"Permaculture is a Spiritual Quest"- Interview with Willi Paul by Hannah Apricot, Permaculture Magazine NA
"Permaculture is a Spiritual Quest" - Interview with Willi Paul by Hannah Apricot, Permaculture Magazine NA

PMNA recently sat down with Willi Paul to discuss the sometimes hairy topic: spirituality in permaculture. Willi has been active in the sustainability, permaculture, transition, sacred Nature, new alchemy, and mythology space since the launch of PlanetShifter.com Magazine on EarthDay 2009. Mr. Paul has written 24 eBooks, 2313 + posts on PlanetShifter.com Magazine, and done over 380 interviews with global leaders.

PMNA: What does your own spiritual practice look like? What brought you to the conclusion of the connection between spiritual practice and ecological restoration?

WP: Spiritually, I have a deep love and respect for Mother Nature, for growing things, for Life. Capitalism is tearing down the trees, fouling our water, and polluting the air. Now I sit between my spirit and my consumption and feel the pain of hypocrisy and injustice. I am the connection, solution, and the problem. This is the paradox of being a human these days, on the edge of extinction!

PMNA: Which religion do you think relates the most to permaculture?

WP: The Quakers come to mind first. I love their emphasis on Friendship and their higher power as Light. See more here. I would also seek-out the spiritual practices of American Indian Tribes and the Australian Aborigines to help you connect Nature spirituality with Permaculture.

PMNA: What do you say to those who don't think spirituality should be brought into permaculture? That they are separate? How can we see a more spiritual notion brought to permaculture in general?

WP: I have discussed this very issue with Geoff Lawton, Howard Story, and many other permaculturists. While many attempt to vilify spiritually by warning us about the evils of religion, I know first-hand that a spirit guides everyone as we share the work in the food forests and seed banks. Racial and gender diversity are much larger problems for the fledging permaculture community right now.

PMNA: What role do you think spirituality can play in Permaculture and other efforts to heal the planet? And how can people incorporate it into their lives?

WP: I think that the motto "Design with Nature" from permaculture needs to expand to include "design with spirit." I don't think that permaculture is a holistic practice yet. Evaluating the "lay of the land" for a community ag project and then bringing in a bull dozer seems wacked. I would suggest that community care and share are spiritual sources that can be better promoted to grow food, healthy children, and a new morality.
Love into Soil.

PMNA: What is your definition of Mythology? When did you discover its importance?

WP: Back in 2010 or so, a "poet / sustainability consultant" launched an artist's community called Planetshifter.com, storytelling then became more popular and "shazam!" a new mythological journey erupted. New Mythology is a hybrid spirituality engine that combines Nature, Transition Movement, and Permaculture. It is an amazing opportunity to work locally and globally on each and every day.

PMNA: What is your vision for the planet in 2040? How will a more spiritual look at life help get us there?

WP: This is our Earth's Great Turning. We can live with the planet or sell it out to the capricious capitalist 1% percent. My New Myth series often sings and dances in our future.

Here is a new piece that lands square in the Post Chaos Era 2040:

Permanent Convergence" - Freedom Springs Homestead, 2040 A.D. New Myth 81.

PMNA: What is the best way for people to find your work?

WP: See Planetshifter.com first for the Mother Lode. You will find my Interviews, New Myths, Workshops, eBooks, Feedback, Videos, and my Bio there. Folks can also download many of my recent pieces at my Academia. Edu Portfolio. Mediate with me at LinkedIn, Google + and Twitter (@planetshifter @openmythsource @PermacultureXch).