Permaculture for the soul
What is our relationship with Nature in the 21th century? On a daily basis, one can read about how the humans influence Nature, exploit Nature, destroy Nature. The Greenhouse effect, Monsanto, recycling waste, the industry using animals as test dummies and food.
But what is Nature doing with us? Who is she? The full moon, the sun, walking barefoot, being cold, being exposed to her?
1972, an experiment started. The Rainbow Gatherings. A few people got together to find out what it would be like to be untied with the natural forces again. Rules were set up. They decided to refrain from the use of electricity, drugs and money. No exploitation of animals. They decided to try out to live in, and leave her as she was, Nature for one moon period (new moon to new moon). Hippies, road bums, university professors and every day blokes united their various resources and created these Gathering, which are still happening nowadays. Over the years a few rules were added and others were modified (no hard drugs, the possibility to donate money to something called the magic hat with which food for over 2000 people is bought. Also, there is a non violent attitude.).
So, what is actually happening at such a Gathering?
As these coming togethers are called the Rainbow (all the seven colors uniting as white light), tolerance is a big focal point. The idea was and is that all brothers and sisters should be able to express themselves and be willing to accept their earthly sibling's manifestations, as well.
Again, this sounds like work, especially in an urban environment, but there is a big helping force. Nature.
There is this saying: “The first year, you fall in love with the Rainbow; the second year, you see its flaws; the third year, you will try to change them; the fourth year, you understand that that is not possible; the fifth year, is your goodbye; after another couple of years it wasn't that bad after all and so you come back again.”.
Very fine, but what is happening there? “If you see a job, it's yours.”
On the new moon, a Main Fire is lit and everyone (whichever believe or non-believe) gathers around the place to set their intention for the Rainbow; what to let go off, what to let flower inside/outside. Until that point the Seed Campers (people, who turned up a week earlier) had already focussed on building the main infrastructures like an open kitchen, some shelter, with whatever resources they had at hand for that purpose (sometimes there is some money from the previous year's magic hat left.). The following days, after the New Moon Ceremony, people start organizing themselves (like all the Rainbow: There is no organization, no head or institution. It is all played by hear in the vision councils (in which a 5 year old can participate, if he or she chooses so) plus the magic of Nature). It is around this time, when everyone focusses on their talents and offers them in free workshops. There a nature healers, acrobats, musicians, meditation teachers, cob houses builders, yoga teachers, language courses, dance courses, hypnosis as well as groups that organize the twice daily cooking or digging the shit pits.
Many participants come for different reasons.
Music-wise (all acoustic), one can't find a more diverse and high quality place. It is unbelievable to see twenty drummers going along with a classical ensemble, fusing into new music, which will never be repeated again as all is just a jam. Sting, Madonna and many more of these bigger names are well known to visit Gatherings for this reason.
Spiritually-speaking, the Rainbow feels like Hogwards. A big choice of old traditional and new age believe systems – and everything in between – is represented and free to be investigated in, around and through. It feels so effortless and is one of the huge advantages of the Rainbow that all “religions and non religions” coexist in peace and tolerance.
Culturally, these Gatherings provide a natural mix of all kinds of geographical and economical backgrounds of human beings uniting. A hundred languages are spoken, bodies moved and world views shared. All in the ambiance of tolerance and no violence. There are assholes, too, of course, but why not just accept and enjoy the rest? Assholes are in every country and it is a great opportunity at the Gatherings to learn and get along with that reality of life.
There is much more about the Rainbow and countless opinions, of course, but one thing stays. Nature. All this happens in Nature (This year the European Gathering was located on 1500m somewhere inside the Greek mountains.).
Therefore the answer the initial question: “What is our relationship with Nature in the 21th century?”.
It is one sided – in our city brains (if you are city dweller like me). We think we are the only active partner in that relationship (apart from natural catastrophes, of course – they are very obvious, but connoted pretty negatively.) We believe to be heroes recycling or demons destroying so much and on a concious level we are. Nature herself gives us much more than only food and skiing resorts, though. She makes us become aware of her, once we surrender (even only for a month like in the Rainbow or a day at the lake).
I read this sentence along a wall in my hometown, the other day:
“Only when the last tree is chopped down, you will realize that glass can't give you shadow.”
I don't know, if I chose the right quote for my point, but it works with me.
All the love,