[permaculture] A Brief Creation Story as it relates to Permaculture (from Scott Pittman, posted with permission)
João Pedro Moreira Gonçalves
joaovox at gmail.com
Tue Mar 5 13:31:23 EST 2019
Have in mind the "before" part of the story:
- what Noah did before the flood ...
- what Jesus did before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem
Are we in times where the "before" part of a new story takes place?
The "before" part is when "creation" takes place and as a new beginning.
On Sun, Mar 3, 2019 at 5:55 PM Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
> A Brief Creation Story as it relates to Permaculture
> In the beginning there was the word and the word was spirit as articulated
> by three ethics:
> Care of the Earth
> Care of people
> Reduce materialism and population and return excess yield to care of the
> Earth and people.
> These ethics became enshrined in multiple religious movements and were
> elucidated in multiple ways.
> In the Jewish religions they were expanded to 10 ethical statements which
> were reduced to two statements
> by Jesus the founder of Christianity. In Buddhism it was further reduced to
> Compassion for all living
> beings. And so on...
> Over time religion forgot about spirit and focused more on spiritual
> leaders which allowed for the
> callusing over of the human spirit by materialism, and narcissism. This
> then led to humans loss of their
> real reason for evolving here of planet Earth; to care(take) for the earth
> and to care for all its wondrous
> After many years of war, despoiling nature, fear of the other, and egotism
> there began to emerge an
> awareness of how empty life was without spirit. At first it was just a
> glimmering of conscience revealed
> as an awareness of our environment and the joy that it brought to those who
> spent time within the
> enfolding arms of a forest, or the awe inspiring oceanic view and thereby
> wanting to care for what was
> still remaining.
> Many organizations were founded and operated to save forests, grasslands,
> oceans, rivers, atmosphere,
> animals, soils, and finally humans. This awakening was worldwide but each
> organization was isolated
> from the others and therefore they never became powerful enough, through
> cooperation, to change or
> engage the cultural paradigm in which they were embedded. Among those
> organizations was an
> Australian group formed around the writing and teaching of Bill Mollison
> and David Holmgren.
> Permaculture was unique in that it was a practice based on ethics and
> principles of nature, though the
> teaching was mostly about how to become self sufficient both physically and
> socially. But at least the
> underpinning ethics and principles were strong enough to soften the
> calluses that had formed over spirit.
> This is where my own personal story intersected with permaculture.
> I was raised on a farm/ranch in the lower panhandle of Texas; a blistering
> climate of hot windblown
> sandstorms and bitter cold winters. I felt, as a young student, very
> underprivileged; we had no television
> reception, no social life except school. family gatherings. and church.
> Church was boring to the point of
> tears and the atmosphere of puffed up self-righteousness was belied by the
> behavior of the congregation
> the other six days of the year.
> Looking back I count the blessings of living a life of nutritious home
> raised vegetables, eggs, milk,
> cheese, butter, cream, poultry, pork, and beef. I also appreciate all of
> the skills I learned living on an
> isolated homestead. We did our own carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and
> whatever was needed in every
> day life. I also loved the open spaces and my encounters of what was left
> of wildlife in that part of west
> Texas. My early spiritual encounters were experiences of being out of body
> watching huge thunderheads
> rolling overhead as I lay on my back in a row of sorghum, or a cluster of
> Mesquite trees.
> When I encountered permaculture many years later most of the “how to do”
> stuff I already knew but what
> really drew me was the statement of ethic and principles of nature.
> Unfortunately my teacher Bill
> Mollison had a hard and fast rule of no spiritual (woo-woo) and no
> political teaching in permaculture.
> Once again I was confronted with my youthful dilemma of my personal
> experiences of hours of
> Methodist pew time and the out of body thrills of my youth. I accepted
> Bill's belief that spiritual and
> political were more divisive than was agriculture, construction, forestry,
> ecovillages, and all of the
> sundry topics within the permaculture curriculum. But as time went by, some
> 25 years, I watched the
> conditions in the dominant culture deteriorate along with the environment.
> Living in a swamp of racism, xenophobia, grand larceny, fear/anger, and
> poverty it was obvious to me
> that planting a garden and building a tiny house were not the solution.
> More and more I felt that we as a
> culture were suffering from a lack of ethical direction and spiritual
> groundedness. I took off a year from
> teaching and went to an ashram in Costa Rica to take another look at
> spirit; seeking a healing of my own
> from my cultural dis-ease.
> After over a year of quietly sitting meditation at 4:00AM each morning and
> sometimes twice a day during
> retreats I decided that spiritual wasn't the problem. The problem was that
> religions for the most part had
> lost their spirit and were more devoted to the same pursuits as the culture
> that surrounded them that is the
> paternalistic pattern of materialism and narcissism. It seems that most
> churches, temples, mosques and
> other places of worship serve as monuments to the ego of the spiritual
> leader rather than as examples of
> social justice and ethical behavior. Somehow spiritual became confused with
> I left the ashram with an understanding that the cultural ptsd was its loss
> of spirit and the teachings of the
> spirit that so many of the religions gave service to but did not provide to
> their congregation. I realized
> that permaculture too had focused to narrowly on the material world and
> that without the enlivening
> influence of spirit was just as unsatisfying to those seeking another
> We have just concluded a year of sabbatical of the Permaculture Institute,
> an organization founded by Bill
> Mollison, Francis Huxley, and myself 21 years ago. Our purpose was to be an
> demonstration, and research organization founded on the teaching of
> permaculture. After a year of
> thought, meditation, and conversation we have agreed that we want to
> include more emphasis on ethics,
> principles and spirit in order to heal our wounded culture. We believe that
> part of that healing comes
> from learning how to cast off the economic bonds of the culture through
> self regenerative lifestyles. We
> want to take the standard permaculture curriculum and add to it rather than
> taking away from it. We want
> to try and eliminate the greed and materialism (capitalism) from our lives
> and introduce mutualism and
> love in their place. I often substitute the word love for care as I think
> that one can only truly care for that
> which one loves.
> I certainly hope you join us in creating a strong and viable medicine for
> the cultural malaise we seem to
> be surrounded by. I am only hopeful when I think of a future of more caring
> for each other and our living
> I am stepping down as board member and director of the Permaculture
> Institute and leaving it in the
> caring and capable hands of Jason Gerhardt. I will continue to serve in an
> advisory role to the institute.
> The Permacuture Institute will be offering three courses this Summer: 1
> teacher training and 2 PDC's, we
> hope to offer more so please check our website www.permaculture.org.
> Lawrence F. London, Jr.
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
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