|Brisbane, QLD, Australia|
(projects i'm involved in)
(projects i'm following)
Hi, am an Australian, and a bit of an underacheiver so am unlikely to impress you much with my bio. I got the travel bug young, and after a few years travelling, I have spent nearly twenty years raising three sons, often as a sole parent, occassionally home schooling, and have, during those twenty years, also been a student on and off, never completing a whole degree, but have studied in anthropology, history, linguistics, politics, biology, chemistry, maths, counselling, psychology, economics, marketing, and alternative medicine. I am a sort of an underqualified homeopath. Sort of, but more a mother, and wife.
I came to be interested in permaculture, in the first place, because my father worked briefly at the University in Hobart, around the same time the permaculture theory got developed, by Bill Molison and David Holmgren. I don't even know if Dad met them, but I remember well how our family changed, because Dad was researching about pollution in the Derwent river, and his boss was the man who, Dad tells me, first developed the mathematical models of why the greenhouse effect was happening. I was only five years old when we moved to Hobart, and I remember meeting many researchers from many parts of the world, who Dad worked with. Our families diet changed, incorporating many international dishes, and our family became very strict about minimising use of electricity and petrol, and so I am very sure that the ideas and ideals which were current at the time and place when permaculture was being dreamed up, have had a substantial impact on my life. I learned more about permaculture, when I first started my own vegetable garden, twenty years ago, and my motherhood was always what motivated me in the garden. Somehow being a parent enables the mind to slow its pace down into observing daily changes in gardens, which makes all thoughts about how to do it well, far more interesting. I have experience at turning lawns into vegetable gardens which substantially diminished my need to buy food at the shops, keeping chooks affable to child handlers, and building back yard ponds. Not much, but enough to have recognised the sense of permaculture design theory.
During the past eight years, I have also begun to identify myself within the indigenous communities of Australia, as a white Australian with a bit of indigenous ancestry from way back in the early 1800's. This has been a hard process, to witness first hand, the degradation still occuring within indigenous culture, but also to have to face the onslaught of racially based oppression, which shocked me in its capacity to hurt me and my family. However, on the whole it is a positive fact of how I identify, and these days much of my thoughts about land care, are very much oriented within an indigenous structured pattern of thought. It can be surprisingly difficult to communicate indigenous cultural concepts in the English language, but I am going to try, which is a process I am engaging in generally at present. I am going to try to briefly express an indigenous point of view about global warming, which I have been engaging with a few medicine men to develop my capacity to communicate. Unfortunately for us all, many Aboriginal medicine men have spent undue lengths of time, in Australian prisons, often for very minor offences, and at times begun as juveniles in adult prisons; and it is within the blessing of such men that I am enabled to communicate their concerns. In brief, . . . well, as I begin to think about how to express the concerns of indigenous men, I find that I can't do it in English words, not without using far too many for my three paragraph biography; but the full story is related to the "elements" ((Earth, water, wood, air, fire)), and how the flows of mana which can transfer from one element into another, have been taking place. The concern is that there has been too much use of the fire element for human pleasure, (particularly in psycho-active substances such as opiates and alcohol, which is where my work in homeopathy is relevant), in a way which consumes the wood element; and further, that there is not yet enough engagement with Aboriginal knowledge of how indigenous Australian flora, can process the fire element, into the wood element. I am passionate about the fact that Eucalpyts and other Australian flora may well be capable of reforesting other countries at a faster rate than their indigenous flora is able to. Just as we grow radiata pine in Australia because it grows at a faster rate here than where it is indigenous to, perhaps Eucalpytus will grow much faster in other lands, and in the southern Sahara, Eucaplypt plantings have halted the expansion of deserts when no other flora could. The matter is critical for hastening the rate of preventing global warming. I think that permaculture is seldom as involved with the indigenous Australian flora as it could be, simply through lack of understanding, and failures of intercultural communication, and because it is not an obvious food plant. Yet when it comes to food for thought, eucalypts excell.
One obvious traditional indigenous point of view, is that when the environment does not naturally provide enough food, then we simply must give birth less, and that follows through into a belief in contemporary indigenous society, that eventually over population will be solved by diseases caused by over production and over consumption, and that will do more to solve environmental crisis than anything else could. It is like a trust in the planet itself to let our lives be what we are. Yet even contemporary indigenous points of view, have seldom been enabled to take account for the ways in which overproduction of foods have inhibited normal ecological balances; and perhaps with enabling, the indigenous community might make a major contribution. I do not know how you who read this, think about indigenous Australian cultural beliefs in treating flora and fauna as family, and of effectively "turning into" what we eat or grow or dream of, but perhaps a way of applying science to such points of view, is to say that in indigenous culture, we believe that if a man cures a disease, or solves another social problem, by dreaming of being a kangaroo, then when he passes away, the cells and molecules his body is made from, will pass through the body of a kangaroo, becoming a part of it, before moving on again, if we are lucky, one day back into human form. In this way indigenous belief is that to prevent deforestation, we need simply dream up forests and believe that in dreaming forests we will one day become forests, and many indigenous men chase the same dream as every permie, despite such dramatically different thinking patterns. However the process of "dreaming up" is not as simple as I related it. In fact, it is the process of sifting through the collective subconscious of humanity, and correctly attributing to each delusion/disease process, the pre-existing transition which the matter of dreams can be transposed through, into healthy ecosystems. That is, the matter of thought, which is a diseased human thought, transforms into a healthy plant or animal or geophysical fact, (such as bacteria in compost); but those transpositions of matter are all already predetermined, and need be continually rediscovered so as to maintain the natural environment, (and maintain human health).
My own contribution, sponsored and backed by a significant number of indigenous medicine men, is in having developed a sequence of homeopathic medicines which is capable of impressing the point, inside the dreams of heroin addicts, that use of fire thinking caused by opiates, was often causal to the same problems in the Dreamtime, as were the causes of global warming. The sequence of homeopathic remedies in use, enables their mind to find greater motivation to get clean, and begin to recovery, by processing their fears as real concern for the Earth's environment. It is early days yet in trialing the specific sequence I have developed, and a potentially controversial bit of work in homeopathy, but so far so good. Interestingly, preparing homeopathic remedies is an inimical process to preparing bio-dynamic fertilizers, and the principals, as I understand from within Aboriginal culture, as well as homeopathy theory, are also the same. Caring for people is always hand in hand with caring for the environment, just as nobody helps people without helping the ecological balance, nobody helps the ecological balance without helping people, and providing surplus back towards those mutually interdependent goals, is an integral belief within indigenous Australian culture, which informs every real choice we all make every day. It is that provision of surplus which enables us to constantly reclaim our health and the health of the Earth's ecology, out of the jaws of disease. I hope my work in alleviating opium dependency will be well regarded as fully compatible with the work of permaculture, and well within the system of permaculture as a land care theory and practise. I certainly believe, that without work like that of permaculture, useful also for giving drug addicts an illustration of solutions, it would be far more difficult to enable drug addicts to enter recovery.
Thanks for reading my biography.
This week I got a start on redrafting the essay I posted into this site already, (overly keen definitely), after . . .
apologising for a sixth part of my count of five parts, but this section of the essay sustains discourse about an aspect of traditional hunter gatherer nomadic economics, which is difficult to relate to using English words, and which may need all the othe
still the same essay which I now notice, has in fact six parts, (but the new draft is only complete up to part five here)
Still the same essay, written for enabling clarity in intercultural communication between communities in Australia founded on permaculture principals and communities in Australia founded on indigenous cultural concepts.
More of the same essay, (which began as 17701 words providing a story for permies to more effectively engage among indigenous Australian society, and is increasing by including more stories teaching how indigenous Australians maintain bio-diversity)
Still the same essay as in the previous update.
It is an essay addressing the need for adequate intercultural communication between indigenous Australians and folk sustaining Permaculture environments.
This link is to comments I made in Daniel Pinchbeck's Reality Sandwich website, about an interview he did with Deepak Chopra; in my commentary I am highlighting an aspect of their discourse which was ill considered.