Tag Archives: life

World eater, world propagator

Dichotomies

conventional & organic
degenerative & regenerative
degrading & restoring

I like the latter terms because it feels difficult to green wash. Take any feature that is necessary for the systems that support us, and see if it is being restored/enhanced, or if it is being degraded. Water quality. Soil fertility. Biodiversity.
Alas, if there is a will there is a way, and all of these terms will be “greenwashed” to some extent, making environmentally degrading acts seem restorative.

And by what means is the greenwashing motivated and manifest? Who done it? Some words commonly attributed to the complex system in question, which degrades essential qualities while feigning friend of fundamentals:

The man
The system
Capitalism
Neoliberalism
Globalism
...

These terms too are not perfect. Each has assumptions and complexities, they lack precision and can be tricky. Then I read something which shared a term so precise, so empirical, it could not be misconstrued or exploited:

The cosmophagous world: that world which devours all other worlds to feed itself.

cosmo-
From Ancient Greek κόσμος (kósmos, “universe”).
-phagous
From Latin -phagus, from Ancient Greek φάγος (phágos, “glutton”), from φαγεῖν (phageîn, “to eat”).

And what is the alternative to devouring other worlds? To multiply, to propagate, to support many worlds. Consider, as you go about the polarized and dissonant world, whether this dichotomy fits: some ways grow themselves by devouring other worlds, while other ways grow all by propagating many worlds.

Sheep inhabiting a woodland edge, with forest and meadow to graze, at a diverse silvopasture farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I think of this as I visit small farms and see the countless worlds that are hosted there: the worlds of the orchard and of the pasture, the worlds of the meadow flowers and of the insect colonies which enjoy them, the worlds of the varieties of people who are part of the community affected by the small farm, and the worlds of the countless communities which have other small farms of their own.

That world catalyzation is a stark contrast to the vast monocrops, moonscapes, and mines producing homogenized ways of life, wherein one world grows larger while the others are whittled away.

May this be a high-level guideline, leading us toward Earthbound mutualism rather than parasitism.


I end with an excerpt from the text that introduced me to this concept of cosmophagy, and with a wish that you will celebrate and support the many worlds we coexist in as One.

Power is inseparable from the capacity to be affected. We find potentialities in our shared sensitivity: that sense of urgency that pushes us to seek new ways of living — to want to change this world; that feeling of belonging that pushes us to act, and likewise to risk everything. How can we unleash these potentials? The paths suggested by the existing order — call it what you will, Empire, capitalism, colonial modernity, white supremacy, the cosmophagous world — aim to capture the affects that make life worth living.

Neither sinners, nor victims: we inhabit climate change. We see that this period of disillusionment with centuries of misdirection is also one of infinite potential. Each of us have within us the remote possibility of stemming the tide of the catastrophe. By organizing pessimism, the fundamental affect of the times, and giving it a creative consistency, we can hope to bring about other worlds. But first, it is essential to make a break with this one. We did not choose to be thrown into a world that seems doomed to its own destruction, but we can decide to continue it or break free from it.

via “Re-Attachments: Toward an Ecology of Presence” by Dispositions Collective (2021 Jan 29) @ https://illwill.com/re-attachments

Visions of Love, Gardening with Theurgy: An Imaginative Practice to Empower Plants

Plants are people that participate in our world in wondrous, mutualistic ways. Plants serve as the foundation of our human lives, in so many ways, grown by Solar rays of a very high Source. Plants bridge us and the Sun. How can we serve plants? A mystical practice, known as a type of theurgy, is one way to empower plants to give greater gifts as they go forth in life, using the power of human mind to imagine and visualize colors and light.

Definitions of theurgy tend to be vaguely described, as hints of it seep out from the mysticism of various traditions. Definitions often include compelling or querying supernatural beings and deities. I offer this definition based on my learnings and experiences on alchemy:

Theurgy is the mental animating of matter, so to bring out more of matter’s inherent qualities and potential capacities, without imposing a state or process on the matter that is not in harmony with its nature and natural laws of cause and effect [1].

There could be a lot to unpack here, but I will leave that to your own inner and outer inquiries. I raise this work to share an ecological application of it. Based in imagination, it is the use of visualization and color to enliven objects with their vital three-part nature.

Continue reading →

Starchy Perennial Plant Ally: Sunchoke

A long term steward of the northeast, Sunchoke aka Earth Apple aka Jerusalem Artichoke aka Helianthus tuberosus. This plant is a sunflower species with a starchy, potato-like root that propagates itself (usually easily) from year to year.

In the video below, Ben Falk harvests and discusses a 400sq.ft. area that grows sunchokes year after year, with minimal maintenance, while building soil. This year’s harvest offers 90lbs of starchy “J-choke” tubers, leaving some in soil to regrow the patch for next year’s harvest. He notes using them as pureed soup after some slow cooking, as well as pickling and lactofermenting them. I have only had them a few times. When I cooked them I cut them thin and stir fried them, cooking them for a while and adding other veggies and seasoning into the mix. They are dense plants and feel like a good staple, able to significantly help mitigate ‘the hunger gap’ as Ben says regarding strains on food supplies and ecology. I look forward to growing, harvesting, and cooking more of this perennial plant ally.

I give thanks.

Mapu e Ixã remixed: Grief and Gratitude on Environmental Empathy And Fundamental Flux (cr0 & Mu)

I give thanks
for the source
for the music
for the indigenous people who share it
for the mutualism one can live
showin’ the way

Thanks
For the present

The grief of a flower.
The grace of a bird.

The wisdom of a way.
The finality of a word.

50 million year + mutualism
Resounding generation – we hear’em

A grief. I feel it for a brief time now and now again. Takes ya to the deeps, something that comes with ya to ya sleeps.
Environmental, mental, an ever sentimental scent that scarce sense keeps dyin’
What I & I am finding
Renewal keeps tryin’, LVX movement illumine what’s next
Each particle a wave
Each ending a new beginning
A new in-ing, a new unfolding
A new present olding
Each one teach one, love some way to say two become one
Some one to be, the one self you see part “I” part “the” part “we”
A memory out of each moment, a moment of momentum
And on and on and on went
. . .
5 element theory got folks kinda leery
Got me in peace like a circle and a square
And I dare in this bi-polar world to try to be a triangle in the spot
ne dot in a circle
That’s sun, that’s light, that’s life, that’s one
The boom of mn in the room ylin’ through forests and tombs
And tunes, as life goes on
And on and on and on went
. . .
New beginnings, for ever
Grief and gratitude, toward Home one better
Shalom
Shalom Shalom
One Love

Saying Providence: Egg & Cheese Sammich

Every time I eat, I give some thought, “I give thanks to the Source, for the present, to mother Earth for all the creatures who enable me to enjoy this food.”

Sometimes it’s complex and inconvenient to know the source. There is always a source.

One beautiful thanksgiving for food I’ve learned of is ‘saying providence’ from indigenous and permaculture communities. At a potluck or any meal, take a moment to speak about and acknowledge with gratitude each ingredient you bring to the table. This has a few benefits obvious and subtle.

Sharing providence from my own meal, an egg and cheese sandwich. Years ago growing interest in self-sufficiency, I thought it would be great to have a 100% home-grown peanut butter & jelly sandwich. My perspective’s changed a bit, for one I’m more interested in community-scale sufficiency and ecological mutualism in food. For two, I’ve realized a 100% community-grown egg and cheese sandwich is way more feasible and is plenty good too! Not there yet, but getting closer:

This sandwich is a snow-day lunch I enjoyed with a little help from my friends (afar)! Most of the ingredients have something special to say about’em, and it’s nice to pay each ingredient some attention in any case. I give thanks:

Continue reading →

Plants Passing Light Underground: Surface Sun, Subterranian Subconscious

Interesting science on how plants transmit light from surface into roots and out into otherwise-dark soil. Light triggers a cell, phytochrome, to produce a growth-guiding protein in plant leafs and shoots. This same type of cell exists in root tissue, and light received at the root tips via the plant’s light channeling fibers helps guide root growth via phytochrome.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2111027-plants-see-underground-by-channelling-light-to-their-roots/

Like plants, on the surface we receive sunlight and its archetypal analog, consciousness. Underground, at our roots, within us, we see that light reflected in elemental waters. The partner in polarity of the sunlight is the moonlight, as fire is to water, as consciousness is to subconsciousness.

“May peace be upon you.” Perhaps ‘you’ are the roots, and upon you the peace of a healthy plant. The plant too, or a human stewarding it, can be the ‘you’, and peace may be upon ’em too.

Recognizing Source: Indigenous Wisdom from Lyla June

These reflections are inspired by an interview with Lyla June at https://civileats.com/2019/11/07/the-native-musician-and-poet-revitalizing-indigenous-food-sovereignty

In my journey an important lesson is recognizing sources. As I eat, I consider what is the source of this that sustains me? I consider it and give thanks to it, whether it is nearby and wholesome or distant and complicated. The practice inspires spiritual exercise to have a greater capacity to consider that question, as a complete answer is ineffable. Giving thanks to the source does a lot of things, one of which is remind with humility that we too are a source.

Much thanks to Lyla June for the leadership and wisdom she shares. Truth, faith, compassion.

Favorite excerpt from this great discussion: Continue reading →