3. Visioning



Full recording available to

students of the Academy

¿What are our real motivations behind each design?

 What influence does our world-vision have on this?   How do our daily objectives & criteria fit in all this?  If our vision is programmed, in great part by the "consumer dream" of our present culture ... How can we really change it? Even though we might have good information & good intention, it's inevitable that we go dragging behind us many habits, patterns & ways of thinking that aren't very permacultural ...

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Note this is such a fundamental design issue that you will find important references to it in other classes, like 1.3 Groups (see slides, facilitation of large groups).  Also see Vision Support Groups and Action Search (see more content of Designing Better Meetings booklet) which are powerful techniques for 'accessing visionary material' from individuals and groups.  There are many others.

Why Visions are important

"Imagination is more important that knowledge"
A. Einstein


To have a very clear vision means we know what we're aiming for:
this creates a lot of confidence & avoids confusion.

How to Vision

There are lots of techniques to "access visionary material" ... and visioning, like any skillful use of our imagination potential, is a skill that needs practice to develop.

Video: Mental Toughness 4 Tennis

Imagine, Visualize, Believe 

Inspiring Videos ... about Visioning

Dana Meadows

See a very inspiring video lecture about visioning by the Mother of Integral Permaculture here on her page in this e-book

The WaySeer Manifesto

please see together with this critique: be SPECIFIC with your visions! 
the inspirational effect of the video is great, but some basic models it uses 
are contradictory & possibly misleading & dangerous.  
Take with pinch of salt...  this guy also v bright in spotting contradictions.

Shift Movie

& The Shift vision presentation
(& note specifics! - interesting points for class ..)

Visioning is NOT the same as "Positive Thinking"!

although it might seem like a fine line, it's actually not:  

Visioning is about exercising our imaginations and being very clear about what we want... but it's not about believing that is the only thing we need to do, nor that any mysterious 'energies' need be involved (judicious wielding of Ockam's razor required!) - imagination alone is not enough to change anything, but is it essential and basic for any conscious change to happen.    

As permaculture designers, of course our visions would not be about just what we want, as individuals or as consumers, but what we want for all creatures, for the Planet (integral permaculture is about staying in the 'we' paradigm).   

So Action and Ethics need to be added to the Visioning, for it to work in the PermaCulture sense.

This brilliant lecture by Barbara Ehrenreich explains why & how, the kind of 'positive thinking' that has been pushed by some sections of the New Age movement (eg. The Secret) are actually quite anti-evolutionary, including dangerous, and why it has been so convenient for the DestructoCulture to promote this version of 'visioning'.      It is a total lack of understanding of the mechanics of oppression (see Social Model), not just a simple lack of compassion, that is required to believe things like "the poor are poor because they wish it".

Video: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

TED talk by Ric Elias

This relates well to the reference to Habit 2 in the class: start with the end in mind.
http://www.ted.com Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

Video: Our Deepest Fear

When we don't have a big, powerful vision that provides a compelling, larger meaning to our live ... we are pulled by the big powerful visions of others, because such visions affect or 'magnetize' attracting everything around them.    And there are lots of big compelling visions that we really don't want to be part of.  

Dream Big

YouTube Video

How to Create a Vision Board

YouTube Video

How to Use a Vision Board

YouTube Video

Perfection of Means, Confusion of Ends

A famous quote of Einstein's goes: 

"What characterises our era is a perfection of means and confusion of ends".   

We have lost our way.. and perhaps one reason is that we don't question the core dictum of consumerism: the pursuit of happiness...

I don't believe the purpose of life is to just be happy.   Why would God take fourteen billion years to produce highly evolved sentient life-forms that would ultimately develop the extraordinary capacity for self-reflective awareness, simply in order for them to be able to experience happiness? 

It's my conviction that we are here for a reason, that there is a grand and great purpose to our presence in this universe, and that none of us are going to truly find what we are looking for unless we get over our misguided pursuit of personal happiness and connect with that greater sense of purpose—that ultimate reason for being. 

 ~ Andrew Cohen 

Without big, complelling visions that we ourselves have made strong and our own ... we are easily swayed by others' visions and our own lack of momentum.

When we don't consciously work on designing our own conscious vision, what happens is that visions are still working their powerful pull.. only they're unconscious visions installed into us by external influences.  

For example, the American Dream is a vision, and we've been brainwashed with is so powerfully that we don't even notice that green consumerism is still consumerism.

What we know of good 'visioning science' is that visions need to be big, emotionally powerful, ambitious, 'bigger than us' ... for them to really count as visions.
You could think of it in terms of a glass ceiling that stops you at 3/4 of whatever you're aiming for: so always aim higher.

Give no mercy to your fears.

Big visions that challenge us help us meet lots of our fears and if they're powerful visions they give us the momentum, or the emotional strength to surpass those fears, also. 
And anytime we stretch past our fears and other limitations, we grow.

So also for that reason it doesn't make sense to hold our visions (ambitions) back to 'fit' whoever we are now: aim for something bigger that will require you also to be a bigger person.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles