|Our own canned-goods.|
We have gleaned the best of Chris' extensive living experience in two different communities that shared 'all things common' (close to 15 years). Here is the vision that we are living into: Note: This is how we imagine it to be...Much of this is still in the vision stage.
Imagine yourself arising each morning with the enthusiasm of a child, eyes popping awake, eager to begin your day. You are living in a village of people: adults, elders and children. Each person has a place: a way to contribute that calls forth their gifts and skills. We live as a large extended family and demonstrate a lifestyle that is environmentally friendly and meets all of our basic needs.
Our community is set up around many simple ecologically-sound cottage industries. We make things with our hands, grow things in the garden, offer classes to the surrounding community-at-large and create publications and documentaries of our life together so that others may learn and apply our experience towards living lightly on the planet. Our urban branches manage restaurants and shops, classrooms and clubs providing venues for our products and services and income for the community. Community members are free to circulate amongst our branches and serve in the environment that calls forth their best.
We live in a spirit of joyful service. Each gives ‘according to ability and receives according to need.’ No one receives any wages for their input and yet all ones’ basic needs are met. We live as a large, ‘chosen’ family; drawn together through shared values and beliefs. We are always looking for ways to give because we are grounded in the knowledge that whatever we give is given to ourselves.
We are set up with “schools of experience.” Each of these areas (cottage industries, gardening, mechanic shop, cooking and grounds maintenance etc) is directly linked to the success of our community and provides internship opportunities for members (and the public) to apprentice in the arts of sustainable living. If you, as a member, have a teachable skill, you might be called to facilitate a particular area of the community. At another time you might prefer to be on the learning side of things and allow yourself to be mentored in an area you have less skill or knowledge about. In order to develop a well-rounded understanding of how the puzzle pieces fit together to create the full picture, we are encouraged to circulate amongst the different schools as apprentices. We share in the mindset that all we do is an expression of our creativity and is done in a spirit of service whether it is cleaning, cooking, auto-mechanics, gardening or any of the other “schools of experience.”
Our physical environment is kept safe and orderly and clutter-free. We use environmentally conscious practices to build and maintain our buildings and grounds. We use recycled and re-purposed materials whenever possible. An attitude of artistic expression and mindfulness is brought to the creation and maintenance of all structures and the land we steward. By pooling our skills and resources we live in an atmosphere of prosperity and abundance (though with an elegantly simple feeling.)
We share all things in common. This means that each of us has put a full commitment into participating in the community-on a financial, emotional and material level. We embody the spirit of “all for one and one for all.”
Our lifestyle, dress and way of being are all conducted in a way to reach the broadest possible audience. It is our intention to be an easily duplicated model so that others can emulate our example and live a life of companionship, meaning and service. We aim to address our most basic physical needs while at the same time addressing those less tangible, but just as necessary spiritual/emotional needs. We offer an alternative to ‘business as usual’ but in a way that doesn’t create a dynamic of opposition, competition or ‘counter culture.’