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Upside-down, The Good Newsletter 2020 - Week 2

The weekly interactive newsletter sent out by Plukrijp to its members

For people living NOW the school of life

For YOU to send all your good news to

upside down = instead of announcing what we plan to do
(& most often find out we do not need to do), we relate what we really did

We do the garden for YOU
Plukrijp functions on your frequent visits & harvests. Take along for friends & neighbours, this way we recreate real networks between us all, breaking down the illusory restrictions that now still separate many of us from our fellow man = UBUNTU.

What you can harvest now:

Jerusalem artichokes, parsnip, potatoes, carrots, celery, chards, chives, salads, rucola, chervil, pumpkins, cabbages,  mustards of all colors & textures, cauliflower, fresh herbs for taste & medicine.

This week @ Plukrijp

Congratulations "humans", 2019 was the warmest year in our history. The most polluted one, maybe the most violent one, certainly the year when organized hatred polarized us against each other. Where have our good
intentions gone?

Will 2020 be the turnaround year or will we destroy ourselves & each other in wars nobody can win in the name of fake ideologies like "democracy", "religion", "gender-revenge", "progress", (pseudo)"science" all fueled by the streams of illicit drug/weapon/slave trafficking?

We knew power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely, yes, but when Frank had to write a text in school (1950s) about the (then very distant) year 2000, the future looked a lot more good. From the technological & social & cultural discoveries we made one could predict global peace, a basic occupation & income for all based on a workweek for 1 person/family of 3-4 hours. All these previsions were based on an equitable distribution of wealth of course.

Where has humanist goodwill gone? No need anymore for empathy? Why do whole populations have to be addicted to drugs & medicine? Why are there now more slaves than ever in human history? Why do a few male psychopaths at the top of "business" & "religion", raping children, serve as an excuse for gender war for the whole population?

We did:

We kept on doing stuff at Plukrijp though, stubbornly continuing to believe in the new paradigm of permaculture:

We sorted our carrot harvest. We had put them in boxes covered with white sand, but some had gone bad, so a week of carrot-juice drinking, mmmmm!

We repaired the bridge connecting to the back of food forest, so eventual extra water could be evacuated.

We cleaned up in front of the hangar, reconnecting the overflow from the tunnels & from food forest to the cistern. This way we can pump it into the lake. Even after a few weeks of daily rain, the water level in the lake is still below what it used to be. Joren lent us ducks. They found paradise in & around the lake.

We created a new luxury place to watch the sunset from beneath the tree
Plukrijp is first of all an esthetic, life-changing experience

Joshka completed the inventory of the many texts we want to incorporate into the Perma-course. It will take the form of a Wiki. We hope many of you will send your articles, comments & contributions in. We believe in open-source creativity !
We watched/shared/enjoyed:
An evening around "poverty" in the US today (see below)

An evening & many exchanges around transactional analysis, theory & practice -

A celebration for Joshka's birthday. Intimacy know our special song routine. But he got extra helpings of dessert, so no danger of starving for the Holland people yet.

An evening about the bonobos (any connection to Joshka's birthday song is purely accidental!), our closest relatives. Why did we ever forget the life-lessons our cousins were teaching us? -

A few episodes of our favorite series on "coaching" called "Dr katz". Super funny, even years later -

A moment of recollection of a great human who went beyond the body: Ram
Dass, or Richard Alpert as he was called in the '60s
. Take the time to watch these short jewels of REAL spirituality please -

The three episodes of Yann Arthus Bertrand's masterpiece "Human". A must see!
Interesting Movies & Documentaries
The Bonobos Ape (Nature Documentary)
Bonobo apes are experts in using rainforest plants as medicine. But they're now endangered because of poaching and deforestation.
“Dinner For Few” is a ten minute CG-animated film depicting a sociopolitical allegory of our society. During dinner, "the system" works like a well-oiled machine. It solely feeds the select few who eventually, foolishly consume all the resources while the rest survive on scraps from the table. Inevitably, when the supply is depleted, the struggle for what remains leads to catastrophic change. Sadly, the offspring of this profound transition turn out not to be a sign of hope, but the spitting image of the parents.
How poor people survive in the USA | DW Documentary
Homelessness, hunger and shame: poverty is rampant in the richest country in the world. Over 40 million people in the United States live below the poverty line, twice as many as it was fifty years ago. It can happen very quickly. Many people in the United States fall through the social safety net. In the structurally weak mining region of the Appalachians, it has become almost normal for people to go shopping with food stamps. And those who lose their home often have no choice but to live in a car. There are so many homeless people in Los Angeles that relief organizations have started to build small wooden huts to provide them with a roof over their heads. The number of homeless children has also risen dramatically, reaching 1.5 million, three times more than during the Great Depression the 1930s. A documentary about the fate of the poor in the United States today.
HUMAN VOL.1 – Yann Arthus-Bertrand
HUMAN VOL.2 – Yann Arthus-Bertrand
HUMAN VOL.3 – Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Inspiring Books
Sex At Dawn argues that the idealization of monogamy in Western societies is essentially incompatible with human nature. The book makes a compelling case for our innately promiscuous nature by exploring the history and evolution of human sexuality, with a strong focus on our primate ancestors and the invention of agriculture. Arguing that our distorted view of sexuality ruins our health and keeps us from being happy, Sex At Dawn explains how returning to a more casual approach to sex could benefit interpersonal relationships and societies in general.

Clear picture from Sex at Dawn:
The Art of Listening - Erich Fromm
  1. The basic rule for practicing this art is the complete concentration of the listener.
  2. Nothing of importance must be on his mind, he must be optimally free from anxiety as well as from greed.
  3. He must possess a freely-working imagination which is sufficiently concrete to be expressed in words.
  4. He must be endowed with a capacity for empathy with another person and strong enough to feel the experience of the other as if it were his own.
  5. The condition for such empathy is a crucial facet of the capacity for love. To understand another means to love him — not in the erotic sense but in the sense of reaching out to him and of overcoming the fear of losing oneself.
  6. Understanding and loving are inseparable. If they are separate, it is a cerebral process and the door to essential understanding remains closed.
The evolution of consciousness implies working/progressing towards a higher state of awareness based on karmic soul lessons.
It implies to see the world and oneself more and more objectively – to see the Universe as it sees itself.
“Enlightenment” or to be fully “awake” in the true esoteric meaning of the word is a state when the Observer and the Observed have become One, and there is no Separation but complete Unity, i.e., Union with the Divine

Humor (?)
What is it really to be free?
Testimony from a volunteer
For 4 years now, I have traveled and worked on farms / homes to learn to cultivate the land. The diversity of places and "bosses" gave me great openness, and ways to approach the work, which makes me understand that the most important is what we learn by experience. Make a mistake = learn something. There is no failure, just lessons.
For me, working is a game, a fun exercise where I can play with my body to produce something that will benefit the rest of the community (grow food, build shelter). I was afraid to work when I was younger because I associated this with suffering but today is what makes me happy and gives meaning to my life.
I try to be free and spontaneous. I take care of my inner child, the natural source of the divine energy. I speak to myself and reassures me, educates me. I often met young parents and I also learn to take care of children. I interfere if they exceed the limits too much (for example: insults, breaking things ....). I had never said that a few years ago but I know today that we have to impose limits to children to allow them to experience freely.

When the Body Says No – Gabor Maté
Extract Page 196-198

Nature’s ultimate goal is to foster the growth of the individual from absolute dependence to independence—or, more exactly, to the interdependence of mature adults living in community.

Development is a process of moving from complete external regulation to self-regulation, as far as our genetic programming allows. Well-self-regulated people are the most capable of interacting fruitfully with others in a community and of nurturing children who will also grow into self-regulated adults. Anything that interferes with that natural agenda threatens the organism’s chances for long-term survival. Almost from the beginning of life we see a tension between the complementary needs for security and for autonomy.

Development requires a gradual and age-appropriate shift from security needs toward the drive for autonomy, from attachment to individuation. Neither is ever completely lost, and neither is meant to predominate at the expense of the other.

With an increased capacity for self-regulation in adulthood comes also a heightened need for autonomy—for the freedom to make genuine choices. Whatever undermines autonomy will be experiences as a source of stress. Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless, without meaningful choices—in other words, when autonomy is undermined.

Autonomy, however, needs to be exercised in a way that does not disrupt the social relationships on which survival also depends, whether with emotional intimates or with important others—employers, fellow workers, social authority figures. The less the emotional capacity for self-regulation develops during infancy and childhood, the more the adult depends on relationships to maintain homeostasis. The greater the dependence, the greater the threat when those relationships are lost or become insecure. Thus, the vulnerability to subjective and physiological stress will be proportionate to the degree of emotional dependence.

To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy. However, this is not a formula for health, since the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of “security” in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain “security” in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself “acceptable” to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness.

The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.

Social support helps to ameliorate physiological stress. The close links between health and the social environment have been amply demonstrated. In the Alameda County study, those more socially isolated were more susceptible to illness of many types. In three separate studies of aging people, five-year mortality risks were associated directly with social integration: the more socially connected a person was, the lower their risk of death. “Social ties and support,” a group of researchers concluded,”…remain powerful predictors of morbidity and mortality in their own right, independent of any association with other risk factors.”
For the adult, therefore, biological stress regulation depends on a delicate balance between social and relationship security on the one hand, and genuine autonomy on the other. Whatever upsets that balance, whether or not the individual is consciously aware of it, is a source of stress.

The 7 basics for HEALING:
  1. ACCEPTANCE of what "is"
  2. AWARENESS of the meaning
  3. Expression of pent-up ANGER without damaging others 
  4. AUTONOMY even in situations of dependence
  6. ASSERTION of "who we are"
  7. AFFIRMATION in creation

Ram Dass, the spiritual teacher known for his profound perspective, died at age 88. He leaves behind a legacy full of wisdom that has reached folks far and wide.

A Harvard professor, psychedelic researcher, and a psychologist, Ram Dass found himself on a mission to bring the great philosophies of the East to the Western world. Philosophies of love, mindfulness, and loss of ego.

He gave us dozens of powerful ideas that could humble the most powerful of people alive. His work is wildly perspective-altering.

To honour Ram Dass and the life he dedicated to bettering human experience, here are three of his most powerful quotes and ideas.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

How profound yet simple this is. No matter what you’re doing — washing dishes, hanging with friends, … — immerse yourself fully. This is the way to truly experience life and emotion.

Ram Dass’ ‘here-and-now-ness’ was so strong and is a focal point of his teachings. The idea of presence is something we’ve heard a million times, but something that’s very hard to master. In his literature, Ram Dass urges us to practice being present through techniques and training, for this is the only way to achieve ‘here and now-ness’.

“When you know how to listen,
everybody is the guru.”

Ram Dass was a big believer that we can learn something from anyone that crosses our path.

Everyone possesses a collection of knowledge developed from their unique perspectives and experiences. When we’re open to learning from someone else, we allow ourselves to learn a lesson that only that specific person can teach us. Believing this is the first step to becoming a better listener and accumulating a wealth of wisdom.

The themes of silence and quality listening seem to be constant throughout Ram Dass’ work. He preaches the immense value in silencing your mind to be a better listener. The less you judge the person teaching you, the more you’ll be able to hear what they’re saying.

“When you take off your mask,
it’s easier for everyone else to do it.
Our culture is so mask-driven.
Imagine an office with no mask.”

Being authentic can be very difficult. We live in a world where grand goals and ambitions are praised. Everyone is trying to change the world and have something to show for it. If we have nothing to show, we put on a front. If it’s not what we believe, we put on a mask. This not only hides who we truly are, but it transforms us as well.

What Ram Dass is saying is spot on. When we dare to act as our true selves, we inspire others to do the same. Showing the people around us who we really are, no matter how weird or different we may be, will make them feel more comfortable to do the same.

Do you have any favorite interesting/educational YouTube channels
to watch?

– Christopher D. (New Haven, CT)


There are so many good ones – it’s incredible how easy it is today to have someone teach you stuff in an entertaining way for free while you’re sitting on the couch.

Six favorites:

CGP Grey

Happiness is not a function of one’s individual experience or choice, but a property of groups
of people.

Written by Dougles Rushkoff in Medium

Imitation, social bonding, and language allowed humans to advance, with each skill reinforcing the others. Happiness itself, research now suggests, is less the goal of social cohesiveness than an incentive — more like nature’s bribe for us to play nicely with others. Even our emotions are not our own, but a side effect of how our social group is organized. The closer people are to the core of a social network, the happier they are. Happiness is not a function of one’s individual experience or choice, but a property of groups of people.

Viewed this way, our emotions are simply triggers for new ties with others. One person is happy and laughs. The laughter and emotion then spread from person to person throughout the network. The purpose may be less to spread happiness than to activate the network, reinforce connectivity, and coalesce the social group.

The reverse is also true. Disconnection from one’s social group leads to higher rates of depression, illness, and mortality. A baby starved of social contact has difficulty developing a regulated nervous system. Young men with few social acquaintances develop high adrenaline levels. Lonely students have low levels of immune cells. Prison inmates prefer violence to solitary confinement. In the U.S., social isolation is a greater public health problem than obesity.

Being social may be the whole point. The things we learn from one another are helpful with the logistics of mutual survival, but the process of learning itself — the sense of connection, rapport, and camaraderie we develop while communicating — may be the greater prize. We may not socialize in order to live any more than we live in order to socialize.

Of course, thriving, happy, connected people experience individuality also. We may be social, but we are also autonomous beings who enjoy exercising free will and independent choice.

Still, psychologists and social scientists recognize that the healthiest ways of expressing our autonomy occur within a larger social context. Making the independent choice to trust other people, or even to engage in self-sacrifice, allows people to feel that they are connected to a bigger project and acting out of concern for the common good. Unfettered communications, a functioning democracy, the right to free expression and assembly, community values, and economic inclusion all enable such activities. Without a relatively open social landscape in which to participate, we can only express ourselves through self-absorption or withdrawal. We experience a limited sort of autonomy, like that of a child exercising independence by refusing to eat dinner.

This dynamic is self-reinforcing. Without socially positive opportunities to exercise our autonomy, we tend toward self-promotion over self-sacrifice and fixate on personal gain over collective prosperity. When we can’t see ourselves as part of an enduring organism, we focus instead on our individual mortality. We engage in futile gestures of permanence, from acquiring wealth to controlling other people. We respond to collective challenges such as climate change through the self-preservation fantasy of a doomsday prepper. These limited attitudes trickle up through our political and consumer choices, making our social landscape less conducive to social cohesion.

Mental health has been defined as “the capacity both for autonomous expansion and for homonomous integration with others.” That means our actions are governed from within, but directed toward harmonious interaction with the world. We may be driven internally, but all this activity is happening in relationship with our greater social environment. We can only express our autonomy in relation to other people.

To have autonomy without interdependency leads to isolation or narcissism. To have interdependency with no autonomy stunts our psychological growth. Healthy people live in social groups that have learned to balance or, better, marry these two imperatives.
The association organises free training, exercices and activities. All the goods and services circulating within the association are free and without consideration.
The association appeals to your generosity : contribute if you want to support us.
Thank you !
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