It is funny how at that heart of permaculture, it is not scientific/empirical knowledge rooted in egoism, it is fundamental truths revealing themselves to the intuitive person who listens instead of talks over.
So much of our lives is spent talking over the guiding spirit inside us that can supply us with all of the information we will ever need. We talk over this spirit and we talk over others who display this spiritual quality. Foolishly, we think, “we know better.”
Very little experience with farming has forced me to use other faculties to figure out how things should be done.
Inner voice says: “don’t use a tractor, it seems to hurt the land”
Outsiders say: “you NEED a tractor to farm”
Inner voice says: “maybe we shouldn’t mow down all of those beautiful plants, they might have a purpose”
Outsiders say: “you NEED to get rid of those weeds”
Inner voice says: “if you just persuade certain bugs and pests elsewhere they will leave your garden alone”
Outsiders say: “you NEED to get rid of all the pests”
Thank goodness i never listened to anyone ever in my life!
My parents call me thick headed, but i am thankful that i followed, not my ego, who says “i think” but my heart who says “it is.”
The distinct difference is, when you turn off the ego, and discount the egotistical proposals of others, what you are left with is something pure and timeless, as the Tao. And that is something that has no limits and is not guided by wants or fears. The ego wants to be correct because it wants to own, wants to be responsible for and most importantly wants to be recognized. For this reason, when something arises from one’s ego, most of the time it can be discredited because it is only after its own interests and not for the universal good of all beings. To be invested in the good of all beings means sometimes having to be wrong or having to sacrifice your own personal interests for the greater good of the All. This is difficult and requires a lot of perseverance and thus it is greatly shirked. Many people would rather have what they desire, at the expense of the All, rather than give up their desires to contribute to the elevation of the All. This is understandable, yet it leads to predicaments such as the one our current civilization is in right now. The one where we have catered so much to our own “comforts” and desires that we have sacrificed the health of the planet and as a result, our own health.
After being given Sepp Holzer’s book Permaculture and reading it, i realized that those who listen to nature have something in common, they don’t heed to the demands of popular opinion. Many of the practices Holzer outlines, are intuitive and good-natured. From the way he deals with pests to the way he treats his livestock it seems compassion is infused in everything he does.
Compassion is not something you can teach people, it arises from the practice of tuning out the forces that wish to divert us and coax us into instant gratifications.
Another friend just randomly gave me a book by Masanobu Fukuoka. His philosophy of natural farming is very much in line with the way i intuitively feel toward farming. I was shocked to find that his practices are precisely how i wish to conduct the farm. His idea that nature will take care of itself is wonderful because it totally eliminates the ego that says nature NEEDS us–the all important “I.”
I always thought to myself, what did these plants do before we decided to take over?
One time a friend of mine scoffed when i told him that my garlic made seeds. He told me that garlic doesn’t grow from seed. I thought, “well how the hell does it grow then?”
He told me, “it has to be planted by the cloves…”
I thought, “what if there’s no one there to plant it?!”
Ultimately, growing food is about maintaining one’s life while at the same time ensuring that one’s life is not stepping on the toes of other life forms. We must all live together and that means we must not try to take credit for what nature does. Nor must we try to assert ourselves over nature. By pruning and mowing and tilling we are only showing our prowess over nature…we are subduing…conquering. The result is, creating a relationship of forced dependence. If instead, we partner up and facilitate and tread lightly we might find our needs are reduced to the simplest terms and we are much happier as result.