[permaculture] Styles ( was spirituality ad infinitum)

Marsha Hanzi mhanzi at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 6 11:14:59 EST 2007


On the way back down the hot dusty road to the farm it suddenly dawned on me that this discussion is NOT about permaculture. The content of the course I did with Bill and Scott or Lea and Max was iherently the same as I did with Starhawk and Penny. They all refer to the same body of knowledge about sustainable design and its principles, strategies and techinques.
   
  We are talking about "teaching styes". (Or even "being styles".) Then I remembered the first day in the PC teachers course that I did with Lea  Harrison in Hawaii in 1991 when she made the thirty of us get up and give a five-minute class. It was marvellous! It was thirty totally unique ways of teaching, Profoundly inspiring.  The fear seems that there will be one style which predominates. Maybe we should just have confidence in our own biodiversity and know that for every style of teaching there will be people who correspond.
   
  My friend Gabriel says that "There is no neutral technology". Permaculture is also not neutral. Each course will bring the flavor of the truth of that particular person who is up there teaching it , his/her interpretation, style of living, posture, experience, and life projects ( which are universally inspiring!)
   
  So maybe we should just celebrate our biodiversity, and also the fact that David is coming onto the public scene, since he also contributes his own style of organizing the material and teaching it,  totally different  from our flamboyant Bill. (Actually looking forward to meeting him soon.)
   
  I can see this effect in my own work, which should be a good example.  For the last thirty years I have been experimenting with and interested in energy techniques for increasing vitality both in our bodies and on the land ( similar to what Alanna Moore does in Australia).
  I once actually got SLAMMED on this list some six years ago for mentioning this ( from someone I had considered - until that moment- to be a mentor and friend)
   
  I now offer a "PDC-plus" the "plus" being the energy techniqes. Those who come to the course are interested in this focus. What is interesting is that more than half of the participants who come have already done another PDC. Some are even Permaculture professionals. They are curious to get to know this style of approching sustainable design.
  It gives wonderful cross-fecundation.
   
  So the big question in the movment is not about spirituality. It is about "to what point will we tolerate different styles of teaching"? From the interesting and quite balanced discussion that took place here I think that we can honestly answer "Today we are getting good at honoring the different styles of being and teaching which we, of the Permaculture movement, have to offer".
   
  Marsha Hanzi
  Marizá Epicenter for Culture and Agroecology
  also
  Bahian Permaculture Institute
  www.marsha.com.br
  www.permacultura-bahia.org.br
   

 
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