[permaculture] Spirituality that bounced

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Fri Feb 2 10:46:45 EST 2007

For me the Permaculture Ethics say all that is necessary in terms of a
spiritual comment.  Beyond that and one gets sucked into different dogmas
that not only contradict the pc ethics and encourage a homocentric view of

If I were to choose a religion it would be Animism which accepts all of
creation as holy, including people, but doesn't have a bunch of judgments
and consequences tied to a list of patriarchal laws of do's and don'ts.

Spirituality as reflected by most of the main stream religions has been the
leading edge of colonialism, imperialism, and creating a culture of self
loathing among those who are resistant to the "call".  It has been in the
name of spirituality that indigenous people are taught to be ashamed of
their bodies, to come to believe that they are stupid, and forced to abandon
the sustainable practices that have guaranteed their survival for centuries.

So any "organized" spirituality group makes me shudder.  Ones personal
relationship with spirit and the spirit world is another thing and should be
shared or not shared among the willing.  My own spiritual beliefs are as
private to me as are my intimate relationships with other humans.

Their has always been a tacit understanding that one cannot spend much time
in zone five without being affected in a deep and abiding way by the
experience.  This is the biophilia that is necessary if we are to heal
ourselves and the world.  Permaculture is very explicit about biologos and
implicitly allows each of us to arrive at biophilia on our own.


Scott Pittman
Permaculture Institute
-----Original Message-----
From: "Gaian Life" [mailto:eco at gaianlife.co.uk]
Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 8:20 AM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] permaculture spirituality

Shouldn't the society/religious/spiritual aspect be something that
permaculture can be adapted to (or be relevant to) rather than inherent in
permaculture itself?
A society that was for example predominantly Christian, Hindu or Muslim or
contained people who wished to express their spiritual beliefs....can easily
incorporate that in permaculture terms. A spiritual glade or prayer area? A
temple well placed to work with the rest of the productive permaculture
community acting as a South facing wall or a layered crop system or a
healing herb garden in hanging baskets?
I would say that spirituality is the human 'need' and permaculture is a
method employed when supplying that need. Permaculture principles may
encompass certain spiritual beliefs and so may be confused with them but I
think that may be more the overlap between the change in thinking required
to respect and work in tune with nature and the change in thinking related
to many religious and spiritual practices.
I am Buddhist and I find that fits very well with permaculture, probably for
exactly the same reasons as it does for Pagans & New Age groups.
Although permaculture is a separate thing from religion/spirituality, it can
encompass and encourage it and indeed could be a uniting/levelling factor in
a world where religions are often at war, where we seem to have so little in
common with other peoples that we fear them. A common base to work from? The
human culture part of Permaculture?

Scott Pittman

More information about the permaculture mailing list