Shamanic Permaculture: Healing Our Inner And Outer Landscapes / Peru

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by SharonJoy, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    OK message received.
    Isn't that what i said?
    Shamanism is not metaphysics. I refer you to "The Shaman's Apprentice", by the Harvard botanist. Mark J Plotkin, (quite the fun read)
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I agree with that statement to a point (there has to be room for new age fringe crazies in Pc, but yes it shouldn't be taken over by them). But to include all of spirituality, metaphysics and shamanism in that statement is factually incorrect. Spirituality and shamanism are some of the oldest human practices on the planet, nothing new age about them except the bits that the new age has taken on.

    Besides, I've seen or read things from both Bill and Geoff that most people I know would consider fringe ;-)

    So while I understand the need to keep Pc mainstream enough for the mainstream to adopt, I strongly disagree with the idea that spirituality is inherently fringe. In your original statement you used the words 'yoga, meditation, shamanism etc'. I happen to agree that one shouldn't use the 72 hours of the PDC to teach people yoga poses or shamanic journeying, but I can't see a problem with offering some yoga as a way of enhancing learning (eg a 10 min break every couple of hours to to some stretches), or qualified people offering such meditation techniques alongside the 72 hours. I totally get how meditation or yoga could enhance one's Pc practice, and anyone who thinks there is no good science to support how and why meditation and yoga works is talking out of their arse.

    I think for your criticism to stand you'd need to give some specific examples. Do you know of PDC course that you think have overstepped the mark? What are they doing?
     
  3. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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    I confess to only having sped-read this thread, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents for what they're worth.

    I remember at the end of a PDC I attended, there was a one-hour segment where people had opportunity to provide feedback on the course, and to make suggestions for how it could be improved next time around. A few points were mentioned, and then one person spoke up with:

    "Next time, I think we should devote one day to spirituality."

    I sat wondering if someone would say anything. Nobody did.

    I was personally tempted to speak up and say "I couldn't disagree with you more." But as nobody echoed the person's sentiments, it didn't seem necessary.

    Now, the reason I disagreed with the suggestion so strongly is not because I'm against spirituality. The problem is this - what spirituality, exactly, will you devote the day to? Permaculture is not, and should not, be directly associated with a particular set of beliefs. Permaculture can and should be implemented by every culture and by people from every spiritual or non-spiritual background. By directly associating permaculture with a particular, specific, belief system you are ruling out participation from all those with other belief-sets. You are marginalising permaculture, and saying that to be a permaculturist, you must agree with this subjective belief system.

    If you were to "devote one day to spirituality", but without marginalising permaculture, you'd have to have your 'spiritual' day in a way that is representative of every belief system that currently resides in the minds of all individuals worldwide. Your day would need to, without bias, represent everything from Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Congo ancester worshipping, Vietnamese spirit worship, animism, pantheism, rapture-predicting evangelicals, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. There are literally thousands of religions and spiritual concepts that would need to be represented and respected. If one just selects a particular belief set, like, say, Shamanism or 'earth based spirituality', you're taking liberties on behalf of permaculturists everywhere - wrapping permaculture in a cloak that other permaculturists would not agree with, and will often find offence with.

    I've been dismayed to find 'definitions' of permaculture online, where people ask "what is permaculture?" and get answers like "permaculture is a combination of organic agriculture and new age philosophies". Such definitions arise because people do not make a clearer delineation about what permaculture is. Such definitions cause a large proportion of people who dearly need to investigate and implement permaculture (that's pretty much everyone) to write it off as peripheral nonsense before they've got to page one.

    I think we should ask ourselves why permaculture has not moved forward as fast as it should have, could have, over the last thirty-something years? Is it possible that it's been connected with smelly, tie-died clothing wearing pot-smokers (or in the case of Shamanism, psychedelic drug takers), etc., so it gets sidelined by mainstream society? I've even seen a video somewhere of permacuturists sitting in a hand-holding circle around a tree, crying and wailing over the death of the tree's peers, and generally making themselves look, if I may, ridiculous.

    For me, Permaculture is a design system, and one that works in harmony with any belief system (well, with the possible exception of the religion of perpetual growth-based capitalism). There's no reason why a PDC cannot begin with cultural blessings like a Maori prayer, and I think most permaculture teachers would be honored by it, but a PDC should not include subjective spiritual elements in its actual course content. The reason is that permaculture teachers should teach things that are provable. In the case of Shamanism. Why not run a PDC first, and then have a few days of Shamanism and its associated rituals as a post-PDC optional add-on afterwards, targeting those who are specifically interested in that, rather than mixing it in with the provable science of permaculture in a way where some will appreciate it and some will be forever turned off permaculture?

    I encourage all permaculturists to not marginalise and slow down the uptake of permaculture design systems by mixing it up with religion/spirituality/metaphysics. We need to break down barriers, and not erect them. I think we should respect people of any religion and/or belief set, and by directly associating permaculture with one specific spiritual framework, then you're not respecting all.
     
  4. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I just don't know where you would get the time to teach anything but the PDC content. Even extending the time would just allow for more permaculture. Some one here sugested that I taught biodynamics as part of the pdc but I just wouldn't have time within the 72 hours and if I was to extend ( as these people are doing) it would be more likely to be practical application of what you have learned to reinforce. We do alot of prac in the 72 hours but people need to "do" it and there is lots to have a go at to build confidence.

    I wish to again make my point that we need to be reducing travel that is unnecessary or unproductive and spiratuallity is to be found very close to home if you look for it.
     
  5. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Good points Craig and Mark. When I spouted off about incorporating spirituality of all kinds, I didn't mean in a PDC format. I was thinking more generally. Or more specifically, I meant that we shouldn't ridicule it and call it woo woo. ;)
     

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