In permaculture we look for constants and patterns such as: level pacifies water, the sun is always in the southern part of the sky while viewing from the northern hemisphere, or that the moon, which moves east 13-15 degrees in the sky each night causes it to rise around an hour later each day after a new moon. These constants/patterns provide a framework in which we can design to.
What is often not discussed in permaculture courses is the constants and patterns of mental activity when it comes to thought processes and how those effect how we feel and behave. This framework does not imply that all people think, feel, or act the same way. What it suggests is that a pattern, that is constant enough throughout the world, can be observed and designed to. By understanding this pattern as a permaculturist we can not only design in land and water arenas but can design our mental landscape as well.
1. The brain has a belief that was either taught, learned, or observed. (I believe the sky is blue)
2. That belief then “creates” a thought, which has the possibility to go in almost any direction. (light blue sky usually means it is sunny outside)
3. That thought “alters” how we feel. (I enjoy sunny light blue skies, they usually come with warm temperatures and a joyous smile on my face)
4. How we feel then “dictates” how we act/behave. (I feel joyous and am pleasant and smile more to others)
5. How we behave is what others get to experience. (My smile beget me more smiles)
This basic framework, whether conscious of it or not, is what most people go through when they have a thought, feeling, and action. By understanding this framework/mental patterning, we can identify problem thinking patterns that we want to change, then set boundaries on those thoughts, and then begin the process of changing those thoughts to produce the desired feelings, behaviors, and experiences we truly want. Understanding this pattern and redesigning desired results is similar to capturing run off on a landscape, redirecting it across and into the soil, and then harnessing the energy of that water to produce an abundance of food and vegatation that benefit us and the environment. It has limitless possibilities to positive and regenerative effects on the mental landscape, and like a swale or keyline plow, is a tool that any permaculture designer would greatly benefit from.
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