Co-Creational Communities Network
For the Fusion Foundation, Visions and Perspectives by Johndennis Govert, 17 May 2013
The following are a series of thoughts, observations and visions that have occurred to me over the course of the last ten years about the creation and operation of a group of interrelated intentional communities that could positively transform the larger urban environment, its culture and spiritual attunement.
Communities are groups of at least eight persons or families collectively sharing common grounds. The areas in which they live are likely to be urban infill neighborhoods. Buildings on these properties may be renovated or newly constructed in order to be in harmony with the full range of community aspirations and functions and with the local environment. Residents may live in the same building or not. Residents may be owners, lessors or grantees, but all adult residents who share the community lifestyle share:
a commitment to benefit and serve others as well as self;
a common or complementary livelihood, vocation, business or career which supports them;
an active spiritual practice based on deep compassion for all beings;
a commitment to work with the collective interdependently for group and personal goals; and,
a commitment to living peace inwardly, outwardly, personally, socially, societally, nationally, globally and intergalactically.
Communities have economic themes and purposes that serve their surrounding areas, providing goods and services, inspiration, innovation, positive interaction and role models for good living. Communities importantly also provide for mutual personal and social support for members. Primary communities speed the introduction of emerging new paradigms in their area of concern very easily and accessibly to a larger public. Examples of primary community purposes are:
Food: urban farm style of growing, preparing and serving meals that include farmers’ markets, restaurants, community dining and nutritional awareness
Healing: growing & preparing herbs for essences, teas, or tinctures, and housing practice places for healers of various disciplines to work as healers
Arts and crafts: artist studios, art markets, art classes, and celebrations promote the transformative effect of artists in the larger urban, regional, national and international audience
Technical & scientific: manufacture of items needed commonly by households and small business and provision of the support services to benefit homes and businesses
Education: for children & adults, provision of programs, classes, lectures, workshops, charter schools, or specialized schools for easy learning
The FUSION Foundation Role:
The Fusion Foundation is one of many organizations that will be planning, initiating, building, and linking emerging co-creational communities. The FF has a catalytic and integrating mission for manifesting these types of communities without dictating in any way the specific mission, purposes, functions, organization, structure or span of the community. Nonetheless, the Foundation comprises people from the broadest range of society, each who have incredible skills, experience and wisdom. Being open and responsive on all sides to what is evolving will create the necessary harmony and conditions for all to thrive in the emergence of co-creative communities.
Some communities, if they have a larger set of resources, land and buildings, may choose to house two or more different communities, including primary or secondary purposes. In this instance the several communities are analogous to clans within a single village.
Council of Community Networks: connecting like-minded communities, for educational, economic, social, charitable, cultural, artistic or spiritual synergy. Helping communities mediate disagreements or disputes.
Security: protecting people at events and in neighborhoods, martial arts practice and training
Composition: Communities are for both long and short term residents. The core of each community will be a few “elders” who anchor the group, taking extra responsibilities of making the community succeed. The majority of the community will be a stable group of residents living and working together. Residents may move from one community to another occasionally, but provide both continuity and a dynamic for development. Each community should have some percent of temporary housing to help people in transition and for guests and visitors. A crucial function of each community is to teach its skills, wisdom and collective knowledge to those interested in beginning their own communities, or those interested in learning skills and abilities in which the community and its members excel.
Legal organization: Communities can organize themselves however all members agree. For instance, residents can own the property as a co-op, as a condo development, or as individually deeded buildings on a land lease. Some residents might lease living or working space instead of owning. The overall work of the community can be organized into a corporation with individual shares, or it can simply be individually owned. Each community would establish a charter and determine the legal limits, rights and obligations of individuals relative to the group.
Self-Governance: Each community is responsible for choosing mutually agreeable, specific commitments that create rights and duties among members. To be a community affiliated with the larger fusion network is to commit to general life-affirming principles as in the Fusion Foundation’s principles, those of the Peace Walker Sangha, or some parallel statement. Each community may need to create some training as to how to be a good community citizen, down to expectations of common aesthetics, communal budget, cleaning, cooking, shared chores, and regulation of daily schedules. The commitment to live communally for people who haven’t will create the need for adjustments in self-discipline, expectations, and awareness of the needs and rhythms of others.
Sacred Space: The disciplines of Feng Shui, Vastu Vidya, Geomancy, or any of various native systems for creating and maintaining sacred space is essential in order to leverage the positive effect of each community so it can radiate its transforming vision and mission more easily to the surrounding people and areas. These geomantic systems have been designed to create harmony in the obvious world of walls, windows, doorways and functions and in the subtle world of earth meridians, energy flow and radiant fields. These considerations are not standard in modern buildings, cityscapes or suburban subdivisions. The analogy is diet. The standard American diet does not nurture the body, nor does the standard American built environment nurture the community or the soul. Community members will need to learn about these systems and use them as a positive force in creating and living their vision.
Community Vision: The discussions at the Fusion Foundation are just one place where we discover just how wide-ranging is this vision of co-creating communities, communes, tribes, or transformative living arrangements. So many people have become intuitively aware of the benefit of moving their lifestyle from its present form to this other, emerging way of living. There are some models for this, but they are not yet widespread. The fact that so many are dreaming, intuiting, or cognizing the value of communities, so much so that they are taking their time to explore and ponder the issue in depth, indicates how important this movement is to the earth and to humanity. This means that there are many versions of visions of community, and we need to be aware of the details that surface in each of these visions in order to combine them harmoniously.
Pervasive Change: It is clear that the entire planet is undergoing radical reformation. Climate chaos coupled with economic, political and social crises continues to escalate the underlying spiritual crisis until we as the earth collective evolve together sanely and selflessly. The network of emerging communities is one of the vehicles for easing the shift, lessening the danger, and caring practically for one another during the uncertain phase-changes already active.
The communities listed above are primary in that they are useful everywhere in the larger society. Defined economically, they can be supported serving a smaller, more local population. Some communities will be more specialized and hence their talents, skills and abilities are only required occasionally in the general society. They in effect are serving a larger population. Secondary communities may serve inside or outside the network of communities and may include:
Community builders: planning, constructing, and launching new community ventures from the conceptual to practical manifestation. These can also help engineer and launch innovative organizations for a range of positive social purposes.
Inventors and Innovators: developing new technology and improved processes to seed manufacturing, to create new types of material & scientific solutions, and to launch new businesses and new venture partnerships that introduce the next best idea, process or product.
Spiritual Practice Centers: providing retreats, longer term instruction and a supportive practice environment for focused self-cultivation in one or several mystical traditions. Helps recover, re-animate and re-inspire the ancient sacred commitments as a way of harmonious living through practice, ritual, play and learning.
Entertainment: places hosting larger scale events and celebrations including music, performances, workshops, conferences, etc.
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