Friday, October 07, 2005

Old paradigm: anxiety and attack; new paradigm: curiosity and learning

OLD PARADIGM, NEW PARADIGM, ATTACK VS. LEARNING

Recently I was pouring some water on plants out front. Marlie and I save the water from washing dishes into a pan, and either take that water to the plants, or fill up a five gallon bucket and then take that out for a larger watering. As I watered, my neighbor came by. She had a great idea: Why didn’t I just use the hose? So much easier. I nodded, Thanks, but we are saving water, I said. She nodded, a little confused, since the landlord pays for water.

This is how ecology is, sometimes. It takes a little longer. It thinks about the inter-relationships. It looks to improve the whole system. The old paradigm is in a hurry. If our bodies get sick, zap the disease with a drug. If our plants get insects, zap them with pesticide. Weed problem? Zap with herbicide. Time is money, rush, rush. Problems are enemies, causing anxiety, which we try to avoid by mobilizing in fear to massively “attack” them. International problems are zapped with war.

After these attacks, the problem seems often to get worse. The insects get stronger. The dis-ease gets drug resistant. The weeds flourish, or the herbicide kills the plant. The war produces greater fear and insecurity and a bigger and seemingly endless counter-war.

In the old paradigm, these “secondary” problems call for more attacks. That a drug might be attacking the whole body as well as the disease is not considered, but “side effects” are zapped with more drugs. When these produce further “side effects,” they are zapped with more drugs, on and on, until the person, fed up with the chemical warfare inside, just up and dies. And why doesn’t this work? Why doesn’t the old paradigm work? Because dis-ease is a function of a whole system, and to help our bodies become healthy we need better food, better breathing, better movement, better happiness, better relationship to ourselves and others and nature.

GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) are like the drugs used to zap the side effects of the first drugs. The insecticides and herbicides are creating more vigorous insects and weeds, and so the next “instant” solution is called for. Corn and soy are engineered to be super-zapped with herbicides. Potatoes have the insect killer engineered under their skin, so that the non-organic potato chips you eat, could almost be labeled a pesticide. The “scientists” say this is going to work. The “scientists” say this will have no further generation of side effects.

Oh, really.

Dis-ease. In the old paradigm, this means attack. In the new paradigm, instead of reacting with fear and attack, we see the “problem” as a chance to use our intelligence, instead of our anxiety, to create an improvement and greater harmony in the whole system.

In the Feldenkrais Method®, we skip zapping a sore shoulder with some pain killing shot or pill, just as we skip going to the shoulder, even, and ‘fixing” it with massage or physical therapy. We look for ways of helping the brain/body system to function once again as a whole, so the pelvis and back and neck, and breath and eyes all once again help the shoulder be part of a larger, naturally functioning whole.

In Permaculture, we look to improve the soil, and the use of rainwater, and the plant/animal interactions, and the cycles of the seasons to create a larger, healthier eco-system.


GMO’s and genetical engineering look like a quick fix, and “scientists” say, sure they’re okay. “Scientists” who work for tobacco companies say that’s cool, and “scientists” used to praise the wonders of DDT, a “quick fix” that turned out to wreck havoc on the over-all system. Whether or not the GMO’s wreck any more havoc than the already have (with contamination, with punitive lawsuits by Monsanto, with killings of Monarch butterflies; see CALGEFREE.ORG, for more), they are surely a step away, a big step away, from getting back to growing healthy food on healthy land. And this is what our society needs, healthy soil growing healthy food for healthy people.

The two paradigms point to two pathways: less and less vital food grown with more and more chemicals and genetically modified organisms, on worse and worse soil helping lead to less and less healthy people taking more and more drugs. Or, coming back to repairing and improving the whole system, the soil, our plants, our own bodies, nourishing each and all parts of the whole. I’d suggest this points to voting yes on Measure M. I like the idea of a 10 year moratorium on any new genetical engineering in Sonoma agriculture. Don't you?

Actually, it could be longer, forever, as far as I'm concerned. We need to radically improve our soil and environment. Non-organic spinach has one eightieth of the iron that organic spinach. That's right: organic spinach has 80 times more iron. Think about that vs. "modern" agriculture.

1 Comments:

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