Two Graduate Essays on Sacred & Permaculture from the sacredpermaculture.net experience. Burt & Merry Hall, Maine. Supported by openmythsource.com
Two Graduate Essays on Sacred & Permaculture from the sacredpermaculture.net experience. Burt & Merry Hall, Maine. Supported by planetshifter.com

Sacred gardens. The gardens outside wind up mirroring the gardens inside. Hence, they are both sacred. I think it was in the Gospel of Thomas Christ said to make the innermost and the outermost one in order to enter the King/Queendom. There comes a point where the entire universe is a sacred garden. It all reflects us and we reflect all of Nature. As I think of this, I think of the Native American Kogis (South American, Columbian) who say we Europeans are seen by them as dead. Perhaps this is why we are creating a dead, mechanical, rational world in our image? A thought worth discussing, maybe? - BH

The Sacred, by Burl Hall

All is sacred. Everything and everybody at their core are infinite. In the infinite or sacred, whole, hole and holy become one and the same. What do I mean by this? When we become empty or naked of ourselves and become nothing, then we know we are whole and holy. To get there, we must move beyond our surface self which is akin to a surface wave and into the deeper Self which is an infinite Ocean that is beyond any conceptualization. To see this, thought must be quieted. It's sort of like our becoming a clear night so that we can see into the Heights, or like becoming crystal clear water so we can see into the Depths. In the depths of infinity, though, the relativity of height and depth becomes known as an illusion for these terms have no meaning.

Yet, it's important to know the wave is never separate from the Ocean of which it is a part, just as clouds are not apart from the sky. Indeed, as Oceans have currents, we have currents of events. This is what we mean when we talk of history. Time periods are movements within the Ocean's Depth which influences the waves on the surface. Yet, beyond time is the timeless Now, which is directly accessible through ascending or descending into consciousness.

Perhaps the Hindu Ramakrishna describes this Place best when he says:

"The Unmanifest is an infinite Ocean and Shakti is simply the graceful and powerful movements of that Ocean. The Unmanifest shines forth as Shakti and Shakti becomes this entire world."

In similar vein, Genesis of the Bible starts with an incredible void from which by impulse the infamous "Let there be" statements arise. As these statements are spoken, there is a bifurcation of the universe into multiplicity. Yet, this multiplicity remains grounded in its origin-which is the Unmanifest or Infinity.

Most folks feel this place is in time. So, some say this happened 4.5 billion years ago, others 6,000 years ago, still others billions of light years ago. I say this place is now. In other words, this moment is sacred and is born of the Unmanifest. When God says, "Let there be Light," you become aware of reading this essay.

This means that this ME and that YOU are sacred. These trees outside my window are sacred. All moments are sacred and all things are sacred. How is that? Because we emerge from and are formed by the same womb. Hence, visible Nature contains all our relations-.our Brothers/Sisters/Mothers/Fathers. This Nature is Nature as Creature. Nature as Essence, then, is the Unmanifest or Infinite that is the core of our being. As Christian mystic Meister Eckhart puts it, "all creatures shout God!" This means us-.all of us.

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Her Prodigal Children, by Merry Hall

The Millennium Gaia Statue sits at the center of my mantel. She is the avatar I have selected for my participation in Sacred Permaculture . She is an artistic manifestation, a sacrament, of my understanding of the sacred nature of Nature in which we all participate. I am pregnant with Her, even as She is pregnant with me.

We are participants in a living universe and in the personhood of God. My feminine incarnation cries forth the Feminine Divine, just as my husband, Burl's masculine incarnation cries forth the Masculine Divine. We are not divided. We are children of universal Life and Love AND we are also parents of universal Life and Love in the ongoing cycle of time-within-eternity, place-within-infinity. This is the great Mystery: together, we are both creators and creatures within the wholeness of a great Moebius Loop where inner and outer are continuous with one another.

As a fifteen-year-old studying biology, I chose (was spiritually guided?) to do my research paper on symbiosis, the mutually beneficial relationship between two species. Despite my Christian upbringing and my patriarchal enculturation and education, I was already interested in the unity-within-diversity and diversity-within-unity that I later found voice for in permaculture and Dark Green Religion. My favorite tee-shirt today says "I speak fluent patriarchy, but it's not my mother tongue." I am becoming ready to speak a new/ancient language-the Gaian language.

While humankind is still an infant species by most measures, it is high time for us to grow up. We have overstayed and abused our welcome as the coddled children of Earth, free to receive Her bounty without contributing to Her wealth. In many ways, the pampered child has become a tapeworm within the gut of the Mother, sapping Her health.

Wisdom calls us now to wean ourselves from Her breast, discontinue sucking Her lifeblood, and become productive members of Her family. She will continue to feed and nourish us, but only as we symbiotically feed and nourish Her. We can no longer remain parasites. Those among us who most clearly hear this calling of Wisdom must respond to it in our works, our words, and our examples. We must work WITH our Mother to call Her prodigal children home.

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