Whether you’re for or against him, the election of Donald Trump to the POTUS is a clear signal that levels of disorder are increasing around us. If this trend continues the next shock of disorder will be even bigger. I think the direct results of this will be that which sustains us eventually will be consumed by this ever growing disruption.
There is an alternative which permaculture addresses directly. In Permaculture – A Designers Manual by Bill Mollison the Permaculture Prime Directive is discussed on the first page.
That is, the system currently sustaining us is also destroying us. Nearly everyone is invested totally in that system. When that system fails, and I think that is happening ever faster, any alternatives will be built by us, not for us.
If it is up to us to build the alternatives, then let’s get started. If we don’t know how, let’s learn. Permaculture directly addresses how to do this. One way to learn more in a Permaculture Design Course. Or, find your local permaculturists and get to know them.
It’s up to us to take responsibility!
There are many different takes on what real “permaculture design” is. Maps and surveys, hours spent fussing over the contours and placement. Charettes, meetings, and design methods with silly acronyms like O’BREDIMET give us a form and a process to follow.
What actually happens through that process? What do the circumstances tell us is most likely to happen? Why choose one method over another? What is the actual goal of these processes and are there different ways to achieve it? Of course there must be alternatives – as Mollison says, the limits are only those of the imagination of the designer.
What do these processes called “permaculture design” achieve? In their most useful form, they ask us to be one with a place; to be a part of that place and nurture what that place wants to be. They are a meditation on what is, not what our desires are or what we think should be done. It involves letting go of the idea that human life is the most important; surrendering to the idea that we’re all in this together.
Once we’ve done that, we can act in a way to improve the conditions for life. We can make choices that don’t come at the expense of the world around us. Our particular form of self awareness can benefit the whole system. We can allow other forms of awareness to flourish alongside us: the intelligence of the birds & trees, the information imbedded in the heritage of seeds, and the pulse of the seasons, earth, & stone beneath our feet.
Once we’re all in this together then we can move as one, confidently into the future.
Energy (earth) & Awareness (people). Energy is external, physical world, awareness is internal.
Energy is required to interface between systems; the energy cost of interaction increases the further apart systems are from each other in terms of storing energy and/or awareness.
Permaculture is a tool that increases our awareness so that we can capture and/or store more energy and cycle it through the system in a greater number more and efficient ways.
We have available a fixed energy budget based on the sunlight that hits the earth. There is also a limited supply of energy stored by live on earth.
Our ever growing awareness is the only thing that can increase.