Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community

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But now, escalating climate change, peak oil, and the need to radically reduce our carbon consumption dictate that this unsustainable way of life cannot continue. We must relearn the art of community building and conflict resolution. Beyond You and Me offers skills in communication, conflict resolution, leadership, facilitation, and consensus decision making, and an inspiring perspective on solving global problems.

Written by an international group of social and ecological pioneers, it includes the voices of Marshall B. The Four Keys represent the four dimensions of sustainable design—the Worldview, the Social, the Ecological, and the Economic. She is also deeply involved in Gaia Education www. Robin Alfred worked as a trainer, educator and social work manager for fifteen years in London before moving in to Scotland, where he founded the Findhorn Consultancy Service. Robin is trained in a wide variety of approaches to personal and organizational development, including: Appreciative Inquiry, the Frameworks for Change Coaching Process, Process Work, Spiral Dynamics, and Tools for Corporate Transformation.

See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Usually ships within 1 week. Overview Beyond You and Me is the first volume in the Four Keys to Sustainable Communities series and is a practical anthology for anyone seeking to rebuild existing fragmented villages and communities, establish new group enterprises and ecovillages, and heal the wounds of conflict and social division. Product Details About the Author. Average Review. We must relearn the art of community building and conflict resolution. Beyond You and Me offers skills in communication, conflict resolution, leadership, facilitation, and consensus decision making, and an inspiring perspective on solving global problems.

Written by an international group of social and ecological pioneers, it includes the voices of Marshall B. The Four Keys represent the four dimensions of sustainable design—the Worldview, the Social, the Ecological, and the Economic. First Name:. Send Message. Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures. A healthy community reflects a universal order, with which we can then connect easier. It is through this connection that a functioning community gets its high field-creating power. A natural community is similar to an organism, and the individual people and groups are its organs.

The organs of a healthy organism have different tasks and functions; the liver acts different from the kidney and the brain acts different from the heart, and yet they all belong to the same organism. When living in such an organism, people gradually stop living according to principles of comparison and competition, and start living according to principles of supplementing and supporting each other.

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The system could not function otherwise. When the first humans enter into this state of community again and start thinking and acting based on this connection, this will have a high healing impact on the morphogenetic field of humanity. In a living community, peace knowledge is developed. We learn the laws of universal peace by learning the universal rules of community. The Morning Attunement — a daily gathering in the Aula of Tamera It is believed that they are not compatible with a developed individuality. It is one of the core beliefs of the whole Western world, that individuality and collective are two irreconcilable opposites.

In reality the situation is much more complex. Nature does create collectivist communities, in which the individual hardly plays any role at all herds of animals, etc. But nature also creates communities, in which the developmentof ahighlyspecificindividualisaprerequisiteforthefunctioning of the whole biotope, etc. If people today resist communities, then they are thinking of collectivistic, not communitarian, forms of community. In reality, in human history to date, only collectivistic communities have existed.

In the past, the development of the individual and the historical process of individuation had not progressed far enough to make communitarian communities possible. The natural form of community is a communitarian community. The community, seen as an organism, is a unified system, and the organs are characterized by their individuality and their differences.

The unity of the organism is achieved by the individuality and diversity of the organs. In other words, it is only when the full individuality of the members is devel- oped that a healthy community can emerge. Community and individual are not opposites; they are prerequisites for each other. The prerequisite for a natural community is an autonomous individual, and the prerequisite for an autonomous individual is a natural community. This is the natural order in the building plan of Creation. The ability of communities to survive and be future-oriented is closely connected to the self-growth processes of the individuals involved.

The more the individuals embrace their individuality and the less they let themselves be ruled by preconceived dogmas and false authorities, the easier it is for them to recognize how their personal growth can be enhanced by the community. At some point a deep process of individuation leads human beings naturally to see themselves as organic parts of a human community instead of private persons.

For it is through individuation that human beings experience not only what separates them from others, but also what connects them at a much deeper level. They dare to rediscover and accept this. It is as individuals that they find their universal dimension, and it is as individual human beings that they experience their connection to the universe.

Without individuation a healthy community organism cannot develop. Conforming collectivism comes into being when individual differences are not promoted but instead suppressed. Collectivistic systems do not tolerate individual autonomy. Instead, both inwardly and outwardly, they fight everything that does not fit into their ideology. Inner cohesion is achieved by war against common enemies.

This is how collectivistic systems in history up to today have operated, be it within the framework of the Christian church, Islamic fundamentalism, orthodox communism, National Socialism, or racism and sexism. Today, as a collective, humanity is being trained by … a deep process of individuation leads human beings naturally to see themselves as organic parts of a human community instead of private persons.

Kosha Joubert

Community as a universal Way of living the media to react to other symbols — the symbols of fashion, lifestyle, consumerism, and commerce — but the principle remains the same. Today, we are facing a historical turning point when it comes to the creation of communities. Old structures no longer function and new ones need to be created.

Functioning communities of autonomous indi- viduals are the basis for a humane world. Within them, love, both emotional-spiritual love and sensual love, will be able to develop in a new way, for love begins to blos- som wherever we begin to recognize each other in our specificity and individuality.

A mature community will always protect this love. Trust as a Life Quality Communities flourish if there is trust between their members; they do not function, or only seemingly function, if this trust does not exist. They break down quickly if the social glue was brought about through conformism or hypocrisy. Trust is the core power of a community. Without trust it can may- be take forceful action in the short term, but in the long run it will perish. The amount of mutual trust that is present is determinative for everything that is important in the community.

Trust determines whether true healing can occur, whether the community grows and flowers in the personal, mental-spiritual, and political realms, I am speaking of trust between men and women, in love relationships, between adults and children, trust in leaders, trust between the centre of the community and the periphery, and between different project groups. Creating trust is not easy. Many groups fall apart because of too much sweetness, with which they cover their wounds without healing them. Creating trust is an unprecedented adventure and the qualities that we bring to it from existing society are not very helpful.

We have learned to disguise ourselves in order to survive. Finding the courage to stand up against these old habits of concealment and hypocrisy is not always easy and we need to be very persevering. We need a clear set of values in order to be able to create true trust. If instead, we hope to follow the spontaneous development of positive emotions, the old powers will ultimately win.

Almost all groups in the 20th century fell apart because of their inability to deal with conflicts in the areas of sex, love, power, money, and recognition. The methods that a community uses to further its inner cohesiveness must be judged by their capacity to increase the substance of trust. What forms of relationships are helpful for a community depends on what forms Art as healing power: Dieter Duhm gives regular art courses for Tamera community members Beyond You and Me produce the deepest trust.

Whether a common economy is helpful or not depends on the same. If an organization is good or bad depends on the trust of its members. Trust can grow through many ac- tivities. It depends less on what you do than on how it is done. Especially with- in the framework of our art courses and spiritual courses a special feeling of belonging was created.

Our most outstanding method to create trans- parency and trust within the group was through the method of Forum described later in this book. There are no simple answers on how to create trust. We have tried walking unknown paths to create a life with- out fear and, through time, trust has emerged. Trust is deeply related to human truth, transparency, and the ability and willingness to allow myself to be seen.

If I can truly be seen, this means that I can be loved and accepted. It is a requirement for trust to arise in community for all essential processes in the group to be made transparent. Hidden fights and complicities regarding money, power, or sex will break up any community. We need functioning communities in order to learn to trust again so that peace can ripple out, allowing us to survive on this planet. In Tamera, we consciously seek to access our connection with the universal powers and the higher orders of life.

We thereby seek to enter into the highest level of trust: the trusting cooperation with the divine powers. Dieter Duhm was born in in Berlin. Doctorate in Sociology. Art Historian and Psychoanalyst. He has dedicated his life to the creation of an effective forum for a global peace initiative, which is powerful enough to counteract the destructive forces of the capitalistic globalization. Could you explain what your purpose is? My purpose is the reclaiming our intrinsic human nature — our humanness. We have to start by recovering or reinventing family and community, and redefining what a purposeful life is.

For this I rely on ancient, indigenous wisdom. In the West I work to heal wounds, and to restore the values that are intrinsically human through connection with ancestors and spirits, and emphasis on family and community. This might appear to be simple, however, the chaos of the current system creates a lot of obstacles. The power of our humanness needs to confront these obstacles so that the true self of the human being can be honored, respected and uplifted once again. What can your particular traditional wisdom contribute to conditions here?

In the interest of continuity, the Dagara have designed a sophisticated way of involving the ancestors in their daily lives. Then, the community is able to affirm life, joy and abundance. He shows how in community every person can be supported to bring their gift out into the world. Beyond You and Me The Dagara people have an elaborate cosmology to support this. So, there is the assumption that people are born with a gift that they are bringing to the family, people and culture that they are born into. Members of the community do everything they can to support the child and bring their gift out into the open.

Initiatory rites of passage allow the young ones to grow into their full purpose. A variety of other rituals have been created to support the concept of a life purpose and to allow it to continue to grow and be fulfilled. In our culture we have little sense of the child entering the world with a purpose and gift.

How do you bring this concept to western consciousness? The Dagara assumes that the child is a traveler who has arrived with luggage. What luggage? The gifts. How do you find them? These rituals are conducted by the elders in the presence of the pregnant mother. Using the voice of the mother who is put into trance, the elders converse with the ancestor who has taken on human form inside the body of the mother.

For this ritual to journey from the Dagara to the West it had to undergo some changes. In the West, we use the date of birth to situate the newborn within a cosmological chart, which then reveals the gift that is intrinsic to that person. These are essentially connected with home, story telling, and communication of idea.

The prebirth ritual will communicate encouragement and ask for the jour- ney to this earth to be blessed, as you would for a person who is going to fulfil a mission. The actual expression of the ritual will vary widely. To approach an unborn human as a gifted person, as a carrier of something precious, sends a clear message that this world is worth coming into, that it is worth dedicat- ing oneself to improving it, and contributing to its blossoming.

The body of man is very small compared with the spirit that inhabits it. African Oral Tradition Can you explain to a westerner what the presence of the ancestors means? It is important to accept at least a remote possibility that the dead, those who have preceded us in this world and are no longer in physical forms, still have some residual energy, and are able to influence the quality of our day- to-day lives. Ancestors look forward to becoming involved in how we continue what they have started.

Their presence can dissolve any isolation or aloneness we might experience. Is it a wasted potential not to work with the ancestors? It is a force that is left dormant. When ancestors are ignored, we may find ourselves struggling with the same old problems in our day-to-day life, wondering why nothing is really changing. It is like continually banging at the same door and using the same tools, thinking that eventually some day we will find a solution. The impasse of social disintegration? The world has reached a point where globalism is gradually imposing itself on us — a globalism which is still defined in economic terms.

The way to create a global village has to begin with a massive healing of all these aspects. Radical honesty is required, and an acknowledgement of all those moments in which humanity has taken wrong and painful steps. These steps have caused such rifts that they continue to have impacts on the psyche today: a propensity for separateness, disparity, violence, isolation, and division — you name it!

These effects have to be dealt with through the help of the ancestors, particularly those who were the primary victims and perpetrators at the time. The human power to generate change is boosted manifold when assisted by the wisdom of the ancestors. We can gather all the intelligence necessary to implement something, but always fall short of implementing the solution. It is always a good and humble gesture to acknowledge that we are limited, and therefore that we are seeking the contribution of higher powers.

By doing that we become the beneficiaries of ancestral participation in our own transformation. What is your vision of the new global village? We have to be able to express this emotion in a sacred way. We have to acknowledge the fact that we have not always done things in the best interests of human continuity. As a result we need to seek reconciliation and healing to stop us from carrying this weight into the future and passing it on to future generations. This acknowledgment has to lead to a commitment to repair or mend.

It is a daunting task. Dagara village life It is possible that once synthesized, this global village would reflect a cultural universalism. But it is worth tackling.

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So how do we start? It cannot be done individually; it has to be done collectively, by people gath- ering together, like the groups that I gather, to address the wisdom of ances- tors, which open hearts and spirits. I am suggesting that as a first step people gather together in their own neighbourhoods to begin to transcend their own individualism and isolation into something that is more community-based.

This model has a naturally expansive quality. Grieving all the ills, as you suggest, sounds like a very deep process. Does it need the power of ritual to accomplish it? In modern culture it is not usual for people to allow emotional outpouring, for people to express themselves from the heart. And yet it is the repression of human emotion that needs to be revisited, for repressed emotions take on violent and dangerous forms.

When locked in, emotion becomes amplified and finds its way out in anti-social types of behavior that endanger society. The current brink of self-destruction we have reached is symptomatic for this kind of self-repression in the face of situations that called for the humble relief of whatever feeling was evoked. So is this the way beyond current violence, for example, in the Middle East? The way beyond that is ritual and the revision and expansion of sacredness.

It can be summed up in a few simple words: prayers and involvement of the ancestors in the resolution of the crisis. When over a million people walking in the streets in London failed to stop the war against Iraq, you have to ask why? It is no longer possible for us human beings to be the carriers of the kind of message that can avoid violence, prevent death and save lives.

Peace is an inalienable right bestowed upon us. When it starts to dwindle in our lives it is important that we consider whether it is the result of something that we did that was wrong, or whether it is a message sent to us by forces beyond our human world showing us what we need to pay attention to.

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Our streets have to be cleared of vehicles and decorated with sacred shrines. How do you understand evil? I understand evil as the energy that counter-acts the simplest, positive, life- giving thoughts that rule our lives — the thoughts of loving and of being loved, the thoughts of contributing something to this world.

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Evil comes about because life was disregarded and respect was thrown out of the window. I know evil when I see it: that which is insidiously trying to obstruct human creativity and human desire to expand in a life giving way towards community and family. It is very likely that such energies are directly the result of some kind of negligence that is destabilizing a situation and sending out all kinds of That becomes what we call evil. Evilness is not something that can be cornered somewhere as a separate entity and combated, but an energy that eventually arises as the result of something we are not paying attention to.

There are ways in which violence attracts and galvanizes attention. Therefore, if it is possible to view violence as a message that something needs our attention, but not our indulgence, it makes it possible to transcend evil into good, bad into positive. I want to look at it as a signal pointing to something that has been neglected. Is there a final message you would like to give to our readers? We are living in a very fragile time. His life and teaching form a bridge between the traditional ways of his people, the Dagara of West Africa — among whom he is an initiated elder — and the modern world.

He is a gifted medicine man and diviner, as well as a compelling teacher and author. For more than twenty years, Malidoma has shared the ancient knowledge of his tribe with people in the West who are increasingly disconnected from their ancestors, spirit, and the richness of life in community. His voice awakens in our hearts recognition that we are all born with a life purpose to fulfil and that we can do so in a deep and abiding relationship with all beings. Their work on life purpose brought them together.

He is currently completing two new books: one on the ancestors and our relationship to them; the other on gatekeepers between this and the spirit world. In I was sitting in my new house in Copenhagen with my two bouncing baby boys of six months and 18 months.

I had just finished my law degree and was speculating over how my life might unfold. Should I seek a career as a lawyer or civil servant, and leave the children in daycare with strangers for many hours every day? Or should I give up my career and stay at home to take care of my children myself? There was no apparent third option. When I was 14, I had vowed to remain single and independent.

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I was now with a man in whom I had confidence, and I wanted to avoid falling into the same trap as my mother and other women in her generation. Were there really no other choices than a full time career — thus penalizing my children — or staying home and cutting off a part of my energy that wants to flow into the world? In I decided to continue my studies, now in cultural sociology, to find out more about human nature, and in particular to learn if there were societies in other parts of the world, or throughout history, which had found better solutions to this dilemma.

I joined the feminist movement, which was just starting at that time. With one baby on my lap and my husband looking after the other, I attended meetings in which women shared their concerns. A lightning bolt struck me. Of course! Many women had the same problem. Together we could create something new. So I took the initiative to establish a living situation in which several families combined private homes with common open space, had no fences, and shared some facilities — a concept which later came to be known in English as co-housing.

I founded a group with friends and we started looking for property. Within three years we had created a small co-housing communityof sixfamiliesandconvertedanoldfarmhousenearCopenhagen into common space. Basically, the initiative was a social experiment, and a Hildur Jackson recalls the beginning time of the Co-housing Movement in Denmark. She acknowledges how the power of living in community serves children. And how community has made it possible for her as a mother to be active in, amongst other, the setting up of the Global Ecovillage Network.

Children need parents 15 very successful one. It was called Hoejtofte — after the farm we bought. We learned later that two other similar initiatives had come into existence as a result of that same newspaper article. They are still both well-functioning co-housing groups along with more than others.

This was the beginning of the co-housing movement which has spread over the world and also inspired us to be part of birthing the broader ecovillage movement. Co-housing started as a way of creating a better childhood for children, a fact which is sometimes overlooked. Did they achieve that and what is the situation today?

Inventing Co-housing as We Went We developed the idea of co-housing as we went along. Living with six other families and their children was fun and quite different from living an ordinary suburban life — even though our project was situated in the middle of an ordinary suburb near Copenhagen. We chose to have no borders between our gardens. We had two giant lawns for games and a common house and stables. We raised chicken, tended a large common vegetable garden, and had fruit trees and berry bushes. Quite often all the men, and occasionally a woman or two, would play football with the kids — and all the other neighbourhood kids too.

We also had three Icelandic horses, which were a lot of fun. Every Sunday we went horseback riding in the forest. The children had many friends, as Hoejtofte was a natural centre of activity in the larger neighbourhood. We could meet and have celebrations in our common house. Over time we became quite good at celebrating using music and theatre. It is much nicer to be celebrated than having to put on your own party! On summer afternoons we would often run or bike to a nearby lake in the forest and go swimming.

As the old farmhouse was in constant need of repair, we held monthly work weekends. These helped to strengthen the glue of community between us.

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These are some of the dearest childhood memories of our sons. Our life was fun and rich.

Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community
Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community
Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community
Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community
Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community Beyond you and me : inspirations and wisdom for building community

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