Alchemy and Mythology in the Sustainability Age - An interview with Willi Paul. By Jeffrey Tong - San Francisco Examiner - Green Culture

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Alchemy and Mythology in the Sustainability Age -
An interview with Willi Paul
. By Jeffrey Tong - San Francisco Examiner - Green Culture

Willi Paul is the CEO and publisher of Bay Area based PlanetShifter.com, an online magazine and blog which allows eco-minded people to network together and share ideas and news on sustainability, on green politics, and the impact we have on our planet.

He is also the Director of Sustainable Business Development - USA & China at CoolTribe.com, another online green networking community. As partners, CoolTribe.com and PlanetShifter.com offers global business groups and citizens a full suite of social media and online community tools. The vision is to build strategic relationships through a combination of sponsorships, directory and event placements, online teams, interviews, and articles through targeted traffic in the green-tech and sustainability market sectors

Mr. Paul always loved exploring nature as a child. In college, he majored in ecology, and earned an urban planning degree from the University of Minnesota. But he found that the planning offices of most cities today are male dominated, bureaucratic institutions, and out of touch with the people.

What can be said about CoolTribe.com? Well, it's Cool! It has an online green directory or links to a wide range of eco-topics, groups or tribes, news, blogs, videos. Within just the home page for example, it has section to green your home, your finance, your car/transport, your health, your holidays, your family, your fashion, your office, and even your pet(s). It lets green advocates network and share ideas, and perhaps start a non-profit or for-profit business!

So what are Tribes? They're simply groups or networks of people who share ideas.

PlanetShifter.com appears less structured. It is focused around around articles and interviews, and organized according to topics such alchemy, community, innovation, music, mythology, shaman, sustainability. At first glance, many of these topics seemed rather esoteric. What is their inter-relationship with sustainability? Paul picked three of the topics: music, mythology, and shamanism. He said music is very powerful - it's a deep form of communication that transcends beyond words - it can help heal you, and lift your spirits, by simply changing your mood. When you enjoy the music you hear, pay attention to the words or lyrics too! Combined with music, words can be very powerful.

Mythology is not just ancient practice of using story, symbol, and songs; but the assumptions we take for granted in our daily lives. For example, do we in the West react negatively or positively when we hear the word "communism?" If we hear the word "bamboo" do we visualize a drafty shack in the 1960's comedy sitcom "Gilligan's Island" or perhaps "Lost?" The images we create are based upon our past experiences. But how valid are those assumptions? If the assumptions which form the core of our existence are invalid, the purposeful realization of who we are will profoundly alter the direction of our lives. A book Paul recommends is "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell.

What is Shamanism? Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world., and a practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman. Shamanism encompasses the belief that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit world. Shamans perform a variety of functions depending upon their respective cultures: healing, leading a sacrifice; preserving the tradition by storytelling and songs, etc.

What is an "-ism?" What is the mythology (assumption) we take for granted in the philosophy of "capitalism?" Does the Earth have a living spirit? Or do you believe the Earth is simply a repository of natural resource we humans are free to capitalize upon? If the Earth is indeed a living entity with a spirit, how can we reconnect with the Earth?

Willi Paul is also a Community Relations Consultant at DailyActs.org an online organization based in Petaluma which advocates localization, person-to-person relationships or communities. How can this be achieved, despite DailyActs being an online forum? It contains blogs which permit users to host local events and invite people. DailyActs promote perma-culture (not perma-soil or perma-frost), which is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximize effect and minimize work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants.

Imagine if a ship altered its course by five degree shift at the beginning of its journey? Its destination can be altered by thousands of km/miles! If we are to change the course of our planet, we must start by changing the thoughts within our minds TODAY! But don't just do it alone, our impact will be much greater if each of us join an eco-tribe - it's cool, it's FREE, it's CoolTribes.com!

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