land we seek is first found in the heart, then in the mind,
then in the world
The Word, Letters, Introductions, Humor
I have been busy. It seems that the September newsletter was completely missed and the one meant for June, well, it was made but I failed to put it up. That just goes to show how chaotic things have been. I would not have believed it.
There was some discussion in the Yahoo group regarding this issue:
"We have becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the business motivations that people have for wanting to form an IC. In fact, the idea of dealing with people who come into the communities movement who have business agendas scares and angers us. It is so different from what we see is our ideal in the type of relationships we would like to create and share with others in an IC setting.
How people can form relationships that bond when they organize their ICs around business premises is beyond us. It just seem more like what a mainstream real estate capitalist would try to do in the communities movement in order to make money off of people who long for true community in their lives. Something like a lonely heart club where these business types offer a service that brings lonely people together, but then these business people make money off of other people's loneliness.
It all feels very heartless and exploitive to us, and there are a lot of these types of business people emerging in the communities movement."
Part of my reply was to:
"The incentive I would suggest, because it is one that I have in mind, is the sharing of a wonderful life with friends and neighbors in a clean and healthy location with good food and plenty of it.
There is more to it than that of course, all the pragmatics, but, in essence, that is what I'd like, and the icing on the cake would be having more free time for the pursuit of happiness."
Then to there was this:
"I want to let you know that I understand what you are saying about having "business agendas" I do not plan for the Community of Light" to be a business operation. We will have activity, we will have some means of keeping the community vibrant enough so that each of us can afford to obtain what we need or what the community needs. I would hope that we could barter or trade with neighbors for goods and or services. I would prefer that we have some "home" or cottage style occupations" that create a surplus we then use to forward the purpose we've set ourselves.:
"I do not foresee running a bed and breakfast for "eco tourists" or the creation of a small kind of manufactory producing some geegaw sold in stores far and wide. Persons may have their crafts, their trades, their professional skills and by combining efforts we become our own lifeboat and we'll take in those who are seeking a better life. We'll probably wind up with a patchwork of activities both communal and individual"
And this too:
"We are sorry to learn how others find it difficult to understand the differences between what the business and power minded are saying community is, and what the old fashioned communitarians have said intentional community life is all about. People want to assimilate themselves and others into the idea of IC living as a viable option for their future, but they do not want to abandon those social agreements which are the very reason why it is they seek the IC alternative in the first place.
What we have done with all our posts on the topics of IC life, goals, values and idealism, is to share with others somewhat of our experiences in trying to initiate an IC. These have all been attempts to educate others about what it is they are up against when and if they ever try to live in or initiate an IC. We admit, this information is bias to our personal experiences, however, are we so totally sure of ourselves in the communities movement where we can dismiss various parts of it, and what these parts have uniquely experienced and want to contribute?"
"We welcomed your responses as they gave us the supportive feedback that was closest to the issues we were trying to point to that exists in the IC movement.
The business minds in our ICs feel that their logic behind the need for sound business practices cannot be faulted, and anyone who tries to say there is a problem there has something wrong in their head. There is one thing that Ayn Rand said in her books that was drawn to our attention (but, we are not fans of her books). Her statement that "There is a certain Buddhic calm when one has money in the bank" is something every business mind understands.
In the communities movement as it has evolved today there are many in these who do not feel there is a problem in this area that needs to be discussed because they have this Buddhic calm about this issue revolving around money, and the controlling of it from their abilities to function well in the business worlds.
However, our issue has been on what happens to those who find themselves in ICs which are run by the business minds? This is becoming an all too common occurrence, and people invested in these communities believing in the old fashion reasons for joining others in an IC only to find that the business minded folks, and their sense of what community is, have taken over their dreams of true community.
People seek bonds with others when they join an IC, and these bonds have been supplanted by the business minded with what we call pseudo community. When people run their communities like businesses, and not as if they are social organizations where people are in relationship with one another and want quality relationships with their fellow communitarians, then we have the dysfunction's that we are talking about.
The question that we are asking the business minded is do they really want to live in an intentional community where they are in close relationship with others, or do they want something else? If they want something else then why are they in the communities movement? Why not be honest and hang out with those others like themselves in the business worlds and let those who want to create and live in community have that opportunity?"
There are lots of issues in this area to discuss and perhaps, once we finish making our "mission statement" then we can take up these issues.
Season's best to everyone
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.
There are a lot of ideas that we've discussed but I want everyone to know that what is or has been in issues are meant as working concepts. This whole idea is a work in progress and so let us know what you think.
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: email@example.com
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.
V Wardlaw .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. Yes, please put me on your contact list for monthly mail out. I suspect that is via email!
I look forward to participating &endash; kind regards
The following person would like to join the CommunityOfLight group:
xochitao .......... email@example.com
Comment from user:
I am a person of like mind. I am pursuing sustainability and permaculture as a dedicated focus, and am interested to see and hear what you have created here.
"firekeeper38" . firstname.lastname@example.org firekeeper38
In the spirit of building a sustainable world I am sending on info and links to a conference here in Texas at the Blackwood institute. The list of speakers is incredible and will be valuable to anyone who can make it.
We've no forwarded information at the time of this issue.
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.
"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key
You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.
"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!
But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?
You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.
But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!
So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.
You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!
You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!" May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That's why you pay them.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let your brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets,keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9 Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
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.
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 on the Northwest Intentional Communities site might be valuable. There are lists of legal documents, process advice etc. They're at: http://www.ic.org/nica/resource.htm
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.
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. I am thinking that a Saturday or Sunday would be the best time overall, however I am open to suggestions. Please advise.
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"
Would you consider a location outside the United States?
the U.S. preferred 2 10%
on country chosen 5 26%
- no preference 2 10%
but not first choice 6 31%
consider outside U.S. 4 21%
Outside the U.S. preferred
depending on country chosen
Neutral - no preference
would but not first choice
NOT consider outside U.S.
Should we have a membership fee of some kind?
of entering members 4 25%
making capacity of the community 12 75%
Income of entering members
Money making capacity of the community
If we had an entry fee what should it be based upon?
of entering members 0 0%
of entering members 2 14%
making capacity of the community 2 14%
Other 2 14%
share buying system 8 57%
Number of entering members
Income of entering members
Money making capacity of the community
A share buying system
Areas or regions we'd like to consider: (See the site for details)
NM, W. Texas 0 0 Cent.
US: NB KS OK DA 0 0 G.
Lakes, AK, MO, IL, IN,WI, KY, TN 1 8% E. KY, E. TN, WVA,
W.VA, W.,PA, 2 16% G.
Coast, FL, LA, MS, AL 0 0 E. PA, NY, NH, VT,
CT, RH ME, MD 0 0 N.
Idaho 0 0 NW/W OR, W.
WA, 6 50% CA, NV, UT, E. OR,
E, WA, MT, CO, Wy 3 25%
AZ, NM, W. Texas
Cent. US: NB KS OK DA
G. Lakes, AK, MO, IL, IN,WI, KY, TN
E. KY, E. TN, WVA, W.VA, W.,PA,
G. Coast, FL, LA, MS, AL
E. PA, NY, NH, VT, CT, RH ME, MD
NW/W OR, W. WA,
CA, NV, UT, E. OR, E, WA, MT, CO, Wy
What kind of climate would you want to live in?
% Tropical 1 4% Subtropical
5 22% Forest
7 31% Woodland/meadow
9 40% Tundra 0 0%
What land locations would you like?
% Island 14 19%
Peninsula 11 15%
bound w/coast 14 19%
bound no coast 11 13.04%
altitude 13 17%
altitude 10 13%
Land bound w/coast
land bound no coast
What sorts of things would you want to use the land for?
17 13% Raising
livestock 13 10% Raising
feed crops 10 7% Hunting
6 4% Gathering
14 10% Fishing 13 Utilitarian
crops 10 7% Fruit
bearing trees 20 15% Lumber/milling
4 3% Water/solar
for alt. power 21 16%
Raising feed crops
Fruit bearing trees
Water/solar for alt. power
Would you consider a buy/sell/relationship with the outside world?
% Yes 20 100%
No 0 0%
A Beautiful Flower in a Broken Pot
Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.
One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.
Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning.
He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."
I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.
He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.
At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.
He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home.
Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again. And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning.
As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 am and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.
In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.
Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.
When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.
"Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.
I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.
Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me
her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!"
My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the Garden."
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body"
All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b) Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. .... Pass this on, and brighten someone's day.
If you DO pass it on, that someone might smile (because of you). Make someone smile today!