In understanding the Wooded Way lifestyle, we must first look at the core philosophies behind the Way of the Wood. The first and most fundamental philosophy of Wooded Way culture is that of 'PRIMALISM'.
The word PRIMAL literally means fundamental or essential to a particular state or thing. Thus, when it comes to lifestyle, PRIMALISM is the philosophy of placing those things that are fundamental or essential to sustaining life ahead of everything else. As such, we can say that in order to survive we must have good air to breath; good food to eat; good water to drink; adequate shelter and good health. To these we can also add the additional human necessities of love, understanding and communion with others as being equally essential to sustaining life.
On further analysis then, we can see that if we must have ideal air to breath, we cannot do or use things that pollute the air. Likewise with water and, if we must have ideal food to eat, we cannot do or use things that poison or destroy the environment within which the food is created. Instead, that environment should be optimised and permanently secured as a sustainable food resource. Adequate and permanent shelter must also be made freely available to all and, likewise, a healthy lifestyle needs to be promoted and made freely available together with all health and medical services.
As such, the first priority in creating Eartheart is to develop these resources. Eartheart, therefore, needs to be located on unspoilt, fertile land with adequate rainfall and a clean, permanent water supply. In terms of high-yielding, sustainable organic farming essential in developing our lifestyle, the techniques of permaculture and similar practices are deemed to be the most suitable. Likewise, it is essential to adopt energy efficient environmentally sustaining building practices for all built structures utilising local, on-site materials such as stone, timber, mudbrick and rammed earth wherever possible.
On the individual level, Primalism is intended to encourage an awareness of ones immediate surroundings free of too much superfluous consumerist clutter and material waste. For example, the philosophy might be adopted in the regular review of everything you own and do and to question 'is this really necessary? or, what is the purpose of this? or even, has this been used during the past year ?'. It is just as essential to feel 'at home' within your surroundings as anything else. However, your surroundings, the clothes you wear, everything about you identifies who you are both to yourself and to others. Thus, as you evolve and change, like the trees in Autumn that constantly shed their leaves only to renew them again in the Spring, it is a healthy thing to refresh your surroundings. After all, if something is an important statement about who you are NOW, why confuse and lose it amongst a whole lot of statements about who you may have been yesterday, or even, who you have never truly been at all?
In the way of the Primalist, whilst the right to personal identity, ownership and privacy is regarded as essential, 'part-time' resources such as laundry and cooking facilities are shared. As such, a Wooded Way community consists of a number of smaller groups of up to 20 or so people sharing centralised amenities. This amenities centre consists of a communal kitchen, dining hall, lounge, bathrooms, a laundry and other facilities. These community groups are referred to as 'Havens' and the Haven system is the core of the Wooded Way lifestyle. It is in many ways, a modern interpretation of a tribal lifestyle in that not only are all essential services utilised to maximum advantage by being shared, the entire haven community also becomes ones extended family. People eat and commune together everyday sharing the responsibility for raising and looking after children and looking after each others health and well being, etc.
At the same time, however, the need for individual space and privacy also needs to be respected. This is achieved by providing every adult individual with their own personal space. These are spacious, single rooms with sleeping and lounge facilities, a small en-suite and kitchenette.
As mentioned earlier, environmentally sustainable, energy efficient building practices are essential to this lifestyle. As such, this must be the first priority when designing havens. It is even possible for havens to be contained under a single shelter. This allows for shared heating and cooling facilities and is a great resource for gathering abundant fresh water. This does not necessarily mean a building in the conventional sense. Shelters such as this do not need to be over complex consisting basically of a circular tubular steel framework over which a tightly stretched shade-sail (or similar) roof may be added. Such structures are often used today in such places as shopping centres and car yards. A single, large, cone shaped roof such as this gathers a great deal of rainwater and can also support an ample sun-tracking solar power system. As such, given the right environment, havens of this type can be largely self-sufficient in terms of energy, water and waste management systems eliminating the need for power stations, water and sewerage treatment plants and suchlike. They are also well ventilated with the capability of whole sections being easily opened up to the environment. In a country such as Australia, a high percentage of our living can be done as much outside as inside. Thus, building structures that open up to and merge with the surrounding environment is ideal.
The emphasis of the PRIMALIST philosophy then is simplicity and minimalism without sacrificing personal identity and comfort. This remains true whether it is on an individual level, the haven level, community level or greater community level.
We can now see how this initial philosophy becomes the fundamental root of the Wooded Way manner of living. By putting the essentials of life before all else, a structured, logical approach to living is revealed. PRIMAL LORE I will let nothing defile our Mother, the Earth
for she is the giver of life.
I will let nothing defile my bodily form,
for this is the container of life.
I will let nothing defile the spirit within,
for this is the messenger of life.
I will let nothing defile the air that I breath,
for this is the first part of life.
I will let nothing defile the water I drink,
for this is the second part of life.
I will let nothing defile the food that I eat,
for this is the third part of life.
I will let nothing defile this life that I live,
for my life is my Primal right.
I will let nothing defile our Mother, the Earth