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Permaculture is the Art of Living

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Permaculture Education | 0 comments

Art is Permaculture. Permaculture is an art.

What is permanent (culture)?

Nothing is truly permanent in this reality – all is transient, but there are qualities to life that are worthy of maintaining and sustaining such as cultures sympathetic towards human wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet. If a culture supports wellbeing then it assumes that a person within that culture is consciously striving for greater harmony and understanding within themselves and the surrounding environment. This working towards harmony may not occupy every waking moment of a human’s life but it can play a significant part. To the extent that harmony is achieved, the culture or practice in question, such as art, achieves a relative permanence.

What is culture?

The word was first used in the following context by Cicero in 45BC, writing about a human’s ability to cultivate and culture (as cultura animi) their mind/body/spirit in the same way that one cultivates a garden or crop, to give rise to a yield. When a person cultivates their own culture, it gives a yield to who they truly are as an individual expressing Consciousness. Vedantic philosophy from India is the source of this idea that was shared with Ancient Greek Hellenistic philosophy and later Roman.

Culture is also defined by the collective consciousness of humanity, often delineated by geographic regions, or belief systems. An amalgamation of aspects from society (synonymous with what we call “civilization”) give that society a unique character socially, philosophically, politically, artistically, religiously et cetera and, presently, is often driven by mass media. Some believe ‘culture is not your friend’. This can apply when one wishes to transcend individual differences and conflict created by cultural clashes, and that statement is more referring to the rigidly held belief systems and indoctrination that “civilized” culture and the modern environment often forces onto people. Permaculture encourages a culture of well-being, self expression, honesty, and an ethical approach to living – which itself is an art.

Sharing meals, laughter, wisdom, healing, and presence.

What is art?

Art in all its forms is often thought of as culture expressed: an individual’s culture, a group’s culture, a world’s culture in a certain place or time. Art can affect unity within humanity. Artists serve a great purpose by bringing about awareness. Good art requires honesty from the Artist. Good art requires courage to be vulnerable and express honestly one’s culture openly to the world, to share one’s emotions, feelings, and understanding. Why does someone make music, paint, dance, sculpt, design or do anything else as an art? They might be expressing something they’re seeking to understand deeper, or something that has been figured out. Art is exploration and expression of individual humanity in order to make sense of the world and the artist’s own reality. Art is not limited to what is considered creative or visual art. The logical sciences are an art. Healing modalities are an art. Everything can be approached in life with creative and intuitive intention as an art.

Why are permaculture and art synonymous?

There’s an art to living. Permaculture as an interdisciplinary earth science encourages people to pursue greater understanding amongst themselves and their environment, to enjoy and thrive in their life, and to share life’s abundance with others. Permaculture requires creativity in all aspects to solve or answer questions presented by life, by the needs of human habitation, and by interactions between us and nature. We are all creators. We all have creative intelligence and infinite creative potential and can direct it in a multitude of ways. Permaculture is a way of living that encourages plenty of time and space for honing one’s artistic expression. This can look like oil paint on canvas or designing a garden.

How can we be permaculture minded creators?

Permaculture is based on a set of ethics (Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share) while leaving infinite space for the many unique expressions found in humans and in our natural environment. In this way, no two permies or ecovillages express the same while being anchored in the core ethics of permaculture. Those of us who abide by the ethics engage in a type of voluntary simple living that requires a deliberate and intentional approach to what we are creating in our lives. The earth does not need more waste from creations that are not based in Truth. Good art is never created merely for money. Good Artists are not wasteful with their time, materials, or energy. The same can be said for a good life.

Permaculture aims to create a permanent culture that is benevolent and supportive to our wellbeing and that of the planet. There may be challenges we are presented with along our paths but we are armed with infinite creative abilities to transform what challenges us into great works of art.

Written by Ryan + Elena
Earthsong Foundation Stewards

We welcome artists + travelers from around the world to explore permaculture with us at our locations in Hawai’i + Panama. 

Do you have an art form to share and want to do so in an ecological community space? If so, consider applying for our Artist Residency program. Here’s a video from recent Artist Resident Deanna sharing her creative process in the jungle and how the nature here inspired her:

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Earthsong Foundation is a 501c3 organization dedicated to serving our Mother Earth. You can give and receive support via our Global Village Online. There our community of monthly and annual donors gain access to our video library where we share monthly permaculture education, holistic practices, and more. Join now!


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