‘Inability to accept the mystic experience is more than an intellectual handicap. Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination. For in a civilization equipped with immense technological power, the sense of alienation between man and nature leads to the use of technology in a hostile spirit - to the "conquest" of nature instead of intelligent co-operation with nature.’
— Alan Watts
One of the core tenets is that it’s the structure of systems that create their behavior. So CO2 emissions going up would be the behavior of the system, and the structure would be the laws and incentives on individuals and corporations and governments. If you change the structure, you change the behavior. There’s no physical reason to have organized ourselves the way we are; we could choose at any point to be organized differently.
It is not enough to weep for our lost landscapes; we have to put our hands in the earth to make ourselves whole again. Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.
∆ Robin Wall Kimmerer, from Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (Milkweed Editions, 2020)
Ever since I found out that earthworms have taste buds all over the delicate pink strings of their bodies, I pause dropping apple peels into the compost bin, imagine the dark, writhing ecstasy, the sweetness of apples permeating their pores. I offer beets and parsley, avocado, and melon, the feathery tops of carrots.
I’d always thought theirs a menial life, eyeless and hidden, almost vulgar—though now, it seems, they bear a pleasure so sublime, so decadent, I want to contribute however I can, forgetting, a moment, my place on the menu.
∆ Feeding the Worms by Danusha Laméris
Madlib, is it weird not having a mobile phone? Do you ever feel disconnected from the modern world, a place where rappers are constantly tweeting?
Madlib: Social media doesn’t appeal to me, at all. I ain’t into posting beats or showing off, none of that bullshit. I’m all about keeping it a mystery, basically. For me, it’s all about the music. I haven’t slept in two days, I’ve just been working. Making music is like therapy. I hope I take my last breath while making a beat. Yes sir, I’ll probably make a hit and then die! I cut off all my friends, threw my phone away, and that’s because I live strictly for the music.
“There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than "politicians" think. We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them. Ideas do not rule the world. But it is because the world has ideas (and because it constantly produces them) that it is not passively ruled by those who are its leaders or those who would like to teach it, once and for all, what it must think.”
― Michel Foucault
The word “pluriverse” itself comes from the Zapatistas, an indigenous community in Mexico who’ve built a de facto autonomous system of self-governance. Activists and academics who advocate for the pluriverse fight against the material concentration of wealth, decision-making, and power, emphasizing instead a mosaic of alternate and communal worlds.
The story’s context is the land’s geological and biological story, and the histories of the peoples who have lived in the Upper Ottawa valley from distant past to present. The garden’s story itself, starts with outlining the steps I took to do my part in the co-creation of the Madawaska forest garden and ends with how the land responded.
To understand why we do what we do to the land it’s important to understand our cultural and historical wrong doings, which I focus on in “Sacred Gardening”, so that we can begin to reprogram ourselves; to change our direction and move forward in a good way, with less cultural baggage and perceptual restriction. Ultimately, we must physically manifest our realizations of “how things could be” or they are just foam on the sea.
Critics and protestors of so-called “progress” (myself included) can easily get caught in a dark world. We often just talk, and dwell on the negative, rather than creating something positive. It took me many years to learn this simple lesson. We can become caught in re-acting to the negative actions of those in power, rather than putting our energy directly into manifesting our own power and a hand made future worth living for.