[permaculture] the gardener's shadow falls both ways

Lee Flier leeflier at comcast.net
Sun Dec 13 15:25:04 EST 2009

fdnokes at hotmail.com wrote:
> Fukuoka's oft quoted 
> line: "The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the 
> cultivation and perfection of human beings."
> What's a life for?
> I feel I'm drifting far off your 'practicality' meter.
Not at all!

I think a lot of you guys' pushback on this topic is due as much to a 
misunderstanding of what "practical" means as anything else.
> Personally, I don't want to be near people who are working drudgefully... 
Me either!

But let's not forget the permaculture ethics.  Looking after our own 
well being and that of the other creatures with whom we share the planet 
is of primary importance!  And that means being happy, restful, mindful, 
free of drudgery.  That's all very permacultural!  And very practical 
because you can't really work or even think effectively when you're 
tired, run down, and approach life without a sense of fun and wonderment.

If anyone believes that being practical and observant of the "real 
world" leads to drudgery and mundaneness, then I say they simply aren't 
being practical and observant *enough.* :)  Being practical and mindful 
of the real world does not inherently lead one to some sort of 
mechanistic, purely utilitarian viewpoint.  That in itself is IMO where 
the danger is, and it's reflective of a very limited worldview.  Science 
is a means to an end, and if you don't have the end in mind - 
"cultivation and perfection of human beings" or "care of the earth/care 
of people," then you will practice very poor science.

On either side of this dualistic coin lies danger, because each side for 
a different reason fails to see the multitude of intersections between 
beauty and function, between work and play, between matter and spirit.

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