Weeds in the midst — yet another arbitrary label?

Posted on July 20, 2014


Thoughts on mindful living

We continually insist on living our lives by such fragile labels as “right” and “wrong”. As we all know, down deep, these labels are formulated based on our opinions about things we know very little about.

We use our opinionation to discriminate against that which is different from us, that which we do not understand (or even want to), that which makes us uncomfortable, that which is outside our context… our little words. We interact with people of different thinking like a gorilla trying to establish dominance with loud guttural noises and flailing of the paws. Pretty scary and very convincing. But as intelligent people, we might want to learn to interact as intelligent human beings instead; through dialogue and inquiry, listening and seeking to understand; since this world is so much greater than my brain can understand.

What if we were to approach life from a position of humility, emptying ourselves of our opinions, mental models, and conditioning.

Most of life is remembering what we already know (deep within).
One of those things that we do know is this:
If we already know… we can no longer learn.

Opinionation is the enemy of seeing and learning.  https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/opinionation/

“Each of us creates a picture of our world by connecting a dozen or so of the trillions of dots that would need to be connected to make a ‘true’ portrait of the universe.” — Sam Keen

Is it possible that weeds are an example of the “alien” or the “outcast” among us; those that we deem undesirable and work to eradicate? Maybe it is “them” or the “other” that we need in order to deepen our unconditional love; our ability to understand “that which is different from us”.

Who are the “weeds” among us? What “other” human beings do you wish to eradicate? Those poor among us? Those rich among us? Those people with disabilities among us? Those immigrants among us? Those refugees among us? Those aliens among us? Those aboriginals among us? Those minorities among us? Those homosexuals among us? Those conservatives among us? Those liberals among us? Those atheists among us? Those religious among us? … and the list goes on… and on… and on…

Maybe it is “them” that will sustain our culture. That is exactly what nature (including cultures) has been doing so for eons. We know this because a diverse system is the only system that survives. Homogenous systems inevitably die out.

Here is a great example of how nature sustains itself through diversity:

“There’s really no such thing as a weed in nature. As Dwight D. Ligenfelter of the Department of Agronomy at Penn State University points out, weeds are simply plants “whose undesirable qualities outweigh their good points” in the eyes of human beings. Indeed, it is our human activities — farming, gardening, creating golf courses and parks — that create ‘weed problems.’

“We tend to think of weeds as pests, plants who grow where they are not wanted and where we did not intentionally sow them… Weeds (which of course aren’t trying to push out human-planted crops) have numerous benefits, from stabilizing the soil to providing habitats and food for wildlife (milkweed for monarch butterflies) and for humans.”

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-good-weeds-to-welcome-in-your-garden.html#ixzz382RmmyYf

5 Good Weeds to Welcome in Your Garden

by Kristina Chewweed
March 27, 2013

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-good-weeds-to-welcome-in-your-garden.html#ixzz382IXTaM0

noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Any plant growing where it is not wanted. On land under cultivation, weeds compete with crops for water, light, and nutrients. On rangelands and in pastures, weeds are those plants that grazing animals dislike or that are poisonous. Many weeds are hosts of plant disease organisms or of insect pests. Some originally unwanted plants later were found to have virtues and came under cultivation, while some cultivated plants, when transplanted to new climates, escaped cultivation and became weeds in the new habitat. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weed

Seeds and Weeds
For Sunday, July 20, 2014 – Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
“’God has planted good seed in the world, children,’ my Sunday School teacher would say. ‘But an enemy has planted weeds. Keep yourself separate from the weeds!’ Even then I knew this would be difficult. Out in the pastures and woods on our farm grew so many beautiful weeds. Even more than the zinnias and snapdragons and dahlias marching along in ordered rows at the edge of the garden, I loved the wildflower weeds that chose their own spaces, growing strong and free wherever they wished. Butterflies loved them, too, as they danced in the wind. I brought blossoming clusters into the house and displayed them in vases, and everyone in the family admired these renegade children.

“We never would have deliberately planted weeds within the garden plot, but Mother Earth News validates the lowly weed even in that sacred space by saying, ‘Contrary to their reputation, beneficial weeds under certain circumstances can be helpful in the garden by holding top-soil, pulling up water and nutrients, providing food, controlling insects and more.’ They suggest letting the weeds teach us about the garden. The weeds know about the soil in which we want our vegetables to grow.

“Jesus, too, knows more than we know. He knows how easily we get distracted by ideas of good and evil. Trying to distinguish weeds from seeds can consume us, causing us to miss their unique beauty and benefits. Fighting outer enemies, we can be overtaken by inner weeds of perfectionism and pride. Searching for the best weed killers, we forget to dwell in the grace that gives us all we need. Jesus knows how fond we are of battle lines, how quickly we see ‘us’ and ‘them’ within and without. So he says, let them be. Let them grow together.

Your doubt and your certainty, your opinions and theirs, can dwell together in peace; let your rising anxiety and your rising hope embrace; let your favorite fears find rest among your best efforts. Whether seeds or weeds, let them grow together into their fullness, just being themselves, as they are, challenge and blessing.
By: Kayla McClurg
Inward / Outward newsletter, http://inwardoutward.org/

Discover Beneficial Weeds in the Garden
“Contrary to their reputation, beneficial weeds under certain circumstances can be helpful in the garden by holding top-soil, pulling up water and nutrients, providing food, controlling insects and more.

“Then too, we often don’t make the association between the beautiful wildflowers that erupt around us from spring through fall and the fact that most of them bloom on otherwise ordinary weeds. We should. To do otherwise would be like admiring butterflies but hating caterpillars.

“So yes, for beauty and utility, weeds do have their good points. You’ll probably always hack away at ones that crowd your crops. But when you think about all the good they can do, maybe you’ll see them with a more benevolent eye, and selectively use those volunteer visitors to your garden’s advantage.”

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/beneficial-weeds-zmaz87jazgoe.aspx#ixzz382HLcPDB

List of Beneficial Weeds

Diversity = Sustainability

Apparently, weeds are simply part of a biosphere where diversity is actually a key to sustainability.

“We need to depend on diversity”
(Margaret J. Wheatley)

All of life is made up of systems.
And research shows that the more diverse a system is,
the more sustainable it becomes.
Diversity gives life.

“Diversity is a necessity and key to survival of life on planet earth.

“The more diverse a system is, the more resilient it is and the more able it is to withstand stress. This is the way the world operates. Obviously we should join its way of operating. Yet man has fought diversity through colonialism and industrialization. In the spirit of old Darwinism we spread out and conquered the world, ignorant of our true dependency of own environment.”

“Nature is so committed to creativity that it ‘abhors uniformity’. The work-as-machine metaphor that dominated the modern era got us to think and act in uniform and standardized processes as machines do. But this is not the way of the natural world. Nature is biased in favor of diversity. And creativity is itself an act of diversity, as Wendell Berry reminds us: ‘Nature not only produces species diversity but also individual diversity. Nature produces individuals. No two days are the same, no two snowflakes, no two flowers, trees, or any other of the infinite number of life-forms.”
Matthew Fox, Creativity, p. 44

Unnatural Selection: Why Encouraging Weeds May Be Good Farming (Video)

When Virtuous Flowers Become Sinful Weeds