Everyone knows what a super hero is. They come with a wide variety of gifts and special powers and egos. It goes without saying that they can accomplish the most EARTH-Saving when they band together against the most spectacular threats. Usually that means saving the whole world (or even the universe, when saving the world gets Ho hum).
I am a person who grew up with super heroes as my role models and they have shaped who I have become. I have grown into the conviction that those of us who have been gifted with intellect, education, relative wealth on multiple levels and in particular are living in the nearly incomparable safety here in the Pioneer Valley with it's incredible resources, Owe The World Pay-Back.
Super heroes taught me that.
Most of the major transitions in my life grew out of a practice of considering a question of myself and then moving into the answer with gusto: What is the biggest project that I can take on, at that point in my life, that brings together the most valuable, powerful and exciting tools and resources at my disposal to better the world I live in. Today, at 70 years old, that project is Saving the World.
My current conclusion is that building a new, state of the arts, zero-energy, intentional community populated by social justice communitarians living with a kick-as social contract will push hard in the direction of modeling for the world by living the changes we want for the world of social justice and world sustainability. This is a call to other super-hero types, young and old, wanting to bring All of their powers to bear on the dramatic threats the world faces. We cannot expect people who are being shot and bombed and hungry to be the ones to design the replacement paradigms that call us to retire the dysfunctional, greed driven ones we now populate. IF NOT US, WHO? IT MUST BEGIN NOW
In a new, intentional/mindful village we will be able to live healthy, supported, nurturing family lives while simultaneously offering our learning and wisdom to the world. Please Google: Gaviotas, A Village to Reinvent the World. In 1971, in Columbia, Paolo Lugari set forth with all of these visions and built an amazing village in the most inhospitable place he could. He has accomplished so much in the nearly 50 years there but I have only recently learned of this great work going on. We hope to add "high visibility" into the mix here.
I am currently holding 17 acres of south-side property high on the hill between Hope St and Highland Park, in Greenfield and am seeking the small (5-7) group mind that will work to bring the ideas, designs and resources to take such a project to the next level.
To share a thought from Thich Nat Hahn: "It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community - a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth." . Another from Bucky Fuller: "in order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete
There is so much to decide before anything gets bought. The Team that figures and decides must invest time and energy before money gets put on the table. A whole collection of skills and expertise and resources must be gathered. It's a hobby and a way to be engaging in Group Mind until the checkbooks get called out. People come and go during such a development phase. By then you will know just where you stand with the plans so far.
Imagine an activist intentional community growing out of your efforts. The changes that are coming are very big and very possibly Catastrophic.
You Know this to be a Fact. You Know that everyone aware of this fact needs to be doing much more than they have been doing so far. These are not things to be doing alone.
We all need to be searching for compatible others to join with, to be multiplying our strengths through collaboration and unification. We all need to do an introspective inventory of our strongest assets, our greatest fears (for ourselves and family and the Earth itself), our angers (about injustice especially) and our list of what we wish we had been doing all along.
It is this "inventory", all of the power and energy imbued in each of these spiritual dilemmas, which will be harnessed to fuel our work into the uncertain future. The question is not whether there is too much to do. It is rather "how much am I willing to take on as my share of the collective work, given the gifts I have been given". You can't be attending to everything that needs doing. We all need to be more focused and effective and be trusting that many others are working with us side-by-side, seen and unseen.
I am here now to offer you some options to consider as you begin gearing up for the changes you will be making. These offerings are the result of My inventory of My assets, fears, angers and should-haves.
You can join a group of people set on building and sharing an activist Village. It will be a community village for our own healing and empowerment and a demonstration of just how good life can be when a group harmonizes their efforts and creativity for the greater good of all. Can you imagine doing family and relationships in an Activist Village??
There are only a few windows of opportunity that normally present themselves, in each lifetime, where you are able to make major course corrections or diversions and set off in new directions: Finishing formal Education, Divorce/Death of a partner, Career Moves, Injury/illness, Retirement etc.
I fit into several of those categories now but the intensity of my drive focuses on my growing sense of being at the edge of Catastrophe. I am the sort of person who is intent on being prepared for the Worst while simultaneously working for the Best.
Building a village for the future together with like-minded others does that for me. The Group Mind is where I want to be living and growing into the future with Friends and Children.
What we are working with:
We have no design specs. We have a lot of land with no debt. We have some high end building lots that could be sold off strictly for cash raising, to be cut away, to be owned by supportive new neighbors. Might even be you. All of our money has been put into securing this amazing property.
The property itself cannot be developed as house lots but only as cluster development with private utilities. It could provide for , maybe, 60 units. We intend to start with the minimum number of specifics as we solicit the core group/group-mind that will carry us forward into deeper social and physical plant design work. Through this small (5-7) group, we will do the research and brainstorming that will flesh-out the outline of what the new village will "look" and feel like. The formulations by this group will produce the working documents (mission statements, legal agreements Etc) which will bring us to a broader public invitation.
The team of this next moment will, of necessity, be comprised of folks who will collectively bring a majority of the expertise, aptitude, time, energy and resources to take us beyond "concept".
You can well imaging a lot of this "list": a lawyer (or 2), designer/architect, Real Estate developer, banker/finance expert, plumbing, electrical, building and energy contractors Etc. All time and money investments will be accounted for - pending the agreements we will create from the start.
We can call it a therapy group until we produce something of actual value beyond the "therapy.
A short list of the forward thinking at the moment includes: smallest reasonable* private accommodations with the most extravagant community resources, farming, power generation, a kick-ass social contract, a cottage at the ocean, mechanical, office, storage and art space, deep thinking about the children. Add your list here ____, ______, _____.
The overall thrust, at the moment and in keeping with the very high profile of the property, is that we are not making a magnificent place to live just for ourselves but are also looking to model for the world to take and make in their own way, living communities that give more than they use. Maybe we can show that an intentional collective activist Tribal lifestyle, one that has an incredibly low footprint on the planet, does not have to be a sacrifice but rather a higher quality of life.
CALLING OUT a small group of ambitious Dreamer/Doers to dream and do Bigger and better together.
SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF AND FEARS ABOUT: doing business and making and keeping commitments about money, contracts, relationships, conflict resolution ETC ETC. An Intelligent, Dedicated Group Mind can always create an elegant solution. Love and Fear are what we have to work with at every level.
It Takes a Village 1/21/2008 by John Bailey
You may have seen the book. It tells of how many of each race/ethnicity would live in this village of 100 people representing the world population. It’s not just for kids. It visualizes something important, at a scale that is manageable to the mind. Six billion does not work. The human mind was built, layer by layer, over millions of years and has built–in references to accommodate all fundamental concepts. The recent developments of the last few thousands of years have not had time to be integrated into our physiology. And, our physiology still drives our emotions and learning and intellect and is often in conflict with the dominant paradigm.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE. We can’t fully comprehend the dynamics of love and maturity and Eldering and dedication and community and security at even the City level, let alone national or global. It’s too big.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
WE need to change the world. We need to change it back to the way it was given to us. We were given a world that supplied our needs, a world that was able to heal itself and recover from damage, up to a limit that we reached a while ago.
We have damaged it beyond its ability to recover in a time short enough to accommodate humans. We need to heal ourselves of the thinking that has done so much damage. We need to remember who we are in relation to the planet that holds us. And, we need to remind others by our example.
We need a new vision and a new experience of the village that we were meant to grow up in and learn the truth in. The truth cannot be taught in words. It is learned through experience. Think about what our children are learning in the unrecognizable “villages” that they are growing up in. What truths are they building their minds around? You should be crying if you sit quietly and think deeply about that. Think about what passes for truth in your own heart and mind. We must bring ourselves and our children back to the village for healing.
WE MUST BUILD THE VILLAGE that will teach the changes we want for the world through the experience of living in it. In our village we will not use more resources than can be replaced. We will not steal from others so that our lives will be more luxurious. In our village everyone will be known and cared for and held accountable to their commitments. In our village we will measure our worth by how much we can give away rather than by how much we can accumulate. In our village we will grow food, teach and learn together. In our village we will play, work and grow together. We will celebrate and mourn together. We will become the changes that we want for the world and we will support others to build other villages that will support them similarly. This isn't about capitalism/profit.
The building of our village will bring the best thinking available today about best use of material, best use of water, best use of the sun, best use of the earth and best use of the energy that we will require to live comfortably without abuse of the world or one another.
The building of our village will build the sustainable social contracts to live in community. Our training of ourselves will train others.
Join us in whatever ways you can.
Bring your wisdom and consult your Elders that we may become a shining light for all the world to see.
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers