So far, so good. If this headline had survived for a second in your focus and you are starting to read, we will celebrate together a victory over cancel culture at the end of this post. So far, so good. You might thought about it as nonsense is the aim or as every aim / goal is nonsense or senseless at all. We are talking about intentional communities and especially the moment of creation. And we are talking about needs, expectations and perception.
This post – in a line with several others [1|2|3] – is based on a open question “Howto move from survival mode to wholeness?” pointed out in a Jubilees video podcast.
Our community FamiliaFeliz is flooded by requests since we published this website five years ago. In the early times it was more frequently a student or wwoofer, who asked for a shorter and cheap visit to help in the garden, in construction or in some other projects we organised around informal education and community building. Since the beginning of 2020 there are much more singles and single mothers with kids searching for a new and alternative life. Also couples or whole families with one, two, three or more children are asking for conditions to join our community project.
In the beginning it was not a matter of money or there was no economical need to find another home or to move from a city to the countryside. Now it looks as it becomes more and more urgent to find a safe haven, expecting a kind of escalation in winter 2020.
I asked myself what is survival mode and how i might be able to identify it in all this requests, even the question if there is evidence in these requests that people shifting in this desperate mode of reptiles and just focused on surviving need verification.
Many of these single mothers are showing up with a very clear set of conditions they had already defined before a first call. They are browsing through their check lists and at the same time they are listening carefully in these interviews for any sign of weakness, uncertanty, risk. Already trapped in a society which promote the family, but if it occurs, it had become more and more a private coop with little public support. And in case of these single mothers even the male has been lost on the way.
A lot of young tourists and wwoofers also get trapped far from home and where searching for a shelter in spring of 2020.
All this is very human and no reason to judge or belittle. It is just a fact and reality in these times and also a consequence of contemporary identy politics.
Think about two different people trying to enter community. One of them has the money or resources to always know they can feed himselve. The second person does not always know if he can get all his food needs every week. These two people might have different expectations, or desires, about what a community might be like, what it might provide, what they can offer.Daniel – panalist in Jubilees video podcast
We know from other community designs that inviting and exploiting a visitor is very common. But even if the community has a more holistic view on looking at people it might favor the wealthier person in times of a social break down and an upcoming economical melt down.
It’s easy to imagine different people with different needs and different priorities searching for communities. If you ask each person about the optimum (s)he will define a different design of a community. So far, so good.
If you ask this searching person about the number of identified communities, providing all what’s on the list and with the right priority, the answer is mostly zero. So far, so good.
If you ask them about the expected probability of finding such an optimal community, the answer is: very low. So far, so good.
If finally I asked them, after talking 2 hours by phone about our community design, values, priorities and conditions, why they don’t give a try to one of the communities they already identified before this call, the answer is mostly the same: “I wanna search more to find a better one...!” So far, so good.
Therefore many people are searching now and they are creating a massive overhead of communication towards the interface of each community.
We see two main versions of communities, one is based on a common goal. If some people identify such a goal and others searching for the same, sometimes they are able to gather and unite and cooperate to reach this goal. Most of the times its done after reaching the goal, or, its done before because they realize that they have to deal in the group process with much more than only being focused on that goal.
The other version of communities is not established through members looking for a goal or any specific and maybe missed ressource at all. These communities are born by the enjoyment of the common. They have no aim, no goal, no target – on the level of the community.
If it is a classical company it might be created by exploring the maximum of benefit for the shareholder by opimizing for a minimum of costs to produce this benefit. If every employee experienced himself as a tiny company as well he will act in the same way. Funny to see them walking on the same path by complaining that they have to work so hard for so little benefit. The shareholder complains about deregulation and limited access to the open market by limiting the same in the best way internaly. The employee complains about the pressure inside and the bad labor conditions by serving exactly an entity which does so.
If you compare this two principal designs – and you can switch easy from company to community – you might asked yourself why so many Game A like communities can exist and so few of type B. It is about the human mankind and it’s ability to lie to herself/himself. Therefore you also find many intentional communities which are providing the illusion of any kind of problem-solving. Inserting a problem in your mind you do not have and offering an affortable solution moves you to the leading class of community designs.
Some of the requests for joining our community are motivated by people charged with bad experience from other communities before.
I must leave the system! I need to rest! I want to be self-sufficient! – Many of this we listen again and again. The uncomfortable answer to this: Leave the planet. Stop searching. Hermit might fit.
One of the big myths in western societies is still, that you are an individual as a human being and that happiness is based in individual skills and cleverness. In a worldwide competition it looks like that happiness is a tradable good and money a tool to gather it.
Be effective, be efficient – which is not the same by the way – and focus of what makes sense. Parents, friends, teachers and the whole society is hacking the brain in repeating this dogma of sense.
I had once a talk with an australian language teacher. He visited and contributed to our community several times in the last years. He is working only (!) 6 weeks per year at an university to teach english for new students. The rest of the year he is traveling, reading, talking, moving around and interested in a lot of things. He complained bitterly that his family thought he was a good-for-nothing and that his father accused him of only doing nonsense. I told him, this would be the greatest praise for me, if somebody is identifying me by doing nonsense. Only a person able to do nonsense is a free person.
A community for purpose might lead to endless discussions how to reach the goal or how to re-invent another. The basic rule in neoliberalism “privatize benefit and socialize losses” is from the view of a Game B likely community nothing with favor.
So a lot of times there is another question for the person asking for the community: Why do you think a community would solve any of your problems? The answer is a lot of times: Because i can give the community also something! So far so good. Therefor we have COOPs or companies. So far, so good.
In FamiliaFeliz we are following an old knowledge about the people/surface – ratio in Europe to live in such a way on a piece of land that we can use it for our own life time and we can handle it over to a new gerneration in the same or in a better quality. The ratio is in south Europe 15.000 square meter per person. So we offer a new member 1,5 ha land, a room to stay in the house of the dragon and the ressources we gathered already, all this, without asking for an initial investment or very specific skills.
You might asked yourself why FamiliaFeliz is not – flooded by requests and therefore – growing fast. The answer is simple. We do not provide security, we do not provide sense and most of all, we are not lying to people about setting such goals or meaning.
Every unique member might have his goals, as much as his needs, fear, anger, sadness, happiness and peace, the community – as an entity – has nothing of this.
At the beginning God gave every people a bowl and from this bowl they drank life.Digger Indians, America
Whoever God might be in this quote, we learn, that every people – a kind of community – already exists before the beginning, and that life appears after drinking it in a common practice.
And that’s the clou. If somebody want to join a community because he want to offer a deal, to give something to this community and to receive a solution for his challenge, it will not work. Beside the fact that he will later give something to some members of the community but never to the community, the community is not an entity like a company and therefore no contracter.
If somebody want to join a community because he is curious about solutions coming out of a crowd self-policed by swarm intelligence and solving unpredictable challenges for it’s members in the future…. so far, so good.