ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Monday, December 29, 2014


Sustainability can be defined in a few different ways, but the idea of it is quite oxymoronic. As I have written before, in organic systems, there are frequent lapses in sustainability, however, the one key element that assures continuation of natural systems is that there is no concept in nature of waste. This week I had an interesting Facebook post come across my feed. It was about a woman who has lived for over two years now without creating any garbage. How she did it is worth reading about. Every single thing in nature, when it is no longer viable, transforms into one of three things. either food for another organism, housing for other organisms or breeding ground for other organisms. When we learn to mimic this reality, we will find ourselves participating in a sustainable system. One of the things that I have always done is reuse paper bags. I currently use them in my art because they make some of the strongest papier mache' ever and when I sculpt, it creates art that is ultimately recyclable. It is not possible in natural systems to make Kraft paper, because to make it you must boil wood chips in sulphuric acid, but by utilizing the material as efficiently as possible, I feel that the best and highest use can be made of something that has a foundation in an ecologically unsustainable world view. Healing this mind set gives us a greater chance of survival (as a species) and I have found, allows humans to more fully understand their place in the world and make peace with it.

This is not to say that humans will live forever or that the system will always remain unchanged. Quite the opposite is true. Adaptation has always led to change and development of new possibilities, new potential. When we key into the inevitable changes that occur in nature and learn to adapt to them with style and grace, many issues disappear and myriad possibilities open up for us where nothing had existed before. The folks who wish for things to remain the same or that things could go back to the way they were in less informed and/or less developed times are on the wrong track. Although there are a few things that were useful in the "good old days", the vast majority of them had unintended negative consequences that helped to create many of the problems that we are still trying to overcome today. In the ECO-Village of the future, we will have to be energy independent, food self sufficient and socially able to handle and adapt to the variability that is blamed for so much strife today. Learning to live and let live is something that we spend far too little time on in our educational systems, our religious institutions and in daily life.

One seriously difficult issue has dogged "humanity" for centuries. Why are we here? This single question has dominated human thought at least since the Greeks. As far as we can fathom, no other creature wonders or worries about this so-called "important" concept. A liberating mantra has presented itself to me recently that can be used by anyone at any time. Get ready to have another gift bestowed upon you courtesy of ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. This freebie offers the potential to change your life forever and if you use it conscientiously, it can also transform the lives of those around you. The reason that you may have never heard about this mantra before is that the entire fortune of each and every oligarch on the planet depends on you not realizing the insights that come from stepping off the hamster wheel. Back in the seventies, there was a massive marketing program devoted to TM Transcendental Meditation. They told each of their customers, (yes, you had to buy your mantra) to never, under any circumstances tell anyone your mantra. Like your native name, you were not to spread it around. I have found that the power that comes from keeping things secret is far outweighed by the clarity of mind that accompanies openness. In fact, many believe that the whole "secret mantra" thing was based on the fact that those running the business of indoctrination didn't want folks to know that everyone got one of just a few mantras.

I, on the other hand, have no reason to keep information that has the power to transform your life and the culture as a whole for the better, secret. One day, my giving will pay back, but I am not going to enrich myself at your expense, so here goes. This meditation can be done wherever you are, whatever you are doing and it requires nothing more than mental discipline. If you see "X" or "Y" or "Z", practice telling yourself "X" has no meaning except what I give it. "Y" has no meaning except what I give it. "Z" has no meaning, except what I give it. For some real world examples just keep your eyes open and remind yourself...This hand has no meaning, except what I give it. The view outside the window has no meaning, except what I give it, the book that I am reading has no meaning except what I give it, etc. This has several complimentary actions on our world view. First and foremost, the message is that even we have no meaning, except what we give ourselves. This liberates us from defining our "selves" in ways we always have. When we begin to understand that our human mind has the power to assign values, traits and characteristics that seem relevant at the time, we can reassign or remove those burdens, replace them with uplifting ideas or tweak our perception in ways that assign different meanings to all that we experience, even our sense of "self".

When we learn that whatever we perceive or value only has that value because our perceptions and preoccupations are acting on the idea of it in our mind, it liberates us from having to understand the "Why?" question. Our minds will fight and squirm to tell us that some of our perceptions are true, but even then, this "truth" has no value except what I give it. Defining all of these things serves to tell us that the world around us has meaning. It is just one trick that the mind plays on us. In an ECO-Village, the value of each and every object, person, creature and resource gains meanings that cannot be expressed until one confronts them in the unique ways that flow from having this changed perspective. Water becomes a temporary status of the greater water cycle. The energy that gets used and created is part of a cycle as well. The carbon that cycles through the biological systems is a temporary status of something much longer-lived. Again, the meanings of all of these things is recognized as malleable and that it changes based on what we each bring to the perception of it, but ultimately, it is not for us to assign values and meanings to each and everything we perceive. Understanding that we are meaning making machines and can do nothing other than assign value to our environment can liberate us from limiting ideas of what is going on around us.

ECO-Villages require us to participate in something else that has no value, but what we give it. The actual adaptation that organisms in nature have always done. If you would like to invest in our ECO-Village, we will continue to welcome your participation.

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