Ep#31 – Building a new Model with Permaculture

Buckminster Fuller said “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a model that makes the existing model obsolete”

The world right now is at extremes… we have states in tight lockdown and some places walking around freely. There is fear and there is anger about the way things are. People are split on what to do. Some are angry at the man, some just suffer in silence… and some feel positive about the way things are handled.

The Buckminster fuller quote aligns with me so much, and I feel if we want to find some kind of way to move forward in a world that cares for the planet, cares for the people and has fair share that we could align ourselves with the principles of Permaculture, as one system that I think could bring a bit more harmony in the world.

I go through the principles in this episode and contemplate the ideas that come up… join me and feel free to share what thoughts come up for you on my website or on any of my social media platforms…

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Good morning, Thrivers, welcome to this week’s episode. It’s been a while since I’ve done a thought download episode. I’ve had so many amazing interviews recently. And so today I wanted to share with you a little bit of what’s going on in my mind. You know, it’s not hard. I generally try and avoid looking through Facebook and I use it for some of my social media for thriving with nature. So unfortunately, I do go down that tunnel sometimes. And I have a recent it’s not hard. It doesn’t take long for you to see the diversity that’s going on at the moment, like the separation, segregation of quite big, what people think about what’s going on, you know, and it’s it’s it just illustrates. It’s just showing there’s a lot of fear in the world at the moment. There’s a lot of anger of being locked in. There’s not so much you will know you’re living in this planet. So I wanted to share I’ve mentioned this quote and it’s a big quote that I live my life by by Buckminster Fuller. And it talks about you never change things by fighting the existing reality to change something, build a model that makes the existing model obsolete. And so it’s something that I’ve always believed in.

I don’t agree with, you know, fighting and anger. And I know there’s bad things in the world. And yes, I’m a bit of an optimist, and I do like to focus more on the positive than the negative. I don’t like to put my head in the sand. I acknowledge when you know things aren’t right, that’s not what it’s about. I just don’t think blaming the way we are or blaming others for the situations where in whether you want to call them organizations and all that kind of stuff is helpful. I don’t think it moves us forward as a human society. So I was contemplating what is it? How do we move forward and what is this new system that makes the old system obsolete? Well, interestingly, I was revisiting some of my permaculture studies. I did a permaculture design course with the amazing Nick Kristof here in Bali a couple of years ago, where I learnt about the three ethics and the twelve principles of permaculture. And what I found interesting is that permaculture can be quite it’s almost a way of life, not just necessarily how you grow, you know, how you grow your garden in your home area.

And I want to show you why, because when I read through the three ethics and the 12 principles, we can actually if we switch to this way of living, how there will be.

And I coming off the back of the interview I did last week with Norm up at the Bali Eco Lodge Sample Anabolic Eco Lodge, who has designed this mini universe in this large resort that’s connected with the community, that just integrates the peacefulness and the serenity and alignment with nature is palpable. It’s just absolutely divine. And he’s based this model on permaculture. And I think that’s sort of sparked my revisiting of the principles and everything.

And so let me read to you, for those of you who haven’t heard of permaculture, it was first come together by Bill Mollison and David Holcomb in Australia, in Tasmania, actually with some of my family live. And yeah, it came about, I believe David Graham was a student. He was living in Billy Graham’s house at the time. And together, the passionate interest, they sort of developed this. These concepts of permaculture and ended up spreading around the world.
So let me let me read the first three ethics of permaculture is to care for the planet, care for people and fair share.

So those three ethics, if we. If you took those ethics as the. Sort of way, we looked at covid, the way we looked at all sorts of, you know, different. Matters of the world do we look at? Are we caring for the planet?

By locking everyone in in some some ways, yes, I mean, we talk about the dolphins in Venice and and things like that.

But are we caring for the people and is it fair share? Is it really helping people over?

I don’t know the answer to this, and I you know, I’m I’m more one to ponder and provoke. Some thoughts are out there.

But is it overall? Is it fair share?

By locking everyone down. Is that a way that we can live, so it’s those those are the three effects, but let’s think about the 12 principles. Let’s think about as a global.

Well, maybe not even a global, just even I mean community, I think it starts small and it grows big so you can go and create your own property.

That’s based on the principles of permaculture. That’s a great way to stop.

And then invite the community to also create, you know, align with these principles and if they feel so, the first principle, which is one of my favorite ones, is observe and interact.

You know, on a small scale, you come in, if you’re if you’re about to, you know, you’re putting a veggie garden somewhere, you observe and interact as to where it’s where do you think it’s going to be, where’s the sun lying, all those kind of things.

I’ve gone through observation in a previous episode. You interact a bit and sort of then step back and observe. Did that make things worse? Did that make things better? If I put that there, for example, I’m observing my mango tree outside my window right now and. I interacted with the mango tree. I really wanted to know I needed more sun on my living supplement garden. But I also knew the mango was about to fruit soon, and it was such a toss it up and turn of whether or not to cut a hole. So I got my son and I opted I ended up cutting a big chunk of the mango tree. And now I’m observing that this time last year, there were so many mangoes already growing on this tree. And I only found a couple of bunches of these tiny little green mangoes starting to grow. And it really makes me. Realize that it wasn’t the greatest of decisions, but of the of the two things I wouldn’t have had son of my dad.

And so it’s it’s really quite. Interesting. So, yeah, so observe and interact, and right now, you know, observe and interact, the community that is being looked at is these. Is it a mistake, like is it the.

Is it the best of two worst things that you have to decide between the fact that I had to sacrifice some mangoes for some son, or do I leave it so that I the mango tree still grows?

The mangoes and I sacrificed the living for a little garden, so it’s like. He’s locking people away. Is it just the the best of all of the options? Potentially it could be, but we don’t know. But that’s it’s just observing and interacting. Is this the best for our society right now? Two is catch and store energy, so. This is about, you know, harnessing renewables, the.

Catching and store energy that’s just growing your own fruit and vegies. That’s a type of energy that we eat and it gives us energy, catching and storing the sun’s energy, maybe catch and store a water type of energy. But life needs energy. We need energy to move. A lot of our things need energy to move. That is a big principle. And we kind of you know, we know how to do that. But are we doing it in the best possible ways right now? Number three is obtain a yield. So obtaining a yield, it can also it can be things like growing your garden and bringing the food in. So that’s an obvious yield. That’s the first thing you probably think of. But it’s also are we obtaining non tangible yields like are we obtaining good health right now from the way our society is? I don’t know. I wouldn’t agree with that. The fact that processed food like is the system set up for us to obtain a positive yield for our human society? Maybe not. So that’s principle three.

Principle four is to apply self regulation and feedback. So I think I feel like most communities do this potentially. It depends of what kind of who’s running the show, but it’s about self regulation. It’s like, am I the best person for this role? Am I am I doing the best job for this? Is the way the system working? Oh, I’m getting a lot of feedback in this area. There’s a lot of people screaming to get out and not be so locked away.

Is this for the better or not? So applying self-regulation feedback is a great way to live even in my life, you know, having conversations and interactions through work. Am I performing the best way? Am I getting feedback in certain areas? How can I improve in a family environment? Listen to you know, it’s such a great principle to live by apply self regulation. Feedback is the way I’m living working right now. I had to do self regulation here. For those of you who watch my sister, as you already know, that I will be moving from this beautiful home that I have at the moment just due to wanting to simplify. But also, you know, is this the best place? So I had to apply self regulation financially and feedback like, is this the best way? Is this the best decision? And so forth. So that’s a great principle to always be sort of regulating yourself and listening for feedback and getting feedback from people that you look up to and places you want to be and how they live.

Principle number five is use and value renewables using the power of the sun, wind or water, rather than like using the oil and the things that are finite, the things using savings from our bank. I think it’s great to have it as a backup. That’s fine. But using something that doesn’t like that has an ending is just setting itself up for failure.

And it’s not thinking about it. I think there’s a great there’s a great quote by a chief, an Indian chief saying that we haven’t inherited the Earth. We’re borrowing it from our children. And so that’s a great way to look at, especially when you look at use value renewables. Let’s make this a long term success.

Number six is producing our waste. I think everyone on this planet, especially here in Indonesia, you can say what waste is doing, suffocating the animals in the ocean. It’s poisoning people from burning plastic. We need to a lot. Nature doesn’t nature’s waste is actually food for other organisms like the trees, leaves and branches feed the microorganisms that ultimately feed the roots of the tree. It’s a beautiful cycle, a beautiful food web. We need to align with that.

Number seven designs from patterns to details. So another way of looking that is look at this holistically on a grander scale. Don’t just design the waste system by thinking about the waste system, design the waste system, thinking about how products and food are made and look at it holistically. Look at the products when products are built, think of the waste. So no longer should any company that invents anything ever invent it without knowing how it can be reused again. And nothing is without in a way so that it can integrate together. No. Six and seven design from design, from patterns to details holistically.

Number eight is integrate. Don’t segregate.
This is absolutely beautiful, you know, plants. They are diverse. You can look at a 10-centimeter square or one-foot square block bit of nature, and there is so much of it all working together, little ants doing these little bugs doing this, the trees helping that cover that tree, the saplings covering the seedling, you know. Yeah, it’s all integrated together. And so integrate our communities together. Co-create, collaborate, cooperate, something that we can all do together. Yeah.

It’s something that we’re all learning to do in a society where it’s like getting your work hard, win-win life. You know, you’re out there on your own. It’s just like actually how do we all help one another.

Number nine is you small and slow solutions wherein a world that loves instant gratification, primal brain and we can’t blame ourselves, but if we want the world to succeed, we need to use our prefrontal cortex and you slow and small, small and slow solutions rather than grand and fast solutions potentially like locking down a whole city. Is that I mean, it might have been needed. I’m not saying that it’s not I don’t know the answers to this, but I just it’s just a great thing to question when you look at it aligned with the principles of permaculture.

Now, Martin is use and value diversity. I mean, this I’ve talked about diversity in the garden. No, you don’t see in nature anywhere where one thing is growing, we don’t do much. Nature doesn’t a it’s completely variety and there’s strength in diversity. There’s strength in having a community that has someone from every different angle of life, whether it’s different races, different experiences, different economies, different all sorts of things coming together and communicating with one another from these different ways. You’re going to find a stronger way of moving forward. When we take into that idea of diversity, how do we make the majority and help happier and move forward and then go back to the follower and self-regulating feedback and come back. And strength and diversity.

Number 11 is to use edges and value the marginals.
This is another way of saying think outside the box in permaculture. You look at that little corner of space that’s just space. And can that be used in a really beneficial way to for the whole garden? Is there something you can plant there that actually will start to produce a yield which is number three and thinking outside the box in life and how we’re doing things? You know, the one answer is fear is to shut down and hide. But what happens if we think outside the box and go, you know what, OK, people aged like, all right, Ulster’s I mean, some countries have done it. All stores must have a temperature reading. You create a system where life can go on. But there are just a few adjustments like you have to wear a mask. But then you can you can’t go into a certain store if you’ve got a fever. That’s right, Kate. The people that are sick away and let other people still continue to live life so that their mental health is fine and they can get themselves feed and stuff. So it’s rather than quick, let’s just hide. Let’s look outside the box, OK? We know that nursing homes are the ones hardest hit. What happens if we segregate nursing time and help everyone adopts an old person? And, you know, obviously, a family that has no COVID, as has been proven, brings another person into their home. They look after them. You know, I don’t know. I’m just thinking off the cuff. But it’s that’s the whole idea of principle. Number one is use edges and values the marginals.

Think outside the box with these solutions.

And number 12, creatively use and respond to change.

You know, change is happening a lot at the moment, you know, the world was going around, you know, there hasn’t been a disruption like this since one of the wars, I would imagine, since I’ve been alive. This is the first major global change that’s happened. There’s not one person that can escape. The concept of all my life changed a bit because of COVID like everyone on this planet is experiencing that at the moment. Unless you’re hidden in a jungle somewhere and just enjoying life and have completely missed all of this, then awesome.

But yeah, creatively use and respond to change. But again, I think is thinking outside the box and it’s thinking about the future. It’s thinking about designing for the change, the changing seasons, thinking about now that we know that this kind of thing can happen, how do we prevent it? What can we do? Again, that’s playing self-regulation and feedback. So there’s something really gentle about these principles. If we and I’ve seen the success of a few permaculture gardens and there’s this very peaceful energy, it’s this real alignment with nature that creates the kind of world I would like to live in. I think that’s it. And coming back to that Buckminster Fuller quote is like, you know, create a model that you want to live in rather than fighting and sitting at tensing up and anger and fear and frustration. And I mean, those emotions are all very important in life is 50-50. No doubt. What you can do, though, is choose a life that you want to live.

And that’s what’s got me thinking, is that these 12 principles are definitely they align with me. And as I look at moving to another area, I want to start really thinking about this holistically, design from patterns to details. I want to see that wherever I move, I can start to bring in these principles, and even just the way I live my life right now, I feel like this is you know, some people say permaculture can be used like a religion in some sense.

Some people can get quite dogmatic about it. And I think there’s yeah, there’s extremes in absolutely everything yet. Certainly, it’s certainly got me thinking. And what kind of world do I want to live in moving forward? And if I from what I’ve witnessed and experienced those little micro worlds that I’ve visited, that use these principles and these ethics feel really peaceful, feel really aligned with nature and feel like a world that I would like to live in.

So, those are my contemplations for today. Thank you so much for listening. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out and Instagram or Facebook or on the website. Read some comments underneath the transcript. Yeah. Thank you so much for listening. I wish you a beautiful day. Bye for now.

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