Monday, February 9, 2009

Tierra Sagrada


This is the long-awaited truth: a healthy ecology is the foundation for a healthy economy. A healthy relationship with and a deep understanding of our habitat is the bedrock of any mutually beneficial management or stewardship of our habitat. By fostering a healthy ecology, we foster a healthy economy. Through the manifestation of ecological abundance, we manifest economic wealth.

The new paradigm converts near-worthless money back into vital natural resources, giving us a world of abundance.

Investing in the ecology is the very best way to create and maintain a sustainable, healthy, vibrant economy.

Look: An economy is the management of a household or habitat. Planet earth, say. The management of our planet's resources, then, is economics. When we are contemplating how to manage our planet's resources, we are contemplating the global economy.

oikos = household, habitat
nomos = management of, ordering of

oikos = household, habitat
logos = study of, speech or discourse regarding

*it is important to note that logos is not merely the study of or the understanding of but - more importantly - both communication about and communication with*

an ecology is a pattern of relationships within a household or habitat. Specifically, an ecology exists as a pattern of relationships within a household or habitat. Planet Earth, say. If we understand the relationships between our planet's resources, then, we understand the planet's ecology. When we have a relationship with our planet's resources, we are ecologists. Or - when we communicate with our planet's resources, we are ecologists. When we are contemplating the relationships of our planet's resources, we are contemplating the global ecology.

What are we investing in? We are investing in relationship. Relationship with all life; with one another, with the land that provides us with our food and shelter, with the plants and the animals, with the farmers and the builders, with city dwellers and country folk, with politicians and businesspeople... there is no us and them. There is only us. And around the world, humanity is belatedly learning the obvious lesson that it's all of us or none of us. We must work together, and live as one family on this very small and out of balance planet...

As we learn to communicate, both laterally (amongst one another) and vertically (up the natural resource ladder and down the food chain - what we produce and what we consume) we cultivate relationship with our habitat, and out of this relationship evolves mutual appreciation, trust, and ultimately, interdependence.

Back to the real world: what is this new economic paradigm? What does it look like? How do we market it? What is its name? How does it work?

So. Take an ecology. Design it to be self-healing, optimizing output while minimizing input. Let it manage itself, and intervene minimally. This is the new economy - there's lots of work to be done, and turns out its a labor of love. It's all about intelligent design, and we're the ones meant to be doing it. Designing how we live in relationship with wind, rain, the contours of the land, the cycles of the seasons... designing how we live in relationship with the resources we depend upon to survive leaves very little management to be done.

This is the crux of the issue. An optimally designed ecology creates a healthy economy with very little management needed. Good design creates self-managing systems. (Conversely, highly managed systems reveal bad design.) These are adaptive systems, 'intelligent', systems that make their own corrections and adjustments and thus maintain an evolving equilibrium without oversight or management. These systems are the least labor intensive, the most cost effective, and have the greatest potential for optimization within limits, otherwise known as a sustainable rate of growth. In other words, the healthiest economy is one where people do less, allowing nature to do more...

The new paradigm is ecological design. By optimizing our ecology, we optimize our economy. Astonishingly simple, really. Every alternative that leaves us with too much money and not enough clean water is unsustainable, and ultimately a bad investment.

By relating to the land, we learn to appreciate that which keeps us alive. As we learn to appreciate, we begin to honor. Honoring the land, we heal the land, and in healing the land, the land prospers. When the land prospers, an abundance of natural resources is provided for human enjoyment.  Food, shelter, community, creativity, prosperity, celebration, and an awakening sense of the sacred are a natural consequence of intelligent ecological design.

it turns out that this new paradigm isn't so new after all. Guess who the experts in ecological design are? The ones who've studied it the longest. The time has come to honor our ancestors.

The Lakota knew all about this sacred way, as did the Cherokee, the Chumash, Aboriginals, Toltecs, the Navajo, the Dogon, the Maya, the Quechua,  Tibetans... all around the world, the vast majority of our planet's population (almost 95%) has been patiently - and not so patiently - waiting for Western culture to remember the simple truth that we are a part of nature, connected directly the Earth, and all of our abundance comes from her, and as we treat her, so do we treat ourselves.

These days, environmentalists call it permaculture. Religious fundamentalists call it intelligent design. Modern farmers call it agroecology, and big business calls it an existential threat. Meanwhile traditional indigenous peoples don't even name it, but sing it and dance in and act it out as sacred ceremony. Rather than talking the talk, they (we, actually) walk the walk. The poor victimized bourgeois, who, after generations of oppression now talk the talk and yearn to walk the walk, calling it Transition, or sustainability, and everything mainstream is talking about the green economy. Academia calls it ecological rehabilitation, which is pretty cool. Of course, children would call it common sense, if they had to name it at all. Naturally, the prophets of old called it the End of Days, and those ancient calendar keepers call it the Dawn of a New Age. We're talking about designed ecological rehabilitation, on a global scale. A rose by any other name...

Investors: Welcome to Tierra Sagrada. Welcome to the Sacred Earth.

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