Dec 25, 2011

Spirituality in Permaculture

A few people in the permaculture progression are pushing to have some kind of spirituality component in permaculture. I don't see why the systems we promote and the principles we espouse need to be tied to any one or new religion. I need some one to define spirituality. 

I have great reverence for the land, nature, ecological systems, food I grow, the Earth, the vessel that is my body, and my teachers and elders. It is a belief system and a value system. Is that spirituality or do I have to do some ritual? Eating is a sacred act as we consume the incredibly complex organisms that give us life. I reciprocate by nurturing the natural system around me. I return all that I do not use, or am done using, to the natural system that provides for me. Is that spiritual practice?  

I have a spiritual life that is sometimes manifested in my permaculture practice, but it does not validate it. A new paradigm I can accept. Energy comes from the edge of adversity and a good shake up is always refreshing. Please disillusion me. Show me an insight I have not known.

Native Americans lived their "spirituality" and did not isolate it as an aspect of their lives like most of us do. Daily life was spiritual practice by our definition, but I don't think it even had a name. Many of my native hosts are very "spiritual", but would probably laugh at me if I said that.

Humanist rituals are for passage from season to season, from child to adult, transitioning to a new state and marking the time. Traditions provide a sense of stability and continuity, though we lack in the making of new traditions. This is not spirituality to me. So I still need a definition when people use the word.

I have a full spiritual life. I just do not need it to validate my permaculture practice, each is self evident and tactile. 

From Linda Trujillo, Portland, Oregon Area: "As we move into the future, Permaculture is a very important tool for our toolkit, but expecting people to be "spiritual" before they can "get" permaculture, and be able to practice it, could very well put some people off. The word spiritual and spirituality has a negative connotation for some people, they see it as being a "New Age" thing, which was co-opted, and became commercialized. What if someone is very religious, do you think they won't be able to "get" permaculture? As paradigms continue to shift, and we transition form one to the other, we will be entering a New Age. But, since we need more people to start living lighter on the earth and incorporating permaculture principles, I certainly don't want to be dogmatic in my approach, but know I don't always succeed. I would hope we are able to leave dogma at the door, for the insistence on dogma from any POV whether it is religious, spiritual, economic, or dietary is trouble, since the rigidity of it alienates people and perpetuates separation and discourse. We have had enough separation and alienation from nature, each other, and our own selves for far, far too long..... So, I agree with Dan, I do not need my inner self to be validated by my permaculture practice, and vice versa". 

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Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals