Copyright: 09/2003
By Daniel Brady and Wendy Wolters

Community of Light's Newsletter # 19

Affirmation: The land we seek is first found in the heart, then in the mind, then in the world !


The Word, Letters, Introductions



News, Subscribers, Humor


The word from here:

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 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 town of no more than approximately 50,000 or so, a college community. We could each use our talents, abilities, or professions to provide for ourselves as well as whatever "cottage industry" would be.

Consider yourselves welcome to email us to express your ideas about what our community should be. We are, after all, the persons who will make it up.

First, a minor alert. I have been receiving email messages from email addresses on the mailing list but clearly the messages are not from their owners, rather it appears to be a virus. If you get any email from the community and it has as its body the message: "See the attached file for details" Just dump it. I do not send attachments, I only send email with the Community of Light in the subject line.

PLEASE - use virus protection! IT'S FREE ! This is an excellent FREE anti-virus program.

One of the things I have seen in the Yahoo group is a concern voiced which had to do with where people were on a political spectrum. To some good extent that should not matter, for such concerns will be eclipsed by how well a person works with and for others. It is my opinion that those persons interested in a community would have far more in common with each other than they would with the "run of the mill" Republican or Democrat.

Egalitarianism has been brought up as well. This is a term that may briefly be defined as: a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people with respect to social, political, economics rights and privileges.

Such decisions though are up to us all. Egalitarianism is a fine component of what we would want to become, but individuals differ as to talents, abilities, resources and other pertinent factors which we would not want to squander in order to keep "everyone equal" We are all individuals and so need to see each other in that light, despite labels, conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, and so forth, we need to see each other for who we all really are and first as humans, communitarians , neighbors, advisers, helpers, and assistants.

We've had a few thoughts on construction. Rammed earth, adobe, cob and hay bale, something I've hear a lot about, and have to say that, on an

Intellectual or theoretical basis all have their advantages and so we will have to see what our situation is and what is appropriate.

On a separate issue we've had some discussion of marijuana, the industrial type, hemp, used for rope and woven products, and the medicinal kind.

Both types have legal hurdles to overcome. To "go around" the system would, as someone put it, place the community, possibly, at risk. Although, to some extent I can understand the idea as part of broader intent, that of creating/growing our own medicinal culinary or other cash or harvest plants, we would all have to decide this and similar issues.

I hope there would be freedom and consensus. Decisions such have to be made by the group and be clear to all before we embark on being a group. Freedom and harmony, group and individual, rights and responsibilities all held in balance. Right now we have many ways we can go.

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: Commnity of Light

If you would like to leave a telephone message for us, you can, at this voicemail: 415-364-3045

Thanks, Dan and Wendy

Email Address:

New Contacts!

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.



E Green ..........

Thank you for providing the newsletters. Apparently the community is a group of couples and friends, where the common language is English, and there is no clearly defined spiritual path. The political info on the site is great. You found a solution. I look forward to reading more. You might be interested in the things I wrote:

Best wishes,


C Marbutt ..........

Been in contact with Owl and was wanting to learn more about the Community of Light. I'm not sure if I have your complete e-mail or not, so I will be brief. I currently live in Alabama, would like to find/build an intentional community somewhere in the South but open to other locations depending on circumstance. Look forward to hearing back form you. Sincerely Chris


HBaxter ..........

Please repost your link, and put me on your email circulation list for your quarterly newsletter.


M J Speed ..........

Hi. Put me on your list of interested potential participants. I live in the Southwest USA right now, and want to be near a larger city doing community supported agriculture in sustainable ways, or something similar. Look at the Everdale website. They are in Canada and have a home made with one wall a vertical garden. I e-mailed them to find out how they set that up--just today. I like what is on the opening page

Letters: Received

Some food for thought .......... anonymous

I just found your site. I like your general ideas, and your "spirit". It appears you have been in the preliminary stages for several years now. I see ideas all over the place from your readers and friends. Unsolicited, I have some ideas to kick start this concept into reality:

1. If you take the ideas of 50 people and distill them into something everyone can agree on, you end up with a bland, tasteless mishmash. Suggest you find, say 5 to 10 people or families that you feel a connection with and hammer out the basic shape of the community, including basic rules, and the location.

2. Don't let your vision get so big you need millions to do it. The pioneers settled this country with little money, lots of hard work, and a love of the land. Your community will succeed based on heart and hard work, not money. Start smaller using the resources you have now.

Regarding the basic communal concept: I too have dreams of a loving community working and sharing together. I have often felt alone in world of materialism and competition and long to have the association of "kindred spirits": spiritual but not dogmatic; hardworking but creative and free-spirited; open-minded but trustworthy and ethical. However, I have some experience with such communities and the reality is usually quite different. Communes usually either fail or evolve into "corporate" type entities not too different from the rest of society. Conflicts are inevitable and can be very ugly and disheartening. Also (and I think this is key), most people who dream of homesteading have competing desires: they want to associate with others that share their beliefs, but at the same time they long for peace, privacy, independence, and to have a piece of ground they can call their own.

I have an idea for a concept that combines both ideas (independence/community). I also have found an ideal area of the country (I believe it may be the last desirable but cheap land in the US.) I am planning to go there by myself if necessary but would welcome hearing from you or any others that are interested. Here is the basic concept:

The model is the early settlers. There would be a community of settlers, each with at least a small bit of their own land, and also a designated area (maybe an acre or two) that is communal. This would be "town." Town would include anything that made sense to do communally: maybe a garden (to save some of the labor of creating say 10 separate lettuce patches), cottage industries, a woodworking shop (buying expensive tools as a group makes sense), a community center for gatherings/parties/meetings, etc. Also, eventually, inexpensive or group housing for those without money to buy land who still want to try out the lifestyle. They could contribute labor instead. I see town as being populated primarily with younger people (since they usually have more energy than money), which would keep things lively and creative. But everyone would contribute some combination of money/labor to the common good; also, hopefully the

communal businesses would make some money. But individuals' other income, if any, would be their own. As new people wanted to join, they could live "in town" and work for a while, then buy their own land nearby. There would be no control over who bought nearby land (that's real life, folks), only over who officially joined the community. Decisions that need to be made (about the communal aspects only) would be made as a group, including everyone, but since those who want independence have their own homes and land, there should be less contention.

The first group of settlers would agree on the location, each purchase and begin developing their homesteads (helping and supporting each other), and also start on the "town."

There would be no need to live on adjoining tracts, but there should be ample open land available in the area. Those who want to live closer to others can live in or near "town"; those who want more independence can live farther out and come to "town" when they want companionship or just to do their communal bit of work. However, all members should have enough community spirit to be willing to pitch in when someone needs a house built, a roof fixed, a child looked after, or help due to illness. Just like the early communities of settlers.

From: Todd Shelton .........

There would be no need for a huge amount of common capital for this idea. I didn't see this link when I was reading the emails on building materials, and just today thought of it so thought I'd send it along your way, perhaps it's of some use. Extremely low cost building.


This is a group of persons trying to form a community. It may be informative to those who can get to this meeting to see what and how it is being done. This group seems to be ahead of us, they are holding meetings. Wendy and I may try to go, but are not sure of our work schedules at this time.

September 27. 11am in the morning is the time. The tiny town of Glen Ellen is the place.

That is about 45 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. You are all welcome to come who do come to Eden as a true friend does come to meet with some folks who you do have high regard for.

Bring Friends. Make your Contributions. Make some New Friends. Exchange Resources. Come Early. Stay Late. Be your Self. Share your Truth. Leave happy. Nothing is more important to us all at Eden than seeing your face! Here is a map and directions. T.

I received this, it may be an interesting material to consider for construction:

Papercrete. As a building material it is easier to handle than straw bales, but takes longer planning to get it all ready: After a long delay, the second edition of our book, "Building with Papercrete and Paper Adobe," has now been printed. At 150 pages, it contains 54 pages of new information.

All orders will be sent Priority Mail within the US, and International Priority Mail elsewhere. Postpaid prices are as follows:

BOOK. $42 US, $43 Canada, $50 rest of world VIDEO. $42 US, $43 Canada, $50 rest of world

TOTAL INFORMATION PACKAGE (book and video) $72 US, $74 Canada, $80 rest of world Foreign orders must be in US dollars; international money order preferred.

Please make check or money order out to Gordon Solberg, and mail to: Gordon Solberg 14250 N. Valley Dr. Las Cruces, NM 88007



Giving to Good Causes?

 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.


Communities Resources

If you want to research intentional communities this is a good place to start.

Communities Magazine 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. 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

You might also 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:

It might be a place to do research, who knows there may be a place within a relatively short drive.


We have nearly 90 on our mailing lists!

Email: Dan Brady



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.


Financial Matters

I have not been encouraging a discussion of money yet. It may be close to the time to consider it. My plans had been to arrange to have an anonymous declaration of assets. It could be done in this way: each person creates a new yahoo or other free email account, then we agree on what kind of statement we'd like to make. Last we'd send the statements in at the same time and we would see where we stand. In this way we could see a grand total of what our assets are, yet not know who had how much. There may be other ways of doing this, but it is also something I, we'd all like to consider.

Here is an excellent question, to which the answer is "not yet", does the Community of Light have articles of incorporation or bylaws? I wonder if anyone of us knows something of these things, has some basic information to share so that we might begin considering the issues involved with this part of our process?

Re: the property we discussed:

From Mike ...........

My name is Mike Welch. My family, Amish/Mennonite and lives in Lobelville, Tenn, Also Cain Creek---a few miles from there. Is this the property that you are considering from the Amish? If this is so, I know these people. I grew up with these people, and know MOST if not all of the families in the community there. Please e mail me or call, if this is the property call 760-753-3042, or cell ## 760-822-5222

More Letters: Received

A brief visit to this link may be worth while for some refreshing perspective.

A short intro to a group set up to create a new I.C. The files and links contain much info and all relevant additions are encouraged

This from Owl ..........

Your Friend MessengerOwl considered our site Earthship Biotecture interesting and wanted to send it to you.

Site Name: Earthship Biotecture putting housing back into the hands of the people Site URL:

From: "Lenita" ..........

I did go to website not long ago and it seems like a good idea. It's actually made up of communities I've heard of. I do like the contribution idea if one works outside of the community, or if one doesn't (or can't) work outside the community, work within the community doing things to help maintain it or support the cottage industries if we have some. I'm not sure what Dan has in mind, but those are things I think could work well. I'm not fond of the idea of full egalitarianism either.

Some Questions posed: What will the economics of this community be? Will it be an egalitarian community?

Dan replies:

An egalitarian community is one with community economy or finance. I like the idea, but not in its extreme. Allow people to have their own jobs or businesses if they so choose, but have an agreed upon contribution. There might have to be a balance between the job/business and contribution to and for the community.

An idea that we might well consider, to facilitate our making decisions: I think your right about having a core group to act as the initial policy making body. It's great to get all folks opinion but some decisions will have to be nailed down eventually even if they are just on group identity. Democracy is great but trying to appease everyone will only result in a quagmire!

This is an interesting site with lots of reading on what we call sustainability, see the community sustainability assessment.

From: Lenita ..........

I have a strong concern for some environmental issues too. One of my goals is to live in an intentional community that has eliminated the need for fossil fuels and wants to use building materials that minimize the use of old forest wood.

From: Dan

I agree with the reduction and then elimination of fossil fuels. I say that because we'd have to wean ourselves from our use of cars as we know them, go electric for example, and develop solar power, wind power, or water power for our needs. All doable, all reasonable.

I like the idea of recycled building materials. There are places in my region that do such work as deconstructing houses for parts and materials, we could do the same to some extent.

From ......... Anderson .........

A chief concern for any location must be accessibility to water. The AZ site concerns me because of the springs. I don't know much about the aquifer in that area of the southwest, but I'd want to be sure it wasn't being tapped by other entities in the nearby area that could deplete it severely, such as irrigated farms, growing cities etc. That info could probably be provided by the seller but info from an independent source would be better. Other than that concern, I like the AZ site. I'm not for going out of the US just to avoid having to deal with legal issues etc. in a foreign country. Would like to see things be as uncomplicated as possible.

From .......... Kraig Mottar ..........

Subject: Re: Membership fee polls Here are some of my ideas on this:

How about worker owned businesses, and this could be combined with residency. And how about a self-contained economy or currency type of system. Of course people who want to keep one foot in coin of the realm could. People probably aren't like to abandon coin of the realm so suddenly

Looking over some land? Our Yahoo site: photos!

Some good information on a land offering: Photos and everything

As for relative location: Birmingham - 25 m, High School: 5 m, Shopping centers small & large: 5 m, Convenience store: 2 1/4 m, School bus / mail / cable TV / garbage disposal & fire dept. serve property. We have fire hydrants. Located at dead end 1 1/4 miles off the main road. About 30 min. from Birmingham, Birmingham has a large medical community and several colleges. Much construction here but we are losing jobs, just like everyone else. 15 minutes to the freeway but it is so quiet.  

 One idea I am in favor of is to move onto the 73 acres and build a "longhouse" situation. I don't know how familiar you are with Polynesian-style societies but they live in a communal "Long (large) House" and the community builds individual houses for the members as they can. It is a barn-raising situation - very practical - providing a space to live for everyone while building a village.

To keep us together, working as equals, I suggest that we develop the land as a large estate to be sold to an individual as a "mini-farm" or estate. The proceeds would then fund a move to anywhere in the world we might want to go.

 Even if we just built it into a subdivision it should yield over two million dollars for a future move. I just don't want to give up something I have worked so hard to pay for without a clear understanding of our group's "dream situation" and what everyone else is going to contribute.

  It is imperative for us to meet and get acquainted. A Rainbowtribe gathering would be an ideal situation but our own gathering at park campground would allow everyone freedom to meet & greet without anyone having to feel like the burdened host.

 What do you think?John C.

I posted some pictures of the land in Alabama at the Yahoo site. Go here, sign in, and click on the Photos link on the left.

From .......... Anderson ..........

I've got a book on straw bale housing and know that the IC Dancing Rabbit has built several of these successfully--and they have to endure snowy Midwest winters. When completed the exteriors can look "normal", like "regular" houses, if that is of concern to some. I'm planning a visit to DR next May (was going to try to go this fall but knee surgery intervened and I had to postpone the visit.)

From ......... Lenita ..........

Replying to Owl's posting of this great site I've been reading on eco-friendly building options and I've been wondering if there were a cement alternative that could be considered and that could very well be it! Thanks for posting.