Wisdom Beats Cleverness

Where Can I Get Myself Some Wisdom?

“Wisdom enables us to work with the unknown and the known. Cleverness is limited to working with the miniscule known.” Prof. Stuart Hill

Wisdom says ‘This is good! I’m happy with this’. Whereas, cleverness says ‘there’s got to be a better way’. Cleverness is constantly searching for improvement.  Whilst there is a purpose in life for cleverness. There is always rest in wisdom.

Clever Permaculture Design

Permaculture Design, at the outset, aims to be clever. Long term, it aims to be wise. Permaculture design develops stablisers that enrich the resilience of our lives, enhancers that make the system abundant and flows that help speed up the transfer of energy and plug up losses.

An example: a lifestyle stabilser might be the act of taking time to support others. They may support you or others in return. An enhancer might be having a back-up plan for when something in the system fails. like having a belt as well as braces to hold up Grandpa’s pants. An example of a flow device might be catching the waste from one project and using it right where it falls. For example, we might choose to step outside to peel the carrots on a hot summer day and the chickens can catch the peelings as they land.

Step Off the Treadmill

As we age our energy descends. We shift from trying to be perpetually clever and start to gain insights and wisdom. At this critical point we can choose to enjoy a companionable relationship with nature. We know it is better to aim to be efficient than to toil until we are worn out.  Collectively, the habits become our culture. Permaculture is about gently shifting our habits to create a strong and more permanent culture.

Imagine weeding every time you step into a garden? The alternative could be radical and start eating the weeds or we could be less radical and just plan to let the chickens eat the weeds then we get to eat the chicken eggs. On a social level, we can free ourselves from debt and actively seek wisdom.

Practical Wisdom

One of the quickest ways to acquire some wisdom is to ask an elder. The next source is observation. Permaculture is, in essence, about observation.  When we seek to observe and see connections we are actively learning from clever connections. We can track how energy can be transferred and build efficient life-style designs.

If you are local, join us on a workshop to meet some permaculture elders. Wherever you live you can find some of wise-owls and enjoy their little gems of wisdom. Alternatively, you can enroll with us and be supported and mentored throughout your permaculture journey.