Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Planting Trees in Swannanoa


The ideas and aspirations that fire men
to build empires or to shift radically to
new styles of life are comparable to the

slight variations between light and shade
that cause the plant stalk to twist—not
light, but a difference in light:
an abstraction.

I’m still rocking and reeling from our 1-day
Sustainability Workshop on May 30, and also
from the publication of HEARTSTONE—our
local food-back publication & internal dialogue
expressing diverse embodiments on the same

How do we worry about thee?
Let me count the ways!

We were engaged yet wary of each other, braced
against the challenges to our habits of thought….

In the last few days out of the depth of our
commitment and the love or anger we felt toward
each other, we had begun to be a group of whole
persons. Some plunging in fully with full feeling and
thought, while others still moved gingerly in this new
kind of environment. (MC Bateson)

Wherever We Go There We Are.

“We take a tone very often, I think, of moral
distanciation (sic) putting these things apart from
ourselves and looking at them when in fact we
could probably find all of the difficulties that have
led us to the crisis (1968 version) that this conference
is about if we analyzed the conference itself
(community, ourselves, class-room itself)

No matter what we do at this conference, IT still
confronts us. If we decide to be methodological,
epistemological, or theological, IT’s still there
confronting us. IT’s in the air we breathe, and the
earth we walk on. The fact is that we keep lunging
away from this; somebody brings us back to IT, and
we get away from IT again:

of the
errors, all
of the mechanisms
that we have been discussing
are operating right here, and we
can study them among ourselves."
(Theodore Schwartz, anthropologist)

“Now the temptation
in our position at the present
time, vis-à-vis this enormously
complex set of problems, is to grab
quick, quick, but quick, at anything that
will obscure [occlude] the darkness of the subject
and, above all, give us something to do, preferably with
our larger muscles. There is a very high probability that we
will walk precisely into just those operations that fall into place
as part of this whole system and increase by a negligible fraction
the rate at which the world is approaching hell.”
(G Bateson)

Samples somewhat re-configured from the 1968 Burg Wartenstein
Conference on The Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human
Adaptation, and the Question Being:

To what extent does our
species purposive consciousness
(individual, collective, cultural)
filter out necessary kinds of knowledge?

Gregory Bateson (biologist, anthropologist, systems and
information theorist) believed that “wisdom” comes from
the un-or non-conscious, and that the human effort to control
the processes of the un-conscious (automomic & automatic,
say) —bringing them into the active consciousness—necessarily
corrupts them.

Habitat for Humania
“Clapped into Jail by Our Consciousness”

Our greatest asset
“ego-conscious rationalized purpose”
at the same time
our greatest liability (ecrp).

How’s that for a classic
aporia &
conundrum to be marching to:
damaging if I do, damaging if I don’t.
Damnit them apples! Got to likem!

Or at least consider.
Put into play.
Jiggle. Juggle.
For the sake of
argument.Or what's
a college for? xxxooo Presbyter

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