What is permaculture?


"permaculture"
is a recent remembering
of an ancient practice

everyone on Earth
everywhere
must study "permaculture"


today
this new word is often understood as
"
permanent agriculture"

understood like this
"
permaculture"
is about
how we feed ourselves
in a way that is 'permanent'

well
we all know
nothing physical is 'permanent'

but

you can get pretty close to 'permanent'
in the form of a fruit or nut tree

this is because
(if all goes well)

a fruit or nut tree gives us food for a long time
without needing much help

(this is assuming the fruit or nut tree is happy where they are
surrounded by other plants that they get along with
and will eventually make a tree baby)

so
with this in mind
"permaculture"
is when we grow food-producing plants together
that need little maintenance

with this definition
all we need to do as humans
is make sure that the next generation
understands how to take care of these plants


this may seem straightforward
but "permaculture" must also be interpreted as
'permanent culture'

with this in mind
this is my definition of "permaculture"
based on my present understanding

"permaculture is the practice of living by values that, when followed well, result in a harmonious relationship formed between humankind and all other life on Earth."


understood like this
"permaculture"
is about how we live on Earth
in a way that is 'permanent'

in other words
to practice "permaculture"
our human culture itself must be 'permanent'


so, truly practicing "permaculture"
means living by values so that all humans get along

the 3 principles of permanent culture

 

I feel it is important to say at the beginning of this section that we come to live by these following values naturally when we are raised in abundant ecosystems that are communally cared for and shared. It is natural for a permanent culture to form when we fully understand our human role in taking care of the ecosystems in which we live.

In other words, if we were to prioritize practicing permaculture in terms of making food-producing ecosystems wherever any of us lives on Earth, we would eventually arrive naturally at these following values.

However, at this point in the history of Earth, many of us around the world do not grow up connected with the processes of Earth. In fact, very few places exist, relatively speaking, where human beings still truly live in harmony with the natural environment around them. 

Increasingly, we are growing up in contexts less and less directly connected to the land, so we are increasingly distant from understanding our responsibilities to take care of the land. This must change.

Everyone, no matter where they grow up on Earth, must grow up with a personal relationship to the land, in which they are directly responsible to take care of where they are, and dedicate a portion of their efforts to helping the life grow. 

However, this is often more difficult, if impossible, in cities. On top of that, the current global agricultural system is, generally speaking, not reflective of a harmonious relationship between humans and the land, either.

Because of this, many people feel this disconnect between themselves and Earth, and have been searching for what those cultural values were that allowed humans to live sustainably around the world for thousands of years.

And so, thankfully, people are turning to indigenous cultures for understanding. 

This long-overdue receptivity to indigenous cultures and their way of life is where the word "permaculture" was born from. In fact, the three core principles of permaculture are an attempt to summarize the values that indigenous cultures lived by all around the world, values that enabled them to live in harmony with the same place for thousands upon thousands of years. 

These values are summarized in the 3 core principles of permaculture:

1. Care for the Earth
2. Care for People
and 3. Fair Share

However, I consider "Fair Share" part of "Care for People", because to me caring for other people means sharing what you have with them.

In place of "Fair Share", I substitute "Create No Waste" as the third principle. This is because I feel the idea of "Waste" must be an integral part of how we see ourselves in relation to the world.  

So, in order of importance, below are the 3 core principles by which I believe we could create a global, permanent culture.

They are:

 

1. Create No Waste
2. Care for People
3. Care for the Earth

 

It is these principles that define each action I take in my life, which I attempt to make clear below. 

CREATE NO WASTE

waste
is a place
where life never grows
where thoughts
never blossom
where one never knows
the feeling of love
of living so free
aware of ones place
and so living
to be

The principle of Create No Waste is based on the fundamental truth that "waste" cannot exist.

There is simply no such thing, for it is an impossibility in nature.

This is why Create No Waste is the invaluable first principle, to me - because it is simply a truism.

No "permanent culture" can create waste.

If this principle is not followed, and waste is created, this indicates a fundamental disconnect between the culture and the cycles of life on Earth.

This disconnect from Earth happens when we feel disconnected from each other, as human beings.

This is because when we are disconnected from each other, that keeps us from relating to the land as a community.

And of course, as we cease relating to the land communally, we become increasingly disconnected from each other.

This becomes a cycle where people become increasingly fractured and disconnected, and the environment continues to suffer from the idea of "waste". 

And so, in order to truly live Create No Waste, we must learn to create no waste first within ourselves, first. 

This is because the physical waste we create in the world is a direct reflection of the wasteful thoughts in our minds.

So first, we must do away with the wasteful thoughts if we hope to resolve the problem of waste in our world, entirely and for good. 

A "wasteful thought" is any thought that impedes the goal of achieving a "permanent culture". 

For example, this would be any thought that creates a separation between yourself and another human being.

These thoughts are, always, based in judgements.

These judgements often come from perceived differences humans see between each other.

These differences are often perceived because of a lack of interest in trying to understand each other.

This lack of interest in understanding each other stems from our judgement of each other. 

And, as we judge each other more, we are less likely to share who we are because of our fear of judgement.

This fear of judgement keeps us private, and so we become increasingly disconnected from each other.

And as we become more disconnected from each other, we become increasingly disconnected from Earth herself.

And so it is the "wasteful thoughts", or judgements, that leads to human disconnection that creates a culture where waste begins to appear in the first place.

In other words, the waste a culture creates is relative to the amount of judgement in a culture.

When we cease to judge each other, instead ensuring that each person feels they can belong to each other person, be accepted by them, and known by them, we will be in a world without "wasteful thoughts". 

Instead, all thoughts will be curious, based in a desire to understand the other person.

In other words, curiosity for another person will lead to creating less waste, because as we are curious about each other, we see we are similar. 

As we see we are similar, we feel more connected. 

As we feel more connected, we will do more things communally. 

As we do more things communally, we see and care about our effect on others. 

Because we care, we take care with our words and do away with the wasteful thoughts. 

As wasteful thoughts disappear, the natural outcome is a connected culture that lives by Create No Waste.


In summary, "waste" exists because of how we treat each other.

When we can truly belong to each other, and free ourselves of judgement for each other, we will all collectively arrive at the value of "Create No Waste". 

Instead of falsely believing in waste, we will enter a global culture where each physical thing has a use, and we create communally in perpetuity with what exists.

Connected cultures naturally come to care for other life, and so leave no waste in ecosystems where it is harmful.


But again, these permanent cultures only form if enough individuals foster non-judgement for each other.

The amount one judges another is, of course, reflective of how much they judge themselves. 

And so, in order to dispel the idea of waste, we must unconditionally accept ourselves, free of judgement.
 

CARE FOR PEOPLE

caring for people
is easy to do
when you know that you're me
and that i am you, too
our bodies all playing
the same game of life
all of us wishing
an end to the strife

The value of Care for People naturally surfaces in individuals that strive to Create No Waste. 

As enough individuals live the values of Create No Waste, cultures form where the people are connected. 

And, naturally, as the people becomes connected, the value of Care for People emerges.

This is because when we feel connected, we naturally come to care for each other. 

In cultures where this value is broadly adopted, people come to see each other as equals.

As a result of recognizing this truth, private wealth accumulation at the expense of others does not exist. 

Instead, collectivism replaces individualism naturally, and helping others in need is a cultural norm. 

In these cultures, attachment to the idea of private property naturally disappears.

It becomes normalized to see physical space in terms of how it can be of use to the community, in general. 

Gradually, land becomes collectively cared for, and used in the interest of providing for the community. 

Sharing becomes normalized, and giving replaces monetary transactions as the main means of exchange.

Communities naturally become self-sufficient as a priority of peoples lives is to care for the needs of the other people around them, free of charge. 

As entire cultures come to live by Care for People, it is ensured that everyone has healthy food, clean water, and shelter, simply by virtue of being human.

In this culture, anyone can knock at anyone else's door and find a place to rest, food to eat, and water to drink.

As everyones basic needs become met within a culture, whole nations begin to collectively turn outwards to meet the basic needs of others around the world.

In summary, Care for People naturally leads to resilient, self-sustaining and connected communities wherein it is normalized for individuals within these cultures to give excess to others without expectation of anything in return, thereby growing Care for People in neighbouring communities as well. 

Lastly, as people practice Care for People, whole cultures come to hold the value of gratitude deeply, as a result of all the gifts they have received from others.

This gratitude for others expands to gratitude for life, in general, and the core value forms within a culture of wishing to Care for the Earth.







 

CARE FOR THE EARTH

and when we each
belong to each other
we'll find it simple
to belong to our mother
and care for her needs
and she does for ours
helping Earth bloom
our single
beautiful
miraculous flower

When we truly belong to each other, we will truly know what it means to Care for the Earth. 

In cultures that Care for the Earth, gratitude is so normalized that it is natural to dedicate a large portion of our efforts to the health of the ecosystems that sustain us. 

Such is our connection with each other and the natural world that life itself is felt as family.

The means by which the cultures needs are provided for is never in conflict with the needs of the planet, and are as often as possible beneficial to both human life and other life. 

For example, in a culture that practices Care for the Earth, we would not use land for monoculture agriculture that comes with the expense of destroying the home of other life.

Each individual considers their actions not only in regards to their impact on other people, but all other life sustained by Earth. 

Over time, societies leave behind habits that prioritize the wants of the human species over other life. 

Cultures form wherein the normalized behaviours are those beneficial for all life.

Intergenerational skills are formed that ensure the health of the ecosystems upon which all life depends. 

Over time, communities becomes increasingly connected as a result of the shared common goal of caring for Earth. 

This common goal becomes an integral part of all cultures, and any inter-cultural animosity naturally disappears as people put their differences aside in favour of collectively Caring for the Earth out of pure gratitude.