245 years ago, in order to get 13 different groups[mfn]founded for a diverse range of reasons, from the pursuit of fortunes to the desire to create havens from persecution and model societies, and had differing systems of governance,[/mfn] to form a more perfect union — just, tranquil&safe, prosperous, and free over time — a Purpose Statement was agreed upon wherein they agreed to hold “these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the…” With its 14th birthday coming up (11Feb) this is a good time to revisit PET’s own charter for advancing social & environmental sustainability and well-being of the whole community at the Park Ecovillage, Findhorn. Interestingly the PETboard is doing exactly this work now, strategically mapping out the best route at this VUCA time in the community! Wishing Inspiration and Alignment, and Godspeed to all PET and PEF members and decision-makers.
What defines Happiness?
Given the economic pressures of the last 25years, change has been forced on every single group of people on the globe. Add 170 years accumulated ecological effects of western geopolitical (=economic) decision-making, and we have a crisis of global proportion on our hands. Everybody knows this fact; many don’t want and/or know how to change the operating rules currently in place; even more are scared to speak up; and some few ‘dangerous’ people are preferring to initiate ‘quiet’ radical actions. During my Findhorn Ecovillage experience starting in 2016, its most important organisation was again involved in major restructuring; however neither associate behaviours (culture) change nor did the financial position get better. 2020’s pandemic-induced redundancies necessitate(d) real change — for survival’s sake. That tough fact exposes deeply rooted challenges within the ecovillage association and in members’ thinking too. As the saying goes: you drown, not by falling into the river, but by staying submerged in it. So what visionary, vital, vibrant and viable* path(s) are the very experienced and spirit-aligned community leadership bodies going to pursue?[vertical-spacer]
What happy-making things to invest in?
Community is a bunch of individuals doing stuff together — no more nor less. Individual fears can cause a group pendulum to stop dead or swing 180° in the opposite direction. How can 70% of ecovillage members be encouraged to shoulder true* and usually pretty discomforting innovation and development? A starting point may be to understand the following:
[vertical-spacer] Once convinced that deep down people are worth it, and that more-than-surviving requires an attitude that is truly REGENERATIVE in action[mfn]Regeneration goes much further than just Sustainability. How using the RIGHT WORDS is so vital today… especially for the super-educated in the west![/mfn], members might do well to review their pivotal role in the success of innovative tools already existing in the ecovillage eg. Common Ground, NFA, EKO and the Phoenix. For example: keeping wealth circulating within local ‘boundaries,’ discovering and challenging the active creativity of members of all ages to realise their publicly professed SPIRITUALITY* in actions.
whole FEC purpose 2019
Let’s not forget that the ‘future’ everyone talks about belongs neither to corporations (horizon: the next quarter), to politicians (horizon: next four years), nor to adults, but to babies, toddlers and young people! As many of us (the so-called experienced/old) grew up in an ‘amber’/’orange’ society, we must forgive ourselves for not actually being as ‘green’/’teal’ as we’d like to be. That’ll really only take off when we dare to start to create the magically fecund conditions for our youth’s supra-agenda development and education.
[vertical-spacer]Abraham Maslow’s definition of that world coincides with that of Spiritual teachers: “a single ultimate goal for mankind, a far goal toward which all persons strive … [which] amounts to realizing the potentialities of the person, that is to say, becoming fully human.” The truly wise all contend that ‘conscious life’ encompasses emotional, physical, intellectual and metaphysical-spiritual planes. This holistic view, touching more than just material reality, is exactly why each of us must also RECOGNISE in action the equality of every one of our neighbours with ourselves! Our deepest-felt measure of AN.Other’s value is manifest through our every feeling, thought, word and deed about them. The concept may be self-evident to our minds, but it’s a different and very difficult proposition to practise consistently. That we can create both the ‘hell’ typically experienced by separate, calculating, insular beings at this time of family disintegration and growing utilitarianism, and the ‘heaven’ of totally equal, accepted and interrelated beings, is definitely my own experience. I know that m-ego[mfn]=my IMMATURE ego[/mfn] still strongly resists acknowledging another’s perfect equality with moi! When I again fail,[mfn]is failure the typical human fate, or due to character? I believe it’s both: fate on the spiritual plane, my ego on the material (emotional, body and intellectual) one.[/mfn] I remember MK.Gandhi and ML.King who proved that both Humility&Boldness go hand in hand with innovations that are at once visionary, vital, vibrant and viable; and as I really do aspire to a ‘4V world’ I propose to be a little more humble and bold.
How to be a more ‘hopeful‘ member-actor
Possible Emotional steps:
- an asking attitude to living: being quiet and asking our Higher Self or Higher Power for guidance, then listening patiently and carefully
- living the Common Ground only “in service to Spirit, Humanity and the Earth” — for no other reason
- ‘slowing down’ to become more self-aware of the manifestation power of thoughts, words and deeds, and so be motivated to think, say and do less complacently
- evaluating the attraction of peace-of-mind-bringing needs, wants and desires which are so deftly marketed by salespeople[mfn]the possibilities mentioned here are not being imposed at all…but freely ffered![/mfn]
- choosing to be more aware of mySelf, have less judgment and calculation vis-à-vis our (in)significant other(s); letting e-go and actually letting God-do; being STILL in action; making the effort to be really open to&accepting of the “I Am” which unites diverse humanity
- redirecting our conscious energy investments to listening rather than hearing, to seeing rather than looking, to thinking rather than speaking, to acting rather than waiting, to finding rather than searching, to giving rather than ‘consuming’*1 [mfn]taking less energy (attention, money) for ourself, preferring to use what energy we already have to support, fill, expand, create, build for ourSelf ie. for others… This regenerates and multiplies right energy — love![/mfn]
Possible Physical steps:
- identifying and actively supporting geographically local neighbour’s products and services that are as ecologically*1 sound as possible
- inspiring more members to buy more on the Phoenix‘s retail platforms (more sales=>decreasing selling prices in a true CIC)
- accepting&giving more member, employee payments&benefits in EKOs[mfn]keeping disposable income and corporate wealth (tax÷nds) within ecovillage and maybe in future within Moray boundaries too[/mfn]
- more members generously donating higher tithes to community funds that support core costs of the-less-well-off, thus permanently tackling material inequality
- providing the community with much more/only low rent real-estate; giving the community asset company housing legacies/ first right to buy private ecovillage housing
- creating more community owned&staffed social enterprises¬4profits for fundamental local products and services, and a community asset holder funded by legacies and wealthy members’ regular donations
- individuals being available for whatever neighbourly care and community service is required, even stuff “we can’t do” or which demands conscious self-denial of our personal ‘freedom'[mfn]an ethical neighbourhood/community can act like the multigenerational household of yesteryear: living family life consciously with eachother from cradle to grave. Equally valuing postnatal care and upbringing, productive age support, to old age care needs.[/mfn]
Possible Intellectual steps:
- courageous self-investigating, to evaluate the authenticity of our activities on all planes (as a recurring spiritual practice)
- habitually starting conversations-of-hope with ourselves and in our closer and wider relationships, thus creating the conditions for more intelligent co-creation just as Nature does
- realising that however much we force ourselves to achieve agreed goals, if they’re not the right ones, we’ll miss out on the key manifestation ingredient: the gift of Grace, which flows when we are truly aligned with ourSelf
- understanding the meaning of ‘intellectual perfection’ with regard to our most human goals: “It’s at the finishings that you must come to terms with the idea that perfection is a necessary goal, precisely because it is unattainable. If you don’t aim for perfection, you cannot make anything great. And yet true perfection is impossible.” — Graham Moore; so please don’t forgo that exquisite dream of achieving Wholeness, Harmony, Beauty, Truth, Perfection, of Love, of Spirit!
- transforming[mfn]”it is not about eliminating the ego or lower self. It is about allowing our higher nature to absorb the ego into itself and thereby transform it. To become a kind, loving, generous, and respectful being, we have to put effort into it by conducting ourselves according to our highest values. Every moment is an opportunity to recreate ourselves and it happens one feeling, one thought, one act at a time,” says Angels® Cards’ Kathy Tyler[/mfn] by transcending our issues and problems: this is dangerous, hard work because only our “greater sense of connected meaning and purpose” will truly radiate healing waves of unity-in-diversity (and so translate into great material results)
Possible Metaphysical-Spiritual steps:
- especially prioritising the 7 Essences of the Common Ground behaviours
- given Spirit’s timeframe of the eternal Now, only making health/wholeness producing choices re. our own feelings, body, mind and spirit that are also non-destructive for other beings on all those planes as well, ie. taking the “short not the long path!”[mfn]In a 1975 conversation (check out the pdf of these notes — between p8 and p11 of 16 — https://www.pbarchives.org/archive/document/secondary/550 ), Paul Brunton spoke with Jeffrey Cox ( https://www.paulbrunton.org/board_jeff_cox.php) on this subject. Here is an extract from those notes about the Paths: “St. Bernard expressed the long path thus: Despise the world–(for it is unsatisfactory) / Despise yourself–(for it is also unsatisfactory) / Despise yourself because you despise yourself–(for even to despise yourself is to give the ego undue attention and concern).” This is the end of the long path. At this point one must turn around to the positive way which is the short path: Glorify the world–(for it is an emanation of Brahman) / Glorify yourSelf / Glorify yourself because you glorify yourSelf. Rather than concerning oneself with the ego and its developments, its ups and downs, you should turn 180 degrees around and face the sun which is the Overself. The ego is like a whirlpool, a vortex of thoughts, and it is the strength of our clinging that holds it together The ego is perpetuated on the long path which will not take you to enlightenment. On the long path you are always measuring your own progress. The long path is endless for new circumstances bring new temptations, new problems to deal with, and no matter how spiritual the ego becomes it does not enter the light but remains in the grey. On the long path the surges of interference arising from the lower self and the negativity which enters from the environment must be dealt with. This requires development of character. On the short path one ignores negativity, and turns 180 degrees away from the ego to the Overself—things will become brighter and brighter. The short path will establish you in peace more and more. The work of the long path eventually brings the grace which then puts you on the short path. The short path is shorter in time for you turn and face your goal directly. Because of the pressures of these times, it is recommended that both paths be done together (rather than just the long) in order to help circumvent obstacles. The parable of the cave in Plato is analogous to the short and long paths. On the long path you back out of the cave but continue to look into the cave, into the darkness of the ego. On the short path you walk forwards toward the opening of the cave where the light is, the Overself.”[/mfn]
Only partially successful at some of the above possibilities myself, I am consciously breaking down the silos in my day to day life: as Findhorn Fellow DC.Wahl writes, “our dominant way of thinking in dualistic opposites makes us blind to the under[over]lying unity. Nature is hardly ever that black or white; mostly we are dealing with shades of grey. The way we tend to try to establish certainty is by defining a particular way of seeing and limiting the boundaries of the system in question. What results is the illusion of certainty.” Silo thinking is why our spiritual actions so often fail to deliver the goods. Humans, spirit in physical bodies, are more ‘successful'[mfn]what’s YOUR definition? Get that right — eg. others win:you win — and your mind and body automatically follow. Get it less-than-right and your mind and body become dis-easy.[/mfn] when they feel more than they rationalise. We know that life at home&work is a feelings business not a calculating one… uncannily similar to that of organic farmers and artists if done right.[mfn]That’s the ‘why’ of the Common Ground and what Eileen Caddy’s challenge is all about.[/mfn]
As her ‘Still, small voice within’ told her, “a closed rigid mind can never grow and much will be missed in this life. Ridicule nothing you hear, keep a very open mind and see the most amazing things develop. You are moving into new realms, therefore you must expect unusual and unexpected things. There are no fixed forms and patterns, nothing to go on or grasp with the human mind. You are walking in the ways of the Spirit and therefore will be able to understand what is happening with the Spirit. My ways are far stranger than fiction.”
Therefore I believe that only a sustained decision, on all planes&levels, to be radically AUTHENTIC in action vis à vis those with whom we’re living in community, is the surest way to develop our Wholeness. Only so will we individually, be gifting others emotional, physical, intellectual and metaphysical-spiritual peace, joy and goodwill 24/7/365! And their harmony, laughter and wellbeing will in turn radiate inspiringly into the world. That’s one New-Normal which ‘tired’ and ‘thirsty’ people really do want to experience, learn about and practise.
The Founders’ spiritual roots remain strong and valid today. But it has from the beginning been up to each one of us true supporters, together, to bring our own=shared roots to fruition in a co-creative, deep listening and loving in action way. Now it is time for the right results! We will always fail at becoming what we’re supposed to be; much better success will accompany our CARING in action to be who we truly are.