Note: According to permaculture co-founder David Holmgren, there are fifteen principles which, if we apply them, help facilitate any permaculture design. These principles are not written in stone. Just as there are many definitions of permaculture (here’s the simplest: permaculture is “permanent culture,” i.e., sustainable, regenerative culture, at scales ranging from household, to farm, to community, to bioregion).
I’m going to do an exploratory riff on each of these principles, in order as a series, starting with Holmgren’s first principle: “observe and interact.” Hopefully, others will join me through the comment section. Also, I’m still waiting to hear from fellow adventurers would like to write for this site! Let’s not skew “exopermaculture” to my tiny view of it.
“This icon represents a person ‘becoming’ a tree. In observing nature it is important to take different perspectives to help understand what is going on with the various elements in the system. The proverb “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reminds us that we place our own values on what we observe, yet in nature, there is no right or wrong, only different.”
The resonance of this principle with exopermaculture seems obvious. “We place our own values on what we observe, yet in nature there is no right or wrong, only different.” It reminds me of both our “fear” of aliens (because we assume they would be just like us, hostile, warlike, and predatory) or our “love” of them (because they are here to help us, as yet more father and mother figures, gods and goddesses, saviors from the sky).
In both cases, here’s my view. This universe is a mirror. We get what we create, and to start that process, we see what we expect to see.
Some permaculturists don’t see anything “out there,” they are so focused on what’s down here, and indeed the field of permaculture is consciously earth-based. But does that have to mean that we don’t consider external inputs that are not as obvious as the sun and wind and water when considering a permaculture design? That’s essentially what this entire site is about: seeing through the (mostly scientifically constructed) membrane of Earth’s bio-system.
Others — and not just permaculturists — when they do stop to contemplate what’s “out there,” see bad guys. I’m psychoanalytically inclined. From my own experience, I’d say that if we tend to see bad guys, it’s because we have an unconscious “bad guy” shadow aspect within ourselves that we project outwards. Indeed, that kind of expectation might actually attract bad guys from the sky! No doubt they are there. Whatever can be imagined, most likely is.
On the other hand, if we see “good guys,” then what? On the one hand, I personally feel that the universe is inherently biased towards benevolence. So that, indeed, most of what’s “out there” and “in here” is of the nature of love — and indeed, that ultimately, the universe itself is one unified field of Love, with the “bad guys” in temporary roles as “honored opponents.” The drama of (seeming) separation feeds on (seeming) duality.
Yet, I get the feeling that some of those who insist on “good guys” being out there might sometimes be desperate for them to come in on their white horses and rescue us. These see the human race as childish — undisciplined, immature, not taking responsibility for ourselves, but instead squabbling over status, territory, and power — in desperate need of parental guidance!
Whew! That’s for sure! Just look at humanity over these last two thousand years — a his-story of war, and predation, with the most violent century so far — from what I’ve heard — being the 20th.
(That’s why I love permaculture; for it sponsors a vision and a practice of regeneration that depends on human ingenuity, cooperation, and labor. Rather than sitting on our couches, bemoaning the state of the world, permaculturists are doing something about it, creating seeming miracles daily, all by observing and interacting with nature.
Exopermaculture extends the idea of “nature” to include the cosmic soup in which Earth lives.)
From all I read, from personal discussions, and from a lifetime of hearing a strong, directive “inner voice” on certain crucial occasions, I’d say that there are parental types “out there” (and in here, when we still ourselves in order to hear them), too.
As the first principle of exopermaculture might say, “It’s all real.”
What about the second part of “observe and interact“?
There are thousands of documented cases of people interacting with visitors from the sky, starting in the Bible, down through our times. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Mack interviewed some of them, whom he called “contactees,” and wrote several books about his findings, while risking the wrath of Harvard. For Mack concluded, much to his surprise, that contactees are not crazy, that their experiences are real and, in fact, transformative.
Stories of “abductions” are rife, starting with Betty and Barney Hill back in 1961 and gaining best seller status with Whitley Strieber’s Communion (1987). Many current spiritual teachers claim to have been taught by ETs as children, e.g., Barbara Hand Clow. Even when we take their messages seriously, we often either ignore or downplay their supposed origin.
Those who “come out” in this way are brave. Most of those who claim to be in personal contact with otherworldly entities of the ET kind usually keep their stories to themselves, for fear of ridicule. This continues to confound me. Why is it easier for us to accept the existence of angels, spiritual guides, faeries and elementals, than of extraterrestrial intelligences and beings that either visit or otherwise connect with with this planet? Why do ETs occupy such a strange ontological status?
Is it just because we’re afraid they’ll “look” alien? (Like brown, or black, or yellow skin looks alien to those with white skin?) Is ET phobia just another form of racism, where the outside appearance is supposedly of the essence? If so, how boring!
Or is it because we’ve been brainwashed by the very effective propaganda and mind control programs of an enormous, deeply clandestine, global secret government for over 60 years. You might start to educate yourself on this aspect of the drama of illusion. And you might ask yourself why the need for control of our minds. What is the motive? And how does it impact us now. For I have a feeling that the next few years are going to see earth’s membrane being ripped away, as she, and her inhabitants, release themselves from the prison of separation from the multiverse in which we all live and move and have our being.
“Observe” (especially, observe the bias of our own minds), “and interact.” Yes, indeedy, interact! We are everywhere. As above, so below. As within, so without. There are no foreigners. Nothing and no one is foreign to one whose mind is open.