land we seek is first found in the heart, then in the mind,
then in the world
The Word, Letters, Introductions,
News, Resources, Wisdom
My own commentary:
A working group has assented to the following:
1) Our community will have a component which supports religious freedom and worshipful action.
2) Our preference is to be accepting of diversity in matters of the soul. We each may have our own view of religious matters and so we will expect that members respect each other in this regard.
3) As a community, we will share our commonly held properties. Second, we do this, in part, to insure a portion be used for the common good and to serve the communities stated purposes. At this time, the Yahoo group, being our only commonly held property, we should apply that principle in the group's discussions and interactions. We should be communicate with honesty, care, and concern for the welfare of the group and its members so that we can develop the ideas we need to achieve our dream.
The communications should be a win - win for most everyone, most of the time. I am and or we are after an improvement in our lives. That is why I feel that our common resource, our Yahoo group, should be a place of courteous discussion.
In our Yahoogroup site we've some photos of places and people. You can see three of us Owl, Chris and Dan.
Community of Light
We want to co-create a community in a rural area, grow a good portion of our own food, create a profitable cottage industry, and so be self employed. We want keep well the land that we live on and engage in right livelihood. We also want to contribute to the community around us and so benefit our society. Ideally, we would want to be near enough to a good sized town maybe some 50,000 or so, a college community would be something to consider. We could each use our talents, abilities, or professions to provide for ourselves as well as whatever "cottage industry" would be.
You are all welcome to express your ideas about what our community should be. We are, after all, the persons who will make it up.
If you have not been to the Community of Lights web page we now have a listing of communities that are forming. It may be educational to visit some of those sites to see what's new in the community universe See the links at: Community of Light
Thanks, Dan and Wendy
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are the introductions from persons that have written us since the last issue. Please go to Subscriber's Introductions if you would like to see the profiles we have on file currently. Some but not all of these people may have additional information there.
Grant Barker .......... email@example.com
Good day, my name is Grant, and I am quite interested in your ideas. I myself live in West Virginia, and it would be almost ideal for the type of setting in which you speak.
I want to work, and see first hand the product that benefits those around me and myself. Current society, in my opinion, is not for me and most likely never will be. If you would e-mail me, perhaps I can better understand what you are trying to do, and in my understanding, possibly contribute what I can to the cause. Many Thanks, Grant Barker
Roy Lent .......... firstname.lastname@example.org currently lives in Costa Rica and knows a good deal about that country and what it might be like to live there.
New to Our Yahoo group:
Wendy Loren .......... email@example.com a 34 years old, spirited on a quest for a place that I can be of service to the planet.
Gary Garber .......... firstname.lastname@example.org - lives in Port Townsend WA
axis of reason .......... email@example.com
christy_lard .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Jeff Orr .......... email@example.com
I was so pleased to find out about the community of light. It is very Similar to what I was trying to establish in my area. I live in Ann Arbor, MI. I am looking to be part of a community that values the importance industriousness, energy independence for the community, barter, cottage industries, balance with nature, and especially the feeling of friendship and community.
I am 31, married with two children, I have a diverse background. I lived in rural areas as a child, helped build houses, studied the classics, crusaded for political change, embraced eastern spirituality, and I have an electronic engineering degree. My wife is a doula, and a cooking instructor who interweaves nutrition, health, and lots of flavor into people's diet. Recently, I have been putting a lot of thought and emotion into discovering how the economic mechanics of such a community could be maximized to the benefit of all. I would be happy to share the fruits of this effort with anyone. I have interests in alternative energy research, and making the community energy efficient. I am interested in doing something that can be a model for others to follow and lead to a positive change in the whole country.
I enjoyed reading all the posts from others and I liked what I read. I will converse with people on the yahoo group about the future plans. Sincerely, Jeff
From: "Lenita" .......... firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: good reading--correction!
The book that was recommended: It's called "The Hand-Sculpted House" by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley.
From Owl .......... email@example.com
The following link is from Owl, he sent it on to me and I forward it to everyone. Interesting ideas, concepts and resources for the time when we will need to decide how we'd like to build: Architecture Week. Also he sent a link showing how an eco community might be done, the concept has some merit and the pictures are beautiful.
From a friendly person:
We are on another yahoo news group: a Costa Rican Realtor sends some interesting stuff to us. It could provide another option for land, and inspiration to get out there and find something even better. I've seen entire islands for sale, coffee farms, beach hotels, and raw land. even the highest waterfall in Costa Rica, botanical gardens, restaurant and a gift shop with bus-stop tours.
I have been asked why I put information regarding other communities forming when we are trying to for ours. A few reasons first we might be able to work with them, join them or they join us, second they might be near enough to one of us so we might be able to see how they are starting up and get some ideas. Also we might not be "a good fit" for everyone and this gives us a chance to see what else is being offered.
1) Ted Gillem .......... TGillem@juno.com
I am really considering starting a community in my area, since I live around numerous lakes and the farmland stretches for miles. I live in Northern Indiana in a small town but located within 40 miles of two large cities and within 10 miles of smaller ones.
2) Out in Arizona:
I'm looking for a few spiritually-minded vegans or raw-fooders to join me to form a sustainable community on 40 acres in Southeastern
Arizona. I am creating Sacred Garden Sanctuary, with a core purpose: "To facilitate joy and harmony with nature". Donations are welcome but not required to participate. For more information, you can join the Yahoo group or browse the website Namaste -Ed Basye
A very easy way to give food to the hungry is to set the Hunger Site as your browser's home page. Check out the Hunger Site to see what it is about and how it works.
I believe that I want to share something. There is a company investing in "socially responsible" corporations. Citizen Funds invests in companies that meet standards relating to their treatment workers, their choice of products, how they are made, and involvement with their community
Something else as well: a long distance company, Working Assets, which may be of interest because they do allow people to free calls to representatives in Washington. As a subscriber you can have two five minute calls per day to talk to "your people: to let them know of your concerns. They also help organize donations to charitable causes and keep you apprised of events and make it easier to send letters, emails, or comments. Wendy and I had had our long distance with them for some time now. You might have an interest in learning about them as well.
Ideas for Location and other ideas:
I had a chance to speak with Jeff Orr, see above email, and he mentioned a possible area for our location the region is in California, specifically cited were the following: Chico, Yuba City, GrassValley, Penn Valley. I am thinking we should call for suggestions and run a poll on them as we have other aspects of our plan.
We also talked about the pros and cons of being a non-profit or for profit organization, again, perhaps another poll?
Please let me know what you all think of these ideas, both for or against. Dan
If you want to research intentional communities this is a good place to start.
Communities Magazine comes out regularly and is a resource for those seeking to explore communities. The directory that is a great primer in the variety of the community universe. You can write them at the address given below. This is their office address.
Communities Magazine, 138 Twin Oaks Road, Louisa VA 23093 USA or call them at: Tel/Fax: 540-894-5126. Their website is at Intentional Communities
The resources at Northwest Intentional Communities They have lists of legal documents, process advice etc.
This is a list of places seeking members, communities forming and the like. I have come across it at the F.I.C.'s website: http://elph.anu.net/reach/reachbook-all.html
It might be a place to do research, who knows there may be a place within a relatively short drive.
Web sites listing land for sale:
I cannot recall who sent these two links to me but they are a couple of places, web sites, that are interesting to look through just to see what kind of property is being sold now a days: Land and Farm and Land FSBO
Financing and Money matters
H R Baxter . firstname.lastname@example.org
We can make a simple and very effective start on our financing without consulting or meeting with others. You can open a personal account at Sunrise Credit Union and ask that they flag your account "COL" for Community of Light. The funds deposited are totally under your own control, but all of the accounts flagged COL can be tabulated to provide a group total to let us know where the group stands financially.
I have gone to the site and looked through it. It seems that it is a credit union. I would like someone who lives I their area to call them so as to save phone bills, or, if no one wants to do that could one of us can write them asking for literature to see if this does make sense for us. It could be a way for us to begin to organize our capital.
Some of us have talked about having a "communal currency", either notes or "IOUs" for trade, goods and services, or simple barter.
We wouldn't have to use any of these exclusively nor do I believe it possible to abandon the dollar for some time.
Having our own form of currency, whether it be some form of "registered IOU", a promissory note for goods and or services, it'd be something which we'd integrate into our community to facilitate trading and economic cooperation. It might be that we'd have some form of printed certificates that would "be good for a number of hours of work, or certain other goods that a given community member would offer up for "sale".
Also barter would be something we could make use of. Each would be able to underwrite their own "value" by their actions, their word, and "following through." Barter could be a win win win with if both parties and the community benefits. One idea that I've heard of is the use of witnesses for a given bargain and that the bargain is spelled out by and for witness(es) so that disagreements can be ameliorated.
These are not the only possibilities. What I think we might want to consider is how any system we set up works for us to create a " free trade zone" within our community. It should encourage cooperation, coordination, efficiency and build wealth for us all.
My yahoo ID is available for use as a means to chat online. I am willing to schedule a time(s) during a given month where we could chat. Right now the suggestion is that we be on line on Sunday's in the afternoon or perhaps the PM. Several of us are trying to do this now, all are invited.
If you are a member of our Yahoo group you can access the current polling data, or vote: this is the link to our group This is what we have at "press time" 6/24/04
Would you consider having the community based outside of the United States?
the U.S. preferred 1 depending
on country chosen 3 Neutral
- no preference 0 would
but not first choice 4 NOT
consider outside U.S. 3
Outside the U.S. preferred
depending on country chosen
Neutral - no preference
would but not first choice
NOT consider outside U.S.
Should there be some kind of membership fee?
Yes 3 No 6
What kind of climate would you want to live in?
Tropical 1 Subtropical
6 Tundra 0
What land locations would you like?
Island 8 Peninsula 8 Land
bound w/coast 8 land
bound no coast 7 High
altitude 7 Low
Land bound w/coast
land bound no coast
What sorts of things would you want to use the land for?
livestock 8 Raising
feed crops 6 Hunting
9 Fishing 7 Utilitarian
crops 6 Fruit
bearing trees 12 Lumber/milling
for alt. power 12
Raising feed crops
Fruit bearing trees
Water/solar for alt. power
Would you consider a buy/sell/relationship with the outside world?
Yes 10 No 0
Take a look at this, from Walt at Windward:
In order for a relationship to be sustainable, it has to function in a way that is conducive to everyone's benefit. Not necessarily right away and not all the time, but on balance it has to be a win-win scenario.
Happiness is based on having realistic expectations. Since our expectations are relatively low, we're not hard to make happy. On the other hand, when we become satisfied that someone is an exploiter, we're not shy at all about moving them on down the road. The only handicap that we haven't been able to work with so far involves those who are hard of listening.
We do that by having two different tracks: seekers and refugees. Seekers are those people who have undertaken a quest - they're intentionally seeking a better way to live an authentic life. Refugees are folks who had to move on from where they were. They don't know where they're going, just that they couldn't stay where they were.
We ask that seekers show up for at least a month's stay, and be prepared to pay the same $400/month dues that the rest of us contribute. That amount covers food, a private place to stay, work space, basic utilities, use of the laundry facilities, internet access, and so on - just about everything that a person needs.
Refugees generally show up at our door without the proverbial pot. They too are welcome to stay for a month as we help them sort through their options - we just don't get emotionally attached to them.
The third tier folk also only stay for a few months as we help them decompress to the point where they can access some appropriate path upon which to embark in their quest for healing.
It's hard to see the point of "thousands" of people out there trying to reinvent the wheel when there are already some pretty good communities which could better fulfill their potential if all those people got involved.
The story is told of a fellow who undertook to search the world for the perfect woman. A few years later he ran into an old friend who asked how the search was going, had he found the perfect woman yet?
The seeker replied that, yes, he actually had found the perfect woman, but it didn't work out because she was looking for the perfect man, and he wasn't perfect.
So far, we haven't found any potential members who were perfect, but that's okay since we're not perfect either. Rather, each day we make sure that we make progress towards our goals, both our personal goals and our community goals, and count each such day as a success. By pursuing modest goals with great determination, we've persevered and prospered as those small successes compounded over time. With best wishes, Walt at Windward
From Barbara, a friend of mine:
May there always be work for your hands to do; May your purse always hold a coin or two; May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.