Permaculture and Spiritualism (aka: the Metaphysical)

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by ecodharmamark, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    False. Edwin Hubble confirmed the existence of other galaxies in the early 1920s.
     
  2. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    K, I am really still not awake enough to tackle math, it is not my strongest suit. /cracks knuckles....

    Science is not supposed to back up things that are above normal, science is supposed to be used by the use of the scientific method to explain why something occurs. Which, in essence is a building block of Permaculture to begin with in a glib matter of fact speaking since observation is something we all need to practice with our various permacultural practices.

    However, math is rather absolute. It either works properly or doesn't, and is a language of the universe. When humans attempt to contact other extra-terrestrial life forms they do so by reciting the prime numbers. Given that math is this important of a generalized language, one we have by & large ignored since antiquity in favor of merely using it to explain.

    For example, I can create a 3d representation of a mathematically perfect cube using nothing but circles, to create the points of the cube.

    [​IMG]

    If I was to use spheres to create the exact same cube in a true 3d representation with x,y,z coordinates I could again create a perfect cube.

    [​IMG]

    However, I digress. The math used to get to this point is too complex for me and the current scope of this discussion, but I am interested in the pattern used to get to this point.

    The Linda Woodrow / Mandala garden that is constructed using the same math involved with making the cube and is the very basis of the cube. We Permaculturalists use the Mandala garden as a way to teach edge effect because it makes sense.

    A circular chicken tractor, on a circular bed, shaded by a tree that overlaps (creating a vesica piscis) over the mandala. If we were to put a 2nd set of circles outside the basic mandala system you have something called, "The Seed of Life" which has even more edge effect then the Mandala system does currently.

    For me, there is no need for conjecture (mathematically) with these systems but there is a lot of esoteric knowledge that is helpful regarding this math, be we call it sacred or not, that is helpful. I.E. edge effect. Yet, I find a discussion about the other half of this esoteric math is not helpful currently because it comes to close to peoples spirituality and mental constructs of the world.

    As such, your claim above that science does not back the above normal, in my eyes is false. Science is a tool just like any other, and we are all the students and teachers.

    :bow:
     
  3. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day All

    Thanks for that; all very interesting.

    Just one final response:

    What is Science?

    Cheerio, Markos.
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hey Markos - I was going to say that!

    Unfortunately science has become the randomised controlled double blind crossover trial published in a peer reviewed journal. No other form of hypothesis testing and observation is seen as valid in the scientific community any more.

    The British Medical Journal published a brilliant piece of satire illustrating this a few years back - Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials.

    So be careful - there's no 'scientific' proof that parachutes work!
     
  5. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

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    I like that.

     
  6. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    What are the practical applications for spirituality in Permaculture? I respect that we all have our own belief and value systems that determine the kind of people we are and help us to cope with life's ups and downs. But for Permaculture is there any way to apply spirituality for the benefit of the environment or the health and sustainability of the population that does not also have a scientific explanation?

    Planting a tree may be viewed by some to have a spiritual significance but the benefit of planting trees can be demonstrated scientifically. This is why I think spirituality and Permaculture are two separate but compatible fields. I think either one could be taught without the other.
     
  7. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I think the whole positive intention and visualisation thing could fit into that description Spidermonkey. As far as I know there isn't a wide acceptance that clear visualisation with right intention can influence outcome. I strongly believe in this (you could say it is part of my spiritual beliefs) and I believe it can be used to great practical effect. I don't see how, if you are a spiritual person, you can separate it from your permaculture practice. But as I've said before, i don't think the two should be combined in a formal permaculture course.
     
  8. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Well said Grahme.
     
  9. zvall

    zvall Junior Member

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    I think permaculture asks questions, and I do to about myths, beliefs. I see the Christian religion for example as a dangerous belief system because it blames the individual
    even before they are born of being in original sin, and that nature is fallen and ruled by the devil. I am sure liberal christians may dispute this, but for many people this is its myth. if not describe your interpretation. So what am I doing here? I am challenging your belief. is that bad? Why should it be bad, you can mine too, and isn't this how permaculture is worked out? what is the best design that brings best results?

    Christian missionaries have gone into indigenous peoples lands who lived sustainably with the land and had their own rituals and have destroyed their communities in the name of the 'god of love, Jesus. As a Christian how do you feel about this. I don't think we can get anywhere until we question these myths and metaphysical assumptions, but like the spirituality thread I tried to start, it got closed because of this very questioning
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Perhaps, they too had the idea that they were right above all others.
    That wasnt what the Christ went around teaching though.....
    And perhaps because people seem to have the idea that others Must understand them and there message-you see this even today in our more educated and supposedly more aware society.Not just in this subject, but alot of others as well.GW,What is organic,politics,chld rearing, education,etc....
    , and wth all due respect zvall, you appear to do the same thing with your viewpoints too.

    History is in the past and has a use-there is a Maori saying- 'when you walk to the future, look back to your ancestors'
    Others call it hind sight.
    I call it if you didnt like what was done, make sure you dont do it yourself.(easier said than done).

    My personal take on this is, it isnt something that just anyone culture or religion has done, it has happened throughout the known history of man,pulling apart somebody elses beliefs will not change that, the only thing that can change is how and what you do now to create a future and a history that you can be proud of.
     
  11. zvall

    zvall Junior Member

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    which HAS to mean asking questions. Not just assuming these serious questions are somehow just gonna go away. They wont. Great harm and injustice has been done to people. What happened in 1492 to indigenous peoples is unimaginable. Right now indigenous peoples are being surrounded by the same evil forces which wants to totally control them like our indigenous ancestors were crushed, and how WE are oppressed. If you don't feel this, I challenge you to explain why. If we don't face all this how are we going to change things--Isn't this exploring spirituality?
    Remember, Permaculture--its principles and practices derive from indigenous peoples sustainable ways of living with nature. Christians and Muslims etc and civilization as a whole didn't have a clue and have caused such ecocide and it continues. All this is involved in the subject of spirituality
     
  12. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day zvall

    We (certainly, I) would find it much easier to follow your logic if you disaggregated your main points of contention from the broader argument that you are trying to present. For example, by mentioning Indigenous peoples and 1492 in the same sentence, one can only presume that you are referring to the following:

    ...the first sustained contacts between American people and European explorers, conquerors and settlers from 1492 to 1600. During this period, in the wake of Columbus's voyages, Africans also arrived in the hemisphere, usually as slaves. All of these encounters, some brutal and traumatic, others more gradual, irreversibly changed the way in which peoples in the Americas led their lives.

    Source: Library of Congress (2010) 1492: An Ongoing Voyage

    However, when you mention in the next sentence that Indigenous peoples are 'right now' at some kind of risk from 'evil forces', what exactly do you mean? We (certainly, I) cannot begin to answer your 'challenge' until we know exactly who/what you are referring to.

    As for your claim that Indigenous peoples lived sustainably with nature, I think you are falling into the same trap that many of those 'European explorers, conquerors and settlers' did concerning the concept of the 'ecologically noble savage'. Here, in Australia for example, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that pre-contact Indigenous peoples were responsible for the extinction (through the use of fire and by hunting) of multiple species of megafauna - hardly what one would consider living the sustainable life?

    Furthermore, your constant references to 'spirituality' being something that weaves its way through all existence and reality is fine as a theory, and likewise is still supported by the majority of the world's human inhabitants (in one form of the metaphysical or another). However, there is a growing number of people around the world that do not subscribe to your (or anyone else's) metaphysical beliefs. Once again, I use Australia as an example. At the last (2011) Census, the second fastest (behind Hinduism, which of course has a very small base) growing 'religion' and second largest (just behind the Catholics) affiliation in Australia was that of 'no religion':

    [​IMG]

    Source: Wikimedia (2012) Australia Religious Affiliation

    As more people around the world receive a secular education, an education that supports and encourages the pursuit of evidenced-based scientific fact in the form of the analytical thinking rather than mystical, more will come to realise that any belief in the metaphysical is merely just that, a scientifically unsubstantiated belief. Of course, it will be a long time (if ever) before all of the world's inhabitants are able to access free and secular education. In the mean time, I guess we just have to keep trying.

    Finally, does all of this mean that a discussion of the metaphysical has no place in either the teaching or practice of permaculture? Of course not. We just have to try and keep it all in perspective. Returning to where this post began: By qualifying our statements, including our questions, we will go a long towards accomplishing this task of having a rational discussion.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  13. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    This is an interesting point, because the same behavior (burning the forest edge) that was beneficial in North America over a shorter period (maybe 20,000 years) was damaging in Australia over a longer period (40,000+ years). Compare that to the damage done by industrial farming over 100 years...

    I think it is helpful to realize that some human behavior can be helpful, some harmful, that humans tend to be humans, neither angels nor devils. Some cultural attitudes may be damaging "The world was made for man and man was meant to rule the world" compared to, for instance, "Man is part of nature and his behavior has real consequences." I think it is possible to discuss other cultures without either angelizing them nor demonizing them. There's a tendency, I think, for people to invoke the Noble Savage whenever anyone points out less-bad behavior of non-civilized folks. It would be great to be able to have a discussion about the less-bad behaviors of some other cultures without the Noble Savage rearing his tired head, but I have never yet seen such a discussion occur on the internet. It is simply not possible to say anything positive about some less-bad behaviors of non-civilized cultures without the Noble Savage being invoked, in my experience.
     
  14. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Ludi

    Regarding your last point: A search of the Internet using the phrase "noble savage discussion forum" revealed the following example:

    Forum Biodiversity - Noble Savages

    Whether we like it or not, there is a growing body of evidence being published within the scientific literature (as hinted at in my previous post) that does suggest humans have always (regardless of the time scale) altered/influenced the natural environment in which they lived. Of course, the debate rages on about whether this was for the benefit or disbenefit of 'mankind'; I personally tend to sit in the camp of the latter.

    For the above reason alone, I think it is an imperative that we humans continue to study our historical socio-ecological roots in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. Permaculture provides us with a framework in which to do this, as does many of the other socio-ecological paradigms, my favourite being that which was espoused by the late, great Murray Bookchin (1921-2006).

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  15. NGcomm

    NGcomm Junior Member

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    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. And that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.” 1964. Richard Feynman (One of the 10 greatest physicists of all time).
     
  16. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day NG

    Thanks for that. He appears to be an interesting chap. I'll have to find a copy of his biography.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  17. Hobbo

    Hobbo Junior Member

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    I know that the whole Universe was created by an Intelligent Designer ( God ) for a purpose and we all are part of this purpose.
    I also know that nothing come from nothing, nobody is that stupid !
    as for evidenced-based scientific fact, we need to be very careful, there is a huge amount of faith involved here too !
    Just because I cant understand how a Television was made or Who made it doesn't mean it just Evolved from nothing ?
    Sure, all peoples have done terrible things throughout history, thats because we are all evil and want to do thing our way
    But God has a plan called the Gospel, to restore Humanity back to an amazing relationship with him.
    Jesus is the only man who claimed to be the Creator of the Universe and claimed he could come back from the dead, and did ! Fixing our sin and giving us New Life.
    So if you don't want to believe in this Fact then thats OK too. Its your choice.
     
  18. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Hobbo

    Thanks.

    How goes things in the beautiful Tea Tree Gully? Plenty of wattles blooming this time of the year, I'd imagine?

    Did you ever get the chance to checkout the link I provided you with here? I'd be very interested to learn about what you think of this concept, considering it directly relates to where you live.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  19. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    "I also know that nothing come from nothing, nobody is that stupid !"

    Where did God come from?
     
  20. Lesley W

    Lesley W Junior Member

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    Turtles all the way down?


    A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"
    —Hawking, 1988[1]
     

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