Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy; an embrace of myth and ritual as eco-technologies. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

Friday, April 3, 2009

Geomancy, Phenomenology, and EMF fields

If Reformation theology was summed up by the claim that everyone can minister, then the warcry of the liberation ecologists and freelance gnostics is this: everyone is an ecological participant; a witch doctor of their local environment in amnesia.

This post is kind of priming the system for the next one, which is a huge-ass explosion of brainstuff that came out of me after reading Wood, Metal and the Story of the World by Charles Eisenstein.It was no less than a cosmic reminder for me and a very effective creative trigger. Thank you to Charles through many interconnected series of tubes.

Pretty high on the didactic agenda right now: our birthright as geomancers: speakers of a native eco-etheric language of place.

In his psychedelicious post on Reality Sandwich, builder Charles Eisenstein writes of his journey from being a Math and Philosophy graduate from Yale toward a space of deep appreciation and practice of the material crafts. He currently works with a design/build company called the Earth Alchemists, who are actively informed by the pattern language-based building articulated by Christopher Alexander. A property that drives and informs their craft is the ability a particular architectural realm has to Make You Feel Alive. This is, in turn, a characteristic of Sacredness. This quality of presence is something medicine masons (or scientist-artists as Bucky calls them) try to materially articulate; in essence to 'enchant out of design space'. This is obviously something that Nature excels in through open-design/build... or undesign/unbuild... whatever you'd like to call it. Christopher Alexander calls this quality "the quality without a name". He's right, it is near unspeakable - or at least untranslatable - because it only truly exists in the Green Language - the language that our flesh translates into electrical brain-noise (and those in turn might band together and find their way into what Terence McKenna calls "small mouth noises") This Green Language is all process - it can never be digitalized and abstracted. David Abram calls this the "reciprocity of the perceptual experience." Everyone speaks it, but no one can speak it to anyone else - it can only be spoken between You and Your Environment. This dimension of experience MUST be protected from the festering, colonizing host of abstractions - because language is a virus, you know. Language is technology - and technology is not helpful or harmful until it is used for a Purpose. I'm sad to say that the Green Language has become a foreign language to us. To say that we should protect this mode of communication and co-creation is perhaps rather theological sounding. Let me rephrase it - we should be conscious stewards of the reciprocal regeneration of the sensuous sacred.  Greatly influenced by the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (three cheers for phenomenology: kissing philosophy to death) David Abram writes:

"Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in his classic work, Phenomenology of Perception, suggests that the primordial event of perception is always experienced as a reciprocal encounter between the perceiver and the perceived, a open dialectic wherein my sensing body continually responds and adjusts itself to the things it senses, and wherein the perceived phenomenon responds in turn, disclosing its nuances to me only as I allow myself to be affected by its unique style, its particular dynamism or active agency."

Truly, significant "conversations" experienced in the Green Language can only sufficiently be communicated to other human beings through geomantically-informed design/build. And that, my friends, is part of the collective Great Work of this generation.

One of the currently-needed Assertions of Quality (lest I say "Truths") - a keystone in the paradigm shift - is that WE ARE NOT CLOSED SYSTEMS. No man is an island. Actually, islands aren't even proverbial islands, making that maxim delightfully discordian. We are, to paraphrase Abram, open circuits that are only completed by the encompassing earth. We are touching the earth; the earth is touching us. We are continuously meeting. This simple fact has deep evolutionary implications. These bodies are little ships designed to sail through the unfolding environment on this Particular Planet. Earth is special. It has an aura; its electromagnetic field. Earth's EMF field is created by the orgiastic brouhaha going on in the molten core, and notably is in constant flux (as NASA points out, the North Pole is ditching North America and moving to Russia) Just as our bodies have been whittled by evolution in response to the parameters of our physical environments, our etheric bodies have also been 'programmed' by constant relation with Earth's EMF field. This may sound New Agey, and I sincerely apologize if you get "squicked out" by that stuff. But unfortunately, this Information is too important for me to care about modulating my language any more than I already do, goshdarnit! NASA figured this out when they started sending humans into orbit. Perfectly healthy astronauts would be mysteriously puking. The problem? The body being out of communication with the subsonic frequency generated by Earth's EMF field. The EMF field extends rather far out there, but indeed its frequency on the surface of the Earth (where people do that thing called Being) is unique. After a device was installed onboard space shuttles that emulated this particular subsonic frequency, All was Well. There is circuitry everywhere, and to put it simply, we don't have a fucking clue. As has been pointed out by a sizable handful of cyberpunk visionaries, the world is made of language (Terence said something approximating that cluster of words). To put my own spin on that, the world is in fact comprised of an unknowable plurality of circuitry - which is the prerequisite for language. It is the infrastructure - natural or built, evolved or intelligently designed - that gives language conduits; direction, interrelationship, sometimes even purpose. Indeed, there are many linguistic valence levels online that power the cybernetic gyroscope of being - many currencies through which things communicate, but the fundamental one that continuously sings the bubbling, orgiastic world into being seems to be the Green Language - the language of light and vibration. Matter and energy.

Some brave souls at the Heart Math Institute have wrangled some Ph.D's and having a go at articulating an etheric cybernetics. In particular they attempt to discover the role of biologically-generated EMF fields in social interaction. 

Some excerpts from one of their press releases:

"The heart generates the strongest rhythmic electromagnetic field generated in the body. Measured with modern magnetic field meters, the heart's electromagnetic field is approximately five thousand times greater in strength than the field produced by the brain. The heart's field permeates every cell in the body and radiates up to eight feet outside the body, but theoretically it travels even further, although its field strength is too low to measure.

Previous studies at IHM's Research Center have found that our emotions are reflected in the patterns of our heart rhythms. These changing rhythms appear to be modulating the field produced by the heart, similar to how a radio wave is modulated so that the music we hear can be broadcast. This led IHM researchers to look at the possibility that people may be exchanging electromagnetic energy that is carrying emotional information like radio transmitters and receivers carry music."
full article

To be continued, sort of.

Rendition of the earth's magnetosphere. You have one too, kinda. Oh, also, can someone take some comparative kirlian photography of industrially grown produce versus home-grown organic? I predict scary.

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