Spiritual Sustainability: Save the Earth Without Killing Yourself

I found this thought-provoking article posted to a sustainable communities forum under the title Something to Think About: A Death-Blow to My Sustainable Living Ideal.  Having my own sustainable living ideals, it grabbed my attention; I wondered what a death-blow might represent.

It turns out that in this case the death-blow is a loss of two-thirds the author’s income.  As Amanda Rooker contemplates the discrepancy between her good intentions and the reality she’s faced with, a powerful transformation unfolds – her belief of being too poor and too busy to live sustainably is replaced by the realization that it was, in actuality, her “product-based, practice-based ideal of sustainable living that was not sustainable.”  This leads her to some intriguing revelations about what sustainability truly implies.  In the end, Amanda comes to see sustainability as a spiritual practice and process in parallel to the natural world –

Even if the body is deficient in many areas, it will only take in what will address the primary deficiency.  Pouring supplements into your body (or in this case adding sustainable practices) to address visible symptoms, is a waste of time, money  and energy.  Only when the core deficiency is met will the body be capable of absorbing what it needs to address the next core need.”

Very refreshing!

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Collective Intelligence in Small Groups

My DH works as part of a small, intimate team.  They provide intensive outreach for those with severe mental illness and most of their time is spent on the streets, monitoring and assisting patients who otherwise wouldn’t get care or know how to locate important resources available to them.  This involves a great deal of coordinated effort.  In fact, he often remarks that every aspect of his team’s success relies on superlative coordination;  “We’ve learned to think as one brain.”

burak-arikan-os-realtionships-ad-collective-intelligence-2005Being that I am passionate about Community (the Intentional sort), I am fascinated by collective intelligence and its inherent synergism.  I knew I had to share this article on Collective Intelligence in Small Groups over @Kurzweil as soon as I read it.  It’s based on a study performed by MIT and published by Science that found that the Collective Intelligence Factor in the performance of small Human groups is not correlated with the intelligence of the group members, but with how well the group works together.  Maximum collective intelligence is not born from cognitive ability but from “social sensitivity”, which the study defined as the willingness of the group to take turns and apply their individual skills collectively to solve challenges.


World Change, Permaculture, and Sustainability

If the world is to be healed through Human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear!

~ Joanna Macy

I recently received an e-mail update on the World Change Conference being sponsored by Common Circle Education in Berkeley, California.  As someone interested in the intentional communities movement and intentional, sustainable lifestyles, I have followed Common Circle for years.  I deeply appreciate that they share the skills that ultimately build healthy communities.  And I love this formula that they offer on their site:

INTENTION + PRESENCE + PERMACULTURE DESIGN + HEALTHY COMMUNITIES = TRUE SUSTAINABILITY

Anyhow.  Aforementioned e-mail led me to many links I thought were worthy of passing on here…

The Earth Precepts

Video: Permaculture 101

Permaculture Principles

The Northwest Institute

Transition Culture

Gaia Trust

The Great Turning

Bioneers

Regenerative Design Institute

Ecocity Builders

The Great Turning Times

Living Mandala

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Permaculture Magazine

Aranya Gardens

Friends of Earth

And a few videos… enjoy!

Be Aware: Keep Evil out of the Fridge!

If you have watched Food, Inc. then you likely remember Monsanto by way of their Nazi-esque lawyers, fighting tirelessly against the American Farmer and People on behalf of Genetically Modified Organisms everywhere.  Monsanto is scary stuff.  And if I were to start including the word ‘evil’ in my vernacular, I’d apply it to them first.  In fact, did I mention that their name means ‘Sacred Mountain’ and that Satan is often referred to as the Lord of the Mountain?  No joke.  I’ve also read that they bring their people straight into the present day from a time-machine developed in their lab to seek out the soul-less, extract them from their wicked past, and fashion them as corporate heads… not good.

Not only is Monsanto disproportionately rich and powerful, they presently own – that is, hold patent on – over 90% of the seeds used to sustain America’s food supply.  Putting all our eggs into one basket isn’t the best idea to begin with, even the basket of the best Samaritan as any number of things may happen…but what about putting all of our precious eggs into one really greedy basket that wants nothing more than to hold all the eggs?

Nearly every non-organic food product can be linked to Monsanto directly (i.e. without any degrees of separation) through one or more of its ingredients.  So guess who’s regularly one of organic food’s biggest adversaries?  Guess who makes no bones about wanting full control?

Inspired by this blog I’m jumping on the bandwagon to expose the evil that might be disguising itself beneath a variety of false but appealing appearances in your pantry and fridge.  As Bob Cesca (of aforementioned blog) says, “Let’s make Monsanto a household name!”  In the spirit of avoidance, that it.   In the same way word quickly spreads about any other plague.

The best way to counter their presence is to buy organic and obtain what you can from local Farmer’s Markets and cottage industries.  If that isn’t possible, limit your exposure to processed foods; stick with labels that your grandmother would understand! Or, better yet, start growing whatever you can!

P.S. ~ Don’t be fooled by the rather shining statements released by Monsanto’s PR rep in favor of organic, sustainable, non-GMO agriculture.  In fact, let it illuminate that such only makes them slick tongued as their actions clearly and loudly speak the complete opposite.  This is a rather obvious attempt to put some distance between themselves and evil incarnate in the eyes of the press, who drives their public, who lines their pockets.  If you let it soften you, kudos to Monsanto’s PR department.  Score for them.  Personally, I’m hoping that when they got that extra dose of greed in their construct, it was at the cost of sufficient intelligence.  Case in point –  as part of their image-altering campaign Monsanto’s representative claims that he himself only consumes locally grown, organic produce and meats!  Excuse me?  Is anyone else hearing a really shrill alarm??  This is certainly no proof of the big heart they claim to possess (unless we are talking about the one they have locked in a box somewhere and held in awe by their leaders as the one treasure they cannot patent).  That their own representative avoids feeding their genetically engineered products to his family, couldn’t be a more glaring testament to the true nature of this corporate beast.

The Amazing Social Organization of Ants

Evolution will almost inevitably take us in the direction of species that have arrived at superior forms of organization before us.

~R. Meredith Belbin

In reviewing a journal I once kept on the site formally known as Zaadz, I came across my post on this most amazing video.  As the video is still available, I was compelled to share it here.  This is a beautiful, stunning example of collective consciousness!!