Definition of Permaculture

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Definition of Permaculture (how we will view it within the frame of our FUX studies)

The word ‘Permaculture’ is derived from ’permanent agriculture’ + ‘permanent culture’.

Originally it was created by Bill Mollison in 1978 in Australia, and since then became known worldwide as a technique and guide primarily for sustainable gardening and agriculture.

In our FUX studies we will expand its meaning holistically, and widen/broaden the definition:

‘Culture’ as culture of life, or ‘right way of living’.

‘Permanent’ in the sense of true sustainability: sustaining (good) life for all living beings on the planet, for plants, animals and humans alike, in ‘permanent harmony with nature’; and acknowledging that nature is a system, comprised of numerous complex components that are intricately interwoven with each other, and act/react in a constant dynamic flow, always striving to keep the whole system in balance: nature in balance means all life itself in balance.

Thus, studying permaculture is studying the art of becoming a true steward for life on earth, guided by Mother Nature herself.

Humans in their (dis?)advantage of having a brain and a consciousness and the ability to make decisions for good or for bad (“free will”), therefore have a special responsibility towards nature (all life on earth). Their demanding needs of nutrition, energy, housing, clothing, transport and many other material and non-material needs, make it especially important for them, that they always keep striving to integrate themselves harmoniously and sustainably within the general web of life on this planet, subordinated to nature alone.

Looking at permaculture just as a “better” or “healthier” way of gardening, is reductive thinking and a contradiction to permaculture itself. Of course, you can do some fine gardening using the guidelines of permaculture. But your garden has a fence, at which your “rights to permaculture” end, at least according to your neighbour on the property next door, who might have different ideas for his own land on the other side of the fence.

But nature knows no boundaries and respects no fences. Air, water, pesticides, animals, microorganisms, sun and the weather all ignore the artificial boundaries of human activities. Therefore, if you really want to actively live according to the principles of permaculture and integrate them in your life, you have to kiss goodbye the idea of restricting its use to gardening alone, or to any other component of nature’s system alone.

The reason ist that permaculture has a “multi-dimensional” shape – it is not only about ecology and systems theory, but also about respecting certain ethics and principles, so that we can implement a holistic way of thinking about the world, which includes social life / societies, economics, politics, arts and spirituality as parts of the overall design.

In our studies we will try to explore this overall design of nature, the interconnectivity of the system’s components, and our role as humans within it.

And if we study the web of nature holistically, we study life itself.

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