Living YOUR Life. Coming Alive and Changing the World by Learning and Living with Curiosity and Intention. A Conversation with Matthew Abrams. (PVP095)

“Hey I know the world is designed with this blueprint that says I should behave this way, and I should do this way, and think this way, but I am actually going to do what I believe.”Matthew Abrams

Matthew Abrams Permaculture Voices

Key Takeaways:

  • When learning is more learner centered than content centered, the learning really comes alive.
  • Changing the paradigm of learning.  Coming from a place of pull, not push.  Coming from a place of curiosity.
  • Once you understand what brings us alive, then that metaphor of learning by pull really comes alive.
  • Doing work that you love leads to an overall better world.
  • Vacilando: to move with intention, without a specific destination.
  • Move with intention, get out of your comfort zone, and that may inspire what will come next – the next chapter.




  • “Once we start to see things in systems we can being to design solutions that affect those entire systems.  And that is where real sustainable evolution begins.”
  • “Hey I know the world is designed with this blueprint that says I should behave this way, and I should do this way, and think this way, but I am actually going to do what I believe.”
  • “If I don’t know what I want to do, what do I want to do to explore that?”
  • “Everyone has the capacity to really make the choice to really live life, to be engaged, and live a life of vitality.”
  • “It’s never too old to start living.”
  • “That’s where so much of the richness, the fertilizer of growing and becoming comes from, it comes from the decomposing of the failures into nutrients that nourish life.”
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau
  • “Do I live the life that everyone expects me to or do I live mine.”


Matthew Abrams on 21st Century Education

Core Conditions for 21st Century Learning

More information on Matthew Abrams and Mycelium:


Mycelium on Facebook

You can contact Matthew at info @ mycelium dot is



The Alchemist on Amazon..

Support Permaculture Voices

You can new support Permaculture Voices through a one time or reoccurring donation. You can make that donation at

Thanks for listening and for supporting Permaculture Voices!

Did you get some value out of this post? If so, then please take a second to support Diego on Patreon!

Comments 3

  1. So many important points are raised in this interview! One issue is that education has been largely replaced by conditioning and ‘patterning’ (as Matthew Abrams puts it) children toward fitting into the expected life paths, especially at the elementary level. The factory model for education was designed to prepare children for lives within an industrial/ buearocratic society, where everything, including life itself, was reduced to a factory model.

    The factory model of education ingrains certain behaviors, and selects for certain kinds of intelligence. Those who do not do well in the rigid structure and rote learning of school systems may have every bit as much potential as the students who excel in that environment. A less structured environment could allow each student to advance at their own pace, and to build on their strengths and interests in order to help master subjects that do not come as easily to them. Regardless, parents should be aware that some aspects of education and the learning of certain basic life skills is too important to sit back and assume the school system has taken care of it.

    At the college level, vocational training has largely replaced education. While the usefulness of vocational training can evaporate tomorrow, the value of a real education is lifelong. A basic knowledge of a broad range of subjects – history, math, science, etc – along with key skills – reading, writing, critical thinking, etc – gives us a solid background that can serve us for our entire lives. These skills can enable us to evaluate the quality of information we are given *regardless of the source*. These are just a few of the ways that a good education provides a framework from which to make sound decisions, both in our personal lives and as citizens of a democracy (or, in the case of the USA, a republic).

    Without this foundation, we become dependent on others to make decisions for us.

    The literally exponential rise in the cost of a college degree is clearly a factor in students and parents focus on the vocational aspect of these degrees, but perhaps they ought to examine WHY college costs so much more now than it did 50 or even 20 years ago (in value adjusted dollars). The answers can be surprising.

    This vocational emphasis in higher education without a broad educational background has produced many professionals whose lack of knowledge outside their own fields, or their narrow specialization within their field, is startling. I have met a number of highly intelligent people whose understanding about many simple, basic things- things that affect their daily lives is astonishing. Many of these highly vocationally trained people simply believe whatever an ‘expert’ with ‘proper credentials’ tells them.

  2. Matthew Abrams use of the term ‘DNA’ reminds me that so many people belive that their ‘destiny’ is prescribed in their genes. While the DNA we inherit provides the basic patterns of our bodies, it is becoming increasingly apparent that environmental effects are profound – including the environment of the thoughts we choose to cultivate.

    Those familiar with the work of Weston A. Price (‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’) will not find it difficult to grasp that mental development is also affected by diet and other environmental factors. The presence of stress, heavy metals, and an increasingly broad array of synthetic chemicals that are ever more ubiquitous are just a few of the factors that have been demonstrated to affect brain development, endocrine function (regulating all body functions), mental stability, and the ability to learn.

    Epigenetic effects – essentially the affect of environmental factors on our DNA – has been demonstrated to be passed down to our children and grandchildren. For more information, see the presentations by Dr. Bruce Lipton PhD (who showed that the nucleous and genes/DNA of the cell were NOT the ‘command center’ of the cells), look up the work of Dr. John Cairns PhD (who demonstrated that bacteria can mutate the specific genes needed to adapt to a particular environmental pressure), and ‘epigenetics’.

    It goes without saying… but thanks again Diego, and also Matthew Abrams, for yet another thought provoking interview. Your podcasts on the principles, tools and techniques of permaculture and regenerative farming are important; but so are those you have done on the issues people face in trying to get from where we are to where we want to be in our lives, like this one! THANK YOU! (Would love to attend PV2… I know it will be another great success.)

  3. Can’t let this one slide… Plastic food containers have contributed to the polluting of our planet, and the contamination of our food. Seriously, any food that comes in contact with essentially any plastic, particularly those brand-name storage containers and cling-film wrap, becomes contaminated with novel synthetic chemicals – many of which have already been demonstrated to cause health issues- ranging from endocrine disruptors (regulation of various processes in the body), obesity, cancer… I encourage everyone to look up information on this issue for themselves.

    Food was and can be kept even more fresh when stored in glass or ceramic containers. Or wrapped in paper and frozen (turn off the ‘frost-free’ function to save electricity AND keep your frozen food fresher longer (the frost-free feature cycles the temperature in the freezer, allowing food to partially thaw and re-freeze).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *