Hi future messiahs, one of the ways to growth and survival in these coming times, well be in the finding of community by intention. It is NOT necessary to go find a community somewhere to move into, it is important to create an intentional community right where you already live.
I live in a mobile home park, and herein is a great opportunity to form community as we all live in the same area, bounded by a fence and our contracts with the owners of the grass we rent. However, when I attempted a few years ago to form a community organization where I live, not a homeowners organization, but something more, an intentional community, the owners of this place did everything possible to nix my idea, including refusing to allow a local organization, funded by tax payers and volunteers to come in for a community day to help start this off.
This was NOT about being political, although certainly the formation of what I was about, would have entailed that a bit also. The owners rejected all attempts at making this possible, because of the fear of the power of the people living in this place. We are homeowners here, and we do need more negotiation power with those that own the land our homes are on. Park owners through this area in which I live, which I affectionately call "mobile homeville" are resistant to any organization, even purely social within their respective parks, outright in some cases, boldly saying, NOT HERE.
I spent a huge amount of my time talking to other residents, and with management. Management would flat not go there, and in times when we have organized in the past, one or more participants would find themselves harrassed or even facing eviction, so courage was lost, because we do own our homes. When one is evicted, the home is lost, usually the park buying it, or towing it away.
Intentional community is about the sharing of life, in a way that benefits all. In this situation of a mobile home park, there are gifted ones desiring a cheaper place to live or smaller place to retire, and many who are single parents without a lot of money. We have some social problems, like teenagers running amoke, while busy parents are at work, particularly in the summer. Community could address these issues.
When I first moved into this place, the owner was a nice fellow who owned 2 parks and he took a personal interest in the residents. Many of us made good use of the facilities, and there were lots of little social activities like coffee clatches, get togethers to make arts and crafts, and the like. The owner hired a person who played guitar and liked kids to staff the club house in the evenings, and kids of all ages tended to congregate in the club house, shoot pool, and otherwise entertain themselves, and we had a nice basketball court, playgrounds and large area for the people to have picnics, and where the young folks could play football, throw frisbees and the like. We didn't have a community organization, but it seemed not so needed.
Then the owner became ill with cancer, and his wife did not wish to maintain this family business and so it was sold to a corporate organization and everything went downhill. Nasty managers serving the corporate greed came into being, and any community here disappeared. The previous wonderful owner had put on nice parties twice a year. A lovely affair in the summer, which took place in the large parking area. He brought in a live band, kegs of beer, and a full barbecue etc, and people came and danced into the wee hours of the night. At Christmas time, he had a nice party then too, including the rental of a team of horses for a hayride and carrouling. This was a pleasant place to live.
All this went away. The rules got so rigid to use the community center that fewer and fewer people would use it for family parties of various sorts. Then the new owners about three years ago began a vicious eviction campaign, with full cooperation of the courts. It turned out, they wished to evict people, or force them to move out, so they could redevelope this miserable place into condo's, and not have the responsible finacial responsility with any relocation activities.
There was one problem however, this park is on a landfill, and they kept their plan secret with the city, thinking I guess the city could be bought. However, it was not, and after emptying the park of 40% of the mobile homes, they sold out, and still we don't even know about our new owners, except there are show homes being placed around the entrance, and the only reason I know they are show homes, is because I asked the workers. There is NO place for a driveway on these spaces, so it didn't seem they were intended to be lived on. There has been NO contact from the new owners whatsoever.
Because of the past harassment, folks here would resist again, the idea of community. I once had the idea of serving God, by working with a whole bunch of mobile home communities here, in getting across the possibility of intentional community and after meetings with management, realized this was a goal that would not be allowed and I would find myself evicted. Since I live by choice and disability on a meager income, I didn't desire to lose my paid for home, and return to a tiny apartment that would cost more than my lot rent here. And so I simply grew the dream, and AbundantHope was born!
But at any rate, any community can become an intentional community. Mobile home parks, apartment buildings and local neighborhoods. You could even build intentional community at your work place. It will be necessary in the coming times to organize once more on this planet, the sustainable marriage, the sustainable family, and the sustainable local community. These are the beginning and essential building blocks, to creating a sustainable society and a sustainable planet, that will cause the inaugeration into the days of light and life. (known as the ascension of planet earth.)
So a mission idea for some of you, would be to establish the local sustainable community, right where you live, or work. This idea was covered heavily, the sustainability concept by Monjoronson, particularly in his works with Daniel Raphael, which we have on our website. I can't give the link the way our system works with uploaded files. It's a downloadable pdf file. Look for the piece called: Global Sustainability and Planetary Management, under Monjoronson's section. Also for Spanish readers we have the Spanish Translation at: www.Esperanza-Abundante.net/pdf/book12.5gs-pm-es-ah.pdf
So anyway, I am posting as part of this a work through Pepper Lewis, just released recently, about the idea of the intentional community, as a resource reading. I would appreciate if some of you would email me links to good websites about intentional communities. Send them through the contact form under "contact" us. I will include these links either in this article or in the resource area. Take care, Candace
I have been invited to join an intentional community of elders. The community model will be based upon on the laws and traditions of cultures both past and present that support the one and the many. It has been explained to me that the community will support the individual lifestyles of those who live within its boundaries, as well as contribute to the intent and design of the whole. Although this is a concept that I have been looking forward to participating in for a very long time, I cannot help but have doubts as to its authenticity. Is this really an idea whose time has come?
The concept of intentional communities is not a new one and contemporary working models can be found in many cultures and countries. Ashrams are also intentional communities, as are communes and certain housing cooperatives. Historically, intentional communities have been places where idealists have converged to imagine, create and live in a better world. Unfortunately, many idealists did not have the practical means by which to support their vision. Some were able to entice benefactors who could join in the vision, if not the cause itself. But others were not as fortunate and returned to their former lives embarrassed and penniless. Please do find yourself in these and all other scenarios put forth. As you read between the lines you will both recognize and reconcile a few past lives. Decisions made long ago will seem as yesterday, and will free you to make new ones as soon as tomorrow.
Members of an intentional community typically share a common social, political and spiritual vision. Appropriately, as individuals evolve, so must their connection to community and to the world. A community must therefore be fluid in its interpretation of growth and evolution, or it will be unable to sustain the principles upon which it was founded. Although this seems an obvious point to make, the very principles that draw an individual to a group quickly become the laws that bind him. It is important to recognize that it is the membership that gives laws life and not the other way around.
There are many different kinds of intentional communities. In a sense, each one extends a promise of some kind, so it is important to allow your forward-thinking vision to see into them and through them as much as possible. At this point time, less than five percent of such communities are able to uphold their promise. The fault, if there must be one, lies with the levels of tolerance within humanity at this time. A community, even an intentional one, cannot separate itself from the human consciousness lies outside of it boundaries. Human nature has a way of creeping in, like an unwanted guest who will not leave.
Intentional communities are designed to promote a higher degree of social interaction than other communities. Members typically share at least some responsibilities and resources. Although there are guidelines in place regarding commitment to responsibilities, it is rare to find these in balance at this time. This affects the sustainability of the community, so it is not simply a matter of making sure that each member is doing their fair share of the work, or of having a source for monitoring that the work has been done.
It is important now more than ever to recognize the strengths as well as the weaknesses in individuals and communities. Each person carries their own design, their own blueprint, and no two are alike. Although your laws state otherwise, humanity’s current social and educational systems are based upon a ‘smartest and fittest’ rule. As long as everyone is doing their best it should not matter what task they are best at, or how much or how often they work at it. Even the best of the current batch of intentional communities has not mastered this yet, because they are still following a model that is outdated. Soon it will be obsolete. As community learns to uphold its weakest members its strongest will become true leaders. Until then they will be managers, governors and elected officials.
Ecovillages are a less structured alternative. Ecovillage members are united by shared ecological, social, and sometimes spiritual values. Their members look out upon a world that seems wasteful and driven by a consumerist lifestyle. They see an upcoming breakdown in governance via centralized power, and in the more traditional forms of community. They object, perhaps more strongly than others, to the destruction of natural habitats and an over-reliance on fossil fuels. They see their decision to live in small-scale communities that have a minimal impact and a smaller footprint as an important and viable alternative.
These communities often thrive in more rural environments where organic farming and other cooperative practices are already in place. Network, or peer villages are already working together, some much better than others. Ecovillage members believe they are doing their part in averting an ecological disaster. Ecovillages are intended to be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. They are based upon popular ‘social network’ theories derived from anthropological and sociological studies, which suggest maximum populations of fifty to one-hundred-fifty members. The studies that form the basis of these themed villages also include models for ecomunicipalities and subcommunities. While few of these exist today there is a strong possibility that something akin to these models will gain a broader foundation of support in the years ahead.
Cohousing is another alternative in both community and lifestyle. Cohousing communities are small-scale neighborhoods that suggest a balance between personal privacy and community involvement. This more recent type of community is designed, planned and managed by its residents and therefore require a higher-degree of resident participation. Most major decisions are arrived at through a consensus, or an agreed upon decision-making process. These communities often include a diverse mix of people, including singles, couples, elders, and families with children. Intergenerational interaction among neighbors is promoted and encouraged with obvious social and practical benefits. Although each home is self-sufficient, the community is designed for and around people who want more interaction with their neighbors. Common grounds and facilities and shared social activities are a theme of cohousing communities. If privacy were one of your main objectives, this would not be an obvious choice. Still, living amongst people who know and care about each other is important to any lifestyle choice.
It is likely that you have an ideal circumstance in mind. Follow these thoughts mindfully and see where they lead. Consider your priorities and decide if they are temporary or long-term. Are you open to a situation that is still inventing itself? After all, isn’t that what you are doing? Is the situation flexible? Are you? Is your intention fluid or fixed? In joining a new community, what will you bring to it and what will you expect from it? Are you willing to share your resources? If so, how much, to whom, and for what purpose? Assuming you had not been invited to join, would you be able to petition membership? If so, what voting body would determine the outcome? This question is a very relevant one, because more than likely you will want to share your new life with others, and they will want to join you in yours. Assuming you no longer wish to live in this ideal situation, what options are open to you in transferring your property or your interest elsewhere? These are important and relevant questions. Your answers should be candid and true to course.
It is certain that you will find as many alternative lifestyles, as well as communities to support the lifestyles as your imagination will offer. This decade and the next will see the advent of many more, some based upon desire and others upon necessity. Economic and environmental benefits such as shared spaces and resources will become an obvious solution for those who are ready to embrace change. Participatory communities will continue to rise in popularity. Home-based businesses, tele-commuting, job-sharing, and Internet-based commerce it will fuel the transition and accelerate the timing of these alternatives. Access to cities via normal routes and current methods of transportation will become increasingly difficult for the next several years. Skyrocketing costs, surface viruses, environmental hazards, and unidentified airborne illnesses will suggest and encourage the need for new choices.
Do not jump to conclusions, as none exist. Remain balanced in both perspective and obligation. Humanity is only now re-learning how to live with and as a community. Intention is subjective; therefore intentional communities must begin with gentle and open communication with one another. It is interesting to note that many who are prepared to move away from their current lifestyles actually have much in common with them, but no longer think so. Please assume that your evolution also assumes that of others, even your neighbors, friends, and family. If you will move elsewhere then do so with an open heart and an open mind, even where they are concerned. Strive for interpersonal growth, encourage wisdom, opt for compassion in soft and harsh moments alike, and live mindfully within the Spirit of community.
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