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