Permaculture Designers Manual




Section 4.19 –

Time and Relativity in the Model in Permaculture

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As we see, the seed as the origin of the tree, so we can broaden our view and our dimensions and view the tree as the current time-focus of its own genealogy.

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Before it in time lie its ancestors, and after its progeny. It lies on the plane between past and future, and (like the seed) determines by its expression the forms of both, and is in turn determined by them.

Just as the stem of the tree now encapsulates its history as smaller and smaller growth rings, so universal time encapsulates the tree in its own evolutionary history.

This is difficult to portray, and has more dimensions that we can illustrate on a page.

It is the basis of the Buddhist belief that all time is enfolded or implicate in the present, and that current events are part of a total sequence, all of which are enfolded in the present tree as ancestors or siblings.

As we read this, we stand in the plane of the present; we are the sum of all our ancestors, and the origin of all our descendants.

In terms of our model, we are at an ever-changing origin, located on the boundary of past and future.

As well, we are spinning with the earth, spiraling with the galaxy, and expanding or contracting with the universe. As origins, we are on the move in time and space and all these movements have a characteristic pulse rate.

Our bodies contain the potential for future generations, awaiting the events of pairing to create their own future events.

Like a seed origin buried in the tree stem, we are buried in the stem of our siblings in a genealogy, whose branches thrive, die, and put forth new shoots and roots over time.

This is the case with all origins; they can all, even if ancient, be located in this matrix.

If we know how to reconstruct the tree, we can find the place of the seed and vice versa.

All rivers, erosion cells, and all glaciers originated, therefore, at the central stem of their courses, and built their pattern both ways along the kinetic gradient of their flow.

Thus, in terms of the time dimension we see the present as the ORIGIN of both the past and the future (located as it is in the centre of our pattern).

Designers can move sideways in the waves of time (as a surfer on a wave front), transporting seed from continent to continent, permitting natural or induced hybrid palms and legumes to weave an alternative future.

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Mankind is an active translator of life, and, of course, of death.

In all core models, including our own genealogy, the point where all the important action takes place is through the point of origin, which is always in the present.

How we behave now may determine not only the future, but the past (and all time).

Think of that, and realize that you are really where it’s at, no matter when you are!

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I find great personal meaning in the Australian aboriginal life ethic, and little enough comfort in any pie-in-the-sky.

If it is my actions which determine the sky, I want it to be full of life and I choose to believe that I am part of all that action, with my own job to do in this life form and other jobs to do in other phases.