[permaculture] the gardener's shadow falls both ways

Lee Flier leeflier at comcast.net
Sun Dec 13 18:09:19 EST 2009

fdnokes at hotmail.com wrote:
> May I recommend a title, then?
> The Magical Approach
> Seth speaks about the art of Creative Living
With all due respect, and I really hate to keep harping on this but... 
this is exactly IMO the kind of title we should steer clear of.  Not 
that I'm telling you personally not to read it, if you enjoyed it, but 
keep in mind there are people on this list who are using the list to 
learn about permaculture, and here you are recommending a book that 
basically requires people to believe in this channeled being named 
Seth.  If people who read this list believe that this book is somehow 
representative of permaculture and its practitioners, that's going to be 
a problem for anybody who would, for whatever reason (either they are 
atheist, or they subscribe to a religion whose tenets do not include 
channeled beings, or they just plain don't believe in such things), be 
turned off to the whole idea of permaculture if they feel they have to 
accept these things.

I feel there are plenty of other ways to communicate the ideas you 
mention, the "reminder to slow down and notice," which don't require any 
suspension of disbelief and/or contradiction with anyone else's beliefs.

> I was composing this note, and paused for other things...
> Didn't even realize I had left it 'hanging'.
> Meanwhile, another post came in from Pat talking about 'nudgings'.
> A wonderful process that reminds me of that state of 'not doing' that 
> Fukuoka communicates so beautifully.
Just so you know... there seems to be some idea that Mollison himself 
and anybody who subscribes to "Mollinsonian permaculture" is some kind 
of pure hard nosed utilitarian.  I might offer a few direct quotes 
(possibly slightly paraphrased from memory) from Mollison which he 
taught in his classes and which I feel is the greatest cultural hurdle 
we have to overcome (and that means just about everybody - "earth 
centered spiritualists" and "hardcore utilitarians" alike.

- "Where there is hard work, there is usually pollution."

- "What we have is a world of things that either have beauty without 
being functional, or have function without  beauty.   Nature doesn't 
work that way - natural systems are both functional and beautiful."

- "One should be able to spend most of one's time in the garden sitting 
around, and just BEING in the garden.  Or go away for a month's holiday 
and come back to find the garden thriving."

I'm sure I'm leaving out a few key points, but you get the idea.  By no 
means is a pragmatic approach to these things inherently geared toward 
"busywork" and being "product oriented."  And that, IMO, is where we 
went wrong in our thinking.  I feel that once you incorporate 
permacultural thinking to the point where it becomes second nature, you 
can certainly be taken over or "nudged" by your instincts, divine 
guidance, your right brain, however it is you choose to think of it.  
But people do tend to think of that "nudging" as different things in 
different ways, and we should leave plenty of room for that.

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