Friday, August 28, 2009

A Point of Creation

“It’s not how busy you are, but why you are busy- the bee is praised, the mosquito is swatted.” Unknown…
Busy-ness like most everything in life is a double edge sword...
A sword which, when wielded from wholeness as opposed to this or that, can manifests as true power. How is it possible to live in alignment with so many variable factors?
History tells us we can either live by outer rules such as laws, religion, or we can live from within.
Living from one’s internal ethics only works well when those ethics have matured to the point where they meet or surpass social and cultural expectation. Imagine that my internal impulse was towards cannibalism in that at some level I believed I gathered power by eating the body of the more-powerful… I could maybe still find sanctuary in the Amazon jungle or Wall Street, I could act it out and risk imprisonment, or I could find symbolic ways of implementing cannibalism into my life such as joining the Catholic Church and enjoying communion. Cannibalism is an extreme stretch but it’s a fun example of a primal impulse having found a sociably acceptable outlet.
Whether the directive for action comes from within or without, there is still the issue of personal alignment with the whole. There is a lot of doing going on taking us as individuals and community further away from a healthy sustainable life and planet. How does the personal alignment switch become lit and available for use?
To dogmatically assign rules, maps or “thou shalt & shalt not’s,” is old school and I probably wouldn’t listen, so why should you? I’m well versed in inspiration but I’m distrustful of the process. For some reason the act of trying to inspire… can inadvertently lead to deception and lies; Think positive, love, light and darkness will not fall…
In exploring Personal Permaculture, I find myself circling like the buzzards in the canyon below our house, scavenging from all who came before. Those who pondered the same riddle: On what ground do we stand to witness evolutionary change? Change so big that the multitude of little changes necessary to globally alter the course we are on, would fall into place, like seeds in fertile soil, taking root and bearing fruit...
What if;
Instead of thinking everyone needs to know more, be more, do more, my self included,
I stop.
Hold what is treasured in me…
and consider…
What if each window of awareness needs its watcher?
… And I’m mistakenly thinking my window is more important?
That thought…
Takes me to a place of interest and honor,
In looking through an-other’s window of awareness…
It would be folly to forget
My window and viewpoint as I adventure into other points of view…
Because in remembering …
We could share,
Exchange, be challenged and inspired…
And that is a point of creation!
Maybe even communion…

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm with stupid =>

Chinese Proverb; "If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."

This week I am discouraged. I like to think the best of my fellow Earth travelers but wow- are we childish. Now would seem the time to focus on working together to find new ground to solve epic social and ecological issues, issues which threaten the future of everyone on the planet.

Instead, dialogue has been replaced with emotional gibberish. This week it was affordable healthcare being cast as the villain. It’s frightening that we can’t constructively explore solutions rather than degenerate into polarized sects.

So, where are we headed?
Consider; "If everyone on the world enjoyed the same level of natural resource consumption as a typical UK citizen, we would need three planets to support us. This is clearly unsustainable. " - . The US is a more gluttonous consumer than the UK, so how many planets should we order?

Unsustainable… not unlike a gross National Product which must get bigger and grosser each year or it all collapses. Gross and uncool because at some point we will be running out of stuff to consume. Collectively it is time to dream something less gross and more sustainable.

Sadly it may not happen.
The human brain has evolved over a very long period of time to keep us alive when faced with an immediate danger. We are hardwired for the threat before us and passively-wired for anticipating future threats. When encountering a snake for example, nearly our entire brain will light up to alert us of the potential danger. When we are told global warming could threaten one-third of the world’s known species with extinction…, only a puny portion of our pre-frontal cortex lights. A small blip… So easy to miss, set aside, to ignore…

So how do we avoid ending up where we are headed?

Well, we could make it a moral issue. The brain is wired to note threats deemed disgusting or immoral. Growing “Round-up ready” genetically modified corn (to be sprayed with herbicide, weeds die, the corn you eat,) grown with sewage sludge (think heavy metals, antibiotics, etc..), then sprayed with the newest lineage of pesticides ( engineered to breakdown the immune system, think bee colony collapse, and immune system degeneration…) I could argue such as disgusting and immoral…

But this week; it’s affordable healthcare that’s got the masses taking arms …
A few months back it was Gay Marriage that got people’s panties in knots.
Our brains have evolved to the point where left un-checked… they will work against us.
Knowing this is the first step.
Permaculture starts with observing the whole system along with the interrelated elements…
That’s what bummed me out.

The interrelated elements are stupidly ignoring their flashing pre-frontal cortex…
But they manage to whoop-ass on the imaginary snakes ( issues deemed moral immediate threats).
Why are we taking this road?
Because we are probably going to end up…where we are headed…

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gardening & Good Food

“He who works land will have abundant food “- Proverbs 12:11

True that!
This week it not about the greater esoteric wholeness of the psyche as it intersects with the sustainable systems of planet earth… No, this week’s blog is about gardening and good food.

We don’t have a big garden this year as it was planted late, Hawaii kept us away for a chunk of spring, so planting was an afterthought. I threw in some pre-sprouted pony-packs and added horse manure as token plant food. True to form, a great abundance of food is streaming forth from the garden.

There are tomatoes of every shape and size, tender mutant yard-long string beans which are delicious with everything, especially tomatoes. Tonight’s dinner was an amazing mix of rainbow peppers, young zucchini, tomatoes and garlic sooo fresh there is no paper to peel, just dice and sauté. It was all cooked in olive oil, seasoned with Moroccan saffron and finished with a sheep milk Romano. All the vegetables came out of the garden maybe a half hour before dinner. The flavors were wildly vibrant, and I eat a lot of veggies but fresh produce at its peak of ripeness is another level of flavor.

The bad news is that my immediate neighbors and family all have larger and more productive gardens than mine, so I can’t pass my excess produce off to them. The good news is I got some ripe passion fruit from my brother-in-law this week which was divine, before that there were the tubs of strawberries they were downloading. Yum! Just a note; growing is addictive. More than a few of my friends started growing pot as an affordable source of self-medication then graduated onto fresh produce. I guess it’s true, the first one’s free.

Wendell Berry wrote: “One of the most important resources that the garden makes available for use is the gardener’s own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”

My favorite 2 year old buddy, Emerson, was here yesterday. He was having a great time feeding the koi, petting frogs, (one finger only, gently,) hunting for cats, (who were hiding) and picking tomatoes and peppers. Emerson threw himself into harvesting with a glee that everyone should have with gathering their food. It was as if we were on an Easter-egg hunt but for tomatoes, he reveled in the gathering and even tasted some, (mixed review) then moved onto the peppers. Em proudly insisted on carrying the bag which had began to drag under the weight. He seemed to like the feel of his body’s strain against the bounty he had gathered. It was a far cry from sitting in a shopping cart and having his mom put food in the basket. I think that Emerson in his 2 year old wisdom would heartily agree not only to the dignity of working in the garden but of the pure joy…

Friday, August 7, 2009

Joyful hope

A vision without a task is but a dream.
A task without a vision is drudgery,
A vision and a task is the hope of the world.
- Church wall, Sussex, England, circa 1730

This is an early map to a sustainable life.
It’s never about the doing or the dreaming,
The vision or the task,
But the sacred marriage between them.

The world’s longest list of tasks, even when completed will not change one’s life. Not unless the list is a series of steps taken to support an intended vision. The act of holding the vision, and being present with each step, is its own sacred journey and is the joyful hope of the world.

Dreaming, and day-dreaming, as a stand alone activity can be great ways of relaxing, bringing personal renewal and exercising muscles of imagination, and those are all great things. Dreams can hold a non-linear, intelligent depth of mapping, and can offer an almost magic path through seemingly unopenable doors. I’m a big fan of dreaming, but pathological escapist dreaming is its own drug and can degenerate into its own prison. Being the keeper of a vision birthed forth from an ideal is just as tiresome and often more lethal. Too many people have died in the name of religion along with insane amounts of hate and dissonance. A vision birthed from the connectivity of self, meaning really feeling one’s place in the sustainable systems freely gifted, comes forth as a vision with gravity, legs, and a will to grow and flower.

The Sanskrit word Dharma literally translates as that which upholds or supports. In English they squish the definition into the word “law”. I prefer to see it as taking our places supporting and upholding nature’s sustainable systems or laws. Dharma is often translated as one’s righteous duty… to do?

Zen Master Dogan said: “Those who see worldly lives as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions: they have not discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma.”

I love that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma. I get that but those of us who do are still in the minority. Mankind as a species does not understand the peace that comes from living within the laws of nature. A lot of pathos could be eliminated with some basic gardening. Being green or sustainable and upholding ones place in the system is considered to be an optional life choice. Absolutely, if one is not attached to the future of the coming generations, it’s optional.

In 1830 Charles Lamb thought himself clever when boasting; “A Garden was the primitive prison , till man with Promethean felicity and boldness, luckily sinned himself out of it.”~ True that Charles. The definition of sin; to miss the mark. In its adolescence humanity sinned itself out of the garden and into possible extinction.
Clever lucky humans.
Heartfelt Dharma is out ticket back…
sustainable-vision interwoven into every task…
The hope of the world.