By Daniel Brady
land we seek is first found in the heart, then in the mind,
then in the world
Words to consider
News and Humor
The word from here:
My own commentary: A surprising number of persons wrote in during this period. That bodes well. I am hoping that in the course of the next few years we will find a place to call home. A community of persons, friends, neighbors, and more. I believe that it is only a matter of time before we have real possibilities to discuss.
The new contacts!
These are the newest of contacts and I want to welcome them all. I did not include complete email messages from everyone because some of the messages were quite brief and I responded in kind. On the other hand I am using the messages and inquiries I receive as a way of clarifying what the Community of Light will be like. So take a look at the letters and if you have any comment, a desire to change something or add a comment, then I will be happy to look at it and, if need be, let everyone, so far involved, vote on it.
I hope all is well.
....................No name Given
.................No name Given email@example.com
.................T. Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
....................S. Hawley email@example.com
..................J. King Cynbaddest@aol.com
....................C. king firstname.lastname@example.org
...............R. Townsend email@example.com
Trbt9@cs.com ..........................No Name Given
BrndJffrs@aol.com ....................No name Given
PMBrndJffrs@aol.com .................No name Given
firstname.lastname@example.org .................T. Morgan
email@example.com ....................S. Hawley
firstname.lastname@example.org ..................J. King
Cynbaddest@aol.com ....................C. king
email@example.com ...............R. Townsend
Just a cautionary word:
Consider yourselves welcome to write to myself and my wife, Wendy, and express your ideas about what our community should be. We are, after all, the persons who will make it up.
I imagine there are a lot of ideas out there and I know that anything that has been said here or so far in prior issues is not meant to be written in stone.
Thanks, Dan and Wendy
Letters: Received and Sent
From: Trbt9@cs.com No Name given
I'm a salaried carpenter with intentions I can do large projects .I am a tinker and come up with novel solutions to things.
I speak for a labor center that would also be a boarding facility that was totally dedicated to turning saved dollars into equity capital personally held by the clients of the facility. The first order of business is to portray the difference between a lifestyle based on renting and that on owning living quarters. My premise is that until someone has something they wish to protect there is no working base nor working with them. Only at the moment where one holds something as special does civilized life become possible.
Picture a piece of land being designed into a well landscaped trailer village and manufacturing facility. Taking one car and applying shop skills towards a gallery exhibit of modular design integrating existing mechanical properties into the fullest scope mechanical limitations would set to creating a home pod.
At this point I speak from the position of being a salaried carpenter/ foreman whose company spent $600,000 in year 2000 on labor costs meaning minimally skilled Labor requirements. I can speak for that money. I can mange such a project, I can do all the trades required
From: T. Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
I know of an island where a lady has a bunch of land and is trying to build a retreat, type commune, coop.... I am planning to go up there to work and build cabins and what not, to live off the land. She needs help, because it will take some money to get started.... like 100,000 Canadian which is 69,000 American or something like that. We plan to shoot a documentary on the making of a retreat..... Give me a yell back if interested and I will give you her e-mail address. It is incredibly beautiful there.... I will tell her about your site and have her check it out....
I wrote T. Morgan back asking for information. Although I am not necessarily interested in the area it was worth asking about the woman's project, besides some of us might be in the area, and interested enough to visit.
From: No names Given BrndJffrs@aol.com2/9/01 and PMBrndJffrs@aol.com
Hello, I am also interested in a commune based around self sufficient food production. I could not gather your location from your website but I think you're willing to move. You could purchase 500 acres for about 125,000 US in Appalachia. The area is very lush but the topography could not support agribusiness. Sounds perfect to me. Respond if you are interested
From: S. Hawley email@example.com
hello, my name is S. Hawley, preferably known as moonbeam. I have spent the past few years searching the internet for a group of people like yourselves....I am searching for a family of brothers and sisters willing to stand up and refuse to be a part of the concrete monster (city). please keep in touch.... I am very interested in what you are doing.....in love and equality....
From: Rebecca firstname.lastname@example.org
My spirit is jumping out with the excitement of finding what I am looking for. And the community listing?! wow. Have a great night. Rebecca
From: John PMkasich@earthlink.com
I am definitely interested in this type of living. I studied fine art and graphic design in college and have been working in a delicatessen all of my life. My artistic skills include drawing, designing, making art from discarded items, concept etc. My food skills include counter service, prepping, cooking, etc. send some information.
I wrote John back letting him know about the IC and hope that will have an interest in what we are doing.
From: Marcia email@example.com
"Thanks for the site suggestions. I'll check 'em out after a while. Thanks for your help." Marcia
Marcia asked for some information about us and about communities in general.
From: Julie JBA5540@prodigy.net
Hello, I'm Julie. In May 2003 I will retire from the military and am starting to research where and how I will live. I find the communal living concept very interesting. Things I would bring to the community would be horticulture and sewing/craft skills. For the past 18 years, I have had a home sewing business. This year I became a master gardener and am going to specialize in food production. Please put me on your mailing list:
Welcome to another person interested in what we are trying to do.
From TinaB PMMagdelaine21@aol.com
My name is Tina B. and I am a teacher living in Philadelphia. I have a 4 year old daughter. I am a very spiritual person and I spend at least 45 minutes a day in mindful and creative meditation. I believe that we are all One and that love is all there is.
I am currently learning how to garden organically and to can and freeze vegetables. I am also learning how to cook all manner of vegetables. I have discovered recently that I love the ritual and pleasure of making delicious food. I am also acquiring as much knowledge as I can about growing herbs and using them for medicinal purposes. I look forward to learning more about this exciting enterprise!
From: JGates PMsirius987@hotmail.com
I stumbled across your website and it caught my attention. I guess it caught my attention because I am very interested in moving out of mainstream society and into a peaceful, happy place with like-minded people. Lately I have felt myself being pulled more and more into the rat-race way of life and I want to change this. I am interested in getting information on your project and what I could do to help. Also, I think it would be a good idea to create some type of forum, where other people who are interested could meet over the web. thanks-Todd
To which I replied:
Hello, glad you stopped by at the site. I am getting ready to put up the next newsletter issue and will advise you of it when it is ready. We have had a "forum" but it seems that few take advantage of it. Interest in the idea is not gone however. We are not cohesive yet but I am faithful that something will come of this.
From: Nikki NNflutterby14@aol.com
Hello, my name is Nikki.....
I'm very interested. I'm a single mother of a nine month old boy, his name is Aden. More than anything, I want to raise my son in a place better than this. I'm currently going to school for art education. I would love to hear more about this............Nikki
To: N. and son,
Below this are a couple of links that you may or may not have checked out at my site. The first is a very brief overview of what I and some of the others have thought about. The second is a link to the newsletter that I have recently put up on the web. In that newsletter are links to an organization that is a great resource for learning about communes, they have publications, magazines and a website. You can probably find out a great deal by exploring that site. I will send you a notice of the next newsletter I create, but I usually only put out a few a year.
If you want to know anything about our plans let me know. Ask away, it helps me clarify things, or you may have ideas, suggestions and the like that might be helpful.
I hope all is well.
From: camille h. firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I am a 27 year old woman. I've lived and worked in intentional communities since I was 15; from Quaker boarding schools to squatting in the British countryside, from veggie co-ops to geodesic domes hidden in Florida swamps. Reading through some lists of communities, I came across yours. I am quite good at teaching and writing, very sensitive and caring. What are your views/practices regarding eating animals, keeping them indoors, spirituality, use of substances for recreation or ritual, organizational structure, and sexuality. Would I be expected to take my pants off to earn my keep? I must ask this because several of the intentional communities I've visited have put pressure on me to be promiscuous, while playing games with my head to make me think I was being a spoilsport by not participating. Is there public transportation to San Francisco nearby?
I wrote back to her:
What a slew of interesting questions. I did my best to answer them in the following letter. Please feel free to let me know if any of you have differing opinions or want to make suggestions. We do need to email each other, discuss, and reach consensus on some of the issues we may all face if we are ever to find our way back to the land.
I will answer the questions you pose and give you some food for thought as well.
My view on eating animals: My wife is a semi-vegetarian, (she includes fish, eggs, and dairy as part of that kind of diet). I do eat meat on rare occasions, but not pork. I understand the political, economic, social and moral aspects of diet and so does my wife. I would not, however, enforce my beliefs on others. In issues like this we'd have to come to consensus and agree on what would or would not be universal. In a community we could control who joins and who does not and, also ideally, we'd have a consensus on that, procedures, processes to evaluate a candidate.
Perhaps I should explain what we envision: we wish to have a central building for everyone's use, and individual dwelling places. So a respectable variety of persons could be members.
Spirituality, we both believe in prayer, as do some of the others on our mailing list. Faith is an important part of our lives and we would hope that it would be a part of the community that we create. However, we believe that all people find their paths to spirit in their own individual ways. There can be unity in diversity.
Recreational or ritual substances, that would also be a matter of consensus, but I don't want to be put in a position of policing other people and making demands on them. There would be a balance between the group needs and individual rights. If an individual through any act or behavior causes problems or threatens the community then the community, I would imagine, would need to take some kind of action to preserve itself. For example if a community member decided to grow "mushrooms" and sell them, the community might be put in jeopardy due to certain laws, in such a case the community would have to talk to the individual and ameliorate the danger. It would be best to avoid the presence of illegal substances.
Organizational structure: We went to LAMA Foundation a few years ago and saw how they operated their decision making process. They use consensus, and rotated jobs and responsibilities. It is more than that but it gives you an idea of what we might want to do. LAMA has been around for 25 years I believe and so it might be a good system to consider.
As to pants off, well, I can't imagine that being part of what we'd be doing, asking for, or implying.
The goal, for me anyway, is to life a life with more free time, the capacity to work from home or from the property, have less problems than my current life as well as live in a healthier way, including food, beliefs, exercise, right livelihood, and more.
Last, the disappointing part: we are forming, we have not bought land, we consist of a mailing list, some friends of ours, a few family members and we have yet to have a real sit down meeting. But we do have some persons with some capital, and although we are far from our goal, we are also far from our start.
We live in SF. We hope to move out with friends, family, and internet buddies, and find ourselves a new frontier.
I will send you a copy of the next newsletter, but I only send them out a few times a year.
Let me know if you have any other questions, concerns, thoughts, or ideas. We can always email and continue sharing information and ideas.
From: Jeff email@example.com
I like the ideas put forth in your site, but I have a few more questions. Is there any specific religious alignment? I myself am agnostic. Do you have a set of bylaws written, or a framework formed for them? What about the sharing of assets that I've heard mentioned elsewhere? Are your motivations sustainability? eco-based? lifestyle? what?
As far as what I can bring to the table, I'm afraid not much in the monetary sense. I can do just about anything, though. I have farming roots, carpentry and construction skills, 15 years of business experience, and an immense amount of useless information locked in my gray matter. I love to teach.
Good luck, and keep me informed on how things progress. I am located in the San Diego area, and can highly recommend the area for it's pleasant weather, and tolerance. I would also recommend Northern Arkansas for it's breathtaking beauty and rich farmland. The prices are good, too.
To which I replied:
We have no set agenda with regard to religion. We do have a sense of the spiritual nature of people and the universe in general. With regards to mind sets in general, we'd prefer diversity overall. We have no bylaws written although that could evolve out of the original members of a formed community. The only public documentation that exists are the newsletters that are on the Community of Light's home page on my site. These cover ideas on governance, ideals, essentially as I have answered questions my responses have become a "living" document of what we might do or not do.
In this regard the sharing of assets, buy in's, membership fees and the like we have no formal agreement as to such. We are a group of persons connected solely through the internet. That kind of executive decision would have to wait until a formal agreement is drawn up, which would take place after we have met and certainly after we have enough declared assets and interest so as to warrant serious consideration of a specific project. I would hope, to bring matters to a close, that we would have a managed form of consensus building. Certainly a team/cooperative management would stand a better chance at success than a typical business or corporate structure.
Don't apologize for not having funds, skills are certainly a valuable asset. So is work and I assume that, if we ever get this venture off the ground, there will be plenty of that to go around, for a long time.
I am not envisioning this as a retirement gig. I want more free time to spend as I see fit or profitable, a set of good neighbors, a community that I am glad to live in, and a livelihood that serves the best interests of everyone. A place from which a new form of human society might grow to enhance the general human community. That puts it in the most glowing of terms, but I believe that in most persons minds that is what "getting back to the land" and "community" mean. Neighborliness knows no bounds, as I like to say.
Let me know what you think.
We have a well wisher. I am willing to try this and will will begin the day that I send this. Maybe if we all did this we could find a way through. Thanks Robin
From: Robin ROBINADAMSLOVE@aol.com
I would like to add my version of a million dollar donation. Please create in your mind the perfect picture of how you expect this community to appear. This picture should always contain you with a very happy, joyful look upon your face, a basic feeling for the layout, geography, etc. (Don't let the left brain go nuts! Allow the right brain to create. If you have achieved perfect brain balance, I honor thee, master.)
Most significant in this very real work is that you condition yourself to absolutely not bring in any doubt, thoughts that would in anyway create static in this picture. Do not try to figure out how it can work and most particularly ALLOW. Allow no negative thought such as not being able to see how it could work.
I am a stranger, but not really. This is part of the nature of my work in which I experience many miracles greater than this. Trust. Hold this vision with clarity each night for at least one minute before sleep, for at least one week. Also, when you have set this into motion , share this vision with all interested parties. When we combine our energy in this laser focus on this project, please then release the how-to's from your mind and simply allow. Do not let doubt creep in. My blessings to your dream.
This is a magazine that comes out regularly and it is a resource for those seeking to explore the life in a commune. The directory that they have is a great primer in understanding the variety of life out in the community universe. You can write them at the address given below. I realize this is not the same address that I have given before but 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
I still recommend this as a resource.
Some of you may have received this email already, but for the benefit of those who have not, this is a brief letter that contains links to a website with some interesting resources and ideas. I have been to it a few times just to do some reading up on new ideas or news having to do with communities.
You might find the resources on the Northwest Intentional Communities site to be valuable. There are lists of legal documents, process advice, how to find people, etc. They can be found at:
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 for some of you to do research and get a good impression of what is available in your area.
Community of Light
We want to co-create with others a community in a rural area, grow a portion of our own food, create a profitable cottage industry, and thereby be self employed. We want to respect the land that we live on and engage in right livelihood. We also want to contribute to the society of the world and so our over all purpose would be to benefit our immediate community as well as our society in general. Ideally we would want to be near enough to a town of no more than approximately 10,000 or so, so that we could barter, or provide services in exchange for income or to network with and within.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Address: http://www.creativeideasforyou.com/commune_land.html
From this letter it looks as though a few of our associates have found something to their heart's content. I wish them well since it seems they have found something worthwhile.
From: J. and P. Simpson email@example.com
Peggy and I have found a small plot of land on the Wakulla River in Fla. its only 5 acres but it is beautiful, in that N. Fla. live oak and palm tree swampy kind of way. the river is crystal clear as it is just a few miles down stream from one of the deepest springs in the world ,Wakulla springs, with over 185 thousand gal a min., coming out the land is near the coast just 3 miles up stream from the small coastal town of St. Marks. and a few more to the Gulf proper. We are now putting all our efforts into acquiring this land, and selling our homestead here in Ga. I guess Ill just retire and fish my last days out there, I hope. please keep mailing me stuff as I want to know how your dream progresses. We may get out that way again.
Peace, Love , and all the old virtues of the 60's be with you
Jim and Peggy
PS. to take a look at our progress there, I'm starting to post some river pictures on my page , under Wakulla. take a peek if you have the time
Email Address Links
Click to send emails!
No, no location as of yet
We do not have a location set as of this time. When people ask that is generally what I tell them. However Scot should check out the word in the column above, he may find what he wants!
From: Scot firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I ask where you are considering your community? I live in the Columbia Gorge of Washington/Oregon area, and this is where I would like to stay for now. My wife and I are looking for land for a community right now but are looking for more members.
From: J. King email@example.com
I found you through the IC (Intentional Communities) web site. I've long thought about and have been looking, at least in cyberspace, for such a place as you describe. I would like up to date information on any participants, and the geographical region selected, My own preference would be NY ,Ontario, PA, NH, VT. What would I need to 'buy' in?
I wrote back saying that we had not specifically come to any agreement on a location. We have not talked over much about that. I believe that I told him that buying in has not been done yet. That I wanted to wait until we had obtained, as a group, a capital investment aggregate of some 2 million dollars. I have estimated that we are about an eighth of the way to that figure but then hardly anyone has let me know what they have so this figure may be very, low.
From: C. King Cynbaddest@aol.com
Hello, my name is Cynthia. I'm not really sure about a commune, but I am interested in being in a social structure more suited to my morals and concerns. I have a child who is 6. Of course I am looking for a place that is suitable for the two of us. I live in California, and I'm interested in something either here or not much farther than New Mexico. I have no idea where you are interested in regards to a location, but I would be pleased to correspond by email a bit to see what this is all about. As far as my assets are concerned I have some savings that is growing currently through investments. I am a little apprehensive to talk about my finances until I know more about your ideas.
Thanks for your time and I hope I will hear more from you, sincerely
In part, I wrote back to her saying the following:
I also live in California with my wife Wendy in San Francisco. We are both teachers and have artistic interests. We have thought about New Mexico as well, however, a location has not been chosen. We are, more or less, in the talking stage. I understand being uneasy about disclosing personal or financial information, we would not be doing anything like that until we are much farther on in what we are trying to do and a good amount of trust has been established. However, at some point, we will all have to "talk turkey" and put our "cards on the table" or show those cards we are willing to show. I say this because planning is going to be a big part of our beginning this venture. That said, I will add that the time for disclosure is not at hand, by far.
Ideally I would like each person/couple/member to have their own dwelling space and some land around it. At the same time I'd like to have a large communal hall, and a business that is "homemade" and affords us all an income and more free time than we have now. I say this because I want to be able to pursue the interests and activities that make life worth while.
Forrest Gump dies and goes to heaven. He is met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter. St. Peter says, "This place is filling up so fast we've had to begin giving an entrance exam to get in. The test I have for you is only three questions:
1) What days of the week begin with the letter 'T'?
2) How many seconds are there in a year?
3) What is God's first name?"
St. Peter gives Forrest time to think over the questions. Soon St. Peter says, "Tell me your answers. First, what days of the week begin with the letter 'T'?" Forrest says,"Well, the first one is easy. That would be Today and Tomorrow."
Startled, the Saint remarks, "Forrest! That's not what I was thinking of! Hum. But you do have a point. I'll give you credit for that answer."
"How about the next question? How many seconds in a year?" Forrest answers, "Twelve."
St. Peter says, "Twelve? How could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?" Forrest says, "Gotta be twelve: January second, February second, March second . . . . "
"I see your point," St. Peter replies. "I'll give you credit for that one, too. Let's go on with the next and final question. Can you tell me God's first name?" Forrest replies, "Andy."
St. Peter responds, "I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but how in Heaven's name did you come up with the name 'Andy' as the first name of God?" "That was the easiest one of all," Forrest quips. "I learned it from the song . . .
Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own . . . ."
The lesson: THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW. Just because another person doesn't see things the same way or understand the same way that you do, does not mean his or her view is wrong.
Source: Internet, author unknown, as reprinted in GNOMEN, The Newsletter of Greater Northstate (California) Mensa, March 2001, Vol. 17, No.3.
Words of Wisdom:
The following is a bit of good advice, and that is something we can all use from time to time. It is attributed to none other than the Dalai Lama himself. It is worth reading and costs little to try out.
This is what The Dalai Lama has to say on the millennium, all it takes is a few seconds to read and think. Do not keep this message. The mantra must leave your hands within 96 hours. You will get a very pleasant surprise. This is true even if you are not superstitious.
Instructions for Life in the new millennium from the Dalai Lama:
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
Respect for self....Respect for others and....Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
0-4 people....Your life will improve slightly.
5-9 people....Your life will improve to your liking.
9-14 people....You will have at least 5 surprises in the
next 3 weeks.
15 people and above....Your life will improve drastically and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to take shape.
The last emailer that arrived, just in time:
From: HHicks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, I probably should have included this in my previous email. As I was going through you old newsletters I had some more thoughts. I really like the idea of people in their individual homes centered around a mtg. hall. (I suppose if some people wanted to build homes together, they could, but I think we would do better with some space that is our own.) The hall could have extra bedrooms for guests, a large kitchen for group dinners, possibly area for a small school, area for a library, etc. I also like the idea that people could "buy in" to have some equity. I do believe that every member should have equal "votes" in any decision process, regardless of how much they have bought in. Sorry for being so long winded, I know none of this is that original. I just wanted to let you know where we are coming from.
Thanks for the speedy reply! I guess I left out some important things in my letter, if it is to be used in a newsletter: you could print something like this: Hi, my name is Heather. I am 29. My husband Joe is 30. We have 2 sons and would be very interested in starting some sort of co-op school or group home schooling eventually. We would love to hear from others on the list with children.
We are very interested in Earthships and similar ways of self-sufficient building. We would hope to live in the Western United States. We find the idea of ecovillages and the like to be very exciting. My husband has some experience with carpentry and is an all-around handy sort of guy. I am going to be a doctor in a few months, and would need to live near a hospital.
One of the things that really excite us about communal living are getting away from the consumerism that is so prevalent in are mainstream culture. We don't have much money to contribute now, but as I complete my training, that will change.