Written by Doug Crouch
The core model, which translates to the 3 dimension torus, is a pattern that Bill Mollison spoke widely of because of its transformative energy. Its’ top reflects the bottom and while seen in how many of us eat an apple, it can also reflects in 2D shape of a mature tree. The green photosynthesizing top is connected to a trunk of sturdiness while its anchor lies below with the roots firmly planted in the ground to hold the weight of it all and deal with the forces of nature. The two connect to share resources and exchange inwardly within the tree systems itself but connect further to biodiversity such as birds and bacteria and also cycles like the hydrological and carbon cycle. It can be seen not only in trees, but also the reflection of rivers and the dendritic model fanning outward (twigs and leaves) in the highlands receiving water for rivers inception and transference of nutrients. Meanwhile it cascades downward through its branches and then becomes the great rivers of the world (trunk). From there they delta out in a fan shape (the roots) thus creating land through fluvial deposition and maintaining very productive ecosystems along the edge (root microbial connection).
The core model is a pattern that reinforces balance and can be a reminder of the duality of life and how there is a balancing force between, the trunk that connects. This virtually eliminates the duality through the edge transference. Thus the design process that I teach and comes from my Permaculture Teaching Training mentors, Kat Steele and Benjamin Farher (and maybe from their mentors), and is a direct reflection of the core model and the energy of the figure eight that is produced through circulation that is evoked through this pattern. As designers we are always moving through stages so that the design process can be fully understood and seen as an energetic exchange and natural evolution. Thus as the vision meets the assessment phase, the idea generating phase of conceptual planning begins. From there the winnowing of ideas based on the first stages occurs in the master planning phase which lets the final design easily be born. But no design is ever static, ever finished, thus the dynamic pulsation of the infinity is ever-present in Permaculture design. Practically, as you implement you always go back to the design phase whether that is in the studio or simply out in the field because of the constant need for re-evaluation as the system evolves. All of this is balanced by the guiding ethics of permaculture and the rooted aspect of observation over a long period of time.
While this may sound philosophical it is quite practical the notion of duality and as is above as is below and the connection between. How does a tree manage to grow so tall and upward if there is always this force of gravity constantly dragging downwards? How does life flourish and trees grow out of rooftops in Lisbon or new soil formed in Hawaii? It’s a mystery to some but as the quote above hints at from Victor Schauberger there is another side of the coin to gravity. Its called Levity which is not such a common word in the west but in the east there is a tendency to label this in association with a universal life force or will for life. Chi, prana, or manna all could be translations but as a westerner I only can suspect this would be true. I do know I have seen so many crazy examples of plants and animals defying the feats of gravity through good design and a will of life ever-present. Thus its seems intuitive that there must be some counter balancing forces to gravity. And what is the bridge between then one might ask? Well that is for your own judgement, your own spiritual journey to figure out how patterns meet matter.
Furthermore, Schauberger’s understanding of water led him to incredible knowledge of this alive beings’ intricacies. He was able to project his consciousness outwards in times of “mediation” while in the old growth forests of Austria and reach a state where information came to him in his trances. From his writings and inventions other took his work on and the above pictures of flow forms are connected to him and their entrance into the biodynamic agriculture movement. They are meant to further potentialize the water circulating in the system and their interface with different types of biodynamic compost. Its design intention is to bring even further energy to the fields which await them after this dynamazing. The pulsations create vortex’s in figure eight motions spiraling in opposite directions as they cascade down the form. It is said that we could cast exactly these dual direction spiralings by simply casting the butt of a woman than a man than a woman than a man and on and on. It is the yin and yang, yet that shape has two dots in each one to allow the viewer of this symbology to never forget the bridge. Flow forms are a great application of the core model and the flow of energy that it perpetuates. The core model is everywhere, the upwelling and downward projections of energy that exemplify tree growth, life and death and even love itself.
Written by Doug Crouch
Header art by Sien Verpoest