According to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, one of the most important philosophical texts of ancient China --
" A faithful Tao cultivator does not use force.
A good warrior does not lose his temper.
A great conqueror does not challenge others.
A good leader is humble.
This is called the virtue of peace with no contention.
This is also regarded as competence to make good use of the effort of people.
Such is regarded as achieving harmony with nature.
Such is the perfect Oneness of true nature."
"If people do not revere the Law of Nature,
It will inexorably and adversely affect them.
If they accept it with knowledge and reverence,
It will accommodate them with balance and harmony.
Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.
There is a thing, formless yet complete.
Before heaven and earth it existed.
Without sound, without substance,
it stands alone and unchanging.
It is all-pervading and unfailing.
One may think of it as the mother of all beneath Heaven.
We do not know its name, but we call it Tao.
Deep and still, it seems to have existed forever."
As also noted in 1994 by Katherine Wasser on Permaculture.net, a significant resoure for all things Permaculture:
"The term permaculture, meaning "permanent agriculture" was coined in the 1970's by Australian Bill Mollison.
As I saw permaculture in the 1970's, it was a beneficial assembly of plants and animals in relation to human settlements, mostly aimed towards household and community self reliance, and perhaps as a "commercial endeavor" only arising from a surplus from the system.
However, permaculture has come to mean more than just food sufficiency in the household. Self-reliance in food is meaningless unless people have access to land, information, and financial resources. So in recent years it has come to encompass appropriate legal and financial strategies, including strategies for land access, business structures, and regional self financing. This way it is a whole human system.
Permaculture, then, is a design system that encompasses both "permanent agriculture" and "permanent culture." It recognizes, first, that all living systems are organized around energy flows. It teaches people to analyze existing energy flows (sun, rain, money, human energy) through such a system (a garden, a household, a business). Then it teaches them to position and interconnect all the elements in the system (whether existing or desired) in beneficial relationship to each other and to those energy flows. When correctly designed such a system will, like a natural ecosystem, become increasingly diverse and self-sustaining.
All permaculture design is based on three ethics: Care of the earth (because all living things have intrinsic worth); care of the people; and reinvest all surplus, whether it be information, money, or labor, to support the first two ethics "
The ability to blend in with the cycles and patterns of nature as well as practical scientific rules that nature itself has presented us -- could be crucial to the survival of the human species.
The concepts of Permaculture could offer us a great insight into the way the Earth works and also give us as humans a close proximity to the ground where we come from and where we all will eventually end up. There is something primal about working with the Earth and it's elements and I -- as an amateur looking to turn professional potter/ceramic artist-- can attest that it is quite soothing to the soul. There is some kind of amazing feeling of using the Earth's elements as I am 'throwing' a bowl or mug on the potter's wheel --
letting the organic material of the clay slip through my fingers all wet and slippery. Feeling also the grit of the clay and knowing I am forming a new vessel from the Earth. Using the Earth's elements to form something useful and aesthetically pleasing. It seems symbolic to me of our own birth and life course. Also it is interesting to see what kinds of elements we will fill ourselves with. I would imagine that any creative act aligns us with some kind of harmonic force.
In Eastern thought as well as now many in the West's field advanced science -- the Earth's fields and forces can be measured and observed with precision. Also -- there are principles we can follow to be more self-sufficient, more healthy, more spiritually sound and connected to our source. No matter what form of God people envision -- we are all inextricably connected to the Earth which sustains our bodies which without them our soul would have no home. We need to treat it with care and feed our bodies with the proper nutrition - as well as our hearts, minds, and souls.
Could this be the farming of the future? Let's hope so...