to the toilet, lock it from the inside and flush away our shit, we are trying to put an end to something. What are we ashamed of? What are we afraid of? We repress what happens to our shit, just as we repress death. The toilet hole appears to us like the gate to death; we try to get away from it as quickly as possible, forget as quickly as possible about the rottenness and decay. However, it is exactly the opposite! It is with shit that life first begins.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian painter and architect known for his fresh and stunning insights.

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