Permaculture is a design system focused on creating regenerative food and social systems. It does this by mimicking and working WITH Nature. –So how is this a healing art?
I consider Permaculture to be a healing art in that it gives us human beings the opportunity to consciously jump back into the closed loop system that is Life.
–A loop I believe we fell out of, (at least in the Western World), as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution combined with a poorly incentivised capitalist economic system and it’s (inevitable) commodification of Life.
As a result we have forgotten our intended role within Nature–causing psychological and emotional wounds that tend to present as depression and anxiety. (I recognize of course, this is a matter of opinion. And it is my own opinion that follows).
–So what is the intended role of Human Beings in Nature?
Having a prefrontal cortex, Self Awareness, AND opposable thumbs, I think we are a species uniquely suited to be Stewards of The Earth. Yet, on the whole, we seem to be doing just the opposite. The consequences of this are many. Among them, is ever increasing rates of anxiety and depression.
I hypothesize these rates would decline if individuals would make a concerted effort to meet more of their own survival needs –rather than outsourcing or meeting them indirectly, through the exchange of money–which is how most of us get things done these days.
In particular, I think meeting at least some of our own food needs while working closely WITH Nature would result in improved psychological and emotional well being for many. With its 12 design principles and three ethics, Permaculture provides an opportunity and framework for doing this.
My experience, as a person that has been studying and practicing Permaculture for over a decade, is that this is a design system that facilitates deep healing by providing experiential evidence that Life, when participated in fully, is intrinsically rewarding and that the meaning of Life is LIfe itself.
Use Permaculture techniques to grow a carrot and you’ll see what I mean.
Build the soil. Plant the seed. Water it. Protect it. Surround it with a community of supporting plants. Raise it to maturity. Harvest the root. Enjoy the fruits of your labor–being sure to share it with someone you love.
Chew it slowly. Really taste it. Digest it.
And REALIZE that had you not built the soil, planted the seed and cared for that carrot to maturity, it would never have come into existence at all. Which means that that carrot is YOU: a manifestation and embodiment of your will, your energy, your efforts.
THAT CARROT IS YOU. And by eating it, YOU BECOME THAT CARROT.
Always, we are becoming the fruits of our labor–the seeds that we have planted. This is the Nature of Life. It is circular: a closed loop that we were meant to exist within in a particular way. But we have lost our way–forgotten our intended role. As a result we are depressed and anxious–incomplete:
A wounded, amnesic species.
Permaculture provides us with guiding principles for engaging cooperatively with Nature– allowing us to remember and reclaim our rightful place within The Circle of Life.
Allowing us to remember our purpose.
Allowing us to remember LIfe’s meaning.
Allowing us to move toward Wholeness.
Allowing us to heal.
This is Permaculture: A Healing Art.
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