Hey Willi, Hope you are doing well. I like the semantics you've been using. Willi: I really don't get it though. I think it's obvious that we can effect the present, learn from the past and forecast the future. It's good to think about how time works. We can only 'do' in the now.
You can live in the past or daydream about possibilities and live outside reality. I think our world is totally trying to escape reality. That sucks, because we're in a death spiral... just thinking about it doesn't change anything. The more we 'do' nothing, the less attached we are..
If everyone, for example, spent an hour every day gardening, we could collectively clean up and beautify our surroundings. Instead we watch movies, burn time playing games, being online in useless pursuits that don't change our world. When I first read your post, I'm like, Willi's needs to lay of the weed, lol. So that all said, and knowing I care about all things Willi, what are you up to with this? Building on all you know and have done, what do you hope this work will do for you or humanity?
Thanks e! for your time (!) and insights on the post. two things are key here: Collapsed Time Stress Disorder which came up as I read messages in my multiple lists recently; again, it seems that we are living in all times zones at once now! Mythic Time, my attempt to offer an alternative to the "big three" and to Campbell's complexity.
two things that come up for me around this article (Collapsed Time Stress Disorder) are: 1) that I don't think of the daydreaming state as a disorder but a place in which visions and inspiration happen along with insight and healing. I get what you are saying about some people being susceptible in this state, but I think we can learn to be aware of that and take precautions. 2) what I've learned about past time. SO many people love to say, just let go of the past in reference to trauma, sadness, grieving, you name it. But what I've come to see is that unless one consciously allows the past into the conscious where we can deal with issues we can't, in fact let go because we haven't resolved it. WHat I've learned is that when I have done that, what I needed to resolve, embrace, heal from the past lets go of me. I don't forget it, but it takes on a different presence because the hurt is no longer there.
Hey Willi, That (interview) sounds great! I love the work you are doing, very resonant! Let chat potentials soon.
Hjeron O'Sidhe, mythmaker.ca
Thank you Sir for a masterful job (on the interview)! I am forwarding this to family and friends; that should drive some traffic to your site. Over the weekend FEMA called and I am being sent to Illinois to help following the recent tornadoes there. I likely will be gone through the holidays, back here first of the year. I will still have email access and such, just very little time. When I return let's see if there is some other ways I can help you.
Hi Willi, And thank you for adding me to the group. I loved your open ended question. It really helped me to look at what I am doing, or more accurately, view at what stage I am in the process of making the transition. The last several years have been about traveling, paring down possessions/bartering, learning to eat sustainably, discovering new mythologies through astrology, making art, living in various non-traditional communities and becoming a teacher. Over the last two years, I've been learning about permaculture online and been holding a void for where a longer-term community and connection to the land would be. While updating my LinkedIn profile, I saw your group, checked out Planetshifter. It looks like a wonderful resource and I look forward to exploring it further. So, to answer your question, I am working on the inside and awaiting manifestation. Where do you see transition now? All the best,
We'd be happy to do an interview at your convenience and I enjoy reading your posts via the twitter. With your ideas of creating new mythologies and narratives, I'd also recommend reaching out to Paul Nelson, who might also be able to give an interview. He is a longtime Cascadian, Poet, and Bioregionalist who runs SPLabs (Spoken Word Labs) in Seattle, and is a key organizer in the 2nd annual Cascadia Poetry festival. Cheers,
Brandon Letsinger, CascadiaNow!
re:Three Monoliths & the Crystal Triangle Network, 2066 AD
After a lot of conversation back and forth, Salli, as the most educated individual among the three of them, figured out what they actually had in their possession. I won’t tell you details about how it works and such, because the discovery of it belongs to the future and all technological details about it should stay in the future. I’ll still tell what those three monuments can do to the people who use them. Are you ready? It’s something that can collectively, our species as a whole, lift to the next level of consciousness. And it belonged long, long time ago to aliens.
How does that “next level” look like? Well, people who want to participate in it must first and foremost accept their belonging to the community, to a functional group of people who will never again make decisions based upon their superficiality and habits. They bear in their minds local sufficiency and long-term planning, but at the same time are immune to any form of nationalism and racism. They (new humans) plan to stay here for awhile, to sustain some form of (adapted to accumulated experience and, yes, new level of consciousness) civilized and organized living.
How is it possible? Like I’ve already told you, I won’t go into details about monuments themselves, but rather about how tools and technology should be used. It should fit in a large spatial and temporal context. Let’s take for example Las Vegas. Due to all respect to people who live there, a town or country focused on short-term profit and totally ignoring the environment is very fragile. We need technology and tools that can allow our consciousness and empathy to bloom. This new level of consciousness can allow us to perceive (and apply this perception) the world as networks rather as things. People will for the first time ever be able to find a proper place for each individual within the larger constellation. Even if an individual person doesn’t understand every interaction and its outcome, he/she still understands that much that people who pretended to know everything fought at least two world wars and almost destroyed the very everything they pretended to understand.
There is an anecdote that happened (will happen in the future) while our friends with the monuments were communicating for the first time. As I’ve already told you, Salli was the first one who understood what kind of toy they have in their hands. Dal and Ponder would ridicule the whole thing if a very strange coincidence hadn’t come their way. Just before this event with the monuments, Ponder was listening to the album “Monoliths & Dimensions” by the band Sunn O))). Check out the song titles: Aghartha (a place of an “ancient world government into which Alexandre Saint-Yves projected his take on the idea of utopia), Big Church (Ponder had found her monument under a church), Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) (the monument was found near a food forest and that “human face” from Mars was found in the region Cydonia), and Alice. It was like Jung’s concept of synchronicity (That higher level of consciousness already showing its weird side?) manifesting in a very intense way. How does Alice fit in? That composition isn’t exactly about that Alice from the Wonderland, but she fits nicely in the anecdote. As Ponder had said about Sunn O))) (it was all happening during their first conversation), Dal recalled that the latest musical composition she had listened to was Triangular Stare (like that triangular conversation from this story) by the band Dysrhythmia from their album Psychic Maps (even the album title for some strange reason sounds like the manual needed for the proper use of those monuments). There is on the cover a half-human face resembling the rabbit from the film Donnie Darko (a horror version of Alice’s rabbit), but with ears cut-off from the frame of the picture. Both albums were published in 2009. Considering that both bands and a bunch of weirdos (Just listen to those albums!), this paranormal aspect of the story makes sense.
Watch Donnie Darko and you’ll find some more spookiness in this whole story. Before I finish this report, I want to remind you of something. After all that environmental/societal mess, including Ponder’s parents being killed, why we humans need to be pushed to the wall before adding some empathy and long-term planning in our collective “consciousness”? Is there some better world in the world of possibilities, ideas, and missed opportunities in which Ponder’s parents survived the war, in which the war didn’t happen? Perhaps that scary rabbit knows the answer. Or not.
Aleksandar Malecic, Pancevo, Serbia
Sedona Spells: Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand? How can you stop a galloping horse while sitting still? Show me your original face before you were born. Zen koans
Sedona Spells: The combination of sparse poetry with beautiful scenes, sounds of nature, and indigenous music is interesting. To really have a sense of it, the production quality would need to come way up. One easy thing would be to pick a better font for the text overlays and position them intentionally. Check out the two overlays that I did on this video this morning:
I think hopi prophecy would be interesting poetry for a naturetoon.
Dave Room,BALANCE Edutainment/Pacha's Pajamas
What a great interview (with Matt Bibeau). Thank you for sending it out to share with others.
Bonnie Borucki, eastbaypermaculture list
currently (& concretely), I'm "transitioning" my yard to a permaculture system (composting leaves today). But, I've been an activist for 30 yrs, and continue to be active (slacktive?) online, as well as locally/regionally with local food/economy, transition, and permaculture groups. I've also been an online publisher, and aspire to revive my blogging; as such, I'm interested in your work and publication and will definitely check that out.
Hallo Willi, this is Ingrid in Sweden. I´m on your mailinglist, and I want to tell you that I am always really interested in what you are writing about!!
Thank you for your wise counsel, WP. Where are you putting your time/energy these days? I'm fully committed to Praying True ( would love to have you join us there, be the MAN to open the floodgates for our male counterparts. ) and teaching Painting True which is a way of expressing true reverence for life - part of the new mythology for me... with admiration for all you bring into being.
Willi, I found the interview you did with me online again and wanted to let you know I appreciate you having interest in my ideas. I've shared it on my Facebook page a few times. It gives me a sense of honour to have been chosen by yourself to contribute to the breadth of work.So in reading my words/creative thought processes through your ability to focus in on amazing topics I have become inspired once again. So, thank you. I wish you all the success and joy you can dream of.
Wonderful! Thank you for posting eBook 13 to the Sustainable Contra Costa Network - we're spreading it around through our facebook page as well.
Tina King Neuhausel - President & Co-Founder, Sustainable Contra Costa
Thanks for your interest, Willi. (re: We Are All On Flight 93:
Bringing Spirit to R Evolution, By Derek Joe Tennant,
We have met one time I believe; I think it was a few years ago, likely at one of the first *conversation* evenings hosted by Cecile at Worldcentric. I haven't been attending many of the TPA events lately, I live in Santa Clara without a car, and have lots of irons in the fire so to speak and that limits my ability to get north. I would of course be happy to talk with you. About the *us*: I accept that right now I am way out on the fringe. There are just a few percent, if even that, of people like me who have awakened to where this dominant culture is heading, have tried the personal solutions that the system offers, and have found them lacking in substance or ability to truly bring about change. I speak from and as part of that small group, although I am unaware of any aboveground, organized movement in the Bay Area that I could *join* or speak for. Hopefully as more people reach a similar conclusion, more people will be moved to truly step out of the culture. That is the point of my book, along with balancing material concerns with an active and developing spiritual life, and bringing into manifestation the perspectives that will build a sustainable future. Equality, integrity, connection, participation, mutual aid, and good nutrition are some of the values I hold dear and feel will be our salvation, if we are to survive as a culture.
Derek - http://www.derekjoetennant.net
Hi Willi! How are you? I was reading a few of your columns in your Planet Shifter Magazine. (see “Oh, PermaTrans, where art thou?” : Rant by Willi Paul, http://www.planetshifter.com/node/2147) You raise some REALLY good points! I do think that some of your language is extremely polarizing; for example you say "One could even ask the elites themselves to lead this strategic plan." Who wants to be called an elitist?!
Capitalism vs. Transition? perpetuating profit lust while disguising our greed as global conscious change is ugly. -- what does this mean? Can you give some concrete examples to explain this? Again, it's really polarizing.
To me, it's about finding common ground with people, listening to what they have to say, understanding their point of view before you start calling people names :)
Also if you have some ideas about CONCRETE ways to organize movements -- please put them out there! I think that this would be much more helpful instead of "ranting" as you call it. As it stands, I am one of the lead organizers in uniting the permaculture/Transition movements -- and would love to hear your thoughts but they are not concrete enough as is.
-- Where are our debated visions of the future? Big templates for change? Have you heard any feedback from the recent 2013 NorCal Transition – Permaculture Convergence? -- what does this mean?
Would love to hear some CONCRETE strategies for action and not just rants! :)
Susan Silber - Program Coordinator: Green Star Schools Program, Steering Committee: NorCal Transition Network
A SHORT STORY
Continuing the key lines for the food forest was very, very difficult for me. the whole time was like going through mud, almost like quicksand.
it seemed there was a very strong energy opposing the endeavor. my car broke down, my feet were much worse, making walking difficult (I have something called plantar fasciitis), i had no energy (very unusual for me).
when it was over i literally could not move for many days.
then i went on a pilgrimage of my own where spirit was talking through almost everyone i met with the message trust spirit to fill your needs. ( In my energy depleted stage i had been grasping at people in my community for help).
when i got back to laurelwood i immediately got sick. 10 sneezes an hour, lots of running eyes and nose, horrible headaches, fortunately no chest complications.
then the day the "cold" was pretty much over i had this vision:
it was of devas or plant spirits dancing and cavorting over the food forest slopes where we had staked out the key lines.
i watched for a while and then thanked them for showing themselves to me. they all stopped and looked at me and said thank YOU. i said what for. they said that by putting in the stakes for the key lines we had woken them up. (acupuncture?) they were excited to partner with humans after so long a time of being "asleep." the plant beings assured me that they would do everything they could to help laurelwood get the land next door (and they assured me they could do a lot),
i had another vision just yesterday of a tribe where there were circles that people called when their energy was low and they needed help.
the tribe had a ceremony after someone performed a heroic endeavor joining the spirit world to the physical world as happened with the key lines, encircling that person in the tribes strength, seeing if the spirit world wanted to share anything through this person.
Charlotte, Victory Gardens
It's not that I'm an expert in functioning of the collective mind and the emerging (I hope so) transition (and emergence, networks, anticipation, and thresholds in general), and I've found a lot of authors and texts pointing to the same thing from different angles. I find some interesting intuition in the stuff you are doing. Of course you've read and written a lot of texts, but I still find something primal and raw in your motivation and intuition. That mega hit rock band couldn't go at the moment much further than Muse and Pearl Jam. There is the so-called Cascadian black metal scene with Fauna/Echtra as the mentally/psychologically most dedicated and intense exemplar.
-- “Oh, PermaTrans, where art thou?” : Rant by Willi Paul, Planetshifter.com Magazine"
Aleksandar Malecic, in New Global Mythology on Depth Psychology Alliance
Just saw it and love it! I like that you were in it this time. I do think the sound is an issue for some of the time. And I liked before when you put the key question(s) on the black screen. Keep doing what you are doing!
Premiere Video, The Sharing & ReSkilling Show
I did hear from Peter that it was good this time,'the sharing was fun, and we are proud to have you. :-) hope you can join us again.
rani, Transition Palo Alto
This is fantastic!
Willi Paul’s Children’s Video:
"Forest Vibrations * Sacred Lights"
selected for Depth Insights eZine Fall 2013
Hi Willi, Thank you so much for the additional information! Your writing and interviews are amazing!
Jane Lee - Wiser.org
"Willi, First of all, welcome.. I have heard quite a lot about you and I am surprised we never met in the past. Wiser is mostly based on status update, wikis and discussion forums. We do have our blog and we could have you become a guest blogger if you were interested. http://blog.wiser.org/"
Peggy Duvette, Wiser.org
(re: The LightDNA Boys from the Blue-Green Galaxy) -
OT. Agree. Completely OT.
Rosi and Jordan, Portland
It means off topic. For the record, I don't think it's off topic. I think permaculture has many facets. Not everyone is interested in money supply/federal reserve system, solar energy, electric motorcycles, or humanure, but I think they all apply. It took me awhile to actually understand how the stories and myths relate to permaculture. A word I would prefer to use is what is the culture that we are developing and choosing for our lives? Stories and myths are part of that culture. So are neighborhood garden markets, swales, and wildcrafting, but not everyone participates in every part. I think it's important for us to value all the parts, even if we don't actively involve ourselves in them.
John S, PDX OR
Should I post an announcement every time I complete a new piece of music? Or someone else post every time they have a new drawing or a poem? There are lists specifically for such personal expression but (PPG) isn't one of them.
Thanks Jonathan - I am a guest here, indeed. And my work is definitely OT by design, heart and vision. This is my charge.... to integrate and accelerate ... and my burden.
"The Field" talks about light being produced at a cellular level based on scientific experimental evidence. It goes from there to talk about what that means, but you would have to read it yourself because I can't do it justice in an explanation.
Excellent Interview (Hands on Resilience : Interview with Russell Evans, Director of Transition Lab), Willi Paul! This one's a keeper. Very grounded, very inspiring. Campfire, Burning Bush, what's the difference? Russell E. somewhere in this interview refers to YouTube as the campfire. I like the idea of it as, potentially here and there at least, as a burning bush. Thank you.
Wonderful! You have really helped me, (re: A Permaculture School Dream! Interview Joanna Claassen) thank you!
re: Jen Boynton Interview
Nice interview Willi, could have been five times as long and I would have read it.
JB: "I am cautiously in favor of fracking as a means to move us off of more carbon intensive sources of energy. Unfortunately, we’re in a position where we need to choose the lesser of two evils. Of course, water contamination is a big concern and I believe we need more stringent regulation around water table contamination and protections for landowners."
This quote reveals the insanity and utter sickness of the corporate model. Boynton presents her views as being progressive, but in my view, they are more destructive because her paradigm pretends to care about the earth but is destroying it just the same. The corporations have taken over the word "sustainability" and rendered it meaningless. Sustainability is not wringing out the last of the earth's resources while ignoring the consequences. Capitalism is dependent on "growth" which is akin to cancer. In the end "growth" will kill us all. Sustainability means understanding your limits. We have to dramatically downsize, cooperate, change the way we live. That means the end of corporations, capitalism, profiteering, imperialist war, mining and much more.
Good points. Question: Do you credit Ms. Boyton as a "sustainability expert?" I also see grey in their logo / slogan: "people, planet, profit."
Who or what is against sustainability?
Anyone who claims to be against sustainability really doesn’t understand it – the principles make sense for any business or political leader to get behind. Nearly everything marketed as "sustainability" is not actually sustainable. It's why I spell it Sustain-A-Bull.
New York Times
THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Our Decrepit Food Factories
By MICHAEL POLLAN
Published: December 16, 2007
The word "sustainability" has gotten such a workout lately that the whole concept is in danger of floating away on a sea of inoffensiveness. Everybody, it seems, is for it whatever "it" means. On a recent visit to a land-grant university's spanking-new sustainability institute, I asked my host how many of the school's faculty members were involved. She beamed: When letters went out asking who on campus was doing research that might fit under that rubric, virtually everyone replied in the affirmative. What a nice surprise, she suggested.
But really, what soul working in agricultural science today (or for that matter in any other field of endeavor) would stand up and be counted as against sustainability? When pesticide makers and genetic engineers cloak themselves in the term, you have to wonder if we haven't succeeded in defining sustainability down, to paraphrase the late Senator Moynihan, and if it will soon possess all the conceptual force of a word like "natural" or "green" or "nice."
Confucius advised that if we hoped to repair what was wrong in the world, we had best start with the "rectification of the names." The corruption of society begins with the failure to call things by their proper names, he maintained, and its renovation begins with the reattachment of words to real things and precise concepts. So what about this much-abused pair of names, sustainable and unsustainable?
To call a practice or system unsustainable is not just to lodge an objection based on aesthetics, say, or fairness or some ideal of environmental rectitude. What it means is that the practice or process can't go on indefinitely because it is destroying the very conditions on which it depends.
How do you see the impact of fracking in CA? Which side are you on?
Fracking hasn’t become a runaway industry in California the way it has in other parts of the country, but it looks like that may change. Given the immediate challenge posed by climate change, and especially the onslaught of wildfires we’ve had in the region, I am cautiously in favor of fracking as a means to move us off of more carbon intensive sources of energy.
Unfortunately, we’re in a position where we need to choose the lesser of two evils. Of course, water contamination is a big concern and I believe we need more stringent regulation around water table contamination and protections for landowners.
Fracking is scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep the growth based system powered. It astonishes me that alleged environmentalists are so disinterested in basic math or the carcinogenic legacy of injecting toxic solvents into aquifers. I guess if the only thing one looks at is "carbon" one cannot have a holistic, ecological understanding. There has been some technical discussion that fracking around Monterey, CA is unlikely to be as productive as the energy speculators are claiming. California uses lots of fossil fuels, more than it produces in its borders.
Tell us about the challenges in branding sustainability? Is this different from a “regular” corp.?
Companies that choose to brand themselves with a sustainability message do face additional challenges in terms of public scrutiny, and they also have to offer increased transparency in order to demonstrate how they operate sustainably. This honesty is often rewarded in the court of public opinion, though. In the age of social media the public appreciates transparency and open discussions around sustainability, even if a company hasn’t totally solved a problem yet.
There was a brief window in the early 1990s when the Federal government was considering how to crack down on greenwashing claims, but that didn't last long. Companies that push a "brand" of sustainability are almost always lying.
How is sustainability like a religion?
I wouldn’t describe it that way, since most sustainability practices are based in science (consider Herman Daly’s writing on the first and second laws of thermodynamics and how they should inform economics) rather than faith. Herman Daly writes about steady state economics, which is about as far removed from the greenwashing of "sustainability" as possible. Most of what's called "sustainability" is a marketing campaign, not a religion, although there is a cult-like attachment to the greenwashing aspects.
In my opinion there is nothing progressive about drilling for natural resources. Certainly the method of the process fracking is neither safe nor inexpensive. Replacing clean natural water sources is priceless and poisoning people and the planet is not safe nor inexpensive. This person is either being paid off for their opinion or they are insane in my opinion.
'Cautiously in favor of fracking'?!
In addition to the contamination of water in large areas of the country already, there are massive numbers of wells under water in Colorado right now, leaking dangerous chemicals. There have also been massive numbers of earthquakes caused by fracking in areas that have never had earthquakes, unlike here in California.
Fracking may not be a 'runaway industry' here compared to other states, but we have plenty of wells in the state already. More than a thousand are listed on a voluntary disclosure map here: http://www.fracfocusdata.org/
To get just a small glimpse of how wide-spread the associated problems are, you can see some of the more high profile 'fraccidents' here: http://earthjustice.org/features/campaigns/fracking-across-the-united-st...
Increased regulation is not going to fix problems that are inherent in this technology. It's like trying to regulate mountain lions to switch to a vegan diet.
Choosing an evil, no matter how 'lesser' it may seem, has nothing to do with sustainability or permaculture. I expect a whole lot more creativity in problem solving from the permaculture community than jumping on the bandwagon, however 'cautiously', of the latest tech 'fix'.
And don't get me started on 'reducing' pesticides. There's no need to reduce: Just stop using them, period! Pesticides and fracking are not appropriate technologies.
IT'S AN HONOR BEING A MEMBER OF THE (LI) GROUP:-))))))))))))(((((((((((-: Y O U R S DEVOTED
Very cool to see Portland doing this. It's these kinds of allies that I grew up with in Kansas. They were open, nor fenced off as in the first picture. The landscaping of each neighbor's yard went right to the pavement, and we biked and roller skated and chased each other up and down those allies as kids.
Re: “New Sharing & Return Rituals & Their Symbols in Transition"
Other than personal rituals such as relationship anniversaries, the rituals that I have participated in in recent years have been the ages-old traditions under the rubric of Paganism, related to the seasons: especially Yule (winter solstice, marked by feasting and decorating an evergreen tree, and a sprite who came down the chimney to leave gifts for children), Ostara (spring equinox, with a custom of coloring eggs), Beltaine (May Day, with its phallic May Pole, celebrating the return of fertility to the land in spring), and Samhain (traditional start of the Celtic/northern new year, 31 October (when it is said that the veil between this physical world and other realms is thinnest, allowing discarnate entities to pass most easily for a visit to our realm). There are a number of other seasonally-related holiday celebrations observed or celebrated to one degree or another by those who identify in our times as Pagan: the lambing season, midsummer, first harvest, fall equinox, etc. Some modern Pagans also have celebrations around the full moon and other phases of the moon as well. Yes, these seasonal markings are observed by Pagans in the southern hemisphere six months out of sync with ours in the northern hemisphere; so Yule in Australia, for example, is on 21 June. Of course these observances, being thousands of years old, have nothing to do with the current cultural transition, but are more perennial. Over the most recent couple of millennia, Christianity adopted most of the Pagan celebrations, putting a particular Christian twist on them, e.g., Christmas (still with a feast, a decorated evergreen tree, and the gift-giving sprite), Easter (still with colored eggs), Halloween (still with ghosts and goblins). The term "Pagan" itself is not Pagan in origin but Roman: In Latin the word paganus just meant "rural person" (often with the same pejorative connotation as our modern English terms "country bumpkin" or "redneck"). Later the term came to be used to refer to those who had not converted to Christianity. Early people who celebrated the Pagan celebrations were, well, "the people". The timing of Christmas, so close to the Pagan Yule, is obvious, as is Halloween. The timing of Easter also reflects its Pagan origin, since Christians observe it on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox (Ostara).
"Pagan holidays or seasonal celebrations that have manifested in universal myths today?" Hmm. A myth, seems to me, is not the same as a celebration, though one could involve the other. To your question, I immediately thought of Santa Claus, the Christmas/Yule tree, the Easter bunny, and Easter eggs (all of Pagan origin), because they've infused the mainstream culture at least throughout North America, and Santa Claus and the tree are universal also through Europe and Russia; not sure about the Easter bunny and eggs. They're universal because not just Christians and Pagans use those symbols; come the season, and every shopping mall and independent store puts up decorations with those themes, even if the point is to sell stuff and not to celebrate gift giving or fertility, respectively. Everyone, with or without a spiritual or religious identification, decorates their homes with evergreens and lights, and gives gifts. The Russian customs offer an interesting side note on Santa Claus and the tree. They do both, and have since pre-Soviet days. But the Soviets, being officially opposed to religion, not long after the Bolshevik Revolution moved Santa Claus and gift-giving to New Year's Day; and also changed the name from Santa Claus (originally a Christian saint, whose identity was glommed onto that Pagan sprite) to the Russian term that translates as "Grandfather Frost" ("Дед Мороз"). (Yes, I speak Russian; I'm a Russian-English-Russian translator.) Before 1917, Russia used the Julian Calendar, but the Bolsheviks also changed to the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, although the Russian Orthodox Church never changed for its own liturgical calendar, and to this day Christmas in Russia, among those who observe it, falls on 6 January Gregorian, which is 25 December Julian. Russians refer to their decorated trees as either "Christmas trees" or "New Year's trees" ("рождественская ёлка" or "новогодняя ёлка"). They still exchange gifts on New Year's Day. But those are celebrations, not myths as such. Maybe I can't see the forest for the trees, but I'm having some difficulty even thinking of any mainstream American myths. Maybe they're represented by some common sayings that people (well, the mainstream) toss off as obvious truisms, such as "It's a dog-eat-dog world" and "Do unto others before they do unto you," or these two that are mutually contradictory: "The early bird gets the worm" and "Haste makes waste." :-) Or maybe the myths are buried in unstated assumptions, such as the one that rock stars and football players are better human beings than everyone else, or that we live in a democracy with a two-party system, or that we can keep on consuming petroleum and aluminum ore and trees without limit just because we can today and it makes life more pleasant, for us, today.
As for "rural person" and "localized person", yeah, that might reflect a shift in thinking among those who have become concerned about permaculture and sustainability. I know there have been attempts to reclaim the term "redneck". I'm not a fan of country music, but I heard that not too many years ago there was a big country music hit called "Thank God I'm a Redneck," in which the singer sang about all the virtues of having an agricultural background—feeding everyone else, that bending over in the fields, thereby tanning the back of your neck, is good honest work; etc. Pre-industrial peoples understood that permaculture is good; sustainability is good. They lived that way for many thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution and the rise of consumerism and competition. So we aren't inventing new values; we're just rediscovering the values of our ancestors. The myths that support those values may take new forms, though, since we've mostly grown up away from those values and therefore lost the old myths—including myself, since I grew up in a city, and my food came from a grocery store and my beverages in aluminum cans, too. A few people (Joseph Campbell comes to mind) researched and wrote down many of the old culture-supporting pre-industrial myths, thereby preserving them for us; and in the case of the First Nations of North America, enough remnants of the original culture survive that there are still exponents of their myths who can now teach those who want to learn.
Pete Benson, Eugene
Hi Willi, I would love (to do an interview about the permaculture preschool project). I just checked out your website, already learned something and am inspired. Thank you for your work and for your thoughtful offer. What are the next steps? Warmly,
Very cool to see Portland doing this (Alley re-Design). It's these kinds of allies that I grew up with in Kansas. They were open, nor fenced off as in the first picture. The landscaping of each neighbor's yard went right to the pavement, and we biked and roller skated and chased each other up and down those allies as kids.
HI Willi, (The Sharing & Re-Skilling Show!) sounds like such a special opportunity, and I just want to let you know that I can't be there. (We typically go to church on Sunday mornings) -- but I look forward to seeing the videos you create and hope that they can be posted (or linked to), the Transition PA website. Cheers,
Williperm - This name ("The Sharing & Re-Skilling Show!") reminds me again that permaculture is a neologism (i.e. a complicated new word) made of "permanent" and "culture". Also, I suppose you want to be permanent, to stay on your course for awhile. This is perhaps the biggest psychological obstacle for the new mythology: to stay on the course AND trust that others will still be on the course (emerging by itself and ignored by big business, big politics, and even bigger nutcases trying to control and spy the situation) or at least not deviate too much from the course.
Every act a person performs, every relationship, every use of a tool follows the form of the person's psychological structure. If the person is organized around the fact and feeling of abandonment, for example, every act and relationship may be skewed by the simultaneous need for reconnection and inability to believe s/he can reconnect; or it may take the form of trying to connect in an unrealistically close way, perhaps an emptiness in the chest or belly causing a constant need to try to fill it with real or metaphorical contact. These attempts to overcome the original trauma and connect can actually drive people away, not surprisingly, recapitulating the original abandonment and convincing the person more completely each time that s/he will be abandoned every time. In this way the shadow—those qualities, characteristics and parts of us we're unaware of because we refuse to accept them as ours—seems to be trying to both call attention to and solve, and sabotage solutions. The same shadow also makes some of those people abandon others. Two other major traumas we suffer often are neglect, that is, failure to connect much at all to start with, and invasion—physical, sexual, verbal, emotional abuse or constant low-level invasion. Most of us suffer some combination of all 3. The reactions, which also include stopping the awareness of the feelings by restricting breathing, tightening muscles, living in our heads, work, play and `entertainment', fantasies, drugs and alcohol, sex—in fact any tool we pick up becomes a way not to be aware of what we know and feel—also known as an addiction—until we change that by becoming more conscious. Until we do we are mostly ruled by shadow.
Sacrifice in our society is mostly shadow sacrifice, the sacrifice of Iphigenia by Agamemnon, of Isaac (`Isaac' in Hebrew is yitschaq,' laughter') by his father Abraham, the bloody sacrifice of the Aztecs, removing the heart from the chest the driving of a goat ritually imbued with the faults of society into the desert—the scapegoat. Sacrifice in our society is done the way we do almost everything: in the service of hierarchy and patriarchy and unawareness. The young are sacrificed in the perceived interest of the old, whether in the abandonment and abuse of war, the neglect or abandonment of poverty (many on the right focus their attention and compassion almost exclusively on fetuses, grudgingly allowing programs like Head Start for some after, and absolutely refusing to countenance any help beyond that, abandoning children, teens and adults in a world the conservatives believe is harsh and therefore make harsh), women are abandoned by men, minorities by the powerful majority, future generations and the carrying capacity of the Earth by those addicted to the Earth's capital today, everyone by everyone. Without nature, and without close families and mature, healthy elders in a non-hierarchical society what little connection we can come by at the start is destroyed by either abandonment or invasion or usually, both. With so many attempts at sacrifice skewed into those shadow forms of it, it becomes even more necessary than usual to get right within ourselves if we expect to make any useful sacrifices in service of the biosphere. In an ideal world we'd do this first but with time pressures mounting over the ecological crisis, we need to do it, and make it up, as we go. We need to make the sacrifices we make serve as many purposes as we can—argument, education for ourselves and others, accomplishing tasks that are the equivalent of Gandhi's Satyagraha movement's spinning, weaving and salt-making. We boycott and learn, become resilient and form community. The daily acts of tending, becoming attuned to the individual members and collective flows of an edible forest garden, a group reading together about Transition or coming together to help each other with the emotions caused by honestly and unflinchingly confronting climate chaos are sacrifice in terms of becoming more in tune with the sacred—the ultimate purpose of all sacrifice. They advance our cause; they also advance our abilities to judge and make useful sacrifices in the future. We grow by attuning to more and more, through ritual, psychotherapy, love, difficulties and contemplation.
Jeffrey Harrison Cope
Thanks Jeffrey - When you say "attuning", what do you mean? How does this work?
By the way I love planetshifter - fantastic work! You might be interested in the Sustainable Learning website (www.sustainable-learning.org) which includes (amongst others) permaculture research and blogs... it's quite a new project but seems to be going well. Maybe you might be interested in writing a blog for us? Best wishes,
Anna Evely, Director of eco enterprise project MAYA and SEEDBALL
Finally got a chance to check them out, these stories (New Myths - http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1855) seemed to resonate with me more. I completely understand where you're coming from. I want to be interested but have found it difficult. Not exactly sure why. The way I have understood myths is that they are often based on real people, real things, and that they are told many times and in many different ways. I was looking at http://mythodrome.net/random-pieces-revelation-13 and thought of your project. I'm not sure we can drop old myths, or that we would even want to. Wondering how we would retell these myths in the new way. Perhaps you don't need to write any new myths but both find old myths that need to be retold. I bet you could also find other people to retell the new ones or even find people that are living them out right now. A general sense that I have is that we no longer need quantity. More is not good enough. What we need is better, we need quality in all the things we say and do. I wonder if you have found the right lever but are pushing it the wrong way? I hope you find what I say helpful, if not please feel free to disregard. Whatever you do I know you have latched onto something good.
Hi Milton! I see some entrenchment with the classic myths, a reluctance to challenge Campbell and vision for the future. Can the classics speak to global warming, toxic food, nuclear spills, etc? Can the Greeks work now, in our apocalypse? Do we want 'the Gods" mucking in our new myths? All good fodder but time is running out.... Yes - quality is better than quantity.
Again, I invent the future as I invent new myths.
Hi Jeanne Andrews - I mentioned presenting my work to your roundtable (http://www.meetup.com/JCF-MRT-SAC/?gj=ej35&a=mm1_l4) in the recent past.
Myth Lab (http://communityalchemy.com/ebook12/eBook12.pdf )
Would love to set a date.
Thanks for the reminder. I did mention your program at our planning meeting and being we had two speakers already this year with an eco-psychology emphasis, they thought it might be better for us down the road.
However, permaculture is a concept embraced by many wisdom traditions. Would you be open to something about that, instead of something about what you define as the need for a "new mythology?"
Hi Jeanne -
Nice to hear from you. I am not really involved in eco-psychology per se; you must have inferred this by my fledgling myth group on depth psychology alliance? Also, my work in "new mythology" integrates permaculture, Transition, Nature and alchemy. What is New Mythology? Elements include:
1. Localization – back to sustainability and community; self-sufficiency
2. Nature- Centered; Nature First
3. Spiritual (not religious)
4. Future-based (25 – 50 years from now)
5. Universal themes, issues and warnings plus messages
6. Para-Normal in conflict or characters
7. Initiation, Journey and Hero (after Joseph Campbell)
8. Permaculture & Transition: ethics, principles and values
Have you reviewed my eBook 12 and Myth Lab (see link above)?
This is a good offering for your group.
I hope we can find a fit...
Jeanne - Okay, well, I'll give this information to them and let you know :)
Thanks for the Kindista shout-out Willi! (Permaculture Transition & Sacrifice)
benjamin crandall, kindista.org
Hi Willi, Yes, those myths are neat concepts! I have been thinking along those lines, with the placement of nature in the town square. Also, I love the lighthouse concept. As far as supernatural goes: Years ago, I went to a preview viewing of an indi film at the Red Vic theater entitled : 'Wendigo'. One you might want to watch, if you have not already...about a Native American Totem spirit. Legend has it that when we take too much from the land, or from each other, the spirit shows its destructive side to 'teach' humans how to interact with nature in a more peaceful, mature way.
A couple of years before I saw this movie, I was with my (then) husband traveling over a mountain pass on our way to a campsite near the boarder of Canada. It was night in the pouring rain and we got lost so we stopped off at a gas station to get directions to an obscure roadside campsite where we were to meet our traveling companions and spend the night before continuing to our hiking destination in the morning. Once we arrived at the campsite, we pitched our tent and waited for our friends to show up. I recall standing by the tent with a lantern in my hand watching and waiting for them. Then we heard a very loud crackling sound in the forest behind us. We turned to each other in awe and fear. What was THAT? It sounded big. larger than a bear, though the thought of a big bear standing over my back scared me enough. We turned off the lantern then, and quietly crawled into the tent and whispered about the spirit totems. I didn't sleep much that night as I tossed and turned listening to every little sound around us. In reality, most likely, that sound was a big branch falling from a tree, though I really pondered the supernatural in nature.
The next day, the rain had passed and we found our two companions waiting for us at the foot of the trail. They asked us where we'd been. We asked them the same. Somehow, we'd missed them the night before. So the four of us continued up the seven mile hill, past the grizzly bear country warning sign, to our next camping spot at the top of a summit. Strangely enough, that night, there was another rain storm which almost washed us and our tents down hill. The next morning, we all decided to take a dip in the lake/hot spring. Somehow, my friend's dog went under and almost drowned. As she lifted her dog from the water, we heard another crackling sound on the other side of the lake, which we quickly left for dry land, and we began packing our gear to head home. None of us discussed what that sound might have been. We just instinctively knew it was time to go. We survived though, with a newfound respect for nature, realizing how small and powerless we really are. When I speak of 'supernatural', that is the concept I'm embracing. Maybe there is a great spirit out there. I wouldn't doubt it.
Willi, Just ran across your work on New Myth. wow.
Michelle Smith, Asheville Celebrant
Somehow the use of fairy tales (old versions, minus illustrations) seems related to Willi's original thread. How can a new, living mythology arise at least in part from some very old sources?
Hi Willi, I just joined Kindista. I am intrigued with your magazine. What kind of people do you wish to interview? I know so many perhaps I can be a good referral source. Would love to connect! Cheers, Kari Wishingrad
Willi-- Love the PlanetShifter site. It will take me a while to digest all of it. From the looks of your various activities, life is good.
Tony Filipovitch, Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato
Willi, Cool that you did this (Beemageddon & the Honey Bee!). Just wanted to let you know that the Albert Einstein who made that remark is Einstein the beekeeper, not Einstein the physicist. Everyone thinks it's the white haired guy with the big mustache but it's not, it's the bee Einstein. I am intrigued by what you're doing but I don't quite have the language down yet. I don't understand what the "myth" is. What's the way you define that word?warmly, Jacqueline Freeman, Friendly Haven Rise Farm
Beautiful! (New Myth # 47)
Would be great if it really happened (New Myth # 47).
Hi Willi, I've just moved to Ann Arbor, MI from Chicago. My primary focus right now is to get myself established in this new ecosystem. That means lots of observation and exploration of both the physical and cultural worlds here! I've also got a collaborative project with my friend Sarah Spotten. We're working through how Integral Theory can enhance Permaculture, trying to create some new tools that can help enhance permaculture design. We should have a second blog post up soon (hopefully after our next work session on Sunday) at http://permacultureproductions.com. Nothing truly earth shattering but still plenty of work!
I like this one a lot, Willi (“The Roundabout Food Forest Gang” New Myth #47). It has a very leafy feel to it. I like the guardian in the hoodie, too. Made me think all sorts of things.
thanks for all your myth work!
WOX: City Repair - I am looking for examples of how folks can tear-out streets to build community spaces, including gardens or food forests. Can you offer any resources / examples?
MVM: The folks in town who are working on that are 1) the group doing stuff on Alley Recovery, and 2) the Unimproved Roadway folks. It might be that both those groups are mostly populated by urban planning students from the university. We're not directly involved at City Repair, and they're so under the radar at this point I'm not sure how to contact them "officially." I've just seen the glossy booklets they've created... If you want to give me a little more info, what your project is, etc., I can pass it on to my friend who is involved, and give him the option of contacting you.
WOX: Hi Mia! BTW - I will be at my third NW Permaculture Convergence to present MYTH LAB in a week. I am writing new myth #47 based on a recent Lab in SF. The piece involves removing concrete from a roundabout and planting food and creating paths. I would love community input and some technical data.
MVM: That is perfect, because I am pretty sure Jonathan Brandt will be there. That's who I was thinking of. If not, his community mate Nataka will be, as he's speaking on Fri night and Sat.
Another connection to these folks Matt Phillips. They all three live at the Fosterville eco-village and I believe are planning to attend the convergence. Also, they all three are committed to this work, and solid technical hands-on folks with lots of gardening (especially Matt and Jonathan). If you can get with Jonathan, I think he knows all the folks in Portland doing the alleyway gardening movement. Seems like Jonathan is not going to be at convergence.
And.... we did have one project during VBC that involves putting a garden in an unimproved roadway, Rabbit Hill. http://vbc.cityrepair.org/index.php?id=443
I'm including it in a tour Thursday afternoon, so will know more about it then.
Mia Van Meter,
Thank you SO much Willi. MOST appreciate this (“Oil and Water” : Interview with Pat Moran San Francisco Mime Troupe).
Lawrence, L. Helman PR, SF
An important component of a functional (if there is still enough time and space left for such a thing) new mythology is willingness to deal with complexity, to reduce degrees of separation between those who care and those who can, to try and fail and try again.
Actually I mis-spoke, although the "great transition" is also a good term The term I meant to say was the "Great Turning", coined by the author Joanna Macy. Right now, trying to continue what I absorbed in my vision quest with School of Lost Borders which was a 14 day workshop which included a four day vision fast in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains in CA. My current practice includes reading, meditating, praying, and following the Four Shields (or directions, points, paths, etc) of Life. I was introduced to the term, the "great turning" by Joanna Macy in her book "Active Hope". Currently looking for Jungian, in Depth Psychology oriented therapist in my area (New London, CT). Still have a lot of healing to do.
comment in "New Global Mythology" Group on Depth Psychology Alliance
Projection + The Extended Mind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Extended_Mind ) = Mythic Imprinting
The "extended mind thesis" (EMT) refers to an emerging concept that addresses the question as to the division point between the mind and the environment by promoting the view of active externalism. The EMT proposes that some objects in the external environment are utilized by the mind in such a way that the objects can be seen as extensions of the mind itself. Specifically, the mind is seen to encompass every level of the cognitive process, which will often include the use of environmental aids.
The seminal work in the field is "The Extended Mind" by Andy Clark and David Chalmers (1998). In this paper, Clark and Chalmers present the idea of active externalism (similar to semantic or "content" externalism), in which objects within the environment function as a part of the mind. They argue that it is arbitrary to say that the mind is contained only within the boundaries of the skull. The separation between the mind, the body, and the environment is seen as an unprincipled distinction. Because external objects play a significant role in aiding cognitive processes, the mind and the environment act as a "coupled system". This coupled system can be seen as a complete cognitive system of its own. In this manner, the mind is extended into the external world. The main criterion that Clark and Chalmers list for classifying the use of external objects during cognitive tasks as a part of an extended cognitive system is that the external objects must function with the same purpose as the internal processes.
Sounds fun. I read and listened to a lot of your information/workshops. It got me going so I wrote out these notes. They're attached. As you talked, I wrote. 7.11.13
Wave nt time : fluid passage vs discrete
activation nt repetitive ceremony
inclusive nt exclusive (brotherhoods)
Starwars nt new mythology but generic archetype that generate a group momentum based on fear of exclusion from brotherhood
passing on via completion nt cycling or even re-cycling, recycle, reuse, regenerate NO
nt even recycled art
Inspired manifestation nt manifest destiny: visualize and you shall have NO
Sharing the wealth to generate wealth vs copy rite or trademarks patents
bridge with helping hands: crossing over
open doors and windows
Light vs dark space
co - labor- nation: together we build a nation
composting is a material thought as a transitional thought the missing link is metaphysics: under what umbrella are all these efforts united?
Unified mind: Harmonic Resonance One running fork activating the next in concatination
The world vs universe as wave vs round (cycling)
change fr world (globe) to universe
nt about seasonal activity or nature it is beyond
sufficiency vs multiplicity
Campbell: hero > journey > imitation:
new frontier is the mind: each of us is a hero
new journey is w/o structure or from structure to content it is leaving or inciting the walk away from collectivity to unified consciousness
the collective reduces Vs united consciousness or creative power
lowest common denominator > structure > include all the challenged individuals > include all minds
equal access, employment, rights passage
Not about boy + girl + happily ever after = individual prosperity myth
about surfing the wave of awareness that well being to all who start out
no One's saved or rewarded
We are all enriched
the structure does not survive the initiates hold the space/light for others to cross over the bridge to peace
Valerie Solheim, PhD The Beehive Effect: Ancient Rites - Quantum Principles
(interview with Eric McCool for 2013 NW Permaculture Convergence) Your question: "Are there forces acting against the Permaculture movement?" - I have mentioned timing in one of my previous comments. There is a difference whether your "enemy" is getting stronger and more arrogant or weaker and more confused. The cash (and power) flow from those who produce and protect food, water, and "good enough" products to those who have money, technology, and marketing on their side is enormous. Especially if people in general are brainwashed (especially after industrial revolutions) to perceive financially poorer people as lazy, stupid, and inferior exemplars of our species.
Wow! Wonderful (interview with Eric McCool for 2013 NW Permaculture Convergence). Thanks Willi!
Robyn Wagoner, Event Coordinator, NWPCC
Building such a connection (Land Sky River Stars) between old land and the new world brings danger and rewards." -- Danger and rewards, two sides of responsibility. If and when things turn upside down, is it responsible if someone relies on dreams, visions, and similar sources of inspiration?
Wow! Great links. New myths. New stories. Getting back to this thread is on my to-do list now. Congratulations to the New Myth achievements thus far....exciting!
CarmelaBear, Joseph Campbell Foundation Forum
Hi Willi, After almost 3 months here in the New Life program at http://www.damanhur.org/, I must say that I think this is a place you must experience. Specifically this 3 month program. With your project regarding new myths, I think it would be important for you to experience a community who has been developing much of what you're promoting, for 40 years here. There are so many layers to this community that it's hard to get into on this email, but I can say that it's taken up to the 3rd month for me to see even more of the magic that this place is. Maybe you've heard by now, or not, but their founder just passed away, so it's a very interesting time of transition here. I think it's especially important for them to have more people coming from the outside to inspire in both directions.
nice (tree of life) project! looks like you're at least having fun with it.
try and get people to bring what they create into the next stage beyond ideas and dreams. ;)
WOW! (Faith in the Rain)
Penni Thorpe, Flower Essences, Yoga and Therapeutic Touch
Willi – great to hear from you again (Myth Lab #5) … a nice surprise. While my work with Sacred Passage and The Way of Nature continues some: see: http://worldnaturequest.org I'm engaged in a new project that fits Bucky Fuller's admonition to create more compelling alternatives to the norm and build artifacts for "livingry". We are in the process of re-inventing the "classroom" - See the Agora Hot Spots web site (still being tweaked). Also our Restorascapes project fits your model of needing more demonstration projects and artifacts – this one is in the domain of the intersection and interconnectedness of Neuroscience, evidence based design, human health and Nature. I wish I could attend your event… we'll see – in the meantime, I'm delighted you kept me on your list and I wanted you to know about my latest endeavors. Inward and Onward, With Love and gratitude,
Bud Wilson – Founding Partner, Director of Creative Outreach, Agora Hot Spots
Tree of Life Mural – New Myth #46 / New Myth #5: Cool project! I actually got to see the mural last year on my way back from Mexico! The project is great, and the story of the mural is easy to read and engaging. I would suggest bolstering the beginning, because I felt it moved a bit quick for me to fully grasp what was being asked. Because I know about you and your project I was able to get it, but if your audience is going to be some people who aren't familiar with your work it would benefit from a little expansion/explanation. I would begin with a miniature introduction that sets the context for the myth-making. In the second paragraph you state why it's important to make a new myth, and it might be helpful to see the reasoning sooner, to help add context for the project: "One goal is clear: we need to build our own messages and new myths to support our new food and governance systems." For the first paragraph reorganizing to add clarity would be helpful: The "Tree of Life" mural is one of many urban art pieces that grace highway support beams in Chicano Park, San Diego, CA. To create a new myth around the "Tree of Life" mural, review the mural's history and the Myth Lab process model (hyperlink). Use your reactions, ideas, plots and visions to create a new myth that supports nature and the culture celebrated in the painting. All submissions will be considered and published at Planetshifter.com Magazine & Network. (I took out the myth lab interactive sentence because it's repeated in the next paragraph). The rest of it runs really strong: I would just be sure that people know what they're being asked to participate in and why. I think even grabbing a paragraph from your initial myth lab would add weight to the "why." Would the "live group" format you're talking about run sort of like a writing workshop? Is it performed in some kind of general meeting or is it through the submission of materials? It seems that it would indeed be an ideal format. Which websites are you using to launch the event? I might know some, I just don't know quite what this means. :-\ I would suggest adding something about the culture described in the mural to #3's list. I think celebrating its particular vision includes the culture it was born out of. Also might be interesting to think about the position of it (in the busy freeway underbelly) contrasted with its representations.
Thanks this (Kindista.org) is really interesting.
Anne in Portland
A well written article (Permaculture Kids). I totally agree that we’ve allowed the moguls of media to shape our children’s views on myth, and have lost the art of creating environments that allow them to create their own.
Thanks for this event submission -- (Myth Lab @ Freespace) looks super interesting, ... Thanks!
Ilana Lipsett, Freespace, SF
A new mythology of sustainability - Permaculture Kids: Building Myths for the Future. This is where creative storytelling comes in. Thanks for pointing the way!
Hi Willi. I would love for you to post ("Permaculture Kids: Building Myths for the Future" ) to the Sustainable Contra Costa network and I will re-post to the SCOCO facebook page. Thank you for all you do to spread these messages!
Tina King Neuhausel, President & Co-Founder, Sustainable Contra Costa
Thanks for all your hard work today (Myth Lab / Transition Palo Alto) - it was a smallish but steady crowd of our regulars and friends, which is always fun. Every one of you is now like a dear friend, and I am repeatedly awed by all you do.
I read Halo & Kat and Permaculture Motel. What turned me off seemed to be a celebration of the urban noir atmosphere. I liked the permaculture & creative solutions aspects but have never been a fan of dystopian stories. I get that the idea is to elevate the imagery to a mythic level, and perhaps provide a window into how things can really devolve on the course we're headed... Perhaps I'm just not into the urban vibe of it.
Kaye Hughes Kittredge
Good morning! To be honest, my penchant for implementing localization strategies dives the urban settings in the work. Oddly enough, I don't push a dystopian vision. I see tribes networked in a new post-oil Eco-alchemy!
Right, but how do we get their attention for these new myths??
These boys and girls start shaking like heroin addicts if they're away
from their screens for more than a few hours...
And, it's all mass-entertainment, right out of Burbank's culture factory...
And anything else is not legitimate and carries no authority...
Do we target DISNEY and NICK and get the ideas into their formula pieces??
Do we write permaculture songs for ONE DIRECTION???
How can we make SimFarm as cool a game as BlackOps3 or GrandTheftAuto???
How do we use the consumer gadgets to get the kids out of those and
seeding a community farm????
Because at the moment, all I see is national-brand food that makes the
kids fat and sick, and electric games that overwhelm their senses with
noise and flashing lights. I wasn't even aware that there still were
snacks sold with MSG!
Re: Myth Internship
Hi Willi, I finished my teaching assistant position at Santa Rosa Junior college yesterday - my class had an after-school celebration for some of the finishing students that I had to attend. It was a blast. :) I've just begun reading the Journey to Cascadia symposium notes, and I must say, you have a wonderful perspective and an interesting presentation with the future-myth opening and the forceful declaration: "we need a new paradigm shift." I am very much in line with your views and positive constructions. I'm interested in learning more about your influence on local schools and businesses -- that is, I believe, where we can begin to effect the most change -- in learning institutions.
I see in the talk the building theme of alchemical transmutation as not only the formulation of thought and spirit into action, but also as the mechanism by which our personal mythologies and archetypes can be built around the central theme of "dark-green religion." I think it is successful in not overtly stating, but spreading the roots of a idea large enough to be housed only peripherally in the talk: that we must and can form our mythology and inhabit it in order to bring heroes into existence. It's a similar push I was going for with the Conservatory: If we integrate magic and magical belief into our lives, everything will become magic and we can have a "Harry Potter" phenomenon if we shape our lives to that order of learning. It sounds great - you pack so much information in the symposium nicely tempered with anecdotes. Have you read it aloud for timing? I wonder how long it is?
I’m not at the moment in the mood (or situation) to write who I am and what I am doing right now. I understand what you are trying to achieve and I appreciate it. Still, people out there who are in positions that they can contribute more to the cause need a completed role model, a group of people doing something big (without focusing too much on financial self-interests) in the realm of networking, collaboration, coordination, and sustainability AND achieving a result. Flower power was capable to scare the system forty years ago, but the system (on its way to the breaking point) is now enormous and too well defined. If I didn’t think that the solution (its psychological part) is probably very similar to your work, I wouldn’t be writing this comment.
re: "Forest Vibrations - Sacred Lights." Children's Video. New Myth #42
Sarathi Nice • JAYA JAGADISH HARE
Willi Paul • What does that mean!?
Sarathi Nice • Will , it means victory to the Word of the One
Hi Willi - Thanks for posting (community garden piece). are we connected on Facebook? That's where I give the love. Video turned out great - thanks for the exposure. You da man.
Best, Rob Joyce
Hi Willi, Good to catch up with you also, Willi! Thanks for being ok with the re-publish, and for your good wishes… Hope we cross paths sooner than later! Keep after the passion!
hi, so this was a great interview (with Rob Joyce). did i miss the one i gave to you? i can add to it in the future too. thanks, peace, cs
Willi: CG Jung... a permie?
Indeed! The Zepp Holzer of depth psychology :-) A great myth maker.
Interesting work! Thanks for sharing! I appreciate. And you're not even a hippy or a psychoanalyst apparently ;-) Are you a kind of technophilosopher? I've been thinking about old myths myself and I agree with your assumption that they are fading and that we are in a transition period where they don't belong anymore. Actually CG Jung thought the same I think. On the other hand I also think that these old myths have a tendency to stick around and infuse modern knowledge like science for example. I think that the scientific explanation of the creation of the universe is just another version of the myth of genesis. It is disguised in a very smart way but the core meaning is still not new.Good day!!
OUT OF THE BOX!! ;-)
Hello, I am currently developing a strong interest in Permaculture and sustainability education. I'd be glad to exchange and learn from your projects. I had a look at your website. It seems very abstract :) I thought that permaculture was a way to organize abundant forest gardens or urban gardens! I also thought that myths are created unconsciously... All the best,
OlivierAll the best,
Olivier Fichant, Coach parental- Expert en anxiété scolaire. Toulouse Area, France
hello Willi, could I order a copy of "Forest Vibrations-Sacred Lights" from you? Many Thanks.
Hella Coenen, Kindergarten Teacher, NZ
Hi Willi, Thanks again for your posting in the Water and Politics via the Arts, and for the important work you do. Am thrilled to have been led to your websites, & youtube clips. Thanks so much for posting (New Myth #42), it is a really beautiful and inspiring piece. I'll be forwarding it on! Will the sacred permaculture website be returning? I'd love to see have a look at the course.
In my case the symbol of my myth (or perhaps I'm just seeing things) is the combination wolf, tiger, butterfly. For some reason they all appear in your Geo's Vision Machine (http://planetshifter.com/node/1210 - butterflies instead of one butterfly). There are mentioned four myths. The record White Tomb by Altar of Plagues mentioned in one of my comments has four songs. It influenced a lot my current mindset in 2009, the same year when you posted that novella in which you mention the word "synchronicity" twice.
Greetings - I was just thinking about Geo's Vision Machine. It seems more timeless now. I don't have a personal myth or a symbol, just a compost heap of fears, joys and dirty soil... I listened to PJ on the train today.
Hi Daniel. You write: "All this quitting is simply an acknowledgement that the Hero’s mythical journey runs in cycles. In each of the above instances, I guarantee you that the hero in question will not stay retired for long because the Hero’s work is never truly done." And, obviously, Hollywood's profit movie is never truly done. Would like your take on my recent critique of pop mythology at: http://planetshifter.com/node/2096. Peace, NewMythologist.com
I did read your critique/comparison previously and would have left a comment but there didn't seem to be a place on the site for comments. My take on it is basically the same as my response from our e-mail exchange in that I enjoy and appreciate your focus on the sacred in nature and on the creation of new myths. And, of course, I also respect that you don't agree with some of my ideas. Personally, I happen to agree with much of what you say in your own writing. It's just that my writing, at present, has a different focus. I don't feel that these perspectives necessarily contradict each other, at least not entirely. You may feel differently. I also don't think that just because Hollywood is largely profit-driven that it means there isn't anything of value in what it produces. I'm what you might call an idealist when it comes to my own personal choices, values and conduct and a realist when it comes to other people's choices and values. I don't believe that Hollywood will disappear anytime soon, nor will it ever stop being motivated, to a fair degree, by profit. And I don't believe that people will stop consuming this kind of pop culture anytime soon, no matter what writers like you and I may say. And so I like to approach what some may consider to be merely escapist entertainment in ways that could hopefully add to its value in more redeeming and beneficial ways. If I succeed at all, great. If not, I still try my best. Thanks again for your comments (and for the critique). All the best.
Daniel Jun Kim
Permaculture Motel & the Barge 4. Venice Beach, CA. This is very cool Willi!
Clay Forsberg G+
fantastic Willi.....myth is reality, no?
Susan Cox G+
Willi Paul I looked at this on +John Kellden 's thread, and I am truly intrigued. I am a writer by avocation, primarily visual and auditory. I have seen the Primeval Forest in my dreams pretty much the way it is depicted in your video, and that reassures me, somehow. This is different than anything I've encountered, so I'm curious to know what I could contribute, dude.
jd quinitchette G+
Hey thanks Willi. It's a (Myth Lab) great idea and I hope you get some good participants. I shared it on my FB Page. Sorry that I haven't found the time for participation myself. Always too many other things already on the go. Living within the myth of Damanhur is certainly very interesting and eye opening. Certainly some pros and cons to observe so far. The video is really low res and I'm wondering what program you used to create it?
I often refer to it as us being between narratives, and the opportunity to use various tools, including social, online platforms, to help scaffold the transition. You do great work +Willi Paul good to have you here. Give me a shout if a separate topic eg Permaculture, would help/be of value... Myth Lab: Deeply meaningful and important, towards our future societies.
John Kellden Google +
Dear Willi, Are there any “serious” scientific articles out there (hopefully available online for free) in the same vein as your approach to mythology? I need something to mention as a reference in a paper I’m writing about distributed energy production. I’ve found some similarities in (for instance) communities of practice and adaptive networks, but perhaps it would be nice to add something with that mythical flavor. I’m not forcing you. If something good comes to your mind as you are reading this, I would like to know it.
Hi Aleksander - Thank you for asking about the work. Not sure you will find "science!" You might see parallels with permaculture. Recent interview: http://earthlinesreview.org/2013/02/06/an-interview-with-new-mythologist... Journey to Cascadia: Building a New Global Mythology. For 2012 Study of Myth Symposium Work Shop http://wp.me/s14SHM-2584
Very interesting post. A story writer creating “new myths.” They hold all of the elements of established myths, but are new. Thirty or so of them? Kudos to you and keep up the very interesting work.
Joey C. Kantor fargokantrowitz.com
Hi. Loved seeing this re-purposing of our project photo. Love it. I have often envisioned turning our local golf course into a food forest.
Jerome Osentowski in Colorado has been applying permaculture design to golf courses for about 15 years. Native species in the roughs, pollinator plants everywhere. It's not an oxymoron. But then, myths are always based on truth.
Hi Toby! Thanks for the reflection. But I'm not advocating creating a permaculture golf course here, right!? ;-) My vision share with this piece is the transmutation and re-use of a "burnt-out social scene and unjustified resource practice...."
Willi - Great to catch up with you here on Linked In. Forgive my tardiness though, but finally logged on Hope you're well. I hadn't realized you were in the Bay Area. I recently visited San Francisco & Berkeley on a Zero Waste tour.
Karen Carrard, UK
Hi Manu! re: Questions to Ask the Gilroy City Mayor: My approach: What are the current challenges that the City is working on? How can the principles and programs of Transition help? Can the citizens write a vision statement for their future?
Thank you for your comment and suggestions. Actually your first Question is what our Media Group was going to ask and your second Question is what I was interested in and I will wait till our media group brings up 'What questions we should ask the Mayor'. Being green to the Transition made me ask all others of the transition for suggestions. Your third Question is a simple question but will hard to come to consensus? The city already has a vision, maybe I should dissect this Gilroy's vision which is not moving towards the TRANSITION. Thank you and I will keep you all posted. Remember that I have an interest in Producing a Transition Community series where we can have guests interviewed and broadcast to the local community. Any suggestions and resources of HOW to and other communities which are already doing it.
re: Gaming Lore: The new Mythology by Sam Hawes (http://csagaming.co.za/author/gremlyn/): “The universal themes that are present in the ancient mythology are brought through into modern stories through this game lore so we may think of gaming lore as the mythology for the technological age.” That should spark a long dinner conversation with too much red wine, Sam. I’m game. Fast Forward? I think the classic myths are tired and should be put aside. My work, (see:http://NewMythologist.com) energizes permaculture, transition and other Chaos Era movements for New Myths (http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1855). We can make New Myths together and not for passive electro-games!
Hi Willi, I have read through some of your reworkings and i agree that this type of innovation with regards to mythology is necessary. I do not however agree that the old myth can be completely disregarded. It was such an important part of our history and the forming of cultures that they should not be put aside but rather used in conjunction with new mythology. The whole point of mythology was to instill the ideals of one generation into the next and the study of mythology has given historians unique insight into ancient culture. I personally loved studying classical mythology as the characters were so different and nuanced that even though the events that they described happened eons ago they still seem fresh in my mind and as a scholar the insight into ancient culture is fascinating. I love the various interpretations of the myth that shows the many faces of human nature and i love that the characters that i treasured have their essence kept alive in a world that is moving ever more away from books and ancient sources and progressing onto the digital scene. As for this statement "We can make New Myths together and not for passive electro-games!" i must say that any method of keeping the mythology alive and striving is a good thing. Too many children now days do not give two hoots about something that they can't physically see or isn't a direct part of their immediate environment. By using video games as a medium of keeping those characters from mythology alive you promote interest in mythology as a subject. Many people i came into contact with at university had not a clue about mythology but mention a video game hero and ears are perked. By combining the two you expose a larger group of people to mythology and i do not see that as a bad thing, Sure you will always have people that just take the game at face value but you will always get a few inquiring minds that decide to investigate the origins of the heroes they are playing. Anyway that is just my 2 cents for the day, I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
re: Permaculture & Terrorism: A Conversation Can Start Now:
Will, Recognising that poverty provides a seed bad for the development of terrorism, though of course not all are terrorists, helping impoverished communties develop their own wealth was seen as a potentional approach to tackling terrorism. Given the recent shift of Transition focus from peak oil and climate change toward localism and social enterprise, I offer an example of the latter in a proposal to prevent terrorism developimg in a peaceful community. An economic smart bomb. www.p-ced.com/1/node/32
hi willi, when we consider what market capitalism does to the planet and people as part of its everyday mode of operation the disruption, destruction, the advertising, pollution, the crass material culture it has imposed on hundreds of millions of people, economic extortion, the social dis-empowerment,,,, it's clear to me, our economic system is a form of terrorism; just because we are used to it doesn't make it not so; permaculture is an awesome tool for making other choices
all the best, jan spencer
Willi, If you visit the Study of Myth site, you will see a notice that the site is "sleeping." It will stay in that mode until at least late June. I will have some free time in May to put some energy towards redesigning the site, assuming we are able to count on some volunteer technical support that should be available at that time. Then, in June, the members of the original planning committee will meet to consider what to do about Study of Myth. At that time I will solicit input from members of the Study of Myth forums to see in what form, if any, they would like to continue this initiative. I doubt there will be another symposium in the near future — certainly nothing on the scale of last Labor Day's event (that took two and a half years to coordinate and cost a bit under $50,000); we broke even only because Pacifica generously donated the venue, tying up their campus and staff for three days (had we tried to leased that space elsewhere, I doubt we could have pulled it off). Study of Myth was originally envisioned as a community grounded in cyberspace, with the hope that an Association for the Study of Myth would grow out of that, hosting occasional conferences (though not on quite so grand a scale). However, whether or not that happens is up to the participants. I'd like to refashion the website so that the people can at least discuss the possibilities. I have to admit I'm not overly optimistic. We asked for volunteers to get involved at the Symposium; out of over 200 participants, we collected only two names. The difficulty is that those of us who donated our time and energies for over two years have full schedules and little disposable income. Every weekday so far in April, I have worked from 8 in the morning till 10 or 11 p.m., and Saturdays till around 8 p.m.; this Sunday was the first day I have taken completely off in a month. That schedule hasn't left a lot of free time to volunteer for Study of Myth. My schedule is not unique, which is why in February we couldn't find a date before June to coordinate a meeting of the Planning Committee. I thought I had mentioned in an email to you six weeks or so ago that Study of Myth would remain inactive until June. I apologize if I did not communicate that. Your enthusiasm is appreciated, however, and when the site is up again, I trust we can count on you to volunteer; if enough people dare your passion, we should be Abe to revive Study of Myth. No intention to excite and disappoint to it. With the site dormant, we generally don't get queries to an inquire@studyofmyth ; what you received was an automatic response. Thanks for bringing that to our attention; I will contact someone to change the content of the automated message to reflect the site is under construction (may take a few days to make that change). Thanks Willi, for your offer. A few more like you, and we can make this happen.
Blissings, Stephen Gerringer
There are artifacts that "serve no further purpose" http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MacGuffin and those that actually have their parallel existence in an imaginary (or documented) realm. I prefer the latter. Examples: Hesse and Lovecraft, films The Words, The Fountain, The Knowing. (Myth Lab) reminds me for some reason to this: "Sudden change is of a different order than feedback or evolution. Observe the whirlpools below a waterfall. For many seasons the eddies stay in the same place no matter whether the water is high or low. Then, suddenly, one more stone falls into the basin, the entire array changes, and the old can never be reconstructed." Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality
And I trust you're all still out there doing what you do. I just came across what looks so far to me like a very interesting myth-focused site: www.mythicimagination.org/home
Your “Myth Lab” sounds fabulous. I love it. I’m completely in sync with your work. I would love to do this workshop, except my son is a little too young right now. The way to market this to Transition US groups, is to get it in the newsletter, offer a webinar, and / or market to the local listservs (for example, Transition NorCal). Transition US has a new co-director (Maggie Fleming) and then there’s the other co-director, Carolyn Stayton – these are the best people to be in touch with on this. I can put a word in for you, but they call the shots in the organization so you need to get them excited about your work.
Raven Gray, Transition US
Thanks for your energy and ideas. Always good and always forward looking.
Christian Shearer, We the Trees
(re: "Power, privilege, oppression, compassion!") Thanks so much Willi! This is really great! In appreciation,
Kelly, Mother Earth School
Thanks Willi! Kelly and I are both greatly appreciative of your support of our trainings over the last year. The questions are deep yet simple, and I am actually excited to explore more of your past interviews. We'd also love to meet up in person in the next few weeks (are you in Portland?) and discuss how our orgs can weave together more in service of helping tell the story of interconnectedness of what we do. Best,
Matt, Mother Earth School
Willi, Thanks so much. I saw that interview you did with Peter and actually used a couple of Peter's statements from it for the article. oh okay, I see it now. Seems like you're speaking to a few different issues, all completely valid. In my view, I don't see Repair Cafes as the be all end all thing that's going to take care of all repair needs. I just look at them as one more way to bring awareness to the bigger issue, perhaps get a few more things fixed that would otherwise end up at the dump, and get the community to come out and connect with each other. I think it would be a great next step to connect with Goodwill etc, and perhaps a business model like a co-op, sure, why not? If people are ambitious enough with it to try to support repair people's livelihood, that would be great. Seeing how many repair shops have gone out of business in the last 20 years, perhaps Repair Cafes could fill that niche as well as inspiring a rediscovered demand. A great ongoing discussion to have, for sure. Thanks for all the great work you do! Cheers,
re: New Myth #38 - The Transition Movement arrived as the people’s hero, killing the evil high rise developers, I doubt "Transition" will become a violent guerrilla movement (I certainly hope not). It's not even that likely that Transition will get bigger than it is now. I like big goals but it would be nice to see the Transition Movement accomplish more modest objectives in the present. Have any Transition groups succeeded in getting limits to growth into a US city's planning, let alone created the basis for a radical cultural transformation? Have any of them managed to get highway expansions removed from long term plans? Have any of them made substantial improvements in local food infrastructure? Created local currencies that have at least several percent of the citizens participating? A friend who is part of a transition group in a larger town to our north tells me interest in the group has faded considerably. She is a single mom and doesn't have much time for meetings, so she has scaled back her own involvement. Perhaps it's possible to revive "Transition" but there's less discussion of "Peak" than there was five years ago and the model that Transition chose in many places (yet another activist group) didn't succeed. Overshoot is not an "issue," it is a fundamental fact that transcends activist group models. The big "climate only" groups are mostly stuck on pretending that a law that could be passed by Congress would somehow force changes to the laws of physics (as in, renewables would replace fossil fuels but we could still "sustain" middle class lifestyles). Most environmental representatives from these groups are unfamiliar or only vaguely familiar with "transition" and most are not engaged in using their networks to teach food relocalization. Transition is more of a nice idea than something that is being done. Sorry if this is an unpopular conclusion, I'd love to see examples that prove this analysis is wrong.
Beautiful painting (Graffiti on Myth Lab), Willi Paul.
In a vein similar to "The Rebirth of the Hero Mythology as a Guide to Spiritual Transformation" by Keiron Le Grice is Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Social Conflict, by Hal. G.P. Colebatch, 2nd edition, 2003, Cybereditions, Christchurch, New Zealand.
As to the Hero myth, I just saw Finding Joe - good overview of the stages and a positive, encouraging presentation.
Hi Willi, Myth Lab Sounds interesting. While I think such a concept would be appealing to many groups, I feel like my communities would actually be interested in exploring/reinterpreting existing myths in light of contemporary ecological and social justice concerns. Just a thought. Hope things are well on your end.
Cheers, Abel Gomez
Willi, Might be similar to your visions. "In Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and a Futurist Journey through Steampunk into the Future of Technology (O’Reilly Media), futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that’s captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world."
I like your project and think it could have some traction at Waldorf schools in the area, and other educational forums where there is a consciousness about the power of media. I'd suggest researching the Waldorf school movement in our area. What about the Jung Institute? They are of course always interest in the mythic content of everything. There are teen community centers throughout the region, which might have an audience in them, but as the youth of america seems to be media-addled, you'd have to pitch it in just the right way to get them to turn off their cell phones and stop texting. I appreciate the work you are doing with myth and stories - I think it is an essential piece in the transition that is underway
Rachel Kaplan, MFT
This is really cool Willi! I like the idea of extracting an idea of myth from graffiti, since it is graffiti that represents the repression of our youth, the stagnant tension of living within a poisonous system.
Very good the site (NewMythologist.com), but for me is very difficult to read on black pages, by, thank you
Willi, The "Myth Lab" is all really awesome stuff, which I support wholeheartedly. I get on some levels what you're doing and I agree that it's necessary. What I don't know is how it can fit into any of our programs. What did you have in mind?
Hi Willi, I think Pop Mythology idea may be worth thinking through. You say "the pop icons... seem to fail to address" the things we assume myths address. But why not change it to a question? Can "The pop icons and their "transient entertainment value"... address "the deepest longings, hopes, desires and fears of humanity?" I would add a question: would pop songs also be considered as a part of pop mythology? Can it be denied that at the very least people seek expression of their longings and fears in popular culture? Consider what David Brazier said in another discussion here, "The Greek gods have always been more real to me ... They somehow reflect or are reflected in our experience in a way that all-good, all-wise, or all-anything gods such as dominate many religions do not." It seems to me that an effective myth is the "more real" one in two senses: first, they more strongly live in the imagination and second, they have the capacity to encompass more of the real in their stories. A good book can be an initiation ordeal, a rite of passage into a full serious and responsible adult identity. But the kind of goodness is the question: Consider Compare MOBY DICK to 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA in relation to the second notion of "more real." Which book would you say encompasses more of the real in its story and speculations? Which more fully wakens adolescents and braces them for the challenges of adult life? Consider the different "messages" (better: mood results or aesthetic effects) of two very popular songs, "The Motto" by Drake and "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Both present what I would call myths -- stories containing life wisdom -- what is the significance of the difference in the wisdoms they possess?
Very cool. I read the Cascadia Funnel and it opened out into your Blog at the Joseph Campbell site, the Journey to Cascadia presentation, your YouTube Channel and now the first among the links, The Mythic Mandate. This like another kind of chaos-theory -- infinitely branching. How is one supposed to fin one's way back to work? I just read The Reservoir: Rock Music and Mythology and really enjoyed. I see now that we are talking about the same thing and that you are way ahead of me! :)
Thanks for this, Willi. Good, thought-provoking questions raised here.
Peter, "Fixing Community" - Repair Cafe Palo Alto
Permaculture would not survive without the use of myths. Old myths provide Permaculture with a guide for how to apply food, community, and equity to society. The spiral, for example, holds great spiritual meaning that is also very relevant in the scientific world. We will find more relevant symbols, that also happen to be highly efficient, when we look toward our ancient brothers and sisters. I can't wait to look further into the Aztec and Mayan cultures. As our race gets older, new myths are going to be needed to stay updated on new finds in the social, economic and environmental world. I can't wait to be more involved in film and theatre to provide people with visions they haven't imagined. Permaculture isn't just involved in science, but also uses the metaphysics found in indigenous groups.
I love it! haha Good job. ... the mystical seed ball missile from god :)
WP! Just saw your video on the Hayes valley farm. Good stuff! Hope you are well.
Nice to see your posts. Keep it up and stay strong.
re: water sound symbol myth: building new nature-based myths.
I really liked that one! Stirring, provocative! It makes me want to do a little provoking right back! ;-) Here's what I was thinking as I watched: The sounds were AWESOME and moving, and the photography was really cool. The words? Eh. So I wondered, "What could Willi do with the words to make me FEEL like the sounds and the images did?" You know what came to me? Poetry. Ever try? In general, as I watch your stuff, I consistently feel like I want to connect with you but don't know how. The information is there, and it's really good info, but I'm looking for a heart. I know from talking to you that you are a warm, sensitive, caring, listening, astute, and patient person. (LOL, ya gotta be patient to listen to my rants!) So as I watch your work, I keep feeling like, where is Willi? The black slides at the end spelled out your message for us. I'd rather see, hear, and feel your message and learn to know you, the man behind the message, and FEEL through your words a connection to Gaia like the sounds and images made me feel. Poetry is just a shot in the dark idea that occurred to me. I'm sure there are other vehicles. Somehow, however it scares and thrills you to put your passion and heart in words onto the images, I think you need to put more of your beautiful SELF into your pieces, so that we can feel you. Hope that's not too brash, but we're here to be genuine, and that's my best at this point! :-) Here's a video that made me feel more connected to the planet: vimeo.com/55073825
Willi, I can't remember whether you've already been asked this, but I wonder whether you have shown the video or any other of your videos to young people in your life, and how that has gone. I'd love to hear about it. As you might guess, yours is a very different approach from mine, and I sort of love that it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. It sort of makes me want to pick your brain.
Back to the theme of storytelling---first and foremost, I think there needs to be some kind of heart connection for a story to sink in deeply. There needs to be true loving care coming from the storyteller. I think it's easier for kids to feel that caring energy when they're connecting directly with people and nature. It's harder to find that safe ground to stand on when you're primarily getting stories through technological gadgets. I think our kids' bodies and hearts feel that absence these days. How do they tell us, though, if they don't know what they're missing?
Your three points (joy, reward, harmony) are good, but there's also value in suffering, sacrifice, stress (Play Farm. Play the Game).
Nice! I just watched it (Play Farm. Play the Game),very fun! I liked the walk away ending and "I was talking to the wrong one" comment. I was zigzagging all over the map in the interview, and you managed to make it more round and whole. When you finished it, was it how you hoped? I thought T1 and T3 were going to have more of a role in "post-production", but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. I will post to the game queue. Much Respect and Appreciation Dear Willi!
I liked that one (Play Farm. Play the Game)! Especially like Jay's rules for doing it right. T1 and T3 kind of creep me out. They remind me of the matrix scene where Neo's face fleshes over. Could they have smiley faces? ;-)
I'm envisioning layers of myth in which I am a participant. There are my personal myths related to myself and my immediate relations; community myths; cultural myths, all the way to creation myths. The personal apocalypse occurs when two myths collide, forcing the creation of a new myth or, drastically, the destruction of the initial myth-making process for the creation of a new myth-making process.
Hmmm. Great stuff. But are we not in charge of the creation and telling of our stories, fables and myths? If not us, who? Why do these myth forces have to collide?! And yes, I agree that there is a matrix or mythic quilt that weaves and stores different levels of impact, stability and meaning.
Maybe integral permaculture fits best into this model ("Raising Permaculture Consciousness" - Three Roles & Synergies?") as the keeper of the permaculture conscience flame ? With connexion and interactions with the three apices? Personally , I find I'm endlessly preoccupied with the new governance nexus and that is why I believe permis need an interweb beyond the mammonist catastrophe of google , fb/FBI etc.there's a fourth emerging type - the Integral Permies. cos you'd have a hard time classifying us as any of those 3, don't u think? we're way off in another dimension ... :)
My concern as well. The "reflective consciousness" phrase brings together two human capacities that seem to be rarely valued or trusted. Could the reverse be also true, that our collective fate may be equally determined by our collective inattention and lack of conscious reflection? For me, this gap is the very space for new images, symbols, and narratives - or, at least, a new appreciation for the existing images, symbols, and narratives. The soul/spirit capacity of humanity may have to slip in the "side door" of the arts but at least the arts can still grab the level of attention needed before deeper reflection can take place.
Your link sent me to the three phase future. For me, it seems a bit deterministic and narrowly defined. Having gone through any number of different cultural end-times and global transformational periods without much change (and admittedly I may not be seeing change through my own clouded eyes), I wonder if in the act of seeing these changes the greater majority of folks have resisted the very process of change so that those change ideas arrived DOA or at least so weakened that they did not create a strong enough symbol to inspire change. Not that the transformation isn't coming, its just going to be agonizingly slow for those who have already glimpsed a brighter day. Your religious symbols below provided a wonderful spiritual Rorschach test for me. Checking to see if any of these symbols still held any numinous "draw." The only earlier image that caught my attention and filled me with dread was the Monsanto ad. The scarecrow wasn't from the Wizard of Oz but The Children of the Corn.
Ed Koffenberger, Depth Psychology Alliance
... grateful for your immense creative energy. We need it.
I have been spending quite a bit of time at your site and have found myself enthralled with the information. I'm just giving you an update on where I am with researching your work. I am writing the questions. They will be based around Cascadia's Light Network and some of your interviews. I will have my questions ready by later this afternoon. Hope all is well!
This is interesting, but I'm puzzled what "tattoo" has to do with it. But as I got the info, which had lots of graphics, I didn't see any actual tattoo designs anywhere, except maybe on the painted folks gathered around the symbols on the ground or the spiritual symbols. I think if you are going to use that word it would make it work better if you had actual tattoo symbols with each question.
Hi - I am pushing the definition of tattoo here for sure. I was originally trying to design "tattoos from the future" then my kid's design mandate kicked-in and I got this result! Tattoos to me are valid symbols / messages from our culture and part of of a road map....It's hard to know what will attract kid's in positive ways... But I'm trying!
A recent animated movie, 'Brave', would be an example of a 'new myth' - but, it is a very old story. 'There is nothing new under the sun.' There is a trend of new myths, and retelling of old myths, for present cultural entertainment - and perhaps enlightenment. As I see a trend towards what I will call the Divine Feminine stories begin to emerge to shape the social consciousness and perceptions around this regard. The story of 'Snow White' has recently been retold on screen. And, we have 'Brave', and Cinderella, and the list could go on. This is all very nice and well and good, but I would like to address what I see as the 'dark side' of the feminine principal in a more balanced and objective telling rather than blatantly calling it 'evil'. To achieve a sense of harmony and balance in this world we need the emergence of the feminine. All sides must be reconciled (brought to a center) in order achieve balance/correction. There needs to be a consideration of light and dark sides - for every capacity that exists, in the field of time, there is an equal and opposing capacity. I could just as easily 'retell' the story using Mary Magdalene versus the Virgin Mary - light and dark sides of 'Mary'. Women need to be empowered correctly - that is, in their true Power - which is NOT to be as a man. Women's lib made an effort, but in directions defeating for women. Medea lived in her power, for good or for ill - and one day she DID transcend her abuses, darkness, and depravity - but only after fully having lived it, unapologetically. Always she lived her power and was feared (as women living their authentic power are) for it. Medea becomes the reconciliation of the light and dark sides of the feminine - both exist within her (as it does in all of us) - but only after having first lived both sides. Hers is not a story of the good girl and the evil step mother as two separate beings. She is it, and she is transcendence - reconciled within herself. Present culture seems to be eating up these 'retellings', and I really would - as a woman - love to fairly and accurately represent Medea (all women - and men!) in a way that would be relevant, productive and empowering. And, I didn't choose her, she chose me - but, that's another story. :-) Thank you for asking.
Thanks for this. Storytelling is such a powerful tool, and one that is hardwired into our human makeup I think. We are human, we tell stories. For that reason, Joseph Campbell was an amazing soul because he picked apart the idea of myth, and what function it serves us humans. He also did not dismiss the magical element, but embraced it. Creativity, community building and storytelling all should be in the toolbox of anyone trying to make a change. Big social change really is a collaborative effort, and your points really made sense to me.
The strength of being a CROP YIELDER is food freedom at the top of the social hierarchy: and the benefits of being closest to the land itself and the processes of nature. The NATURE SPIRITS, as you call them, can anticipate event horizons to give direction, imagine possibilities where there is inertia and stagnation, and they also give comfort to grief, clarity to confusion, and courage in times of many hallenges.The ACTIVISTS and TRANSITIONISTS, in the ideal model, work for the redemption of public and private institutions, the reconciliation of conflicting interests, and in nurturing both co-operation and safe expressions of dissent, they promote the arts and science while birthing shared meaning and goals. These are not separate roles, and we must beware the tendency to become one-sided. In the Hopi oracle regarding this Transition, the Creator Mausau'u promised an abundance of food and peace if others would follow his model. He lives away from the city and all its artificial complications and surface sheen, and, with only a stick, a bag of seeds, a water jug, his smoking pipe, and a song-and-dance beneath the moon, he makes the desert bloom. He says: Follow my ways, and you will enjoy an abundance of food and peace. This is very similar in idea to the Silver Age of the Greeks, when the Golden Ones planted seeds by hand, while the others lived like idiot children until they were suddenly old then dead. This can be a good time, if we know what to do with it.
haha, OK Willi, level with me. Are you a troll? ;-) I like your thinking (Raising Permaculture Consciousness). Haven't had time to check into newmythologist.com yet, but I certainly will soon. I love big thinkers. Hope you allow comments there, cuz I'd love to engage with you.
Thank you for your inspiring video's and the treasure of information on your site! It promises to be a thrilling journey... has made a comment on Permaculture Ritualizer -- New Stories, Songs & Myths.
I like the myth of Jesus as the Pacifist and his message was love. I like the myth of love.
I like the myth of Buddha as the Pacifist and his message was compassion and peace of mind. I like the myth of compassion. I have yet to achieve peace of mind.
I like the myths of Science (expanding universe, carbon dating, and all). I used to study metaphysics in college with EEG machines,... and believe we do not yet understand some of what is reported. Metaphysics will be the next science.
I like the myth that humans are mostly vibrational and heaven for me will be the place in the universe that fits me into its vibration after death. Maybe I am in it now.
I like the myth of circles. Our pattern of life is a circle within a circle (kind of like the solar system or the universe). We are only a point on that circle in time. In another time we will be somewhere else and maybe somebody else. Change is constant. Live within it.
I like the myth of growing. It fits within circles. I keep telling teenagers, they are like blossoming flowers. They are nearing their peak of beauty, of intelligence, of energy.
I like the myth of magic. The fact that we have tremendous power of mind to action within our life and that if we can imagine it, we can make it happen. We can heal sickness, we can heal pain, we can change the world. It's all coming from inside the mind to an outside manifestation. If the thought is not exactly right, the manifestation will not be either.
When I was young I was into alternative education in the ways that Sesame street teaches bilinguality and ethics. I was also into people like Jim Blinn and the mechanical universe (cartoons) to teach some of the higher level thoughts like relativity, mass, inertia and the like. People like Seymour Papert (MIT Media Lab) ("Mindstorms : Children, computers and powerful ideas") were inventing languages like Turtle graphics (Logo) that would allow children to grasp mathematics in a new way and build lego robots out of their ideas. We were learning amazing things in the neurosciences around learning. Myth formation is crucial to the human existence. But somehow people's best interest got usurped for profits on the bottom line and communication went awry. This includes education, polling and modern media and the power people grabbed the airwaves. I think this is our battle, first to frame the right focus and then to fix the issues. We cannot do this without the correct myths. So keep on trying new ones. Some will work eventually. I wonder how many new words are invented each day on facebook, on twitter,... I believe this is part of the American myth that we need to hang onto and what we share around the world. The fact that each one of us has a destiny to be unique, to be an individual and to create, refine and pass on the myths that individual finds useful. I still like the semantic notions of permaculture, peace, sustainability, ...
I think you've done a great job at not being reactive and I also appreciate your myth weaving writings.
Permaculture needs to plug deeper into culture if it's going to become relevant to those who will either make it permanent or snub it and let it go the way of all old folks. Willi's conversation about myths attracted me to this list. There are a lot of very different movements going on right now, hailing from all points along the physio-psycho-spiritual spectrum, which itself is a spectrum of MYTHS. These movement have some things in common that go far deeper than myth: a deeply felt experiential connection to the earth, living things, people in particular, and where we're all going. They all fundamentally contradict the basic premise of modern society: distrust. I'm interested in seeing how far we can go to cross-pollinate across mythological boundaries and connect with each other along lines of trust and love for each other and the planet. We are not helpless. Permaculture has so much to offer, especially when it comes to the necessities required to walk away from corrupt systems. However, if permaculture people can't connect with the reasons and meaning that make walking away worth it, all that good know-how will get severely underutilized, because those of us who don't know how to hoe a row don't think that hoeing rows alone makes life worth living. The earth needs to be connected to the sky. Neither alone is sufficient. So how can permaculture be made relevant as a piece of a plan to walk out on the slave system in a way that makes sense to younger people? I don't know Willi from a hole in the wall, but you can be sure that I'll make it a point now. I didn't even notice that he has a website, much less go there, until Jud slammed him. Ironic that you played right into his trolling schemes, isn't it Jud? I'm certainly going to check out the stuff of a guy who can evoke your kind of ire. As a newcomer I have a perspective that trumps all of your "knowledgeable" perspectives, that is, if you want to attract newcomers, because mine is the perspective that you play to every time you meet a potential PC recruit. People like Jud reek of bitterness. Leonard made a nice recovery, but he's obviously intelligent--playing ignorant of the import of his sequester suggestion just isn't credible. Willy sounded so much like an avid PC-er that the "brand" he's supposedly plugging was invisible to me. He generated some interesting, fecund discussion, something that none of his detractors managed to do. I'm no gardener, but I know enough to recognize soil that promotes growth when I see it.
...Thank you, Willi, for starting this thread and doing what you do. I read your article "Mother, Sun, and the Compost Pile" last night and really enjoyed it. I'm relieved to hear people talk about capturing, storing, and utilizing our own creative energy in addition to all the other forms energy permies are concerned with.
Hi Jeremy - I don't want to get all soap boxy, but I really want us to look at the urge to split this thread off from the main listserve from a deeper perspective than simple listserve logistics or catering to the need of some to not have to use the delete button. My understanding has been that Permaculture is meant to embrace the more "software" side of culture making as well as the "hardware" of zones, chicken tractors and no till farming etc. It seems to me that this string of conversation on myth-making is at the heart of such a "software" concern and as such should be embraced by the listserve. Making a separate listserve for the "social" aspects strikes me as a maneuver much aligned with the same old way of doing business rather than from a sustainable culture that I had hoped Permaculture was intended to help create. What do you think?
I find this thread ("Green Eggs and Ham") highly appropriate and interesting. Permaculture involves the whole of us: hands, head, and heart. Stories are essential to human well-being: if your stories are hearty, true ones, they nourish and sustain you. We humans are part of the systems we're observing and working with. We need to consider and work with our own needs and natures, just as we strive to do with plants and animals. p.s. I think this conversation falls under the heading of "People care."
Is permaculture a means of escape from concerns like Willi's?
Hi Willi, I'm connected to you through Bonnie Bright's group. I like your ideas for a new ecology conscious mythology. I love the sets you built (Cascadia Live!)! I am wondering if this is the complete first episode because if it is I think you could do more with your script to tell the story more fully and affectingly. Great work though, from what I've seen you're remarkably active and prolific!
I enjoyed my contact with you and appreciate your consideration very much. I will continue to enjoy your writing and vision and will hope there could be a future opportunity to collaborate in some way around work for adolescents. Also, if you do visit Portland in your permaculture and transition work, I would invite you to visit our program and meet our students.Kindly,
Great email John. John is picking up on the beginnings of the myth creation. He is the originator of those myths which is great. In subsequent generations, perhaps we can intertwine our myths with his in schools, play dates, his children dating mine etc. That is the origination and perpetuation of the myth, which is not necessarily rooted in some type of fiction. The "myths" that are carried forth in books like Being in Being by Robert Brinqhurst are cultural snapshots as well as truths passed forward. These cultural truths are woven in to the story to the point where the spectators of story are unaware of the knowledge being dispensed. These stories are not as linear and explicit as modern tales. For example, I have read tales of PNW culture which states that women in that time of month were not allowed to prepare the fish for smoking or eating. Those caught stealing and hording supplies were not allowed to go fishing alone or to manage the catch alone. These lessons are not the tale, but a tangent of the tale that imparts the knowledge about sanitary food handling, or cultural mores without explicitly saying so. Point is, when you pass on your tale of life experience it is a "myth" whether you say so or not, and it is not up to you whether that myth is passed on to subsequent generations and whether your lesson will be the one derived later. These myths are their own being, larger than you and I, spoken by you and I.
Love this thread. Storytelling is essential to raising small children, it is integrated in every activity, from meals to laundry to bath time and especially bedtime. Not an optional activity. I am thinking about the canning party I had when my daughter was small, 8 mothers and lots of kids, washing and cleaning plums, boiling them on the stove, prepping jars. So much work, accompanied by lots of stories, not separate at all. The kids climbed trees, ate as many plums as they wanted, got covered with sticky plum goo, helped a little, made plum pies. We mothers shared stories and recipes and took home beautiful jars of plums and plum chutney. So work and storytelling are not separate in my experience.
I think this is an interesting discussion. As we develop habits that are more in line with the earth, we share our new vision of the world with our children. For example, every fall, my kids know that I gather deciduous leaves in bags and in the wheelbarrow. I also cover up grass and put leaves over the grass. They understand why I put them in my garden. Every late winter I whip and tongue graft fruit trees. This is now not just scientific practice, it is culture. Then they understand the stories of where the fruit came from. They understand why I put mason bee houses out. Neighbors want comfrey plants. Our neighborhood gardening exchange trades fruit and vegies. Now I'm preparing logs for growing mushrooms this time of year. It takes time, but it goes from science to story, to myth , to habit to culture. We share our ideas with others, such as on this list. Then others realize what we're doing and want to learn about it and we share. Now we have a full circle of spreading positive culture to others.
My partner studied under Fukuoka and said he taught by painting and answered questions with koans. That being said, I'm not sure how I would feel if I saw Creative Writing listed as part of a permaculture course. Maybe telling stories around the campfire at night perhaps. I feel like we're so far behind on community food production as it is...
Mindy's stories are real too. And I have mine, and hopefully we all are daily aware of our carbon footprints, and seek to change the prevailing paradigm. Perhaps it is the word "myth" that confuses the matter. The connotation can be "story" or it can be "delusion". I think Willi meant "story".
Once again I am captivated by and LOVE your postings on perm board. you are if nothing else, an avid communicator as I would like to be if I could write,spell,and find the tyme. May I respond to this post? got the time? I am excited about storytelling (doing some at the re-skilling fair/symposium) I hope you are attending at "Arlene Francis Center" this Saturday the 19th at 12 till midnight . I will be bringing a lot there I hope... So here we are.
Face it; too many of us are stuck in “consumer gain“ and the same old story sources. NFL football memories, old cop shows, oil spill ads, 45 minute religion, AM radio. We need a new story base â€“ a new set of tales based in Transition and permaculture that’s truly integrated and cooperative rather than science-moated and profit competitive. If we can vision and share new stories together, we can live into them together and create a better world:
I have "faced it", raised in a different paradigm can ride circles around it. and love hating it all at once.
First, we need to write new stories together..,YES ..as a community assignment. ((for assignment we need an asigner )) Community building via imaginal collaboration.
( yes yes an InSPIREation confliguration )
Second, it seems that permaculture courses are not teaching creative writing or media production along with their science-rich ag diet.
((WELL YES although they do say DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT EVRYTHING )) A waste of creative synergy? kinda yes
Third, stories and new myth making are over-ridingly sidelined to a few,(US) to the soulless concerns of our dark days: tweeting, eating, browsing, and watching TV. Are Apple ads the new myths?(GAK)
Four, Permaculture Guilds are doing a sub-par job as a community storytelling space.
(( what permaculture guilds ? I cannot even FIND them))
Six, Transition Groups are better at gathering in celebration and spawning new solutions. But there are next to no Transition movies or bands calling us into the fray. SEE HUMAN KINDNESS OUT OF MENDOCINO http://www.thehumanrevolution.org/
Human, is a young songwriter who is very on the mark as to current issues and creating our own story and MARIMBA PACIFICA (Music to Celebrate Life) out of Oakland http://www.musictocelebratelife.com/
Hadley Louden is an old friend who distills african and carribian spirituality into a modern jazz context that is based around a real and strong community of Musicians and groovers who meet at least 7 times a year to celebrate life in the context of very real re evaluation of our current crisis, and how we can use the ancient diciplines in a new way to allow youth to save themselves from soul starvation ,and all of us from extinction at the hands of the lard ass fools who bought the lie.
Seven, we do not have a common vision map to the future with Transition or permaculture just yet. Many of have returned to the land in survivalist mode ?? FEW I'd say or find themselves wrestling in short-term mode with local governments, academic powers and big business as they harvest food for 30 on microscopic urban farms.
SO TRUE and food or Craft in competition with CHINA JUNKCULTURE is nest to impossible monetarily
Eight, most of us are not story writers but if we start by understanding the old myths and psalms that helped to fuel Occupy, permaculture and the Transition Movement, we can re-question Authority and build new traditions, hybrid dreams and rituals that matter.
Yes and Hybrid Dreams Like hybrid cars have to be constantly re- evaluated for their authenticity(do you want a car with $400 dollar headlights that is chained to dealership only maintenance?) this is a scam based on oil scarcity fear (Industry will always find us a way to have oil as long as we are stupid enough to keep "needing" it.)
Nine, lets promote Joseph Campbell’s initiation, journey and hero triad alongside the cob oven and the sharing expo.
OK I got the Cob oven,and some stuff to bake,you bring Joseph..and we'll fry up some green spirit and build an egg incubator!! will the vegans tolorate the ham?
Ten, spiritual incubator or green eggs and ham?
LOVE dr. Seus he knew his story board we need to channel him and Bucky Fuller. Nice look forward to seeing you in person I will be there with Greg Trimble (storytelling and musical instrument making) and perhaps with Eartha the (Bio)Turtle, and the cycadelefunt creative re use development.
Good points regarding permaculture. I am venturing a bit into video production - the whole basis being the storyboard, so I understand the importance of focus and relevance. I watch from afar with a project in rural San Bernardino county near Trona, CA. I think the story will be many stories. The key is a centralized and de-centralized solution that works on both levels. There won't be just one story or way to approach things. Just as the climate is different throu