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DAY 4: Permaculture Design Certificate Course 2010 with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton

Bill Mollison
Bill Mollison

How far down the rabbit hole do you really want to go?…

That is the question. My mind is finally settling into the subject, and I am starting to understand how much there is to know and how little we actually do know…It’s a reassuring feeling though. It carries a promise of great mystery around every corner and no opportunity to ever run out of things to learn.

The structure of the course seems to follow loosely the “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual” book, but in reality it’s more like a tree. We pick up on a subject and then branch out to another one. Then we return to the trunk and begin branching again.

What Is Permaculture

How do you define Permaculture? For me, the definition changes everyday throughout the course. Here is what I have so far:

  • Permaculture is a design system
  • Permaculture is the science that connects all other sciences
  • Permaculture is the satisfactory explanation for all (well, most) world problems
  • Permaculture is the study of energy flows

Topic of the Day: Patterns

tree as a Labrys pattern
tree as a Labrys pattern

Bill’s definition of patterns is: they are the shapes of events. Pretty abstract? Yeah..
For example, an acorn falls on the ground; that is an event. Over time it grows into a tree, which can be described as a Labrys shape. This shape is found all around Nature, and it can be repeated and stacked and transformed, but it always holds as a pattern. This shape is found in mushrooms, axes, explosions and many other natural expressions.

Geoff Lawton demonstrating pattern stacking
Geoff Lawton demonstrating pattern stacking

Geoff described pattern as endless variations of slight imperfections. The Labrys shape can be stretched and pulled to connect the sides, or it can be perfectly symmetrical, but in either case this pattern can be repeated forever while maintaining its integrity.

When we go against the patterns of Nature, we have to exert great force to squeeze function out the system. You can straighten a river using technology, but over time it will always return to it’s natural curvy shape.

Craving perfection is a recipe for failure. There needs to be acceptance of slight imperfections. That is the way of Nature, the ultimate creative force of the Universe.

Patterns are the expression of cosmic energy that shaped Nature and Universe. They are the expression of balance on the edge of chaos. Patterns are formed on the border where two mediums interact, such as water and air. Clouds are patterns. Waves are patterns. Maximizing edges leads to maximizing areas of balance, which leads to maximizing energy storage and usage.

Embrace patterns!

3 replies on “DAY 4: Permaculture Design Certificate Course 2010 with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton”

Thanks Kirsten and Becca!! Funny thing patterns…I was dreaming with them during the night, and I kept seeing them everywhere this morning, as I walked to class 🙂

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