"Obelisk = Burning Garden" - "Allegory and New Mythology in the Chaos Age" - Study Questions - by Willi Paul Studio / Planetshifter.com
"Obelisk = Burning Garden" - "Allegory and New Mythology in the Chaos Age" - Study Questions - by Willi Paul Studio / Planetshifter.com

Some philosophers argued that many myths had to be interpreted allegorically. Allegory is used rather generally to mean that, beneath the apparent meaning of a story is concealed another, more important meaning. Some theories propose that myths began as allegories for natural phenomena.

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In Stanley Kubrick's classic film, "2001: A Space Odyssey," a tall, shinny-black Obelisk reappears at multiple times during human evolution. At the pre-historic or dawn of the tool age; the space race; and then lastly with the birth of the cosmic child.

Where might we find the Obelisk if it returned today? Who sent it? What would it mean?

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Possible Nature or Tech-Related Allegories for Kubrick's Obelisk -

+ Smoke Plume

+ Burnt Tree

+ Charred Abandoned Cabin Chimney

+ Sentinel (a time stamp, a marker)

+ Medium (technological or psychological) - between the subconscious and the conscious

+ Transmitter - walkie talkie

+ Receiver (radio antennae) - scripting subconscious fears unknown vs. conscious fears

+ Invention or Door to Sustainability

+ The "last supper"

+ Extinction

+ Intervention

+ Computer Hard Drive plus Code

+ Evolution

+ Community Table

+ Warning Siren

+ Nature's Cry

+ Black Block Fist-up

The best Chaos Age allegory for the Obelisk is a burning garden or food forest, one set ablaze by corporate criminals, religious or civic infighting, drought or even lightning.

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How can we write new universal Earth myths using allegory, symbol, alchemy, archetype and artifacts from the following permaculture / transition ideas?

1. Fair Trade

2. Organic Farming

3. Farm-to-Table

4. Localized Economy

5. Food Forest

6. Tiny Homes

7. DIY

8. Green Tech

Perhaps you should start the community story at the dinner table?

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Questions -

1. How is allegory used in the following titles?

Rachel Carson - Silent Spring
Ernest Callenbach - Ecotopia
Paul R. Ehrlich - The Population Bomb
Edward Paul Abbey - The Monkey Wrench Gang
Al Gore - An Inconvenient Truth
Michael Pollan - Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

2. Does the mythology of "2001 A Space Odyssey" continue today?

3. Is the next evolutionary leap backward or forward? Inward?

4. Pre-Historic vs. Post-Historic? Where are we now?

5. Do you think that the Obelisk comes from our psyche, or is it from another world? If the latter, where?

6. Is the Obelisk a metaphor for the medium / reservoir between the subconscious and the conscious?

7. How does the film's soundtrack add mythic power?

8. How are Permaculture's Principles and Values different from the one you were raised with?

9. Can you incorporate one or more ideas from the 10 Elements of New Mythology?

1. Sci-Fi & Para-normal experiences 2. Universal struggle and narrative 3. Journey, Initiation, Community as Hero 4. Permaculture and Transition Values and Symbols 5. Eco-Alchemy 6. Nature is Sacred 7. Threat of apocalypse 8. Artifact Initiated 9. New rituals and traditions 10. Rewilding (W. Paul 2015)

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New Myths by Planetshifter.com -

"Glen Rose Perm-Tech Incubator" - New Myth #97

SunOil is long gone, bankrupt for eons, who left the Rose dusted with toxic soil and crooked smiles, easy prey to the green fangs in Austin. Everyone wants a solution for the decaying gothic gas station dissolving at the intersection of Smith Rd. and HW 13. Good bones but no guts. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and Dinosaur Valley State Park are attracting less and less screen toting tourists these days and the high school kids want to do something now for their lost generation.

A lefty coalition including the Senior High School Solar Engineering Group, 4H, Somervell County Ag Agency, The Dallas Metro Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Wednesday Night Book Club at the YWCA, plus tons of townies put an initiative on the local ballet for a permaculture-based solution for the gas station. Because SunOil forfeited the building and land, the City welcomed the hands and contributed to the improvements.

As a force of change, Permaculture has its share of baggage. While many practitioners see a global food strategy, many others pass it off as new hippie gardening. It's ethics and principles preach building community and sharing the harvest. But you also hear that it's a top-down, white man's game too often. But no one in Glen Rose is worried about the color of your skin, just how thick it is.

As an artifact in dire need of initiation and a new story, the mosaic-laden building skeleton is deemed sound by the City engineer. The design and construction committee found and installed recycled windows from a Fort Worth skyscraper failure. The floor is now a cool, polished concrete slab with decorative stones from nearby Big Rocks Park. Once a community eye-sore, the station is now all heart; a Hero. The kids packed a new corner stone with CD's, email memos and southern rock memorabilia for Earth Day 3000. The local paper declared the Glen Rose Perm-Tech Incubator sacred ground. A State of Texas historic designation sealed it.

The Town voted to include that the history and technology of the oil industry should be leveraged for a new, greener path forward. The coalition arrived at the startling goal of not stopping at tool rentals and cooking classes and went beyond an initial soil remediation patent to see how this hybrid technology could help clean the polluted air of refineries and other corporate polluters in Texas. The "Perm-Tech Compost Spinner" was invented at the Incubator to clean and separate bad soil and then blend it with refined compost and recycled computer parts. This substance is now added to green air filter technology to scrub CO2 and other airborne toxins from factory towers.

The buzz at this Sunday's pot luck picnic is not the article about the Incubator in Nano-Permaculture Magazine or the girls' softball team win at State, but the Tuesday visit from the Tesla Innovation Team.

Everybody is wearing green.

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"White Board Democracy: A New Community Ritual for the Farmer's Market?" - New Myth #94

The large white board at the front entrance to the Saturday Farmer's Market is already jumping!

One shopper wrote: "A farmer's market requires re-visioning, re-purposing, redefining. What are the needs and benefits to the community?"

Another community voice scrawled: This needs more integration with citizens, kids and seniors - and the poor - in this town."

Another lament: "How is a farmer's market resilient? Why not talk about a "living incubator for permaculture and related job training?"

And this zinger: "Who is the community?"

A new ritual for an old tradition:

The Tradition is the farmer coming "to town" to sell produce and meat to City folks.

The new ritual is to raise issues during the market on the white board and then discuss them together in a town meeting at the close of business. Education and politics shared live between all people.

The promise is to transform the market into an agora for local democracy and localization.

What is sacred here? The harvest?

City Hall?

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"The Tower of Fire and The Resilient Human, AD 2029" - New Myth #93

Gomani pulls the chain and rides the hoist to the fire pit, high atop the old steel electrical tower. Fire wood follows right behind, dangling just under his seat. He usually brings 3 or 4 log / kindling bundles up to the tower top as his dusk routine begins.

He packs away the burnt material from the last Light. He will take it down with him after his chores are down this eve. He thinks the pulley is a symbol of temporary ascension.

He lights the fire and speaks aloud a mantra he wrote:

+ Light Above
+ Below
+ Light Within
+ Give Us Direction

The fire burns bright for many minutes, an awareness message ("we are safe"), then Gomani sends a smoke signal message concerning the event for his neighbors tomorrow:


The idea to make a bruised farm land home using the old electrical tower as chimney, sentinel and gigantic clothes line was as resilient as it was pragmatic. The utility had mowed down a wide corridor around the thing for years and now the land said: "Plant here." From atop the structure, one could see unobstructed miles; enemies and friends, alike.

This valley contains several small band of permies, pagans and Nature freaks, bound together by dirty DIY hands and transition hearts. They salvage and scrap and dig with their tools and grow food. This creates community and sharing. A soil circle.

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Horses pull their friends from the southern lands on make-shift, flat-bed carts with big black truck tires. Children, seniors and men and women and dogs coming. Food from their harvest plus the bags of the black magic roll gently in the back. There is no track on the land, just a bee line to a picnic and a soil cheering.

The community meal is shared around the fire circle, kids running and seniors chasing. This gathering has been a tradition between the camps for years. Somebody muttered about Thanksgiving but most here would agree that such a money-bent and consumerist holiday was long gone. The ritual that binds the folks to the extended community and to each other here pertains to the mixing of the each other's biochar-compost, that Black Magic.

A large tarp is spread-out on the ground and the teenagers from the two groups shovel this year's biochar, compost and wood chip concoction into a central pile for others to mix. Alchemy indeed!

Both tribe's use the ritual's high nutrient soil as a green start for the next year's planting.

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Under the tower of fire, the community, not the individual, is the value-laden stakeholder in the Post-Chaos Era. And the community has the power to create traditions and rituals based on the sacred lands and recycled machines that litter it.

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