“I ponder how delicate is the sapling tree of democracy and freedom. Can the little tree rise as a center pole or great mast on board the Ship of the World upon the tumultuous rising seas of our day and those to come? How can we embrace democracy without acknowledging nature, the inherent mysteries–the myth stories…”
–Osprey Orielle Lake
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Today I see the distance from here to pangaia. It is shown and told to me in nearly every circumstance of my life as I scrabble at a shrinking niche of the old loopy tale. I still have fun and make promises, my skills are many and experience marked; but I have left the pragmatist rut some time ago and with it the tow-rope of linear social progress. My life has gone liminal and I dare say so has yours; we’re together and reliant. This is time of inflection and irruption, changing story, mythopoesis.
The sufficient Earth is waiting somewhere over this threshold, and I am not patient. It is utterly compelling, an intuitive permanent multi-culture, and understandably appalling, or coarse fantasy, for anyone unfamiliar to the good news and dependent on external definitions. I’ve travelled far alone, but this trip can’t be made so; your will is here too and we’ve got to keep linking many others, a swelling procession just ’round the corner to forever now. However, none of us can be lead, we cannot ask for that. It is also paradoxically a very personal journey to full ownership and absolution, participation in this amnesty that will open the gateway.
In the future everything is going to be better, with your blessing and craft. You know the story: so good you can almost taste the fruits…so close you must have been there before; in fact didn’t we somehow lose our way and wind up here, missing home? Hasn’t this whole cycle in fact happened countless times before, a strange Escher staircase of culture and catastrophe? Could a stable green world ever last? Do we have to fight to reach it? Is it purilely absurd to pose such questions from either side of this looming event horizon? Who can say.
I don’t plan much anymore; tomorrow is so stretchy. I am an author, an eco-tect, aesthete–I choose recreation. Look around as you move, and make eye contact, interact. Be conscious and clear, be generous. Do you see the gift that your neighbors offer? Do you include the more that could be made together? What if there was even a shared reference, a living culture-graph that reflected your wider reality and pulled you in to yourself, your greater being amidst many. Uplift the common vision FTP – for the play…you will be called to teach thus. A lot of questions are coming, a lot of mislaid hate and unneeded hurt. Can you take that, with honor, will you work alchemical romance with your Others? We need each other. That means them. That means there is no them. Our new environment compels commitment and participation. This is a special state, the threshold between worlds.
“Whether on a personal or collective level, we are discovering that the stories of separation are untrue. What we do unto the other, inescapably visits ourselves as well in some form. As that becomes increasingly obvious, a new story of self and story of the people becomes accessible to us. The new story of self is the connected self, the self of interbeingness. The new story of the people is one of co-creative partnership with Lover Earth. They ring true in our hearts, we see them on the horizon, but we do not yet live yet in these new stories. It is hard to, when the institutions and habits of the old world still surround us.”
Story has a layered meaning, and you’ve likely known the term in a particular way. Myth, even more so. Myth is lithographic story, polished and perfected. It’s the water of our meme-pool. It’s up to each of us to extend forth our story, our adventure, but it must branch from shared basis and context, often subtly and unconscious. With the strength of conviction we may reach for a wiser, gentler, comforting world, sunlight and rain, but the trunk is there to re-mind; all of us must work together to create the future we seek. Self Actualized.
Permaculture is a shared lens of observation and insight, to a living commons full of stories. Fun stories, dramatic stories, slow subtle stories, and we pull from them an evolving set and sense of Solutions, great knowledge about coming into alignment with the flow of our world. Such patterns constitute the body of the teaching, and in fact point back to a few essential questions that have been asked and fractiously answered since humans knew “I”. Acknowledging the questions as real and vital aspects of human being could obviate a lot of this feckless tail-chasing. The logos persists, it is our awesome facility for observation and pattern recognition, but it is one half of the equilibrium–or less if we understand the greater-sum of Wholes.
The power of story arrives as this integral fabric, where sense and knowledge combine with psychic, emotional and instinctual threads to nurture a state of gnosis in the self, thence entangled with the socialized or collective intelligence. If we can take a step further back and look at the patterns of the patterns, then we are apprehending a logic of Myth, if such exists…and may consider which complex sets of linked stories compose a culture-scape worth invigorating. Perhaps ‘consider’ is too remote, we’ll need to know this in our bones.
“Electric circuitry is recreating in us the multidimensional space-orientation of the ‘primitive’. Ours is a brand-new world of all-at-once-ness. ‘Time’ has ceased, ‘space’ has vanished. We now live in a global village…a simultaneous Happening. We are back in acoustic space. We have begun again to structure the primordial feeling, the tribal emotion from which a few centuries of literacy divorced us.”
Do we all have to agree? No we just act and receive fruit accordingly. The kicker is, we’re all increasingly visible and vulnerable to withholdings. Information is not enough. As many spiritual traditions recognize, a living teacher, a guru, is necessary to bring the teachings to life in their unique application to each individual. We need something from beyond our old selves, someone to illuminate our blind spots, to humble our conceit, to show us the love we didn’t know we had within us. This presents a problem today, because the age of the guru is manifestly over.
So I encourage you to believe, as companion and neighbor, as storyteller. To consciously accept the future into your heart, not as an ordinary vision but rather a Great Mystery in which you are called to participate, a relationship with providence. It’s no idle promise that seeing is believing, and believing lends to becoming. We can in fact decide to live now, to know that you and this are beautiful, find that richness and greater possibility are always arriving, nothing is wrong, community is by nature and creative.
But…I don’t want to die, I don’t want my children to suffer…some people scare me, some people cheat, fate can be cruel. Take up your pen and change these things, if you write for more than yourself. My suggestion is that we start from Yes, we can, and work back incrementally into just what and how, celebrating multiplicity from the concordance, a prism hatching many spectra. Cultures will adapt, as they always have, to larger realities, and this story continues as such–a world tree with many branches.
Is there an alternative, a competing narrative? Yes, it is called contest or conquest and it points toward this impending autophagic singularity, and another long way back out of circumvention. Don’t we need the motivation of limited spoils to carry us forward? Indeed. That was the story, “Forward!” (or get thee back). But now, let us simply devote a new drawing, the Regenesis; let’s each begin to live and change to its personal meaning, through a common worth and bond. This is ongoing, tense emergence into cracks and voids, strong signals coming through the noise. Many old stories are resurging, their harmonies resonant, ready for this artistry and reverence.
There is the constant test! What stirs you inwardly and amplifies back into action…what liberates you to the fluid conduct of life? Eros channeled, coursing, surging, all deftly braided at last as one stream. Choose it, name it, paint it, affirm this current. Though it may seem as something new to possess, a fresh water covenant–it is anciently in us all. So full of wisdom together, surrendered. This could be great work, it could be fun, it’s endless and shifting; you make it so. Storytelling; culture-craft, communion. The great teachers may be receding, because it is time now to look care-fully at each other, to touch and heal. Earth lusts for more, humanity is beginning and incapable of escape; we have one page, one arc, one ground to enrich again all but effortlessly.
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Ben Brownell is a sustainable community advocate and designer, regenerative entrepreneur, and eco-social media artist/adventurer currently thriving in the Rogue Valley of Jefferson State, Cascadia region, America. His project proposal for a Web navigation platform to link and empower stories of achievement on the path to sound futures can be reviewed at browsearth.org with an expanded version of this article under the ‘blog’ section.
solaureum at gmail.com
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