Further Exploring the Contrast Between a Mechanical and a Living Worldview/Paradigm with Jason Gerhardt (E67)

Hey all. I have been so energised from the spirit and content of comments on my last post/episode. Not to mention the private messages coming through. Then Jason reached out and helped me take it up a notch in this delightful dialogue. A dialogue sparked by how the last post/episode fed into some of his latest adventures and insights.

Enjoy, do let me know what this stirs up or brings alive inside of you (in the comments or a message through the contact form). Then catch you all in part two of the talking points series – can’t wait!

Also, I have a few questions for you to ponder. Deep down, which image best represents the lens you look through and hence the world you see? How sure are you about this?


or this:

ps. One little note of clarity is that I’ve personally been referring to mechanical and living worldviews (of which there are others, I just happen to be focusing on these two right now). Then I have been using the word paradigm to refer to the four levels of paradigm Carol Sanford has previously shared with us. I wanted to acknowledge that in this dialogue we use the words paradigms and worldviews more loosely where when mechanistic paradigm is spoken of this is exactly the same as the mechanistic worldview I’ve been talking about in recent and upcoming posts.


  1. Ellen,

    Your music project beautiful! I looked it up by clicking through your hyperlinked name in your post. Upon listening I was immediately spellbound.. so delightful and so profound. I particularly enjoyed when your spoken words juxtaposed in my mind with the explorations at Making Permaculture Stronger over the forest imagery in the video. I look forward to listening to more of your creative work. Thank you so much for sharing what you do with us.

  2. This was such a thoughtful conversation. I have only recently discovered your podcast and have very much enjoyed the thoughtful approach you take to your dialogues with others who are exploring permaculture. For my part–I am mostly a musician–music teacher, composer, organizer of community music happenings–but I am also using some things I learn about permaculture to work with my little piece of ground in Northern New Hampshire.

    I loved the description of ASC project in St. Louis. Building and re-building community remains a deeply held focus for choosing what I do with my time. The description of land as healing resonates deeply with me.

    You asked for some music at the beginning of this episode. I spent the last year or so working on a musical project called “This Forest is Alive.” It was a compilation of compositions, spoken word and visual art that rejoiced in the idea of the life of a whole forest–perhaps of the whole earth. Perhaps this contemplative fugue from the project might strike your fancy. I will look for a way to send you a link. Thank you for your thoughtful work and your respectful way of engaging with others.

  3. Thanks for sharing this conversation Jason and Dan. Really loved your example of emergent design Jason around the essence of the farm project that came through the community. Appreciating the value of this (given that good branding and marketing is very important.. and can be costly.. and can be a fragmentary process), it would be a fun opportunity to re-tell that story in community.. to share it back in some way that is meaningful and allows for all to grow in the living design/regenerative paradigm lesson of this.

    Later in the conversation it was very interesting to notice that when you (Dan) mentioned about the distinction between worldviews and paradigms and that there were more than two variables, the spell really broke. Of course there were other factors going on I’m sure, but my brain fainted a little too at that moment as I tried to grapple my thoughts with the immensity of it all…

    (Which image you ask represents the lens I look through and hence the world I see.. I’d like to think the verdant river image.. though to be honest and to think more deeply about this, I’d say that I modulate between both and sometimes see one through the other.. I see mechanisms in living beings and processes; as well as the Life in/of “machines”… I feel that these conversations here have really broadened my perspectives and that sometimes I’m just dangling from the edge of the universe feet swaying below me over the infinite unknown..)

    1. Hi Adrian, thanks for the comment. The storytelling piece you mention has definitely been developing for the organization that holds that farm project. I want to share more about the project because it’s truly amazing, but we’ve had a tight-lipped approach so far so we don’t come out of the gate only three years in sharing big promises and visions. Basically we’re waiting for the story to form before telling it. 🙂 Your comments are great. I just read your comment on Tyson Yunkaporta’s interview and resonate with so much of it.

  4. Can you provide the link for Ethan Soloviev’s newest regenerative agriculture doc that Jason brings up? The non-whitepaper doc of his, though a link to the old one would also be useful to see the evolution, history. The other beautiful chart of his is Agriculture: A Continuum from 2011.

      1. Thanks Jason. I checked it out and wrote Ethan inviting him onto the show to explore this together. Fingers crossed!

    1. Thanks for sharing Ethan’s prequel “Paradigms of Regenerative Agriculture” here Jason.

      By the way the link to the other “Levels of Regenerative Agriculture” and “Lineages of Regenerative Agriculture” can be found there within too on page 3 (if you click on one of the words “here, here or here”.. though they don’t look like hyperlinks).

      And thanks Louis for the “continuum” article link too.

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