Category Permaculture Principles
‘Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be’
This is the last post in this series, and if you have read them all you, too, may have seen the progression in my vision, because I have indeed grown over the course of this endeavor—both as a writer and a permaculture designer. And that is the essence of this last principle: you don’t know what you don’t know, until you find out. Design science is all about vision—all about taking what ‘is’ and creating something else, first in your mind, then in reality.
I can tell you from experience—the reality isn’t always what you pictured, often it is very different, which is why adaptability is so important. If you set out, as a designer, with the goal of ‘just so’, you will fail—because nature doesn’t work that way, and none of us can predict all possible outcomes. Our job is to go slow and adjust the design as new factors present. In Essence of Permaculture, Holmgren states:
“The adoption of successful innovation in communities often follows a pattern similar to ecological succession in nature. Visionary and obsessive individuals often pioneer the solutions, but it generally requires more influential and established leaders to take up the innovation before it is widely seen as appropriate and desirable. Generational change is sometimes necessary for radical ideas to be adopted but this can be accelerated through the influence of school education on the home environment.”
As a second-generation organic farmer, I believe that what we are seeing is just that generational change—really no more than a re-adoption of prior practices, but as a country, the ‘wingnuts’ of our parents’ generation are now the elders of ours, and these are the ones—the baby boomers, who can easily cause a shift to happen, if they choose to be so inspired. It happens through patience, perseverance, and passion—which means education, and commitment. We can plant all the trees and feed all the people, and just as “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” until the changes in thinking happen on a broad scale, the system will continue to collapse—over, and over again. Which is what we have been seeing, in the past 50 years, perhaps more—those in power sway the masses with propaganda, or simply distract them with some kind of conflict elsewhere. This pattern has repeated itself again and again throughout history–the whacked-out visionaries lead the charge, and whether or not their intentions are good, the design is not, therefore the system falls into conflict and chaos again. Complacency is the bane of change, and the lifeblood of corruption.
Permaculture teaches us that chaos isn’t all that bad—from chaos comes order—it is part of the pattern, it’s just not a very comfortable place to be. It is, however, a very creative place to be—after all, how many tidy artists do you know? OK, maybe a few—but it’s usually that they are partnered with a neat freak. Creation is messy, whatever art form it takes. So, why not embrace a little chaos once in a while?
May I inquire after your precuneous? How dare I, you say? This part of the brain, finely tuned by such creative activities as, dare I say–writing–fires up in ‘creative cognition’, and in some folks, it does not shut down… ever heard ‘there is a fine line between genius and insanity’? That could very well be the pernicious precuneous:
“For most people, this area of the brain only lights up at restful times when one is not focusing on work or even daily tasks. For writers and creatives, however, it seems to be constantly activated. Fink’s hypothesis is that the most creative people are continually making associations between the external world and their internal experiences and memories. They cannot focus on one thing quite like the average person. Essentially, their stream of ideas is always running — the tap does not shut off — and, as a result, creative people show schizophrenic, borderline manic-depressive tendencies. Really, that’s no hyperbole. Fink found that this inability to suppress the precuneus is seen most dominantly in two types of people: creatives and psychosis patients.” Cody Delisraty in Human Parts (The Depressing Downside of Creative Genius)
Tell that to these guys:
Yes, if you must ask, I have been feeling a little ‘unhinged’ lately—It does not help that two of he kes on m keboard quie suddenl and with no good reason sopped working, and he are wo of he mos commonly-used letters—“t” and “y”. You would not believe what I had to go through to coax those just then, or the gyrations I must perform to fill in the blanks as I type. Not fun, no—not at all.
Thank you, Universe, for providing me with yet another opportunity to unleash my creativity in response to change.
Read the Series:
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and Store Energy
- Obtain a Yield
- Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
- Use and value renewable resources and services
- Produce no waste
- Design from patterns to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges and value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change
© Loretta Buckner, 2014, We Grow From Here
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