Permaculture and religion

Discussion in 'General chat' started by purecajn, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    I'm curious as to how different religions view Permaculture. As I understand the Bible ( somewhere in Leviticus as I recall ) says not to plant two seeds in the same field. As such I'd have to assume that anyone practicing Judaism is forbidden to practice Permaculture as well. So am I mistaken here? As such I'm curious what other religious books say on the matter.... Also, how would a Permie best deal with someone in a religious mindset?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  2. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Purecajn, I'll preface my response with... I'm not a practicing nor non-practicing jew nor am I really a practicing anything religious (unless you count permaculturism).

    I checked out Leviticus 19:19 and there seem to be a few variances. Which means you can interpret it in lots of different ways. So it doesn't preclude anyone from practicing permaculture if they really want to. I reckon it means don't go messing with nature, don't go mixing things up that shouldnt be mixed up. I think messing around with GMO's would be more of a violation of 19:19 than intercropping.

    As for part 2 of your question "How would a Permie best deal with someone in a religious mindset?" I would recomend not mentioning religion.

    Why, has the topic come up in conversation? Did someone say to you "hey, what's with the clover and oats out there together mate? You're treading on thin ice!"

    As for other religions, I can give you a few verses from the Tao Te Ching that, for me at least, hold the very essence of Permaculture with at least a vague connection to the Leviticus stuff as I see it...

    Chapter 29 (as Translated by Stephen Mitchell)

    Do you want to improve the world?
    I don't think it can be done.

    The world is sacred.
    It can't be improved.
    If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
    If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it

    There is a time for being ahead.
    a time for being behind;
    a time for being in motion,
    a time for being at rest;
    a time for being vigorous,
    a time for being exhausted;
    a time for being safe,
    a time for being in danger.

    The Master sees things as they are,
    without trying to control them.
    She lets them go their own way,
    and resides at the center of the circle


    And Chapter 39...

    In harmony with the Tao,
    the sky is clear and spacious,
    the earth is solid and full,
    all creatures flourish together,
    content with the way they are,
    endlessly repeating themselves,
    endlessly renewed.

    When man interferes with the Tao,
    the sky becomes filthy,
    the earth becomes depleted,
    the equilibrium crumbles,
    creatures become extinct.

    The Master views the parts with compassion,
    because he understands the whole.
    His constant practice is humility.
    He doesn't glitter like a jewel
    but lets himself be shaped by the Tao,
    as rugged and common as a stone.


    From my persepective as a dabbler in the ideas of different religions and the core substance of many of them, permaculture is almost certainly one of the least offensive ways of living.

    Interested in what you make of all that Purecajn
     
  3. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    The world is sacred.
    It can't be improved.
    If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
    If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it


    Man I love that bit. ok on to the subject at hand. I live in an area where everyone is in a rush to expand and not caring that they are deforesting the little bit of nature left. Farming is gmo/fertilizer intensive, water is released out of underwater springs to feed crops in a wasteful manner with most being run off with seed and plant stores not knowing nor caring if their product is gmo. The nearest permie to me is a 2 hr drive. As such I'm more of a oddball in my community and as such get dismissed in conversations concerning nature. Because of this my mind is always thinking of how to deal with different peoples perception of permaculture before the negativity starts. Religion is just one of many possible road blocks the could come up in conversation.
     
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Good discussion. I've recently taken to telling roving JW's and other door-to-door peddlers of belief systems that I'm likely the most religious person they've ever met, in that I strive continually to work in concert with "God's" creation, revere natural processes and the wonder of the cosmos, and refine my relationship to this blue planet upon which I find myself. So far, this approach has worked very well, conversations have been productive, and it tends to generate significant interest in what we're about. I describe this bit of ground as a combination "grad school and Ashram" (an ashram is a spiritual hermitage or a monastery).
    YMMV = )
     
  5. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    most the religious where I am are all about conversion rather than sitting down and trading ideas and view points. It's all preach preach preach....
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    we used to get more people who wanted to recruit us to their churches, but i cut them off and
    tell them that i am not interested in joining their church. most leave and have not returned.

    in the future perhaps i can divert them into a garden tour. :)

    our area is heavily laden with various sects. i used to be more concerned with their
    various teachings, but have left that mentality behind as much as possible. i just do
    not see the world in their terms. the quotes from the Tao are closer, but i consider
    myself an unschooled taoist. life is here and now and that is what i try to pay attention
    to as that is what impacts me the most directly. today it is mouse, rabbit, cat tracks
    in the snow.

    Ma does not like a lot of people about and so i do not run a vegetable stand or encourage
    random visitors. luckily we do have a community of people we do talk with and a few are
    able to visit.

    my own vows of stability and focus means i do not tend to "go out" for the sake of visiting
    unless i can stack things up so to not waste miles/gas/time. my social moments are more
    through the net where i can interact with people and sometimes the topics do get on to
    religion or permie type things.
     
  7. Robyn S.

    Robyn S. New Member

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    Just wanted to throw in a slightly different take on religion and permaculture; where I live there are a lot of Orthodox monasteries, most of them hundreds of years old. Invariably they are islands of indigenous trees which they NEVER cut, (and hence contain magnificent specimens) and the monks (and nuns) live in traditional mud-walled thatched circular houses called tukuls. They keep small gardens of vegetables and chickens, goats/sheep - in some of the men-only establishments they won't even keep female chickens and sheep only roosters and rams. The land outside can be dry, overgrazed and eroding, but the monasteries are cool, shady havens. A love and respect for creation I admire very much.
     
  8. BajaJohn

    BajaJohn New Member

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    The good Lord doesn't seem to heed his own instructions when creating the natural environment which leads me to wonder if this isn't another attempt to present human misunderstandings as God's word. I suppose if you pointed this out to a critic they would probably say that God is allowed to be an exception.
    Then you have the thorny issue of what exactly is a different "kind". Species, genus, family, order, class? - bearing in mind that taxonomy, if it existed at the time that the passage was written, was a little more primitive and less informed than it is today. You can find Kosher recipes that include hybrid plant materials - oranges, maize, brassicas etc. Almost all citrus consumed today are hybrids of 4 ancient fruits - citron (C. medica), pummelo (C. maxima), mandarine (C. reticulata), and papeda (C. micrantha). Brassicas are thought to come from 3 and maize is a puzzle that is far from understood. As always, religion is a matter of interpretation - that is why people basing their beliefs on the same book can fight and even kill each other, not merely without conscience, but sometimes with pride.
    The best way to deal with religious differences is to avoid discussing them, especially if one side offers no hope of tolerance or reconciliation. Most people would consider me an atheist, but I try to make the foundation of my life the question that a religious person would phrase as "what would God want me to do?" I think Bill (Gandalf?) understands this and I would agree that JWs seem very open to the notion that we can arrive at a good place over many different routes.
    I can't say I'm a qualified or even knowledgeable 'permaculturist', but I've always felt that my garden was my church. Respecting and nurturing the work of our creator. Permaculture even seems to go a step further in attempting to understand His/Her foundations for all that thrives and to encourage it rather than 'overcome' it. As far as suggesting the world is already perfect, there seems to be many things that have changed over the ages. Some for the better - at least for parts of the world. How can that be in an already perfect world? I rather see the world as an ongoing process of exploration with no final expression of 'perfection'. I see no reason to conclude that our creator stopped and rested eternally at some point. Even the biblical stories suggest he continued to intervene. We are evolving and perhaps part of that evolution is from something that stands apart from the world and tries to control it to something that sees its place in the world, recognizes our responsibilities to it and helps nurture it on the path to our mutual future.
     
  9. Felicity

    Felicity New Member

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    To me permaculture is the very essence of respecting the spirit of the earth; I think not of religion which tends to be people following someone else's ideas but of the spark of the divine in every living being, whether plant, water, air, stones, trees, creatures, yes, even people although many hide it extraordinarily well! If we try to work with nature's plan not only will we succeed in producing but we merge our energy with the energies of creation, awesome.
     

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