Over the years it has become increasingly interesting for me to hear others speak of Emotional Permaculture. For one person, it was storing the large suitcase of a friend in their very small closet, because he had the experience of other people offering him such hospitality in the past, and it was a way to contribute to the greater collective good, a kind of community reciprocity. Because we are all growing together, right? This is one of the foundational principals of Emotional Permaculture.
After so many years of thinking on these matters, it is a pleasure to hear different interpretations of this idea. Perspective is always helpful in the relational realm – knowing that it isn’t all about me makes everything simultaneously so much more relaxed and interesting. Having a higher purpose is both gratifying and grounding. Despite whatever relational conflicts or traumas I may experience personally, being able to see outside of this moment in time, knowing that I exist within a whole universe of other beings and things – this perspective in and of itself gives merit to a full deep breathe. Then suddenly I see the sliver of a moon hanging high above the dark street, or have the presence to sit and watch a falling leaf.
“Meanwhile you live, as he who you are. You see and love, you look and long, you covet the unknown image of your desire – ah, so strange and different from yourself ! – you suffer for it, you long to draw it to your heart, to draw it into you, to be it. But to be a thing is something quite different, and incomparably more grievous and onerous than to see it. The longing set up by the idea is all a delusion. You yourself are given to yourself, your body is given to you, as idea, as all the rest of the world is. But at the same time it is given to you as will – the only thing in the world which is given you at the same time as will. Everything else is for you only idea. The universe is, so to speak, a play, a ballet; all your natural, instinctive convictions tell you that it has nothing like the same reality as you, the spectator, have; that it is not to be taken with anything like the same seriousness as you yourself are. Trapped in the principium individuationis, shrouded in the veil of Maya, the ego sees all other forms of life as masks and phantoms, and is simply incapable of ascribing anything like the same importance or seriousness to them as to itself. Are not you the only actually existent thing, are you not all that matters?” (Mann, Thomas Mann presents the Living Thoughts of Schopenhauer)
Trapped in the principle of the individual, we become blind to everything, perhaps most of all to our self.
One of the biggest hindrances in relationships is this egocentric tendency, which can range from inferiority complexes (still ego-centric); to inflated egotism, in which a person generally sees themselves as more important than others; to outright narcissism, in which individuals are so completely self-contained as to see nothing of the world as equally worthy to themselves. All of the above create a whole series of self-fulfilling prophecies, mostly because they are the relational equivalent of wearing blinders all the time. With each individual principle, one loses the whole integrated enmeshment of humanity.
We can be, as we are. This is our being, our personality, our right as humans – being. But we can also be with – mitsein – and here I will repeat myself, for it is worth of repetition. We are always already here with other beings. The ontological foundation of Emotional Permaculture rests upon this conviction. Yes, we can be, but we already are with – starting in the womb and in both past and present living – life is shared, this is our premise and precept.
How one interprets this reality, as a conflict, as a dance, as a love affair with the universe – this is the result of our conditioning, what we know and have been taught, what we believe.
Meanwhile you live, as you who you believe you are. And who are you, actually? Can you step outside of your head and see that person in front of me? Can you go further, and see us here, together? This is the collective principle.
Principium Communis. Being in the Common. Our being here together, lifting of the veil.