Lifestyles of the Down and Prosperous


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Lifestyles of the Down and Prosperous Nature/Culture, Counterculture, and the Culture of Sustainability
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1 online resource (367 p.)
Lemons, Michael Van Patrick
University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla.
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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Committee Chair:
Oyuela-Caycedo, Augusto
Committee Members:
Brown, Mark T
Heckenberger, Michael J
Gravlee, Clarence C.
Taylor, Bron


Subjects / Keywords:
dualism -- hawaii -- nature -- permaculture -- sustainability
Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )


The study explores the role played by nature/culture dualism in the participation, construction, and progression of back-to-the-land communities in the lower Puna district of the Big Island of Hawaii.  Current academic theorizing maligns nature/culture dualism as a Western construct implicated in historic and ongoing patterns of environmental degradation; this study takes a less essentialized view of the dichotomy.  The extent to which nature/culture dualism is manifest in the beliefs and practices of back-to-the-land practitioners suggests that it may be a useful construct for inspiring, organizing and guiding pro-environmental activity in the grassroots private sphere.  It may also prove to be a useful heuristic for estimating the overall environmental impact of an object or practice.  However, this same dualism can also lead to conceptual errors that ultimately undermine its effectiveness as a tool for the successful construction of sustainable communities. Research was focused on communities which utilize permaculture tropes and principles as part of the intentional pursuit of an environmentally low-impact lifestyle.  Surveys and interviews show that permaculture participants in lower Puna tend to differ from the majority culture in the extent to which they emphasize egalitarian worldviews and the extent to which they experience and value mystical sensations associated with the natural environment. These traits underly a basic tendency to venerate and sacralize objects, practices, and symbols associated with the natural world while rejecting and vilifying objects, practices, and symbols associated with the modern techno-industrial world.   As a result, permaculture communities in Puna become a locus of secular pilgrimage for ritualized countercultural nature-based liminal experiences.  Difficulties with fulfilling the utopian aspects that become associated with low-impact living in Puna tends to redirect community emphasis towards engendering the liminal nature-based experience itself.  This emphasis is maintained and strengthened by an ongoing articulation with existing capitalist techno-industrial markets, which ultimately undermines the effectiveness of efforts towards decreasing lifestyle-based environmental impacts.  However, the alternative social networks and associated cultural production processes which grow in strength as a result of this ongoing articulation are shown to have political and market ramifications which may ultimately engender environmentally-beneficient changes in the majority culture.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Oyuela-Caycedo, Augusto.
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by Michael Van Patrick Lemons.

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2 2012 Michael Van Patrick Lemons


3 Dedicated to the coyotes and the faeries, to the dragons and dryads and pixies, to the street mongrels I h ave met, to the feral dogs and stray cats who hide within the shadows of and sneak between the pillars of the city who roam and rule the edge of the city and who run free in the fields and forests outside the city, where the fearful humans dare not go.


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like foremost to thank my mother and father. Both came from unprivileged backgrounds and highly encouraged my pursuit of academics; t hey never steered me wrong. I began my freshman college year as an anthropology major but soon wa ndered down other paths, so thank you to Dr. Sarah Meltzoff of the University of Miami for st eering me back to where I belong Some years later I entered the Peace Corps in Micronesia; each Sunday for six months I would hitch to the Peace Corps office an d add a bit more to the statement of interest which I eventually sent to the University of Florida as part of my graduate application packa ge. I could always write well given enough time. Here I have Rick Stepp and Bron Taylor to thank for struggl ing to b ring me into their respective departments with matching 4 year Alumni fellowship offers The fellowship which I eventually accepted from the UF anthropology department made my life H ere I humbly give yet another nod to both Rick Stepp and Bron Taylor fo r their tolerance and patience during the first few years as it became evident that the hooligan in their midst might not have been the best investment ever made with UF fellowship funds A final acknowledgement of tolerance goes to Augusto Oyuela Caycedo whos e unwavering support has seen me through to the end of a long dissertation process carried out at my own meandering pace which seems to be the pace at which I perform best For this I am extreme ly grateful, and extremely lucky One last acade mic t hank you : another great fortune I experienced at the Universi ty of Florida was to have caught an extraordinary man on his way out, Dr. Anthony Oliver Smith. His classes proved crucial to my development as an anthropologist with a critical social focus. F inal ly I would like to thank the p unatics who made this dissertation possible, and Hayward Coleman in particular, who kept me coming back to Puna after my first visit.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 5 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10 LIST OF OBJECTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION PART ONE ................................ ................................ ................. 14 Introducing the Question ................................ ................................ ......................... 14 Nature Girls and the Nature/Culture Paradox ................................ ................... 14 So, i s Nature/Culture Good to Think? De Outcast Dyad ................................ ................................ ................................ 17 Reflexive Anthropology and the Culture of Sustainability, Or, How I Stopped Worrying About and Learned to Lov e the Nature/Culture Dichotomy ............ 22 Introducing the Arguments by Explaining the Title ................................ .................. 30 Alternate Titles ................................ ................................ ........................ 30 The Actual Title ............................. 36 2 INTRODUCT ION PART TWO ................................ ................................ ................ 40 Furthering the Arguments by Explaining the Subtitles ................................ ............ 40 Nature/Culture Another Look at the Role of Postmodernism Dyad ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 40 The Culture of Sustainability Sustainability as a Question of Consumption and Why the Intentional Pursuit of Sustainability is an Anthropological Topic ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 44 Counterculture Why the Culture of Sustainability Has a Countercultural Flavor, and Why Anthropologists Should Study Western Counterculture ..... 48 Perm aculture Anti Capitalist Culture and Ecological Simulacra ..................... 58 Synopsis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 65 In a Nutshell: The Trajectory of Community Permaculture in Puna .................. 65 In a Nutshell: The Main Questions and Their Answers ................................ ..... 67 In A Nutshell: The Resulting Propositions ................................ ........................ 69


6 3 THE STAGE: RESEARCH SITE AND SOCIAL SYSTEM ................................ ...... 72 Site: Lower Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii ................................ ......................... 72 A Short History of the Lower Puna District ................................ ....................... 72 Rise of the Puna Counterculture ................................ ................................ ...... 78 Utopian Ideology in Puna ................................ ................................ ................. 85 System: The Permaculture Approach to Human/Environmental Relations ............. 89 Overview of Permaculture: The Countercultural Implications of an Ethical Imperative for Sustainable Design ................................ ................................ 89 Permaculture as a Utopian, Millenarian Form of Nature Spirituality ................. 95 Permacu lture: Lived Nature Spirituality as a Radical Political Praxis ............ 104 4 THE ACTORS: WHO PARTICIPATES IN PUNA'S PERMACULTURE SCENE? 118 Postmaterialism and Egalitarianism as Drivers of Permaculture Participation ...... 119 Postmaterialist Ideals in a Materialist Pursuit ................................ ................. 119 Grid/group Theory and its Relation to Nature/Culture Dualism ....................... 125 The Schwartz Values Survey and its Relation to Grid/Group Theory ............. 133 Mysticism and its Relation to Environmentalism ................................ ................... 140 Hood's Mysticism Survey ................................ ................................ ............... 140 Connectedness To Nature Survey ................................ ................................ 146 Jacob's Back To The Land Survey ................................ ................................ 149 Measuring the New Ecological Paradigm ................................ ....................... 154 5 THE PERFORMANCE, ACT ONE: NATURE/CULTURE PROCESSES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF ECOTOPIA ................................ ................................ ....... 160 From Nature/Culture to Sacred/Profane ................................ ............................... 160 Nature/Culture Dualism as a Fast and Frugal Heuristic ................................ 160 Flight from the Profane: Cultic Milieu as Anti Capitalist and Counterhegemonic ................................ ................................ ...................... 166 Sacred Union: Nature as Antistructure ................................ .......................... 168 Nature/Culture Narratives in the Construction of Ecotopia ................................ .... 173 Call of the Cultic Milieu: Secular Pilgrimage to an Axis Mundi ........................ 173 Secular Religion and Egalitarian Ritual in Permaculture ................................ 177 Millenarianism, Revitalization, and Reverse Cargo Cultism ........................... 179 Glorifying the Other: Landdancing, Value Rationality, and the DMP .............. 185 6 THE PERFORMANCE, ACT TWO: NATURE/CULTURE PROCESSES IN THE COMMODITIZATION OF ECOTOPIA ................................ ................................ .. 191 Nature/Culture Dystopias and Disillusions ................................ ............................ 191 Trickster Geography: How Kilauea Monkeywrenches Visions of Ecotopia ..... 191 Reverse Cargo Cultism and its Consequences ................................ .............. 196 Problems with Permanent Liminality and the Maintenance of Communitas ... 200 Commoditization of Ecotopia ................................ ................................ ................ 206


7 A Marxis t Perspective on Work Trade: Using Nature Religion to Mystify Exploitation ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 208 Ecotopia as Spectacle and Simulacrum ................................ ......................... 211 Ecotopia 's Articulation with Capitalism ................................ ........................... 218 7 NOTES ON THEORY AND METHOD ................................ ................................ .. 226 Multiperspectivism and Middle Range Structure ................................ ................... 226 Reconsidering Structure: Formal Causality and Cognitive Structuralism ............. 231 Grounded Theory (Awareness), Critical Theory (Deconstruction), and Post Postmodern Praxis (Reconstruction) ................................ ................................ 237 8 RECONSTRUCTING THE DECONSTRUCTED: EXPLORING THE ROLES OF NATURE/CULTURE AND PERMACULTURE IN SOCIAL CHANGE ................... 244 Reconstructing Permaculture as a Space of Hope ................................ ............... 248 Cultural Production Within Counterhegemonic Liminal Spaces ...................... 248 Neoshamanic Simulacra and the Cybernetics of the Holy .............................. 257 Reconstructing Postmodernism's Outcast Nature/Culture Dyad ........................... 268 Nature/Culture as the "Ultimate Sacred Postulate" of Transnational Civil Society ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 268 Creating the Future: Nature/Culture as a Counterhegemonic Transnationalist Discourse ................................ ................................ .......... 272 9 SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES TO THE CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY: SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH ................................ ....................... 279 Is Nature/Culture Universal? The Need For a Renewed Look at the Evidence ... 279 The Tendency to Define the Group's Boundary ................................ ............. 279 The Tendency to Think in Two's ................................ ................................ ..... 280 Universal Ritual Expressions of Latent Nature/Culture Structuring ................ 283 Quantitative Studies of Sustainable Behavior ................................ ....................... 289 The Need for Easily Used Indices for Estimating Lifestyle Sustainability ....... 289 To what Degree can Consumption be Lowered while Maintaining Well B eing? ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 292 Is Nature/Culture Categorizing a Reasonable Heuristic for Environmental Impact? ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 293 Can Nature/Culture Dualism Help to Close the Value Action Gap? ............... 295 APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF QUALITATIVE METHODS ................................ .................... 299 B INTERVIEW METHODS AND QUESTIONS ................................ ........................ 304 C REPRINTS OF SURVEYS USED ................................ ................................ ......... 307 D POSTMATERIALISM SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ................................ 316


8 E GRID/GROUP SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ................................ ........... 318 F SCHWARTZ VALUES SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS .............................. 320 G HOOD'S MYSTICISM SUR VEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ............................... 323 H CONNECTEDNESS TO NATURE SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ........... 325 I BACK TO THE LAND SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RE SULTS ............................... 326 J NEW ECOLOGICAL PARADIGM SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ............. 328 K MAP OF PERMACULTURE COMMUNITIES IN LOWER PUNA ......................... 330 L EMERGY DIAGRAMS OF PERMACULTURE ................................ ...................... 331 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 335 BIOGRAPHICA L SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 367


9 LIST OF TABLES Table page D 1 Results from two tailed t tests of the Postmaterialism survey. ......................... 317 E 1 Results from two tailed t .......................... 319 F 1 Results from two tailed t tests of the Schwartz Values Survey. ........................ 321 G 1 Results from two tailed t tests of Hood's Mysticism survey. ............................. 324 H 1 Results from two tailed t tests of the Connectedness To Nature scale. ........... 325 I 1 Results from two tailed t tests of Jacob's Back To The Land survey. .............. 326 J 1 Results from two tailed t tests of the New Eco logical Paradigm survey. .......... 328


10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 P ostmaterialism score results for permaculture parti cipants in Puna, Hawaii vs. Wal Ma rt s hoppers in Hilo, Hawaii ................................ .............................. 121 4 2 Grid group variables and associated worldviews plotted on a radar chart with the "group" variable on the x axis and th e "grid" variable on the y axis ............ 128 4 3 Radar chart w/ positive grid group worldviews plotted on the x and y axes ... 129 4 4 Radar chart w/ negative grid group worldvi e ws plotted on the x and y axe s .. 131 4 5 Relationship of Schwartz's overarching value dimensions to Douglas's grid/group factors ................................ ................................ .............................. 135 4 6 Radar chart of the four overarching value dimensions of the Schwartz Values Survey, including both positive and negative score averages .......................... 136 4 7 Radar chart of the four overarching va lue dimensions of the Schwartz Values Survey in which only positive group averages were plotted ............................. 137 4 8 Radar chart of the four overarching value dimensions of the Schwartz Values Survey in wh ich only negative group averages were plotted ............................ 138 4 9 Total Mysticism Score on Hood's Mysticism Scale ................................ ........... 143 4 10 Mayer and Frantz' s (2004) Connectedness to Nature sca le ............................. 147 4 11 Back To The Land Survey ................................ ................................ ............... 15 1 4 12 La Trobe and Acott's (2000) M odified NEP/DSP su rvey ................................ ... 155 8 1 Rappaport's "cybernetics of the holy" ................................ ............................... 260 K 1 Permaculture communities in Lower Puna ................................ ....................... 330 L 1 The idealized view of permaculture community ................................ ................ 331 L 2 Typical actual progression of a permaculture community in Puna .................... 332 L 3 Ecotopia's mystification of capitalist processes ................................ ................ 333 L 4 Ongoing commoditization and mystification ................................ ..................... 334


11 LIST OF OBJECTS Object page D 1 Postmaterialism survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 172 KB) ................ 316 E 1 Grid/gro up survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 231 KB) ........................ 318 F 1 Schwartz Values Survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 506 KB) .............. 320 G 1 Hood's Mysticism survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 318 KB) ............. 323 H 1 CNS data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 188 KB) ................................ ............. 325 I 1 Back To The Land survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 217 KB) ........... 326 J 1 NEP survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 219 KB) ................................ .. 328


12 Abst ract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy LIFESTYLES OF THE DOWN AND PROSPEROUS: NATURE/CULTURE, COUNTERCULTURE, AN D THE CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY By Michael Van Patrick Lemons December 2012 Chair: Augusto Oyuela Caycedo Major: Anthropology The study explores the role played by nature/culture d ualism in the participation, construction, and pro gression of back to the land communities in the l ower Puna district of the Big Island of Hawai i. C urrent academic theorizing malign s nature/culture dualism as a Western construct implicated in historic and ongoing patterns of environmental degradation; t his study takes a les s e ssentialized view of the dichotomy The extent to which n ature/culture dualism is manifest in the beliefs and practices of back to the land practitioners suggests that it may be a useful construct for inspiring, organizing and guiding pro environmental activity in the grassroots private sphere. It may also prove to be a useful heuristic for estimating the overall environmental impact of an object or practice. However, this same dualism can also lead to conceptual errors that ultimately undermine its e ffecti veness as a tool for the successful construction of sustainable communities. Research was focu sed on communities which utilize permaculture tropes and principles as part of the intentional pursuit of an environmentally low impact lifestyle. Surveys and interviews show that permaculture participants in lower Puna tend to differ


13 from the majority culture in the extent to which they emphasize egalitarian worldviews and the extent to which they experience and value mystical sensations associated with the natural environment These traits underly a basic tendency to venerate and sacralize objects, practices, and symbols associated with the natural world while rejecting and vilifying objects, practices, and symbols associated with the modern techno industri al world. As a result, p ermaculture communities in Puna become a locus of secular pilgrimage for ritualized countercultural nature based liminal experiences. Difficulties with fulfilling the utopian aspects that become associated with low impact living in Puna tends to redirect community emp hasis towards engendering the liminal nature based experience itself. This emphasis is maintained and strengthened by an ongoing articulation with existing capitalist techno industrial mar kets, which ultimately under mine s the effectiveness of efforts towards decreasing lifestyle based environmental impact s However, the alternative social networks and associated cultural production processes which grow in strength a s a result of this ongoing articulation are shown to have political and market ramifications which may ultimately engender environmentally beneficient change s in the majority culture.


14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION PART ONE Introducing t he Question Nature Girls and the Nature/Culture Paradox Ellie Harris loves clim one from Stanford and one from Berkeley before ditching her Berkeley doctoral dissertation for a back to the land life style in the rainforests of Hawai'i 1 A har dcore raw vegan, she drinks concoctions of ginger and aloe each morning mixed with banana s made cherry wine, but refuses beer fro m the local grocery store. She puts honey on her staphe infections and turns down my antibiotic ointment. She likes drum circles, but not rock concerts. She likes weeding but hates the mower. She also avoids commercial soaps and shampoos; instead, ever y few days when the jungl e dirt becomes too much, Ellie stands naked under the spout of the water catchment and scrubs her hair and body with the fermented fruit of the noni tree. Ellie and a handful of others lived for awhile on a piece of property belo nging to a middle aged woman named Ana. Ana bought he r property years ago when land was still cheap in Hawai i, and she is now dedicated to low impact living. Ana is originally from California and ha s a PhD. in biology Cheerful, fit, and attractive, sh e maintains a constan t local cadre of admirers. She no longer owns a car. She poops in a pit and 1 counties of the state of Hawaii (the other four counties are O ahu, Kauai, Maui and Molokai each of which is also the name of the main island of that county).


15 covers it with soil and compost Once a month, the pit gets buried and a new one is dug nearby. In a few months, the buried pit will become the home of a n ut or fruit sapling. Ana has been doing this for years and now gets nearly all of her food from the trees, vines, and vegetab les she tends on her property. The detailed list she gives me of the 100 plus food items she grows or gathers on a regular basis shows coconut, eggs, breadfruit avocado, banana, and papaya to be her top six food sources. Ana's property borders a native for est reserve, and on a regular basis she heads into the re serve to extract and kill invasive species that have become intermixed with the indigenous plants and trees. Pigs and mongoose non native to the island, as she points out are forever wandering out of the forest into her backyard cornucopeia, where they become fertilizer for her for food crops. She used to bury them when th ey died, but not anymore; she says it is unnecessary effort compared to just leaving them in the open where they've fallen and letting nature do the work. When I ask how the animals die, Ana just smiles and says, "I facilitate that process." For all prac tical purposes, Ell ie and Ana are model to the land lifestyles might be an inspiration for many in an era increasingly concerned with were two of a handful of individuals who served as key informants at my dissertation research sit es in the lower Puna District of Hawai i. My initial dissertation plan was to use quantitative environmental accounting techniques to measure the total sustainabili ty of their lifestyle s ; I was betting that Ellie and Ana's environmental performance in terms of life c ycle carbon emissions per month and eMergy efficiency ratios would dwarf simila r measurements of locals in nearby neighborhood s who live d more recognizable lives of car payments, air


16 conditioning and 9 to 5 jobs with medical coverage. In the end, the sheer amount of data needed for a comprehensive quantitative comparison of lifestyle sustainability proved far beyond the scope of the dissertation; indeed, the lack of any example of such an effort in the academic literature to date suggests that such a meticulously difficult measurement, despite its obvious empirical value, has yet to be performed. W hat I am left trying to understa nd is how and why Ellie and Ana might be different tha n those local 9 to 5'ers in the near by neighborhoods. Ellie and Ana sure seem connected, concerned, and integrated with nature in ways that symbolize the in local, regional, nation al, and transnational contexts around the world. Indeed, the two and others like them are highly admired by the throngs of young adults who arrive various permaculture far ms in the area. But what emerges as most in teresting to me is that Ellie and Ana seem to have achieved these ideals in a way that contra dicts the academic message being pushed these days by many spiritual ecologists and environmental ethicists for they ha ve done so by accentuating the profundity of the nature/culture dichotomy. Current academic theorizing in Western thought seeks ways to frame a universal discourse of the environment. The current trend denounce s dualism and seek s a coherent non dual app roach that supposedly resembles non Western though t by breaking down notions of nature/cult ure duality. But Ellie and Ana or erased th e nature culture distinction accentuated it, and made a run which


17 stands in desirable contrast to various things associated with techno industrial they have ended up living lives that symbol ize the evasive environmental ideals of nature culture harmony. Without collecting tremendous amounts of detailed data, it proves difficult to determine just how sustainable Ellie and Ana are being. Indeed, debates continue to rage within the scientific numbers crunching community about the validity of various studies which make quantitative claims regarding the contributions made by bio diesel engines, solar panel arrays, organic agriculture, or water saver shower heads to overall environmental sustaina bility. Regarding the relative environmental sustainability of any particular individual, based upon some cumulative quantitative sum of the many ch oices they make as part of their particular lifestyle, not a single scientist or database in the world has such information readily available and neither do Ellie and Ana. Instead, as part of the ir process of making choices intended to bring them as close as possible to their environmental ideals, Ellie and Ana are constantly forced to make "judgments under un certainty". This is where nature/culture dichotomization comes into play. Simple heuristic devices such as categorization principles based on nature/culture dichotomization aid them in their judgments. These heuristic devices help them to create the bias es which allow them to differentially evaluate various objects and actions available to them and which subsequently steer their lifestyle choices. So, is Nature/Culture Good t o Think? De Dyad How do people assess th e probability of an uncertain event or the value of an uncertain quantity? People rely on a limited number of heuristic principles which reduce the complex tasks of assessing probabilities and predicting values to simpler judgmental operations. In g eneral, these heuristics are quite useful, but sometimes they lead to severe and systemati c errors. (Tversky and Kahneman 1982 pg. 3)


18 So, what r ole does nature/culture dualism actually play in the Western pursuit 2 of environmental sustainability? The g rowing concern over increased rates of environmental change has been accompanied by social critiques and academic prescriptions that have the intent of altering personal and cultural worldviews as a means of engendering environmentally sustainable decision making processes. A popular academic trend along these lines critiques Western forms of nature/culture dualism as a root cause of environmental problems. Use of the dichotomy is variously considered to be either particularly Western (Glacken 1967; Hori gan 1988; Latour 1993; Oelschlaeger 1993; Shiva 1994 ) or at least particularly pronounced in We stern culture (Croll and Parkin 1992; Descola and Palsson 1996; Ellen and Fukui 1996; Selin 2003) and is attributed a central role in the emergence and p ersistence of various social and environmental problems due variously to its role in Weste rn environmental conquest (Grove 1995; Nash 1967; Spence 1999), its use to justify simultaneously unparallel power relationships between genders and between specie s (Ortner, 1974; Merchant, 1980; MacCormack and Strathern,1980; Haraway, 1989; Ruether, 1995; Latour 2004) and its basic misrepresentation of human ecological relationships (White, 1967; Winterhalder, 1994; Balee, 2006). Recent contributions to this line of inquiry offer suggestions for overcoming nature/culture dualism as part a prescribed solution to such problems (Haraway, 1991; Cronon, 1995; Escobar, 1999; Ingold, 2000; Plumwood, 2002; Descola, 2006; Proctor, 2009). The trend includes prescriptive app roaches which 2 I have footnoted the word "pursuit" to highlight the distinction I am making here between some actual empirically measurable significantly low impact lifesty le and the intentional pursuit of this ideal.


19 offer ways to transcend Western nature/culture dualism as part of a path towards environmental amelioration (e.g., Cronon, 1995; Descola, 2006). But the ultimate value of these critiques and prescriptions is encumbered by a number of proble ms. One problem is that empirical research supporting nature/culture critiques and prescriptions focuses mainly on the socio political dramas surrounding the conception and implementation of past and present scientific and environmental policies (Nash, 19 67; Latour, 1988; Brosius, 1999; Spence, 1999; Peder, 2001). These studies essentialize Western nature/culture dualism as environmentally destructive without considering the role the dichotomy might be playing within the Western private sphere, specifica lly in regards to individual consumption habits. This is important when considering that private consumption is the endpoint of the production processes that account for the majority of resource exploitation and subsequent environmental impact (Francis, 2 004; Carlsson Kanyama et al., 2005; Peters and Hertwich, 2006) and is increasingly viewed as the locus of control through which modern capitalism steers overall economic processes (e.g., Baudrillard, 1998), as opposed to the traditional Marxist focus on th e control of the production processes themselves. Studies which do consider the consumption factor tend to focus on non Western cultures which have traditionally been associated with low impact lifestyles; they note within these cultures the relative red uction or lack of nature culture dualism (e.g., Strathern, 1980; Arhem, 1996; Balee, 2003). An easily resulting assumption, popular in current theorizing (e.g., Devall and Sessions, 1985; Shiva, 1992, 1994; Bender, 2003), is that a Western move toward red uced environmental impact might require or benefit from a reduction or transcendence of nature/culture dualism.


20 Contrary to this ass umption, this dissertation suggests that those Western individuals most actively pursuing environmentally low impact lifesty les rely heavily on nature/culture dichotomization when categorizing, moralizing, and otherwise assessing the value of various objects, institutions, and practices. In this case, nature/culture, as a cognitive model, morally guides and pragmatically infor in ways that is expressly meant to reduce the contributions of individual consumption patterns to overall environmental impact. In other words, while the logic of currently popular nature/culture critique suggests that tr anscending nature/culture dualism may be a step towards reducing environmental impact, studies of Westerners who intentionally pursue environmentally low impact lifestyles suggest that nature/culture dualism may be a key conceptual metaphor guiding their p ro environmental behavior (Gould, 1997, 2005; Jacob, 1997). In these Since the exten relative ability of individuals to harness and degrade energy resources (Odum, 2007), S trauss, 1963) from an environmental perspective. Put another way, in the terms use d by modern behavioral economists, (Gigerenzer et al., 1999; Goldstein and Gigerenzer, 20 04) for both assessing the environmental impact of an object or practice and morally guiding subsequent lifestyle choices in a complex world where the constant computations that would be necessary


21 for calculating the efficiency of each behavioral choice wo uld ultimately prove far too slow an d cumbersome for everyday decision making. Given these bounded conditions of everyday human rationality, cognition, and information accessibility (Simon, 1955; Gigerenzer and Selten, 2002), nature/culture dualism may s ometimes be a simple yet effective model for environmental choice management. This deessentialization of researchers who note that conceptual metaphors are often rewor ked and reinterpreted for different purposes (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980; Lakoff, 1987), especially in relation to environmental action and m oralizing (Tucker and Grim, 1997 ; Taylor, 2004). Yet, as I will show, this same principle of nature/culture dualism can be used to showcase the pitfalls which event ually undermine the ability of back to the land social models such as permaculture, which focus on small scale community based production and reduced individual consumption patterns, to become a signific ant part of a long term viable solution to modern environmental problems. These pitfalls assume a character somewhat different than those expounded upon by current theorists focused on the effect of nature/culture dualism at the public policy level. I use h ome made phrases such as "reverse cargo cultism" and "the commodification of ecotopia", along with more familiar phrases such as "sacred canopy", "simulacra", and the "spectacle", when showcasing these pitfalls and describing how they result from the same underlying principles of nature/culture dichotomization t hat guide participation in back to the land movements in the first place. The pitfalls I will describe reoccurred time and time again in the various permaculture attempts in the Puna district that I have studied, participated in, or


22 otherwise followed over the last twelve years. To some degree, the significance and full extent of these pitfa lls goes unseen by the typical back to the land participant who trades human labor for room and/or board and o ften stays for only a short (liminal) period of time. Moreover, when spending time "on the scene" aroun d individuals dedicated to the back to the land approach, a researcher does not necessarily get a lot of mileage out of attempts to engage in critical d iscussions of the events, experiences, and processes associated with these pitfalls. To get critical inside perspectives on such things required tracking down or otherwise bumping into individuals who had been part of the back to the land scene and left t he scene but were still hanging out in Puna. Not a lot of individuals fit this profile; to find them, it was necessary to spend a lot of time in Puna outside of its back to the land scene. At the same time, to see Puna's back to the land community patter ns unfold over time and reoccur in multiple instances, it was best to be directly engaged in Puna's back to the land scene for a long period of time Reflexive Anthropology and the Culture of Sustainability, O r, H ow I S top ped Worrying About and Learned t o Love the Nature/Culture D ichotomy That was Sanjay Hayward's response the first time I described to him my dissertation research. This research is my attempt to answer questions regarding (a) the scope, (b) the purpo se, and (c) the viability of current first world efforts to intentionally construct back to the land communities which are environmentally participation?; and (c) do t he ensuing lifestyle choices result in meaningful differences in


23 While my ability to provide a rigorous quantitative response to the final question (c) proved beyond the scope of the dissertation, my attempt to provide answers to the first constructs that seem to inspire, guide, and otherwise structure the various lifestyle choices that comprise such effort s. Such schemas, I will argue, lead the communities at my field location towards predictable and ultimately unsustainable patterns of human labor relations and human environmental relations through a process I will describe as "the construction and commodi fication of ecotopia". The social relations which allow this pattern to occur are dependent, at least in part, on the participation of individuals whose behaviors and value judgements follow a pattern which I describe as "reverse cargo cultism", which itse lf results from a countercultural approach to nature/culture dualism. This pattern of "reverse cargo cultism" has a meaningful family resemblance to the types of "systematic errors" mentioned by Tversky and Kahneman (1982) in their description of the pitf alls that tend to characterize judg ments made as a result of dependence on heuristic devices. The research upon which this dissertation is based comes from twelve years on and off participation in and observation of communal back to the land living exper iments in the East Kilauea Rift Zone of the Puna district on the Big Island of Hawaii Sanjay Hayward, quoted above, had been my yoga teacher as well as a guru of sorts for me during the first five of these years, prior to graduate school, and had witne ssed my transition from nature mystified seeker to academic participant observer over the last seven. Indeed, I am not just a scholar of back to the land nature


24 mysticism; I am also a past client. Thus, my personal story is somewhat reversed from the typ as Levi hero who professionally journeys outside the Colony on a personal quest to experience and embod y the Other. In many ways, my graduate career ended up being a long and winding process of return and reacclimatization from a journey already made. In any case, this myth of the "seeker", though a longstanding tradition of anthropological fieldwork, has broken down within contemporary anthropology. The ne in particular exemplifies this change, filled as it is with Peruvians stu dying Peruvian culture, Mayans focused up on Mayan communities, Brazilians researching B razilian happe nings, and African Americans explaining the African diaspora. In each case it is hard to dismiss the implicit for their specific arena of study. Given thi s, what could be more appropriate than a white suburban middle class back to the land tree hugging critic of Western culture studying a subculture composed primarily of white suburban middle class back to the land tree huggers critical of Western culture? Nonetheless, that I seemed to be more than just casually affiliated with the same group I intended to study made me and my motives somewhat suspect when I first arrived at the University of Florida as an anthropologist to be. Moreover, it gave my study topic an initial air of unprofessionalism certainly this patchouli wearing


25 objectivity, would weave his way through the ivory tower with yarns of tree hugger diatribe spun from t hreads of the latest environmental anthropological discourse. In truth, those looking for such a diatribe will be disappointed: the tree hugger has all but died while the roots of the critic remain. The result is a critical stance, but not one directed a gainst the effects of modernity, as so many anthr opological critiques tend to be 3 Instead, it is a critique of the lived critique of modernity that is practiced by contemporary back to the a somewhat disillusioned past client should be a red flag for anyone reading the dissertation in hopes for a feel good analysis demonstrating how back to the land relationship wit h the Earth. Readers making it to the end of ethnogr aphy and theory section (chapters 1 through 6 ) will instead find themselves left with a sober account of how the Empire Strikes Back with a lesson of its own. In short, "the enemy is us" not our techno logy, nor any particularly oppressive social arrangement but instead our own inherent "processes of survival and pleasure" 4 Onl y in the last few chapters (7 through 9 ) do I present some promising examples of how these subcultural enclaves, as liminal sp aces, provide breeding grounds and social support networks for individuals whose econo mic and political actions spur a veritable Return of the Jedi faced with the task of protecting ourselves from ourselves. 3 This is pointed out by Levi 4 enemy is us, not merely by invasion, but by our own processes of survival and pleasure", which itself is a paraphrase by Starr (1998, pg. 23) of Haraway's (1991) work on cyborg theory.


26 In any c ase, as I tell a tale of subcultures in which cow meat and even pig meat are often eaten raw, open wounds are nursed with honey, human feces and menstrual discharges are used as fertilizer, fermenting plants are rubbed on the body in ecstasy, and perfectly intelligent people carry forth such behavior amidst an ongoing milieu of staph infections, rat lungworm disease, leptospirosis, trichinosis, salmonella, and other un First Worldly abominations, it becomes apparent that, in some ways and places, the Wester n countercultural attempt at the alternative ecological society has indeed succeeded, in appearances at least, in becoming something quite Other than its Western roots. In the end, my most intense dissertation field experiences have left me feeling much m ore awkwardly removed and ontologically disturbed than any Peace Corps experience or successfully awry Third World adventure ever has. This is particularly fascinating when one considers that the nature/culture ideologies which (I will claim) give rise to these societies and their practices are indeed quite urban and Western in origin. Also interesting is that reactions by students at the University of Florida (and more recently at Hawaii Community College) to my classroom descriptions of my field subjec Ame ricans, homosexuals, and various other designated outcast groups. That American anthropology in particular has, since Boas (1911), historically assigned itself an ongoing moral task of vindicating and validating such Others demonstrating through eye witne ss, fact, and argument that such groups are intelligent human beings, deserving of


27 rights, and behaving rationally given time, place, and circumstance 5 is reason enough to declare a niche within anthropology for the study of the Western subcultural Other. With this traditional task of debunking Western ethnocentricities, American anthropology has developed a countercultural flavor of its own that takes the form of a strongly sympathetic approach towards that which counters Western convention. In its stan dard format, anthropology critiques Western concepts of race (Boa s, 1911), gender (Rosaldo and Lamphere 1974), nature (Lato ur, 2004 ; Descola and Pals s on 1996; Ingold 2000), science (Latour and Woolgar, 1979) technology (Shepard, 1998), sex (Mead, 1928; Fo ucault, 1976), work (Sahlins, 1972; Lee, 1979), economic rationality (Bohannon, 1962; Dalton, 1967; Godelier, 1972), and other cultural forms through an ethnographic portrayal of the exotic lifeways and worldviews of the non modern Other. In these portray als, authoritative empirical detail is polished with moving prose that showcases the way of the Other as being not only viable and rational but also as having something which the modern West lacks (time in the case of the work critics; harmony in the case of the nature critics; freedom in the case of the sex critics). This is moral anthropology, and the effectiveness by which it monkeywrenches of tricks. Its unwritten m anifesto claims (a) that the strange habits of the Other actually harbor secrets to the fountain of youth, health, social equality, ecological harmony, etc., 5 From Boas (1911 pg. 278 ): "I hope that the discussions outlined in t hese pages have shown that the data of anthropology teach us a greater tolerance of forms of civilization different than our own, that we should learn to look on foreign races with greater sympathy and with a conviction that, as all races have contributed in the past to cultural progress in one way or another, so will they be capable of advancing the interests of mankind if we are only willing to give them a fair opportunity"


28 (b) that all this anthropological adventuring and questing will thus help solve Western social pro blems and vindicate the Other along the way, and (c) that the route to such glory is the writing of an inspiring ethnography. As the student of anthropology is consistently bombarded with these lessons of the legitimacy, viability, and potential benefits of alternative ways of being, he/she is by consequence increasingly made aware of the hegemonic aspects of Western convention, and thus comes to question the wisdom of dominant Western cultural forms. This in turn helps to train the owards the potential feasibility of alternatives to dominant Western cultural forms, especially in cases where the alternative holds the promise of capturing something lost or lacking in Western culture (as anti modern and/or revitalization movements typic ally do). With this history, it is no surprise that most ethnographic texts based on par ticipant observation of Western communitarian, countercultural, and back to the land movements tend to focus upon and uphold their potential progressive value (e.g., G ould, 2005; Lockyer, 2007). Meanwhile, my personal experience within anthropology of the c ritique against Western communitarian, countercultural, and back to the la nd movements is that it is often expressed only in passing scoff, as if to indicate the ob vious misguidedness of such efforts (often through authoritative critique of the counterculture's misinterpretation of the Other) and thereby reinforce the frivolity and superfluity of any studious exploration of the subculture that emerges from such senti ethnographic time would be better off spent studying academic anthropological career hinge upon the championing of some subaltern brown man?)


29 That said I can only hope that the methods, arguments, and premis es of this dissertation, if unconventional within an anthropology framework, might be appreciated as contemporary anthropology and with any luck, even insightful. I am at once a client and a scholar, past member and current critic, of a cultural subset of Western modernity that venerates and emulates the imagined processes of Nature and the subaltern Other as a means of progressing towards some Other, improved way of life. This is a study of the difficulties of managing that transition. I will attempt to balance my personal biases 6 nor champions them as panacean solutions to contemporary problems. I take this non partisan approach in hope that my arguments might be considered by both opponents and proponents of such movements, with the risk of finding an audience in neither. If the deconstructionists have taught us anything, it is that the first thing the savvy reader should want to know is the background of the researcher. Inde ed, it is undeniable to me that much of my conviction about the relevance and validity of the theoretical mechanisms I will describe comes from the fact that these theories seem so much, in retrospect, to squarely peg me, my journey, and my eventual disill usionment as typical and predictable given my socio cultural background. I was a twenty/thirty something middle class educated urbanized egalitarian minded white Westerner with postmaterialist spiritual religious convictions looking to the harmony in Natu re experience as the answer to environmental, social, and personal strife. My needs were promised to be met by the offerings of various tropical ecotopian communities, for whom 6 This term is used by Albanese (1991) to describe how various members of Western academics and the Western cultural majority view and value such movements.


30 I found myself more than willing to work like a horse. Yet each time, I found my ability to remain in this space thwarted by financial problems power conflicts, and a sense of malaise resulting from unfulfilled ideals. These experiences meant that the dream of nature harmony, for me, never seemed to arrive. Thus the basic questio n I had when I first entered the UF anthropology graduate department was this: why did the environmental living experiments that I had been a part of, and in which I had placed so much faith, talk so consistently unable to meet this agenda in practice? Given that the community goal of environmental sustainability was never reached (instead, those communities with the most longevity appear to me to become less environmentally sust ainable over time), my goal was to look for possible ulter ior driving factors that might be responsible for the se repeated and ongoing attempts at sustainable back to the land community living that took place, the common and ongoing rhetoric of environment al harmony and sustainability that accompanied them, and the alternative ecotourism economy that seemed so consistently to pop up within and thrive upon this scene w ithout ever necessarily developing any viable solution to Wester basic problem of en vironmental unsustainability Introducing t he Arguments by Explaining t he Title Alternate Titles ith Angel is driving me crazy. He is a 20 something haole from urban middle class N ew Mexico who arrived in Hawai'i with the belief that he wouldn't need much money since it would be easy to grow his own food. Now he's waiting for his parents to wire


31 him money for a plane flight home. I should have suspected something was amiss from th e manner in which he was so graciously and unceremoniously bid farewell by the folks at La'akea Permaculture Community. Angel had been disappointed with La'akea, noting that he had to pay $360 a month for room and board while working for them 28 hours eac h week. His next stint at Josanna's Organic Garden had promised him as much food from the land as he could eat, but he wasn't satisfied with the sparse raw diet that the promise entailed "a lot of things just aren't in season right now" nor for the workloa d that came along with growing food in paradise. Now he's looking out the window of my car at a green expanse of ferns and Ohia trees and trying to convince me that a few acres of this land has everything you need to survive, "if only we knew how to use the jungle like the original Hawaiians did." I try to convince him that no traditional Hawaiian in his right mind with a choice would ever try to grow crops on the soi lless lava ohia fern forest s sprout and that as far as anyone knows such areas were only ever used for hunting or the gathering of non food ornamentals and construction materials 7 But Angel remains unconvinced. Vacant land here sell s for cheap, and he wishes he could convince his parents to lend him the money to buy a small plot of ohia fern rainforest Then, he says with conviction, he could start his own permaculture community in which the food would be free to anyone willing to work. ientific ) 7 One of the scandals of the Hawaiian Homestead Act, which tried to return to Hawaiians some of the land lost to sugar corporations following the Great Mahele, was that Hawaiians we re placed on unarable land parcels such as those located in the ohia fern forest, while the arable portions of Hawai'i continued to be reserved for the sugar cane corporations.


32 to develop socialist systems that improve upon the problems of uneven l abor and resource distribution that result from capitalist modes of production. Engels showed how these attempts ran aground as practitioners charged forward with visions of the alternative system as a n emancipating panacea, rather than taking into accou nt the careful timing, planning, and calculation that must occur to successfully implement an alternative system, the likelihood for new and unforeseen obstacles and tradeoffs to emerge from the new system, and the ultimate difficulties and hard work neces sary to maintain control equality, and productivity in any system, alternative or conventional. Such a title would have been appropriate since this dissertation addresses cultural and cognitive constraints that undermine the drive to create social syste ms which intend to improve in some way on the dominant system in place. As with historical attempts at socialism, the history of attempts to intentionally construct nonconventional communities that are sustainable, environmentally and/or socially, is for the most part a history of downfalls due in part to the utopian ideal s held by those who turn to them. Utopian imaginations of sustainability are at the heart of current panacean systems such as permaculture. I will show that such desires have their roots in nature/culture dichotomizing tendencies, and that furthermore, such panacean thinking g here to those documented by Pitzer (1997) in his history of alternative intent ional attempts at


33 community building in the West, panacean imaginations can be easily dashed by stubborn environmental realities. In the case of Puna's permaculture communities, such realities tend over time to dissuade the original drive to develop comm unities in which resources are procured through human designed systems of communally shared labor at the same rate as they are renewed by environmental energy sources. Confronted by such dissuasion but faced with considerable investments already made in time, labor, proper ty purchases, and existential spiritual identity commitments, these communities can easily slip into a pattern in which resources are increasingly funneled toward the construction and maintenance of ecotopian spectacles 8 (which I will an alyze as pos tmodern environmental simulacra 9 ) under whose sacred canopies 10 of nature spirituality one finds systems of social relations and resource extraction that bear an uncanny resemblance to those same social systems of the majority culture 11 that 8 h "all that was once directly lived has become mere representation" (pg. 12). For Debord, the spectacle signifies the "historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life" (pg. 19). 9 order" simulacra in which concerns about the faithfulness to which an image (in this case an image of environmental sustainability) simulates something original or actual (in this case some original or ac tual ecologically sustainable community) has been lost to the interests of reproducing and consuming the image itself. 10 structures appeal to ontological insecurities b y constructing ideologies that become accepted on faith as objective truths. 11 who, when viewed as a single group, are representative of normative cultural values and prac tices of that population. The term is meant to be a replacement for more upon


34 were meant to be escaped, and bear the same basic problems as these original last twelve ye ars (and have had reiterated to me by various informants and long time residents), and it is this story that I will attempt to relate through the ethnography. The message here is that same social wheel is simply recreated when history, and science, is ign ored. I will attempt to show that sustainability in its utopian form, much like socialism in its utopian form, ultimately misjudges the human problem of the will to power, which prevents the successful implementation of such systems among common persons trying to negotiate better lives for themselves in the world is us 12 with with how nature/culture dichotomization, and subseque ntly the Western interpretation of what constitutes wilderness, nature, the wild, and the natural, influences environmental decisions. As with governmental forms of environmentality, and so with local supposedly be represented by this category for any single normative value or practice, the number of individuals in a population subscribing to the entire range of that 12 Starr (1998, pg. 23) paraphrasing Haraway's (1983) work on cyborg theory. Note that survival and pleasure, in this case, can best be interpreted as drives associat ed with Darwinian based mechanisms for self preservation as well as drives associated with a Nietzchean "will to power". Some of these drives will overlap, while others may not and may even be incompatible.


35 sustainability design systems such as permaculture, th e apparent goals of implemented environmental decisions personal and household level in this dissertation can be ultimately undermined by power issues masquerading as environmental discourse. I class based control of property that creates and perpetuates an uneven access to resources and marginalizes those with (predominantly) lower and indigenous class statuses who have had previous histories of control and access rights to such resources. In this dissertation, nature and sustainability discourse becomes a moral guise for class that serve as effecti ve social mechanisms for bohemian status creation and maintenance (e.g., elements of social and cultural capital; Bourdieu, 1972 ) that serve identity and power needs of an otherwise socially immobile Western middle class. These mechanisms marginalize and devalue the status of beliefs and practices themselves necessarily result in meaning ful advances in environmental sustainability compared to conventional systems. What occurs instead is the acquisition and buildup of property based owners, who benefit from the free labor of work trade vol unteers contributing time and often money to such systems based on their belief in the environmental, social, and subsequently moral, superiority of such systems over current, conventional systems.


36 Underlying this belief is a countercultural form of nature /culture dichotomization in desirable, healthy, sustainable, at risk, and ultimately, spiritual. Such objects and practices are classified in opposition to a conven tional techno industrial category in which associated objects and practices tend to be deemed bad/wrong, nondesirable, unhealthy, unsustainable, risky, and ultimately vilified as nonspiritual and profane or even evil. A considerable portion of the ethnography will be spent discussing the origins of such thinking and the repercussions of it as demonstrated on the patterns of thinking heavily influenced by the religious dimensions of nature/culture dichotomization. I will also spend time demonstrating and discussing the results of surveys meant to empirically assess the extent to which this thinking is prevalent among culture participants and the extent to which such i ndividuals differ in both belief and socioeconomic background from control groups representing majority culture. The Actual Title The actual title of the dissertat Prosperous known biology godfather Eugene Odum, and was famed and respected in slightly smaller circles for his role in the development of systems ecology modeling techniques and the associated environmental accounting me thod known as eMergy analysis 13 (Odum, 1983; Odum, 13


37 death. Richly embedded with millenarian discourse, it identified the earth as a homeostatic yet ultimately fragile livi ng system of which humans were a part, and subsequently outlined a method of lifestyle change necessary to escape the coming disaster that would eventually result from the decline of oil. The mix of science and practical morality with which H.T. demonstra ted his method of environmental accounting and delivered its consequential message of environmental alarm, infused with hints of nature spirituality, made him a key inspiration for the founding figures of the d Holmgren 14 Roughly 35 years have passed since the publication of the first permaculture t ext (Mollison and Holmgren, 1978 back to the land movement. Its use implies a practical morality of care towards non human life that is imbued with spiritual significance. At the heart of this spirituality, as I will attempt to make evident, is a cognitive dichotomization of nature and culture. In hot p ursuit of an alternative to the percei ved psychological, social, and environmental detriments of deeper spiritual and ontological meaning. In this pursuit, a promised land of psychological, social, and environmental "abundance" is deemed achievable through 14 Holmg ren dedicated his 2002 book "Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability" to H.T. Odum; see Fenderson (2004) for an interview in which Holmgren discusses extensively the influence of H.T. Odum on the development of the permaculture concept.


38 immoral and unfulfilling patterns of conspicuous consumption, will result in a newfound chasing the dried up fruits of the conventional Western dream. ideoscape of terms and ideas used to signify the beliefs and pr actices associated with a back to the land philosophy and lifestyle; other tropes with highly overlapping beliefs Furt hermore, the back to the land approach itself is but one of a number of approaches being taken by first world individuals and groups out of serious concern for considered as other approaches which share a concern for environmental sustainability yet do not necessarily include a back to the land lifestyle. Finally, all these tropes, ideas, and p ractices are utilized and employed by different individuals and groups to leading otherwise ordinary lives. was particularly appropriate as a subject of focus for this dissertation. For one, when the topic of discussion turns to co mmitted communitarian forms of back to the land living, the term "permaculture" gets heavy use among the individuals and grou ps comp rising the cultic milieu 15 of the lower Puna district. Second, among the v arious reasons for engaging in 15 The term "cultic milieu" was a term originating in the work of sociologist Colin Campbell and reintroduced to the literature by Kaplan and Loowe (2002). It is used as


39 back to the land lifestyles, use of the term "permaculture" implies a specific focus on concerns of environmental sustainability. Third, focusing spec ifically on "permaculture" communities provided a method of singling out for study purposes a particular target audience from the cultic milieu of alternative lifestyle communities and individuals that are found in the lower Puna district. Finally, and p diagramming methods of en slow renewable, and non renewable sources along with the total amount of renewable, slow renewable, and non renewable ene rgy leaving the system. The goal in this case is to diagrammatically demonstrate the permaculture ideal and then compare it to actual patterns of inputs and outputs associated with the typical permaculture project in Puna in order to show the sustainabil ity problems hidden in the typical phases of progression. Hopefully the preceding pages have provided the reader with a general synopsis of the concerns of this dissertation. In the next few sections, I will elaborate upon the s subtitle as a way to further introduce the topics of the dissertation and show how they relate to one another. an umbrella term to signify all the various subcultures that share, if nothing else, as a single common thread the primary identification of being in general opposition to the dominant culture. Varying degrees of ideological and behavioral overlap, religious or otherwise, characterize the various subcultures of the cultic milieu.


40 CHAPTER 2 INTRODUCTION PART TW O Furthering the Arguments by Explaining t he Subtitles Nature/Culture Another Look at the Role o Outcast Dyad at UV statement as representative of an entire mentality that runs through every organic farm, lifiying concepts associated with modern techno while certainly the alternative living experiements. In this utopian countercultural id eology anything is possible and commonly held rules about who and what to trust as an authoritative source of knowledge become reversed breatharianism become s possible while sunscreen protection becomes a lie promoted by corpora te government for reasons o f economic and ideological Inside everything naturally stinky, gross, and unthinkable wheatgrass enemas, fermented n oni juice, consuming dirt; drinking your urine is an untapped emancipating epiphany waiting to trend I f an indigenous tradition exists s omewhere in the world that can back up that trend, then it becomes bonafide tried and e closet of mainstream lies, and one step closer to the truth, happiness, and freed om that exists o n that greener Other side of the dystopian techno industrial illusion.


41 Nature/culture dichotomization, widely acknowledged as a tradition of Western cultural thinking (Glacken, 1967; McCormack and Strathern, 1980), is at the same time roundly vilified in c ontemporary academic circles as environmentally dysfunct ional (Nash, 1967; Descola, 2006 ). I will argue in this dissertation that in order to more accurately assess the structure and function of a Western mental model, one must move from a meta model of W estern culture to a middle range model. In other words, one must (a) acknowledge there are plural forms of Western culture, (b) expect differences in the way nature/culture is utilized by different Western cultural subsets, and (c) target specific cultura l subsets for study. Furthermore, I will argue that, rather nature/culture dichotomization presents a less essentialized picture that reveals both drawbacks and but also s ome important benefits regarding the impact of dichotomous thinking on our ability to make choices that might lead to reductions in ongoing patterns of environmental degradation. environmental i nfluence may be different in different Western cultural subsets. In taking a middle range approach to nature/culture dichotomization, I will argue that the permaculture practitioners who were the subject of this research exhibit the characteristics of a pa subset 1 ) that in turn is typified by a specific set of values, beliefs, and worldviews that, on average, distinguishes them from majority culture. Furthermore, it is the members of 1 "Cultu ral Theory" was introduced by Mary Douglas (1970) and later labeled and expanded by others; it distinguishes among four general strategic approaches to the world based on risk perception and subsequent decisionmaking; see later sections of this dissertatio n for further description.


42 this c ultural subset who tend, more so than other Western subsets, to show a pattern of participants, I will show that they use this dichotomy differently than members of other subsets; specifically, they tend to demonstrate a cognitive pattern which upholds and techno industrial conventional and maligning modern culture is key to understanding the worldview of back to the land subculture, as well as the insights and successes, and the difficulties and stumbling to the land movements as the y pursue environmental sustainability. However, in addition to the difficulties and stumbling blocks resulting from nature/culture concepts, I will argue that there may be benefits to maintaining a simple strategy for environmental decisionmaking which d ichotomizes objects and practices according to a nature/culture construct accounting makes for a convincing demonstration of the basic nonrenewable origins of the vast majority of contemporary Western technologies, sin ce the creation and maintenance of such technologies are predominantly dependent on the extraction and burning of petroleum based fossil fuel, a high energy yet non renewable and quickly dissipating resource. As such, Odum provides strong support for the existence of a scientifically measurable parallel between the ultimate sustainability of an represents objects and practices associated with modern human technology.


43 I use this logic, along with evidence from in depth interviews and ethnographic data obtained through participant observation, as the basis for my concluding summary argument that although misguided cognitive and behavioral patterns can result from strict c onceptualization of the world according to a nature/culture dichotomy, the dichotomy may nonetheless prove useful as a basic heuristic device and starting point around which to fashion a cultural pattern of environmental behavior which moves, scientificall y (and prosperously), towards the presently elusive goal of a sustainable human environmental system. Furthermore, I will show that it is more accurate to talk of the Western nature/culture construct as a continuum rather than a dichotomy but one in whi ch many objects and practices tend to have a polarized placement along this continuum, whereas other objects and practices are placed in between. Following objects and practices, problema tically located more towards the middle of this continuum and thus less likely to be classified as either purely natural or purely cultural/technological, that tend to be both the most contested, the most promising, the most maligned, a nd certainly the most discussed, of the various objects and practices brought up in conversation during moments of environmental discourse. In sum, from an applied perspective, nature/culture mental models may be potentially functional for larger society b ecause of their ease of use as a way of distinguishing lower consumptive practices from higher consumptive practices (upcoming sections will demonstrate why personal consumption rates are a good indicator of sustainability). Moreover, nature/culture dicho tomization is certainly functional for a particular subset of cu lture, both due to its use as a heuristic guide to an


44 idealized way of life, and because of its practical effects on actual permaculture systems which allow these systems to produce, maintain, as well as maintain the market anthropology, I will argue from this that a mental model which may be dysfunctional within certain social settings and for certain so cial sectors can nonetheless persist in that society due to its relative functiona lity within other social settings and sectors. The Culture o f Su stainability Sustainabili ty as a Question of Consumption and Why the Intentional Pursuit of Sustainability is a n Anthropological Topic What people do about their ecology depends on what they think about themselves in relation to things around them. (White, 1969, pg 42) Environmental concerns occupy an increasingly prominent place in both academic and non academic discourse as consensus grows regarding the role of human behavior in worldwide environmental shifts (Banerjee, 2002; Lorey, 2003; OECD, 2002; ESI, 2005; MEA, 2005), and perceptions of risk associated with these shifts have resulted in environmental policy discourse taking greater prominence on regional, national, and international political stages (Commoner, 1990; Christie and White 1997 ; Luke, 1999; Bulkeley and Betsill, 2003 ; Levy and Newell 2005; Biermann and Bauer, 2005; Agrawal, 2005; United Nations 2007) as well as academic stages (Escobar, 1999; Brosius, 1999; Kates et al., 2001; Haen and Wilk, 2006). As Ropke (2005) notes, the relationship between consumption and environmental impact is a key component of this discourse. In 1987, the Brundtlan d Report defined the principle of sustainable development and stated that critical global environmental problems were primarily the result of non sustainable patterns of consumption and production in developed countries ( WCED 1987). In 1992, the Earth Su mmit in Rio d e Janeiro recognized the need for developing nations to lower their environmental impact;


45 the role of consumption in this impact was outlined in Chapter 4 of Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992). In subsequent action, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol called for th e lowering of specific emissions as an approach to addressing these environmenta l problems (United Nations, 1998 ). Since emissions production is controlled in part by the demand for items and services whose production and delivery results in emissions pro duction control of emissions can be considered a consumption based issue as well. Documents and declarations arising from this international discourse, especially as part of the 2002 Johannesburg Earth Summit, have helped popularized the notion of a "cul ture o f sustainability" (WSSD, 2002 ; Cortese, 2003; Gadotti, 2003 ; UNESCO, 2005 ). upon education (Davis et al., 2005; Worts, 2006) acknowledges the role that culture and ideology are assumed to play in the ultimate control of consumption practices (also sustainability is recognized widely in various schools of popular and academic environm ental thought. Systems ecology authors with an eye toward environmental sustainability, such as Odum and Odum (2001), as well as permaculture founding authors Holmgren (2002) and Mollison (1990), acknowledge that sustainable living is about more than just developing a well designed system; they assert the importance of inspire their intentional participation in such systems. Key to this mentality change are the concept writings by deep ecologists (Devall and Sessions, 1985; Bender, 2003), academics (Sponsel et al. 200 1; Berkes, 1999; Tucker and Grim 1994) and various prominent


46 literary figures (Muir, 1911; Leopold, 1949; Berry, 2006) have focused on the need to infuse majority culture with belief systems which will inspire, accommodate, and perpetuate environmentally sensitive practices (e.g., environmentally sensitive cultural A c ommon assumption being made here is that ideology can be a controlling factor for behavior. This immediately runs into ancient and sticky question of the social sciences: how much influence does ideology actually have on behavior? Ideological change is h ere considered to be an influential precursor with the power to modify behavior to an extent that will in turn significantly alter the rate at which we extract environmental resources and create environmental metabolites (such as carbon dioxide). The ques tion is, how much are other structures (biologic, social, economic, environmental) influencing environmental behavior, and how much does the influence of these other structures override the capability of ideological initiatives to engender changes in the e nvironmental behavior of an entire society, much less an environmentally dedicated social subset such as the back to the land permaculturists? It is the role played by a particular culture based construct conceptual models of nature/culture, in this case in engendering environmentally sustainable behavior that is of interest here and it is this focus on the cultural side of sustainability that makes this dissertation anthropological in its base. Returning to discussion of the possibility that a specific W estern subset may both utilize the nature/cul ture dichotomy more than others and also pursues the goal of environmental sustainability more intentionally than others, the next question is whether or not all this purposive ideology a nd intentional human beh avior among modern


47 Western subcultures can indeed lead to practices that in sum will significantly minimize or reverse the unwanted environmental effects that arise as a result of institutionalized consumption patterns. The need to empirically examine th is question is emphasized by preliminary evidence from (a) ecological footprint analyses, (b) life cycle analyses, and (c) eMergy analyses. Studies using these methods suggest that the lifestyle change necessary for a first world citizen to significantly reduce (a) the total land area, (b) the total amount of polluting emissions, and (c) total amount and ratio of renewable and non renewable energy necessary for the upkeep of th e average first world lifestyle is quite substantial and would necessitate the c urtailing of many behaviors normally associated with a first world quality of life ( Rees et al, 1998 ; Brown & Ulgiati, 1999; Noorman et al., 1999). Keyfitz (1998) shows that even with projected technological improvements, typical American middle class lif estyles will be highly unsustainable if implemented at the world population level. In comparison, many of the least developed nations use 20 times less energy per capita 2 than developed nations (World Resources Institute, 2005). Consequently, ideal goals of reduced consumption continue to remain out of reach for the majority of first world citizens. Although levels of environmental concern grow among first world populations (Inglehart et al., 2004; Inglehart, 2003; HERI, 2005, Kempton et al., 1995), the g rowth rate is matched by increasing levels of environmental impact per capita (ESI, 2005; MEA, 2005). Studies of household consumption patterns 2 An interesting sidenote here is to consider studies of happiness and subjective well being; in at least one study, survey results indicated that members of certain least developed nations demonstrated average l evels of subjecti ve well being comparable to or even exceeding those of many developed Western nations, despite maintaining much lower consumption rates (see Deiner et al., 1995).


48 in developed nations typically show significant differences between the heaviest and lightest consumer groups, but nothing on the order of magnitude necessary to offset current unsustainable trends (Ropke, 2005; Noorman et al., 1999). Whether or not first world citizens have the capacity for significant changes in lifestyle necessary for a dramatic environmental im pact reduction remains under debate (Shove, 2004), with the anthropological evidence suggesting that human societies have rarely if ever successfully followed agendas that intentionally conserved their environmental resources (Smith and Wishnie, 2000). In light of this bad track record, some (Trainer, 2001; Mulder et al., 2006) have suggested that the next avenue of research needs to turn away from the trends of various cultural majorities and look instead at trends and demographics of cultural subsets (in this case, Western first world citizens) who have intentionally and significantly lowered their per capita environmental impact. Counterculture Why the Culture of Sustainability Has a Countercultural Flav or, a nd W hy Anthropologists Should Study Western Counterculture When pursuing such research avenues, an i nteresting phenomenon occurs. Alt hough the concern about environmental sustainability is very much a conventional topic of discourse within academic, local public, and national/international politic al circles, the mood of conventionality shifts when one enters communities that have dedicated themselves to the behavioral pursuit of environmentally sustainable livelihoods. Specifically, the mood becomes decidedly nonconventional, or more accurately, c ountercultural. Tie dyes appear, as do various esoteric, offbeat, and marginalized practices, apparently due to the perception of environmentally sustainable practices as being inherently similar in their non normative alignment. Indeed, many analyses of


49 Holt, 1998), so perh aps it is no surprise that contemporary attempts to fashion a culture of sustainability turn out to be highly countercultural in practice. In any case, putting aside arguments concerning whether or not a serious engagement with environmentally sustainabl e practices requires a non normative alignment, the observation I make here is simply that (at least in the Puna district) there practices in that those who identify with various non normative, alternative, and countercultural practices tend be heavily exposed to individuals, ideas, and practices associated with the environmental sustainability movement, while individuals interested in environmental sustainability (such as permaculture practitioners) tend to be heavily exposed to, and often become attracted to, various countercultural individuals, ideas and practices not directly concerned with environmental sustainability. The result is a high degree of interactive sharing and reciprocal engagement occur r ing between individuals identifying themselves with various a lternative ideas and practices 3 This in turn leads to a particular sense of solidarity and brotherhood among the vast cultic milieu of individuals, beliefs, and practices. It is built around the singular quality of being non normative, and exists despite the vast differences and conflicts that may otherwise 3 Taylor (2001a; 2001b) gives a particularly in depth description of the various overlaps of, as well as distinctions between, various ideas, practices, and prominent figures within the cultic milieu that are associated with some form of nature based spirituality.


50 the theme of "en vironmental sustainability" tends to be a strong unifying symbol within it. Currently, the most common beast against which various segments of the counterculture tend to unite is a conceptual enemy known as corporate capitalism. Likewise, the various cont emporary back to the land community forms concerned with sustainable living tend to share, first and foremost, a desire to construct (for reasons of both personal/social and environmental health) social relations and modes of production that evade industri alized capitalist characterizations. Returning again to similarities between the interests of back to the land counterculture and the domain of the anthropological gaze, anthropology itself has historically maintained an academic focus on and sympathy tow ards non industrialized societies that are non capitalist, transitioning to capitalism, or resisting capitalism. It has focused consistently on the way that "pre capitalist" societies and less industrialized groups are affected when exposed to global mar ket systems, and how this articulation leads to an increased degree of incorporation of capitalist structures and ideologies (Polanyi, 1944; Bohannon & Dalton, 1962; Dupre & Rey, 1973; Scott, 1990). Many of these studies result in and/or derive from anti capitalist sentiments, noting the ill perceived changes to community structure brought on by exposure to the global market system (Th ompson, 1963; Gunder Frank, 1967 ) or focusing on the merits and legitimatization of "pre capitalist societies" (e.g., Lee, 1979; Sahlins, 1972; Shepard, 1998). This research gaze has had the unintended side effect of reinforcing a unilinear conceptualization of social evolution that continues to trap social science research within its framework: given the prevalence of anti capitalist sentiment within


51 anthropology, it is surprising that almost no focus is given to groups within industrialized capitalist society attempting radical transitions away from capitalism towards non capitalist economies. Instead of being viewed as p rogressive, the anachronist and/or primitivist characterizations of such attempts are considered synonymous with impracticality and viewed as futile engagements that hinder effective and beneficial social change by tying up the contributions of otherwise v aluable members of society (Lewis, 1992). Meanwhile, the classic anti capitalist discourse remains as stuck as ever in armchair arguments over whether the domination of capitalism is a final and impassable roadblock for human culture (e.g., Weber, 1922 ; F ukuyama, 1992) or whether new structures can evolve ou t of capitalism (e.g. Marx, 1867 ; Etzioni, 1993). Hope, of course, lies along the latter vein, and the rest of academics has a history of rigorous inquiry into alternatives to the capitalist consumpti on paradigm, from justification for steady state economics (Daly, 1977) and feasibility studies into dematerialization economies (Odum & Odum, 2001; Rodrigues et al, 2005) to cries for egalitarian initiatives (Bookchin, 1982) and rationalization for spirit ual ecologies (Devall & Sessions, 1985; Sponsel et al., 2001). Interestingly, most visions of economies beyond capitalism suggest that they will be achieved through decentralized community based structures resembling pre capitalist and/or domestic modes o f production (Marx, 1867; Chayanov, 196 6; Bookchin, 1982; Etzioni, 1993; Shepard, 1996). At this point in the argument it certainly seems hard to dismiss the appropriateness of anthropological research agenda that addresses the viability of such visions of hope through a field analysis of the trials and errors of First world groups attempting to implement such decentralized community based structures from the grassroots level (as


52 opposed to studies of state based attempts at socialism such as Soviet Russia or Cuba, or studies of the effects of socialized state based programs and actions within industrialized capitalist nations such as in Venezuela, Sweden, or the United States). Various studies in other social science disciplines have done this (Pitzer, 199 7; McKibben, 1995 ; Harvey, 2000; Peterson, 2005), yet again, little direct fieldwork in anthropology has been performed on first world communities which intentionally attempt to adopt viable systems of living based on such alternative paradigms. In addit ion to the conceptualization problems already mentioned, there are two main reasons for this. The first reason is that Western alternative living experiments have historically been perceived as examples of cultural deviance (Schehr, 1997), while anthropo logy's traditional ethnographic goal has been to answer questions regarding the dominant patterns and structures of a culture. This was noted by Edgerton (1976) in his look at deviance studies within anthropology. He is here paraphrased by Freilich et al (1991): A nthropologists' searches for patterns and regularities have inhibited an active concern with those individuals and groups whose behavior depart from the normative and is not easily integrated into soci al and cultural generalizations. (Freilich et al., 1991, pg. 72) Edgerton (1976) responded to this lack of anthropological studies dealing with social deviance by compiling cross cultural examples of deviance to support his assertion that the existence and emergence of deviant groups and individu als is a universal cultural phenomenon worthy of investigation within traditional anthropology. (Note that the field of studies described as global or world anthropology has maintained a trail of studies that focus on similarities in various forms of anti capitalist and environmental protest that cross class, race, and cultural boundaries see Kearney, 1995; Guha and Martinez Alier, 1997; Escobar, 2005).


53 The second reason has to do with anthropology's tendency to focus on the exotic Other foreign cultures, especially those which are marginalized or otherwise downtrodden (Anderson, 1974) trend exemplifies the previously mentioned traditional path of the anthropologist as seeker; because of this, studies of Western culture, assumed neither foreign nor subaltern, have instead been considered to be the historic territory of sociology and other nationally focused social science offshoots (e.g., American studies). For these given reasons, an anthropology disse rtation focused on a seg ment of Western counterculture may be uncommon yet it is quite justifiable and timely, and by those qualities may perhaps also be seen as contemporary and progressive. The individuals and communities who are the subjects of this di ssertation exemplify an effort by Westerners to develop and authenticate, via community based and lifestyle based forms of praxis, an alternative to the environmentally unsustainable character of the Western cultural complex. Majority culture tends to per ceive such groups as radical and deviant in ideology and behavior ("counterculture") despite the fact that their demographic profiles tend to be dominated by citizens of industrialized countries with non marginalized ethnicities and middle class background s. Though not necessarily successful in practice, communitarian counterculture attempts to engage in lifestyle behaviors which, if engaged at a mass scale, would theoretically thwart the negative social and environmental effects associated with dominant W estern socio cultural based mirror of the written cultural critiques prevalent within the academic discipline of anthropology, which


54 expresses a similarly critical agenda through its analyses and critiques of the capitalist liberal capitalist culture (Jameson, 1991; Comaroff and Comaroff, 2001), and t he exploitative capacities of the globalized liberal mar ket (Wallerstein, 1987; Gunder Frank, 1967 ; Appadurai, 1996), as well as its interest in the possibility of alternatives to these cultural forms (Marx, 1867; Martin 1988 1993 ; Bookchin, 1997). When analyzing the back to the land groups as examples of capitalist resistance, such groups can be noted to resemble the rationalities, worldviews, and production behaviors of many traditional pre capitalist or non capitalist sectors of the "foreign" and "subaltern". While many of these similarities are the result of an intentional modernist for humans, there is no rule be altogether more effective in the function it symbolically represented by the original form (e.g., environmental and social harmony, in the case of back to the land cultures). Furthermore, though back to the land subculture intends some degree of simulation of past non capitalist cultures, there may also be some truth to the idea that modern capitalism brings with it a singularly dist inct and unique worldview (an idea originally posed by the Marxists), in which case apparent family resemblances among worldviews resulting from non capitalist approache to social and economic relations whether pre capitalist or post capitalist in origin m ay indeed be valid evidence of some degree of associated with non capitalist modes of production.


55 Regarding the degree of veracity of such psychic unity, I will let the ethn ography presented here speak for itself along those lines. What I will do is show how the non capitalist societies, especially regarding ideas of what constitutes rational economic behavior. What I believe is that Western anthropology can indeed shed light on communitarian movements within its own culture by looking at the rational, e cological, and economic dimensions of this post capitalist form of cultural "resistance". I will also show the similarities that do exist between this form of resistance and ongoing patterns of resistance in the past in both Western and non Western cult ures. Furthermore, I will argue that there are legitimate reasons why such groups, in an 4 effects of capitalism, must develop ideologies parallel to non capitalist cultures and foreign, subaltern groups domina ted by capitalism. that is a constant and perhaps necessary part of any human soci ety demonstrating complex patterns of divisions of labor and wishing to inspire progressive social change. communitarian permaculture reflects as much an environmental s ustainability agenda as it does an anti capitalist agenda, and how these back to the land lifestyles, while anachronist and primitivist in many instances, nonetheless exemplify some very progressive cultural attempts to resist colonization of the lifeworld escape the effects of 4


56 transcarceration, and develop forms of communicative rationality, to name some ideas and methods described by various progressive social philosophers as key to negotiating the cultural pitfalls of the modern world (Habermas, 1981; F oucaul t, 1975; Lowman et al., 1987). Following this, I will argue that the most functional role played by back to the land subcult ure in modern Western culture may be as a liminal space within which to resist and escape both the ideological effects of capi talism and its mode of production. This serves as an experimental space within which to attempt pragmatic applications of various alternative ideas and practices, as free as possible from the various obstacles posed by majority cultural biases. The bulk to the mainland within a year of arriving. They have made a hadj of sorts, an environmentalist pilgrimage to a place of anti structure, communitas, and possibility. With their eventual return home, they bring wi th them accounts of successes, failures, disillusionments, and inspirations that are ultimately woven into ongoing discourses and decisions regarding how to successfully engineer a modern Western culture of sustainability. Furthermore, the se same class ba ckgrounds that ultimately make their "taste" for the imagined "simple life" of the "other" more of a passing hobby than a lifelong immersion, also leave them ideally placed to spread moral directives within mainstream workplaces. Finally, what is perhaps most interesting about the countercultural attempt to resist capitalism and develop non capitalist economies and relations is the degree to which, in back to the land permaculture communities, a most vicious, liberal, and mystif ied brand of capitalism seems so often to develop right under the


57 noses of those most attempting to escape it. It is this particular brand of capitalist to the land communities, which I will describe as a domestic mode o f production as an alternative to modern capitalism; however, the same communication forms that are intended to forge a domestic yet egalitarian social relationship among permaculture participants develop into double edged swords which serve a simultaneous role as a ritual discourse form that masks the exploitation of domestic labor. This exploitation allows permaculture landowners a cheap way to build capital and thereby become increasingly competitive on the growing Western market of alternative tourism. I will spend a considerable portion of this dissertation giving an historical description of the uncapitalized frontier setting that sets the stage for the emergence and persistence of communitarian back to the land counterculture in the Puna District o counterculture will then be considered in light of its articulation with and maintenance of the ongoing colonizing processes of capitalism, and the role played by the maintenance of non market rationalities as a sacred canopy that mystifies the development of these same capitalist relations. Finally, the role these communities play, intended and unintended, in the processes of social change and the ongoing ecological critique of capitali sm will be discussed. At this point, I will elaborate upon a term that did not make it into the dissertation's subtitle, yet has already been introduced, is implied in the main title, and is a key


58 subject of the dissertation as well as a way to partition a specific group from the cultic milieu of back to the land experiments which continue to arise in Puna and other locations around the world. Permac ulture Anti C apitalist C ulture and Ecological S imulacra As mentioned, academics has a history of theoretical inquiries into alternatives to the neoclassical consumption paradigm yet little fieldwork is performed on contemporary first world communities which have intentionally attempted to adopt viable systems of living based on such alternative paradigms. Certai nly the basic processes of intentional culture have been in place since the earliest moments in human history when we can do better for ourselves over here rather than ov the historic human record demonstrates and the prehistoric record can be interpreted to demonstrate an ongoing pattern of human social change based on intentional physical separation accompanied by both intended and unint ended consequential changes in ideology and practice. Modern intentional culture is in many respects not much different in intent and basic separation tactics the primary importance of spatial relocation and territorial redefinition will be discussed. Ho wever, the rate, scope and methods have changed enormously in the high mobility, information intensive era of modernity, which in general has enabled a great increase in the opportunity for humans to intentionally try out something new with much less risk regarding the likelihood of failure due to making a break (permanent or temporary) from traditional practice patterns and/or social relations. the alternative community mode l has been supported as an arena of study for


59 assessing the feasibility of transitioning first world citizens to more ecologically sustainable lifestyles (Mulder et al, 2006; Trainer, 2001; Grindheim & Kennedy, 1999; Schwarz & Schwarz, 1998). While multip le themes characterize groups associated with Western alternative communities (Brown, 2002; Pike, 2004), environmental concern and sustainable living are dominant t hemes (Magliocco, 2004; Princen et al. 2002; Kozeny, 1996), and certain lifestyle choices a ssociated with alternative living are generally assumed to have the potential for substantially reducing environmental impact. Recent resurgence of interest in studies of alternative intentional communities (e.g., Cannan, 2000; Miller, 2000; Baumann, 2001 ; Sargisson & Sargent, 2004 ; Hildur & Svenson, 2002; Brown, 2002 ; Dawson & Lucas 2006) can be partially attributed to this interest in the potential environmental lessons to be learned from the alternative, low impact lifestyles signified by alternative c ommunity models. Reganold et al., 2001; Pimentel et al., 2005 ), especially as practiced by the Amish (Craumer, 1977; Johnson et al., 1977; Stinner et al., 1989; Yoder, 1990; Lap ping, 1997), represent the single largest area of sustainability research into alternative various utilities (Kirby, 2003; Georg, 1999; Fotopoulous, 2000). The proposed st udy which has only recently begun to be investigated within the literature (Lockyer, 2007; Veteto and Lockyer, 2008). As mentioned, permaculture turns out to be an ironicall y apt form of community ideal towards which to apply the techniques of environmental accounting when one


60 considers that the godfather of environmental accounting H.T. Odum was a main inspirational figure for the founding figures of permaculture. The appli cation of environmental accounting techniques to permaculture systems in particular has not been previously performed. However, rudimentary energy analyses have been used in the past to evaluate systems that appear or are assumed to have a low environment al impact; examples include amish farming (Johnson et al, 1977) and chinese agricultural systems (Fluck, 1979). Two major differences between these systems and permaculture systems is that such previously studied systems tended to be historical social sys tems which (1) were not pursuing the goal of low environmental impact by direct intention and/or (2) do not have a current pattern of recruiting new participants, especially Western participants. In other words, while certain permaculture practitioners ma y admire and incorporate certain Amish practices of gardening and/or social conflict resolution, the overall Amish model, neither as a trope nor as a particular package of practices and ideologies associated with the trope, does not seem to be experiencing a high degree of human recruitment or ideological replication/spread within the Western landscape of alternative enviromental ideas and practices. not only intentionally low impact, but is also experiencing high recruitment from citizens of first world nations. (In addition, there are signs of increasing recruitment from members of non First World nations. 5 ) This is important for the interests of intentionally 5 See Wikipedia entry "List of permaculture projects" for an online list and description of communitarian experiments in non their self description (last viewed April 2012):


61 engendering a culture of sustainability the eventual alternative of which may likely be a situation of unintended and externally enforced low impact behavior brought about as the result of an unplanned and precipitous decline in the availability of resources. This pr to a gradually sloping decline in resource availability made possible by intentional measures to reduce environmental impact while still fulfilling human need s the according to Odum (2001). commitment and planning prioritization, in practice the me aning of these tropes merge as they become utilized as parallel signifiers for a vast cultic milieu of alternative living ideologies and practices which share the intent of minimizing environmental impact while maximizing livelihood through the employment of methodologies which counter dominant, Western, and/or capitalist ideals. The increasingly flexible and global use of these tropes as signifiers of alternative lifestyles is representative of the hope that is being placed in the new social movements, the growing transnational civil society, and the concomitant changes in information flow and social mobility that have all accompanied the rise of globalization and which have rearranged conceptions of the relationship of the ind ividual to culture (Escobar 20 05 ; Harvey, 2000; Melucci, 1996). Hope lies within this rearranged relationship, which places agency for social change within the hands of the individual (Touraine, 1988) rather than at the mercy of historically influential structures. In this conceptio n, culture and choice is less controlled by race, geography, and tradition and more controlled by class, information,


62 and individual contingency, allowing the informal, cross boundary social networks which nd a place within anthropological studies of culture and social change. viability of permaculture subculture as a low impact environmental solution for Western first world cit izens, I ask a related question regarding whether permaculture communities represent viable alternatives to capitalism. This research question is the flip side of a traditional anthropological research question that stems from studies of indigenous moveme nts resisting the transition to capitalism: instead of asking whether or not it is possible for pre capitalist societies to successfully resist capitalism and maintain some sort of ecological/social integrity, this paper asks whether it is possible for a c ommunity to intentionally separate itself from capitalist modes of productions and ideologies and thereby achieve and maintain some degree of ecological/social integrity. This question was central to Etzione (1988) who considered the analysis of anti capi talism and anti consumerism movements to be central to the exploration of a new economic system. As part of an answer to this question, it is ironic to note that those very same forces of modernity, modern technology, and globalization which enable and m aintain processes, also serve as its main obstacles. In other words, while modernity and globalization offer renewed vigor and hope to grassroots solutions such as permaculture they also limit its effectiveness as a low impact environmental solution. This limitation is demonstrated in this dissertation by an environmental accounting


63 analysis that locates the actual origins and amounts of the various energy sources responsible show how the various degrees of nature spirituality and nature/culture dichotomization rands of permaculture demonstrate the common characteristic of a mystified, non egalitarian, Marxist brand of capitalist labor relations. Like all brands of capitalism, the smooth functioning of this system ultimately requires permaculture to attract indi viduals willing to subscribe to various non egalitarian hierarchism, and individualism). With this pattern of mystified manner of capitalist labor permaculture maintains itself and thus maintains its symbolic role on the Western alternative ideoscape as a symbol of social change for transnational civil society and the new social movements. rding the roots of its current energy sources and its mystified articulation with capitalist processes. O ne of s that it pushes an approach to sustainability whose ldview, which in the Western world is heavily tied to a class based morality, specif ically of the middle class. This moral basis for environmental impact reduction that forms the ideological cornerstone of the permaculture 6 ) is an egalitarian approach that, in the end, is but one of a number of approaches to sustainability. Other approaches which are accepted by other viewpoints or that have been accepted in the past include 6 see Mollison, 1997, pg. 2


64 approaches which increase capital investment and human labor in the high technology arena with the goal of maintaining and/or increasing current energy extraction rates (including coal, solar, wind, and nuclear technologies, as well as CO2 reduction technologies), as well as approaches based on physical and symbolic coercion (including war, slave labor, and various other forms of dominance) which increase the rate of labor output of animals and/or humans while minimizing their energy usages/inputs, with the net energy savings benefiting the lifestyles of those who coerce. Back to the land processes such as permaculture represent attempts to carry forth the ideals of the egalitarian subset of Western culture to their eventual logical (extreme) endpoint, while the other two mentioned approaches to sustainab ility in cultural theory terms, represent individualist and hierarchist approaches currently in place amo ng Western majority culture. In practice, inherent conflicts between these three approaches preven t any single approach from being successfully taken to its extreme eventual ideological endpoint Following cultural theory, the argument is that all three approaches (as well as a fourth, atheoretical, yet necessary, fatalistic approach taken by a large portion of Western citizens whose recruitment by one of the other viewpoints forms the ongoing battle to win majo rity opinion) are carried forth simultaneously within an y complex, pluralist cultural system The dominance of any single approach is self limited by both its internal contradictions as we ll as an organic system of checks and balances that occurs between all four approaches; this provides natural barriers to the success of any single cultural solution to environmental sustainability.


65 Synopsis Having introduced the questions and arguments of this dissertation, I provide here a short "in a nutshell" synopsis of the typical trajectory of back to the land movements in Puna as discerned through research on the region's permaculture communities. I follow this with a reference list of the basic qu estions, answers, and propositions laid forth in this dissertation as a result of this research. In a Nutshell: The T rajectory of C ommunity P ermaculture in Puna (1) The historical lack of a market value of the lower Puna district to the c apitalist mark et system provides a space unstructured and unmanaged by the capitalist system, into which which mainland members of the cultic milieu can "escape from the system" and attempt to flourish through alternative means (2) The cultic milieu arrives with post ma terial values and anti capitalist egalitarian sentiments; they seek to acquire sacred values of "co mmunity" and "nature" which are considered scarce in the capitalist culture within which they were previously embedded. (3) "Community" and "nature" do not exist in Puna's lava fields and o hia fern forests, so they must be constructed In the counterculture, thes e values and the products associated with them tend to be similarly imagined as values and products that are in di alectic opposition to the values a nd products of capitalist culture and take on sacred meaning in the process of their attempt ed con struction within a ritualized antistructural space (4 ) The "permaculture" paradigm guides labor towards the creation of "ecotopia" as a final product, which combines values of "community" and "nature". Ecotopia is a non material, socially constructed product, and the labor involved in producing


66 "ecotopia" has spiritual dimensions and can be analyzed as a form of religious production. (5 ) Local s elf suffici ency in food and materials production is a crucial aspect of permaculture's "ecotopia". Ecotopia is thus a product of a domestic mode of production embedded in non market values directed towar ds household use. From a market pe rspective, permaculture work traders are domestic laborers working for free to produce a valued product. (6 ) Successful permaculturalists in Puna create a product called ecotopia that becomes val uable to others People are willing to exchange money in order to experience ecotopia and do so in the form of ecotourism and agricultural tourism. Ecotopia now has exchange value and enters the capitalist market as a product. Permaculture's domestic mode of production provides a cheap source of labor that becomes engaged in the production o f ecotopia for the capitalist market. (7 ) From a political perspective, ecotopia hinders true r esistance by transforming resistance into spectacle, simulacra, symbol, and commodity for sale. (8 ) From a market perspective, the capitalist system has complet ed an encroachment cycle. A product ("ecotopia") that is scarce in the market has been created and made available for exchange. Value has been created in a space (Puna's lava fields) that previously had no value. The intense amounts of material capital invested into the "post materia l" counterculturalists who "leave the system" has now been returned to the system in the form of free labor towards the creation of a product with exchange value.


67 (9 ) Articulation with modern Western markets through commoditiz ation processes prevents permaculture's ideali zed transition to an economy characterized by ecologi cal sustainability; however, it maintains itself as a source for ideological dissemination an d the formation of alternative social networks, which through th e forces of market articulation may allow the nature/culture dualism that drives Puna's back to the land movements to become a factor in greater social change. In a Nutshell: The Main Q uestions and T heir A nswers In order to show how basic questions regar ding environmental sustainability lead to concerns with Western trends of nature/culture dichotomization, I will start with an ordered series of basic questions, followed by the tentative answers reached in this dissertation, which stem from the main gener al inquiry: "is the 'back to the land' approach a viable solution to the problem of environmental sustainability?" Question #1 : offer Western culture a solution to the problem of environmental sustainability? Answer #1(a): No. O nly a specific and minority subset of W estern culture tends to become at tracted to this approach as an intentional and deliberate solution (see c hapter 4 "The Actors ") Answer #1(b): No. In its current typical form, the pattern of resource input/output in the typical permaculture communit y in Puna relies on a steady supply of labor, materials, and pre existing financial resources sourced from nonrenewable energy inputs. Answer #1(c): Yes and no. Puna's communitarian pe rmaculture systems could provide an indirect contribution to effective environmental solutions if it could be shown that individuals who temporarily engage in communitarian permacultur e and then later become engaged in environmental policy effort s consider their time spent in permaculture communities to be significantly influential in t heir subsequent


68 involvement in national/state/regional/local environmental decision making processes Answer #1(d): Yes and no. Puna's communitarian permaculture systems c ould provide an indirect contribution to effective environmental solutions if it could be shown that individuals involved in significant national/state/regional/local environmental decision making pro cesses view individuals and/or communities involved in p ermaculture as morally/ethically upright and/or otherwise inspirational. Question #2 : What types of people are attracted to the commu nitarian permaculture approach? Answer #2: Survey results reveal that permaculture participants in Puna tend to be egalit arian post materialists among whom mystical experiences especially those associated with nature, are common. Survey results indicated that this combina tion of characteristics was significantly less prevalent amon g those representing "majority culture". Question #3 : If the goal is environmental sustainability, w permaculture partic ipants engaging in patterns of resource use that reflect environmentally sustainable lifestyle practices ? Answer #3: In Puna, the pursuit of a communitarian permaculture lifes tyle serves more purposes than simply being a route to environmental sustainability; sustainabi lity is but one of a number of goals for which permaculture becomes the methodological vehicle; the overarching goal is to construct a more ful filling way of life than that offered by majority culture lifestyles. Question # 4: What factors drive the desire to participate in communitarian back to the land forms of permaculture? Answer #4: One influential organizing script is the cognitive dichot omization o f nature/culture, in which the part of the pursuit of post materialist, egalitarian and spiritual/mystical ideals.


69 Question #5 : What factors drive lifestyle choices once individuals participate in communitari an back to the land forms of permaculture ? Answer #5: Same as answer #4. Question #6 : What inhib its the technical feasibility of environmental sustainability in ? Answer #6: Same as answer #4. Question #7 : So is nature /culture dichotomization beneficial or malevolent regarding its effect on environmental sustainability in Puna's permaculture communities ? Answer #7: Nature/culture dichotomization should not be essentialized; it has both good and bad effects on the goal of environmental sustainability in Puna's permaculture communities. In A Nutshell: The Resulting Propositions Next I present a list of the broader theoretical propositions regarding nature/culture dichotomization that are being presented in this disserta tion as part of an the analysis of the worldview and practices of back to the land permaculture subculture in the Puna district of Hawaii: Proposition #1 : model: its influence on thinking, prac tices, and decision making is particularly pronounced among certain Western cultural subsets (e.g., post materialist egalitarians) as well as within certain culturally prescribed geographic locations and ritual spaces (e.g., locations such as the Kilauea E ast Rift Zone of Hawai'i). Proposition #2 : Westerners prescribing to post materialist egalitarian cultural ideals utilize nature/culture dichotomization more than other members of Western society.


70 Proposition #3 : maculture practitioners utilize dichotomization as a general guide for simultaneously assessing the level of risk, sustainability, healthiness, desirability, and overall positive spirituality associated with an object or practice. Proposition #4 : N ature/culture categor izin g can be heuristic tool for assessing the environmental impact of an object or practice and for morally guiding subsequent lifestyle choices. This makes nature/culture dichotomization an aid to environmentally sustaina ble lifestyle choices Proposition #5 : Nature/culture categorization is more accurately depicted as a continuum rather than a dichotomy; however, it is a continuum in which most objects and practices tend to be categorized towards either extreme end, whil e those objects and practices categorized more toward the middle tend to be the most contested and discussed during moments of environmental discourse. Proposition #6 : Nature/culture dichotomization structures and drives the mystifying processes of capita communities (e.g., the construction and commoditization of ecotopia ). Proposition #7 : permaculture communities (e.g., the construction and commodit ization of ecotopia ) are a major hindrance to the technical ability of these communities to become environmentally sustainable; since nature/culture dichotomization underlies this mystification process, nature/culture dichotomization hinders the technica l ability of these communities to become environmentally sustainable.


71 Proposition #8 : ure communities function as a liminal space for simulating egalitarian environmental ideals. Since mystified capitalist processes maintain this space, a nd since nature/culture dichotomization underlies this mystification, nature/culture dichotomization may serve a beneficial performative function for the environ mental movement if this indirect function of permaculture communities can be shown to have an i ndirect but significant impact on the environmental decision making processes taking place in policy making circles in Western majority culture. Proposition #9 : onize undeveloped frontier regions and tend to inc rease rather than decrease the region's degree of articulation with capitalist processes over time. Since the mystification of capitalist relations enables this pattern of incorporation among individuals otherwise opposed to capitalist processes, and sinc e nature/culture dichotomization underlies this mystification, nature/culture dichotomization serves to enable ongoing processes of capitalist expansion and the subsequent spread of unsustainable resource extraction rates i nto previously un colonized regio ns


72 CHAPTER 3 THE STAGE: RESEARCH SITE AND SOCIAL SYSTEM Site : Lower Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii A Short H istory of the Lower Puna District No other place in America combines a deep spiritual connection to the land with such a hot real estate market (Brown, 2005) The district of Puna is Hawaii's wildest outpost with a reputation for free spirits, hi ppies and other nonconformists. ( Pull Over And Park It 2007) Pakalolo (marijuana) farms, F BI fugitives and the un bathed. (Thompson, 2003) Thus go des criptions of the Puna district, one of nine districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. At 499 square miles, the Puna district is nearly the size of Oahu, Hawaii's main island and home to the capital of Honolulu. But the contrast between Puna and Oahu is dram atic: while Oahu is a wealthy, white sandy beach, cosmopolitan island of over one million, Puna remains a black sand jungle frontier of 20,000 living on the side of an active volcano. Puna has been covered by lava at least once in the past 400 years. Th ere is no reason to believe that the frequency or size of eruptions in the next 400 years will be any different from those of the past 400 years. (USGS, 1997) The Big Island of Hawaii is home to Mauna Loa and Kilauea, the two most steadily active volcanoes on earth. The single magma tunnel that brings lava to the two volcanoes from the earth's mantle is responsible for adding 30 acres of new land to the Big Island every year (USGS, 2005) in the form of black basalt, the hardened result of cooled lava. Ma una Loa last flowed in 1984; a menacing tongue of lava crept within four miles of the major port town of Hilo before pressure subsided in Mauna Loa's inner magm a chamber and ended the advance (USGS, 2004). Kilauea began its recent


73 episodes of eruption in 1983; since then, Kilauea has been flowing steadily either from its summit or from fi ssures along the East Rift Zone (USGS, 2007). The Kilauea East Rift Zone is track of underground lava fissures that runs east of the Kilauea summit through the lower half of the Puna district, separating the district geologically into two informal sections: upper Puna and lower Puna. Throughout the Big Island, from Hilo to Kona, residents are periodically awakened by earthquakes originating from shifting magma deep within the volcanoes. Sometimes, in lower Puna, the tremors reported by residents have their origins directly under the subdivisions in which they live ( Thomas et al. 1991). What have been the consequences of this lava for development in the region? The lava re sults in black sand beaches. The look attracts visitors to places like Kehena Beach, near Opihikao. Kehena was not a beach at all until 1955, when new lava flows changed shoreline contours and allowed the bu ildup of black sand in the area (USGS, 2000). Such beaches are by nature babies in geologic time, and this affects shoreline contours, wave action, as well as vegetation type. Vegetation type and "resort atmosphere" is further affected by oft overcast skies and rainforest precipitation patterns that are indebted to Puna's windward location on the island. For many, the overall effect is a raw, prehistoric vignette of nature that confounds the white sand visions of paradise. As residents are oft to quote, "Puna is not for everyone". People who come f or the beaches either love it or hate it, and many flee to Kona, located on the leeward, sunnier, drier side of the Big Island, where older geologic structures have allowed a number of white sand beaches.


74 Nonetheless, large scale resorts have been proposed in the past in the Kaimu Kalapana, Kapoho, Pohoiki, and Opihikao areas of lower Puna. However, like the rest of lower Puna, these areas are subject to volcanic activity, subsidence, and tsunami inundation. There are few building codes to restrict what an d where people may build, but insurance rates for property in Rift Zones 1 and 2 the most active lava designations and the designations of most property in lower Puna are twice what they are elsewhere, and such insurance covers destruction by fire but not by lava (Brown 2005). Thus, entrepreneurs have been few over the years, and many of the braver speculators scared off by the knowledge that the only property in lower Puna to be successfully rezoned as a resort was covered by the 1990 lava flow in Kalapan a (USGS, 2001). Kalapana before 1990 was a beautiful historic Hawaiian homesite popular both for surfing, cultural heritage, and for being the single designated resort destination in Puna. Locals and old timers in the area lament the loss of Kalapana, as well as Kapoho, an ancient Hawaiian village that was altogether destroyed by lava flows in 1960 (USGS, 1997). But many also acknowledge the importance of lava in keeping out unwanted development across the Hawaiian islands, there are constant discussions about and efforts towards keeping local sections of Hawaii from "becoming another Honolulu or Maui". Residents murmur with varying amounts of seriousness and sincerity about "Pele's curse", the be lief that Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire who lives in a nd embodies the Big Island's volcanoes, does her part to keep away problematic development in the Rift Zone.


75 "She teaches you respect for the land," they say, "Pele reminds you that nothing is permanent, and that nobody really owns the land." Land purch ases by locals and mainlanders alike are often preceded by small fees paid to Hawaiian spiritual chiefs kahunas who walk properties in an assessment of the area's positive and negative cosmic energies mana before giving advice on whether or not to buy, whe re to build, and whether or not Pele will protect or destroy the land parcel in question in the immediate or near future. Given the incalculable risk of lava, even Puna's most secular minded realtors are quick to provide contact information for obtaining a local kahuna blessing. In any case, for good or for worse, the danger of lava is real. Since 1983, 189 houses have been subsumed by lava in the Puna district (Brown, 2005). Formerly zoned residential areas like Royal Gardens subdivisions were completel y covered by lava flows in the early '80's. All of Puna's 60,000 zoned property lots lie in areas of likely rift zone activity, but those areas of the lower Puna district, sitting directly on Zone 1 and 2 areas of the Kilauea Rift, are the most at risk. The areas also lack basic infrastructural improvements necessary for development. 75% of houses in Puna in 2000 got their water supply from personal rainwater catchments ("Rainwater Catchment In Puna", 2007) With these conditions, development is a difficu lt road to take in Puna, and so far, the prospects for payoff do not add up when compared to the prospects of lava. One of the few sectors of development conducive to rift zones is geothermal energy. The first geothermal well in Hawaii, tapping volcanic steam for electrical energy, was drilled in Puna in 1976. Since then, geothermal development has expanded. Currently, the


76 Puna Geothermal Venture delivers an average of 25 to 30 megawatts of electrical energy on a continuous basis, supplying approximatel y 20 percent of the total electricity needs of the Big Island ("Geothermal in Hawaii", 2007) But geothermal suffered a serious setback in Puna in 1991 when an accident at the PGV plant released a cloud of hydrogen sulfide that settled onto the Puna count ryside, killing numerous small pets and animals and setting off a rash of respiratory disorders among residents which still linger among some today. Thus, a strong anti geothermal community presence has helped to thwart further industry despite acknowledg ements that geothermal potential may be as much as 500 700 megawatts (Thomas, 1987). This, combined with potential permitting and regulating nightmares for new geothermal plans, has kept geothermal expansion plans on the blackboard (Boyd, 2002). Currently agriculture and tourism are the two biggest sectors of the economy in Puna, with ecotourism and agricultural tourism on the rise. But the original industry was wood, and then sugar. Pahoa's history is a typical frontier boom bust cycle that started wit h a sawmill industry. But it was the sugar industry, which began in 1876 when U.S. government permitted the tax free export of sugar that gave Puna its real start ("Pahoa, Hawaii County", 2007). Puna's sugar scene was experimental and radical from the be ginning and in many ways reflects the beginning of the spirit of the district that has carried into modern times. Sugar in Puna began with boom time entrepreneurship in 1899 when a group of investors pooled their resources and started what they believed wo uld become Hawaii's largest and most prosperous sugar plantation. The company, Olaa Sugar Mill, began with a commitment to exploring new and innovative agricultural methods, and set


77 precedents that are still in effect in the sugar industry today. A vintage railroad built to transport sugar and sugar products to Hilo for export was "a structure once considered to be the most exorbitant and ambitious railway ever constructed." The original economic design of the company was collective and community oriented. It envisioned a home owning class of small farmers who would grow cane for the mill. This was based on a belief that Hawaii's prosperity in the long run would depend on the production of crops by small independent farmers who owned or leased the land the y cultivated. This was a radical departure from the ideas of the old plantation system, which opposed both independent cane growers and diversification. In essence, the Puna district was radical from the beginning ("Puna Sugar Company", 2004). Sugar in Pu na went through ups and downs. At its high point, plantation fields extended for ten miles along both sides of the Hilo Volcano highway, as well as into the Pahoa and Kapoho areas of the Puna District. Olaa Sugar Mill changed its name to Puna Sugar Compa ny in 1960 following a slump, and resurfaced with strength following internal changes. In 1969, Puna Sugar Company became a subsidiary of American Factors (AMFAC) in a buyout of minority shareholders. Then, in the 1980's, high fructose corn syrup and art ificial sweeteners began to erode the sugar market. Shutdown of the Puna Sugar Company began in 1982. AMFAC's severance package, which included a gift of five acres of land for each employee and a donation of $2 million towards improvement costs of the l and, is considered a source of the high Filipino concentration in Puna (Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, and off island Hawaiians were originally recruited from abroad as sugar workers). The last worker was gone by 1984.


78 The entire sugar mill was sold to Fi ji Sugar Corporation, Ltd. in 1988 and Hawaiian Electric Light Company took over the power plant ("Puna Sugar Company", 2004). Former Puna Sugar Company supervisor Hiroo Sato, who wrote a history called "Pahoa Yesterday," said the biggest change in the tow n's history was th e closing of Puna Sugar in 1984 (Thompson, 2003). Pahoa, though its population has never gone much beyond 1,000, was and is the urban center of lower Puna. Pahoa had been a "company town", and workers lost more than a job when it closed In classic paternal business form, the sugar company had built housing, sponsored sports leagues, paid for medical care, and through these efforts underwritten the to wn's character and cohesiveness (Thompson, 2003). Also, union efforts beginning in the 1930's had made Puna's sugar workers some of the most highl y paid farmworkers in the world (Bacon, 1995). With sugar becoming less economically viable and the loss of affluence a concern, Pahoa's burgeoning marijuana industry began filling the gap (Thomp son, 2003). Rise of the Puna C ounterculture Punatic : A deadbeat person living in Puna (An area in Hawaii) Often living on welfare and stoned into oblivion. Most punatics are unemployed Caucasian jungle dwellers with open relationships. ("Punatic", 2008 ) Puna's reputation as a hippy haven had started with a slow trickle of alternativ e types beginning in the 1970's (Thompson, 2003). Sugar interests at that time had reached the edge of lowe r Puna but gone no further the lava rock of the Kilauea East Rift Zone is ultimately a rich source of nutrients and cation exchange for the building of soils, but it takes about 1000 years for this process to begin (Thomas, 1987), so most of the flows on the rift zone in lower Puna wer e of no use to sugar farmers. Becau se of this, t he lava fields of lower Puna are something of a final frontier on U.S. soil, with no


79 apparent economic use for capitalism. Subdivisions had been created in the 60's and early 70's when sugar was at its peak, but without infrastructure, nearby employment opportunities or the attraction of dry, sunny weather and white sandy beaches, migration to lower Puna was scant outside the changing populations of sugar workers. Enter the counterculture. Dirt cheap land in the tropics with little policin g, zoning laws, or other interference from mainstream corporate America was a flower power paradise for a fair share of offbeat adventurers hoping to settle into an alternative "good life". Land prices, already low, hit rock bottom in the mid eighties wit h the fall of sugar and the renewed flowing of lava from Kilauea. As former sugar workers sold their land and left, the hippies bought it up. Land prices and capital development interests in Puna would sink even further in 1990's following the destructio n of the village of Kalapana by the same, cont inuing lava flow from Kilauea that had begun in 1983 Thus, Puna held the necessary prerequisites of availability of open land, lack of rigid social limitations, and other historical peculiarities noted by aut hors such as Hicks (2001) and Edgerton (1977) to be typical attractions for communitarian imaginations. When the hippies arrived, they found a number of compelling reasons to equate Puna environment and geography with their visions of paradise. For one, i slands in general and tropical islands in particular have, in the Western mind, long been isolated and peripheral s both dear and fragile while at the same time offered possibilities of environmental abundance and benevolence (Grove, 1995). Simultaneously, the flowing lavas of the Kilauea and


80 considered by Eliade (1991) to embody characteristics that lent credibility to beliefs that they were centers of sacredness and locations of accessibility to the supernatural world. Such locations provide apt settings for the construction of utop ian communities imbibed with religious ideologies and images. Like many community experiments of the 1970's, failures were common as dreams of "living from the land" fell apart in the realities of the rainy rocky fern forest slopes of the rift zone. But s ome things were easier to grow and make a living from than others, and by the early 80's, the flow of "Puna butter" was an important source of income for many. At its peak, Hawaii's marijuana business was estimated to be worth on e billion dollars annually Puna butter was supposedly acknowledged by the DEA to be the strongest recreational strain of marijuana grown. ("History, Biology, Geology", 2012). "This town had a boom because of it," notes a long time Pahoa resident and store owner. "A lot of busines ses that got st arted, got started on pot money (Thompson, 2003). The pot trade also has been attributed to the relaxed atmosphere in Puna regarding relations between locals and "haoles." 1 Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. in which Caucasians are a min ority ethnic division, and anti Caucasian sentiments are known to be strong in many parts of the Hawaiian islands. Asian natives and Pacific Islanders form the largest resident ethnic group in Pahoa, but the role of Puna butter helped to create common gro und between loc als and the alternative haoles and Puna 1 "haole" is a somewhat derogatory term usually intended to refer to Caucasian individuals from the "mainland" (the continental Uni ted States) to visit or live in Hawaii ; in many parts of Hawaii, there is active voiced resentment against "haolies" and their connection to the 1893 overthrow of Hawaii by the U.S. government and the subsequent encroachment of "mainland" culture in Hawai i


81 gained a reputation for being accepting of all l ifestyles. Haoles and non Caucasian locals alike put on their best Hawaiian pidgin accents when proclaiming Pahoa's marijuana pride: "ain't nuttin' bet tah than Puna buttah, braddah." With its hot, humid environment, Puna was perfect growing conditions for high quality pot. Black buckets filled with good dirt and new seedlings hid well against a background of lava rock and ferns. Constant rainfall and a lack of human presence in most parts of Puna ensured little need for maintenance; a grower could walk away from a new seedling and return a few months later to harvest. The native hardwood Ohia trees that sprout amidst the ferns have few side branches a nd allow large amounts of sunlight through to new growing plants, while the precarious lava rock makes discovery by police foot patrol a near impossibility. This same quality of the fern ohia lava forest allowed for the huge success of Hawaii's anti mariju ana program Operation Green Harvest. Helicopters flying ove r the area have an easy time spying marijuana leaves amidst the monotonous and canopy less fern ohia background. When performing this work, helicopters often fly over residential areas at al titud es of less than 50 feet; as a result, c ommunity campaigns in Puna and the rest of the Big Island have fought the operations with some success on the grounds of noise pollution and invasion of privacy (Borreca, 2000). Nonetheless, the Operation has done a g reat deal to undercut the flow of marijuana as an important economic source of Puna (Borreca, 2000) but as the saying still goes, "everybody knows that everybody grows". With the downfall of sugar cane, and the curbing of the marijuana industry, the Puna e conomy took off into agriculture and tourism. Puna became the nation's top


82 grower of papayas and a world center for Anthurium flowers. Following agriculture, tourism was Puna's biggest product, especially in the form of ecotourism and agricultural touris m. The tourism boom led to a 17.27% job growth rate projectio n in 2007 ("Big Island: Tourism", 2007). Puna, which literally means "spring", is home to natural hot ponds of water heated by the volcano underneath, as well as numerous volcanic steam vents t hat serve as natural saunas. So the same volcanic qualities that kept out tourism for so long now make Puna an attraction as the embodiment of an alternative, undiscovered, "old Hawaii"; Pahoa is touted alternately as the most scenic town in the state of Hawaii, and as a place where the 60's never ended ("Pahoa, Hawaii County", 2007) As the communitarians found more and more visitors at their jungle frontier doorsteps, they responded with offerings of work exchange and vacation stays. The contemporary re sult is a dense network of properties committed to community forms of alternative living, including many which utilize the permaculture model or at least the permaculture trope, that have emerged within the last 15 years. These communities exist in variou s stages of maturity and autonomy alongside a growing number of conventional households. Most permaculture communities offer some combination of room, board, and/or lessons in alternative living in exchange for work and/or cash. A picture of the uniquenes s of the Puna tourism industry can be first assessed by realizing that although bed and breakfast accomodations make up less than 3% of Hawaii's tourism industry, it is the main type of tourism in Puna. Puna's alternative lifestyle network has ingrained i tself into this economy, with various low budget establishments offering room, board, and lessons in alternative living, in exchange for


83 work and cash. Establishments distinguish themselves from one another through a wide range of ideological and philosop hical themes, from "anthropocentric" Christian evangelical themed conventional lodgings to "ecocentric" pagan raw food eco tent lodgings. The more "ecocentric" outfits tend to be central players in the radical environmental community network here. How str ong is this alternative network in Puna? For a 4 year period between 1999 and 2003 after the expansion of the Island Naturals health food store and before the opening of the new Malama Market supermarket, Pahoa was one of the few, if not the only, town i n Ameri ca where the health food store wa s bigger than the conventional grocery store. The organic farm work exchange scene here is so strong that 22 of Hawaii's 69 organic farm work exchange opportunities listed with WWOOF are based in Puna 2 Of Hawaii's 24 intentional communities listed with the FIC (the Federation of Intentional Com munities), 13 are found in Puna ("Geographic Community List", 2007). Puna's counterculture communities are small in number compared to city based pockets of counterculture o f such as Berkeley, California or Portland, Oregon, or Seattle, Washington each with 20 to 30 communities ("Geographic Community List, 2007) However, the contrast changes when considered on a per capita basis. Puna's 13 communities are spread among a p opulation of 20,000 over a land area of 500 square miles at 40 people per square mile; similar land areas in city based counterculture centers hold half a million or mor e people in densities from 4000 to 10,000 people per 2 WWOOF, which stands for Worldwide Opportunites on Organic Farms, is the dominant global network for the organic farm work exchange scene. Due to its popularity, Hawaii was in recent years the only state listed separately from the rest of the U.S. by W WOOF.


84 square mile. In other words, the Puna district may very well have the highest per capita concentration of Western counterculture on the planet. Coinciding with the rise in agriculture and tourism was a slowly building infrastructure, and with it a slow leaking of the secret of Puna's chea p real estate deals. By the turn of the millenium, sugar woes, lava flows, and geothermal blowouts were the worries of a decade passed. In the '90's, a typical acre of lush rainforest in Leilani Estates subdivision ran between $5000 and $10000. By 2000, prices had doubled, and by 2004, the word was out. In the beginning of the year, rumours spread that a top business magazine 3 had declared the Puna district the last place in the U.S. to make a killing in real estate. In April, Donald Trump appeared on t he Oprah Winfrey Show and told viewers that "lower Puna" was the bes t real estate buy in the nation ("Coconut Wireless", 2005). A summer real estate frenzy ensued, and suddenly Puna was a Hawaii superlative: fastest population growth, fastest rise in rea l estate prices, fastest growing economy. By the summer of 2006, bottom end one acre lots in Leilani were selling for $35,000, with lush rainforest lots priced at $60,000 and above. Puna was hot, and everybody, including the communitarians, responde d to the rush by raising prices and increasing advertising. When the bubble popped, real estate prices and work trade prices plunged while the invigorated communitarian back to the land work trade scene remained and continues to remain stronger than ever. 3 Rumors will name either Forbes or Fortune; while both include Puna and Hilo in various superlative rankings over the last ten years, my own research did not uncover anything for 2004


85 Utop ian I deology in Puna Would you like to live as a responsible steward of the Earth while still maintaining a level of material comfort you feel happy with? Would you like to be surrounded by a cooperative culture that shares your joys and sorrows, supports you in all areas of life, and provides day to day social intimacy? Would you like to be 100% integrated with Spirit in your daily life? If you are longing for these things, you are not alone. Many, many people are plagued by a gnawing sense that things could be A LOT serving all the way around. But the enormity of to make this shift happen can seem overwhelming. Is there anything one person can do to really make a difference? ("What is Gaia Yoga?", 2007) These words from Ano Tarl etz's website introduce the web surfer or potential tourist to the theme of Ano's 18 ac re opus, Gaia Yoga Gardens. A self described "sustainable lifestyle pioneer", Ano chases this dream while offering vacation stays, internships, work exchange, and classes and workshops in nonviolent communication, biodiesel, healthy lifestyles, and holist ic and sustainable living. Ano lists Gaia Yoga Gardens' goals as "living simply, sustainably, and connected to nature living a lifestyle that cultivates a healthy self establishing a land sharing community that's intimate, caring, and feels li ke family integrating spirituality into our communal life. ("GaiaYoga Gardens", 2011) Gaia Yoga Gardens is just down the road from Pangaia. Ano began his lifestyle as a Punatic ("we're all here because we're not all there") after fleeing suburban l ife and joining Pangaia, a nearby permaculture establishment that began in 1991 on three acres of land bought by Manis Martin. Pangaia began as a self styled utopian experiment:


86 One day things will be simple, one day they're gonna be fine, one day when we've all learned to live together and live with the land ("Pangaia: The Land", 2007) 4 These words, from a poem written by an early Pangaist, reflect much of Puna's initial visions of ecotopia. But what began as an optimistic experiment at Pangaia turned into what permaculture pop hero Doug Bullock calls "the best example of a humid tropical permaculture in Hawaii" ("Pangaia: Permaculture", 2007) Pangaia's self advertisement on their website describes the archetype of Puna esque "ecotopia", a sacred retu rn to the Garden of Eden: On retreat at Pangaia you can experience yourself in primal terms a simple, direct relationship to your body on the nurturing earth, together with a small, local, tribe. Your experience will be g reatly served by Pangaia itself a b eautiful, fruitful conscious sustainable permaculture farm and homestead, rich with countless trees and plants bearing all kinds of food, spirit s earth, air, fire and water. ("Pang aia: Primal Living", 2007) Pangaia had advantages right from the start. Manis bought his land on the famous Papaya Farms Road, an area of Kapoho that was covered with up to six feet of light volcanic cinder pebbles, flying topsoil, and uprooted vegetation during the 1960 eruption that destroyed Kapoho village ("Puna Eruption at Kapoho", 2009) Thirty years later, the result was unbelievable growing conditions that delighted the original Pangaians when they began planting their paradise. The image of Eden got another powerful boost in 1997 that demonstrated the connection between Puna's back to the land attempts and local indigenous traditions: 4 As of 2010, Pangaia is no longer a functioning community and it s website is defunct; however you can see the original owner of Pangaia performing the song in 2009 at:


87 For years, we were working and living on this parcel, planting trees and increasing the fertility of the soil. Di rectly behind our land was a large lease lot. The owner of this land, an older Hawaiian man, saw the work we were doing and saw how we respected 'the aina', or the land he offered Pangaia a [free] 100 year l ease of his 60 adjoining acres. ("Pangaia: Land", 2007) Things were never the same again, and the amazing combination of events which allowed Pangaia such an incredible version of "ecotopia" now allows them to charge the highest work exchange prices in Puna for a taste of their paradise. Pangaia's version of permaculture demonstrates the highly sacred dimensions that are commonly infused into the permaculture lifestyle: For us, permaculture is a very organic conversation between people, plants, animals, and the land. It takes deep listening and expr ession of needs. It involves creativity, persistence, patience, planning, and letting go of plans. At times this conversation becomes a beautiful song or a symphony, yet at other times we find we are not as tuned in to the land like to b e. ("Pangaia: Permaculture", 2007) This role that biocentric spirituality is believed to play in human attempts to harmonize with the environment is a common theme among permaculturalists: What is vitally important is that we return to right relations with the earth and with the intricate web of life she has created. Permaculture gives us tools we need to proactively address the escalating environmental crisis, but it is much more than a set of tools, it is an expression of mindfulness and revere nce for th e sacredness of life. ("La'akea Community", 2007) These words come from the website for La'akea Community. La'akea's 32 acres of land was purchased in 1992 by Dr. Beatrix Pfleiderer. La'akea's residents are older than most of the rest of Puna's countercu ltural denizens; comprised of and attracting some of the wisest and most famous within the permaculture circuit, La'akea carries considerable weight within the international permaculture circuit. Decisionmaking at La'akea often takes place in "board meeti ngs" and "finance discussions" but the connection between community, nature, and spirituality is just as strong.


88 Puna, away from the lava soils and warmth, up in the rain and deep er soils, is Malu and as: We are a spiritual community based on peace, justice, an d sustainable for the land), a deeper understanding of non on the farm involves ph ysical labor and simple living. ("Malu Aina: About Us", 2012) This idea that long hours of menial labor can be construed as the "good life" draws from a long history of American protestant homestead laboring (Nearing and Nearing, 1970, 1979), which attempts to turn work into spiritual recreation. Unlike many permaculture communities which remain secular in spirit albeit spiritual in their secularity, Malu Aina openly claims religious roots in Christian faith when describing its vision for utopian hope in the face of current dystopia. Like many here, he mixes Hawaiian wor ds into his spiritual message to show his respect for traditional Hawaiian culture and the topophilic connection to the land that indigenous Hawaiian culture symbolizes: Together, by the grace of God, we will continue to stand up for justice and peace in t he face of war, military occupation, and increasing restrictions on destruction? When all is said and done, it comes down to a matter of faith. Faith reminds us that small things ca n and do make a difference. A large tree grows from a small seed. Our job is to plant seeds, nurture them to the best of our ability, and trust that God Ke Akua separate and distance ourselves from Ke Akua, from one another and the earth, we become arrogant; we lose our vision, our humanity, our faith, and our way back to you, back to the earth we share with one another, and back to all people and life on the planet. ("Malu Aina", 2007)


89 While Malu Aina is an ecumenical, plural community advocating religious tolerance, Albertini says that the founding core members of Kumu Aina are Catholic Worker and Gandhian non ("Malu Aina", 2007). This is significant when capitalist, since Catholic Workers specify a program of manual labor and voluntary poverty as a key to salvation while simultaneously warning against the wrongs brought about by capitalism and the glo bal economy. This ability to tie permaculture to the efforts of an organized Christianity parallels the role of Christian Workers in utopian socialist theolo gies of liberation in Central and South A merica (Gutierrez, 1972) and is similar in logic to the way Christian views of mil lennialism and apocalypticism become tied to various Latin American utopian movements (Graziano, 1999). System: The Permaculture App roach to Human/ Environmental Relations Overview of Permaculture: The Countercultural Implications of an E thic al Imperative for S ustainab le D esign (University of Florida c lassmate responding to my question of why my research subjects choose to live in the jungle, eat raw me at, and forego Western medicine) All great truths begin as blasphemies. George Bernard Shaw, a s quoted at a permaculture listserv In attempting to describe permacultu re comment s on the substantial difference between deep ecology as it is understood by academic theorists and philosophers and deep ecology as it is understood by gras sroots activists and on the ground laypersons. A similar lesson can be applied to permaculture. There is a difference between how permaculture is perceived by its original founders and how it is perceived by on the ground permaculture practitioners in


90 Puna; moreover, the ideals intended to be brought about by the practice of permaculture differ significantly from the scene which results from actual on the ground engagement in permaculture practice in the Puna district. What I will attempt to show in this section is how permaculture, conceived as an e nvironmental design model for sustainable consumption, is readily translated into a symbol of and platform for the expression of nature spirituality, utopian and millenarian beliefs, radical environmental politics, and countercultural sentiments in general Coined by Bill Mollison in 1972 and initially developed by Mollison along with David Holmgren, permaculture in its basic form is simply a conceptual tool for designing sustainable human environmental systems : Permaculture is the conscious design and mai ntenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non mate rial needs in a sustainable way. (Mollison, 1994 pg. ix ) This description accurately reflects the day to day focus on agricultural activity that take s place within the typical permaculture community The most standardized expression of this agricultural f ocus on the permaculture scene which perhaps serves a normative anchor in permaculture's sea of drifting connotations, is the Permacultur e Design course and subsequent c ertificates offered through various groups and institutions. The first course, taught by Mollison in January 1981, paved the way for the institutionalization of permaculture, offering some the opportunity to make a living in the permaculture world through teaching and charging for courses. While versions of the courses certainly vary ( wel l known New Age author Starhawk offers a certifying course that is known to be heavily laced with earth based spirituality) the basic form remains committed to a hands on praxis of sustainable construction, landscaping planting, and


91 food growing techniques along with pragmatic tips and practice sessions for successful community organization and communication. However, it is important to note that Mollison's overarching directive guiding how permaculture will achieve its end goal turns out not to be a sci entific or design principle but an ethical imperative to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children" (Mollison, 1990, pg 1). His tripartate code of permaculture, oft repeated in the literature, is stated as "care for the earth," "care of people," and "setting limits to population and consumption" (Mollison, 1990, pg. 2). Holmgren's writi ngs expand on the spiritual principles inherent in this ethical code of permaculture and its relationship to the goal of environmental sustainab il ity and sustainable consumption : Spiritual beliefs about a higher purpose in nature have been universal and defining features of all cultures before scientific rationalism. We ignore this aspect of sustainable cultures at our peril the more we un derstand the world through the lens of system thinking and ecology, the more we see the wisdom in spiritual perspectives and traditions an organic growth of spirituality from ecological foundations promises more hope for the world than the increasing ly strident clashes between religious a nd scientific fundamentalism. (Mollison, 1990, pgs. 2 3) In seeking to achieve sustainability through returning to an ancient spiritual orientation t o nature, permaculture's steps to sustainability envision a communal solution that see principles of grassroots, bottom up, human environmental socialism and communalism as a path not just away from capitalism but specifically back towards This facet of permaculture, in which right action can help bri ng about an original state of harmony, demonstrates its congruency with utopian a nd millenarian ideals. It also helps to explain why many envision the practice of permaculture as a radical and meaningful form of political action; indeed, Mollison's


92 princi ple of cooperation can be readily seen to overlap with anarcho communist view s of the biological world famously expressed in the past by influential political writers such as Kropotkin (1955) : C ooperation, not competition, is the very basis of existing li fe systems and of future sur vival. (Mollison, 1990, pg 2) L ife forms of very different qualities may interact beneficially with one another and with their physical environment. (Mollison, 1994, pg 51) Mollison emphasizes his belief that nature is an un governed system of cooperation by quoting Lewi s Thomas from Lives of a Cell: he bacteria live by collaboration, acco mmodation, exchange, and Earlier he presents his concept of the ultimate goal of dismantled govern ment institutions in human systems: The policy of responsibility (to relinquish power): the role of beneficial authority is to return function and responsibility to life and to people; if successful, no further authority is needed. (Mollison, 1994, pg. 1 1) This anarchist bent overlaps with vision s of natural harmony also expressed by representatives of neo primitivist and radical environmentalist movements. Like these groups permaculturalists often glorify the natural harmony of earlier cultures, especia lly pre industrial cultures, yet also tend to optimistically recognize the possibility for a brighter, non apocalyptic future which incorporates aspects of present day knowledge and culture: When we left our tribal life we left with it all guides to sensib le behavior in the natural world, of which we are par t and in which we live and die. (Mollison, 1994, pg. 10) Most indigenous and traditional cultures have come far closer to understanding this art and embodying an integration of the entire matrix than ou r fragmented culture of today. Indeed, we have much to learn from our cultural ancestors. Yet GaiaYoga is not about 'going back' to what has


93 been in the past. Why? Because the 'whole' of today encompasses much more than the 'whole' of previous times. We've evolved significantly in many, many aspects of life The beast that's been created requires an entirely different kind of 'lion tame r' than has ever existed before. (Ta rletz and Kirkel, 2007, pg. 23) Permaculture's emphasis on cooperation and c ommunity combined with its reverence for traditional indigenous practices and the ontological implications which result use of Lovelock's "Gaia" terminology (described in the next section) to explain the systems view of human environmental systems allows it to become closely identified with the blossoming ecovillage models and spiritual environmental phi losophies being actively espoused by many Northern c ounterculture communitarian groups as well as many Southe rn indige nous rights movements These groups and movements find common ground in the anti capitalist sentiments of permaculture and its ethical imperative to resist the destructive production and consumptive practices associated with dominant Western culture. Through merging qualities of science, s pirituality, radical politics, and utopianism into a practical approach that promises liberation from social and environmental degradation, the permaculture trope has thus found popularity as an authoritative reference for legitimizing the role of religiou sly inspired utopian, millenarian, and apocalyptic thinking in back to the land, simple living and indigenous agricultural movements around the world. In each case, the permaculture trope serves as a n ethical, utopian binder for various anti hegemonic fa ctions and ideologies that might otherwise find themselves fragmented. David Holmgren ackn owledges in his own writings this decidedly countercultural basis of permaculture: P ermaculture has provided a holistic framework for reorganising the lives and valu es of a small minority ready for more fundamental change. This has been particularly so for the minority of young people disillusioned with the conservative consumer youth culture of the late twentieth century T his subcultural or countercultural as pect of permaculture has facilitated the


94 experimentation and pioneering of lifestyle models directe d by the ecological imperative. (Holmgren, 2002, pg s. xxi xxii) Permaculture's overall reach is international in scope and increasingly extends to highly pr actical initiatives in the developing world where the availability of food, shelter, and financial security are the critical issues at hand. Thus, in Indonesia, we find the Yayasan IDEP Foundation (IDEP stands for Indonesian Development of Education and P ermaculture) working as a tsunami relief agency to rebuild the Aceh Peninsula hit by credit cooperative appea ring in the mid Porto Alegre by building demonstration timber and mud sh elters (Williams, 2008). O n the Deccan Peninsula a few hours north of Hyperabad, India, Mollison himself worked with l hard ba known Sexto Sol project in Chiapas, Mexico, continues to use the permaculture trope when describing its attempt to reco nstruct self sufficient food systems for rural indigenous groups as an answer to the problems associated with mono crop corn production (Sexto Sol, 2012). In the industrialized Western world, the permaculture concept is a popular symbol of the urba nite uto pian imagination. Permaculture Magazine in Great Britain targets urban and suburban contigents of progressive liberals and it subculture and affiliates itself with everything from fair trade gas companies and telephone company coopera tives to Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Federation ("Permaculture", 2012). The U.S. counterpart magazine Permaculture Activist features by


95 rising human population, global temperature, CO2 emissions and waste production alongside its plummeting species numbers, forest cover, and oil reserves ("Permaculture Activist", 2012) hegemonic representation may be its most significa nt and promising feature. In the United States, Austr alia, and Great Britain it becomes aligned with organic and biodynamic farming initiatives, voluntary simplicity movements, neo pagan movements, radical environmentalism, and even a few punk versions of DI Y sub culture. In Hawaii it serves as a social and conceptual bridge which links various communities engaged in social activism, primitivism, the raw food movment, and back to the land homesteading all of which sim ultaneously feature the Permaculture a s a Utopian, Millenarian F orm of Nature Spirituality While both Mollison and Holmgren have expressed belief in the utility of a spiritual approach to natu re appreciation, both have been careful to disclaim any religious roots behind their own personal appreciation for nature: F or the present, my own interpretation of the ethical principles of permaculture rests firmly on rational and humanist found ations. (Holmgren, 2002, pg. 3) P hilosopher gardeners, or farmer poets, are distinguished by their sense of wonder and real feeling for the environment. When religions cease to obliterate trees in order to build temples or human artifacts, and instead generalize l ove and respect for all living systems as a witness to the potential of creation, they too will join the many of us now deeply appreciating the complexity and self sustaining properties of natural syste ms. (Mollison, 1994, pg. 59) However, while the founde rs of permaculture maintain a practica l, A pollonian approach to nature parallel in many ways to Aldo Leopold's (1949) land care ethic, it is increasingly evident that permaculture as a trope and meme now flows through the


96 global ideoscape 5 as a sign of cou ntercultural endeavors and nature spirituality as much as an environmental systems design. Permaculture's meaning has taken flight past an magazines, and its ongoing u se within the countercultural ecovillage network. In these less authoritative arenas, perm aculture discourse spiked with D ionysian nature spirituality often flows freely: 'Gaia' is the name for the living, sentient, conscious Earth, with her own spirit, i dentity and destiny as a planet being. ( Tarletz and Kirkel, 2007, pg 7) We are of the Earth and cannot separate ourselves from it and everything around us. We seem to forget We (humans) are animals too!!! As PCers [e.g., permaculturalists] we design rela tionships, connections, and guilds into every part of our homesites. We therefore cannot separate ourselves from Spirit (God/dess, Great Spirit, C reator et al). (Don, 2007 online ) On the ground, the full pursuit of a permaculture lifestyle often blends im perceptibly into the ecovillage format of intentional community. The social network of a permaculture community or individual typically includes strong connections to other eco spiritual communitarians and communities, who are distinguishable from permacu lturalists in trope use but are often otherwise very similar in daily practice, community design, and eco spiritual tone: We are also deeply in love with the Earth Mother and her old pagan religion, with the moon and the trees and with all of wild nature, and we worship when the moon is full and sometimes on the old festivals of the sun, too Our commune is our home and our tribe and the home of the 5 tion address global cultural flows that that often relate to political ideologies; it is the landscape within which global ideologies compete.


97 Earth Mother. (S tatement from the now defunct Selene Community of Wales, Great Britain, as quoted in Mu sgrove, 1974, pg s. 32 33) Within these social networks, both self described permaculturalists and non permaculture brethren practicing eco spiritual communitarian living may name similar themes of inspiration. In my own interviews of Puna's permaculturalis ts, thr ee book titles mentioned by more than one interviewee as important sources of personal inspiration were Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael", Riane Eisler's "The Chalice and the Blade", and Dorothy Bryant's "The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You." These books co mmon theme s o f egalitarian eco spiritual utopia demonstrate a solidarity of vision among those who become inspired by the liberating potential offered through permaculture philosophy and community design. Millenarian beliefs pervade the typical permacultur e community. Permaculturalists may see the possibility of future apocalypse, yet tend to have an optimistic view which recognizes a path of escape through personal will. This tendency was reflected particularly strongly in my own research through in dept h interviews of individuals actively engaged in the permaculture lif estyle; among Puna's permaculture practictioners, the vast majority express optimism regarding the possibility that human choice can play a significant role in the avoidance of a future en vironmental apocalypse Mollison expresses this role of human will as a necessary choice and possible hope for impeding an impending dystopia and apocalypse: We can either ignore the madness of uncontrolled industrial growth and defense spending that is i n small bites, or large catastrophes, eroding life forms every day, or tak e the path to life and survival. (Mollison, 1994, p50) David Holmgren also expresses an optimistic, anti apocalyptic view regarding the radical environmental vision of a great futur e die off:


98 I think the die off scenario and that provocative wake up call is really useful, and I think it can't be completely discounted. A large and very catastrophic drop in populations, like bigger versions of what happened in Europe with the Black D eath, could be likely through infectious diseases. The evidence points to a re emergence of infectious diseases, both old ones and new ones. So these possibilities are there, but I think they get confabulated. Just a decline in material affluence back to t he levels of the 1930s would be seen by many people as the die off scenario. So, in that sense I think people should expect radical changes and a lot of things that are taken for granted now might just disapp ear and evaporate. (Holmgren as quo ted in Fender son, 2004 ) Holmgren's permaculture philosophy goes so far as to portray humanity's fossil fuel era as being in line with a system of long term benefits for Gaia: Given that fossil fuels represent hundreds of millions of years of stored energy effectively the surplus of the abundance of Gaia as a self organizing organism, the living earth. You could say that now we've dug it all out again, in a way we've done nature's task humanity's task is now over. We've put it all back into the atmosphere, recycled all the biological elements, and nature will now use that to develop to a higher level of energy. And humans will just be swept away in that (Holmgren as quo ted in Fenderson, 2004 ) 6 The a nti capitalist principles underscoring such views can once again be trac ed b describes the benefits of : The p resent focus on plugging into the globalised market turning survival into a commodit y many can't afford, planting monoculture crops for long distance export, dismantling local economies and driving droves of rural refugees into urban slums in the process. (Celcias, 2008 paraphrasing Mollison ) Instead, permaculture offers a panacean cor nucopia of soluti ons to the woes of the world: 6 Note that systems ecologist D r. Mark Brown of the University of Florida similarly mentions this role of humans in the long term benefits of carbon release (in terms of potential future circulating biomass) during his graduate systems ecology lecture courses.


99 H ere we see a 'complete' solution, one that solves several problems in one hit: biodiversity, climate change, food security, food miles and economic vulnerability. The only losers here are the mega corporatio ns that lose sales on GMO seeds, pesticides, herbicides and heavy machinery (emphasis on losers). (Celcias, 2008) Thus, permaculture has deep millenarian roots. Through cooperation and hard y returning to the behaviors of a natural past in order to prepare for the future. In the case of permaculture, environment is the godhead, and thus it is nature that will make the changes leading to destruction of the current order while the chosen few t oil on in relative glory. The first step is immersion in a world free from the trappings of modernity and capitalism: Pangaia is a place where you will discover how you feel when your consciousness stops getting a constant dose of automobiles, traffic, c ell phones, faxes, interruptions, advertisemen ts and commercial transactions. ("Pangaia: Primal Living", 2007) This heightened consciousness, free from the confusion of capitalism's technology, is the original "state of nature", a la Rousseau. The anti ca pitalist anti consumer implications of such sentiments imply that a lost connection to both Earth and Spirit can be refound through engaging in an energetic, hands on discourse with the land: Our vision is of unity with Gaia, the Earth mother, and with ea ch other; a full and complete expression of who we are through our work, art, and play. (Pangaia, 2007) Permaculture's tend ency towards religiosity find s much of its roots in the systems ecology concept of the planet Earth as a self regulating sustainer of life. Both Mollison and Holmgren credit H.T. Odum's (1971) work in systems ecology and energy flow, along with James Lovelock's (1979) Gaia hypothesis of the Earth as self regulating, as

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100 main inspirations for their permaculture vision of sustainability ba sed on systems thinking 7 Mollison (1994) describes the Lovelock's Gaia concept as "a philosophy, or insight, which links science and tribal beliefs" (pg 51), seeing "Earth, and the universe, as a thought process, or as a self regulating, self constructed and reactive system" (pg 51). In this concept, moral responsibility is required to a ddress the possible threat of im balance which man presents to Gaia: "humanity, however, in its present mindlessness, may be one disturbance that the Earth cannot tolerat e" (p g. 52). Lovelock himself presented the Gaia model as an alternative to the model of man versus/subduing nature, as well as an alternative to a scientifically induced, non teleological, existential melancholy and thus infused a countercultural, bohem ian sentiment into the theory from the very start : The Gaia hypothesis is for those who like to walk or simply stand and stare, to wonder about the Earth and the life it bears, and to speculate about the consequences of our own presence here. It is an al ternative to that pessimistic view which sees nature as a primitive force to be subdued and conquered. It is also an alternative to that equally depressing picture of our planet as a demented spaceship, forever traveling, driverless and purposeless, ar oun d an inner circle of the sun. (J.E. Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth as quoted in Mollison, 1990, pg. 2) As with the ecovillage concept, the permaculture concept as seen through the lens of the Gaia theory can be understood to represent an ide ological offer of ontological spiritual meaning meant to counter to the lifeworld colonizing effects of a godless capitalist culture. Use of the term "Gaia" in everyday speech within the permaculture 7 Comparing the role of th ese two influences on Mollison and Holmgren Mollison's writings place more emphasis on Lovelock and his Gaia hypothesis while Holmgren particularly emphasizes H.T. Odum and his systems energy flow concepts. Both Odum and Lovelock offered views of enviro nmental systems as cybernetic organisms, and Odum directly mentions Lovelock and the Gaia principle in the last few pages of his 1996 book on Environmental Accounting.

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101 community thus usually signifies a countercultural form of ontological understanding, rife with a pattern of spiritual beliefs about n ature that erupt as part of an anti hegemonic movement against mainstream secular and deist culture, in which man is given dominion over nature. Instead, nature is seen to oper ate at a level above human scale a higher order of occurrence: That's at the God level, perhaps. That's for the earth to decide, anyway. We can't do anything about that, we're not God, we're not Gaia, yet we're understanding systems at a scale which are well above our capa city to have any influence over. (Holmgren, as quoted in Fenderson, 2004) T he Earth is our elder, our source. She will be here long after we have dissolved. How can We own Her? We are but a tiny part o f Her. ("Permaculture at Pangaia" 2007 ) environmental engineering becoming a spiritual and harmonious merging of man and nature: 'Yoga' is a San skrit word that means union or to unify with So, GaiaYoga is a path of unification that honors and celebrates our fullest relationship with Gaia. It's about our evolutionary potential as Earthlings to be divinely realized and nature based beings who coo perate with others in sustainable cultures. (Tar letz and Mercedes, 2007, pg. 7) Gardener, scientist, philosopher, poet, and adherent of religions, all can join together in admiration of, and reverence for, this Earth. (Mollison, 1994, pg. 59) We envision unity between Earth mother Gaia and ourselves. We seek a full and complete expression of our being through work, art, and play, as well as our relationships with each other. One of the most fundamental goals at Pangaia is to move toward sustainability an d harmony with our environment. (Pangaia, 2007 ) Thus, spiritu al dimensions of nature can once again be seen to be explicitly accepted and incorporated into the permaculture belief system. However, social researchers note that even among the ecovillage and communitarian crowd, a high

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102 percentage of individuals will classify themselves as nonreligious despite also subscribing to "relatively high levels of a values system with definite religious overtones" (Brinkerhoff and Jacob, 1987, pg. 78). This debate ove r whether religiosity is needed or important in the permaculture movement was the hot topic of a 2007 discussion thread at an online permaculture listserv. When one blogger identified permaculture as specifically omitting an interest in beliefs systems a nd politics and instead to be based purely on science and results, a responding blogger describing himself as a "practicing Nature worshipper and Follower of the Great God Pan" listed the numerous non fundamental Christian religions which had beliefs that influenced on the ground practice of, and showed cohesion and alignment with, the permaculture principle: Quakers, Anglicans, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, all the mainstream Protestant churches, and Catholics in the index of approved for permacultur e Christian religions? What about Holy Rollers, Pentecostals, Mormons, Jehova's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists. What about Hindus, Buddhists, followers of Islam, Zoroastrians, Rosicrucians,Ananda Marga & Self Realization Fellowship, followers of Para mahansa Yogananda, followers of Sri Ramakrishna, followers of Meher Baba, the Coptic Church, Wiccans, Pagans, Druids, worshippers of the original Greek religion whorecently practiced their rites at a Greek Temple, Jesuit Catholics, all Anglicans and Cathol ics who have taken holy orders, Nature worshippers of all sorts and Followers of the Great God Pan. TM and Moonies Ommmmm. (London, 2007 ) The same online writer followed up this religious verbiosity by noting that : R eligion or spiritualism or some longin g for the unknown and mysterious as a guiding force in one's life is important to many people who teach, practice, research and document perm aculture. (London, 2007 ) Another acknowledged Mollison's emphatic attempt to maintain a "wall of separation" betwee n permaculture and any specific belief system, but noted: I've been to plenty of [permaculture] gatherings that are strongly pagan/wiccan/New Age. (full disclosure: I'm pantheist/Buddhist myself, if

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103 I've gotta give a name to it). Starhawk's Earth Activis t Training, for example, is a [permaculture] certification course that is strongly imbued with Earth based spirituality. I don't know of any Christian or Jewish [permaculture design courses]. So why has [permaculture] become linked with New Age bel iefs? (Ano nymous, 2007a ) One online responder, a well known permaculture advocate named Toby Hemenway who later began assisting with permaculture design courses at the La'akea Permaculture Community in Puna noted that New Ager's were attracted to permaculture becau se it valorized traditional horticultural societies which : A ccording to anthropologists, tend to view all of nature as imbued with spirit. For them, God is in the rocks, the water, the plants. In most cases, a different (but ultimately interlinked) spirit is responsible for each place, each element, each plant Permaculture is an attempt to create a contemporary horticultural society although it can appeal to a wide variety of people, it is going to have a large following among people who ha ve a horticulturalist's view of spirit. That means it's going to be difficult to keep that wall of separation up. Horticultural practices and ethics will naturally be drawn to (and may even inspire) a horticulturalist spiritua lity. (Hemenway, 2007 ) A secon d responder on the connection between permaculture and New Age spirituality noted that permaculturalists find religion through reading the Book of N ature: Because Permaculture encourages observation and thinking about natural systems and the Natural Scienc es in a new way. Eventually permaculturists begin to discover things new to them, new relationships, new connections, new function and the mysteries and marvel of the Universe and Nature begin to unfold and be revealed to them. New Age beliefs dwell in thi s as do ancient belief systems. (Anonymous, 2007b) A third responder noted that her reading of Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" and her own Christianity both meshed in ways that pointed the way towards permaculture practice: A common thread in my local green/per maculture community is a strong calling from Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" to enact natural, permaculture, and especially 'old ways' sustainable ways of living. In tieing this post to the spirituality issue, I took Ishmael as actually emphasizing (or at least reinforcing) Jesus' Christianinty (not necessarily the Church's version, though); "Leave all behind and follow me" was a reminder that the natural ways that 'God' gave us are the right way. That's even an issue related

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104 to permaculture, are we acting as 'li ttle gods' in our agriculture or should we be practicing even more natural systems, focusing on harvesting wild edib les, etc. (Mykyta, 2007 ) In one of the last comments of the thread, Scott Pittman, well known director of the Permaculture Institute, upheld the non denominational character of Mollison's original permaculture ethics, but noted that if he were to give his own religious beliefs a name it would be "animism which accepts all of creation as holy, including people (Pittman, 2007a). In a critique found among many permaculturalists and well as many other countercultural environmentalists he denounced mainstream religion as : C reating a culture of self loathing among those who are resistant to the 'call' It has been in the name of spirituality that indigenous people are taught to be ashamed of their bodies, to come to believe that they are stupid, and forced to abandon the sustainable practices that have guaranteed their survival for ce nturies. (Pittman, 2007a ) Permaculture : Lived Nature Spirituali ty as a Radical Political Praxis While the potential for eco spirituality exists in many environmental movements, scholars often note the need to read between the lines to discern the spiritual and religious dimensions characterizing enviro nmental moveme nts. Taylor (2001a; 2001b ) presents an example of this in his discussion of the religious dimensions of radical environmentalists who while aggressively outspoken in their politics tend to be passively hushed, dismissive, and even ignorant of any inheren t spirituality typifying their beliefs Many are more likely to denounce any spiritual or religious roots, stepping behind a line that is overtly drawn between nature religiosity and nature appreciation. d, stands out to smack you in the face, while its characterization as political in temperament becomes convincing only after some argument. I will attempt to make that argument here.

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105 You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change thin gs, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ( Buckminster Fuller ) When the Buckminster Fuller quote above representing both permaculture's critique of protest based politics as well as its vision of progressive action, was entered by a us er into an online permaculture listserv, it instigated a long thread of responses which included the following : The effect of Permaculture worldwide is certainly more profoundly political than Students for a Democratic Society of which I was a proud membe r for several years. The primary difference being SDS was fighting against something while permaculture is fighting for something. (Tolson, 2007 ) The original question the thread had proposed was whether or not permaculture was political. This question i s a sensitive one, as permaculture is attacked by protest based groups for being politically impotent, while the importance of being politically potent is represented in the name of the most popular permaculture journal, "Permaculture Activist." For some engaging in permaculture or taking a permaculture design course is seen as a political move: To my mind the very act of enrolling for a permaculture design course is one of the most political acts most people ever en gage in. (Pittman, 2007b ) The very ac t of reading 'Permaculture A Design Manual' is extremely radical and political as the information and realizations sink in of the ultimate outcome of following the pc path. The beauty of permaculture has always meant, to me, that I can travel all over the world in some of the most brutal dictatorships espousing a revolutionary system of design and I am considered harmless by the power s that be. (Tolson, 2007 ) Another comment by Tolson (2007 ) shows how permaculture's political stance is rooted in a systems based eco spiritual view that opposes the system destroying

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106 tendencies of mainstream politics and champions a possible role of humans as corrective, homeostatic elements of the Gaia system in which they are embedded: It seems to me that dominion drives par asitic lifestyles in opposition to Gaia's life cycles. Dominion creates a death cycle, as evidenced by the ecological destruction left in its wake. Lynn Margulis says that humans, in order to join the cycles of life, must live in symbiotic relations with in Gaia (the sum total of life on Earth, perhaps in the cosmos) James Lovelock said in a recent Rolling Stone interview that humans are the brains and nervous system of Gaia. The decision to consciously join Gaia's flow seems to me profoundly political, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and mental. Friere says humans should strive to enhance our humanity Permaculture community offers us the opportunity to grow ourselves to ful lness in all of our potentials. (Tolson, 2007) Such arguments about differences in the spiritual and political character of the different environmental movements and how that impacts their overall effectiveness, are key issues that can be used to help c ontrast the more overt ly political orientation of many environmental groups with the more ascetic orientation of the typical permaculture devotee While "permaculture" as a trope and meme has yet to make itself felt on the academic stage, we can showcase its obvious parallels with existing tropes in order to demonstrate how permaculture's political side can be described, differentiated, and categorized according to existing classification schemes. Musgrove (1974 ), for one, makes a distinction between political /activist" and "expressive/aesthetic" modes of t he counter culture. On a similar vein, Yinger (1982) used Weber's account of prophetic, ascetic, and mystical religious sects to distinguish between : T he radical activist counterculturalist [as] the prophet who 'preaches, creates, or demand new obligations [and] the communitarian, seen as a type, [as] the ascetic who withdraws into a separated community

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107 where the new values can be lived out with minimum hindrance from an evil society. (Yinger, 1982, pg. 91) 8 Yinger (1982) showed parallels be tween his trip artite distinction with the psychological theories of Karen Horney (1937), who notes that neurotics struggle with anxiety by attack, withdrawal, or search for shelter and protection, and Charles S. Johnson (1934), who finds aggression, avoida nce, or acceptance as three ways that minority individuals deal with discrimination by the mainstream. Within Yinger's categories, one can thus cast the more overtly political forms of environmentalism as the archetypes of prophetic activism ( which are ps ychological expressions of attack and aggression) while permaculture lifestyles model a communal, utopian expression of withdrawal and avoidance That permaculture's countercultural style of nature ethics often finds itself at deviant odds with mainstream culture is what makes permaculture a radical alternative, and through this radicalism, a political gesture a passive, dismissive, lifestyle based "weapon of the weak" rife with "hidden transcripts" of resistance to domination (Scott, 1985; 1990) a politi cal "pedagogy of the oppressed" (Friere ; 1970 ) in which grassroots permaculture praxis is the key to freedom "Radical," according to the Second College Edition of the American Heritage dictionary, is: 1. Arising from or going to a root or source; basic. 2. Carried to the utmost limit; extreme: radical social change 3. Favoring or effecting extreme or revolutionary change s, as in political organization. (American Heritage Dictiona r y, 1982) 8 The third category the mystic was described as those who "are searching for the tr uth and for themselves ... Realization of their values requires, in their view, that they turn inward. They do not so much attack society as disregard it, insofar as they can, and float above it in search of enlightenment" (Yinger, 1982, pg. 91).

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108 This third sense of principle, which imagines an alternative to existing reality; through movement actions, reflexivity is enhanced throughout the society and a shift is willed to occur (Gusfield 1994). Brown (2002 pg. 158) notes that the social phenomenon of the intention ally designed community symbolizes and signifies "a common need to adjust to changes in the environment." Zablocki (1980) recognized the reverse: that social change catalyzed the formation of intentional communities. He identified four periods of communi ty building in the U.S.: a colonial period (1620 1776; Plymouth Colony, the Amish, Labadists, The Ephrata Cloister, the Moravian Brethren, and the Shakers), the Shaker influx of 1790 1805, the Utopian Socialist Period 1824 1848 (New Harmony, Brook Farm, On eida), and the turn of 19 20th century (1890 1915, a period of int ense b ack to the l and movements). The fifth period was recognized as the current ongoing period of community building that began during the social upheavals of the 1960's 9 Mannheim (1960 ) said that the relationship between these utopias and the existing order was an ongoing dialectical one: By this is meant that every age allows to arise (in differently located social groups) those ideas and values in which are contained in condensed form the unrealized and the unfulfilled tendencies which represent the needs of each age. These intellectual elements then become the explosive material for bursting the limits of the existing order. The existing order gives birth to utopias which in turn br eak the bonds of the existing order, leaving it free to develop in the direction of the next order of existence. ( Mannheim, 1960, pg 179) 9 This is particularly interesting when noting the various online travel guides which superlatively describe Pahoa, the main town of Lower Puna, as a town that is "lost in the sixties" (, "where the sixties never ended" (, and "with a decidedly '60's feel" (

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109 That these breaks from the existing social order were often spiritual yet sectarian in natu re was recognized by Star k (1967 ): "Sects deviate from the prevailing social order in three basic polarities: They can emphasize a glorious past, to be rediscovered and revitalized, or a glorious future, expressed in millenarian or utopian hopes (the present is repudiated). The y can adopt a ascetic or a licentious, antinomian morality (moderation is repudiated). And they can deal with the dominant society passively or violently (cooperation and negotiation are repudiated). ( Stark, 1967 pg 8 ) Permaculture's call to build spir itually endowed back to the land communities of "permanent culture" can be seen as embodying some of all of these concepts. It can be seen as a revitalization movement, taking on religious and secular characteristics which both incorporate new and reincor porate trad itional beliefs through : A deliberate, organized, conscious effort by members of a society to construct a more satisfying culture a special ki nd of culture change phenomenon. (Wallac e, 1956, pg. 265) Permaculture communities can also be seen as part of an ongoing social movement which proposes "intentional, collective efforts to transform social order" (Buechler, 2 000, pg 213). For Habermas (1984 ) such social movement actions are responses to the invasive, controlling aspects of social life in late modernity,which is characterized as large, anonymous social institutions that have become especially intrusive and invasive in the 'colonization' of the individual 's 'lifeworld.' In these new social movements, participants intend to achieve s ome degree of uniformity and thereby function as a single unit that intends to be in conflict with the colonizing actions of an established adversary; through this challenge, social movements are considered to play a significant role in the making of a new social order (Melucci, 1996). This is a good place to begin a deeper analysis of the term "ecotopia", which Anderson (197 4) utilized to describe the environmentally harmonious visions of such a

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110 new social order. Such visions look with hope towards the p romise of a non apocalyptic future, as exemplified by organizations such as the Network For a New Culture and ZEGG (a German community whose acronym translates to "Center for Experimental C ultural Design), both of which are heavily tied to the global perma culture movement and mentioned in my interviews with Puna permaculture practitioners as sources of inspiration for permaculture participation Permaculture is imagined by Kassman (1997) to be part of a "social ecology" ecotopia (the other ecotopia catego ries being mystical deep ecology and neo primitivism). Kassman (1997) identifies alternative communities, and specifically Mollison's practice of permanent agriculture, as a radical environmental praxis of social ecology. Citing Bookchin, Kassman (1997 ) describes the goal of the social ecology community to be radical political transformation through the : C reation of institutions and participation in activities outside of the dominant political system the theory behind this strategy is based upon the concept of dual revolutionary power, where counterinstitutions are organized to compete with and offer alternatives to official political institutions, economic systems, and cultural traditi ons. ( Kassman, 1997, pg. 39) Again citing Bookchin, Kassman (1997 ) notes that : T he eventual goal of these economic praxis strategies is not only freedom from the dominant economic system but the development of a consciousness of community citizenship and mutual obligation Bookchin advocates that these alterna tive community based institutions form confederations and begin to challenge the powers and functions of th e present governmental system. (Kassman, 1997, pg. 39) Along these lines Ernest Callenbach (1982), in Ecotopia Emerging, took the progressive step of outlining a strategy for how small communities could empower themselves through autonomy and thus disassociate from the United States.

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111 Callenbach's plan begins with small communities issuing declarations of independence, citing local authority and laws as having legal force above federal and state laws. Kassman (1997) notes that the County of Hawai'i attempted a version of Callenbach's vision through an official, citizen sponsored initiative in which the Big Island declared itself a nuclear free zone. The U.S. government responded to this power play by sending to Hilo Harbor a warship rumoured to be carrying nuclear free initiative was avid permaculturalist named Jim Albertini, who jumped into the harb or to protest the ship's arrival. After three minutes swimming in the harbor, he was arrested and sentenced to three years in a federal prison. Note that this is the same Jim Albertini who runs Malu Aina, a work exchange farm in the upper Puna district that is dedicat ed to sustainable living and is considered to be an example of permaculture by various permaculture practitioners whom I interviewed at various sites in lower Puna Albertini's imprisonment illustrates the difficulties activists, including e nvironmental activists, face when attempting overtly political forms of protest. 10 While this form of active political action is easily recognized and defined it is worth noting the widespread use and effectiveness of more passive forms of political resis tance by the powerless masses. Thum (2002), for instance, describes non cooperation and self reliance as Gandhian forms of political activism. Such actions are explored in depth in Friere's (1970) "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." Scott (1985 ) employs the ter m "weapons of the 10

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112 weak" to connote such tactics, which he notes to be effective due to their under the radar nature. For some, these tactics offer an emancipatory potential: It seems to me that Permaculture is a conceptual tool with which to engage a proc ess of praxis which, according to Paulo Friere ('Pedagogy of the Oppressed'), results in liberation. Praxis may, then, liberate us from dominion. Action, reflection, action; driving FOR the liberatio n of life. (Tolson, 2007 ) Buechler (2000, pg. 47) notes that new social movements, such as permaculture, can be considered to utilize such weapons: Rather than seeking power, control, or economic gain, such movements are more inclined to seek autonomy and democratization (Rucht, 1988) such a focus doe s make movements less susceptible to traditional forms of social control and cooptation by the conventional political system. ( Buechler 2000, pg. 47) He further notes : f hegemony is an important form of social power, the culturally oriented, anti hegem onic politics of many new movement s is a valid form of (Buechler, 2000, pg 47 8, quoting Nancy Whittier) The political potential for this resistance is then addressed: he ability to envision and symbolically enact new and different ways o f organizing social relationships can itself be a potent challenge to dominant (Buechler, 2000, pg. 48, quoting Melucci) Permaculture's participation in these passive political movements is morally motivated and informally maintained through the processes of modern cultural transmi ssion. Musgrove (1974 ) describes its political significance in the back to the land movement: The social scars produced by high and rising rates of economic production are, indeed, deplored by members of th e counter culture: and there is a deep awareness of the social costs of high technology. But low consumption is a tactic for attenuating social bonds and reducing dependence on the economic system (both Godwin and Rousseau advocated frugality on these gr ounds, as a means of enhancing personal freedom and autonomy). It may also be seen as a political weapon, a

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113 means of subverting an economic system which is an instrument of social injustice. ( Musgrove, 1 974, pg 17 18) Yet another means of categorizing permaculture can be found in the writings of Frederic Bender (2003) who identifies four types of radical ecology: social ecology and ecofeminism, which he considers to be wrapped up in anthropogenic, "traditional concerns of the historic Left" (Bender, 2003, p g. 339), and eco defense and bioregionalism, which he classifies together as both motivated by more ecologically oriented worldviews and both as forms of deep ecology Within these divisions, we can understand e co defense to connote the classic pra c tice of radical environmentalists : Radical environmentalism most commonly brings to mind the actions of those who break laws in dramatic displays of 'dire ct action' in defense of nature. (Taylor, 2008, pg. 27) Permaculture, on the other hand, as a back t o the land movement focused on achieving human and environmental harmony, identifies heavily with both social ecology and bioregional principles. The bioregional emphasis on sustainability, community, and spirituality, described by Taylor (2001 b ), paralle ls the emphasis of permaculture: Bioregionalists emphasize creating sustainable lifestyles and communities, one separate from the dominant society. They also tend to be more directly engaged in promoting spiritual consciousness change in various ways, of ten through over ritual work, and they are often more hopeful that positive change is possible than are most radical environmentalists. ( Taylor, 2001b pg. 225) This is in opposition to the eco defense orientation of radical environmental groups such as Ea rth First!: Earth First'ers, however, emphasize political action to defend the biotic diversity of the plan et they are generally less optimistic than bioregionalists that education and ritualizing can facilitate a dramatic enough change to arrest sp ecies extinctions (Taylor 2001 b pg. 225)

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114 Thus, bioregionalism and permaculture are very similar philosophies encouraging a very similar on the ground application as seen in this quote from a 2008 Bioregional Congress flyer which emphasizes an ethic o f lifestyle praxis and eco spirituality, along with an anti apocalyptic, moral optimism based on the possibility of a spreading trend of willed environmental praxis: Although this has a solid theoretical and academic foundation on environmental iss ues, it is primarily the work of several people who speak from living this way. It comes from households of people practicing living ecologically with a religious or spiritual fervor. I'm not exaggerating. The individual efforts to save the environment of the planet, although modest in their global outreach, are nevertheless heroic. As a matter of fact, the sum of all the individual efforts, if adopted by millions, would result in the salvation of the earth. If we take care of the quality of life for our fa mily, we are taking care of the quality of life of the community and, ultimately, for the whole world. We cannot have a global environmental spirit if we don't have it first in our dai ly, domestic and local life. (2008 Bioregional Congress flyer) While de ep ecology principles can be seen to be embedded in many politically oriented environmental movements Scarce (1990 ) comments that the political and lifestyle implications of bioregionalism are recognized by deep ecologists as : T he ideal organizing theory A bioregion's boundaries can be fixed according to ecological, philosophical, and anthropological criteria like an area's watershed, the shared sense of identification with a place, and the cultural distinctiveness of an area the actu al political process deep ecologists envision would be highly decentralized and truly democratic, allowing everyone in a community to have a say in political decisions. ( Scarce, 1990, pg. 38) These characteristics of natural boundaries and decentralized de mocracy cover both Mollison and Holmgren's permaculture vision. Additionally, permaculture as a model of community living guided by an intuitive spirituality can be seen to have close parallels with deep ecology's on the ground ideals. Scarce (1990) notes that Devall

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115 (1988) sees deep ecology's spiritual yearnings as emerging from aimless consumerist culture. He quotes Devall as saying : T he praxis of deep ecology comes from a religious and community basis. I think what is driving that is spiritual yearnin gs if our interpretations of deep ecology have been too mystical for this country, it is because t his country is so materialistic. (Devall, 1988, pgs 197 198) Scarce (1990) and Devall & Sessions (1985) both quote Arne Naess on hi s insistence that deep ecology praxis must have an essential religious component, and that this religious component must be based on : fundamental intuitions that everyone must cultivate if he or she is to have a life based on values and not function like a computer" (Deva ll and Sessions, 1985, pg 76). These emphases on non material, intuitive, value based rationality rather than material, computer like, technocratic rationality are at the heart of a deep ecology philosophy that characterize s p ermaculture belief systems. Writing for an online permaculture forum, Cereghino (2007) noted that such emphases constitute a major difference between permaculture thinking and current scientific thinking in regards to attempts to engineer sustainable human environmental systems: Sc ientific theories and data ar e useful in specific situations but I would say with confidence t hat permaculture is not science. permaculture practice leans heavily on an intimate, intuition based relationship to land that is not systematic, r e plicable, or even transferable. Furthermore I would suggest that permaculture incorporates an ethical system about 'right relationship' between people and land and th e limits of technological fixes. ( Cereghino, 2007 ) From the perspective of permacu lture, as well as many other environmentalist viewpoints such intuitive ethics forms the basis for the blossoming of a deep ecological sense of the sacred. Taylor (2008), for instance, notes that members of radical

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116 environmental groups tend to value imme rsion in nature as a way to foster this 'right relationship' which: C an be facilitated in a number of ways, but most importantly, by spending time in nature with a receptive heart, for the central spiritual episteme among radical environmentalists is that people can learn to 'listen to the land and discern its sacred voices. (Taylor, 2008, pg. 28) Scott Pittman, director of the Permaculture Institute, describes a similar role of nature immersion for permaculturalists: There has always been a tacit underst anding that one cannot spend much time in [nature] without being affected in a deep and abiding way by the experience. This is the biophilia that is necessary if we are to heal ourselves and the world. Permaculture is very explicit about biologos and imp licitly allows each of us to arrive at biophilia on our own. (Pittman, 2007a online ) Thus, similar to more overtly political environmental movements such as radical environmentalism, action and praxis constitute the core of permaculture's intended express ion. However, the classic actions symb olizing most forms of politically oriented environmentalism are contained within passing, acute events from a few minutes of billboard toppling to months of logging road standoffs to periodic petitioning, publishin g, and/or sign waving Mollison criticizes both environmental activists and conservation biologists on this count, noting: I t is hypocrisy to pretend to save forests, yet to buy daily newspapers and packaged food; to preserve native plants, yet rely on a grochemical production for food; and to adopt a diet which calls for broad scale food pr oduction. (Mollison, 1994, p g. 58) In comparison, permaculture as praxis is an ongoing everyday event in which the onus of responsibility is placed on the daily moral l ifestyle choices of the individual

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117 private citizen leading to its characterization, along with associated movements such 997 ). This demonstrates another great difference between the permacultural approach to liberation and the approach taken by more traditional politically oriented environmental movements : whether or not to take a consumer oriented approach or a producer oriented approach or a when deciding where to point the finger o f blame for environmental imbalance Street protest behaviors and paper forms of political activism can be understood to be mainly a producer oriented approach which attacks big industry and the machine of capitalism, while permaculture's focus on lifesty le change is more consumer oriented. This focus on the responsibility of the consumer is noted by Comaroff and Comaroff (2000) to be an increasing trend of late capitalism's resistance narrative as it moves from the late twentieth century into the new mil lenium in the form of new social movements and "third sector" civil society both of which have been used to classify permaculture (Thum, 2002; Doherty, 2002; Carr, 2005 )

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118 CHAPTER 4 THE ACTORS: WHO PARTICIPATES IN PUNA'S PERMACULTURE SCENE ? Rio x has just r eturned to the garden. She's a 30 something office professional from Texas who recently left an unfulfilling marriage. She "felt a call" to go to Hawaii, and now she's pulling weeds next to me at a raw vegan permaculture community called Pangaia. She's sensual, she's beautiful, she smells fantastic a nd she' s absolutely naked She asks me a few questions about my research then shifts gears and tells me with a wide eyed smile how incredible it feels to be pulling weeds with out any clothes on "cleansing" and "liberating" are two of the words she uses Like many newcomers from the mainland who arrive fresh on Puna's permaculture scene, Rio x at the moment seems open to just about anything. Personally I'm feeling very square at the moment clothed and clos ed If I take my clothes off too and go along with Rio x 's ecstatic flow, will that be part of cultural immersion? I ke ep my clothes on and work my way over to an isolated corner of the garden validating my distance on the basis of ensuring sound resear ch that doesn't cross some ethical boundary between researcher and subject At the same time, I'm thinking that such boundaries are the exact same bo undaries that communities like this are trying to break down. Alt hough she's a few years older than the ty pical permaculturist who arrives in Puna from the mainland for a few weeks, months, or years of back to the land living, Rio x nonetheless fit s a certain profile that tends to prevail among the crowd of permaculture participants in Puna : she's Caucasian we ll educated intellectually oriented, left of c enter in political beliefs, and from a n urban/ suburban middle class background That pattern becomes apparent to anyone who spends a few days or even a few hours at one of Puna's permaculture communities.

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119 H owever, the majority of Americans fitting this profile aren't rushing off to join permaculture communities. In the end, the most important differences that separate Puna's permaculture participants fr om the "majority culture" seem to be along the finer li nes of a nature o riented spiritual belief system, coupled with a tendency t owards mystical experiences, combined with an open/experimental and altruistic/other oriented value system Th ese particular difference s became apparent as a result of time spent i n participan t observation at five permaculture communities were further supported by the result s of in depth interviews performed on 25 of Puna's permaculture participants spre ad over six permaculture communities, and were tested statistically through sev en surveys administered for the purpose of comparing Puna' s permaculture participants to three control groups used to represent majority culture In the end, I failed to find or develop a satisfactory survey that directly measured nature/culture dichoto mization; instead, I use the r esults of the interviews and surveys here to build my case for the differences in nature/culture dichotomization between Puna's permaculture participants and "majority culture". 1 Postmaterial ism and E galitarianism as Drivers o f Permaculture P articipation Postmaterialist Ideals in a Materialist P ursuit The community college needs to be very careful because that field trip we went on the homes were not safe to be in,they had no final inspection, and was totally illegal. They coul d have been a major l aw suit if someone was injured The La'akea project was worth 4 total extra credit points, but that place was filty, and would not recommand this to other stu dents. I think the community college needs to take a second l ook at this instructor who potentially could have put our lives in danger, especially because we 1 See the Appendices for an explanation of the research methods and results, including more thorough, in depth analyses of each of the surveys used and their results.

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120 were down in [lower Puna] which is in a lava flow zone. thanks (HawCC student) To restate the obvi ous, not everybo dy finds themselves enthuiastically inspired by Puna's permaculture communities. Each semester, I offer my Hawaii Community College a nthropology classes a chance to participate in an "extra credit" field trip to the La'akea Permaculture Community in lower Puna The class is comprised largely of yo ung local adults fulfilling course prerequisites for acceptance to the college nursing program. W hile many experience La'akea's endeavors as positive, healthy, and honorable others experience the community as something negative, dangerous, and even a lit tle bit foolish In attempting to understand the basis for such differences in opinion, we can start with looking at the difference between materialist and postmaterialist worldviews. The quote above (taken from an anonymous end of semester course evalat ion ) expressing physical safety concerns posed by a lack of institutional standards and the presence of natural hazards, presents a typical if extreme example of a materialist worldview. Permaculture participants, on the other h and, are predominantly pos tm aterialist in outlook. In fact, survey results showed the single most significant difference separating Puna's permaculture participa nts from the majority culture to be the d egree to which Inglehart's (1977 ) pos tmaterialism survey demonstrated among Pun a's permaculture participants a preoccupation with postmaterialist concerns. This fact, reflec ted in Figure 4 1 below is particularly interesting when considering that the ultimate goal of permaculture system design is long term materia l security and au tonomy a materialist concern while the ethical imperatives that serve as the key means to this end are postmaterialist at heart. Inglehart 's theory of postmaterialism

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121 serves as the takeoff point for my discussion of the possible dilemma that this poses fo r permaculture's ultimate success regarding action s and interactions ba sed on desires for materialist outcomes versus action outcomes. Figure 4 1 Histogram of p o stmaterialism score results for per maculture part icipants in Puna, Hawaii ( above ) vs. Wal Mart shoppers in Hilo, Hawai i ( below ) Higher scores reflect a greater degree of postmaterialism. Size differences b etween the two graphs are necessary in order to keep Y axis (frequency) scale sizes equal (p=6.2E 13)

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122 Inglehart used the postmaterialism survey on over 16,000 people in 50 countries to test his theory that individuals raised in conditions of insecurity and material want spend their adult lives concerned with matters of material securit y and wealth, while i ndividuals raised focus on non materialist forms of pleasure seeking, morals, and aesthetics. Postmaterialists as a result give high priority to values such as non monetary ideals community input, and maintaining clean and healthy environments, rather than to values associated with materialist concerns such as economic growth, a strong national defense, and "law and ord er" (Inglehart et al., 2004). Inglehart (1977) presents two basic hypotheses about social mechanisms that the postmaterialism view. One is the "scarcity" hypothesis, in which one places subjective value on that whic h is in the shortest supply. The other is the "socialization" hypothesis, in which one 's values are determined by conditio ns during pre adult years. According to the "socialization" hypothesis, postmaterialist values are thus attributed to a childhood ch aracterized by material security. The results of in depth interviews conducted on 25 o f the permaculture participants indeed revealed, for the vast majority, middle class upbringings, solid educations which more often than not led to some degree of higher education at the collegiate level, and intact families free of serious physical and em otional violence or criminal incidents. Indeed, such childhood tendencies are the same tendencies often attributed to the counterculture in general ( Hostetler et al. 1974 ; Schehr, 1997). Inglehart's (1977) theory of postmaterialism sees the novel value changes associated with environmentalism and other substantive concerns as being the result of

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123 having grown up with a sense of material security. As materialist concerns have been met in earlier years through economic and physical security, attention is i ncreasingly focused on aesthetic, relational, and quality of life issues (Inglehart, 1985). In essence, a postmaterialist focus means that, for the typical Puna permaculturist, the overall goal of life does not necessarily begin with, and certainly doesn't stop at, a concern for food, shelter, water and other forms of needed security. Something else underlies the drive for permaculture participation and it is this original drive to find something else that leads the permaculture participants to Puna in t he firs t place. F ollowing Inglehart's (1977) logic, Puna's permaculturists as a group are among those whose focu s on material concerns is substantially less driving than for most peopl e they are exactly those who are the least likely to be satisfied with the simple low impact, pragmatic pursu it of food, shelter, and water that is intended to constitute the prize at the end of the permaculture rainbow. If the postmaterialism survey has any external validity, then the predominantly postmaterialist concerns of Puna's permaculturists certainly helps to shape the utopian character of the permaculture project in Puna, in which the goal of constructing a lifestyle based on long term material sustainability and autonomy typically gets overshadowed by lifestyle ch oices based on the immaterial pursuit of a spiritual nature experience and an egalitarian sense of communitas. A related problem, revealed through in depth interviews of Puna's permaculture participants, regards the fact that the vast majority of those wh o currently follow such pursuits in Puna experienced as adolescents the relative material security of a conventional middle class American childhood upbr inging. Such an upbringing is

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124 typically characterized by the relative ly excessive and ultimately unsus tainable access to and use of natural resources This leads to a dilemma that must ultimately be solved for permaculture to be considered viable: if permaculture is a postmaterialist pursuit, can postmaterialist views be arrived at through childhood circu mstances that were both materially secure and environmentally sustainable? This leap must be made for a viable permaculture to self replicate If this conundrum of the postmaterialist pursuit of material sustainability presents a problem for the typica l permaculture project in Puna, then its flip side certainly presents a problem for permaculture as a world wide solution in general: on a planet with an increasing population in which most material resources are already being overutilized, one can proje ct that the future may witness a n increasing number of individuals born into and grow ing up in circumstances far less materially secure than the circumstances in which Puna's permaculturists were raised. Such circumstances, according to postmaterialism the ory, lead to materialist values, and such values lead to actions which forgo permaculture's postmaterialist concerns with long term material sustainability and social/environmental equity. A s the survey results in Figure 4 1 show, even the typical reside nt of Hawai'i 2 already quite likely to be relatively materially secure compared to the worldwide population, tends toward the materialist end of Inglehart's material/p ostmaterial spectrum In doing so, Hawai'i residents mirror the typical worldwide resul ts of the postmaterialism survey, in which postmaterialism is a minority viewpoint even in the 2 See Appendix A for an explanation of why Hilo Wal mart shoppers were used to represent majority culture in Hawai'i.

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125 most industrialized countries (Inglehart et al l. 2004) 3 Thus, one of permaculture's greatest obstacles may be that the intentional pursuit of an environment a lly sustainable lifestyle, whether successful or not remains a postmaterialist pursuit, of substantial concern only to a select and relatively privileged minority. Grid/group T heory and its R elation to Nature/Culture D ualism S cene one : I'm staring an e raserhead sized hole on the right thigh of a 12 year ol d girl named India. The hole leads to a pus filled, marble sized cavern created by a bacterial infection that has been fe ste ring for weeks now in the muscle tissue of India's quadricep India beauti ful, vivaci ous, and exceedingly precocious is the eldest daughter of a two daughte r one mother trio living here at one of the permaculture communities The three, guide d by the doting mother, are adherents to the medicinal and dietary practices espoused b y a charismatic doctor, book author, and diet guru named Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz A few years ago Aajonus visited lower Puna, staying at a few different communities and giving a number of talks Before he left he had managed to build a near cultlike f ollowing among many of lower Puna's bac k to the land practitioners ; his ideas remain highly influential o n t he community scene of the Papaya Farms Road region of lower Puna to this day One of the communities here was famously comprised primarily of raw v egans and fruitarians; after Aajonus's visit, a switch eventually 3 According to Inglehart et al. (2004), the countries with the highest worldwide percentage of postmaterialists as of the year 2000 were Australia (35%), Austria (30%), Canada (29%), Italy (28%), Argentina (25%), and the United States (25%). From Figure 3 1, using scores from 7 through 10 as the range indicating a postmaterialist worldview, survey results show that 22% of the Hawaii Wal Mart control group was comprised of postmaterialists (very close to the U.S. average) while 100% of the permaculture tes t group was comprised of postmaterialists.

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126 occurred in which most members, and the community itself, became famous instead for adherence to the Primal Diet recommended by Aajonus, in which raw meat and other raw animal products are t he primary food source and healing source. It's never made clear to me how India's infection might have started. What is made repeatedly clear through relay s of the phone conversations that India's mother has with Aajonus is that the growing cavern of pus is to be interpreted as a sign of detoxification The logic here is that the processed foods of modern American diets, along with the modern medical establishment's use of vaccines and antibiotics, have made the immune system of the typical modern human weak and led to situation of toxicity for most modern humans along with a psychological and physical dependence on an exceedingly ineffective modern health care paradigm (Vonderplanitz, 1997; Vonderplanitz, 2002) In the interests of allowing the detoxifi cation process to continue, it is clear is that India will not be following a conventional modern method of treat ment for the infection O ver the phone, Aajonus helps provide India's mothe r with the faith and guidance she seems to be looking for: a contin ued diet of raw meat and a little bit of honey on the wound he says will allow the detoxification process to continue and will eventually allow India 's immune system to wake up, kick in and take care of a bacterial infection that her ancestral primitive immune system would have had no problem defeating. Meanwhile, India hasn't been able to walk for a few weeks now and I can't help but think that a simple round of antibioti cs would have ni pped this infection in the bud before it got out of control Sw itch scenes: it is my second summer o f research oriented participant obse rvation i n Puna. I am at one of the more famous permaculture communities, sitting

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127 in front of the community's residents at a meeting which has been called together in order to decid e whether or not I will be allowed to stay past the first month. I had planned on spending 4 or 5 months at the comm unity. I've been working my butt off performing manual labor and trying to fit in to the off hours community scene despite some hard to hid e discrepancies between the beliefs of the community members and my own inescapable personal convic tions. In the end it come s down to the opinion of one particularly influential community member, who senses that I am a poor fit for the community. I nev er intended to join the community as a permanent member but now I find myself making a plea for my overall acce ptance: I was once much more progressive minded I tell them but I've been immersed in a conventional university setting for many years no w and just need a little more time to find myself again and reinstill my sense of conscious empathetic awareness so that I can have a deeper sense of connection to the community In the end, I'm ousted I'm left with the distinct feeling of not being good e nough. I am not the first nor am I the last to have g one through such a process, and over the next few years I hold many interesting discussions with others who have left or been asked to leave from this community and others in lower Puna for reasons of similar dis sentiment expressed by the community members. It leaves me begging another question: how effective is a utopian society if its members must have utopian qualities to begin with? What, in such a world, is the fate of the ordinary imperfect citi zen? Both sce narios described above exemplify typical patterns that play out in Puna's various permaculture communities They may not seem ide ologically related, yet a ccording to Mary Douglas 's grid/group theory they are: both typify the actions and

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128 beli efs of groups characterized by egali tarian worldviews in that they are similar processes of inner purification one aimed at keeping the physical body pure, the other aimed at keeping the social body pure. For Douglas, understanding of and meaning attribut ed to the social body and the physical body tend to be similarly shaped by one's gr eater cosmological worldview Egalitarianism is one of four general, idealized cosmo logical worldviews towards which individ uals tend to gravitate, and these worldviews, in turn, are largely shaped by two social factors named "grid" and "group" (Wildavsky et al., 1990 ). "G roup" defines the degree of willful social cooperation, i.e, Figure 4 2. Grid group variables and associated worldviews plotted on a radar chart with t he "group" variable on the x axis and the "grid" variable on the y axis. whether individual behavior is controlled/directed by collective needs or whether the individual is self reliant and self serving during decision making processes. "Grid" is the deg ree of limitations on the individual to actualize various social roles, i.e., the degree of

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129 accepted social stratification and role fixedness ascribed to self as well as the family, tribe, and/or community by social norms (Douglas, 1970; Douglas & Wildavsk y, 1983). Giving each factor a one dimensional range ( with "group" on the x axis and "grid" on the y axis "; see Figure 4 2 ) allows four general worldviews or ethos to emerge through which the individual perceives and idealizes the social group and the phys ical body and which influences how one perceives environmental fragility and the risk posed to the individual and the group by environmental changes (Douglas and Wil davsky, 1983 ; Caulkins, 1999). I ndividualists (low grid, low group) are self seeking F igure 4 3. Radar chart with positive grid group worldviews plotted on the x and y axes. Shown are the results of Dake's (1991) grid group survey for which the average group score indicated a positive association with the worldview. Permaculturists as a group show an extreme, unidimensional favor for egalitarian worldviews (reflecting a low grid, high group viewpoint), while each of the three "majority culture" control groups show a more moderate and multidimensional mix of hierarchical, individualist, a nd egalitarian worldviews. and perceive both society and nature to be robust and self balancing; fatalists (high grid, low group) find social life and the natural world to be uncontrollable and unpredictable; hierarch ists (high grid, high group) see univer sal principles controlling the

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130 degree to which innately differentiated social and environmental niche s can be manipulated before collapsing; egalitarians (low grid, high group) see balance between the social and natural world as fragile, ephemeral, and eas ily destroye d by various forms of imbalance (Thompson et al., 1990). Expanding upon the ethos characterizing the e galitarian ideal, Douglas notes that the ideals of egalitarianism stress the conceptual importance of a bou ndary between inner and outer socia l and physical domain s Individuals that are part of a group characterized by an egalitarian worldview thus demonstrate "a similarity in philosophical outlook [that] can be described as a form of metaphysical dualism" (Douglas, 1970, pg. 119) with a "doctrine of two kinds of humanity, one good, the other bad" ( Douglas, 1970, pg. 119), a "dual philosophy divided between warring forces of good and evil" (Douglas, 1970, pg. 105) in which group members ""tend to have a black and white vision of the world (Douglas, 2006a, pg 5). In this egalitarian worldview, sin originates on the outside of the conceptual inner/outer boundary : This limited vision divides the world into two kinds: on one side ourselves, our fellow members, our friends; and on the other side, all the rest, outsiders. In the extreme case, insiders are saints and outsiders shunned as sinners. Inside is white; outside is black. In extreme cases it makes a world of saints and sinners. A wall of virtue keeps the two apart, the saints refuse to have any thing to do with the outsiders. (Douglas, 2006b, pg. 2) F aced with the permeability of th is wall there is an ongoing need to expel pollutants from the social and physical body a need to keep the group, and the body, pure : The cosmos is divi ded between g ood and bad, inside and outside. it is preoccupied with rituals of cleansing, expulsion I ts distinctive therapeutic system is based on the doctrine of the essential goodness of tha t which belongs inside the body. evil is taken to be a foreign danger, introduced by [ the] perverted or defective. (Douglas, 1970, pg. 103)

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131 Caulkins (1999), expanding on this theme in his review of Mary Douglas's grid/group theory, also known as "culture theory ", notes the connection between ega litarian worldviews and the simultaneous interest in ecology and community noted in intentional communities. Along similar lines, e galitarianism has been associated with worldviews of the counterculture movem ent (Douglas and Wildavsky, 1983 ), social Fi gure 4 4. Radar chart with negative grid group worldviews plotted on the x and y axes. Shown are results of Dake's (1991) grid group survey for which the average score indicated a negative association (opposition to) the worldview. All groups show some general degree of opposition to the fatalist worldview; permaculturists' opposition to fatalism is the most extreme. Permaculturists also show some general opposition to the hierarchical and individualist worldviews. ecology (Bookchin, 1982), and the new environmental movement (Ellis and Thompson, 1997), especially as it relates to perceptions of environmental risk and consequence as a result of human action (Steg and Sievers, 2000; Poortinga et al., 2002). Finally, it is worth noting Douglas's comment o n how egalitarianism tends to breed a form of asceticism as a result of "valuing human fellowship above material things" (Douglas,

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132 1970, pg. 143); this fits well with the idealized material asceticism that characterizes the permaculturalist's lifestyle pur suit of sustainability. So, can grid/group theory's description of the dualism and ascetism inhere nt in the egalitarian worldview help to explain the dualist nature/culture worldview s and idealized ascetic lifestyles which I ascribe to Puna's permaculturis ts ? I used Dake's (1991 ) survey of grid group typologies as a preliminary test to compare permaculture subjects to three separate control groups. Dake was a student of Aaron Wildavsky, one of Mary Douglas 's closest lifetime research partners, and designe d the survey according to the characteristics ascribed by Dougla s to the four basic worldviews. Dake's survey has been criticized for being multi dimensional (Kahan, 2008) ; in other words, the survey can reveal positive orientation towards more than one wo rldview. Because of this, average group scores for each of the four worldviews were plotted on a radar chart to visually reveal any multi dimensio nality of the results. Figure 4 3 shows a plot of worldview scores which were positi ve for each test group; Figure 4 4 shows a plot of worldview scores which were negative for each test group. In this case, the multidimensional nature of Dake's survey of grid/group typologies helps to reveal important differences between the permaculturist group and the three "m aj ority culture" control groups. As Figure 4 3 shows, w hereas each of the three "majority c ulture" groups had multidimensional results revealing a degree of positive orientation towards three of the four worldviews, the permaculture test group showed a uni dimensional positive orientation only towards the egalitarian worldview. This positive orientation of the

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133 permaculture group towards egalitarianism returned the highest overall average score of all positively oriented scores for all four groups on any of the worldviews. Contrasting this, as Figure 4 4 shows, the average worldview scores for permaculture group showed a multidimensional opposition to all worldviews except egalitarianism. The three "majority culture" control groups, on the other hand, each showed a unidimensional opposition to the fatalist worldview. Nonetheless, of the four test groups, average opposition to fatalism was highest for the permaculture group. Thus, in both their opposition to fatalism and their positive orientation to egalit arianism, the permaculture group values were extreme compared to the "majority culture" control groups. Note that 2 tailed t tests revealed significant (.05>p>.01) to highly significant (p<.01) differences between the permaculture group scores and the sc ores of each of the three "majority culture" control groups for all four worldviews except one: differences between the permaculture group and the HawCC ANTH200 group on the measure of egalitarian worldviews was insignificant (p=0.17). The Schwartz Values Survey and its Relation to Grid/Group T heory Note that Dake's survey of grid/group typologies does not have a history of being widely utilized by scholars for quantitative testing purposes and many of those wishing to test for worldviews associated with D ouglas's grid/group ideals have made alterations to Dake's original test (Peters & Slovic, 1996; Poortinga et al. 2002) Moreover, Dake 's survey of grid/group typologies is designed as a direct assessment of subject's adherence to various values claimed by Dougl as to typify each of the four basic worldviews ; it does not directly test adherence to values associated directly with grid" or "group" ideals which are purported to lead to these worldviews. These issues,

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134 combined with the mentioned criticisms o f multidimensionality (Kahan, 2008), reduce confidence in the overall construct validit y of the Dake's original survey. I s Dake's grid/group survey measuring a parameter that fits br oader understanding of the meaning of "egalitarianism"? If persons or gr oups show high scores on Dake's survey for the egalitarian dimension, is it reasonable to assume that they adhere to "high group" and "low grid" ideals? Administering the Schwartz Values Survey along with Dake's grid/group survey provided a cross test of t he construct validity of the egalitarian dimension shown by Dake's survey to distinguish the permaculture test group from the three "majority culture" control groups. The Schwartz Values Survey has been used on over 60,000 peop le in 64 nations (Schwartz, 2006 ) and been subjected to numerous analyses and statistical tests of its reliability and validity. Statistical analyses of the 57 items on the survey has led Schwartz and his colleagues to conclude that peoples and cultures around the world construct th eir basic life principles, cultural beliefs, and social norms according to their degree of commitment to ten core values: power, achievement, security, benevolence, conformity, hedonism self direction, stimulation, tradition, and universalism Accordin g to S chwartz et al., 2001 while different groups show varying degrees of commitment to these ten value constructs, there is a statistical tendency for value scores to become clustered according to two sets of opposed overarchin g value dimensions (see Fig ure 4 5): "self transcendence" (comprised of universalism and benevolence value constructs) versus "self enhancement" (comprised of power, achievement, and part of the hedonism value construct), and "conservation" (comprised

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135 of conformity, tradition, and security value constructs) versus "openness to change" (comprised of self direction, stimulation, and part of the hedonism value construct). Figure 4 5 Rela tionship of Schwartz's overarching value dimensions to Douglas's grid/g roup factors Despite th e similarities in theoretical focus shared by Schwartz's theory of basic human values and Douglas's grid/group theory, no literature was discovered that demonstrated the obvious overlap between Schwartz's four overarching value dimensions and Douglas's "gr id" and "group" factors. Figure 4 5 shows the relationship: Douglas's understanding of "high grid" ideals corresponds closely to Schwartz's overall "conservation" dimension; "low grid" ideals correspond to an overall "openness to change"; "high group" i deals correspond to overall "self transcendence" while "low group" ideals correspond to overall "self enhancement". Assuming the validity of this correspondence, placing Schwartz's opposing overarching value dimensions on the x and y axes of a radar char t allows an indirect measure of Douglas's four worldviews, e.g., scores high in both overall "openness to change"

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136 (corresponding to "low grid") and overall "self transcendence" (corresponding to "high group") indicate adherence to an egalitarian worldview. Figure 4 6 Radar chart of average score results on each of the fou r overarching value dimensions of the Schwartz Values Survey including both positive and negative score averages Assuming the validity of the posited overlap between Douglas's gr id/group variables and Schwartz's four overarching value dimensions, score results can be interpreted to show that only the permaculture subject group demonstrates a strong unidimensional commitment to the egalitarian worldview. Radar chart plots of the average score results on the Schwartz Values Survey for each of the four test groups, including both negative and positive scores, are shown in Figure 4 6. High average scores for both the "openness to change" ("low grid") dimension and the "self transcen dence" ("high group") dimension resulted in the permaculture subject group demonstrating a strong unidimensional commitment to the egalitarian worldview compared to the three "majority culture" control groups. These results are similar to the results from Dake's survey of grid/group typologies and help to

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137 support the construct validity of Dake's measure of egalitarianism, as well as provide additional support to hypothesis that a relatively extreme commitment to egalitarian worldviews is one factor disting uishing permaculturists from the majority culture. Figure 4 7 Radar chart of the four overarching value dimensions of the Schwartz Values Survey in which only positive group averages were plotted. Two of the three control groups show a slight positi ve bias towards egalitarianism, while the permaculture group shows a strong bias towards egalitarianism The radar chart of score results shown in Figure 4 6 can be difficult to visually interpret since the center point is a negative integer rather than the zero point; this is necessary in order to accomodate for the full range of negative and positive score averages associated with each of the four overarching value dimensions for each of the four test groups. To provide a clearer picture of the results Figure 4 7 shows a radar chart in which only those value dimensions which resulted in an average positive score were plotted. This provides a direct view of the degree of positive affiliation with each of

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138 the four overarching value dimensions, which in turn provides an indirect assessment of the degree of commitment to each of Douglas's four worldviews. Figure 4 8 Radar chart of the four overarching value dimensions of the Schwartz Values Survey in which only negative group averages were plotted. Each of the three control groups show s a slight opposition al bias against the fatalist worldview while the permaculture group shows a strong opposition al bias against the fatalist worldview. As the results show, two of the three control groups show a sl ight bias towards egalitarianism. In comparison, the permaculturists demonstrate a relatively extreme bias towards egalitarianism as a result of high average scores on the "openness to change" ("low grid") and "self transcendence" ("high group") value dim ensions compared to the control groups. Scores of the permaculture subject group for "openness to change" were significantly different than those of the three control groups (p=.016, p= .014, and p= .03 respectively for the UF ANTHRO, Hawaii Wal Mart, and HawCC ANTH200 control groups when compared to the permaculture subject group

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139 using a two tailed t test) while scores of the permaculture subject group for "self transcendence" were highly significantly different than two of the three control groups (p=4.1E 08, p=.15, and p=5.0E 06 respectively for the UF ANTHRO, Hawaii Wal Mart, and HawCC ANTH200 control groups when compared to the permaculture subject group using a two tailed t test). These results are similar to the results from Dake's survey of grid/gr o up typologies shown in Figure 4 3 and helps to support the construct validity of Dake's measure of egalitarianism, as well as provide additional support to hypothesis that a strong commitment to egalitarian worldviews is one factor distinguishing permacult urists from the majority culture. In contrast Figure 4 8 shows a radar chart in which only those value dimensions which resulted in an average negative score were plotted. This provides a direct view of the degree of opposition to each of the four overar ching value dimensions, which in turn provides an indirect assessment of the degree of opposition to each of Douglas's four worldviews. In this case, the three "majority culture" control groups demonstrated a slight opposition to the fatalist worldview, w hile the permaculture subject group demonstrated a relatively extreme opposition to the fatalist worldview. T hese results are similar to results from Dake's survey of grid/gr oup typologies shown in Figure 4 5, both of which suggest that a relatively stron g degree of opposition to the fatalist worldview may be one factor that distinguishes permaculturists from the majority culture. Scores of the permaculture subject group for "conservation" were highly significantly different than those of all control grou ps (p=7.0E 11, p=3.4E 7, and p=4.8E 12 respectively for the UF ANTHRO, Hawaii Wal Mart, and HawCC ANTH200 control groups when compared to the permaculture subject group using a two tailed t test).

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140 However, scores of the permaculture subject group for "sel f enhancement" were significantly different than only one of the three control groups (p=1.9E 4, p= .80, and p=.34 respectively for the UF ANTHRO, Hawaii Wal Mart, and HawCC ANTH200 control groups when compared to the permaculture subject group using a two tailed t test). Thus, differences between Puna's permaculturists and the majority culture concerning the degree of opposition to fatalism are predominantly being determined by permaculturists' relatively extreme overall opposition to conservative, "high grid" ideals. (See Appendix F for a deeper look at the statistical results of the Schwartz Values Survey and the methods used to administer and analyze the results of the survey). Mysticism and its Relation to E nvironmentalism Hood's Mysticism Survey The sun is setting on another warm Hawaiian day and I'm riding out of the jungle in the back of Jonah's pickup truck. I'd be dead asleep at this point if it wasn't for the constant jolts from bumpy dirt road and my admitted fascination with my current traveli ng companions, which happen to be two dozen newly potted plants belonging to the genus Psychotria I say "n ewly potted because I've jus t spent all day on Jonah's property in Kalapana carefully digging the plants out of the ground, transferring them to po ts and then lugging them out of the jungle and into the bed of the pickup for transport to Jonah's new farm on the Hamakua coast I say "f ascinated because I've never seen up close a m ember of the plant genus responsible for the notoriously intense effe cts of the psychedelic drug ayahuasca. I've never tried ayahuasca but I am well aware that the use of psychedelics is a fairly accepted and important, if only episodic, part of the lifestyle of many of those who participate in Puna's permaculture communit ies

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141 In any case, though Jonah has many wide eyed tales of past ayahuasca experiences, he tells me that he isn't transferring the Psychotr ia plants to his new farm in the interests of personal psychedelic consumption. His main concern these days is proc essing the Psychotr ia leaves into a juice which is used during the production of a soil amendment called "I.M.O." I.M.O." stands for "indigeneous microorganism s and refer s to the soil microbes believed to play a crucial role in biomass production and bi odiversity maintenance in healthy soils and which are found lacking in the soils associated with modern industrial agriculture. Following the Korean "n atural farming" method, these microbes are purposefully grown on a mixed substrate comprised of r ice cha ff fermented sugar cane juice and various other additions then worked into the soil prior to planting or around the base of existing plants. I.M.O. production is the latest rage on Hawaii's permaculture scene and remains more of an art than a science. Jonah is a well known master of the art, and like a modern day shaman, he tells me of his intuitive belief that the psychic properties of the Psychotria juice which he adds faithfully to his I.M.O. substrate during the initial stages of production someh ow help the microorganisms to work their wonders on the organic fruits and vegetables he grows. It sounds like a crackpot idea to me but it certainly doesn't seem to hurt as far as I can tell Jonah's farm is the most productive of all the permaculture com munities I've visited The psychedelic connection to permacultu re and the back to the land scene in gen e ral remains an un der studied area but the connection makes sense. T he contrast of a beneficient nature with a malevolent human technological culture ta kes on spiritual proportions for many permaculturists, and it woul d be interesting to find out the degree to which spiritual experience s arrived at through the use of psychedelics might

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142 contribute to this worldview. Plant based psychedelics certainly seem to have a special niche in the nature/culture schema as an example of a product of nature with the documented ability to bring about a perceived state of "higher" conscious awareness (Pahnke, 1966). With this awareness comes a reputed newfound sense of un ion and empathy with the world, especially the natural world (Pahnke, 1966; Winkelman, 2000). During in depth interviews, many of Puna's permaculturists openly expressed their belief that psychedelic use had "raised their consciousness" and helped steer t hem towards their current lifestyle choice. However arrived at, this emphasis on "higher consciousness" suggests that permaculturists as a group may have a relatively heightened preoccupation with the mystical realm and assign relatively high importance to the mystical experience. With this facet of permaculture in mind, Hood's mysticism scale (1975) was administered to test for differences between the mystical experiences of permaculturists and those of the "majority culture" control groups. Hood's mysti cism scale uses 32 question items to test subjects' experiences with each of eight categories of mystical experience originally elucidated by Stace (1960): "loss of ego", "unifying", "inner subjective", "noetic", "ineffable", "temporal/spatial", "positive affect", and "religious quality". As seen in Figure 4 9, differences in the overall mysticism score are noticeably significant. Histograms of score results from the three "majority culture" control groups have similar bell shaped curves, while the scor es of the permaculture test group result in a one tailed bell which peaks near the score maximum. Breaking these results down further shows highly signficant differences in three of these categories ("unifying", "inner subjective", and "temporal/spatial") between permaculturists' scores and the scores of

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143 Figure 4 9 Total Mysticism Score on Hood's Mysticism Scale The reported incidence of mystical experiences among Puna's permaculture participants resulted in a one tailed bell curve; the more modera te reports of the three control groups used to represent "majority culture" resulted in more typical two tailed bell curves. Statistical analyses revealed highly significant differences between the permaculture subject group and the three "majority cultur e" test groups (p=1.9E 06, p=9.8E 04, and p=2.6E 04 when compared to UF ANTHRO, Hawaii Wal Mart, and HawCC ANTH200 groups respectively).

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144 each of the three "majority culture" control groups Three more of these categories ("loss of ego"; "positive affect"; "religious quality") showed highly significant differences between permaculturists and at least two of the three "majority culture" control groups. The "ineffable" category showed a moderately significant difference (.05>p>.01) between permaculturists and two of the three "majority culture" control groups, while the "noetic" category showed a moderately significant difference (p=.03) between permaculturists and only one of the "majority culture" control groups 4 See Appendix G for an in depth analysis of the score results and differences on H ood's M ysticism scale for each of the eight mystic qualities for each of the four test groups. Of the cat egories for which highly significant differences were found between the permaculturist test group and the "maj ority culture" test groups it is useful to realize the connection of three of these categories ("loss of ego"; "unifiying"; "inner subjective") to the concept of "higher consciousness" as understood from an egalitarian perspective. Hood describes "loss o f ego" as "an asorption into something greater than the mere empirical ego" (Hood, 1975, pg. 31); "unifying" refers to "the experience of the multiplicity of objects of perception as nevertheless united everything is in fact perceived as 'One'" (Hood, 1975 pg. 31); "inner subjective" is "the experience of an inner subjectivity to all things, even those usually experienced in purely material forms" (Hood, 1975, pg. 32). "Loss of ego" as defined has obvious overlaps with, and can perhaps be seen as prerequ isite for an understanding of the non self ideals associated with "high group" 4 Note that survey participants in all four test groups expressed confusion over the meaning of term "ultimate reality", used on the survey in two of the four questions meant to measure the "noetic" category.

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145 (from Douglas's grid/group typologies) and "self transcendence" (Schwartz's "high group" parallel in his theory of basic human values). Loss of ego is also u nderstood by Victo r Turner (1969 ) to be a p rerequisite for the liminal experience of communitas". "U nifying" suggests a breakdown of fixed roles associated with Douglas's "low grid" ideals and here fits Turner's (1969 ) description of the anti structural sense of communitas associated with the liminal stage of the ritual process. It also befits the overall cosmological sense of equality espoused by t he egalitarian ideal and in this can perhaps be seen as yet another manifestation of the non self ideals of "high group"/"self transcendence" Finally, the survey questions used by Hood to test the "inner subject ive" category directly use the words "conscious" and "aware" to describe how immaterial objects are perceived; this predicts the expanded empathetic understanding of the non human world as measured by the Connectedness To Nature survey described later in this section. All three terms can thus be understood to be mystical expression s that fit well with the egalitarian ideal, in which an empathetic of sense of identity and belonging is expanded to entities beyond the normal self an expanded sense of awareness often described as an experience of "higher consciousness". Assuming the validity of this connection between the egalitarian concept of "higher consciousness" and the three mystic cate gories described above, the survey results suggest that permaculturists are having more "higher consciousness" experiences than the typical member of the majority culture

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146 The importance placed by permaculturists on "higher cons ciousness" can be interpreted as a manifestation of the heightened duality of the egalitarian worldview that permeates permaculture. It is one half of an expression of difference between those groups, ideas, and motives representative of "higher" consciousness and those representat ive of a "lower" consciousness, between those who are "in touch" with themselves and the world and those who need to work on developing their sen se of empathy and awareness. T he latter describe s the state of the mundane majority the pollu ted and the polluters, responsible for the material results of the modern technological world represent ing that which defiles and which is defiled. The former is a constant goal of permaculture participants, part of the egalitarian concern with and purs uit of inner purity, in which reaching the idealized goal of permaculture represents higher consciousness actualized in the material world the "good life", in which sustainable harmony with nature is reflective of harmony within oneself and within the grou p. One of the effects of raising one's consciousness is a heightened awareness of one's body, and of nature, and of the and the importance of is thus reflected in an endless bodily concern with detoxification, cleansing, and healing of the body, of natur e, and of society, in which nature and natural substances repres ent purity. Connectedness To Nature Survey Note that while high scores for mystic qualities such as "loss of ego", "unity", and "inner subjectivity" may have ramifications for how an individu al perceives the natural environment, no questions on Hood's mysticism survey are meant to be a direct measure of how the natural environment is interpreted or experienced in an egoless, unified, inner subjective, and thereby mystica l sense. For these pur poses, Ma yer and Frantz's (2004) Connectedness To Nature survey was administered in order to provide

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147 Figure 4 10. Hi stogram of score results from Ma yer and Frantz's (2004) Connectedness to Nature scale. Note that the score ranges of the three "major ity culture" control groups produce two tailed bell curves, while the comparably high score range of the permaculture subject group results in a one tailed bell curve. Two tailed t tests revealed highly significant differences between the permaculture gr oup and all three "majority culture" control groups (p=6.1E 12 for UF ANTHRO; p=8.6E 04 for Hawaii Wal Mart; p=7.8E 10 for HawCC ANTH200).

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148 an improved measure of a parameter originally described by Schultz (2002) as "the extent to which an individual inclu des nature within his/her cognitive representation of self" (Schultz, 2002, pg. 67). Mayer and Frantz (2004) use Schultz's phrase as a description of the parameter measured by their scale, which was thus used in this dissertation research as a way to add ress the degree to which subjects' mystical experiences of loss of ego, unity, and non self sense of inner subjectivity (measured by Hood's Mysticism Scale above) translates into a connection between the individual self and the natural world e.g., unity wi th nature. Mayer and Frantz directly describe their survey as a measure affective, experiential connection to nature (Mayer and Frantz, 2004, pg. 504). They explain the relevance of this connection by paraphrasing Aldo L eopold: feel they are part of the broader natural world if they are to effectively address environmental issues. For Leopold, this meant understanding the extent to which people experientially v iew themselves as egalitarian members of the broader natural community; feel a sense of kinship with it; view themselves as belonging to the natural world as much as it belongs to them; and view their welfare as related to the welfare of the natural world. (Ma yer and Frantz, 2004, pg. 504 505) Thus understood, the Connectedness to Nature scale measures a parameter whose domain overlaps, and thus helps demonstrate the connection between, (a) previously measured factors of egalitarianism and mysticism and (b) the realm of nature appreciation, which among Puna's permaculturalists takes on spiritual significance. Comparing the score results of Puna 's permaculturists to the three "majority culture" control groups (see Figure 4 10 ) returned the most extreme levels of significant differe nce compared to all surveys except the postmaterialism survey. If the

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149 Connectedness To Nature scale has any external validity, then Puna's permaculturalists can be understood to extend their sen se of self to the natural world much m ore so than the typical member of the majority culture. Following Douglas's interpretation of the egalitarian viewpoint, this means that the metaphorical inner body thus includes the natural environment, which thus needs to be kept pure. Following the pr inciple of nature/cultur e duality mo dern technological society becomes the outer realm of sin and evi l which must be purged to maintain the harmony and sanctity of an original nature. Jacob's Back To The Land S urvey A third survey, Jacob's Back T o T he Lan d survey, proved useful as a cross test of the differences in mystic al experience and nature connection between Puna's permaculturists and the "majority culture" control groups shown by the surveys previously described Jacob s survey was the only survey discovered in the literature to have been developed expressly for demonstrating the worldviews and opinions of those participating in back to the land lifestyles. The survey is intended to test for a construct called "mindfulne ss", which Jacob (1997 pg. 84) describe s as "a calm, yet focused, engagement with the present, not unli ke a meditative experience ." Jacob sees a close relationship between mindfulness and the transcendental experiences in nature, which he believes to be an important goal of those e ngaged in back to the land lifestyles : At the moment of a foal's birth or the opening and closing of a newly built gate, time, for the smallholders, seems to stand still. The anxieties of the future have space to recede to the background, and the past's r esidual fears can be replaced by peace of mind. The world for one moment appears whole, and the mind moves toward a stillness One's being, then, is not seen as separate, apart from a world outside of consciousness; rather, one, if only for an inst ant, appears to be drawn into the ongoing stream of a perceived universal reality, with the potential for finding tranquility, uni on, and wholeness. (Jacob, 1997 pg. 84)

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150 This dissertation uses a version of the survey described by Brinkerhoff and Jacob (19 99). E ight items are used to tes t the mindfulness construct; s ubject s are asked to report their overall tendency to experience "a sense of peace of mind", "a feeling of union with nature", "a feeling of joy", "a feeling of living in the present moment", "a sense of wonder", "a feeling of wholeness", "a sense of being accepted by the universe", and "a sense of time standing still". A literature review did not reveal any instances in which Jacob's survey has ever been used to test for differences between back to the land groups and the majority culture. Comparisons of the overall score result for Jacob's back to the land survey indicated a significant difference between the permaculture test group and two of the three "majority culture" control groups (se e Figure 4 11). However, of the eight survey items, three items ("a feeling of joy", "living in the present moment", and "a sense of wonder") showed no significant differences between the permaculture group and the three "majority culture" control groups, while one item ("a sense of time standing still") showed a significant difference for only one of the control groups. Thus, differences in the overall score Jacob's survey were being determined by the remaining four test items. Of interest is the extent t o which three of the se remaining four significant test i tems can be shown to be measures of the high group /low grid ideals and associated "connectedness to nature" ideals demonstrate d by the previous surveys to describe permaculturists' mysticized and d ualized egalitarian worldview. One item, "a feeling of union with nature", serves as an obvious cross test of the parameter being measured by Ma yer and Frantz's Connectedness To Nature survey. Scores for "a feeling of union with nature" were highly co rrelated with the overall

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151 Figure 4 11. Back To The Land Survey. Puna permaculturist scores showed a highly significant degree of difference compared to the HawCC ANTHRO (p=.0005) and UF ANTHRO (p=4.2E 5) control groups, but were not significantly dif ferent than scores of the Hawaii Wal Mart control group (p=.10). Connectedness To N ature score (r=.72) when compared across all four test groups. S core results for the "feeling of union with nature" item showed highly significant differences between the pe rmaculture test group and two of the "majority culture" control groups (p=1.7E 10 and p=1.5E 06 for UF ANTHRO and HawCC ANTH200

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152 respectively) as well as a modera tely significant difference from the third control group (p=.042 for Hawaii Wal Mart) A sec ond item, "feeling of wholeness ", showed highly significant differences between the scores of the permaculture test group and two of the "majority culture" control groups (p=7.1E 03 and p=1.3E 04 for UF ANTHRO and HawCC ANTH200 respectively). Following Ja cob's description of "wholeness" in the quote above, this item can be interpreted as descriptively fitting Hood's mystic sense of unity ; "w holeness" here reflects the undifferentiated communitas of the "low grid" ideal and can also be consider ed an express ion of the inner purity principle previously described as a key part of the overall egalitarian cosmological ideal (The antithesis of "unwholeness" in this case would be a sense of separation from the world feeling apart from rather than a part of, Jaco b's described "ongoing stream" of "universal reality"). A third item, "a sense of being accepted by the universe" once again makes an obvious fit with Hood's mystic sense of uni ty, the sense of acceptance in this case reflecting the experience of communit as associated with a "low grid" ideal Additionally, as a measure of the degree to which one positively experiences being a part of something greater than the self it reflects a "high group" ideal In reflecting both "low grid" and "high group" ideals t he item is a measure of the egalitarian construct. Scores of the permaculture test group for this item were highly significantly different than the UF ANTHRO control group (p=4.2E 04) and moderately significantly different than the HawCC ANTH200 control g roup (p=.045). Thus, al though Jacob's survey items are intende d to measure a construct called mindfulnes s, three of the four survey items responsible for significant differences

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153 between the permaculture test group and the "majority culture" control group s measur e factors that prove to be close descriptive fits of the dualized, mysticized egalitarian construct posited in this chapter to be the basic difference distinguishing permaculturists from the majority culture. In constrast, the four insignificant items on Jacob's survey ("a feeling of joy", "living in the present moment", "a sense of wonder", and "a sense of time standing still") d o not provide close descriptive fits with the dualized, mysticized egalitarian construct ; they seem instead to be clear er measures of the mindfulness construct only The fact that scores for these four items were insignificantly different among the four test groups suggests that the experience of mindfulness as defined by Jacob and as measured by the Jacob's survey, may not be a dimension distinguishing permaculture participants from the majority culture Nonetheless, it is worth noting that one item on Jacob 's survey, "a sense of peace of mind", did show highly significant differences between the permaculture test grou p and two of the "majority culture" control groups (p=2.9E 03 and p=2.6E 03 for UF ANTHRO and HawCC ANTH200 respectively), as well as a moderately significant difference with the third control group (p=. 011 for Hawaii Wal Mart). This item is a clear measu re of the mindfulness construct and not a clear measure of a dual ized, mysticized egalitarianism. T hus there may exist a separate mindfulness dimension distinguishing permaculturists from the majority culture that could be elucidated through improved surve y designs in the future. See Appendix I for a more in depth analysis of the methods and results used with this survey.

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154 Measuring the New Ecological Paradigm As demonstrated throughout this chapter, al t hough permaculture is essentially a design system mean t to insure long term food and materials security, th e motivations that drive individuals to participate in Puna's permaculture scene are likely something more than just a materialist concern with preemptive preparation for long term food and resource secu rity. Underlying the environmental ly oriented behavior of Puna's permaculturi sts is a postmaterialist, dualized, mysticized, egalitarian understanding of the physical body, society and the natural environment Thus, t he decision to participate in a back to the land permaculture lifestyle cannot be explained solely by a consideration of an individual's environmentally oriented values alone. This shortcoming of the motivational connection between pro environmental values and pro environmental behaviors i s an ongoing academic concern. A prominent dillema faced by environmental researcher is that while worldwide rates of natural resource consumption and environmental destruction continue to increase, s tudies simultaneously continue to document the growth o f environmentally oriented values especially in industrialized societies ( Dunlap, 2001 ; Inglehart, 2003; Barr 2004 ). N oting this shift towards environmental val ues, scholars have convened around the trope New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) to distinguish t his perceived movement from the Dominant Social Paradi gm (DSP) (Dunlap et al., 2000; Banerjee, 2002). The NEP embodies concepts such as limits to growth, steady state economy, natural resource preservation, skepticism of technology, intrinsic moral rights extended to all life forms, ecocentrism, and the belief that humans are members of the biological community and governed by the same ecological laws that govern other species. In contrast, the

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155 Figure 4 12 La Trobe and Acott's (2000) modified NEP/D SP survey, which tests adherence to the New Environmental Paradigm against adherence to the Dominant Social Paradigm. Puna permaculturist scores showed a highly significant degree of difference compared to the HawCC ANTHRO (p=.0005) and UF ANTHRO (p=8.3E 7) control groups, and a slightly significant degree of difference than scores of the Hawaii Wal Mart control group (p=.025).

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156 DSP also called the Human Exception Paradigm (HEP) assumes infinite resources, limitless progress, faith in science as a tool to u ltimately control nature, and human dominion over as opposed to membership within the biological community (Dunlap & Liere, 1978; Marshall, 1993; Brasier, 1995; Dunlap et al 2000). The most famous survey used to measure these emerging environmental val ues is Dunlap and Van Liere's (1978) New Environmental Paradigm scale. Since the development of the original scale, a number of authors have modified the survey to deal with problems of internal consistency and item reliability (Dunlap et al., 2000; La Tr obe and Acott, 2000; Ewert and Baker, 2001; Kilbourne et al., 2002). This study administered La Trobe and Acott's (2000) modified version of the original New Environmental Paradigm survey. La Trobe and Acott expanded Dunlap and Van Liere's original 12 ite m survey into a 48 item survey, then used factor analysis to pare the survey down to 20 items which reliably measure four distinct latent factors which they label "human interference with nature", "equity and development issues", "humans and economy over n ature", and "duties to non humans". As these factors demonstrate, a comprehensive view of the drivers of basic environmental attitudes shows that environmental by beliefs and values that go beyond a strictly practical, materialist, or otherwise utilitaria n need. See Appendix J for an in depth look at the score results. The largest difference between the permaculture test group and the "majority culture" control groups occurred on survey items associated with the "humans and economy over nature" factor. T his fac tor represents the views of a supposed Dominant Social P aradigm (DSP) in which economic growth is conside red more important than the natural environment and in which humans are perceived as having the right to alter,

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157 control, and subdue nature i n order to satisfy wants and desires. In fact, a ll fo ur groups opposed this view; however, the degree of opposition demonstrated by the scores of the permaculture test group was greater to a highly significantly degree compared to all three "m ajority cult ure" control groups (p=1.7E 05, p=6.6E 03, and p=1.1E 04 for UF ANTHRO, Hawaii Wal Mart, and HawCC ANTH200 respectively ). The next most significant factor, duties to non humans", represents perhaps the least material factor of the four factors It repres ents an ethical imperative based on a belief in intrinsic value, though it showed only moderate correlation with mysticism experiences of "inner subjectivity" (r=.39) and "unity" (r=.38) to which it could be assumed to be related (other value dimension lik ely contribute to the factor as well). Differences between permaculture scores and "majority culture" control group scores were highly significant for two of the three control groups (p=1.2E 07, p=1.2E 04, and p=0.10 for UF ANTHRO, HawCC ANTH200, and Hawa ii Wal Mart respectively) The phrase "p ermaculture is considered alternately to be a contraction of either permanent agr iculture or permanent culture ", and this demonstrates the social values inherent in Mollison and Holmgren's original concerns when developing the permaculture concept. T he "s ocial equity and development issues" factor of the modified NEP/DSP scale comes closest to providing a measurement of a person' s interest in the "permanent culture" aspect of permaculture This factor proved to be the least explanatory of the differences in environmental attitude between the permaculture test group and the three "majorit y culture" control groups; d ifferences between permaculture scores and "majority culture" control group scores were highly signi ficant for one of the control groups and moderately significant for a second control group

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158 (p=2.7E 03, p=0.015, and p=0.10 for UF ANTHRO, HawCC ANTH200, and Hawaii Wal Mart respectively) As a segue into the next chapter where we begin to consider the effe cts of making choices through the lens of mystified, dualized, egalitarian understanding of the relationship between the natural world and modern technological society, it is opportune to consider the significance of the "h uman inteference with nature" fac tor of the modified NEP/DSP scale. Of all factors on all the surveys administered, this factor provides the closest descriptive fit to a direct measure of the degree to which respondents conceptualize a morally problematic and conflicted dichotomization o f nature and culture The eight scale items measuring this factor by make reference to environmental considerations such as whether in dustrial activity i s excessive and upsetting to the natural environment, whether humans a re interfering with nature delet eriously and the manner in which humans should interact with nature. Differences between permaculture scores and "majority culture" control group scores were highly significant for one of the control groups and moderately signifi cant for a second control group (p=3.9E 05, p=0.021, and p=0.092 for the UF ANTHRO, HawCC ANTH200, and Hawaii Wal Mart control groups respectively). Figure 4 12 shows the overall scores results for the modified NEP/DSP scale for all four test groups. A highly significant degree o f difference separated the test scores of the permaculture test group from the scores of the UF ANTHRO (p=8.4E 07) and HawCC ANTH200 (p=5.1E 04) control groups while a moderately significant degree of difference separated the permaculture test group from the Hawaii Wal Mart control group (p= 0.025). Despite a lack of strong evidence in the literature for the role played

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159 by environmental attitudes in the initiation of pro environmental behaviors (Blake, 1999; Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002 ) these results sugge st a correlation, at least, between the relatively extreme pro environmental attitudes and the intentionally pro environmental behavior of Puna's permaculture participants. Whether driven by attitude or mysticism, or whether mysticism underlies environme ntal attitude, can only be speculated Note that for this survey as well as for a number of the other surveys, differences between the permaculture test group and the Hawaii Wal Mart control group were consistently smaller and less significant than differe nces between the permaculture test group and the other control groups. Possible reasons for these differences and their significance to an understanding of permaculture are discussed in Appendix A.

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160 CHAPTER 5 THE PERFORMANCE ACT ONE : NATURE/CULTURE PR OCE SSES IN THE C ONSTRUCTION OF ECOTOPIA From Nature/ Culture to Sacred/Profane Nature /Culture D ualism as a Fast and Frugal H euristic The sun is setting once aga in on another warm Hawaiian day and I'm staring at an undeveloped 30' X 4 0' plot of exposed soil tha t si ts in the middle of Ike and Mandy's oceanside 4 acre property. I've finished the research phase of my dissertation and I'm help ing to caretake their land in exchange for a space to begin the writeup phase Mandy is a fan of permaculture and a few day s ago she charged me with the task of trans forming this plot into a series of raised bed keyho le gardens The keyhole garden is one of the signature design style s associated with permaculture. The p ermaculture party line says that the curved, circular sh apes of keyhole garden s were conceived for purposes of space efficiency based on the premise that nature is efficient and nature u nlike techno industrial society rarely draws strai ght lines. The plot I am working is larger than a single typical keyhole garden so Mandy presents me with a picture of a n embedded series of keyhole garden shapes called a "mandala" garden. It looks absolu tely beautiful, but transforming the paper idea into an actual shape on land turns out to be a difficult task of measure m ents no matter what I do, I'm constantly left with narrow leftover pockets and corners on one hand, and on the other hand, spaces so far from arm's reach from the path that acts of planting, weeding, and picking in these spaces w ill undoubtedly prove to be user unfriendly backbreaker s. Further more, the coconut logs I'm using as the sides of the raised beds must now be carefully measured and cut to fit the planned meandering curves of the mandala. I'm realizing these same curves are going to end up defeati ng the practical ease of laying a

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161 planned drip i rrigation system But if I don't lay driplines the narrow, single entry access circular walking path will make watering by hose a constant headache; I can already see how it will potentially make wheelbarrow use difficult. In my frustration I finally make a paper plot of the mandala image on graph paper to help me map its layo ut over the open soil I end up counting grid squares and realize that given the same squ are meters of used space, there isn't much d ifference in the garden to path ratio between a mand ala garden plot and a simple plot of straig ht rows When I go onto the internet to search for images of actual keyhole gardens I find pages of aesthetically beautiful circular raised beds sitting in the middle of large manicured grassy lawn s and other unused space s The contradictions become obvious : concerns of space efficiency are obviously not the issue here A search for mandala gardens takes me to the website of Scott Pittman, founder of the Per maculture Institute, where a descriptio n of the utility of the mandala shape is given : Why Mandala s hape? Besides its aesthetic appeal, non linear gardens have greater productivity due to the fact that there is simply more gardening space when using non linear geometry. Linear gardens have their origin in division and ownership of land (easier to mark and measure), and in use of mechanical soil cultivation (easier to drive a horse or a tractor down a straight row). Since neither one of these elements appl ies to our ecological garden, there is absolutely no need to make them straight! Any shape that respects the landform, works with the flow of water and with the way humans move make more sense. (Pittman & Pittman, 2010) In the end I decided to construct a combination of curved keyhole garden beds and straight planting beds I independently maintained the beds f or three seaso ns before finally moving to Hilo town to undertake my first full time teaching gig, and proved a n important lesson to myself in the pr ocess : what sound ed reasonable and even inspirational in print and concept opened up a pandora's box of practical engineering and logistical maintenance difficulties that could have been avoided with a

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162 few simple linear, s quare, profanely industrial rows that were easy to design, build, plant, weed, water, and ultimately maintain. The bottom line is that keyh ole and mandala garden designs persist in permaculture for reasons that go beyond strict utilitarian effi ciency; they are signature example s of a la tent postmaterialist form of nature /culture dichotomization that permeates Puna's permacultur e scen e. The straight lined garden in this cas e represent s the maligned aspects of modern technological culture land ownership, mechanical soil c ultivation, and linear thinking in general But t he keyhole garden and mandala garden in particular, as circular, represent nature non linear anti modern, anti structure, and even sacred. They are aesthetically pleasing totem s signifying the counterhegemonic ideology o f an agriculturally minded cultic milieu. The nature/culture principle runs through nearly every facet of permaculture; once I saw the pattern I realized th at it connected the dots between seemingly unrelated practices and values associated with the per maculture world. Looking back at my interviews I could see the principle runni ng through all major issues It didn't matter w hether the topic was organic agriculture or G.M.O.'s, vegetarianism versus meat eating indigeneous microorganisms or invasive sp ecies community farms versus big agri business composted humanure or industrial fertiliz er solar energy versus oil energy fermented foods or processed foods, or raw versus cooked. The former elements fitting a principle of that which is more "natur al tend ed to carry overlapping moral and pragmatic meanings that similarly identified these elements as altogether more "spir itual". In contrast, the lat ter elements, a ssociated with modern "technological

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163 culture, carried overlapping moral and pragmatic meanings that were similarly identified as "unhealthy", "risky", "undesirable", morally "wrong", ultimately less "sustainable" and even less "spiritual". Thus understo od, the contrast between nature and technological culture is a "conceptual metaphor of the type claimed by Lakoff & Johnson (198 0) to be an integral and underlying component of the basic cognitive apparatus necessary for human thought. As Turner (1974) d escribes it: T he metaphor selects, emphasizes, suppresses, and organizes features of the principle subject by implying statements about it that normally a pply to the subsidiary subject. (Turner, 1974, pg. 30) The use of such conceptual metaphors has alre ady been exemplified in Douglas's interpretation of how people construct parallel metaphorical meanings for the social body, physical body, and the environmental body (the realm of "nature"). For Douglas, the cosmological world of meaning c onstructed by e galitarians utilizing these parallel metaphors ten ds be be dualistic. In con trast, majority culture as a statistical ly less egalitarian group will tend to be less black and white in their views of the degree to which things like G.M.O 's and invasive sp ecies a re altogether unnatural, unhealthy, risky immoral, und esirable, unsustainable and anti spiritual while things l ike fermented and raw foods are altogether natural, healthy, safe, moral, desirable, sustainable, and spiritually meaningful. Understoo d this way, egalitarian s dualism may actually help close the documented value action gap that seems to pr event the average ideologically proenvironmental individual from engaging in proenvironmental behaviors which might otherwi se seem like the logical beh avioral resu lt of proenvironmental beliefs. Following Medin et al. (2006), the less moral and pragmatic conflict that exists between various the various

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164 mental models associated with any specific object and practice the more likely it is that the individ ual will engage in intentional behavior s toward that object/practice. Thus the dualized belief system of the pro environmental egalitarian, with its clear distinction between good and bad objects and practices i s more likely to lead to actions which uti lize objects and practices associated with environmental sustainability Thus, more permaculture members than majority culture members are likely to be vegetarians or vegans solar cell users, non purchasers of G.M.O. foods etc. I n any lifestyle endless decisions must be made, and discourse among those engaged in the permaculture scene tends to be an ongoing reflexive discussion of the merits of various behaviors Nonetheless, the amount of information necessary to make a well informed decision for even a single lifestyle choice issue is as dauntingly endl ess in scope as it is incomplete in availability. At the same time, much information tends to be contradictory and the assurance of the ac curacy of any single bit of informat ion is usually elusive Th is leads to problems of uncertainty that ultimately bind the ability of any individual to make a fully rational decision. This concept of a "bounded rationality" has made a recent return in economic theory and subsequently repopularized the concept of th e utility of "heuristic" devices for the purposes of ever yday decisionmaking (Simon, 1955 ; Tversky & Kahneman, 1982; Gigerenzer & Selten, 2002; Kahneman 2003 ). According to the concept, the bind of behavioral indecision that would result from never know ing enough accurate facts to make a fully rational decision is solved by "heuristic" devices in which the individual utilizes a simplified, though often incomplete and inaccurate, system of cues and rules when analyzing a set of information in order to mak e a decision (Kahneman, 2011)

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165 Nature/culture categorization as a conceptual totem of the permaculture movement, is an heuristic tool used in Puna's permaculture movement to judge which actions are and which aren't appropriate overall. In behavioral e conomic terminology, egalitarians such as the permaculturists, as dualistic thinkers, are more likely than the general population to make "attribute s ubstitions" (Kahneman, 2003). As an example of this on the permaculture scene, t he attribute of "natural" tends to becomes a conceptual substitute for the attribute of "material sustainability" 1 the ultimate goal of permaculture in principle as well as for attributes such as "safe" and "healthy". Latour ( 1993) notes that the trajectory of modern Western cultu re seems to be a process of drawing up dualities while simultaneously engaging in processes that create hybrids between these dualities. The trajectory of Puna's permaculture communities will be shown to exemplify this process. Drawing the distinction be tween what is and what isn't natu ral, permaculturists now have simplified a cosmological journey that involves moving towards the "natural" side of things and leaving modern technological culture behind in the process However, having started t heir journe y as Western middle class postmaterialist urbanites raised in the heart of modern technological culture, we will see that this t he journey of unification r esult s in hybrids ( of which one hybridization process, the commoditization of ecotopia is of particu lar importance ) that ultimately undermine the goal of sustainability. 1 I will make an argument in the discussion section that using the concept of "natural" as an attribute substitution for "sustainable" is not necessary a bad one. Using environmental accounting concepts to present a working definition of "sustainable", I wil l make a case that "natural" may be a effectively "fast and frugal" (following Gigerenzer & Goldstein's 1996 use of the phrase) substitution heuristic for "sustainable".

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166 Flight from the P rofane: Cultic M ilieu as Anti Capitalist and C ounterhegemonic As much as "nature" provides a construct towards which p ermaculturists can move for purposes of a healthy h armonious body, community, and environment the need to move towards something is likely preceded among permaculturists born into Western middle class urban and surburbanite lifestyles by a sense of a need to move away from something of needing to be he aled from something. In this, the gardening aspect of perm aculture's sustainability endeavor often gets overshadowed by the drum beating, sancing, sweatlodging, tripping, and fasting that takes plac e as part of the constant quest to rid oneself of the si ckness obtained within the contemporary Western world of dates, deadlines, bills, cars, and career imaginations. It is this shamanic, healing element of permaculture that helps it to draw membership from the vast "cultic milieu" of those disinfatuated wit h modern trends. The term "cultic milieu" coined by Campbell (1972) and repopul arized by Kaplan and Loowe (2002 ), is used to describe the loose sense of recognition and brotherhood between various groups whose shared sense of opposition to the dominant culture helps to engender a shared openness to certain beliefs and practices, especially if esoteric and/or mystic in character, that are generally opposed in the dominant culture. In general, the different subcultures of the cultic milieu rally less behi nd a singular solution to the sickness of Western culture than they rally behind a shared sense of the cause. R egarding the cause, a growing consensus of the cultic milieu seems to share a belief that it is the faceless specter of neoliberal capitalism th at sends the poison darts responsible for the sickness. Permaculture communities can serve here as a rallying point for h ealing from the sickness of capitalism The counterhegemonic, d isputed character of many of the solutions encouraged within the perma culture scene

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167 shamanic experiences, breatharianism, fasts, cleanses, raw food diets, chelation therapy, and other alternative heal ing forms meant to remove the poison dart of the ca pitalist specter seem to contribute to its acceptance among the cultic mili eu as they resist the philistine paradigm in search of something to run towards in pursuit of a healthier, purer, highe r self This same flight from modern neoliberal capitalist culture that sends individuals on a quest to self heal can also manifest its elf as a longing for community, as explained by Sennett (1998 ): One of the unintended consequences of capitalism is that it has strengthened the value of place, aroused a longing for community. All the emotional consid erat ion we have explored animate that desire: the uncertainties of flexibility; the absence of deeply rooted trust and commitment; the superficiality of teamwork; most of all, the specter of failing to make something of oneself in the world, to "get a life" through one's work. All these con ditions impel people to look for some othe r scene of attachment and depth ( Sennett, 1998, pg. 138) Thus, the quest to self heal is accompanied by a quest for healthy community and resisting th e philistine paradigm leads to a pursuit of not only a health ier, purer, higher self, but also a healthier, purer, higher society. What at first is Durkheim's form ula reversed with society as profane becomes upright again as a new society is imagined. The sacred becomes the individual and the newly imagined communi ty lost at first to postmodern sickness but soon to be found again in the shared company of healed individuals whose increasing numbers mark the sacred beginning of a New Age of coming society Authors such as Nash (1967) and Glacken (1967) note that na ture/culture dualism has a long history of Western roots; during the beginning of the modern era it was used to paint a picture of a growing technological culture overcoming, taming, and bringing

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168 structure to the non human natural environment. The metapho r was found in both popular Christian religious as well as popular secular social contexts. Given this picture it is easy to see the logic of the counterhegemonic reversal of this dichotomy in which there is opposition to a profane modern culture and in which the antagonist, the force of nature becomes viewed as a space in which to imagine a liberating alternative. Filling out the body metaphors, the anti capitalist quest for a healed self and community is thus accompanied by a n from the malevolent effects of globalization that are driven by modern technological capitalist processes As dichotomous body metaphors become conctually blended in a reversal of Durkheim's formula, a pure, unpolluted environment "nature" embodied thus becomes (Albanese, 1991, pg. 7) a counterhegemonic sanctuary in which one can escape the colonization of one's lifeworld by the encroaching sickness of advanced capitalism, a place in which a solution to t he profanities of modern soci al processes becomes manifest in a sense of the sacredness of nature Sacred Union: Nature as A ntistructure known as Shivalila. At its height, four men and four women slept with their children i n a single room called the each member slept with a differen t member of the opposite sex; sexual relations were not rtners felt moved to do so. A notable feature of community participation was a periodic LSD ritual in which one of the community member s was blindfolded and encircled b y the group. For a considerable portion of the "trip", the member became the focus of an intense group mediated psychotherapy session intended to bring to the surface and address contradictions and

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169 issues that might inhibit the continuity of the group's successful functioning as a polyamorous community The community lasted eight years bef ore a violent breakdown by Kibo during a session marked the beginning of the dissolution of the entire group. Kibo now lives in one of Puna's permaculture communities His path to this community started when he met Bob and Dawn at a n orgasmic meditation workshop in San Francisco in which men and women a re paired up for the purpose of developing a "connectiv e resonance" through prolonged "mindful" finger to genital contact. After being joined by two others from the workshop the group of five moved to P una to start their own group owned permaculture community. Bob was initially Dawn 's partner ; he eventually left the community but remained in Puna for years afterwards helping conduct and participating in orgasmic meditation workshops. Dawn's new partner Juan is a permaculture community member as well as a member of an ayahuasca church that engages in monthly group ayahuasca ceremonies. Jua n considers the ceremonies an important part of his life; without the cleansing provided by the ceremony, he feels he wou ld not be able to maintain the higher consciousness needed to participate in alternative livi ng and would be more likely to forget and fall back into the thinking pattern s he grew up with as an average American upper middle class suburbanite. As the cu ltic milieu's flight from something must eventually result in a run toward s something, the shamanic element of permaculture is not to be underrated. Kibo, Bob and Juan are all similar here in their use of counterhegemonic practices as a path towards mysti c union. The various materials used and behaviors engaged in by various members of the cultic milieu to achieve this union can be interpreted as ritual devices meant to bring about a sense of communitas As used by Turner (1969 ), the subjective

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170 experienc e of communitas basically fits the concept of egalitarian union: it is a space without internal differentiation in which one achieves a sense of equality and unity with elements within that space. Turner quotes Malcolm X's description of his experience a t Mecca as an ideal example of communitas : "love, humility, and true brotherhood that was almost a physical feeling wherever I turned" (Malcolm X, 1966, pg 325, as quoted in Turner, 1974 pg. 1 68). Of Turner's three varieties of communitas the mystic un ion sought between people or with the natural environmentl fits his concept of existential communitas described as "the direct, immediate, and total confrontation of human identities which tends to make those experiencing it think of mankind as a homogene ous, unstructured, and free commu nity" (Turner, 1974 pg. 169). For Turner (1974 ) the space within which communitas is experienced is a space of anti structure, which is a term borrowed from Van Gennep (1960 ) and understood to be a space of experience se parate from the ordinary world of experience and thereby extraordinary. The undifferentiation experienced within the space of anti structure causes and in turn is caused by a detachment from the traditional social norms that dictate traditional personal, social, and ontological limits and expectations. It is a space w here rul es become turned on their heads and one 's sense of right and wrong is suspended. Survey results show the permaculture contingent as a group to have a relatively high incidence of mystical experience; mystical experiences associated with the nature environment is one aspect of the metaphor of union with the body. The importance of ego loss and the shamanic sense of union associated with mystical experiences is important for under standing the relationship of mystical experience to anti structure

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171 spaces which imagine a union between humans and the non human world. Understanding such mystical nature connection experiences as hierophanies, as Eliade (1961) used the term, helps to exp lain why nature becomes associated with the sacred. The egalitarian worldview of the Puna permaculturist is relatively dualistic, and as Eliade (1961) argues, mystic nature experiences help to create distinctions between that which is considered sacred an d that which is considered profane. Nature is experienced as a space of possibilities, exempt from the structure s of limitation cast upon it by ideology of the profane modern social world and trapping those who believe in this ideology, in this ideology In this it becomes similar to Turner's interpretation of the anti structure space The importance of anti structure space is exemplified by Musgrove (1974, pg 102) who barriers to perception crumble, when the walls between themselves and the world fall As Gould (2005, p g. 103) describes, indiv iduals seeking back to the land solutions themselves as experiencing a connection with nature that they (or we) might call mystical. Or they discover, through daily contact with nature, a sense of grace or Understanding that part of the permaculture endeavor is to create a space amenable these experience, permaculture communities thus come t fitsTurner's concept of an "ideological communitas, which is a label one can apply to a variety of utopian models or blueprints of societies believed by their authors to exemplify or supply the optimal conditions for exist ential communitas" (Turner, 1974 pg. 169). The specific

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172 brand of utopia being constructed within permaculture communities, focused as they are on an ti structure spaces of human environmental harmony, is something I call "ecotopia". Basking in the communitas of oppostional subculture, egalitarian minded members of the cultic milieu seek a shared spiritual cameraderie that comes from participation in the construction of the idealized, harmonious vision of nature offered through the ecotopian vision of permaculture community design It is important to note that the space of a nti structure described by Turner (1974) was an elaboration of ( 1960) secon d stage of the rites of passage, and the experience of communitas is but one of two characteristics associated with the space of anti structure. The other characteristic, liminality, implies the inherent transiency of this space as the group or individual moves to the final third stage of a ritualized progression of human experience. Deflem (1991) original progression of these ritualized stages as : (1) separation or the pre liminal (after limen, Latin for threshold), wh en a person or group becomes detached from an earlier fixed point in the social structure or from an earlier set of social conditions; (2) margin or the liminal, when the state of the ritual subject is ambiguous; he is no longer in the old state and has no t yet reached the new one; and (3) aggregation or the post liminal, when the ritual subject enters a new stable state with its own rights and obligations (Deflem, 1991, pg. 6) What will be crucial to the story here is an understanding of the inherently li minality of the experience of nature as an ecotopian symbol of antistructure within the worldview of the egalitarian minded cultic mi lieu who turn towards permacul ture lifestyles Various authors have long noted the inherent liminal chara cter of mystic an d religious experience s as they are experienced across cultur es (James, 1902 ; Pahnke, 1963 ), and t his liminal aspect will become i mportant as we imagine the permaculture endeavor to be a process in which its mystic oriented members must eventually enter a third stage.

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173 Nature/Culture Narratives in the Construction of E cotopia Call of the Cultic M ilieu: S ecular P ilgrimage to an Axis M undi I am driving over the forested ridge of Kilauea's east rift zone. On the opposite side of the street is a 20 something be arded barefoot guy wearing a backpack with his thumb held out. His smile is hu ge. He has a trademark "transcended" look in his eyes and expression that make s me think he's just arrived from the mainland, a pilgrim fresh off the plane, now immersed in wha t seems like Shangri La on earth and looking for somewhere to drop his bags to begin his sacred communion with nature. I've pi cked up so many guys and girls like this o ver the years, either going to or coming from or looking for one of the various work tr ade communities, many of which use the "permaculture" trope as part of their self description of what the community is all about. They serve as exc ellent random informants, keeping me in touch with the latest happenings around Pun a and often adding their two cents when appropriate to my growing canvas of shared permaculture experiences Many ti mes I'll pick up the same person a number of times over a couple of months, then never see them again, most likely because they have returned to the mainland. Pu na's work trader jet set is a highly transient crowd. Why such individuals choose to make the journey to Puna when numerous opportunities to engage in permaculture projects exist on the m ainland has alot to do with the historic significance of tropical isl ands in the Western imagination. Authors such as Grove (1995) note that tropical islands have long presented the ideal of a prist ine and unspoilt nature while simultaneously offering encapsulated examples of the fragility of nature to huma n intervention a s demonstrated through the historical results of European imperial conquests on various islands wo rldwide. As a result according to

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174 Grove (1995) islands have long been central to the formation of Western progressive environmental ideas as well as Weste rn ideas of social reform in general: L andscapes of island were metaphors of mind. Anxieties about environmental change, climatic change and extinctions mir rored anxiety about social form and motivated social reform. At the core of envir onmental concern lay anxiety ab o ut society and its discontents. (Grove, 1995, pg 14 ) Islands offer the possibility of redemption, a realm in which Paradise might be recreated or realized on earth, thereby implying a structure for a moral world in which in teractions between people and nature could be morally defined and circumscribed. (Grove, 1995, pg. 13) But the coming of the cultic milieu to Hawaii is about more than j ust coming to a tropical island; it is also about experiencing the homeland of a previo usly pristine and unspoilt culture which itself becomes representative of the "nature" half of a conceptual dichotomy between nature and technological culture. Roderick Nash (1967 ) notes the way in which indigenous American Indian populations, like wilder ness itself, beca me valorized once they ha d been conquered to the extent th at the initial threat possibility has been minimized. A simultaneous place sits in the American mind for Hawaiians in particular. Aided by images of H awaiian culture promoted thro ugh the film, surfing and tourism industries, as well as by Mead's images of nearby Sam oa, Hawaii and Hawaiians themselves conjure images of simplified lifestyles and the social freedom and ecological wisdom of an indigenous and once noble island culture Onc e in Hawaii, the cultic milieu make s its way to the Kilauea East rift zone, where the the world's most a ctive volcano easily fulfills the image of a sacred axis mundi To see the destructive results of Kilauea's lava as it flows forth from the earth' s mantle, unstoppable and destructive to anything in its path adding acres of land to the Big Island each year, it is hard not to evoke Eliade's (1961 ) conceptual descriptions of axis

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175 mundi as a veritable navel of the world, sacred omphalos, source of ear thly creation and place of connection to higher and lower realms. Yearly lava flows, erratic and unpredictable, take out stands of trees and shrubs, the occas ional home, and on rarer occasions a human life. Actual risk an d associated insurance problems d ue to the lava flows slow the construction o f homes and businesses alike, while the lack of soil spells difficulties for industrialized agricultural operations. These conditions create a sort of naturally anti capitalist geography, resistant to encroachme nt of the modern technological world, which is thus naturally attractive the anti modern, anti technologi cal, and anti capitalist imaginations of the cultic milieu The magma chambers at various spots along the rift zone are only a few miles down and heav y rainfall thus creates numerous areas of nat ural warm ponds and steam vents and produces the sulfurous smell of fire a nd brimstone after a fresh rain. Many Puna residents have their own personal explanation for how and why living in the Kilauea East Rift Zone creates the feeling of be ing charged emoti onally, physically, and/or aurically Some give scientific descriptions that attribute this feeling to the natural ferromagnetic qualities associated with slowly cooled lava; others attribute it to something entirely else. Kilauea's East Rift Zone thus carries a reputation for bringing forth among residents and visitors alike a numinous sensation which arises as much from the sense of dread and threat as it comes from a sense of exaltation; it gives a sense of being within the realm of that which Eliade termed the "wholly Other". With these images in mind, the cultic milieu's desired flight from the profane is aided by the actual physical distance of Hawaii from the mainland U.S.A., which helps to create a f eeling of separation from the profanity of the modern world and adds to the mystique of

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176 a land faraway in both space and character. Once again, Grove notes the historic significance of this distance aspect inherent in the tropical island, in relation to m ore Westernized geographies: The older metaphor or an actualize Eden could thus be blended with the image of the island as a new empirical realm of safety amidst an unknown and explorable natural world whose chief characteristic was a lac k of connection wi th all things European. (Grove, 1995, pg 45 ) During in depth interviews with permaculture participants, many described their decision to c ome to Hawaii as a "calling"; they "felt a call ," received "signs" or "messages" telling them to go, or otherwise exp ressed themes of passive esoteric correspondence when describing their motives for travel. Often, these experiences of passive esoteric correspondence occurred during meditation, vision quests, or psychedelic experiences. T he religious dimensions of suc h esoteric motives for travel aids an interpretation here of the Puna permaculture participant coming from the mainland as a type of pilgrim, while the long journey to Hawaii thus becomes akin to a secular form of pilgrimage. Once again, we can turn to Vi ctor Turner for a clearer understanding of pilgrimage as a ritual process; he quotes from the Jewish Encyclopedia in his definition of pilgrimage as "a journey which is made to a shrine or sacred place in performance of a vow or for the sake of obtaini ng s (Jewish Encyclopedia vol x, 1964, pg. 35, quoted in Turner, 1974, pg. 173). Here, the Kilauea East Rift Zone, as the wholly other axis mundi and known home to others seeking sacred union with nature, becomes the pilgrimage end point Furthermore w e can look at the act of permaculture participation as ritual performance of a vow meant to bestow grace through communion with natur e and like minded brethren Finally, understanding the

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177 pilgrimage process as ritual movement to a spa ce of antistructure, we can once again se e the possibility for conflict that arises when the permaculture spaces, conceived in theory for purposes of engendering long term material sustainability become pilgrimage sites for the ritualized experience of a ntistructure. S ecular R eligion and Egalitarian R itual in P ermaculture Religion? Nature is the only religion. (Manis, owner of Pangaia, during an in depth interview ) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously declared his definition of obscenity by stating "I know it when I see it." I'm wondering if this definition might be applied to religion as I hold hands in a circle with members and work traders at the La'akea permaculture community. We're all om'ing ("ooooohhhmmmmmm"). Some have their eyes closed. Some have their eyes open and are looking deeply into other's eyes. In between om's, wide smiles abound. There's little question that eye rolling or sarcasm, even in jest, would be highly inappropriate here. Afterwards, group hugs are common. Another common followup is to have each member of the circle express how they feel and/or what happened in (or what is planned for) their day. Such expressions take on dimensions which less appreciative individuals from the wider majority culture might de scribe as "woo woo" 2 Group circles such as this happened in one form or another at most of the permaculture communities I visited. As an observing participant, the group circle is a ritual that has a distinctly religious feel to it, but my questions to o thers regarding their own views on whether the act constitutes religious behavior has never lead to 2 "Woo woo [adj.] concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism; other than rati onal or scientific; mysterious; new agey." (A Way With Words, 2012)

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178 enthusiastic affirmations from the other om'ers. I find more consensus once I drop the word "religion" and choose instead the word "sacred" circles like th ese, many agree, help to invoke a sense of the sacred, allow members a platform in which to share their experiences of the sacred, and thereby help to create a connection between community members. Woo woo filled experiences of connection between communi ty members are expressed as commonly as experiences of a sacred connection to nature. What is important to point out here is that this sense of the sacred is manifesting itself among a generally secular crowd. According to in depth interviews, most permac ulturists come from non religious upbringings, and those that reported being exposed to religion in the home while growing up also reported having rejected it either before or after leaving home. This rejection opens the door for interpretations of the s acred that, though perhaps indirectly shaped by, are not directly tied to previously enculturated beliefs of an organized religion. This leaves space within permaculture for religious dimensions to develop independently around the concept of a sacred natu re. To understand the religious qualities of the permaculturist's take on nature and the sacred, we can use an "ideal type s" approach (Weber et al.; 1949) to religion in which we list the various beliefs, practices, and other characteristics common ly ass ociated with traditional organized religion (our "ideal type") Such characteristics might include belief in supernatural entities, attribution of anthropomorphic qualities to non humans, sacred phenomenological experiences, sacred linguistic codes, sacre d spaces and structures, and sacred behavioral phenomena. Following Taylor (2010), if certain beliefs, practices, and/or other characteristics of a secular group, movement, or social phenomenon can be argued to have "family

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179 resemblances" to those beliefs practices and/or other characteristics associated with traditional organized religion, then that group, movement, or social phenomenon can be characterized as having religious dimensions. Thus, it is possible to remove the primary characteristic associ ated with religion (belief in supe rnatural entities) and be left with characteristics that occur in everyday life which have religious dimensions yet may not be considered religion per se. Broadening this definition of religion to include aspects of life characterized by religious dimensions is a common contemporary approach to religion (Saler, 1993; Taylor, 2007) that recognizes the vacuum of meaning that exists in the absence of traditional religion in secular society (Luckmann, 1967; Bailey, 1997). In these instances, secular aspects of human life can be recognized to be imbued with religious character and treated in religious manner with accompanying ritualized behaviors (Chide ster, 2005). Millenarianism, Revitalization and Reverse Cargo Cultism I'm watching B lake as he mulches a patch of bananas with the weeds he and others have been pulling from an overgrown sweet potato patch near the community kitchen I' m having a moment of rest from the work I've been d oing: taking down the cane grass that has overgrown the young saplings of various f ruit trees that were planted just a year ago. I've been at it for nearly a week now; on my best days I get into a Zen like state as I take down the thick grass stalks at their base with a machete and then saw out the roots with a small saw bladed sickle called a "kama" Weeding, mulching, planting, composting ; weeding mulching, planting composting It's a surprisingly repetitive set of tasks that comprises the bulk of permaculture. The goal, of course, is the harvest. But I'm starting t o look at the work we do as less of a

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180 technologically rational behavior and more of a ritual ac t carried out for the purpose of fulfilling millenaria n and revitalization narratives of a secular nature religion. In permaculture c ommunities, spiritual ideology about nature serves as a binding force for utopian ventures. These spiritual beliefs are not organized religio n per se, and in permaculture beliefs about nature and the natural world tend to arise from and are made meaningfu l through an interpretation of highly Western scientific concepts. Yet, in n, the rea lm of nature takes on sacred im portance, and communion with this realm is the highest good. P rinciples of Western scientific logic uphold the greater meaning of such communion through secular narratives of revitalization and millenarianism. Peak o il is certainly the most obvious example of a permaculture millenarian narrative based on a scientifically derived storyline. The basic narrative maintains a belief that oil energy will run out, that the unsustainable practices of neoliberal economics will resu lt in a painful worldwide crash, but that proper work and organization in acccordance with permaculture design will en sure a smooth ride through this crash for those who choo Alternative versions of this millenial storyline repla ce peak oil with global warming, market crashes, and/or catastrophic resource depletion, but all identify modern technological culture as the growing evil element responsible for the current dystopia: Throughout most of human history, people have lived con nected to the Earth, in some kind of community structure (be it tribe, clan, village, or whatever), sharing some form of spiritual beliefs that informed their daily lives. It's only been in the last century that our world has changed so dramatically, and a t incredible speed, leaving most of us living divorced from the Earth, each other, Spirit, and even ourselves. (Tarletz, 2007)

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181 By envisioning an escape route from the impending despair the back to the land act of reharmonizing with a sacralized salvational nature permaculture participants tend to be somehat positive in choosing themes of millennial hope instead of apocalyptic despair when describing the life philosophies driving their actions. Denouncing apocalypticism, Toby Hemenway (2008), a major permac ulture figure notes the belief itself to be yet another manifestation of modern technological culture : A lthough plenty of Peak Oil commentary is sober analysis, a survey of the major websites and books quickly brings up apocalyptic titles like,, The Death of the Oil Economy, The End of Suburbia, and The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. Peak Oil writings are sprinkled with predictions that billions will die, civil order will collapse, and even that that Peak Oil catastrophism is largely a manifestation of our primary cultural myth: that all things end with suffering, death, and then resurrection. Belief in apocalypse is programmed into he nearly unavoidable personal and collective response to times of uncertainty and ra pid change. (Hemenway, 2008, online) Thus the idea of escape becomes counterhegemonic itself making this element of permaculture belief an example of s ( 2001 ) description of the utopian, millennial response to dominant government, in this case industrialized neo liberal capitalism. It is : A vision of transformation that departs from the social totality and [involves] a renovated left [which] are centra l conditions for the development of a counterhegemonic project. Robinson (2004, pg. 176) However, permaculturists go a step further by infusing their politico environmental millenarian message with secular dimensions of nature religion expressed through G aia terminology and a n esoteric understanding of the view of human s as one system within a greater environmental system (in two of the communities, both the writings of James Love lock and Howard T. Odum sit on the book shelves right next to the main

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182 permacu lture texts) In many cases, such accounts are colored by less scientific storylines based on Mayan cosmology or the prophecies of Nostradamus. If peak oil, global warming, and GMO apocalypticism can be understood as millenarian narratives of permaculture 's secular religious ideology, then the act of gardening is certainly its ritual. It is through this act th at revitalization is deemed possible. In the basic revitalization narrative of the permaculture prophecy, man has separated himself from the natural world and ought to get to getting back to it. Such narratives become tied to millenarian ism as they become based on the necessity of a back to the land imperative to avoid the dangers of an immanent apocalyptic crash as exemplified in the following quot e from a bioregional conference flyer advertising the book "Ecohabitats: Experiences Towards Sustainability": Although this book has a solid theoretical and academic foundation on environmental issues, it is primarily the work of several people who speak f rom living this way. It comes from households of people practicing living ecologically with a religious or spiritual fervor. I'm not exaggerating. The individual efforts to save the environment of the planet, although modest in their global outreach, are n evertheless heroic. As a matter of fact, the sum of all the individual efforts, if adopted by millions, would result in the salvation of the earth. If we take care of the quality of life for our family, we are taking care of the quality of life of the comm unity and, ultimately, for the whole world. We cannot have a global environmental spirit if we don't have it first in our daily, domestic and local life. (Bioregional Congress, 2008) In the egalitarian world of permaculture, millenarian beliefs are fus ed with revitalization concepts through use of a time factor to define the difference between the inner, pu re body of nature and the outer, corrupted body of moder n technological society. The inner body in this case becomes the original body humans and socie ty as they existed in an earlier time period, in harmony with nature. The outer body eq uates to later in time and includes the current time period when man has been corrupted by the evils of modern capi talized industrial culture and through this evil

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183 bec ome separated from nature. In the impending social and environmental collapse, only those select few who return to the good ways of early man and the non Western Other shall make it through to the other si de, happier and more harmonious than ever before. Combining millenarian narratives with these rituals of revitalization, it becomes possible to view permaculture as a reverse form of cargo cultism In the cargo cult phenomenon that took place in parts of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, small gr oups from non Westernized tribes ("primitives") following the arrival of the cargo laden military planes of the Allied forces during World War II, are said to have "put down their digging sticks" and climbed to mountain top plateaus, cleared vegetation fo r makeshift landing strips, made bamboo likenesses of radio control towers, used reed batons to copy the behavior of landing strip traffic controllers, and waited. This ritualized mimic k of Western aviation behavior was intended to draw unto them from the sky gods the same abundance of cargo which arrived into the hands of the Western G.I's who engaged these same behaviors (Trompf, 1990) In some int erpretations, cargo cult behavior is seen as a political protest against an immoral imbalance of materials p ossession between Westerners and non Westerners (Kaplan, 1995). Permaculture is a reversal of this scenari o in which a dispossessed Other seeks the abundance of Western goods through ritual magic In both Pacific cargo cults and permaculture, Western cult ure has dispossessed the individual of a sense of well being. But in permaculture, Westerner s themselves have been dispossessed by their own cultural processes, and they seek through ritual emulation to bring forth the supposed abundance attributed to the non Western precapitalist Other Turner define d ritual as :

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184 A stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and designed to influence preternatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' g oals and interests. (Turner 1969 pg. 183) From a secular standpoint, the sky gods have been replaced here by the earth gods n ature has taken the place of the mystical, preternatural entity. Having made their pilgrimage to the Kilauea East Rift Zone t he sequestered place permaculturists weed, mulch, plant, and compost in an effort to reproduce the abundance imagined to exist in the natural lifestyles of the non Western primitive Other. Underlying this is the contrast between "nature" as the giver of a bundance and technological "culture" as the source of degradation. On Puna's permaculture scene this interpretion of the relationship between nature and technological culture provides a sacred canopy of meaning and direction which is reinforced by group c ircles in which ancient Hawaiian chants are sung, and in which glorified stories are told of the efficiency and wisdom of ancient Hawaiian agricultural techniques. It is an image borrowed from scientific interpretations of the Other's abundance as describ ed by Sahlins (1972) and Lee (1979) "they hardly had to work at all!" said one permaculturist when describing the ahupua'a system of Hawaiian agricultural management. Indeed, Mollison himself (1997 ) imagined the well designed permaculture garden as being capable of leading to a state in which nature does all the work and humans are left solely with light managerial tasks necessary to maintain the continued return of bounty and abundance. Thus, the ritualized work of gardening is imagined in some w ays to b e a liminal state as emulation of the beliefs and lifestyle patterns of the Other are perfected, the work load is imagined to lighten as nature begins delivering the goods on her own.

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185 Glorifying the Other: L anddancing, Value R ationality, and the DMP Part of the glorifi ed pursuit of the imagined Other involves a pursuit of those forms of rati onality that Weber (1968 [1922] ) originally found descriptive of the lifeworlds of individuals living in pre capitalis t, non market societies. In perma culture, instrum ental rationality is associated with those who are at home in the capitalist market system found in highly technological, industrial ized societies; for permaculturists that instrumental rationality has not been able to provide them with their immaterial n eeds. The response is a conscious move towards a more value based rationality with a heightened moral dimension. This idea of a heightened moral dimension to community forms of counterculture was explored by Etzioni (1988) who saw evidence for it in the a nti consumerism values and anti consumption lifestyle choices of the "Living Simply" movement. Paralleling this, Thompson (1971) considered the idea of a value based "moral economy" to be a form of resistance to capitalism and capitalist relations of prod uction. Thompson note d that various non instrumental, value based systems of rationality tended to occur in societies characterized as pre capitalist and engaged in domestic modes of production ( DMP). Some of these values, such as task orientation, cause d resistance to the presumably more instrumentally efficient time oriented rationality of capitalist culture. Indeed, part of the goal of emulating the Other within permaculture involves successful engagement in a domestic mode of production, in which bas ic needs are met autonomously by the nuclear group through their interaction with the surrounding natural environment. Permaculture's ideal vision of the domestic mode of production includes an actively sought transition from time orientation to task orie ntation, seeing task orientation as more human and less alienating:

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186 with each other, dancing with oursel keeping track of time anyway??? (Pangaia, 2007b) This quote captures the non interest in time labor, fuzziness of work/play boundaries, and interwoven sense of c ommunity and spirituality that is common to ideals found in permaculture and communitarian counterculture. Firth (1939) explained the difference between work and labor as the difference between energy expended for exchange labor versus energy expended for fun, for pure satisfaction, and for the satisfaction gained through work itself. Labor, in Firth's view, implied a political context; it was labor that produced value in capital society, not work. No satisfaction was meant to be gained through labor its elf; labor implied a lack of pleasure. This distiction between work and labor is an important clue to understanding what motivates Puna's communitarians and its many work exchange visitors during their construction of ecotopia. People are attracted to Pun a for the anti capitalist experience, for the heightened "consciousness" assumed to be found in a setting outside of capitalism: Pangaia is a place where you will discover how you feel when your consciousness stops getting a constant dose of automobiles, t raffic, cell phones, faxes, interruptions, advertisements and commercial tra nsactions. (Pangaia, 2007c) This heightened consciousness, free from the confusion of capitalism's technology, is the original state of nature", a la Rousseau the original state o f the Other in the natural world, which takes on utopian meaning. The anti capitalist nature of this sentiment is expressed in millenarian terms as a loss of connection to both Earth

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187 and Spirit a connection that can be found again (revitalized) through en gaging in an energetic, hands on discourse with the land: Our vision is of unity with Gaia, the Earth mother, and with each other; a full and complete expression of who we are through our work, art, and play. (Pangaia, 2007) As part of this hands on discou rse, an important objective of permaculture is the Dionysian, anti capitalist antistructure communities approach this is through the co ncept of the "land dance". Active members may "often spend up to 60 hours a week" landdancing away with machetes, hoes, and their bare hands as they dig, cut, hack, plant, pull, and otherwise engage in their jungle "labor". This transformation of laborin g on the land into the worshipping Gaia through "landdancing" hits upon Heilbroner's (1953) ideas of how "work" gets turned into "play" through social relations (such as the landdance, which is usually performed together). Heilbroner stressed that the bar rier of property usually defined work. Working on one's own property was not really "work" "labor" was something you did on someone else's property. In Puna, the idea of property ownership is dirtied through utopian collective mindset towards property a nd the infusion of indigenous Hawaiian beliefs land is never actually owned by anyone; it is everyone's, or nobody's Thus, permaculture communitarians like to praise the lava takeovers of Kalapana and Kapoho as proof from Mother Pele that humans, in the end do not own the land. In visions of Pele as the owner of the land, ownership is always by a non human entity; in visions of Gaia, the idea of human owners hip seems immoral and backwards. Ideas of non ownership are reinforced through egalitarian rituals, such as the group circle, and an ongoing anti

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188 capitalist rhetoric infused with sacred overtones of the values of the Other, especially values associated with old Hawaiian culture. I t is the land, it is our wisdom, it is the land, it shines us through, it is the land, it feeds our children. it is the land, you can not own the land, the land owns you (Pangaia, 2007) Such rituals and beliefs help to muddy the legal differences between permaculture property owners and the transient work traders; it helps to provide a sense of shared participation and responsibility for work/labor needed to create the abundance of the Other. Through accepting non ownership and esca ping the blinders of the capitalist worldview, permaculturists in their ideal worldview see them selves work ing/laboring as equals in nature and thus fuse with it in a millenarian reconnection with nature. This utopian pursuit is the heart and soul of ecotopia In furthering the comparison between permacultur e 's DMP and pre capitalist DMP' s, it is wo rth mentioning that Heilbroner (1953) and Sahlins (1972) both note that there is little separation of work and labor in pre industrial society. Applebaum (1992) claims that the idea of work is qualitatively different in non market societies: from the non market perspective, work is embedded in the social fabric of the social institution. Like the landdance, non market values do not separate work from personal life, and religion and m agic are as likely as material concerns to dictate work procedures. Work under Applebaum's non market perspective was not something you did for eight hours a day for personal gain; it was something with social significance performed with a meaning and for a purpose that transcended individual gain. Work was entrenched with id eas and values that circulated around working for and with each other; it was the work of society, getting done by and within reciprocal relationships. Applebaum also saw, as Thompson did, that non market work as task oriented instead of time oriented. U nder

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189 these terms, visions of the Pangaians land dancing for 60 hours a week in service to Gaia begins to appear less irrational. However, the prospect of 60 hour workweeks, however spiritual the permaculturists might paint the process to be, is a difficul t vision of ecotopia to swallow for prospective work exchange volunteers, who often pay hundreds of dollars a month for the opportunity to experience life and work in Puna's alternative living scene. That is why the main emphasis in Puna work exchange adv ertisements usually pain ts ecotopia as an easy, morally sound lifestyle in which needs are fulfilled without backbreaking requirements and that this ease is the direct result of having successfully engineered a lifestyle that is alternative to the mainstre am: disconnected western lifestyle to a more earth based, integrated, whole way of being. (La'akea Community, 2007, online) This sellable vision of sustainability is the ecotopia of legi timate underproductivity valorized by past anthropologists as the trademark of non agricultural societies (Sahlins, 1972; Lee and De Vore, 1968), where there is ample time to engage in social reproduction within the community, in which accusations of lazi ness by the mainstream can be shrugged of with replies equivalent to the famous !Kung response "why should we work when there is so many mongo n go nuts in the world?" Substitute reverse cargo cultlike concept willingly provided abundance and bo unty and you get the permaculture version of the pure idyllic life of the non capitalist Other : I think about how many candy sweet pineapples I've eaten this week and the pleasant lifestyle I have and consider saying, 'Hey, wouldn't you rather be a poor f armer in tropical paradise than a rich professor in Chicago?!' I suppose it's a reasonable question to ask why I would spend all of that time slaving away through grad school and then become a farmer. And I suppose it's expensive to buy food processors, c offee makers, and other fancy "time saving" devices since they do have to get shipped so far. But I

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190 don't use those things and half of the food I ate today came from plants that multiply faster than I can replant them, so in my mind, it's cheap to live he re at the permaculture farm I work about 20 hrs/wk, and the rest of the time I get to relax and play. All of the food I eat is organic and most of it is picked only a few steps from the kitchen, though some comes from the health food store. I have no income or savings, no phone, and no connections to "the grid," and everyday I enjoy a more relaxed, fulfilling, healthy life tha n I ever did, or could, before. (Silber, 1998 online )

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191 CHAPTER 6 THE PERFORMANCE, ACT TWO: NATURE/CULTURE PROCESSES IN THE COMMODITIZATION OF ECOTOPIA Nature/Culture Dystopias and Disillusions T rickster G eography : H ow Kilauea M onkeywrenches V ision s of E cotopia I'm on a fieldtrip with my Humanity, Society, and Technology class. We're visiting Robb Farm in Waimea. Robb Farm is perhaps the Big Island's most productive organic farm and is the main provider of a wide variety of produce to many restaurants and health food stores on and off island, including, ironically, those located in Lower Puna on the other side of the island. There are no keyhole gardens here. L ong straight rows of organic crops and years of farming kno wledge differentiate this farm and others I've visited from the t ypical permaculture endeavor in Lower Puna and likely contribute to the equally huge contrast in productivity. But the biggest cause of difference in productivity likely comes from differ ences in the environment itself. Waimea is blessed with light rains and r ich medial andisol soils; the Kilauea East Rift Zone leaves Lower Puna essentially soil less, while heavy rains leave the rainforest leached nutrients and produces a hot humid breeding ground for mold, mildew, airborne plant pathogens, and various insects that carry non airborne pathogens from plant to plant. Grove (1995), in his treatise on tropical island environments, notes the danger posed to Westerners of being seduced by the myth of the island utopia and presents in its place the imperative of trans formation necessary for the success of the hero in a strange environment : I n confronting t he reality of the natural world, he successfully weathers the transition from magician to natural scientist. Only a rigourous empiricism, it is implied, can cope with the sheer extent of physical unfamiliarity when there is not culturally receiv ed precede nt to fall back upon. (G rove, 1995, p g 34 )

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192 Such is life for the permaculturist in the rainforest s of Lower Puna The utopian version of nature, as imagined by newly arrived permaculturists arriving to Lower Puna, does not yet exist and so must be const ructed. But the difficulty of transforming cargo cult rituals into actions that truly bear the imagined fruits is daunting, and expensive, and not always utopian in endeavor. Arguments can ensue over what is and what is not natural, and it is here t hat H awaiian history and the unique island geography of the Kilauea East Rift Zone combine to confound Western constructs developed in temperate continental regions of what constitutes good and b ad human environmental behavior Perspectives on biodiversity and non native species for instance, become highly contestabl e when at tempting to carve a living out of a rainforest region covered by lava once every 400 years on average on an isolated island populated by humans only 1500 years ago The jurassic look of the Kileaua East Rift Zone comes from the combination of ohia trees and ferns that have carved out their niche here through their unique ability to coloniz e the soilless lava. F ew species other than birds provide a food source for humans in the native ohi a fern forest environment The vast majo rity of edible species associated with traditional Hawaiian island lifestyles were brought in by the Hawaiians themselves within the last 1500 years, constituting a recent introduction when measu red against continen tal time scale s Many of these staples sweet potato, taro, breadfruit grow well in the vertisol and andi sol soils around the island, but don't do well on the lava fields of lower Puna where the potentially rich basalt has yet to become transformed into a substrate amenable to agricultural crop s In some spots, a few hundred years of decay of r ainforest plant matter have left behind a layer of relatively infertile muck

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193 classified as sapritic histosol but this layer is so thin and scattered that the vast majority of the East Rift Zone is classified as soilless (Deenik, 2005). Many of the tropical foods which are seen to grow in lower Puna and which have become associated with a romanticized image of "old" Hawaii pineapples, papayas, avocadoes, mangoes, mac ademia nuts were introduc ed only in the last few hundred years following the arrival of Cap tain Cook, in most cases by Westerners. All of these species, as well as other food sources such as banana, palm nut, and coconut, annuals such as lettuces, tomato es, and cucumber, vine based perennials such as pumpkin and chayote, and trees such as citrus and sapote, require the import of soil, mulch, and compost as well as liming, watering, pest contro l, and additional fertilization in order for abundance to be fo rthcoming. Typically, when combined with the use of ornamentals, the presence of humans in the East Rift Zone seems to create a marked increase in non native species, but with it, an increase in speci es diversity. However, this can only occur with additio ns of material inputs that require vast amounts of human labor and typically, unsustainable energy inputs during the construction phase. In addition to the problems inherent in the construction of a food c ornucopeia, problems arise with the construction of environmentally friendly shelter. Overall slow growth precludes widespread sustainable use of the native ohias, while the inherent brittlness of the wood makes it especially vulnerable to b reakage from side pressure and dictates that only impractically thick an umilled trunks be used as structural supports. Few other native woods exi st in the region. Lumber quality bamboo sp ecies can be grown only through laborious work and energy inputs involv ing pickaxes, soil additions, and nutrient amendments. Non natives such as mango and invasives such

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194 as guava can provide light structural roles such as handrails and guardrails, but building codes preclude their use o therwise. The prospect of fire, overall permeability to the elements and the speed of rotting i n the rainforest humidity precludes the use of traditional thatch siding and roofing In the end, the vast majority of permaculture structures are built with the same imported tin roofs, imported lumber framing, imported plywood siding, and imported cemen t or plywood flooring as any majority culture Big Island home. In addition to practical difficulties of food and shelter, aesthetic ironies can arise when pursuing the "natural" side of things in Puna out of principle alone. An excellent example is the ongoing amivalence towards lawns. Facing a piece of raw lava rock rainforest, the typical permaculture pursuit begins with an initial razing of a t least a portion of the land; interestingly, the grass that naturally crops up from the raz ed lava cinder qui ckly results an a rcadian ideal of the lawn that puts most mainland suburban lawns to shame. But this phenomenon in itself can prove an area of contest among permaculturists. E nvironmental historians such as Worster (1977 ) note tha t the arcadian depiction of the nature ideal is rooted in open spaces originating from Victorian bour geoise notions of country living In this tradition, c attle pasture became transformed into a demonstration of expanse and grandeur through open unused space of the grazer free lawn", which became a measure of the lack of need of concern for agricultural efficiency, which in turn demonstrated the carefreeness of those with wealth to spare. T his image, carried forth in the modern West through the surburban value placed on beautif ul lawns, results in a backlash among perm aculturists to the idea of the lawn as evidenced in discussions

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195 about their inefficiency, their difficulty of maintenance and the profane suburban values with which they are associated But the alternative, the living in wild scenario, with dwellings and gardens encompassed with multiple trees a nd the rainforest jungle itself leads to problems in Puna. Dwellings enclosed by trees give rats access to rooftops and water cisterns, and provide an over hanging stoop for birds to defacate on rooftops leading to cisterns This is a major concern as it can lead to leptospirosis in the drinking water and dead animals in the cistern. Close trees and jungle also means humidity and close prox imity with mosqui toes, as well as limited airflows wh ich result in mold and mildew On top of this, b ranches o f overhanging albizias and other naturally sheared trees can easily crush a tin roof ; furthermore, a close jungle allows the nightly ear piercing cries of the coq ui frog to originate from a few feet away Thus, Puna in many ways demonstrate s the practical elements of an image associated in continental regions with impracticality by proving that open space in the modern tro pics serves highly pragmatic purposes. T he open spaces provide sunshine and airflo w to well spaced fruit trees. V ari ous animals that attack a garden pigs, rats, and mongoose in particular are greatly deterred by the open space of a lawn. Plus the lawn, growing naturally on its own, provides a soft carpet for barefoot machinati ons nature mystics living on the permaculture manor. Permaculture notions against the lawn thus turn out in many ways to be rooted in aesthetic postmaterial p rinciples developed by Westerners r evolting against the suburb and not as the result of practical materialist co nc erns of living off the land in l ower Puna.

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196 Reverse Cargo Cultism and its C onsequences The fact that most permaculturists arrive with little knowledge of agriculture becomes doubly problematic in face of the fact that, though traditional Hawaiian agricultural knowledge is sought and emulated, there are no examples of indigenous Hawaiian groups engaged in traditional agricultural domestic modes of production with which to associate or othe r wise glean agricu ltural knowledge Many of the permaculture communities sit in close proximity to more mainstream agricultural operatio ns owned and run by families of mixed Western, Pacific Islander, and Asian descent ; often such families trace their histories two generat ions or more back to Hawaii's original sugarcane workers. However, communication between p ermaculturists and "locals" tends to be scant and this seems part ly the result of a bias which favors the knowledge of the extinct, sacralized, traditional "nat ural indigenous Hawaiian Other and places actual locals in the profane category of mainstream "technological culture" In depth interviews showed that the social networks of both landowners and worktraders in Puna's permaculture communities were extremely i nsular, comprised almost wholly of daily interactions with, a sense of kinship towards, and an admiration for individuals living within the permaculture community or individuals living in other back to the land communities in Lower Puna. Some of these com munities were miles apart. At times the sacralized sta tus given to the traditional indigenous Hawaiian and the lifestyles and worldviews they represent is expressed in terms that portend the possible dang ers of an ethnic bias that can result from the sacra lization of a nature/culture dualism Comme nts differentiating those who demons trate "higher consciousness" from those who demonstrate "lower consciousness" are occasion ally directed in the negative

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197 towards "locals". S uch c omments bring to mind the more nefarious tie s between ideologies of environmental purity and ideologies of social purity which some scholars have noted when examining connection s between the back to the land movements of late 19th century Germany and the anti semetic ideology of 20th ce ntury Nazi Germany (Bramwell, 1985 ; Bruggemeier, et al., 2005). The irony of b randing the "local" worldview as profane becomes apparent when considering that t he overall survey results showed the control group represen ting Hawaii majority culture to diff er less from the permaculture test group than either of the other two control groups (see figures in the appendices ). Nonetheless, as in any modern Westernized rural low income region, the stereotypical image of the truck driving meat eating tattoo'ed t ough guy is certainly a visually conspicuous element of Hawai'i's local demographic that finds itself at odds with permaculture's preferred image of the indigenous taro eating tree hugging aloha bearing pacifist The tragedy of this constructed discrep ancy is best exemplified in a statement made by a work trader named Willow; she was weeding a taro patch while Jonah expressed his anger about the "lower consciousness" of the locals who had just been caught dump ing trash onto a n earby vacant land lot. In response she sighed and said "I look at us and sometimes think, we're more Hawaiian than the Hawaiians". However this sense of thinking and behaving like the imagined glorified Other comes without witness to or immersion into any actual Other lifewor ld of perspectives, experiences, or ecological knowledge. The result is that the desire to make a successful transition away from the profanities of mod ern Western culture becomes a difficult one especially when nature, as the intended deliverer of abunda nt cargo, rarely seems to

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198 deliver as imagined. In many ways, the typical permaculture community scenario of a sustained high level labor input g oes against th e ideal of nature as provider and this is likel y why replacing concepts of labor with "landdancin g" can become an effective response to the fact that the cargo is never so voluntarily forthcoming as imagined. c artons from Safeway!!! In this complex conversation, the land answers our calls with her responses. Admittedly, we have stuttered, floundered, and stumbled many times in the process of learning the language of life, this give and take with the land. Some p eople call it 'mistakes,' we call it 'learning.' It is humbling, yet we feel honored that the land is willing to continue this dance. (Pangaia, 2007a online ) However conceived, the problem of food production abounds in pe rmaculture communities. In most o f the com munities the majority of work traders gain or attempt to gain access to food stamps for the duration of their stay on island. In other cases, workers pay a monthly fee to cover food costs. Landowners usually make food purchases f rom personal sav ing accounts built up during past histories of mainstream professions and financial transactions, collected work trade fees and financial results from the various fee based workshops which many communities increasingly offer as part of the permaculture ex perience However painted, what becomes apparent is t hat the reverse cargo cultism of the permaculturists leads to an error similar in style to th a t made by Pacific Island cargo cults. Members of mid 20th century P acific Island cargo cults engage d in a su perficial mimic of the behaviors and material construction s seen to bring cargo planes. However, they have no real knowledge of airplane production and function, much less a conception of the vast amounts of knowledge, energy labor and human organization al coordination that goes into the Western indu stry of aviation and which has made

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199 possible the arrival of cargo planes on Pacific Islands in conjunction with the construction of runways and radio towers and the waving of landing strip batons as performed by members of Wes tern Allied forces Just as the Pacific cargo cults have a si mplified version of the complex Western process es behind the arrival of technological cargo from the sky gods, so do the permaculturists have a simplified version of the comple x traditional indigenous process es behind the arrival of Nature's cargo from the earth go ds. The ritualized motions of the permaculturists do not take into account the hidden intensity of coordinated, effortful, at times deadly, and likely dystopian histo ry trials and errors required to make this agricultural based bounty appear. Missing this element, p ermacultur ists perform the perfunctory acts associated with the natural indigenous gardener yet the food does not come. It is likely that the antihegemoni c and mystical sides of p ermaculture contribute to the cargo cult aspects of belief of the effectiveness of the gardening ritual. The mystic phenomena prevalent among permaculturists in which an individual has a s piritual experience of insight unaided by c onventionally social religious structures, is likely to push an individual towa rds accepting the possibility that knowledge and gnosis can be something obtained outside the realm of normative understanding in which knowledge transmission comes from authori tative community experts This leads to the possibi lity that something as pragmatic as food production does not necessarily require participation in a con ventional (or traditional) social structure or guidance by authoritatitive expertise in order to be s uccessful.

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200 members of unstructured groups will tend to idolize a selected leader in a similar way as a young child idolizes a parent, instilling the charismatic leader with impressive qualities and proje cting their own needs onto an individual whom they perceive as able to satisfy those ne eds ( Halverson et al., 2004 ). This relation can be seen to take place among back to the land pil grims arriving in Hawaii as they look Edenic mother figure who will provide bountiful cargo if the correct r ituals are performed. But the mystic search for unity with a parental mother nature r the soil poor lava rock o f the Kileauea East Rift Zone. T he poor returns of the reverse cargo c ult error are one source of disillusionment that can set in the promised utopian bounty. As financial savings are used up, most pilgrim s must return to the mainland w ith what money is left. The worst off have spent all their money on the journey and become something akin to indentured servants to communal landowners, working for little incentive bu t the desire to return home after as a growing mat erialist need begins to wash away a communitas dependent on a postmaterialist space of security Pro blems with Permanent L iminality and the M aintenance of C ommunitas the smell of rotting fish, the flies, the human manure that splashed on me as I dumped it tentmate who woke me up in the middle of the night with his vomiting having tried to eat "naturally fermented" nking of facing another day with Anko, the landowner, who seems to have good intentions but also has anger management issues and ends up bark ing orders and yelling much worse

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201 crazy for doing this. She was from California but now considers herself something of a local wahine She's picked up a pidgin accent, hangs out with the locals, drives a nice car, and recently picked up a high paying job as secretary for the boss of the local phone company in Hilo. But she used to live rig ht down the road from Anko. As she puts it, she ran around for years as a barefoot raw vegan/fruitarian before the unending social drama of communitarian life got to her, and she got sick of getting sick. Lepto spirosis outbreaks twice, rat lung worm once and constant staphe infections as she claims. S over it ", she k eeps saying, "mo' bettah ways fo' have fun!" O ne of the problems risked by the ideological importance which b ack to the land communities place on the counterhegemonic pursuit of an environmental sustainable lifestyle and a utopian sense of community connection is that they never quite achieve their goal T hus communities tend to remai n trapped in a space of p erm anent liminality, a space of unresolved antistructure. Marin (1984) calls this predicament "the neutral", in reference to the deferral of success by which the community perpetual ly "wedges itself between reality and its other" (Marin, 1984, pg. 197). Thi s situation is typical of Lower Puna' s permaculture communities. A s the honeymoon sense of environmental and social communitas within this space of permanent liminality wears off, it can lead to an experience that Heatherington (2005) calls "waking up", i n which the individual feels compelled to make a return to majorit y culture This wakeup call occurs for va rious reasons, some material and some immaterial. I n all cases it leads to different consequences for the landowners and the worktraders.

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2 02 Unlike landowners who have a degree of permanent investment in the community, work trade rs can leave at any time Many come and leave following preset timelines ; the work trade crowd for this reason often peaks during the summer, and there seems to be a high inf lux and outflux during the weeks falling in between spring, summer, a nd fall school semesters. T he vast majority of these permaculture participants have purchased two way tickets and the antistructure experience of communitas ends on schedule with the ret urn flight home creating a packaged permaculture experience that is typically experienced as h ighly positive by both the l andowners and the work traders themselves. Other work traders arrive on free schedules, many with one way tickets, some having sold their possessions and/or quit jobs as a precursor to their arrival For thes e individuals, the pursuit of permaculture is not necessarily intended to have an ending date the possibility of an exalted life living low off the land is something which is conc eived to be both a real and permanent possibility. It is here tha t the inevitable but inintentional end of communitas within the liminal space becomes the key factor deciding departure. In the postmaterialist realm, this breakdown invariably involves so cial relations. Sexual relationships develop quickly in the unstructured egalitarian atmosphere but can also burn out quickly, causing community departure of either half. In othe instances, a new relationship causes community departure by both ha lves as they seek a new circumstances as a couple or in preparation for a child. Other times, the breakdown in communitas is experienced as a personal existential crisis for which the permaculture

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203 setting cannot provide a permanent solution. Many times, this cri sis is at least partially derived from a breakdown in the belief that ecotopia is an achievable goal However, s ource s of immaterial difficulty need not always be experienced as philosophically profound. A common cause of participant departure arises from struggles created by the vacuum of power in an unstructured experimental social environment in which conventional rules become suspended The res ult is an infamous reputation among back to the land communities for being spaces of ongoing emotional volat ility and social drama. Accompanying these dramas are ongoing debate s regarding the degree to which rules should be set in place to manage the drama and what those rul es should be. It is an ironic dilemma when considering that pre capitalist groups adm ired so much by pe rmaculturists often struggle in the modern world to resist the breakdown of traditional, coherent community structures that pr ovide stability and meaning which guide individual and group behavior E galitarian societies such as permacult ure communities, attempting post capitalist transitions while maintaining a counterhegemonic anti structural vision face the opposite: the dilemma of whether or not and how to intentionally develop rules and social structures of relations where they did n ot previously exist: The process of creating an intentional community can often be a stressful experience. Our buttons related to power, control, money, sex, food and other issues have and will be pushed; the question is how we deal with them when they are pushed. Do we retreat into ourselves, blaming ourselves or our family of origin? Do we blame those around us, focusing on how others are different from us? Do we just focus on creating systems and rules that will solve these problems? Or do we allow ourse lves to be with the community to find unde rstanding, empathy and support? (Silber, 2007 online )

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204 However, f rom a strict Maslowian perspective, the immaterial concerns described above are ultimately less problematic than the materialist concerns which arise and which mainly appear in the form of either financial concerns and physical health concerns. The starkest "wakeup calls" tend to occur in the face of abrupt physical health crises The preventative focus of alternative medicinal remedies, including herbal tre atments, health food and various methods of bodywork maintain the ideal of the "natural" domestic lifestyle but quickly lose appeal in the face of ear infections broken legs difficulties during natural c hildbirth or systemic illnesses from leptospirosis parasites or rat lung worms, all of which were witnessed during the research phase and which brought a prom pt end to a participant's permaculture experience Such emergenci es prove not only dangerous to personal healt h but also dangerous to the ecotopian vision as the ultimate value of Western medical institutions and health insurance options are made apparent in such cases however poorly such institutions might fit into p ermaculture's goal of low impact sustainable living. The search for alternatives to conve ntional treatment is the first line of defense but can, when ineffective, increase the physical danger and thereby decrease that faith in the antistructure space nece ssary for the maintenance of communitas Such physical health emergencies, in the end, are also a financial emergency and lack of financial resources as a single category is perhaps the number one factor influencing departure from the permaculture commu nities of individu als who otherwise may have stayed. In most cases, the money problem is not related to a physical emergency. Food stamps can provide for months to years, but the basic desire for Western non edible items toothpaste, beer, cellphone servic e, laundry money

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205 eventually creeps up on the work trader, as do the monthly community donations required by many of the permaculture establishments. Money making opportunities are scant to non existent in or near Puna's permaculture communities, and an em pty bank account usually signals the beginning of the end of permaculture participation. As with immaterial failures and physical health emergencies, financial emergencies not only spell the end to participation in the permacultur e community but can also damage faith in the permaculture antistructure by hammering a nail into the coffin of the utopian dream of domestic reproduction, as the dystopian realization sets in that participation in the permaculture communities ultimately seems to require a steady s ource of outside financial input in order to remain viable. Whether work trader departure from the permaculture community occurs as a result of unplanned emergency, a disillusioned end to the sense of communitas, or due to a scheduled set ending in which c ommunity departure provides the clean signalled end to the c ommunitas experience, heavy work trader turnover is the norm for all of Puna's permaculture communities. Since work traders tend to outnumber the landowners, usually by a substantial difference, the result is the imagined community of permaculture is a transient one in which the majority of the population changes in membership from year to year. Given this turnover, both the overall intensity as well as the qualitative character of community com munitas can change from year to year in any single community, and this dynamic tends to be an reflexive topic of discussion within permaculture communities as the social drama continually unfold s in each Factors s uch as the charismatic influence and chem istry of the landow ners versus the charismatic influences and chemistries of

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206 that particular season's work traders as well the relative predominance of the different factors (mentioned above) that precipitate work trader departure, heavily shape the overa ll sense of communitas and help to determine whether community communitas is experienced as a monastic millenial communion with nature or as the antistructured revelry of a countercultural cou rt society. 1 Commoditization of Ecotopia Landdance my ass I'v e been weeding all day with Muffin. She came from Boston to has done nothing since her arrival but weed It's painfully monotonous work that builds up an appetite. Unfortunately, fo od stamps don't adequately cover the cost of the organic food purchases which, as a rule, are the only foods Jonah allows in the community kitchen. So Muffin and I spend our weeding session shouting out names of all the "bad" foods we're going to eat in t own before hitchhiking back to the farm with our "good" groceries. Chili dogs! Twizzlers! Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream I find the whole thing highly amusing but realize this isn't exactly the kind of communitas experience Muffin had in mind w hen she flew to Hawai'i She's only been here t wo weeks but tells me she has already decided to leave at the end of the month. No wakeup decision is declared more commonly and with more exasperation than that arrived at through the realization by the w ork trader that farm and garden labor, in the end, is tough work. Muffin is not alone today in her complaints. Willow has been working for Jonah for four months now and tells a similar story in which she once 1 The latter distinction elaborates upon descriptions by Thomassen (2009) of monasticism and court society as exemplifying two of the three types of permanent liminality.

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207 weeded f or three weeks straight. Even more u nfair her boyfriend Manny had started with strength tasks but was later given more interesting tasks of responsibility with heavy machinery and various pieces of farming equipment while Willow continued to weed Nonetheless, Manny too complains about fee ling increasingly beaten down rather than invigorated by the constant physical workload. As Willow notes, w e must be at the main meal hut by 7:15 a.m. each morning to milk the cow at 7:30 a.m. This is followed by work schedule that starts from 8:30 a.m. a nd goes until 4 p.m. each day, followed by another milking at 5:00 p.m. The result is a dawn til dusk schedule of hard manual labor 5 days a week Sometimes the days go longer, as when we went to Jonah's farm in Kalapan a. We worked until after dark that day a 10.5 ho ur work day as Willow calculated. For this, Willow and the rest of us receive a room and partial board that we supplement with food stamps Meanwhile, as long as work traders are around, Jonah seem s to spend relatively few hours doing much o f th e backbreaking dirty work that is incremental ly increasing the value of his property hour by hour, day by day, week by week, year by year. I joke with Willow telling her that if we were brown skinned natives, they would call this o ppression. But I'm only half joking. Willow and the rest of us are doing this by personal c hoice, driven by a shared understanding of the sacred importance of nature. But f rom a Marxist perspective it is this religiou s dimension of our views of nature that allow us to be e xploited Never theless, it canno t be denied that on the best days this sacred canopy placed on the meaning of labor in ecotopia works. H owever imbalanced the underlying social relations may be, the se long sweaty days of weeding taro patches with Willow, Manny, and Muffin under blue Hawaiian skies have the u ncanny ability to

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208 bring about, at times, a heightened sense of ple asure and exaltedness that makes itself felt as a deep sense of connection with both them and with the land Or maybe that's just signs of mild heatstroke combin ed with the cameraderie of shared misery I'm not sure it really matters. This is my last permaculture gig and I'm glad to be don e with it, yet w hatever the cause of these feelings, and despite the sense of oppression I will rem ember the se moments with nostalgia A Marxist Perspective on Work Trade: Using Nature Religion to Mystify E xploitation Service and Sacred Space Internship: Our community and educational center is looking for committed cultural evolutionaries who love to cr eate their world and work as one continuous expression of appreciation for life and the joy of a job well done. Your time will include meditative chores that foster the care with which we hold our guests, Permaculture design and landscaping, and opportunit ies for creative expression through natural building and space re creation. Explore Feng Shui principles and other ideas of sacred space. The qualified applicant will be a motivated self starter with some prior experience in service work. Strong communica tion skills, and the ability to assess tasks and work independently are essential. Repetitive tasks make up at least 50% of the job time, so a keen eye for detail and a meditative attunement will allow for maximum personal growth during your internship. Jo b specifics include: general cleaning and housekeeping, bed making, laundry duties, conference space set up and take down, team collaboration, grounds keeping, landscaping, solitary work time, natural building, space renovation, creative design opportuniti es, and plenty of chan ces for meaningful connections. (posting from a bul letin board next to Island Naturals health food store in Pahoa ) Baudrillard (1998) notes that in postmodern consumer society, advertising becomes the true art of capi talism. It is pr acticed in Lower Puna as insidiously as anywhere else. Exemplifying this was the posting reprinted above, which Manny found on a bulletin board by the local health food store. As Manny noted, a collection of tasks that might otherwise constitute a paid position called as he said "housemaid slash groundskeeper" had been artfully transformed into an unpaid Feng Shui internship.

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209 But i t is this art of transforming labor and hardship into a sacred space within the antistructure that helps to keep alive th e sense of monasticism and court life. S acred hand holding circles concepts of landdance, and non ownership ideologies help maintain an egalitarian sense of communitas that mystifies the fact that work traders are working for free, and sometimes even pay ing to work, on someone else's land and can be asked to leave at any time. In many ways, the heavy turnover rate of work traders provides the key element by which permaculture communities manage, as spaces of permanent liminality, to maintain the sense of communitas on a long term basis. Like the work traders, permaculture landowners are vulnerable to the same unplanned physical crises, financial emergencies, and immaterial disillusionments that can bring a quick end to the sense of communitas. However, unlike work traders, landowner's property commitments tend to prevent them from leaving. In the financial arena in particular, many landowners have used their maximum available financial resources to acquire large acreage of cheap land in Puna as part of the intent to live sustainably off that which can be gleaned from the natural environment. The initial land purchases in all cases of are made with funds garnered from non agricultural mainstream activities. In the case of Lower Puna's permaculture communi ties, one landowner had made his money in real estate. Another had managed a highly successful construction company. Another was a high ranking military medical officer. Two landowners had raised the majority of their initial land purchase funds through divorce settlements from wealthy spouses, and at least two had acquired property finances through donations from wealthy lovers who were not

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210 permaculture participants themselves. It is with these init ial purchases that the image of ecotopia begins its li fe, from birth, as a commodity tied to the modern capitalist market. On the permaculture scene, landowners and work traders alike are motivated by postmaterial, egalitarian, and mystical interests that are ultimately met through the transformation of prop erty in the Puna rainforest into a space which engenders a sense of communita s. However, the landowners are faced with considerable material concerns regarding their property investment, which in turn reflects an overall level of immaterial responsibility to the construction of communitas from which it is less difficult than work traders to walk away from. In all cases, the initial construction phase of the permaculture community requires considerable investment in time and money (although two had been pu rchased from previous landowners who had made the initial work and financial investments in constructing infrastructures associated with back to the land living). But like the work traders themselves, landowners tend not to come from farming backgrounds. As the prospect of acquiring funds directly from land productivity become dimmed, the initial communitas felt by landowners dims as well. Here the value of work trader participation towards not only offsetting ongoing financial inputs, fulfilling ongoin g maintenance tasks, and providing sustained physical effort towards the permaculture goal of domestic agricultural sustainability, but also towards contributing to the creation of a space that offers, in one form, or another a counterhegemonic sense of en vironmental and social communitas becomes highly evident. One aspect of this is the beneficial effect of having a constant turnover of work traders, which provides permaculture communities with crucial periodic injections of money and muscle all from

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211 a consistently fresh crop of inviduals whose lack of disillusionment provides an ongoing renewal of the communitas experience. Ecotopia as Spectacle and S imulacrum I've just finished the participant observation stage of my dissertation research and moved f rom my last permaculture community to the remote Black Sands subdivision in the high hills of Lower Puna where I am caretaking a homesteading project for a friend It's an altogether simple setup : posts cut from inva sive stands of guava on the 1/5 acre property have been perched on a lava cinder floor to hold up 300 square feet of tin roofing. Tarps and mosquito screen s serve as walls. Rainwater drains from the tin roof plastic gutters which drain into a raised 300 gallon plastic cistern while PVC pip ing from the cistern brings gravity fed water to spigots inside (sink) and outs ide (shower) the shack A dozen yards from the outside shower, a bucket of wood shavings next to a plywood box with a hole on top serves as the toilet. It's decidedly down, b ut definitely not prosperous. Showering and defecating are mosquito crazy affairs. Rats and mongoose make nightly raids, silently chewing through my plastic tubs to reach the food inside and loudly fighting over the apparent prizes in my poop box outside Downpours send rain through the moldy mosquit o screen which soak s the futon and bedsheets, while a one week drought leaves the cistern dry and clogs the sink and spigots with slugs seeking solace in the last remaining wet spots. Meanwhile, the nearest sources of food, drinking water, internet, and a cellphone signal are miles away Mosquito screen can't be locked so I'm forced to bring all valuables with me each time I make a trip Black Sands subdivision is the cheapest place to live in Lower Puna, but that doesn't exactly make this neighborhood a mecca for well meaning do gooders of the New Age.

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212 One month later, I move to a two story redwood bungalow on the other side of the neighborhood that has a propane stove as well as houselights and a 12 volt wa ter pump run off car batteries powered by a 1000 watt generator; my sustainability has likely plummeted, but my well being has shot through the roof. Howe ver, I realize that even my nasty, brut ish, short stay in the cinder floor guava shack was an immersi on into a modern technological culture of tin roof ing mosquito screen s PVC piping, cistern s spigots, sinks, sheets, futons, plastic tubs, plywood, paved roads, cellphones, and foodstuffs made available through the ener gy intense global web of fossil fue l base d technologies Even the seemingly natural elements of the guava sh ack, such as the lava cinder floor conceal an intense fossil fuel driven process of backhoe razing followed by transport from the Kapoho region of heavy truckloads of cinder that hav e been crushed, sifted, and graded with fossil fuel based machinery. The only renewables here are the guava wood, the rainwater, and perhaps the cinder itself and though these things stand out as sound example s of back to the land design principles they are, in the end, images of environmental sustainability that would quickly disappear into quantitative insignificance in a measure of the the overall amounts of sustainable versus unsustainable inputs that made up my Black Sands guava shack lifestyle. Taki ng a birds eye view of permaculture community evolution, the most significant aspect of transformation tends to be the change that occurs in a community over time from its noble begin ning as an extreme group of egalitarian nature mystics contributing maxim um labor hours and fol lowing extreme ideologies, free of social hierarchies and with few rules dictating social relationships and behaviors Attending such beginnings is

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213 usually a material situation similar to my Black Sands experience, characterize d by relatively few amenities. Howev er, humans in the pristine world rain forest do not in practice easily find ecotopia and all examples of extreme ly primitive living which I wit nessed were either one man shows ("communities of one" as they are called) or were relatively short lived before the buildup of amenities began In the end, t he imagined utopian integration of humans with nature is a valued product arrived at only in Puna only through a manipulation of the environment that requires huge inputs of human labor fossil fuel energy, and non local resources in order to be compatible with even the most basic of human needs Communities with the least overall inputs were certainly the least likely to attract others ; certain human produced image s are needed to create the sensation of a utopia of human environmental relations G iven the appropriate addition of inputs, the image of ecotopia can be achieved, and the most effective versions are those constructed from objects and behaviors which sym bolize environmentality to such an extent that nonrenewable energies embodied in their construction and maintenance become overshadowed Pre fab "Bali style" bungalows provide an example here in which the beauty and design of the stained bamboo, hardwood and reed construction combination induces the sense of ecological communitas that overshadows the nonrenewable and unsustainable aspects hidden in extraction, construction, and transoceanic transport. Similarly, larger f ancier versions of the pre fab Ba li hut, with beauti ful stained woods, hidden fixtures elaborate curves and carved doors help overshadow environmental expenses needed for plumbing, electrical

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214 installation varnishes cements, extra materials processing needed to create and fit elaborate curves, and energy needed for industrial rep roduction of carved Bali doors. In the labor arena, l abor contracted from majority culture professionals may seem to compare infavorably to labor originating from the work trader, but this belies the liminal a spect of the work trader's free labor. Taking this liminality into account means incorporating the work traders' labor hour inputs the environmental costs associated with roundtrip plan e flights, and in some energy accounting scenarios even the e ducationa l and financial r esources necessary to produce a postmaterialist individual willing to work for free. A pre fab Bali hut imported to Hawaii may, in the end, use up more nonrenewable energy than a standalone carport converted into a dwelling, and I've seen examples of both However, like the Bali hut, some objects and behavio rs stand out as more representative of the ecotopi an image than others, and these include items such as composting toilets, solar panels, alternative building structures, fruit trees, a nd vegetable garden s. A ll add to the ecotopian image whether they prove functional and productive or not. Raw meat eating associated with the primal diet famous in two communities, s erves a s a case in point; for many it fit smoothly into their concept of a natural lifestyle despite the long weekly roundtrip driving times it took to travel to the slaughterhouse in Hilo to get supplies of meat fresh enough for raw consumption. Permaculture, in the end, whether successful as an environmentally sustainable en deavor or not, must be experienced as a beautiful and comfortable thing for the effort towards its construc tion to seem worth maintaining by those who are not permanently invested With enough input of time, money, and labor, the image of ecotopia does in

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215 many instances become something of seeming value, and with this it becomes increasingly a source within the community for capitalist relations and is itself shaped increasingly Western capitalist cultural concerns regarding material consumption In gener al, p ermaculture's counterhegemonic appreciation for non capitalist, antimat e rialist rationality is meant to "defetishize" material accumula tion (Kearney, 1995) and invest instead in other, non economic forms of capital embodied in the social, symbolic, an d cultural forms posited by Bourdieu (1987 ). Investment in these forms translates to a heightened valuation of morality. However, in the fetish vacuum created, a secular spiritual fetish takes its place, and that is the fetish of ecotopia. Baudrillard (1998 ) claims a hallmark of late capitali st culture to be a transition away from the importance of production to the importance of consumption as a source of meaning and identification. The hedonistic, Dionysian e lement inherent in the cultic milieu's desi re to unite with antistructure can be expressed as a desire to consume, yet the counterhegemonic element places a moral block against the profanity of conventional material consumption. Permaculture's search for communitas redirects consumption towards an immaterial fetish, that of the image of ecotopia This can be understood as another manifestation of reverse cargo cultism: in the perfectly designed permaculture garden, nature is the producer, while ma n as managerial magician oversees this production for the purpose of consuming it A s part of the overall community agenda, the importance of the communitas factor can eventually outshine and undermine the drive towards minimalizing environmental impact. The vision of ecotopia constructed in Puna's per maculture community combines various romanticized elements from various tropical locations and cultures

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216 real and unreal which have been propogated over the years by the mass media the short working hours and immateriality of nomadic hunter gatherers, the a rcadian green expanses of agricultural and pastoral tribes, the earth spirituality of American Indians and Hawaiians along with images of egalitarian social relations and an equally distributed herbal cornucopeias and tropical food cornucopeias that do no t necessarily fit any particular known image at all These images are combined together to produce a picture of low impact social and environmental harmony that has no actual referent in modern or primitive society yet it is this image of past and future perfection that is chased as real. Thus ecotopia becomes a spectacle in t he sense intended by Debord (197 7), in which "images detached from every aspect of life fuse into a common stream" (Debord, 197 7, pg. 12) As this spectacular image is perfected as an inducer of communitas its importance as a genuine example of environmental sustainability fades until "everything that was directly lived has move d away int o a representation" (Debord, 197 7, pg. 12). Among back to the land community pursuits such as p ermaculture, t he search for social and environmental communitas thus involves the consumption of an idealized image of so mething that never existed. E c otopia if real would be a measurably low impact existence in which human labor input is minimal in the m id st of a sustainably designed and locally derived agricultural and ma terial bounty. However, no example of this exists or ever did. As efforts are increasingly put towards the maintenance of a communitas inducing ecotopian spectacle, in which the constru ction of a simulated image of human environmental harmony becomes more effective than construction of a truly low impact community, however non utopian, the product of permaculture takes on

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217 the qualities of Baudrillard's (1994 ) third order simulacra, which "masks the absence of a basic reality" (Baudrillard, 1994, pg. 6) it is not a distortion of any reality as much as it is an imag e of a reality that has never existed In this, the ecotopia simulacra is "of the order of sorcery" (Baudrillard, 1994, pg. 6 ) We can use Baudrillard's phrase here to help us understand how the image of ecotopia becomes becomes a sacred canopy for permacultu re pa rticipants. As Berger (1967 ) explains it, one function of religion is to provide nomos structure and meaning to real ity as an antidote to secular anomie and anxiety. P ermaculture participants, as members of late capitalist culture habituated to the consumption of specta cles as a route to meaning, accept the ecotopian simulacra because of its function as a sacred canop y to cloak the terrifying alternative: namely the real possibility that there is no communitas to be found in an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable alternative. Meanwhile, in masking the lack of a glorified man society nature harmony, it thereby also mask s not only the ongoing environmental reality in which permaculture community lifestyles continue the human pattern of environmental overexploitation, but also a n ongoing social reality in which the community continues a pattern of imbalan ced exchange relations between landowners and workers. Through this process the sacred canopy of the ecotopian spectacle becomes t he glue of permaculture's permanent liminality and an example of Latour's (1993) unacknowledged hybrids in this case, a hybri d between the inachi evable perfection of an imaginary nature and the unreconciled brutalities of a modern technocultural reality

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218 Ecotopia's Articulation with C apitalism I'm at Kehena, the main Sunday beach scene in Lower Puna. Riox is dancing naked in th e black sand with half a dozen others while a bunch of us beat drums. I'm not sure where she's been living since it is well known that the landowner of the permaculture community she had lived in where I'd met her in the garden a m onth earlier had managed to sell his property. This ends up being the last time I see Riox; my best guess is she eventually found her way back to the mainland. A year later I learn the details of the ownership switch from a hitchhiker named Gabe who also had been living in the community at the time. According to Gabe, the community of work traders had be en doing well under the wing of an older couple from Alaska. The couple had made a bid on the property but in the end the landowner sold to a family whose main interest was th e 80/10/10 diet (a trending version of the raw vegan diet). Most community members were not open to the diet switch and had no choice but to pack up and leave; some ha d been living there for years. The final sale price was $400,000 ; the asking price had b een $995,000. I keep wondering how much of that value had come from improvements to the property at the hands of work traders laboring for free and even paying to do so hour after hour, day after day, year after year, throughout the property's twenty yea r existence as a permaculture community Ecotopia can be envisioned as a social product of capitalism and an outcome of the Western trend of nature/culture dualism while its simulacra characteristics can be seen an expression of failed efforts to continu e the push towards low impact environmentally sustainable lifestyles. The ideological vision of ecotopia is enculturated prior to arrival in Hawai'i, while the material spectacle itself is constructed within the community through rituals which maintain a continued sense of communitas while

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219 mystifying the evidence for environmental overexploitation and internal social stratification that might arise through a closer scrutiny of energy utilization methods, prescribed social relationships, material struct ures and financial arrangements Most permaculture communities start as simple endeavors b ut they get more fancy and undeniably comfortable over time as amenities show up perfecting the overall effectiveness of the ecotopian image to induce communitas and through subsequent advertisement by self and others, attract more people. This is a good moment to address the po ssible underlying class factor that also likely motivate s the permaculture movement. Communitarian co unterculture can be viewed through a mo re critical lens as a class reaction by new petty bourgeoisie separation and autonomy in order to reclaim the mode of production (Althusser and Balibar, 1970) and who accentuate the cultural value of specific m oral means of creating status distinctions which transcend class immobilities. Weber (1922 ) outlined this process of creating status distinctions as a response to class immobility, which Bourdieu expa nds upon through his discussions of cultural and symbolic cap ital Bourdieu, 1987 ). Demonstrating ecotopian values is thus a moral "taste" which helps distinguish, in certain circles, the noble from the less noble of the middle class. O ngoing e cotopia constructi on produces a symbolic commodity which incr eases the social, cultural, and (potentially, for the landowners at least) financial cap ital of the permaculture community ; commodification of ecotopia results in the selling and trading of the i dea of social change (the morals associated with permaculture) along with social

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220 The most successful permaculture communities attract the most money, labor, and prestige, furthering their development and furthering their perceived effectiveness, thus furthering their symbolic role as a catalyst and inspiration for the possibility of effective and feasibl e social change towards the construction of a revitalized, more satisfying culture. Thus, when countercultural escapists leave to Puna, buy land, and begin construction of a product called ecotopia, they at some point produce something of value to other m embers of the dominant culture and in doing so, they achieve meaning through status that in the end supplants the less rewarding pursuit of measurable environmental sustainability. Th is is because, as Mannheim (1936 ) pointed out, the utopian values held by the counterculturalists are actually values and beliefs arising out of mainstream culture that are simply unexpressed due to inherent conflicts with other mainstream values more amenable to current social, economic, an d environmental circumstances. As Hicks (2001 ) notes: If America itself is conceived as a utopian endeavor and public rhetoric from the Puritan intention of setting an example for a benighted humanity down to the latest rhetorical political claim that American military expeditions are sol ely humanitarian surely points to that conception then the fit of utopian community experiments with the nation is much closer than merely the provision of ample social and geographical space and tolerant or fretful indifference. As I try to demonstrate, u topian communitarians are dedicated participants in American culture, regardless of their app arent desire to secede from it. ( Hicks, 2001, pg. 13) counterculturalists and expressed in thei r permacultural creations are permutations of deeply embedded in American culture. Alexis de Tocqueville noted the problematic

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221 element created by American individu alism for the utopian endeavor. Distinguishing it from selfishness, he defined individualism as : mature and calm feeling, which disposes each member of the community to sever himself from the mass of his fellows and to draw apart with his family and h is friends, so that after has thus formed a little circle of his own, he willingly le aves society at large to itself. ( Tocqueville, 1862, pg. 119 ) He notes that it rises out of crisis of identity created by the "equality of condition". In this he mirror to create moral hierarchies identified by Weber as status differences. In permaculture in Puna, the American drive for individualism leads the middle class to reorient thei r drives to status issues of morality. Ecotopia has embedded into it notions of morally superior American values as they relate to concepts of wilderness, purity, egalitarianism, freedom, and individualism. When countercultural landowners who manage to c reate some semblance of ecotopia, they create something that becomes valuable to other members of the dominant culture. In addition, they gain moral status. Soon, people are willing to exchange money in order to experience ecotopia and do so in the form of ecotourism and pilgrimage tourism. In Puna, landowners seeking to perfect their own ecotopias find themselves entering a capitalist enterprise in which the best ecotopias attract more money as well as more prestige for the landowner. In the most succ essful communities landowners can Typically, those which charge the most are those with the most amenities and thu s are the least likely to be effective examples of human environmental harmony overall. A t the time of this writing, one self advertised permaculture community asks $575 per month plus 30 hours per

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222 week of work trade. As an extension of the work trade of fer of labor in exchange for ecotopian communitas many sell themselves as shamans and gurus to the environmental cultic milieu, charg ing high fees for various counterhegemonic self help services, some agriculturally oriented and others oriented more towar ds personal growth A growing trend is to offer an "internship" which puts landowners in the ascribed role of authoritative expert; costs currently associated with the "internship" offer average $800 $1000 per month and request 16 hours per week of work t rade exchange. Even on the relatively small scale of Puna's permaculture scene, prices rise and fall yearly due to market effects such as flight prices and food costs. The communities inevitably remain cognizant of each other's offerings and adjust acc ordingly. Fluctuating seasonal trends in the availability of work traders and the community's current reputation quickly affect advertised prices and work trade hours required. Changes in the communities overall amenities, of course, has considerable impa ct as well. The effectiveness of work trade and internships as a source of finance and labor, as well their role in communitas maintenance along with the actual effectiveness of the constructed ecotopia, mystify the unsustainable aspects of capital accumul ation in permaculture communities since in mo st communities the permacultural ecotopia has been created by massive capital inputs from savings made in urban capital settings, while the internal hierarchy conflicts between group members who contribute mone y while working menial tasks and those collect money while contributing less work can be even more striking and intense than those experienced in mainstream urban family and work settings.

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223 Nonetheless, once ecotopia has exchange value and enters the cap italist market as a product, permaculturalists can now take advantage of the floods of cultic milieu pilgrims seeking the experience of utopia. This increases the competivity of permaculture retreats with standard hotel tourism units in Hawaii, since the free labor contributing towards reproduction and elaboration of the permaculture home community is a classic capitalist case of utilizing a domestic mode of production to provide a cheap source of labor (Meillasoux, 1975) that becomes engaged in the produc tion of ecotopia for the capitalist market. Collins (2003) explains this as a difference between domestic labor and market based labor in regards to the value place on the effort put into making products th at have exchange value. This devaluation of dome stic, community based work trade labor is what makes Puna's "ecotopia" a good deal from the market perspecti ve as long as the work trade force which permaculture attracts is willing to create the product as a communal "labor of love" effort, then little fi nancial payback is required, overhead is reduced, and Puna can get away with being a great vacation deal. At the same time, the Puna permaculturalist path towards an autonomous and low impact type of domestic mode of production is reversed once the e cotopi a n simulacra becomes developed enough to be a valuable product and becomes dependent on an articulation with the mainstream capitalist market Here, Puna's spatial fix of a back to the land solution to the problems associated with capitalism reveals its weakness as capitali st relations are reproduced, with the once proletariat and anti capitalist landowners now turning into the capitalist s as stated in the introduction, this a reenactment of George Orwell's animal farm. The most successful version s of ec otopia tend to accumulate growing amounts of technology and

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224 mainstream creature comforts and material securities that I believe, eventually bring them on par with and may even allow them to surpass in certain instances the embodied energy intensities of t he more conventional homes, lifestyles, and tourism businesses located in the Puna District. (Emergy diagrams depicting these processes of (a) idealized permaculture design, (b) the commoditization of ecotopia, (c) the effect of mystification processes, a nd (d) the pattern of increasing nonrenewable resource use maintained by ecotopia's commiditization, can be found in Appendix L). With the increasin g popularity of ecotourism, dollars in recent years seem to flow more steadily than ever before into Puna t hreatened only by the increase in flight costs. I n general, Hawaii's unique status as the premiere tropical island getaway has so far provided e ven in the worst of times (such as the 2008 recession) a steady trickle of work traders. Puna is the last tropi cal frontier on American soil, and its popularity as an "alternative" ecotourism scene is largely dependent on its ability to undercut the prices of high end mainstream "ecotopia" resorts in nearby Honolulu and Maui. Thus, Puna's communitarian experiments offer a tropical ecotopia experience that are unlikely to be undercut by other experiences on American soil, and for these purposes will likely be managed and maintained by capitalist market processes as a domestic mode of "ecotopia" production. From a systems perspective in which Puna is an underutilized geographic region within the U.S. capitalist system it becomes apparent that the dualized understanding of nature as an antithesis to the technological culture of capitalism has actually helped capita lism to complete an encroachment cycle. A product ecotopia that is scarce in the market has been created and made available for exchange. Value has been

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225 created in a space that previously had little capital v alue Puna's lava fiel ds The intense amount s of capital that has been invested into the creation of middle class postmaterial citizens who "leave the system" to Puna in search of technological cu lture's opposite has now been returned to the s ystem in the form of free labor towards the creation of a p roduct with exchange value in the market Continued ecotopia construc tion can eventu ally result in energy intensive ecotourism forms such as health retreats, spiritual retreats, and adventure tourism meant to attract a broad range of customers Exempli fying this is Kalani Honua 2 Lower Puna's longest running and most po pular ecoretreat. Nightly cabin prices for guests range from $90 to $275, putting Kalani on par with high end resorts in Kona U nderwriting Kalani's overhead cost s are volunteer laborers paying $1000 a month for the chance to camp on Kalani's property (tent not provided) and perform 32 hours per week of housekeeping, maintenance, horticultural, and kitchen duties. This endpoint of market articulation follows a typical path of intentional communities observe d by Zablocki (1980) and others t he legacy of the famous Oneida community was silverware; Amana's pursuit of communal autonomy left behind high quality kitchen appliances; in its current form, Puna's utopian search for environmental har mony finds its market niche in a product called ecotouris m. 2 Kalani Honua d oes not self advertise as a permaculture community, nor is it typically recognized as such by others.

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226 CHAPTER 7 NOTES ON THEORY AND METHOD Multiperspectivism and Middle Range Structure I have used a mixed methods approach to research the questions laid out above, and tapped a wide a mix of theoret ical approaches in order to interpret and present the observations, answers, and propositions. The resulting pastiche of theories and methods has allowed me to stitch together an ethnographic story that stays true to my own observations, uses the existing literature to demonstrate the overlaps between these observations and the social scientific theories of others, and which then quantifiably tests the validity of some these observations and theories. Initially I feared that incorporating this range of th eoretical and methodological approaches into the arguments of the dissertation would leave me open to critique. My fear was that by not utilizing a single, cohesive theoretical and methodological perspective throughout the dissertation to guide my researc h questions and observations, it would be easy to view my final assessments as contradictory, nonrigorous, and/or otherwise impotent. However, current anthropological literature that deals with the social scientific research process itself suggests that a mixed theoretical and methodological approach might not only be acceptable but perhaps even demanded within a contemporary postmodern academic setting that acknowledges the multifaceted character of culture and reality, as well as the tricky demands of a chieving valid and accurate portrayals of such things. Marcus and Fischer (1986), addressing the research implications of a unities of either specific totalizing

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227 visions or a general paradigmat ic style of organizing research" (Marcus and Fischer, 1986, pg. 8). In such a world, theoretical perspectives and methodological tools function less as definitive proofs and tests of the ultimate order of social reality and ary social science, I have Zelic's (200 7) use of the term as a way of incorporating the implications of Nietzchean 1 In this, I mean to portray my incorporation of various theoretical and methodological approaches as complimentary and synergistic rather than incomplete, competing or contradictory. I say this despite the fact that many of these theories, along with the differences in q uantitative and qualitative methods, may be found by some to be incompatible on certain finer points regarding their explanations for, and means of explaining, culture, history, and reality. The point here is that such theories and methods may nonetheless be useful when used together as a means of shining light on the processes taking place at the fieldsite. In the end, I found that choosing to leave out various theories and tropes in the interests of avoiding their various unresolved conceptual conflicts was leaning in a direction of nihilistic solipsism that proved much less productive than choosing to include them. 1 approach to presenting research; I am not implying nor investigating any possible overlaps between this use of the term and its use by Vivieros de Castro and others to describe Amerindian worldviews.

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228 To give an example of some of the various approaches used in this dissertation, I use social materialist theories of deviance as a complime grid/group typology, call upon various psychological and political profiling techniques descriptions of Western cultural processes (regarding the dev elopment of nature/culture dichotomization and secular religion) in order to describe the ontological processes and socio cultural backgrounds that tend to accompany the individual who becomes oriented towards permaculture and nature spirituality. I rely on both traditional Marxist and neo Marxist concepts to describe how nature spirituality within the permaculture setting mystifies capitalist modes of production that undermine a desired domestic alist articulations), and how environmental discourse within these settings is indicative of status struggles based powe r). Calling upon such various authors might be perceived as leaving an unresolved conflict between agent based issues, and abili ty to produce a sustainable human environmental system. Furthermore, these three approaches in turn ultimately have various conceptual conflicts with the structuralist ideas of Victor Turner, Mary Douglas, Levi Strauss, and the biogenetic structuralists, each of whom emphasize structuring processes taking place at different processual, social, cognitive, and biological levels. Yet I turn to each these authors as I describe patterns taking place at various levels that seem to structure and influence the

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229 e nvironmental discourse based power plays taking place both outside and within the permaculture setting, as well as the articulation between domestic and capitalist production modes that takes place during the practiced pursuit of communitarian back to the land style permaculture. In the end, a multiperspectivist approach puts me in line with current social ts through demonstrations of the simultaneous and balanced influence and interactions that take place between the agent and the various spheres of influential factors within which the ency/structure dichotomy includes not only the social structuring effects of early socialization, socioeconomic position, grid/group factors, and the influence of Western cultural history, aphic particularities (what Oliver Smith, 2002 call "mutuality"), as well as structuring effects based on cognitive propensities for dic hotomization (Levi Strauss, 1963 ), including mystical dichotomization (Durkheim, 1915 ; Eliade, 1961) and the mystical e xperience itself (Atran, 2002; Boyer, 2002) that may be a universal and/or epigenetic feature of human neurocognitive processing hardware (with degrees of influence on discourse and practice that vary according to other structuring processes, including the influence of biogenetic variability and various psychological strain factors). With all these interrelationships, it becomes a rhetorical argument trying to decide which factor counts as agent and which as structure. Instead it becomes worthwhile to vi ew the social system, individual humans, the environment, various cognitive and

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230 processual patterns, and cultural history itself, as mutually interactive and complex structuring agents 2 e.g., factors with complex characteristics and behaviors that tend non etheless to follow discernable patterns regarding the manner in which they influence other factors and the manner in which other factors influence them in return. The following demonstrates and exemplifies how the mutual interaction between these various structuring agents plays itself out at my fieldsite: the individual human subjects who participate in the permaculture communities discussed in this dissertation are likely engaging, to some degree in latent forms of Weberian status struggles and Bourdieu ian power plays through the utilization of environmental discourse (this occurs amongst themselves as well as between themselves and those identified as representing majority culture). The expression of this environmental discourse is shaped by various co gnitive structuring processes, including a cognitive propensity to dichotomize nature and culture (as suggested by Levi Strauss) as well as related dichotomizing propensities resulting from egalitarian perspectives on body and group boundaries (as suggeste d by Mary Douglas). These cognitive structuring processes are influenced by general Western cultural histories related to tropical island geographies and Hawaii in particular, while the various environmental practices that accompany such structured discou history and environmental geography. Additionally, the postmodern capitalist processes mode is made possible by a general human habit of ritualization exemplified in 2 interchangeably. The reader should consider these terms synonymous for the purposes of this dissertation.

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231 processual social patterns of communitas, liminality, and rites of passage described by Victor Turner and Arnold Van Gennep. The interrelatedness of these various structuring agents makes i t a moot to mull over which agent precedes or is primary to which other agent. Nonetheless, the complex interactions of these structuring agents demonstrate empirically recognizable (patterns that are recognizable in, and thus transferrable to, other times and places, but not all times and places) is what makes a description of these patterns and their interrelationships worthwhile. What I have done in this dissertatio n is to take a particular (posited) structuring agent nature/culture dichotomization and look at how it is shaped by, and in turn shapes, various other structures located at cognitive, sociocultural, environmental, and ultimately historical levels, under s ocial circumstances in which the main (apparent) object of social intent and discourse is the pursuit of environmentally sustainability methodological approach to structure: I am ma king statements about nature/culture dichotomization processes taking place within a specific cultural subset in a particular geographical location, rather than trying to say something about structuring processes that occur in humans in general (though I d o reflect on this possibility in Chapter 7). Reconsidering Structure: Formal Causality and Cognitive Structuralism Although I am interested in the recognition of repeated social patterns that seem to have their basis in various structuring factors which influence and are influenced by human behavior, it would be inaccurate to label my viewpoint as structuralist in the spirit often attributed to Durkheim or Radcliffe Brown. I see no homeostatic functional

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232 mechanism occurring on some societal level other t han that directly resulting from the self preservation processes being acted out by individual human agents. It is fair to say that strain theory mechanisms and various structuring factors of social origin (class; secularization; nature/culture dichotomi zation;) may in certain circumstances interact to drive change in the overall social system towards conditions which are better adapted to the long term survival needs of the system itself, with individual deviance and adaptation as the proximate vehicle f or this social change. However, I see any resulting functional effectiveness as temporary and circumstantial (e.g., its sustainability or functionality assessable only under a particular environmental parameters whose future characteristics are largely un known and contingent) and certainly not self reinforced at some level beyond individually recognized human needs. Furthermore, since the outcome is not necessarily functionally adaptive (e.g., more environmentally sustainable, individually pleasing, or lo nger lasting than the original system), my approach to structuralism does not necessarily dictate any beneficial, functional, or sustainable outcome for either the individual or the social group. Rapp aport, 1999 ) in which structuring factors within a given time period interact to influence the behaviors of the human agent, and may or may not produce an outcome which is either desirable, self sustaining, or at least patterned, for a given period of time. The question regarding structures for this dissertation, more accurately, is (1) whether the various structuring factors responsible for the particular human environmental systems of interest (in this case, the role of nature/culture dichotomization in the construction and maintenance of

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233 a measurably significant degree of environmental sustainability (compared to majority culture lifestyles) given current environ mental parameters, and (2) how these various structuring factors interact and ultimately impact this measure. In other words, how are these structuring factors influencing the effectiveness of groups of human agents to achieve their (apparent) intentional goal of an environmentally sustainable social system? My position is that the ability of structuring agents such as nature/culture dualism to serve as an heuristic device for conceptualizing the objects and practices towards which to gravitate for the l ong term survival of a human environmental system is at least partially dependent upon the ability of these structuring agenst to simultaneously provide for immediate individual needs (be they socially constructed or not). This is why countercultural appr oaches to nature/culture dichotomization have the ability to unglue existing social systems as well new ones the drive for individual human well being not only fuels the drive to break long ingrained social patterns (as with the permaculture "nature" lover s who attempt to break from the norms of "technological culture"), but also permaculture communities) from staying glued in cases where the cultural constuction of "natur e" cannot meet these needs. Regarding the ability of certain structuring elements to be associated with a certain patterns of sustainability within (Western, at least) human environmental systems, it became unmistakably evident to me that, despite the appa rently wide range of characters participating in these communities, there were patterns of demography,

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234 discourse, and community progression that seemed to repeat themselves i n each and every situation, and that a wide yet capturable range of factors were producing this structured pattern repetition. It was the unmistakable observation of these recurring patterns that made it hard to dismiss the idea of common structuring elem ents to these communities. During my graduate studies, the idea that various characteristics of human society were the result of identifiable structuring factors was being presented to me through various courses; yet at the same time, structuralism was c ontinually being dismissed as evolution due to unresolved conceptual problems. The importance here is to note the two main halves of structuralism that anthropologists commonly deal with. I will use Radcliffe Brown (1965 ) to represent the first half of structuralism, which deals with inquiries into the possible universality of certain social structuring characteristics common to all human societies. His ideas were cas t aside as Radcliffe Brown himself became associated with a teleological, functional aspect of social structure that was group level. Meanwhile, D'Andrade (1995) sugges ts that the cognitive based structuralism originally espoused by Levi Strauss as an underlying factor responsible for various social patterns (the second half of structuralism, following my line of argument), was abandoned by anthropology because it made u nverifiable assumptions about universal structures of the human mind. This second half of structuralism has seen some revival due to recent leaps in empirical evidence from neuroscience and psychology and the

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235 resulting cross disciplinary meta analyses mad e possible by the information age. Within anthropology, the biogenetic structu ralists (Laughlin and D'Aquili, 1974; D'Aquili et al ., 1979 ) had early posited cross level links between structures at the neural, cognitive and social levels, with ritual being a key processual link. Interestingly, the recent reemergence of evolutionary cognitive structural explanations have used religion as the exemplary social phenomenon linked to cognitive structures (Guthrie, 1995; Atran, 2002; Boyer, 2002 ). Such writings have allowed structuralist tenets to reemerge within the social sciences though not necessarily within anthropology, seemingly due to lack of communication between anthropology and other disciplines. Nonetheless, structuralism seems to be back at least in the other social sciences so in the end, I throw up my hands and dive in for reconsideration of Radcliffe structural question: why do certain social patterns seem to repeatedly manifest themselves in various human societies, even t o the point of fixation? multiple instances, separate groups of humans have intentionally joined together during different periods at different locations in the district in attempts to fashion social scenarios that unfold in ways different than that of majority culture. The resulting communities tend to unfold in ways either surprisingly similar to each other, and often end up unravelling altogether. Why? Looking at thi Brown, unfortunately, found himself pigeonholed into the wrong (functionalist) half of an increasingly intriguing (structural) answer. The avenue of theoretical (rather than practical) interest, in this case, has less to do with what integrated social institutions are

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236 necessary/sufficient for a functioning society, and more to do with how various structuring agents social, environmental, and histori cal influence and are influenced by patterns of human belief that might results from innate, cognitively structured tendencies. Such structures may be directly responsible for the shared images of desirable lifestyle practice (as well as the similarities in the resulting actual lifestyle In this paper, then, I am declaring the existence be a middle range cognitive structure whose effects are particularly pronounced at my fieldsite. I am also declaring the concept of nature/culture dichotomization to be a useful trope around which to construct an explanation for the pattern of repetition occurring amongst permaculture communities in the Puna district as a result of this structure. This cognitive structure i s shown to be influential in the way the Puna permaculturalists perceive and value various objects and practices, as well as the way they experience sensations of liminality and communitas. Ultimately, it helps to engender a form of nature religion that su pports capitalist socioeconomic relationships and production modes while maintaining through discourse and ritual (including huge energetic investments in physical manipulation of the surroundings) a sacred ecotopian spectacle of the egalitarian domestic m ode of production. As a result, this dissertation ends up being a somewhat covert treatise on biogenetic structuralism in that I demonstrate a link between cognitive structure and culture through a demonstration of ritual behaviors of a secular religion r eligion being the sin e qua non of human cultural experience according to Geertz (1973).

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237 Grounded Theory (Awareness), Critical Theory (D econstruction), and Post Postmodern Praxis (R econstruction) Regarding the validity of the ethnographically derived porti on of my dissertation, and the subsequent applicability of the resulting hypotheses being used to quantitatively test various parts of these theories, I argue that these theories and resulting hypotheses have for the most part arisen through an inadvertent Strauss, 1967) process that took place as a result of my progression from a period of non academic participation and atheoretical observation during the first five years of my time in Puna, to a period over the last seven yea rs during which my exposure to academic social theories and methods increasingly helped me to frame, order and thematize my ongoing observations. I will give a more detailed explanation of this progression over the next few paragraphs. In short, the basic concerns about Western back to the land communities that are being addressed in this dissertation were concerns of mine long before I began graduate studies, while I was still an observing participating client rather than an observing participating schola r. At that time, I did not yet have any well formed questions, much less any theories or answers, with which to address these concerns only a sense that there might be a meaningful logic connecting the patterns of discourse, behavior, and community progre ssion taking place on the scene that was difficult to identify and articulate yet there nonetheless The development of meaningful questions, identifiable themes, subsequent tentative answers, and of the nature/culture propositions that further elucidate these answers, were derived later through repeated periods of ethnographic observation as a graduate researcher. These periods of

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238 observation became increasingly framed by my ongoing studies of the existing academic literature. Despite the years in Puna prior to graduate school, it was only through repeated observations as a graduate scholar that I began to identify the common themes that ran through these communites, and begin to see a meaningful parallel between these themes and those patterns describe d by the various sociological and anthropological theorists whom I had been reading. The more I studied, the more I began to see surprisingly good fits between these themes and the stated theoretical literature, which increasingly gave me good reason to c all upon this literature as part of an approach to describing what I saw. More importantly, it became increasingly obvious that these fits were proving far superior, in terms of breadth and depth of descriptive and explanatory power, to any epiphanous ins ights I had been able to make on my own. For instance, from early on I had a vague notion that there was a superficial element to the sensation of harmonious natural living so important to people working in c study began to demonstrate to me the applicability of using Marxist terms (commoditization) and the ideas of Baudrillard production of the subjective lifeworld experience bec omes a bought and sold product) to nature and sustainability were being traded for manual labor. In such cases, academic ideas and terms were ad hoc in terms of their tem poral relation to the patterns

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239 Over time, it was this incorporation of the observations of past and contemporary gifted scholars into my own fieldsite observations that allow ed me to arrive at a point of redundance: as of this writing, recent trips to the new permaculture communities that have popped up in Puna since the end of my period of intensive participant observer fieldtime, and my return visits to existing ones, have r esulted in experiences best my emerging picture of Puna's permaculture scene. It is this sequence of events from atheoretical and athematical observation to a perio d of making theoretical ties between the various themes being made evident by observation and participation that I see as matching the abductive process of theorizing laid out by Strauss and Corbin (1990) in their description of the formal approach to rese arch known as grounded theory. I see this as appropriate, despite my incorporation of academic theory and observation into my own observation processes. Whether such instances are better construed as cases of theory driving observation 3 or theory clarifyi ng observation is certainly debatable and perhaps unanswerable. My personal sense is that exposure to the academic world helped to clarify my ongoing observations it provided the terms, tropes, and ties which allowed me to see, in a Helen Keller sense, th at which had been previously and frustratingly uncomprehendable and incommunicable. In short, the observations of the academic masters have, for the most part, turned out to be masterful observations rather than simply ungrounded projections of academic head trips. In most cases, exposure to their 3 It is this basic accusation of the postmodern deconstructionists that prompted the development of grounded theory in the first place, according to my interpretation of Glaser and Stra uss (1967).

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240 ideas and terms, and to the theories that surround their ideas and terms, actually helped pave the way for fitting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of patterns and relationships which I had previously discern ed yet not clearly conceptualized. This has increasingly backed up my belief in the power of social science to clarify approaches in providing an opportunity for en lightenment through the exposure and clarification of processes whose effects are felt yet difficult to comprehend and thus difficult to address. The need to address these processes becomes important for purposes of bringing about social change directed t owards a proper mode of "life enhancement" that transcends those reactive forces of the Nietzchean "will to power" which tend to lead permaculture away from the organization of production towards the production of organization. For my part in playing thi s critical role, I identify in this dissertation a pattern of as a back to the land client regarding my ability to identify and articulate such patterns and processes i and in operation until a good explanation renders them obvious and less hegemonically addresses the c oncerns that lead to my own sense of unfulfilled frustration as a back to the land client; furthermore, my descriptions of this mystification process has elicited various empathetic responses from both individuals still living in Puna who have dropped out of the back to the land scene, as well as from individuals who continue to participate.

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241 Such experiences have strengthened my hope that such critique, when expressed in the appropriate setting, might help to bring forth a form of epiphanous realization amo described by Jacob (1 998 ) and Hetherington (2005) that occurs prior to the eventual return of the typical back to the land participant to majority culture. However rude t his realization, the purpose here is to address those mystified patterns that short circuit th e effectiveness of permaculture so that more effective patterns might be implemented. In any case, this deconstructive role of critical theory helping to recogni ze the hidden processes and constructs that lurk behind the intended processes and constructs is certainly an important step in constructing more effective and truly life enhancing forms of the sustainable lifestyle initiative. Critique and reflexivity is necessary to halt the repetition of mistakes of the past; the millenial spirit and thereby antithetical to the original goal of directing a constructive praxis of change towards sustainability. This dark, nihilistic side of critical theory is the downside of taking the postmodern view to its logical completion. Without the security of a millenarian metanarrative of nature/culture, it becomes exceedingly difficult for th e permaculturalist to construct a personal narrative, much less a community narrative, in which the terms of life enhancement follow principles of environmental sustainability. With hopes of moving past this postmodern pitfall, a final intent of this diss ertation is to keep the deconstructive tools of critical theory in tow while moving evermore towards a post postmodern form of reconstruction in order to rediscover hope.

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242 structures with a consideration of the new and progressive social structures that might arise from permaculture and which may allow it to indirectly serve a unique supporting function for Western environmental sustainability initiatives. In other words, following a postmodern deconstruction of the processes that account for unsustainable patterns within permaculture, one must ask: how might these processes, however disenchanting (and postmodernism tends so often to stop at the disenchantment), operate (pe rform) to produce a desired outcome, however impure the means (this halting disenchantment at the absence of purity within processes being a leftover of modernist wishes within postmodernist thought)? These reconstructive aspects of the dissertation foll ow an emerging perspective currently being described loosely with terms such as postpostmodernism, performatism or metamodernism (Turner, 1995 ; Kirby, 2006; Eshelman, 2008; Vermeulen and Akker, 2010 ) that reaches past postmodernism to place faith in the ab ility of incompatible processes and disagreeable outlooks to nonetheless act together to produce conditions that help engender, however indirectly, the original desired effect or social change. The key to this ability, as foreshadowed, may have much to do social structure within greater Western society that serves as a factory for experiment and a producer of both methods and symbols for social change which are eventually incorporated into majority culture as permaculture's so cial networks grow. This plan to take the results of deconstruction and use them for reconstructive purposes makes this dissertation, like permaculture, is an intended transpraxis (in the sense outlined by Nietchze [ 1980 ] and discussed by Frei re [1970] a nd Arrigo and

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243 Milanovic [ 2008 ] ) in which the p rocess that engenders transformative justice however indirectly or unexpectedly (as in the process of researching and writing a dissertation on permaculture), does not constitute the intended change itself but comes from the speech patterns and discourse used to interpret the cognized world In terms of one permaculture participant has described it (referring to the openness of typical permaculture participants to accept failure while still working with hopeful faith toward future solutions). (1990) concept of utopian realism in that th eir informed devotion to constructive and progressive action amidst a simultaneous belief in likely environmental/political apocalypse creates a space of hope based on a self conscious renewed faith in the old modernist idea of a better world. Through this faith come the actions that can eventually invoke meaningful change.

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244 CHAPTER 8 RECONSTRUCTING THE DECONSTRUCTED: EXPLORING THE ROLES OF NATURE/CULTURE AND PERMACULTURE IN SOCIAL CHANGE Any theory of his torical change must address questions of how alternative projects arise, how resistance is articulated, and how dominant structures are subverted. Theories of capitalist hegemony are incomplete without correspondi ng theories of counterhegemony. (Robins on, 2004, pg. 174) It's a Friday night and I'm making my third visit ever to Hawaiian Sanctuary. Hawaiian Sanctuary sits on a 44 acre piece of land just a few miles from Pahoa and advertises itself as an "eco rejuvenation center" which "studies and promot es sustainable development" (Hawaiian Sanctuary, 2012). The google search display for their main website shows the phrase "Hawaiian Sanctuary | Permaculture Courses | Sustainable Following the operational definition used in this dissertation Hawaiian Sanctuary can be classified as a permaculture communit y. However, I never stayed at Hawaiian Sanctuary because I had not heard about it until near the end of my research. By that time, it was already too expensi ve. C urrent "internship" costs are $575 per month plus 30 hours of work trade per week. Shotgun interviews with various individuals over the last few years have returned common themes about the incredible speed of development and the huge amounts of money that went into the construction of Hawaiia n Sanctuary The property was raw land in 2005 when it was purchased for a little over $400,000; after that structures began to pop up virtually overnight. Now Hawaiian Sanctuary offers more yoga, permaculture, massage, drumming, dancing, hula, and he rbal therapy classes than just about any other establishment in lower Puna except the famed and venerable Kalani Honua. Nightly stays as a tourist begin at $65/night for the "eco pod" still a cheaper deal than most of the major resorts in Kona, though more than many of lower Puna's

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245 vacation rentals. Amenities at Hawaiian Sanctuary include coin operated laundry machines and dryers, a massive and well equipped outdoor kitchen, dry heat saunas, a chemical free jacuzzi, a 600 squ are foot fitness center crammed with a dozen or so pieces of state of the art Cybex fitness station equipment, an elegant 1500 square foot entertainment pavilion, and an even larger wooden floored complex used for staging dance workshops, massage classes, and the occasional concert. Des pite its beauty, Hawaiian Sanctuary certainly wouldn't measure up well in an environmental audit of environmental sustainability in terms of the overall oil inputs, embedded sustainable to unsustainable energy inputs, or total carbon dioxide outputs requir ed to produce a day in the life of one of its residents, visitors or work traders. However, I'm not here today to assess its sustainability. I'm here to see Russell Ruderman, a high profile democratic candidate for the newly designated Senatorial Distric t 2 In 2011, the Hawaii State Reapportionment Commission redrew zoning lines and gave Hawai'i Island an extra seat in the Hawaii State Senate. The newly designated S enatorial District 2 cover ed a demographic area in which the vast majority of citizens we re from Puna ; in essence, Puna now had its very own seat in the Hawai'i Senate. Now it's July, 2012 Hawai'i's primary elections are less than a month away and Ruderman is here at Hawaiian Sanctuary playing guitar with his Grateful Dead cover band Terrap in Station in order to help raise funds for his election campaign. Ruderman is well known in the community due to his status as the owner of the highly popular Island Naturals health food store in Pahoa the success of which has allowed Russell to open sis ter stores in Kona and Hilo

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246 I can't imagine Russell faring well in an election outside of Puna, but in this h ighly liberal neck of the rainforest, his dual roles as band leader and local health food sto re owner are major components behind the charismatic force of his campaign In the crowd of volunteers, paid workers, and paying event goers attending the event are a wide range of characters who m I've seen over my years of Puna research including many who are or were members of the various back to the lan d communities that have popped up in Puna over the last thirty years Ruderman's speech is a typical liberal democratic platform that repeatedly makes its way back to the importance of local food security, the need to invest in sustainable energy resource s, the need to reform building codes in order to legalize alternative construction materials and design and the intransigence of the current business as usual politicians. It's a p olitical rendition of p ermaculture principles and it receives wide applau se from the crowd. I can't help but think that Ruderman is here at Hawaiian Sanctuary because of the symbolic role which the permaculture concept now plays as a representation for better, alternative ways of living, while the crowd here represent s the cu rrent outcome of the slow trickle of hippies tha t first began coming to Puna nearly fifty years a go in search of a greener way of life Whether or not Ruderman wins the final election 1 the current strength of these s ocial networks, and the political pote ntial of the nature/culture ideologies they champion suggests that there may be a role being played by back to the land communities and nature/cul ture dualisms which go beyond their direct utility in 1 In Hawai'i's August 11 primary elections, Ruderman beat out three other candidates to become the democratic nominee for the Hawaii State Senatorial District 2 seat. The historic democratic voting record of the Puna district suggests that he will likely win the November 2 elections by an easy margin.

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247 Puna as social organizations and cognitive constructs w hich directly result in environmentally sustainable lifestyles This dissertation has largely deconstructed that utility ; the next step is to re construct the indirect utility of back to the land movements and nature/culture constru cts as mechanisms for gr eater social change. To begin such a reconstruction, it will be important first to view concerns with the authenticity of nature/culture dualism and permaculture 's sustainability endeavor as outdated modernist concern s, and instead move towards a more pos tpostmodern outlook in which the simulacra of ecotopia may p rove effective as a mechanism of social change despite the unreality of the harmonious low consumption lifestyle it superficially emulate s and in which this effectiveness arises from the same ca pitalist articulation s that undermine permaculture's intended pursuit of such a lifestyle As a social project personified by mysticism and egalitarianism, we can analyze the effectiveness of permaculture and its ecotopian illusion in light of its role as a modern form of shamanism a neo shamanism which, like most surviving shamanisms, exist s in counterhegemonic artic ulation with a priestly order ( which, in its current global form, is a social order kept in place by neoliberal capitalism and modern science ) Here, the liminal, neoshamanic aspects of Puna's permaculture communities prove to be livin g example s of Rappaport's "cybernetics of the holy" (Rappaport, 1999), in which t he ongoing production of an ecotopian communitas helps to reinforce nature/cultu re dualism as an "ultimate sacred postulate", which in turn helps to mobilize alternative political networks from the cultic milieu and which leads to the development and dissemination of alternative ideas and products that help bring about adaptive change within the larger system.

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248 Reconstructing Permaculture as a Space of H ope Cultural Production W ithin C ounterhegemonic Liminal S paces For our part, we find it unimaginable that innovative forms of emancipatory practice will not emerge to address the exces ses of neoliberal is the beginning of a solution. (Coma roff & Comaroff, 2001, pg. 335) The importance of "thinking out of the box is a hallmark slogan for the American capitalist entrepr eneurial spirit I'm thinking of this as I stare at the bag s of I.M.O. ("indigeneous microorganism") soil mix being sold in the local KTA supermarket. Ten years ago I had never heard of I.M.O.'s. A few years later it was the rage on the permaculture sce ne It fit in nicely with permaculture's Gaia inspired postulate of a glorified, spiritual egalitarian, and at times animistic sense of nature suddenly the agro hipster scene was alive with talk ab out "living soils" that provided underground "communicati on webs" between plants. Jonah, one of Puna' s I.M.O. pioneers, began spiking his I.M.O. mix with fermented P sychotria juice. Others began denounc ing plant nutrient theory as similar to germ theory: a bogus ideological construct of the Western techno indus trial complex. For many years, Big Island I.M.O. workshop s were the exclusive terrain of Puna's permacultu re communities and organic farms Ten years later I.M.O. workshops are offered through Hilo's County Offices, and I.M.O's are the object of resear ch in university agricultural departments This includes the agricultural department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, whose history is otherwise that of being a bastion for conservative agricultural policies due to the department's ties to the GMO papa ya industry The counterhegemonic dimensions of this fast changing policy were evident during 2011's Occupy Wall Street movement. One notorious Big Island variation of this,

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249 known as Occupy Hilo With Kalo 2 involved the unpermitted planting of agricultur al crops in grassy street divides and walkways around the city ; soil spiking with I.M.O. mix was considered a crucial step to ensuring productivity The impromptu guerrilla work parties were announced through Facebook, Twitter, and word of mouth, and often attracted in excess of 100 people. The mastermind of the project was Drake, a protege of Jonah (a permaculture landowner mentioned in various instances throughout this dissertation) with a vociferous passion for permaculture. Each time, a considerable po rtion of the massive supplies of tools, agricultural cuttings and I.M.O. soil mix were informally provided through networks which traced back to UH Hilo experimental agriculture department. The above vignettes are meant to demonstrate the indirect functio nal role of permaculture as space of antistructure where experimentation can take place especially when the trick being tried seems ludicrous to the general public. But when those ludicrous ideas uncover something of decided beneficial value, it becomes a commodity o n the common market. Thus, on t he upside of many of these seemingly ludicrous and failed experiments in ecotopian living the haven of protection and separation provided by the permaculture scene can turn up an array of surprises. A year af ter I incredulously watched India's mother applying honey to the gaping hole in India's leg, I witnessed a mainstream media blitz on the amazing disinfection properties of honey. And sure enough, despite my conviction that many mainstream mothers would hav e called State child protective services before letting India's mother feed her child raw meat and apply honey to a deep infection in lieu of antibiotics India did get 2 Kalo is the Hawaiian term for taro.

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250 eventually get better and was soon a thriving healthy girl again running aroun d on her o wn In fact, after ten y ears witness to the seeming insanity of a raw meat/egg/milk diet the raw carnivores often seemed to be far ing even better than the raw vegans few who mak e the switch to the raw meat diet in Puna have ever switched to another diet and I've never seen any diet with simultane ous a bility to bulk up emaciated men and slim down heavy women. Overall, I remain constantly amaze d at the ability of Puna's back to the landers to fare well in the midst of c onditions, practices and beliefs t hat would otherwise seem absolutely far fetche d. In retrospect, surprisingly functional results were often borne from practices and beliefs that would be deemed heretical unhealthy, and even insane withi n a conventional setting. They help reveal the ext ent to which common majority culture practices are more habitus than practical more akin to Weber's "traditional rationality" than any actual technocratic "instrumental rationality" associated with a calcula t ing homo economicus Yet give n the surprising ly effective results of many of these extreme mode s of "thinking outside the box", how far would such experiments get as a movement of solita ry individuals attempting their deviant crafts among the convention al institutions and social networks of the domin ant culture? In general, t he autonomy (economic, cultural, and political) sought by communitarian counterculture is an attempt to disassociate from dominant cultural forms whose beliefs and practices, trapped more by traditional conventions of rationality than truly instrumental considerations, are considered to be the source of environmental exploitation and social oppression.

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251 A study of communitarian counterculture is thus also a study of deviance: in leaving recognized cultural forms behind, these com munities escape the deviance label described by Becker ( 1963) which function to limit engagement in practices and beliefs which fall outside social norms. By constructing a space of physical and cultural separation the permaculture antistructure escapes the pro normative forces of the "carceral archipelago" described by Fou cault (1975) and elaborated upon by Lowman et al. 's (1987) through his concept of transcarceration ". Both of terms describe the coherence with which various social institutions of the dom inant culture work in parallel to pu nish and control those bodies which deviate in behavior from the shared ideolog y espoused by the dominant. Thus the escape into the space of nature, as an antithesis to the space of technological culture, must be un derstood as a logical step to escape th e se constraining social forces and the oppressive aspects of their associated ideologies as detailed in concepts such as hegemony (Gramsci, 1971) and the state ap paratus (Althusser, 1971 ). By making th is escape, these subjects thus circumven t an ongoing colonization of the lifeworld (Habermas, 1981) that ultimately limit s the ability of the typical citizen to imagine, much less act out a new cultural form. Having made this escape, the early stages of permaculture co mmunity and other back to the land movements often appear irrationally extreme and radical because of their willingness to throw away and question all cultural forms associa ted with the modern West. What needs to be re cognized here is the overall a ttempt that is being made to discern through trial and error, the difference between cultural forms which have act ual instrumental ly rational merit from those forms which only appear to be

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252 instrumental ly rational due to the hegemony of tradition pushed by the st ate apparatus. The importance of this critical disbelief is noted by Harvey (2000 ): There is a time and place in the ceaseless human endeavor to change the world, when alternative visions, no matter how fantastic, provide the grist for shaping powerful p supine fear of expressing and pursuing alternative desires at all. ( Harvey, 2000, pg 195) Harvey (2000) goes on to outlin e his project of a dialectical utopianism, in which utopian imaginations are worked upon as projects ever moving towards utopia from arly expressed by Hicks (2001 ), who notes: We should expect no one to one correspondence between the cultural system and observed social life. Indeed it is one of anthropology's basic assumptions that a discrepancy between culture and practical action is inevitable. Exploring this discrepancy, trying to discover how people justify and explain their perception of the distinction between what should be and what is, leads to some of anthropology's most stimulating analytical efforts. ( Hicks, 2001, p g. 17 18) As practitioners of cultural critique and subsequent utopian imaginations, anthropologists, permaculturalists, and various utopian entrepreneurs of the cultic milieu all face this task of critical disbelief, imagination of utopian alternative, and subsequent instrumental maneuvering as a meth od to negotiate the distinction between what is and what ought to be. As shall be argued, the liminal experience of liminal communitas can play a crucial role in engendering this disbelief. As Victor Turner puts it: W ithout liminality, programming might indeed determine performance G iven liminality, prestigious programs can be undermined and multiple alternative soci al programs may be generated (Turner, 1974, pg. 14) In many cases, cultural programs which are initially discarded monogamy, formalized rules, written contracts, recognition of property ownership, and various

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253 technological amenities make their way back into most communities over time and can give these communities a sense of non authenticity in their attempt to create something Other. But t hrough this process, Puna's egalita rian back to the landers appropriate these cultural programs as their own and thereby help to dissassociate them from those practices and ideologies of the technological capitalist hierarchy that cause the po wer imbalance s (including global/regional imbalances outlined in the literature by Wallerstein [1987] and Gunder Frank [ 199 0 ] and various forms of gender imbalance described by Rosaldo and Lamphere [ 1974] and Meilla ssoux [1975 ] including those originating from within the family as described by Engels [18 84] and Rey [ 1975 ]) believed by the cultic milieu to maintain, justify and contribute to patterns of environmental exploitation. While previous res istance movements to capitalism depended upon and focused u pon means that counterhegemonic forces must attack in a new and decentralized way (Hard t and Negri, 2000) ; thus the birth of the new culture based and lifestyle based soc ial movements. As David Harvey notes, t hese new oppositional movements, spawned by late forms of neoliberalization organizat ion away from traditional political parties and labour organizing into a less focused political dynamic of social action across the w hole spectrum of civil society [ and ] t end to be embedded in the nitty gritty of daily life and str Ha rvey, 2005, pg. 200). I n line with many of the new social movements, participants in permaculture are often less concerned about predictable success of their own living experiments as they

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254 are about dissassociation fro m majority culture's ongoing exp erim ent with modern technological forms of capitalism As Baudrillard (1998) notes, postmodernity has brought about a change from production identity to consumer identit y among the social individual. The simp le act of non participation, along with resulting s elf expressive experimentation with al ternatives to conventional consumption, produces a cultural product that symbolizes the experience of postmodern eco topia. Cultural production here occurs through recognized acts of what is an d is not consumed. In th is, the search for autonomy from the perceived capitalist mode of production becomes less about engaging in a percieved domestic mode of production and more about engagement in a domestic mode of consumption as a model for undermining the dominant system. Using this visio n of consumption and its role in counterhegemonic identity attempts at non participation in the capitalist economic system are political both in gesture and symbol (Buechler, 2000) With cultural production through alternative methods o f consumption given priority, less emphasis thus falls on the success of practices associated with actual material production. Along these lines, it is important to note that success in the realm of creating what ought to be is not needed in order to appr eciate the utility of a counterhegemonic liminal space: the permaculture space is an equ ally important space in which failure is allowed to take place as part of the path of determining what alternatives to technological capitalist culture ought not to be C ertainly there are many, and discussion of the more problematic alternatives tend to be the realm in which the most hotly contested debates occur as the cultic milieu in Puna comes to term s with the eventual vagaries of, and subsequent ongoing nee d to s hape, the character details of

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255 nature/culture as an ultimate sacred postulate of life on a lava field For instance, prospect of increased g eothermal production as an alternative energy source is hotly debated is it a preferred alternative to oil, or does it "rape Pele", as m any state, through its reproduction of capitalism's industrialized and centrali zed appro ach to energy? Another instance of ongoing contestation involves germ theory: its denouncement is a central tenet of the primitivist theories of r aw meat converts yet at the same time the v ery real threat of leptospirosis forces the use of high technology ceramic filters and UV mechanisms in rainwater catchment systems In a similar vein h orrific experiences with rat lungworm (caught from slug sl ime on garden vegetables) especially in the Papaya Farms Road region of lower Puna, combined with the general lack of agricultural substrate everywhere except the Papaya Farms Road region, has spelled trouble for the gardening ritual that works so well fo r temperate conti nental permaculture communities. As a result, the ecotopian image of the garden has increasingly given way to vision s of agroforestry as the path to an alternative decentralized domestic mode of production and consumption. Despite such c hanging visions, Puna p ermaculturists' faithful agricultural experimen ts in Puna over thirty years still have yet to reveal a reliable strategy for the production of staple crops in a way that can sustainably provide a steady source of income and food. O ther cases of failed experimentation along the i magined route to sustainability have included a passing phase which encouraged the growing of bamboo for sustainable construction purposes; this turned out to be impractical due to the difficulties of growing bamboo in the soilless lava and the difficulty of developing the special skills needed to effectively prepare and install bamboo for purposes of structural support.

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256 Other conceptually functional sustainability schemes such as the use of humanure for fer tilization or the use of sand for flooring instead of concrete seem in the end to simply be less appreciable in practice than in theory. Through this extended process of trial and error, funded by savings from mainland bank accounts and contributions of work traders lured into free labor by the ecotopian spectacle, permaculture ma kes its way ever slowly from its symbolic role as an imagined alternative to a contributing role towards actual alternative s from imagined authenticity to the truly authentic. From a systems perspective, is it is hard to imagine a safer resource to use for experimentation purposes than an educated middle class for similar frontier experiments throughout history, unaided by well funded articulation with the larger existing system the price of failure was death rather than finances. Certainly the most frustrating barriers to successful experimentation with alternatives a re legal barriers. C onstruction of sustainable shelter in Puna turns out to be a difficulty in Puna due to buil ding codes which sanction only the most conventional construction methods and materials Such cases, in which written legal codes explicity block particular avenues of beneficial social adaptation, amount to what Rappaport (1999, pg. 440) called an "overs anctification of the specific". Rappaport found such concrete instances of maladaptive dissonance within the existing regulatory hierarchy to be t he points most vulnerable to upset by networks representing alternative social and political arrangements. In lower Puna, it is in this realm of alternative construction that the growing social networks within the back to the land movement have offered their most significant contribution to overall social change in the region

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257 N eoshamanic Simulacra and the Cybe rnetics of the H oly organization of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mighti er. (Marx and Engels, 1906, pg. 27 ) I t's May 2012 and I 'm at the C ounty Offices in Hilo but from the look of things you'd think I was at Woodstock. A public hearing is finally taking place regarding a March 2010 threat from the Windward Planning Commission to re voke a special use permit that allows Graham Ellis the right to use his 12 acre property as a venue for public events. Graham calls his property Belly Acres ; it sits on the edge of the Seaview subdivision in lower Puna Since he bought the property in 19 87, it has evolved into a community homestead of eight houses and twelve cabins that provide a home for 26 permanent residents in addition to a seasonally changing population of work traders and guest teachers. The community focus is sustainable food pr od uction and the performing arts; put in terms used by the local news channel, it is "an enclave for jugglers, acrobats, and other skilled performers" that is also a "sustainable eco village" (Big Island Video News, 2012) Belly Acres' performing arts focu s blew up in popularity when Graham's special use permit application finally went through in 2007; community members promptly pooled finances and constructed a huge, high ceiling, open walled building which they dubbed SPACE the Seaview Performing Arts Cente r for Education. Soon they were hosting a weekly farmer's market in addition to holding circus, dance, and martial arts cla sses during the week. SPACE provided a sense of community for many of lower Puna's more colorful residents but it also resulted in complaints from various subdivision residents that eventually led the Planning Commission to issue a Notice of

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258 Non Compliance in March, 2010. The list of broken rules ranged from parking violations to illegal ly built structures to ch arging money for non c ommercial events However, SPACE has made Graham a popular guy and this public hearing has turned the County Offices parking lot into a 100 person plus circus of stilt walkers, unicyclists, dreadlocked farmers, and aging hipp ies in tie dyes. In the end, the Planning Commission's cease and desist order is repealed and Graham is given six months to file an amended version of the special use permit that will make his operation legal. It ha d been over two years from the moment of the Planning Commission's fi rst Notice to the time of its first public hearing, but Graham had not been silent during the interrim He created the Hawaii Sustainable Co mmunity Alliance (HSCA) to deal with the ongoing p roblems surrounding the i nability to legally permit structures bu ilt from local sustainable materials. Active HSCA b oard members include Amara Karuna, member of the La'akea Permaculture Communi ty, Mojo Mustapha, founding owner and manager of Hedonesia Hawaii Sustainable Community Rainforest Retreat, Dagan Ray, a well k nown member of Hawaiian Sanctuary, as well as two candidates cu rrently running for seats in the 2012 Hawai'i County Council elections In October of 2011, longtime County Council member Angel Pilago introduced a bill of resolution drafted by Graham calle d the Sustainable Habitat Resolution. The resolution passed the Council with no objections and HSCA members are now working on composing a Su stainable Habitat Ordinance as well as another r esolutio n called the Sustainable Living Research Resolution The bottom line here is that after twenty five years of environmentally oriented community based endeavors in Puna, however impractical, Graham's social connections run deep and his clout score runs sky high.

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259 If Hawai'i's existing building codes are examples of Rappaport's maladaptive "oversanctification of the specific", then nature/culture dichotomization is the "ulti mate sacred postulate" which becomes the basis for the political platform of Pun a's alternative social networks Using the terminology by whic h Rappaport describes a "cy bernetics of the holy" (Figure 9 1), we can trace the process by which the liminal space of permaculture le ads to the strengthening of these alternative social network s As a space of ritual participation in the permaculture eco topia, communitas provokes a numinous interpretation of nature and aids in the formal acceptance of and loyalty towards an alternative regulatory hierarchy. As a location for ritual withdrawal from the d ominant regulatory hierarchy, the experience of comm unitas helps to desanctify elements of the dominant regulato ry hierarchy. These ritualized withdrawal and participation features of the ecotopian communitas help to enculturate an ultimate sacred postulate which glorifies nature while maligning various fe atures of modern technological culture. As Rappaport (1999) puts it: The Cybernetics of the Holy is constituted of corrective actions initiated in response to pressure from those subordinate to regulatory hierarchies for the amelioration of unsatisfactory conditions prevailing within the systems governed by those hierarchies. (Rappaport, 1999, pg. 436) anctification of historically occurred in hierarchical societies in which acc ess to the "magico spiritual" 3 world was appropriated by groups for purposes of maintaining class 3 This term, as used by Rappaport, is a loaded term which connotates both culturally derived interpretations of the sacred/spiritual, the actual phenomenologi cal experience of connection with the sacred (parallelling the liminal experience of communitas ), as well as the ritual means (magic) by which this connection is achieved. I use this term from here on out in order to demonstrate how the ongoing argument e xemplifies Rappaport's dynamic conceptualization of a "cybernetics of the holy".

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260 power rather than purposes of maintaining social well being. Similar perspectives have been detailed most recently by Winkelman in his review of shamanism (2 000 ). Figure 8 1. Rappaport's "cybernetics of the holy". Added by the author is the location of the liminal communitas experience. In the secular capitalist world, in which a commodity fetish replaces religion, rising prices and increasingly inachei vable building codes dispossess the typical Big Island citizen of access to the American Dream. At the same time, the inclusion of alternative sustainable shelters within the counterhegemonic ecotopia is simultaneously thwarted by such codes. As Robi nson ( 2004 ) notes : F undamental change in a social order becomes possible when an organic crisis occurs. O rganic crisis is one i n which the system faces both structural (objective) crisis and a crisis of legitimacy or hegemony (subjective). ( Robi nson, 2004, pg. 171)

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261 Given the current state of financial and legal affairs it may be posited that the cultural hegemon y of conventional approaches to the domestic domicile is coming into question in Puna As Robinson (2004 ) goes on to note: A popular or revolutiona ry outcome to an organic crisis also requires that there be a viable alternative that is in hegemonic ascendance, that is, an alternative to the existing order that is viable and that is seen as viable and preferable by a majority of society. ( Robinson 2 004 pg. 172) It is here that the social networks that support the material and ideological antihegemonic structures of back to the land community networks can become the source of change. Thus as environmental and social crises loom larger, the role of lower Puna's back to the land movement s stands a chance of becoming less marginal and countercultural and instead increasingly political in spirit: I n a world of constantly rising energy and resultant affluence, permaculture is always going to be restrict ed to a small number of people who are committed to those ideals which have some sort of ethical or moral pursuit. It's always going to be a fringe thing. Whereas in a world of decreasing energy, permaculture provides, I believe, the best available framewo rk for redesigning the whole way we think, the way we act, and t he way we design new strategies. (Holmgren q uoted in Fenderson, 2004 online) Comaroff and Comaroff (2000) note that increasing marginalization of classes and minorities has actually increased the prevalence of magical practices and beliefs in the modern, Western world as financially and structurally disempowered individuals are forced to turn to non capitalist practices in order to seek or reinstate health, identity, and/or other forms of well being. If we reasonable to see how the successful engendering of the experience of communitas within the permaculture antistructure can become a point of cathartic renewal follo wing a ritual withdrawal from a society that does not serve the we ll being of its subjects. This

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262 renewal encourages of the regulatory In this desanctified space the gaudy outlandish designs of tarp r oofs, screen walls and living fenceposts that characterize the stereotypical back to the land homes of happy hippy punatics and which seem heretical to if not an outright mockery of the structured decorum of the majority culture image of domestic bliss be come meaningful as counterhegemonic images of an unstructured, antithetical, low impact, more natural form of domestic bliss This is the magico spiritual world of nature which is accessible to anyon e willing to give up their belief in the ideological magico spiritual American D ream that serves to maintain the current power structure. I'm in the midst of the representatives of this counterhegemonic magico spiritual world of nature as I stand in the parking lot of the County Offices. It is from these individuals that Graham's clout score come s these acrobats and stiltwalkers and circus freaks Their demonstrated political effectiveness exemplifies concept of utopian realism in which the ongoing maintenance and propagation of a subsy stem envisioning an alternative future can help such an alternative to be realiz ed both in the subsystem and the larger system thr ough a focus on "life politics", which encompasses an individuals' concerns with personal well being, self actualization, and fulfilling social connection as they cope with the alienation and dispossession brought about by the globalizing Western techno industrial cultural complex The facelessness of this cultural complex is not meant to imply that it is without structure. The re is a degree of homeostatic maintenance willed by the regulatory hierarchy through the carceral components of the complex, and in this light it is worth looking at the deviance label placed upon Graham's circus freaks as a parallel to the

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263 deviance label that has been placed on representatives of shamanic gnosticism throughout history by representatives of the do minant regulatory hierarchy ( Narby and Huxley, 2001 ; Znamenksi, 2007). Graham's social network is a modern day neoshamanic 4 hodgepodge of pagans, witches druids, hippies, New Agers, and psychic vampires. T he y are the cultic milieu, brought to Hawai'i by their pursuit of an ecotopian image of nature, and they thrive here not due to their ability to survive autonomously in a domestic mode of product ion but due to their ability to successfully remain in d ialectic relationship with dominant capitalist cultural forms The cries of inauthenticity cast at such individuals, usually directed towards their inability to successfully reproduce the supposed au tonomous domestic life of the Other is most potent when coming from the dominant order as it reduces the likelihood for counterhe gemonic cultural production t hey are neoshamans castigated as heretics spe cifically because of the threat posed by their ever present ranks. Since t hey "subvert the axioms and standards of the ancient regime" (Turne r, 1974, pg. 14) by finding communitas through means that do not contribute to the maintenance of and often instead drain the dominant code of power, security, and sp ending, t hey are recognized as a "danger in all tol erably orderly societies". In response, r epresentat ives of the regulatory carceral complex tend to generate a "proliferation of taboos that hedge 4 In this dissertation, "neoshaman" refers both to those individuals seeking a contemporary liminal experience, as well as those individuals who construct and conduct the spac e within which the liminal experience is meant to occur. "Neoshamanic" refers the Otherworldly experience of communitas which the neoshaman seeks to provoke; it also connotes the similarities to traditional shamanic ritual that characterize neoshamanic ri tual provocation.

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264 in and constrain those on whom the normative structure los es its grip" (Turner, 1974, pg. 14) One way of deconstructing the accusation of inauthenticity is through co mparing the neoshamanic element of Puna's permacultur ists with the historic shamans they are accused of inauthentically replicating. One in terest ing similarity about accusations of non authenticity and heresy against both shamanism and neoshamanism is that they both often come from representatives of a larger dominant hierarchical social order in which shamanism and neoshamanism have continued to flourish. Thus, both traditional shamanism and neo shaman ism tend to prevail as dialectic forces within larger complex hierarchical social order which dispossess the average citizen of the right of access to the magico spiritual world in which healing, sal vation, success, and well being is to be found Interestingly, this pattern of dispossession as it occurs within complex hierarchical societies nearly guarantees the continued existence of non hierarchical forms of b oth shamanism and neo shamanism in whic h the magico spiritual world is much less regulated and more easily accessed Furthermore, this tendency to be in heavy articulation with capitalist markets of the modern worl d a condition which is commonly used as the basis for question ing the authenti ci ty of the neoshamanic element was an instrumental characteristic of the successful traditional shaman as part of the attempt to cultivate, in any way possible, the means by which to reproduce the liminal space of the magico spiritual world in which healing unification, and other elements of communitas can occur. Thus, like the neoshaman, the success of traditional shamans has been deemed dependent on the sa me entrepreneurial spirit (that of the unique and gifted and often "out of the box",

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265 individualist ) that is champio ned by neoliberal capitalism In this sense, there is less distinction than imagined by the West within traditional shamanism for the importance between authenti c and inauthentic. The goal of traditional shaman (as with the modern neoshama n) is to use ingenuity and intuition, and whatever tools and means necessary, to bring about transcendent experience (Harner, 1990) Some tools, s uch as the use of appropriately potent psychoactive substances and/or appropriately rhythmic drumming in both shamanic and neoshamanic contexts, may prove effective due to direct effects on t he nervous system. Other tools may prove effective due to their ability to provoke culturally sensitive reactions. Examples here include the universal use of foreign object s to induce a sense of the exotic often metal nails and shiny buttons for early 19th century Siberian shamans or Tibetan prayer flags and Indian incense for modern neoshamans as well as the recreation of culturally prescribed images such as the spectacle of the caterpillar dance in !Kung ritual or the spectacle of ecotopia in permaculture ritual. In each case, the moment in which the magico spiritual space of communitas is successfully provoked is the moment in which the liminal stage of the ritual process is can be deemed successful; i n this, the possibility exists for any simulacrum to outperform its closet version of some original copy in its ability to reproduce the communitas experience. In the non hierarchical world of traditional shamanism and the e galitarian world of neoshamans in which anyone has the potential for access to the magico spiritual world of communitas there is competition to attract the interests of those seeking healing, ki lling, and prognostication. Thus the charismatic, salient s haman who offers the new est and most effective combinations of plants and music

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266 and images and who presents rituals with appropriately exotic combinations and foreign objects advertises to others his/her unique gift for numinous connection his/her abi lity to Given that the Western neoshamanic appropriation of a hodgepodge of disconnected indigenous elements is little different than indigenous appropriation of non local elements for shamanic purposes, who is to sa y that Western forms are less authentic or effective than the traditional shamanic experience? In both cases, the entrepreneurial aspect of shamanism leaves it open to all forms of syncretism, borrowing, novelty, and appropriation. The point is that it i s these characteristics of syncretism, borrow ing, novelty, and appropriation, when wielded by the neo shaman that cries of non authenticity are most likely to be heard In the realm of culturally mediated liminal experience, the numinous image of ecotopian communitas which the contemporary back to the land neoshaman strives to recreate is a postmodern hodgepodge borne from global flows of ethnoscapes, technoscapes, ideoscapes, mediascapes, and financescapes ; likewise, the contemporary neoshamans' unique gif t for recreating this image is ultimately derived from his/her unique gift to access these global flows across space and time. As Harvey puts it, for members of the postmodern world such as the middle class neoshamans of Jameson (1991 late production of new culture as one in which :

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267 he frantic urgency of producing fresh waves of ever more novel seeming aesthetic innovation and experimentat ion. (Jameson, 1991 pg 56) Thus, cultural production in the pos (Harvey, 1990, pg. 63). This importance of aesthetic innovation, experimentation, and fierce social conflict surrounding cultural production is mirrored in the highly flexible and highly syncretic charac teristics of both traditional shamanic and neoshamanic processes of ritual and material artifact utilization. Thus, in the flexible, pluralistic, postmodern world, rules fall apart for designating a orms of sham anic ecstasy. Neo shamanic images and the cultural construction of a counterhegemonic magico spiritual world are mediated through television, movies, and other popular media such as video games. Such technology brings together ima ges of traditional sham anism with various new form incorporated into the neo shamanic system. Traditional w ord of mouth learning is supplanted by book s on shamanism (e.g., Harner, 1990) and weblogs Cries o f non authenticit y are increasingly overshadowed by new fo rms of legitimacy (Strathern, 2000) converges with the sacred pursuit of the Other to produce t effective trance dance music, and official certifications for everything from reiki healing to shamanic journeying to tr anscendental meditation ( Jakobsen, 1999). Thrown into the mix are scientific discourses intended to authenticate and legitimize from a Western perspective Drake, 2003). Thus, v ia postmodern discourse and the effects of globalization, the shamanic experience as recreated by neoshamans is increasingly being streamlined,

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268 institution alized, and made more efficient and potent than ever before I n this, as Harvey Harvey, 1990, pg. 300). The ten dency of postmodern forms to become third order simulacra, having distinguished themselve s from simply being inaccurate copies and amalgamations of some origi nal form, does not stop such simulacra from being able assume the same roles and functions of some original form, and i n many instances, providing role s and function s that turn out to be even more effective than the original Reconstructing P os tmodernism's O utcast Nature/C ulture D yad Nature/Culture as the "U ltim ate Sacred Postulate" of Transnational Civil S ociety Tara's earache hasn't gone away She's a work trader from Berkeley with bi g blue eyes and bright orange dreadlocks, and she's been the focus o f attention at La'akea for the p ast few days. She's had the smoke of Indian tobacco leaf blown into her ears. She's had earcandle treatments while being held and sung to by Dona. She's b een given mamake leaf teas as well as various i nternal cleansers from the health food store meant to purify her blood. Now she's receiving lomi lomi massage with a locally made kuku i nut oil while a recording of traditional Hawaiian chanting and gourd bea ting plays in the background. A week from now I'll end up driving Tara to the hos pital for a round of antibiotic treatment but meanwhile, the experiences I'm witnessing are sensual an d emotionally charged events neo shamanic rituals of communitas that def initely help to bond the members of the community. The treatments and techniques I've witnessed at La'akea over the last few days may lack effectiveness against the ear infection but they've definitely achieved something else. Wh at's more, I'm sure that most anyone experiencing a sense of alienation and dispossession from the spreading cultural forms of technological

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269 Westernization anyone fr om any culture around the world can relate to the shamanic sensibility of what is happening here Underneath it a ll lies the sacred postulate of a nature/culture dualism that venerates treatments and techniques symbolic of the natural and renounces as much as possible treatments and techniques associated with the modern technological West. s of the holy" to be believable, we must believe in some cross cultural elements that can engender the subjective experience of the magico spiritual. Psychic unity these s rega currently a rgued among anthro pologists on the grounds for its empirical support in the archaeological record (Lewis Williams, 2002; Francfort and Hamayon, 2 001; Helveston and Bahn, 2003), while scholars in the recently emerged field of evol utionary psychology ( Guthrie, 1995; Atran, 20 02 ; Boyer, 2002 ) argue for the existence of universally innate cognitive apparatus that leave s human individual s susceptible to religious belief. Merging these arguments, an academic path is cleared for the likely existence of universally innate cognitive apparatus that leaves human individuals susceptible to the l iminal shamanic experience of communitas Van Gennep (1909) showed that there were themes consistent in ritual across all culture s in which the group or individual leaves conventional reality en ters an altered "topsy turvy" world, and then ret urns with a renewed identity characterized by new or renewed knowledge, powers, and/or status For a universal shamanism, t hese phases must be able to function in both traditional sham anic and neo shamanic c ontexts, and the key to this effectiveness rests on the ability of ritual elements to induce Van Gennep's topsy turvy second stage,

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270 characterized by Turner (1969) as the liminal sensation of communitas. The appropriateness of tool use by which such ritual elements become effective is the heart of the "technique of ecstasy" described by Eliade ( 2004 ). Here, v arious lines of evi dence, from shamanic studies (Re ichel Dolmatoff, 1976; Winkelman, 2000 ) to psychede lic studies (Mandell, 1978 ) to holistic anthropo logical syntheses of both (L aughlin and d'Aquili, 1974, Young Laughlin and Laughlin, 1988) suggest that effective techniques ultimately trigger universally innate systems of neurological hardware that are in turn responsible for producing universal patter ns of gnosis, unity, and ecstasy associated with the magico spi ritual experience (Mandell, 1978 ) In a world of growing inequality, the use of count erhegemonic shamanic rituals to induce communitas may play a role in the construction of alternative social net works which, as they grow and mature use the sacred, counterhegemonic postulate of nature/culture dualism as common ground for the expansion of global transnationalist network that exist s in articulation with the oppressive forces of the globalized ne oliberal structure. Marx ( 1867 ) noted that capitalism could not be countered by an opposing organized force unti l it had completed its encroachment onto all existing and competing modes of production With the neoliberal machine somewhere in the midst of its final phase of complete global domination, prospects open up for the imaginings of this counter neoliberal transnational civil society. The global growth of images however ineffective or inaccurate, which consolidate a view of the enemy (such as "the 1%") in conjunction with an alternative platform (such as "permaculture" or "indigeneous rights" ) represent the global unified rumblings of the discontent and the possibility of their convergence around fast and fru gal means of a dualized discourse which venerates

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271 elements associated with "nature" while vilifying elements associated with modern technological "culture". As Robinson notes: T he real prospect for counterhegemonic social change in the age of globalization is a globalization from below movement that seeks to challenge the power of the global elite by accumulating counterhegemonic forces beyond national and regional borders, to challenge that power from within an expand ing transnational civil society. Robinson (2004, pg. 177) In a global scene ch aracterized by the impending global triumph of Westernized neoliberal capitalist culture how do connections between disparate groups of resistance occur to give transnational civil society a unified face? For Harvey (2005), unity exists in that that they all tend to oppose the concept of accumulation by dispossession: Dispossession entails the loss of rights. Hence the turn to a universalistic rhetoric of human rights, dignity, sustainable ecological practices, environmental rights, and the like, as the basis for a unified oppositional politics. (Harvey, 2005, pg. 178) Thus, such hope for a transnational civil society rests on the vision of a possible universal discourse of justice. R ecognizing the potential similarities of concerns of alienation as exp erienced by both disillusioned citizens of the North and dispossessed members of the South opens the possibility of a shared dialogue between the two. This dialogue can serve as the basis for collaborations of a counterhegemonic transnational civil class, between anti capitalist post industrialists and ant i capitalist pre industrialists, on the grounds of similar needs to negotiate "life politics" for purposes of social, economic, and ecologica l well being and sustainability. At the same time, Harvey (200 5), Robinson (2004), a nd others admit that there exists the problem of building a common consensus of belief and action among t he globalized cultic milieu of

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272 counter hegemonic factions. Here, counterhegemonic forms of a dualized n ature /culture discourse ma y provide the best option for a consensus building tool In the globalized postmodern world, the effectiveness of nature/culture as a platform is not constrained by characteristics defined by time and space (e.g. race, generation, g eography and/or nation ality) Through this characteristic, nature/culture discourse, as with neoshamanism, defeats the meaningfulness of the truth claims which lie at the heart of postmodern deconstruction. In its place, nature/culture discourse becomes open to the globalized world of information and material flows, in which identity with the construct spans borders and worldviews without concern for the construct's underlying authenticity Through this possibility for cross geographical, cross gender, and cross cultural ident ification comes the possibility of a universal shamanism built on nature/culture discourse shamanism as a template for magico religious psychic unity. Creating the F uture: Nature/C ulture as a Counterhegemonic T rans nationalist D iscourse critics may argue that the current dissatisfaction with the theoretical dualisms of the past is simply yet another postmodernist fad and that the deconstruction of the nature society dichotomy has more to do with competition on the a cademic labour market and trendy rhetorics than with solid evidence and reliable observations of the real world. (Descola and Palsson, 1996, pg 7) The point of this final section i s (a) to finish an argument started in the previous section, in which postm odern deconstructions of natur e/culture arise from the duality itself via authenticity concerns (e.g., truth claims) which declare nature/culture to be a form of Western exceptionalism positioned in contrast to a superior non dualized Other and (b) to mov e past the nihilism of nature/cultu re deconstruction by positing the effectiveness of nature/culture dualism which, as a simulacra, can nonetheless become

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273 a postcolonial tool of global counterhegemonic discourse through its appro p r iation by the growing num bers of those dispossessed by and/or disillusioned with the shortcomings of modern Western technological cultural forms Making a claim for the effectiveness of a universal counterhegemonic discourse based on nature/culture dualism is an unpopular stance t o take i n the de essentialist atmosphe re of postmodern anthropology, y et a palpable danger of inaction exists in the nihilist vacuum left behind by a deconstru ctive logic that bases its claim on the non reality of the nature/culture distinction. Postmodern anti utopian consciousness has demons trated the limits of trendy, de constructive rhetor ic it has become the proverbial arrow which n ever hits its target as logic convinces the victim that at any moment th e arrow still has ha lfway to go The reconstructive followup to this academic dead en d has been described in the literature with terms such as supermodernism (Auge, 199 5), performatism (Eshelman, 200 8 ), metamodernism (Vermeulen and Akker, 2010) and post postmodern ism (Turne r, 1995 ) Following from this last term, p ost postmodernism has been described as renewed faith (Turn er, 1995 ) a consensus agreement based on the power of images and discourse however ungrounded in truth, to bring about an intended and often transcende nt al effect. Epstein (1998) argues that: "P ost postmodernism witnesses the re birth of utopia after its own death, after its subjection to postmodernism's severe skepticism, relativism and its anti utopian consciousness." With this consideration, a rene wed possibility of ho pe exists for the emergence of transnational social movements engaged in a global dialogue an d forming a global identity characterized by ost perspective allows for the emergence of a consensus based form of essen tialism dependent on the ability

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274 of constructs, such as nature/culture dichotomization, to help conceptualize and thereby distinguish what ought to be from what ought not to be. As a step towards deconstructing the deconstruction of nature/cu lture, it iw worth noting that academic d enouncement of nature/culture dualism tends to take on a form that itself is dualist and representative of a dichotomy between Western culture and the "natural" Other T he literature is inundated with claims that t he nature/culture dichoto my that has its origins in the W est, as a review of well known writings by Lynn White (1967), Roderick Nash (1967), and Clarence Glacken ( 1967) can well attest. Thus these deconstructions begin with the premise of Western exceptio nalism the idea that the West (with either good or bad results) has engineered itself in ways that are profoundly unique and original and that break with the patterns of previo us cultures and social orders. Thus it is little surprise that the three autho rs referenced above, representative here of the beginning of the trend of nature/culture deconstruction, should all have been published in the same year t he year of the Summer of Love, the pinnacle of a transformative period which ushered in a new era of Western critique. The dream of the noble savage upheld th e flip side of this critique by claiming that some not register a nature/culture duality. Unexamined since then has been the liberating potential for a universal discourse based on nature/culture dualism One escape from the postmodern roadblock is to realize that a deconstruction of nature/culture on grounds of inauthenticity regarding the accuracy of such a distinction, is itself a moderni st principle based on adherence to historical "truth claims" Like ecotopia and its neoshamanic communitas nature/culture as a simulacrum may likely

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275 prove more effective as a mechanism for beneficial social change than a ny discourse based on accurate representations of the conditions of a past or present "natural" environmental reality in which human society has historically been immersed and with which human society has interacted Any power the duality might derive fro m its inherent truth value is superceded by its power as an easily reproduced counter hegemonic meme accompanying the spread of Western technological cultural forms and by the resulting articulation with capitalis t modes of production through which the con cept, however Western, becomes a fast and frugal heuristic for use as a platform for defining beliefs and actions which work against Western oppressive cultural structures. A rtificial distinctions may be made, and many errors based on such interpretations (such as reverse cargo cultism) may eventually need to be worked out, yet many of these artific ial distinctio ns may be helpful. This inc ludes conceptual blending with female/male distinctions and South/North distinctions as imagined by those experiencing dispossession as well as any ensuing identification with the historic traditional rights and past practices by which the indigeneous identify themselves in contrast to the Western forms of technology, finance, materials, media, peoples, and ideologies wi th which they articulate. Effort to engage the nature/culture dichotomy as a universal discourse in this way opens the possibility for cross cultural com munication which upholds transnational perceptions of social and environmental justice and provides a platform for right and wrong action that may appeal to people in ways that transcend cultural, class, and gender boundaries. Discourse constructed in a manner which appeals to existing elements of nature/culture distinctions within a group may be an effe ctive means of

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276 engaging in lifestyle discourses and praxis which reach out towards the ideals of environme ntal harmony and sustainability which are so desperately sought in the rapidly degrading climate of the modern globalized world. Authors such as Ston ich (1993) note that locals can be well aware of the environmental damage they incur, yet are helpless to stop it without a sense of involvement with counterhegemonic Northern s ocial networks, possibly mediated through a shared nature/culture discourse th at can bring about an alternative to local immersion in global industrial production modes From a postcolonial standpoint, i t has become a matter of course for the colonized to learn the language and ideologies of the colonizer in order to declare rights and gain access to power. Here, the language of the natu re/culture dichotomy may prove to be easily translated into indigeneous worldviews and may prove of use when attempting to global enculturate the notion that there may be a need to throw weight towa rds the "nature" side of the dyad in order to keep the whole boat from tipping. In sum, there which nature is opposed to culture nor is there a need to prevent its global proliferation a s it accompanies the spr ead of Western neoliberalism t here is simply the need to choose sides. For both North and South, it is a matter of dealienating oneself from the nature/culture recognizing the need for full engagement in the mechanism s articulating this relationship and the hybrids that occur as a result Oliver Smith (2002) calls this recognition of engagement with the nature/culture border a matter of "mutuality". As its contrast, d iscourse emph asizing more holistic monisms leaves us with difficult situations such as the paradigm of ecological economics, as a theoretical construct can be dangerous specifically because

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277 it chooses to erase or deemphasize the boundary and treat the human nature dyad as a whole. The danger of this is the tende ncy for a superficial understanding of what is good for one must thus be good for the other due to their interrelationships; instead, it becomes harder to see the differences between immediate human instrument al values and overall ecological integrity ( a similar argument is outlined by H arvey, 1996). A more extreme danger is one in which the path to non duality leads to passive acceptance and naturalization of human activity, such that the destructive effects of capitalism and competition become normalized as a deterministic p rocess of Darwinian evolution ary principles More useful instead are recognitions of a distinction in which the incognizant trajectory of human culture and the integrity of the natural e nvironment are often engaged in an irreconciliable friction; through this the civil transnational citizen embodying the sacred nature/culture postulate can better recognize the need to throw of the equation in order to provide the bal ance that will end up providing long term benefits for humans in both economic and non econo mic spheres. This focus on venerating the things embodies ic perspective c hampioned by many as a needed global envi ronmental ethic (e.g., Callicot 1993); it can come about will operate through construction and maintenance of a nature/culture dyad during global discourse. As Brosius (2006) recognizes, the process of engaging in a global environmental rhetoric is not li kely to be perfect, and this global/local articulation will likely continue to distort elements of indigenous worldview and practice and the role of environmental processes even in instances where these worldview, practices, and processes seem to

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278 fit clean ly into global nature/culture discourse However, any other alternative may be dysfunctional. To hold up the development of a construct for global discourse until more perfect yet likely less memetic, translations can be made between loc al lifeworlds an d global agents is likely to result in continued colonization of local lifeworlds and crucial environmental processes by the techno industrial cultural complex In the worst case scenario, hold ing up the creation of global discourse may result in environm ental and perturbations that cause destructive distort ion on a global scale not yet fathomed.

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279 CHAPTER 9 SCIENTIFIC APPROACH ES TO THE CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY: SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH In a utopian academic world, unconstrained by factors of space, time, and finances, the pre ceding arguments would be shaped, supported, and perhaps negated by the results of the studies described below. Instead, such factors force these studies to be suggestions for future research that might be used to test the assum ption s made within this dissertation and forward the cause of fashioning a functional and measurably effective culture of sustainability. I s Nature/C ulture Universal ? The Need For a Renewed Look at the E vidence In asking how and why a universal concept of nature/culture dichotomy might arise there are three possibilities considered here : one is the tendency of human groups to define boundaries of the group, the second is the tendency of the human and a third is the tendency for sp ecific phenomena to be consistently experienced outside the boundary of culture, which can lead such phenomena to become associated with a category defined throughout Western history as The third possibility in particular is an area in need of f urther exploration, and I will use the majority of this section to outline some possible routes of exploration along these lines as a path towards the possibility for universal dualisms, or more specifically, universal "possiblisms" in which global culture s' rituals and understanding of group boundaries show a congruence with aspects of nature/culture dualism in a manner that might facilitate the introduction of such discourse. The Tendency to Define the Group's B oundary The first possibility has been explo red in detail in this dissertation through considerations of the dualism inherent in the egalitarian mindset. Note that Douglas's

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280 (1970) earliest conception of t he egalitarian mindest saw it to be a characteristic of any small isolated group (specificall y, an "enclave") This early insight leads to possibilities fo r exploring the prevalance of such a mindset among historically small and isolated tribal groups, or within groups that come to define themselves in contra st to a larger dominating group. A long these lines, Maybury Lewis, (1989) notes binary thinking to be a trademark of societies preoccupied with the struggle to maintain equilibrium: P eople in such societies are keenly aware that the conflicting principles that maintain the harmony of the univ erse in the long run can unbalance their individual an d social lives in the short run [ and recognize their involvement in ] a constant effort to harmonize with these forces and t o hold them in dynamic tension. (Maybury Lewis, 1989, pg. 11) The usefulness of this dualistic mindest as an expression of equilibrium is obvious when the interest is to maintain a balance against destructive forces of modern technological capitalist culture. The Tendency to Think in T wo's I will give a bit more dire ct focus to research regarding the natural tendency to The idea has since fallen out of favor due to ongoing NIMBY ("not in my backyard") claims by various ethnographe rs. A sample of anthropology's dualist posits will be presented here as a demonstration of the direction future research could take as background leadup to a reexploration of dualisms as they can be seen through tribal ritual behavior. The idea of universal duality hit the scene in anthro pology with Levi (1963) cl aim of a tendency towards dual organization in social thought. The topic has reemerged to some extent through authors such as Rodney Needham (1980), whose work is described by Maybury Lewis recognizes and attach

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281 (Maybury Lewis, 1989, pg universal tendency to think in two 229). Observations of dualism were being made prior to Lev i Strauss's claim for its universality. Alfred Kroeber, for instance, noted its occurrence as widespread, influential and probably ancient expression i (Kroeber, 1952, pg 92). Later, Maddock (1989) expressed observation in his own study of the social orga nization of the aborigines. Following such a path, we must suspend for a moment the accusatio ns which say that claims of universal dualism are simply a proje ction of Western ideological constructs onto non Western systems where they don't exist These accusations themselves can once again be deconstructed as Western exceptionalist variations of n ature/culture dualism. Often they stress a veneration of the environmental wisdom of the Other who is claimed to lack recognition of a boundary between the two. The danger of this view of the romanticized primitive is that it rarely clear whether such grou ps don't make a distinction or if they can't make a distinction. This latter would seem to imply an innate shortcoming of the primitive's lack of complexity. Instead it may not be a stretch to assume that groups without a word for nature nonetheless demo nstrate both the ability and the tendency to make such a distinction, especially in relation to group boundaries, may perhaps be enforcing sch a latent structuring of nature /culture distinction through ritual act s such as coming of age ritual in many Australian tribes and requires leaving the safety of the village to wander the Outback for extended periods in order to experience Dreamtime and the mystical.

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282 Similar trends are noted among the Maasai of Eastern Africa. In tr aditional Maasai culture, to prove your manhood as a member of the moran senior warrior group, the young male is expected to leave the safety of the group armed with only a spear and not return until he has killed a lion. The phenomenon of binary thin king among the Maasai was analyzed by Spencer (1989). That this binary thinking may represent Lewis, 1989, pg. 8) exemplifies extant beliefs that the possibility of a nature/cultu re dyad might be latently represented in such rites of passage. R egarding the possibility of cross cultural interpretations of the extra cultural realm, we can consider the biophilia hypothesis of Kellert and Wilson ( biological featur e of human nature to feel ref pg 154 paraphrasing Kellert and Wilson ) then perhaps this cross cultural experience of which are associated wit to be imbued with a spi ritual significance that helps to underscore a distinction between an experience of Fox (1989) notes that Levi ual organization was written in honor of J.P.B. de Josselin de Jong and his work on dyadic structure in Indonesia. Fox (1989) reviews the extensive literature stressing the important role of dyad categorizing in Indonesia as a key to understanding Indone sian society. Thus we (2004 takeover by a dual minded West but something innate within th e precolonial mindset.

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283 students. While the advent of nature loving as a trend and socially advocated activity among the Javanese University students has its roots in a desire f or cosmopolitanism derived from the Western concepts of nature, it is less clear that the deeper descriptions of the students, regarding their experiences, arise from any sanctioned or mandated reaction expected of them through their intake of Western lite rature and images (e.g., is and if so, and if such reactions match those of other cultures to similar experiences, then are s to the experien energetic young woman, determined to find pg 147), writes inspirational poetry about the biotic environment but ends up gaining a presumably authentic appreciation for the simplicity and strength of indigenous tribe members climbing the same mountain for traditional spiritual reasons. Budi, a (Tsing, 2004 pg. 151) nonetheless tells candid stories of the difficulties and the breakdown of romance in experiencing social and environmental problems in the areas Universal Ritual Expressions of Latent Nature/Culture S tructuring The point here is that as Weste rn academia focuses its perspective on the malevolent colonizing aspects of Northern cultural constructs (in this case, nature/culture dualism) f orces on to the local experie nce, it loses sensitivity towards evidence for any authentic universals that may be expressing themselves through the particularities of local experience. Marvin Harris (1968) stressed a behavioral approach to interpret ing culture. This dissertation has hopefully served as an outline for how

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284 interpretations of ritual processes might be used in conjunction with examples of a groups verbal statements in order to postulate the existence of nature/culture dualities existing within the permaculture communities of Puna. This same technique might be used to reexplore the possibility for laten t nature/culture dualism a cross various cultures, old and new, Western and non Western. Rathe r than focusing directly on the lack of direct linguistic overlaps and upon emic perspectives regarding the sense of connection with elements of the natural envi ronment, the researcher can look at rules and rituals, and perform textual analyses, to detect latent etic structuring of the culture/nature dichotomy. lamorized by Turnbull (1961) as romantic savages living in harmony w/ nature, Edgerton (199 5) notes that when a rule has been transgressed in pygmy society, a common punishment is to banish the pygmy from the village. Turnbull, relaying an Mbuti descripti on of the punishment process, reveals not just a l die, because he cannot live alone in the forest. The forest It can be seen from this description that, however familiar and integrated the Mbuti pygmies are with their forest, there is a boundary between the village and the forest such that the transgressing pygmy must be outside the boundary of the village. Furthermore, once in the forest, the pygmy is envisioned to be alone. Finally, as tion would seem to indicate, the forest is considered a place of fear

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285 and danger much like early visions of the American wilderness laid forth by authors cultural boun daries was often infused with fear, power, and magic. This boundary between village and forest is an important one that comes up in multiple ethnographies and should be considered an important proxy indicating a nature/culture dichotomy that is structured into Mbuti worldview. Note that, according to Turnbull (1972), the Mbuti themselves are seen as wild and undomesticated hunter gatherers by nearby farming Bantu tribes such as the Ik and the Lese. For these tribes living outside the forest, the forest r and magic. Furthermore, the Mbuti are considered by the Ik and Lese to be part of this in much the same way that Native Americans were once considered to be n pioneers (Nash, 1967). This is exemplified by the fact that the Mbuti thus of the numinous (Otto, 1923) are required by the Ik and Lese to be present during rites of passage ceremonies i ncluding funerals and the nkumbi ceremonies which initiate a boy into adulthood (Turnbull, 1972) 1 In both cases, rites of passage red transition to take place a sacred intervention into the mundane world (Eliade, 1961). The theoretical importance of making a transition to something outside the boundary of culture has already been demonstrated in this dissertation through 1 I use an exploration of Turnbull here to provide an example of an individual whose castigation from the realms of respectable anthropology due to the negative slant of his work might be a case in which some valuable babies have been thr own out with the bathwater. Turnbull's work has been criticized on a number of grounds, yet the claim presented above is not one for which Turnbull was ever denounced.

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286 presentation of the work of Arnold Van Gennep (19 60 ), who looke d at rites of passage and noted a common pattern of separation, liminality, and reincorporation. Victor Turner (1969) also Joseph Campbell (1949) further analyzed the steps within the rite of passage. Crucial to all their models, and crucial to this an alysis of nature/culture structuring, was the concept of liminality, the 1969) outside or exempt from the social structure. For Campbell (1949), the liminal as it occurred in myth often involved physical separation from the social boundary and it was in this extra cultural space that the supernatural or fantastic happened: A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive v ictory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. (Campbell, 1949, pg 30) In cases where a rite of passage requires travel outside the village in order to acquire the experience of liminali ty, we can see an important analogy between that of omething which lies outside the boundary of the passage to help initiates realize and negotiate the basic life struggle of man versus nature. O ther dualist aspects of Droogers, 1980). Such dualisms are easily blended with nature/culture dualisms, as in the case above of the Ik's conception of the Mbuti. Thus, ritu als which require leaving the village serve a latent function of defining the boundary between culture and nature. Bassomb (1996) describes such a ritual among

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28 7 the African Bassa: following initiation into adulthood, the boys are forced to leave the bounda ries of the village, unaccessorized with anything but loincloth: F or the next eighteen moons minimum, this boy has nothing, and we mean nothing, to do with the people of this village (Bassomb, 1996, pg. xxvii) T o undergo the transition from being a boy to a man, male children spend ninety days in the deep forest. It is required. They must learn to survive in a dan gerous and hostile environment. (Bassomb, 1996, pg. xxviii) Similarly, Some (1996) described the month long wild erness initiation of the Dagara people of West Africa meeting with t (Some, 1996, pg 17). Among Native American tribes s uch as the Ojibwa and the Inuit, the visio n quest involved acquiring a vision of some supernatural being through fasting and meditation at a secluded sacred place or a lonely place out in the 29). Vision quests were a rite of passage to adulthood, and involved p eriods of (Merkur, 2002). Merkur (1985) describes the seclusion period among the Inuit as being one in which the initiates are in a liminal space where they are nei ther male nor female, In a similar vein, Narby and Huxley (2001) quote from Rasmussen's work with Inuit shamans in the 1920's; ass uming that "solitude" indicates a location outside the village, Rasmussen's word for word translation of one shaman's views on the key to accessing the world of the numinous demonstrates this same possible theme of latent nature/culture structuring as seen in the tribal rituals described above: True wis dom is only to be found far awa y from people, out in the great solitude, and it is not found in play but only through suffering. Solitude and

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288 suffereing open the human mind, and therefore a sha man must seek his wisdom there. (Narby and Huxley, 2001, pg. 3) Moving this prefunctory explor ation of latent nature/culture dualisms back to southeast Asia, a Kalimanta n myth relayed by Meade (1996) tells of a village youth ridiculed for having only half a body who leaves the village. Outside the village, he encounters another youth with half a body. They struggle in a river, and from within the river they arise as a single whole, return to shore, and return to the village as a whole man. Again, the story relates to the importance of leaving the village, and how nature becomes the medium for l earning and magical transformation. Interestingly, the river in Eastern Budd hism also becomes an important location for spiritual transformation, with the concept of crossing a river repre senting spiritual struggle and the idea of returning to shore as a parallels with Van Gennep 's (1960 ) rites of passage are obvious. In many Eastern traditions, such as Daoism, the solitary life of the hermit xt for enlightenment: Wilderness, then hermit does not ask for it. Wilderness has the attributes of infinity and of ritual tim (Hahn, 2001 pg. 202 ) difficulty, as well as the source for spiritual power, and a latent separation between nature and society is made evident through the myths and ritual separations that structure the boundary of profane and sacred, social and non social. And while both Buddhist and Daoist precepts ultimately attempt the negation of dualist thinking, this religiously institutionalized focus on the importance of negation is simply proof that

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289 dualist thinking was considered to be a regular tendency among members of the Eastern provinces where these precepts were espoused. These examp les demonstrate a route for future research to take in the exploration of a cross cultural penchant for nature/culture dichotomization. The question here may be less one of whether the culture's own discourse contains linguistic concepts which fit "nature" but whether their words and actions may serve as the basis by which such terminology might be easily recognized and put to use for purposes of a global dialogue of social and environmental justice. Quanti tative Studies of Sustainable B ehavior The Need for Easily Used Indices for Estimating Lifestyle S ustainability T he most precarious untested assumption being made in this dissertation surround s the untested claim that permaculture communities over time, ironically tend to drastically increase in the ir con sumption levels and concomitant degree of environmental sustainability A similar ly precarious unkn own is the degree of difference between typical majority culture households and permaculture communities regarding consumption levels and environmental sust ainability. Necessary here is a quantitative measure of the sustainability associated with the lifestyles of the permaculture participants. The "l ifestyle approach to sustainability typically follow s an individual's domestic consumption patterns, which are demonstrated in studies documenting energy use and polluting emissions from house hold consumption to directly accounts for 20% to 50% of the total human caused environment al impact (Brower and Leon, 2003 ; Carlsson Kanyama et al., 2005; Peters and Hert wich, 2006). Through indirect production processes associated with household

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290 use and consumption, various estimates increase this figure to between 80% and 100% (EIA, 1994; Francis, 2004; Bin & Dowlatabadi, 2005). A great benefit to the sustainability mo vement would be the development of easy indices by which a user could make simple calculations to determine differences in overall energy use, ratios of renewable to nonrenewable energy inputs, and carbon outputs associated with various aspects of domestic life, including food consumption, housing construction, transportation, daily domestic energy usage, and energy usage associated with use of services such as roads, education, and entertainment. Without such knowledge, it is hard to judge the relative im pact of various lifestyle choices. As a means to this goal of measuring lifestyle consumption patterns, the WSSD Plan of Implementation specifically identifies life cycle analysis (LCA) as a key research tool for quantifying the environmental impact of con sumption (WSSD, 2002, III 15). LCA research programs have been implemented by UNEP (e.g., UNEP, 2003) and the U.S. EPA (e.g., EPA, 2005); recent LCA efforts (Francis, 2004; Carlsson Kanyama et al., 2005; Jones, 2005; Peters and Hertwich, 2006) have focuse d on analyzing direct and indirect emissions resulting from cradle to grave household processes of consumption. As a complement to this method, eMergy analysis has gained a reputation as being the most complete approach to measuring total environmental energy inputs and outputs involved in a product or process (Hau and Bakshi, 2004). Applications of eMergy to sustainability studies are being recognized nationally and internationally by academic researchers and government agencies (e.g., EPA, 2005; Marti n et. al., 2006) particularly in China and Italy (e.g., Lu et al., 2006; Bastianoni et al., 2001) and in

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291 reference to agricultural systems (Lagerberg and Brown, 1999; Lefroy and Rydberg, 2003). These efforts have been facilitated by recent developments o f eMergy based sustainability formulas, including the environmental loading ratio and the eMergy sustainability index (Brown and Ulgiati, 1997). Rocha (2001) has mentioned the need to incorporate such rigorous standards of energy analyses into anthropolog ical environmental research; the best applications to date exist in the form of doctoral dissertations in which the energy analyses are directed at large scale systems (Guillen Trujillo, 1998; Abel, 2000; Rocha, 2 000), in which case access to existing data for valid analyses becomes facilitated Thus LCA and eMergy analyses both provide meaningful methods of environmental accounting, but databases need to be streamlined for simple use. Currently streamlined estimate figures are discouraged due the wide va riation in outcomes that occur with different products in different locations. Another current problem, mentioned at the beginning of the dissertation is the vastly different results achieved through various measurement techniques. As a result, there is c urrently little consensus over the degree to which, or whether or not, a stand alone photovoltaic panel system offsets energy use in comparison to direct connection to existing electrical grids or a rainwater catchment system offsets energy use in compari son to direct connection to a municipal water supply. The availability of such information, for purposes of comprehensive comparisons of various systems, practices, and objects, as well as subsequent comparisons of overall lifestyles utilizing various c ombinations of these practices and objects, would not

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292 only provide the basis for a practical scientific approach to sustainable living, b ut would also open the door to future research projects such as those suggested below. To what Degree can Consumption b e Lowered while Maintaining Well B eing? In many instances, as demonstrated in the "Black Sands shack" vignette in Chapter 6, the ability to construct lifestyles that decrease an individual's environmental im pact are much less likely to be achieve d through efforts that produce a measurably significant difference in the ratio of sustainable to unsustainable inputs than efforts which produce an overall decrease in total resource use and consumption. S tudies of well being and life satisfaction continue to show that typical first world levels of resource consumption are not necessary prerequisites for well being (Mulder et. al, 2006). After a certain level of consumption, subjective well being stays about the same; regression studies repeatedly show that happin ess is not mainly a matter of income and consumption (Kahneman & Krueger, 2006). Based on this, it has been suggested that reducing consumption will not necessarily negatively impact well being (Jackson, 2005). Gerbens Leenes & Nonhebel (2002), for instan ce, find that the land area requirements for grain based diets required six times less land per person than meat based diet. A neede d study along these lines will take measures of well being to determine, for instance, if changes to a grain based diet sign ificantly impact well being. Likewise, if a composting toilet system can be shown to produce a measurable difference in environmental impact compared to traditional flush toilets, then measures would need to take place which demonstrate the degree to whic h well being changes with the switch to a composting toilet system. The overall goal here would be to determine how which and how many various low impact lifestyle changes can be introduced into a household without significantly impacting overall well bei ng.

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293 Also neede d are studies which overcome energy use problems associated with the "transition demographics" paradox, in which decreases in environmental impact only tend to occur after a certain level of mat erial security has been reached through transiti ons to an industrial economy Inglehart's p ostmaterialism thesis, supported by the results of this dissertation, s hows that individuals with strong interests in pursuing low impact "environmental" lifestyles tend to have been raised in materially secure e nvironments Both the postmaterialism and "transition demographics" theses as they currently stand suggest a reduced likelihood for the achievement of a coordinated and deliberately sustainable global future as they demonstrat e the difficulty of engenderi ng the individual pursuit of a purposively low impact lifestyles without first providing the individual (usually during adolescence) with the condtions of a high impact lifestyle Studies, therefore, are needed to assess the degree of environmental effic iency tht can be achieved while still providing a level of material comfort conducive to postma terial concerns and an subsequent susceptibility to interest in low impact lifestyles How low impact can a lifestyle be designed while still providing a level of well being beyond which additional energy inputs do not significantly increase well being? Hope here lies in the possibil ity that postmaterial concerns can be engendered in pre industrialized settings without colonial infringements on local sensibilitie s of social justice that arise from experiences of relative deprivation. Is Nature/Culture Categorizing a Reasonable Heuristic for E nvironm ental I mpact? In general, especially those dependent upon and developed through the use of nonrenewable, energy dense substances such as oil, coal, and natural gas, seem to have play ed a primary role in the recent historical increase over the last two hundred year s in the relative ability of individuals to harness

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294 and degrad e energy resou rces (Odum, 2007). accounting makes for a convincing demonstration of the basic nonrenewable origins of the vast majority of contemporary Western technologies, since the creation and maintenance of such technologies are predominantly dependent on the extraction and burning of petroleum based fossil fuel, a high energy yet non renewable and quickly dissipating resource. As such, Odum provides strong support for the existence of a scientifically measurable parallel betwee n the ultimate sustainability of an represents objects and practices associated with modern human technology. In other words, the ranking of objects and practices along a nature/culture continuum may be Strauss, 1963) from the viewpoint of maintenance of environmental integrity (for purp oses related to either the intrinsic value of the natural environment or the extrinsic value of an intact natural en vironment to human sustainability). This leaves room for a study to determine the extent to which dualized nature/culture categorizing is al., 1999; Goldstein and Gigerenzer, 2004) for assessin g the environmental impact of an object or practice Such a study was designed for implementation during the research phase of this dissertation yet was not carried out due to space and time considerations as well as a lack of reliable inf ormation from wh ich to develop unilinear estimates of overall environmental impact for a number of practices and objects. T he intended study design was meant to test for a correlation between (a) the degree to which certain objects and practices are categorized by subject s near the "nature" end of a nature culture continuum, and (b) the "sustainability score" of those

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295 obj ects and practices. This score could be determined by a measure of life cycle carbon output or energy input, the ratio of life cycle renewable to nonrene wable inputs, and or an index reflecting a combination of these measures. Alternately, various similar continuums, such as a nature technology continuum or some sacred profane continuum could be used to determine whether some dualisms proved more accurate than others. Or placement along such continuums could be compared to straight guesses by subjects as to the overall sustainability of objects or practices, to test whether or not attribute subsitutions such a "nature" or "technology" proved more or less accurate than direct guesses in judging the overall sustainability of various objects and practices. Simultaneously, such a study could break subjects into groups that distinguished controls from participants in permaculture or back to the land movements, in order to determine whether certain groups' tendencies to categorize objects and practices along nature culture and/or nature technology continuums tended to more closely reflect the sustainability scores of those objects and practices. Can Nature/Cultur e Dualism Help to Close the Value Action G ap? Even if nature/culture dichotomization can be shown to be a frugal heuristic for determining the enviromental impact of various objects and practices, it does not necessarily mean that adoption of nature/cultur e ideology will lead to a change in environmental behavior. A problem that hinders any environmentally oriented analysis of nature/culture dualism is the inherent assumption that mental models can significantly affect environmental behavior. Correlative studies tend to show only a weak (Van der Pligt, 1985; Tarrant & Cordell, 1997; Berenguer et al., 2005; Valle et al., 2005) or indirect (Bamberg, 2003) connection between pro env ironmental ideologies and the deliberate pursuit of pro environmental behavior s Recent studies suggesting a

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296 relationship between mental models and environmental behavior (Medin et al., 2006; Atran & Medin, 2008) rigorously measure and compare mental model differences between groups yet make untested assumptions regarding group dif ferences in environmental behavior and impact. Furthermore, most studies which do test for relationships between environmental ideology and environmental behavior use particular environmental practices (recycling habits; water use habits, etc.) as proxies for environmental impact without clarifying the significance of the proxy in relation to overall personal environmental impact (e.g., Guagnano et al., 1995; Corraliza and Berenger, 2000; Olli et al., 2001; Poortinga et al. 2004; Valle et al., 2005). Th e need to consider the link between environmental ideologies and actual environmental destruction has been noted in the literature (Beck, 1995; Christopher, 1999; Ryland, 2000; Worthy, 2008) but remains relatively untested due to a lack of studies which in corporate both social science methodologies (interviews; surveys; cognitive domain analyses) and ecological science methodologies (environmental accounting methods such as life cycle analysis or eMergy analysis) into a single quantitative hypothetico deduc tive testing format. Such a study would address the growing a cademic c oncern about the role of mental models and socio psychological variables in human environmental impact. These concerns are a contemporary redress of a classic anthropological question f aced by Rappaport (1967), who considered the "relationship of cultural constructed meanings & values to organic well being & ecosystemic integrity" (Rappaport, 1967:241) to be the central problem for ecological anthropology. Addressing the lack of quantif ied fieldwork in this area, Applebaum (1987) noted that anthropological claims for a relationship

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297 between mental constructs and concrete action tended to be based on armchair theory and speculation; thus this dissertation, in many ways, perpetuates a deep strategical weakness that has long marred anthropological studes. More recently, Messer (2001) (culture) constructs lead to concrete actions, w hich then impact the environment Abel & Stepp (2003) have called for the incorporation of modern ecological methods into social science research. An ideal study, therefore, might measure both and individual's or community's overall lifestyle based environmental impact as well as the degree to which individuals classified objects and practices according to a dualized nature/culture schema. The goal here would be to determine the extent to whic h intentionally sustainable individuals or communities whose lifestyles are significantly more "sustainable" than some control group or community according to careful LCA and eMergy based measurements of life cycle carbon outputs, energy inputs, and renewa ble t o nonrenewable energy ratios would also tend to categorize objects and practices according to a dualized nature/culture schema The theoretical link to the significance of such a correlation lies in the principle that dualisms tend to carry overlapping moral and pragmatic meanings (Douglas, 1 966; Douglas and Wildavsky, 1983 ; Albanese, 1991; Anderson, 1996) which can increase the extent to which a certain object or practice, classified as "natural", is also classified as "des irable", "sacred", "sustainable", "healthy", and "safe". Following Medin et al., (2006), the less moral and pragmatic conflict that exists between

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298 various the various mental models associated with any specific object and practice the more likely it is t hat the individual will engage in intentional behavior s toward that object/practice. Thus, the extreme low impact behaviors of certain individuals or communities might result from the lack of cognitive conflict in relation to the various connotations asso ciated those practices or objects which are measurably low impact.

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299 APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF QUALITATIVE METHODS Defining "p ermaculture community The Puna District of Hawai'i is well known for its wide variety of alternative living establishments. In o rder to focus the st udy, dissertation research focu sed on those alternative living establishments wh ich fit three criteria: (a) the community utilized the term "permaculture" for self descriptive purposes or was cited as an example of permaculture practice during in depth interviews with individuals living in self described permaculture communities; (b) the community consistently maintain ed a population of three or more individuals unrelated by marriage or birthrite ; and (c) the community property was three acres or larger Those alternative living establishments which fit these three criteria fit the definition of a "permaculture community" for the purposes of the dissertation. Defining "p ermaculture participant To be considered a permaculture particip ant for purposes of this study, the individual had to (a) be living on or planning to live on the permaculture farm for at least one month; (b) had to be living on the permaculture farm by choice rather than living on the farm as a dependent of another per maculture participant; (c) had to be either a landowner of the permac ulture community or had to be performing work services in the community as a condition of living in the community (i.e., they were not just renters) As a result of the second criteria ( b), dependents under 18 were not considered permaculture participants. Note however that one vignette (the story about India) is about an individual who, due to being a n underage dependent of another permaculture participant, was not herself considered a permaculture participant for the purpose of the study and was not therefore used a subject for survey or interview purposes.

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300 Participant observation methods As part of participant observation for the express purpose of dissertation research the researche r spent one month or more at the fo llowing communities which fit the dissertation criteria for definition as a "permaculture community" : La'akea Permaculture Community GaiaYoga Gardens Pangaia Kumu Aina Kalapana Ginger Farm Participant observation typical ly involved paying an upfront join/processing fee, living on site performing work trade as mandated by formal or informal contractual agreement with the community and spending time with community members during non work trade hours both on site and off si te. Interaction with community members during non work trade hours typica lly occurred before, during and after kitchen mealtimes, or through group travel to an off site location. Interviews were conducted and surveys were administered during this time b ut very little direct dissertation write up occurred as computer work tended to feel and appear antithetical to community participation. As a result, most vignettes contained within the dissertation are expansions of experiences recorded in short notes t aken on paper during the participant observation stage. The se periods of participant observation occurred in stretches between 2007 to 2009, with considerable portions of additional time spent after these periods living outside the communities and paying visits for purposes of followup interviews and general observation while constructing the written portion of the dissertation. Note that the researcher had a great deal of previous familiarity with a number of the communities

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301 listed above and below due to extended periods spent visiting and living in lower Puna as a work trader participant between 1999 and 2005, prior to engagement with these communities for the express purpose of dissertation research Five more communities which fit the dissertation defi nition of a permaculture community were not experienced through prolong ed participant observation, yet were visited occasionally to often during the research phase and were incorporated into the dissertat ion through use of subjects for survey purposes, in depth interview and/or haphazard interview, or through use of the communities in descriptive vignettes: Belly Acres Hawaiian Sanctuary Evening Rain Farms Anne Kobsa's place Chitta's place Survey administration Research for the dissertation included the administration of 6 surveys utilizing Likert style ordinal scales to a total of 183 subjects. An additional survey, the postmaterialism survey, used a nominal scale and was administered to 75 of the 183 subjects. The length of time for subjects to comple te all surveys tended to range from 20 to 45 minutes. T he total number of surveys admin istered was 1173 (1098+75), which produced a total of 27161 data points (thi s number includes various item omiss ions as well as otherwise unusable survey results). Th e 183 subjects comprise d 6 separate groups of test subjects: Permaculture participants (34 subjects) Hawai'i WAL MART customers (31 subjects) Hawai'i Community College ANTH200 students (53 subjects) University of Florida ANT2000 students (46 subjec ts)

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302 University of Florida ANT4403 students (9 subjects) University of Florida ANT2301 students (6 subjects) Survey results from the last two subject groups were not used due to their small group size. Of the remaining four groups, permaculture partici pants served as the test group while each of the remaining three groups Hawai'i WAL MART customers, Hawai'i Community College ANTH200 students, and University of Florida ANT2000 students served as control groups intended to be distinct representatives of majority culture" for purposes of comparison to the permaculture participants. For all surveys, final results compared the test group to each of the three control groups. In most cases, control groups tended to perform similar to each other on surveys, d emonstrating insignificant differences in two tailed t test comparisons. Survey results were entered into an Microsoft EXCEL spreadsheet and analyzed using the Microsoft XL STAT add on. Subjects in the permaculture participant test group were participatin g in one of the ten permaculture communities listed above at the time the survey was administered. Participation was voluntary. Subjects were predominantly of Caucasian ancestry from middle class backgrounds. Subjects in the Hawaii Community College ANTH 200 control group participated voluntarily and were taking the ANTH200 course from the researcher at the time the survey was administered. The class is comprised largely of local residents of mixed Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian ancestry in their ear ly to mid twenties from low income to middle income backgrounds; most are pre nursing majors taking ANTH200 as a mandatory prerequisite for admission to the University of Hawaii at Hilo nursing program.

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303 Subjects in the University of Florida ANT2000 contr ol group participated voluntarily and were taking an ANT2000 course taught by UF graduate student Nick Kawa at the time the survey was administered. Surveys were collected indirectly through the instructor with little to no face to face contact with the s tudents taking the course. Based on the popularity of ANT2000 as both a general undergraduate elective and as a prerequisite for a broad range of majors, was assumed that the subject pool comprised a diverse mix of ethnicities and socio economic backgroun ds. Subjects in the Hawai'i Wal Mart control group were recruited from passersby entering and leaving the Hilo Wal Mart. Participants received $10 in exchange for taking the survey Surveys were administered on a Saturday from a 10'X10' canopy placed nex t to the main entrance to the Hilo Wal Mart. At the time of survey administration, Wal Mart was one of the few and certainly the least expensive and most popular supplier of goods and foodstuffs on the East side of the Big Island; a popular conception, even among the alternative crowds of lower Puna is that "everyone goes to Wal Mart". Thus Wal Mart was chosen as the best staging area from which to obtain a diverse sample of the population of the East side of the Big Island. Despite the financial in centive, recruitment percentage was low in regards to the percentage of customers recruited from passersby entering and leaving Wal Mart. This low percentage of recruitment in combination with the bias of financial incentive represents a confounding varia ble that detracts from the likelihood that survey results represented an accurate sample of Hilo Wal Mart customers or an accurate sample of Big Island residents. This confound may also be contributing to differences between the Wal Mart control group and the other survey groups.

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304 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW METHODS AND QUESTIONS In depth interviews were collected from 25 subjects overall. Of these, two of the subjects did not fit the strict definition of a permaculture participant since the community in which t hey lived (Anne Kobsa's farm and Chitta's farm) tended to have less than three people living on the property for considerable portio ns of each year. The remaining 23 interviewees came from properties that fit the dissertation definition of a permaculture community: La'akea Community, Pangaia, GaiaYoga, Kumu Aina, and Evening Rain Farms. Interviews tended to last from 1 1/2 to 3 hours total and were often spread out over the course of two or more days. For the interviews, int erviewee's answers were writte n in pen or pencil into a notebook while the answer was being given. Long answers often became thematicized in the recorded script due to difficulties with inscription speed. Overall, the researcher found pen/pencil recording superior over tape recording as the former process seemed to help actively engage the interviewee, didn't not require later transcription into written form, and tended to be the preferred form of interviewer recording when the interviewees were given the option to be hand recorded or tape recorded. The questions used fo r each interview are listed below in the general order in which they were administered: Name/Age How long living in Puna? How long at this property? How long intending to Stay? How long in Hawaii? Where in Hawaii bes ides Puna? Besides the current property? 5 closest friends (or those you interact with the most) who do not live on this property, but live in Puna district 5 other friends not on the property you live on, but live in Puna. 5 people who you consider respec ted by and/or pillars of the Puna community? Why?

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305 Which communities in Puna are examples of "permaculture" ? Why? Outside of this community, where do you like to spend time in Puna? Why? BEGIN STATEMENT: es: market, kehena, ecstatic dance) What are some of the themes/values that characterize the Punatix? W hat are some of the hobbies /things that Punatix like to do? Do you consider yourself to be a Punatic? What things/hobbies do you or beliefs you hold, tha t might identify you as a Punatic? Do yo u have any gripes/complaints about the Punatix, what they do or belie ve? What are your personal gripes PROVOKE EARLY LIFE HISTORY, PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY TYPE Any siblings? What order of birth are you? Raised by both parents? Are they still together? What did your parents do for a living? young? And how about now? Did they raise you with any religion? How did you react to that? 3 most recent books read (or articles or online info if no books) 3 most moving/significant books ever read, and why. Any others beyond 3? 5 most moving/significant people in your life, and why 5 most moving/significant personal events to occur in your li fe PROVOKE BRIEF LIFE HISTORY LEADING UP TO MOVING TO PUNA AND get relocations, education, jobs, reasons for changes ... include most significant What do you like about the current property you are at? What don't you like? How happy are you now? How happy are you now compared to your happiness on the mainland? (If relevant) What do you consider to be important to being sustainable? What role does nature play in your overall philosophical or spi ritual beliefs? What do you do to be sustainable? What's difficult about going about sustainable living? What would you like to change personally about yourself in the future? What would you like to change about the community you are living in to make it b etter? What would you most like to change worldwide in the future? What is important to you now regarding the things you do in life that make you happy or your goals in life? What makes you unhappy?

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306 Having noted the religion you grew up with, describe you rself now? Any religion? Are you spiritual? (Provoke description) Describe your current diet what do you eat? Do you follow any rules? Do you place importance on anything regarding diet? Why? ISSUES How do you feel about/what do you know about GMO? (i mportant or not? why?) Organic (important or not? why?) Abortion? Current war? Is global warming a threat? If so, global warming man induced? Is population growth a problem? If so, any solution to population growth? Invasive species a problem? If so, any solution you have? How do you feel about/what do you know about geothermal? (a good alternative or not? why?) How do you feel about/what do you know about coqui frogs? (problem or not? why?) How do you feel about/what do you know about military bases in Hawaii? (problem or not? why?) How do you feel about/what do you know about Hawaiian sovereignty? (a good idea or not? why?)

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307 APPENDIX C REPRINTS OF SURVEYS USED ***Connectedness To Nature Survey*** Please answer each of these questions in terms of the way you generally feel. There are no right or wrong answers. Using the following scale, in the space provided next to each question simply state as honestly and candidly as you can what you are presently experiencing. 1 .............................. ............ 2 ........................................ 3 ........................................ 4 .......................................... 5 STRONGLY NEUTRAL STRONGLY DISAGREE AGREE ____ I often feel a sense of oneness with the natural world around me. ____ I think of the natural world as a community to which I belong. ____ I recognize and appreciate the intelligence of other living organisms. ____ I often feel disconnected from nature. ___ When I think of my life, I imagine myself to be part of a larger cyclical process of living. ____ I often feel a kinship with animals and plants. ____ I feel as though I belong to the Earth as equally as it belongs to me. ____ I have a deep understand ing of how my actions affect the natural world. ____ I often feel part of the web of life. ____ I feel that all inhabitants of Earth, human, and nonhuman, share a common 'life force ____ Like a tree can be part of a forest, I feel embedded within the bro ader natural world. ____ When I think of my place on Earth, I consider myself to be a top member of a hierarchy that exists in nature. ____ I often feel like I am only a small part of the natural wor ld around me, and that I am no more important than the grass on the ground or the birds in the trees. ____ My personal welfare is independent of the welfare of the natural world.

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308 ***JACOB'S BACK TO THE LAND SURVEY*** How often do you experience the following sensations? 1 .................................. ........ 2 ........................................ 3 ........................................ 4 .......................................... 5 never occasionally often very often ____ A Sense of Peace of Mind ____ A Feeling of Union with Nature ____ A Feeling of Joy ____ A Feeling of Living in the Present Moment ____ A Sense of Wonder ____ A Feeling of Who leness ____ A Sense of Being Accepted in the Universe ____ A Sense of Time Standing Still

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309 ***NEW ECOLOGICAL PARADIGM SURVEY*** Please use the following scale to respond to the statements below. Which number most closely reflects your reaction to the s tatement? There are no right or wrong answers. 1 ...................................... 2 .................................... 3 .................................... 4 ...................................... 5 ...................................... 6 absolutely strongly disagree agree strongly absolute opposed disagree agree agreement; to this a guiding statement principle of my life ____ Present levels of industrial activity are severely upsetting the natural environment ____ Present levels of industrial activity are excessive and need to be reduced ____ Humans should adapt to nature rather than modify it to suit us ____ A ch ange in basic attitudes is necessary in order to solve environmental problems ____ Humans should live in harmony with the rest of nature ____ Human interference with nature often results in disastrous consequences ____ Humans are presently interfering too much with the natural environment ____ People should have compassion and respect for the rest of nature ____ There are limits to industrial growth ____ Natural resources should be used primarily to provide for basic needs rather than material w ealth ____ Humans have moral duties and obligations to other humans ____ Present generations of humans have moral duties and obligations to future human generations ____ Satisfaction and a high quality of life are more important than money or mat erial wealth ____ Humans have the right to alter nature to satisfy wants and desire ____ Maintaining economic growth is more important than protecting the natural environment ____ Humans have the right to subdue and control the rest of nature. ____ The nat ural environment has value within itself regardless of any value that humans may place on it ____ Humans have moral duties and obligations to other animal species ____ Humans have moral duties and obligations to plants and trees ____ Humans have moral duties and obligations to the non living components of nature (e.g., rocks)

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310 ***HOOD'S MYSTICISM SURVEY*** 1 .......................................... 2 ........................................ 3 ........................................ 4 .... ...................................... 5 STRONGLY DISAGREE NOT SURE AGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE AGREE USE THE SCALE ABOVE TO RATE THE ACCURACY OF THE STATEMENTS BELOW: _____ I have had an experience which was both timeless and space less. _____ I have never had an experience which was incapable of being expressed in words. _____ I have had an experience in which something greater than myself seemed to absorb me. _____ I have had an experience in which everything seemed to d isappe ar from my mind until I was conscious only of a void. _____ I have experienced profound joy. _____ I have never had an experience in which I felt myself to be absorbed as one with all things. _____ I have never experienced a perfectly peaceful stat e. _____ I have never had an experience in which I felt as if all things were alive. _____ I have never had an experience which seemed holy to me. _____ I have never had an experience in which all things seemed to be aware. _____ I have had an expe rience in which I had no sense of time or space. _____ I have had an experience in which I realized the oneness of myself with all things. _____ I have had an experience in which a new view of reality was revealed to me. _____ I have never experience d anything to be divine. _____ I have never had an experience in which time and space were nonexistent. _____ I have never experienced anything that I could call ultimate reality. _____ I have had an experience in which ultimate reality was revealed to me. _____ I have had an experience in which I felt that all was perfection at that time. _____ I have had an experience in which I felt everything in the world to be part of the same whole.

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311 _____ I have had an experience which I knew to be sacred _____ I have never had an experience which I was unable to express adequately through language. _____ I have had an experience which left me with a feeling of awe. _____ I have had an experience that is impossible to communicate. _____ I have ne ver had an experience in which my own self seemed to merge into something greater. _____ I have never had an experience which left me with a feeling of wonder. _____ I have never had an experience in which deeper aspects of reality were revealed to m e. _____ I have never had an experience in which time, place, and distance were meaningless. _____ I have never had an experience in which I became aware of a unity to all things. _____ I have had an experience in which all things seemed to be consci ous. _____ I have never had an experience in which all things seemed to be unified into a single whole. _____ I have had an experience in which I felt nothing is ever really dead. _____ I have had an experience that cannot be expressed in words.

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312 *** DAKE'S GRID/GROUP SURVEY*** 1 ...................................... 2 .................................... 3 .................................... 4 ...................................... 5 ...................................... 6 strongly disagree disagree agree agree strongly disagree somewhat somew hat agree Use the scale above to provide, as accurately as possible, a response to the statements below: ____ I think there should be more discipline in the youth and young adults of today. ____ In a fair system people with mor e ability should earn more ____ There is no use in doing things for people you only get it in the neck in the long run. ____ I would support the introduction of compulsory military service. ____ A free society can only exist by giving companies the o pportunity to prosper. ____ If people in this country were treated more equally we would have fewer problems. ____ The government should make sure everyone has a good standard of living. ____ Cooperating with others rarely works. ____ I am more strict than most people about what is right and wrong. ____ If a person has the get up and go to acquire wealth, that person should have the right to enjoy it. ____ Those who get ahead should be taxed more to support the less fortunate. ____ The future is to o uncertain for a person to make serious plans. ____ I have often been treated unfairly. ____ I think it is important to carry on family traditions. ____ I would support a tax change that made people with large incomes pay more. ____ The world could be a more peaceful place if its wealth were divided more equally among nations. ____ A person is better off if he or she doesn't trust anyone. ____ It is just as well that life tends to sort out those who try harder from those who don't ____ Racial dis crimination is a very serious problem in our society. ____ What this country needs is a "fairness revolution" to make the distribution of goods more equal. ____ Most people make friends only because friends are useful to them. ____ I value regular rout ines highly. ____ Making money is the main reason for hard work. ____ Most of the meals I eat are vegetarian. ____ Health requirements are very important in my choice of foods. ____ I feel that life is like a lottery. ____ I think being on time is imp ortant. ____ I prefer simple and unprocessed foods.

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313 ***SCHWARTZ VALUES SURVEY*** Rate each value according to how much it serves as a guiding principle in your life : 1 ..... .. .. ... 0 .... .... ...... 1 ... .... .. ..... 2 .... ..... ... 3 ...... ... .... 4 .... .... ...... 5 .... ..... ...... 6 ..... ..... ..... 7 opposed not important very to my important important values --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------____ EQUALITY (equal opportunity for all) ____ INNER HARMONY (at peace with myself) ____ SOCIAL POWER (cont rol over others, dominance) ____ PLEASURE (gratification of desires) ____ FREEDOM (freedom of action) ____ A SPIRITUAL LIFE (emphasis on spiritual not material matters) ____ SENSE OF BELONGING (feeling that others care about me) ____ SOCIAL ORDER (stabilit y of society) ____ AN EXCITING LIFE (stimulating experiences) ____ MEANING IN LIFE (a purpose in life) ____ POLITENESS (courtesy, good manners) ____ WEALTH (material possessions, money) ____ NATIONAL SECURITY (protection of my nation from enemies) ____ SEL F RESPECT (belief in one's own worth) ____ RECIPROCATION OF FAVORS (avoidance of indebtedness) ____ CREATIVITY (uniqueness, imagination) ____ A WORLD AT PEACE (free of war and conflict) ____ RESPECT FOR TRADITION (preservation of time honored customs) ____ MATURE LOVE (deep emotional and spiritual intimacy) ____ SELF DISCIPLINE (self restraint, resistance to temptation) ____ DETACHMENT (from worldly concerns) ____ FAMILY SECURITY (safety for loved ones) ____ SOCIAL RECOGNITION (respect, approval by others) ____ UNITY WITH NATURE (fitting into nature)

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314 ____ A VARIED LIFE (filled with challenge, novelty, and change) ____ WISDOM (a mature understanding of life) ____ AUTHORITY (the right to lead or command) ____ TRUE FRIENDSHIP (close, supportive friends) ____ A WORLD OF BEAUTY (beauty of nature and the arts) ____ SOCIAL JUSTICE (correcting injustice, care for the weak) ____ INDEPENDENT (self reliant, self sufficient) ____ MODERATE (avoiding extremes of feeling and action) ____ LOYAL (faithful to my friends, group ) ____ AMBITIOUS (hardworking, aspiring) ____ BROAD MINDED (tolerant of different ideas and beliefs) ____ HUMBLE (modest, self effacing) ____ DARING (seeking adventure, risk) ____ PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT (preserving nature) ____ INFLUENTIAL (having an i mpact on people and events) ____ HONORING OF PARENTS AND ELDERS (showing respect) ____ CHOOSING OWN GOALS (selecting own purposes) ____ HEALTHY (not being sick physically or mentally) ____ CAPABLE (competent, effective, efficient) ____ ACCEPTING MY PORTION IN LIFE (submitting to life's circumstances) ____ HONEST (genuine, sincere) ____ PRESERVING MY PUBLIC IMAGE (protecting my "face") ____ OBEDIENT (dutiful, meeting obligations) ____ INTELLIGENT (logical, thinking) ____ HELPFUL (working for the welfare of o thers) ____ ENJOYING LIFE (enjoying food, sex, leisure, etc.) ____ DEVOUT (holding to religious faith and belief) ____ RESPONSIBLE (dependable, reliable) ____ CURIOUS (interested in everything, exploring) ____ FORGIVING (willing to pardon others) ____ SUCC ESSFUL (achieving goals) ____ CLEAN (neat, tidy)

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315 ***POSTMATERIALISM SURVEY*** Note: the postmaterialism survey is administered directly by the researcher following an exact protocol in which three cards with four items each are shown sequentially to the subject while reading the following statement: There is a lot ot talk these days about what the aims of this country should be for the next ten years. (HAND RESPONDENT CARD A.) On this card are listed some of the goals which different people would give top priority. Would you please say which one of these you, yourself, considere d most important? And which would be the next most important? (HAND RESPONDENT CARD B.) If you had to choose, which one of the things on this card would you say is the most des irable? And what would be your second choice? Here is another list (HAND RESPONDENT CARD C.). In your opinion, which one of these is most important? What comes next? Now would you look again at all of the goals listed on these three cards together and tell me which one you consider the most desirable of all? Just rea d off the one you choose. W hich is the next most desirable? And which one of all the aims on these cards is lea st important from your point of view? CARD A contains the items below: A -Maintaining a high rate of economic growth. B -Making sure that this country has strong defense forces. C -Seeing that the people have more say in how things get decided at work and in their communities. D -Trying to make our cites and countryside more beautiful. CARD B contains the items below: E -Maintaining order in the nation. F -Giving the people more say in important government decisions. G -Fighting rising prices. H -Protecting freedom of speech. CARD C contains the items below: I -Maintain a stable economy. J -Progress toward a less impersonal, more humane society. K -The fight against crime. L -Progress toward a society where ideas are more important than money.

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316 APPENDIX D POSTMATERIALISM SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESUL TS Object D 1 Postmaterialism survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 172 KB) Postmaterialism surveys were administered to the permaculture participant test group as well as the Hawai'i Wal Mart co ntrol group. The researcher verbally administered the survey using three cue cards containing four letter choices each following the proc edure outlined by Inglehart (199 7 ). Of the twelve total letter choices, "a", "b", "e", "g", "i", and "k" represented materialist values while "c", "d", "f", "h", "j", and "l" indicated postmaterialist values. For each of the three cue cards, the subject was instructed to c hoos e his/her first and second favorite choices of the four choices. This resulted in six chosen l etters. The s ubject was next instructed to choose his/her first and second favorite choices out of all twelve choices, and then finally instructed to choose his/her least favorite choice out of all twelve choices. These instructions resulted in a total o f nine letter choices for each survey. The researcher used an original method to convert the resulting nine chosen letters into an overall numerical score from 1 to 10 that reflected the degr ee of postmaterialism. For the first of the three cue cards the subject recei ved two point s if "c" and "d" were chosen as the two favorites and one point if "c" or "d" was chosen as one of the two favorites. This resulted in a score of 2, 1, or 0 depending on letter choice. Similar procedures were followed for scor i ng the second cue card choices (2 points for choosing "f" and "h"; 1 point for choosing "f" or "h"; 0 point for choosing neither), the third cue card choices (2 points for "j" and "l"; 1 point for "j" or "l"; 0 point for neither), and the top two choices o verall ( 2 points for choosing any two of the letters "c", "d", "f", "h", "j", or "l"; 1 point for choosing any one of those letters; 0 points for choosing

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317 none of those letters). For the final choice of least favorite, the subject received 1 point for ch oosing one of the letters "c", "d", "f", "h", "j", or "l". A base score of 2 was added to the total score producing a score range from 1 to 10 representing the most materialist possible of letter choices (0+0+0 1+2 base points=1 point) to the most postmat erialist possible of letter choices (2+2+2+2+0+2 base points=10 points). Table D 1. R esults from two tailed t tests of the Postmaterialism survey. HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 Postmaterialism score differences HI Object D 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all his togram s and t test results for the postmaterialism survey. The permaculture test group was compared to the Hawaii Wal Mart group for differences in the overall postmaterialism score. Table D 1 above displays basic differences in signific ance between the test group and the control group as determin ed by a two tailed t test assuming unequal variances

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318 APPENDIX E GRID/GROUP SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Object E 1 Grid/group survey data res ults spreadsheet (.xlsx file 231 KB) Dake's (1991 ) grid/group survey consists of 28 items scored on a Likert style scale from 1 to 6 Each item is associated with either the hierarchical, individualist, egalitarian, or fatalist category; final scores for each of the fou r categories was calculated as the average of the scores of the associated items. These scores were used for t test comparisons between permaculturist test group and the three control groups for each of the four categories. For radar chart plots of aver age score results which were positively associated with the respective category average category scores were subtracting by 3.5, which was the mid range value of the survey's Likert scale. As a result, average score results indicating a negative associati on with the respective category became negative integers, while average score results indicating a positive association with the respective category remained positive integers. Negative integers were then given a value of zero so that only positive score r esults were plotted. An opposite process occurred for radar chart plots of average score results which indicated opposed values. Average scores greater than 3.5 (indicating positive association with a cate gory) were given a value of zer o; t he remaining sc ores were subtracted from 3.5 which caused highly opposed relationships to have the highest numbers, slightly opposed relationships to have low numbers, while positive relationships became zero. Object E 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all histograms and t test results for the Grid Group survey. The permaculture test group was compared to each

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319 of the three control groups for differences in hierarchical, individualist, fatalist, and egalitarian survey scores Table E 1 below displays the di fferences in significance between the test group and the control group s for these parameters as determin ed by two tailed t test s assuming unequal variances. Table E 1 Results from two tailed t HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 Hierarchical values HI HI HI Individualist values HI HI HI Fatalist values HI HI HI Egalitarian value s MOD NONE HI

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320 APPENDIX F SCHWARTZ VALUES SURV EY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Object F 1 Schwartz Values Survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 5 06 KB) The Schwartz Values Survey contains 56 items measured on a Likert type scale with a range from 1 to 7. Each item is associated with one of ten "universal values": universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, security, power, achievement, hed onism, stimulation, and self direction. These ten values in turn contribute to four overarching value categories labelled "self transcendence", "conservation", "openness to change" and "self enhancement". Following the proc edure outlined by Schwartz (20 09 ), surveys in which the respondent used the same number response more than 35 times (an issue which Schwartz calls "anchoring") were discarded. This rule had serious repercussions for the total number of usable survey s for the control group Hawai'i Wal Mart ; of the initial 31 completed surveys only 23 were usable due to "anchoring" issues Also f ollowing the procedures outlined by S chwartz (2009 ), prior to computing group score averages, the raw item score s for each individual survey must be centered. Cente ring the individual's raw item scores entails: (1) computing the average of the individual's 56 raw item scores and then (2) subtracting that average from each of the individuals' 56 raw item scores. The result is 56 "centered" scores which are eithe r positive or negative depending on their direction of variance from the average score. Centered scores were then used to calculate individual average scores for each of the ten universal value s by taking the average of all scores associated with that part icular universal value. An individual's benevolence score, for instance, was the average of the centered scores for the items "loyal", "honest", "helpful", "responsible",

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321 and "forgiving". Overarching value categories were then calculated as the average of the universal values which comprised them. "Overall self transcendence" was the Table F 1 Results from two tailed t tests of the Schwartz Values Survey. HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 Overall self transcendence NONE HI HI Overall conservation HI HI HI Overall self enhancement N ONE N ONE HI Overall openness to change MOD M OD M OD Universalism H I HI HI Benevolence NONE NONE MOD Tradition H I HI HI Conformity H I HI HI Security H I HI HI Power N ONE HI HI Achievement N ONE N ONE HI Hedonism M OD N ONE N ONE Stimulation N ONE N ONE N ONE Self Direction H I M OD HI average of the "universalism" score and the "benevolence" score. "Ov erall conservation" was the average of the scores for "tradition", "conformity", and "security". One of the ten universal values, "hedonism", contributed to both "openness to change"

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322 and "self enhancement". For each of these overarching categories, the c ontribution of the "hedonism" to the category score was reduced by 50% through doubling the contributions of the remaining two values. In other words, "openness to change" was calculated as the average of "hedonism + stimulation + stimulation + self direc tion + self direction" while "self enhancement" was calculated as the average of "hedonism + power + power + achievement + achievement". Object F 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all histograms and t test results for the Schwartz Values Surve y. The permaculture test group was compared to each of the three control groups for scores differences in each of the four overarching value categories and each of the ten universal values Table F 1 above displays the differences in significance between the test group and the control groups for these parameters as determined by two tailed t tests assuming unequal variances.

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323 APPENDIX G HOOD'S MYSTICISM SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Object G 1 Hood's Mys ticism survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 318 KB) Hood's Mysticism scale uses 32 items rated on a Likert type scale from 1 to 5. Of these 32 items, 16 are worded in the negative; for these negatively worded items the raw score had to be converte d to a positive score using an algorithm which converted respondent scores of "1", "2", "4", and "5" to "5", "4", "2", and "1" respectively. This allowed an overall mysticism score to be calculated as the total sum of all 32 item scores. In addition to th e overall mysticism score, each of the 32 items was asso ciated with one of Stace's (1960 ) eight mystical qualities: "loss of ego"; "unifying"; "inner subjective", "temporal/spatial", "noetic", "ineffability", "positive affect", and "religious quality". Th e score for each mystical quality was calculated as the average of the scores of its as sociated items. Object G 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all histogram s and t test results for Hood's Mysticism survey. The permaculture test group was compared to each of the three control groups for differences in the t otal Mysticism score as well as for differences in scores for each of Stace's eight mystical qualities Table G 1 below displays the differences in significance between the test group an d the control groups for these parameters as determined by two tailed t tests assuming unequal variances. Note that many respondents independently indicated to the researcher that they had difficulty understanding the meaning of the two survey items which used the term "ultimate reality". These two survey items, in combination with two other survey items, comprise the score for "noetic" quality. This noted confusion may play a role in the

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324 overall lack of significant differences on the "noetic" score betw een the permaculture test group and the Hawai'i Wal Mart and HawCC ANTH200 control groups. Table G 1 Results from two tailed t tests of Hood's Mysticism survey. HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 T otal Mysticism score NONE HI HI L oss of Ego M OD HI HI U nifying HI HI HI I nner Subjective HI HI HI T emporal/Spatial HI HI HI Religious Quality M OD HI HI N oetic N ONE N ONE M OD I neffability N ONE MOD NONE P ositive Affect HI M OD MOD

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325 APPENDIX H CONNECTEDNESS TO NAT URE SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RES ULTS Obj ect H 1 CNS data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 188 KB) The Connectedness To Nature survey is a 14 item survey using a Likert style scale from1 to 5. Of the 14 items on the scale, 3 are worde d in the negative. For scoring purposes, these 3 items were reversed using an algorithm which converted scores of "1", "2", "4", and "5" to "5", "4", "2", and "1" respectively. This allowed the calculation of a total Connectedness to Nature score which w as the sum of all 14 items on the scale. Object H 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all histograms and t test results for the Connectedness To Nature scale The permaculture test group was compared to each of the three control groups for dif ferences in the overall Connectedness To Nature score s Table H 1 below displays the differences in significance between the test group and the control groups for this parameter as determined by two tailed t tests assuming unequal variances. Table H 1 Re sults from two tailed t tests of the Connectedness To Nature scale. HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 C onnectedness To Nature (total score) H I HI HI

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326 APPENDIX I BACK TO THE LAND SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Object I 1 Back To The Land survey data results spreadsheet (.xlsx file 217 KB) A su rvey administered by Jacob (1998 ) as part of his study of back to the land communities was used in this dissertation under the name "Jacob's Back To The Land Survey". The survey contains 8 items which are scored by the respondent using a Table I 1 Results from two tailed t tests of Jacob's Back To The Land survey. HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 B ack To The Land survey (total score ) NONE HI HI Peace of Mind M OD HI HI Union with Nature M OD HI HI Feeling of Joy N ONE N ONE N ONE Living in Present Moment NONE N ONE N ONE Se nse of Wonder NONE N ONE N ONE Feeling of Wholeness M OD HI HI Accepted by the Universe NONE M OD H I Time Standing Still NONE M OD H I Likert style scale from 1 to 5. The cumulative sum of the scores for all 8 items results in an overall summary score for the survey. Two tailed t tests compared the permaculture test group to each of the three control groups for overall summary score, as well as for scores on each of the eight test items.

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327 Object I 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all histogram s and t test results for Jacob's Back To The Land survey. The permaculture test group was compared to each of the three control groups for differences in total Back To The Land score s as well as for differences in scores on each of the eight survey items Table I 1 above displays the differences in significance between the test group and the control groups for these parameters as determined by two taile d t tests assuming unequal variances.

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328 APPENDIX J NEW ECOLOGICAL PARAD IGM SURVEY ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Object J 1 NEP survey data res ults spreadsheet (.xlsx file 219 KB) The New Ecological Paradigm (NEP ) survey contains 20 items scored by respondents on a Likert style scale from 1 to 5. This study changed the scale from 1 to 6 in order to expand the range of possible answers and eliminate a middle range value which could be easily circled on the 5 point scale (e.g., "3"). Of the 20 survey items, 3 are worded to reflect adherence to the "dominant social paradigm" and thus the raw Table J 1 Results from t wo tailed t tests of the New Ecological Paradigm survey. HI = hi ghly significant differences (p<0.01) MOD = m oderately significant differences (.05>p>0.01) NONE = no significant difference (p>.05) Permaculturists vs: Wal Mart HawCC ANTH 200 U Florida ANT100 T otal NEP score M OD HI HI F actor 1: human interfer ence w / nature N ONE M OD HI F actor 2: equity and development issues N ONE M OD HI F actor 3: humans and economy over nature H I H I H I F actor 4: duties to non humans NONE H I H I score had to be reverse modified ("1", "2", "3", "4", "5", and "6" becoming "6", "5", "4", "3", "2", and "1" respectively) in order to calcu late an overall NEP score which was the sum total of the scores of all 20 test items. In addition, each test item is associated with one of four factors : "human interference with nature" (factor 1), "equity and

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329 development issues" (factor 2), "humans and economy over nature (factor 3), and "duties to non humans" (factor 4). Scores for each of the four factors was calculated as the sum of the scores of i ts associated items. Object J 1 above hyperlinks to a spreadsheet containing all histograms and t test results for the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) survey The permaculture test group was compared to each of the three control groups for differences in overall NEP scores as well as for differences in scores for each of the four NEP factors Table J 1 above displays the differences in significance between the test group and the control groups for these parameters as determined by two tailed t tests assum ing unequal variances.

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330 APPENDIX K MAP OF PERMACULTURE COMMUNITIES IN LOWER PUNA Figure K 1. Permaculture communities in Lower Puna which were the subject of dissertation research. Community C had properties in both Lower Puna and the South Hilo distric t Lower Puna unofficially includes areas of Puna in lava zones 1 and 2. Zone 1 constitutes the ridge of the Kilauea East Rift Zone.

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331 Appendix L EMERGY DIAGRAMS OF P ERMACULTURE Figure L 1 The i dealized view of permacul ture community Processed materials such as wood for building and crops for eating are derived from soils and biotic organisms on property. Assets include goods and services needed for transportation, shelter, food, and services such as entertainment. E cotopia can be classified as a symbolic service asset. Wastes are recycled back into the system. Financial transactions allow renewable goods and services produced by the community to be indirectly exchanged for unavoidable and necessary non renewable go ods and services.

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332 Figure L 2 Typical actual progression of a permaculture community in Puna as ecotopia is constructed and commoditized As ecotopia is constructed, it bec omes a product on the market. In exchange, a rriv als of work traders and other enthusiastic permaculturists bring finances, human labor, and ecotopia images with them into the community. Their finances, human labor, and images are made possible by the non renewable energetic processes of the larger syst em. They leave and take ecotopia images with them as part of community advertisement.

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333 Figure L 3 Ecotopia's mystif ication of capitalist processes is a "greenwashing" effect. The production of a successful communitas experience of ecotopia helps to ove rshadow non renewable energy exchanges and labor exploitation.

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334 Figure L 4 Ongoing commoditization and mystification resulting from ongoing articulation with the larger system undermine s sustainability efforts. Financial assets are derived from past participation in the larger system, typically representing a 7:1 non renewable to renewable energy ratio (Odum, 1996). New finanancial inputs come from work traders participating in the large r system or from other services derived from a successful portrayal of the ecotopian image. Finances from renewable asset production on pr operty remain minimal. In the most "successful" communities, i ncreased finances result in increased expenditures on non renewable goods & services which in turn are channeled into ecotopian image production for a synergetic effect that increases human participation while simultaneously maintaining and increasing patterns of non renewable energy inpu t

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367 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Michael Lemons received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in the fall of 2012. His post secondary training began at New College o f South Florida from which he graduated in 1997 with a b achelor's degree i n natural s ciences. H e worked i n the fields of environmental education and ecotourism prior to beginning graduate studies at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the Univ ersity of Miami in 2001. He fulfilled the required internship portion of his graduate work through two years of service as Peace Corps Volunteer in the Federated States of Micronesia from 2003 to 2005. He received his master's degree in m ari ne affairs and p olicy in August of 2005. That same month he began graduate st udies in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida. He currently lectures at Hawai'i Community College and the University of Hawaii at Hilo on the i slan d of Hawai i.