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In this episode I reflect on how the four levels of paradigm Carol Sanford shared in episode 33 apply both to my experience of navigating the coronavirus crisis and to permaculture as a whole.
Hope you get something out of this and here’s to our collaborative evolution toward regenerating life together.
A few links:
Thanks, Dan, for another terrific podcast. I’ve been listening to MPS for a year or so now – I think I’ve heard them all now, many two or three times – but this is my first comment.
Fantastic conversation with Carol. I really appreciate that you’re bringing these thoughts to bear on the corona virus. I really related to your journey of personal reaction to the crisis. I did so much of what you’re talking about too – focusing hard on family and my ability to store and grow food and so on, then gradually opening it up to be more and more inclusive and creative.
I’ve been thinking about the question you opened with Carol, about how to place ourselves, understand ourselves and the virus in a healthy thought-context. I’ve been following Chris Martenson too – he’s been a valuable sense-maker – and I was struck by something in his conversation with the virologist, Dr Angela Rasmussen… She mentioned that viruses are ancient and that we co-evolved with them to the point where our bodies respond to viruses on the level of individual cells – ie, every cell in our body responds to their presence in sophisticated ways.
This made me think about how, collectively, we’ve responded to the pandemic as if it were ‘unprecedented’ – which of course it is, in our lifetimes. But for our species it’s probably just another dicey encounter with a fellow dangerous creature, a life-form (if they are alive), with which we are intimately familiar. Which then makes me wonder if our bodies, like so much of the complex natural world – as different to complicated human systems – already possesses sophisticated defenses even to ‘novel’ viruses, that are possibly more jujitsu-like, more work-with-and-nuetralise in effect, than our crude medical interventions.
Is it possible, that, if we took Carol’s approach of asking ‘what’s the essence of viruses?’, and also, ‘what’s the essence of us?’, then maybe we could approach new viruses like we do for diseases in the garden – growing plants into their full potential so that they shrug diseases off. In which case harsh viruses like SARS-Cov-2 become like the bad bugs you had in your guts – a blessing that allowed you to become familiar with your gut microbiome to the point where you grow it’s health to a potential previously unthought-of. An idealistic notion, maybe, but perhaps something that could become, over time with this new level of viral threat, an ordinary part of living life well?
It feels we need to know, or imagine well, what’s going on at that cellular level where an ancient, possibly tense, conversation is taking place. And if we can become part of the conversation we would join an ancient sort of dance with each deadly micro-creature we meet (like we’ve done with every other deadly creature – bears, hippos, snakes, arachnids etc), offering great respect and bringing to bear the physical wisdom built into our bodies.
It’s certainly helps me to imagine the situation like this. It seems misplaced, anyhow, to see or experience this virus/pandemic as some sort of alien occurrence. Just a thought, anyhow. Looking forward to future episodes.
Huon Valley, Tas.