“We are also concerned about the negative consequences for humanity and for creation resulting from the degradation of some of the basic natural resources such as water air and land, brought about by an economic and technological progress which does not recognize and take into account its limits.” Pope John Paul II
The three ethics of permaculture are- care for the Earth, care for each other, and Fair Share- living within limits while redistributing surplus.
The first two, care for the earth, and care for each other are self explanatory. We are not there yet but the pressure to be ecologically responsible as referenced by the Pope is growing. The seeds have been planted.
Care for each other has been taught for a while now too…do unto others. Progress has been made, progress to be made…
Self-set limits however… for most… sheer heresy.
Sky’s-the-limit is a religion unto itself these days and yet there are those who understand self-limits from a place a of seamless dynamic beauty with-in limits, of stuff, consumption, and reproduction, then sharing surplus. It’s living the embodiment of the story of loves and fishes, owning the abundance and fulfillment in taking what is needed… then passing on and sharing the rest.
What is enough? Must be answered differently by each from vows of poverty simple, sparse and eloquent, or the Bill Gate’s model, amass fortune, keeps plenty for self and strategically invests the rest back into humanity, or…something in-between. It’s not about right or wrong, closer to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, taking the time to understand too small, and too big, and finding our Just Right!
There is another piece which must be in place though in order to begin a sustainable life and that is a real connection with the timeless place of self which connects with all of life. It lives in everyone but not everyone chooses to live from the there. Not living from the place of connectivity to self and the eternal is in truth not living, but that’s hard to explain to those who mistake ideals and opinions as path and passion. It’s the difference between George Washington Carver lovingly coaxing seeds to self-evolve into new and specifically useful hybridized strains, and Monsanto mutating seeds to tolerate poisonous herbicides so they could sell more Round-up. The thing is, we do this with ourselves, we mutate self into accepting toxic unfulfilling lives which look good from the outside if viewed from one angle. …Smile!
Understand that sustainability is not a to-do list of buy green, drive a Prius, and recycle. Those are optional elements of a whole interrelated system. At the center of the system is self and self’s-connection to the whole…Once clearly owned and connected- life, planet and future can be retro-engineered and accessorized for sustainability. Choices become crystal clear, like food grown with poisons which burn soil, pollutes water and kills off companion eco-systems, can not then be packaged without preservatives and labeled as NATURAL…