Community Building

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SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Community Building

Hey folks --

If you're on this site, it seems likely you're somewhere on the spectrum between "things in the world seem amiss" and "holy guacamole the S is HTF tomorrow!"  And further, you're probably either pondering steps you can take to prepare for Life After or you're well on your way to a Post-Life-As-Usual state of readiness.

Setting aside food, TEOTWAWKI ('the end of the world as we know it') supplies, and so forth is all well and good.  And if your plan is to hole up somewhere (at least relatively) remote and ride things out, this post may be superfluous for you.  But if, like most people, you're going to need to ride out the bumps/crash where you are (e.g., can't or won't take kids out of current school in/near major city and move to the boondocks and start intensive gardening and homeschooling), then you won't be able to live inside your I'm Ready For SHTF bubble while those around you suffer.  They need your leadership/help, and I daresay you need them.

(I'm writing this in second person, but suffice it to say I'm well aware that everything I'm scribbling here applies to me as well.) 

So:  COMMUNITY.  Building community is probably the hardest part of preparing for TEOTWAWKI, takes much longer than any other part of the prep, and yet is likely the most important part of a long-term strategy to thrive after the breakdown of old systems and ways of being.  In about 8 weeks, the wife & I have set aside food, miscellaneous supplies and one firearm (I put my thoughts about that difficult decision into the "Definitive Firearms Thread" -- post #286).  And we have plenty of prep left to do, which'll take months more.  But we've been community-building for over 2 years and will still be working on it long after we've gotten 95% of the other prep finished.

Nearly 4 years ago, shortly after we married, my wife & I combined our households -- I gave up my living arrangment in the lower Hudson Valley and she her apartment in Brooklyn -- and bought a house near New Paltz, NY (2 hours north of NYC).  We moved in over the summer and dug on the quiet and the enjoyment of owning your own house (ignoring for now the never-ending chores/upkeep that come w/owning a house <smile>).  But by that winter E (my wife) was feeling the social isolation.  As a Brooklynite, she was used to being surrounded by a sea of humanity, with social contact never more than a moment away.  (I myself am okay with relative isolation.  I can entertain myself and am fine with just a few specifically social occasions a month.  But a happy wife makes a happy[er] me, so...)

We decided to take action and manifest community.  Figuring we weren't the only NYC expats new[ish] to the area, and figuring we couldn't be the only ones that could do with more social contact, we created a thing called First Friday.

On the First Friday of each month, we open our house to any-and-all comers.  It's a low-key come-as-you-are affair -- no need to go home and spiff up, or bring anything.  Just finish work on Friday and hie yourself over to our house.  We have simple food (y'know, chips'n'dips'n'cheese'n'crackers'n'carrot sticks) and provide a little wine/beer and a non-alcoholic bevvie.  Just come on over and hang out and talk, listen to music, whatever.  It goes from about 7 p.m. until whenever people leave.  Some months, everybody's gone by 10 p.m.  Some months, it's 1:30 a.m. 

It started small since we didn't know many people.  I think the first gathering was 5 people including E and me.  We encouraged people to bring their friends -- and then those friends were encouraged to bring their friends -- and within a few months we'd have as many a 20+ show up.  Some people come once and that's it.  Others become regulars and are now good friends.  (The buddy who helped me pick out my shotgun in Definitive Firearms post #286 is one.)  

People have a real hunger for fellowship and community.  No doubt church once filled this need -- and for many people (like my parents) still does.  But the churchgoing life is different now and I think its limiting to have one's affinity group[s] tethered to religious tenets.  IMO.  

So we started with First Friday and things organically grew from there.  A bunch of the guys decided it'd be cool to have Dudes Bowling Night once a month.  So we did that.  The womenfolk, mildly put out that we were leaving them all home every fourth Tuesday night, decided to form a women's circle that meets on the same night.  Deeper friendships and affiliations ensued.  Activity groups (hiking, pottery, etc.) have spun off.  Community projects arise (we had a firewood log-splitting 'party' last summer, and now one couple have taken small donations from various peeps and are building a wood-stove-powered community sauna, and so forth).  A number of us followed the lead of one woman in the group and we are now volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters (I'm actually awaiting placement with a "Little Brother".)  We created a yahoo! message board to share info/coordinate activities.  The community has 2 marriages coming this summer, and I'm DJing one reception, and E and I are the officiants at the other (first time...gulp!).  You get the idea...

It's this group of people that I'm working on Getting With The Program (Crash Course).  A few are where I was last Summer (during the market meltdown was when I began seriously thinking "lordy, I gotta do something before TSHTF" [although at that point I didn't know what 'SHTF' meant]) but not really mentally ready to contemplate What Might Be.  One or two are right where I am, and one is waaay ahead of me.  But a handful of people doing ad-hoc prep will not float a community that has about 30 "core" members and another 30 peripheral members.  I want to get things to a higher level of organization/consciousness, and with all due speed.  We might have 2 years before TEOTWAWKI, or maybe just 2 months (2 weeks?).  Things are nutty now, but they could become absolutely apesh!t in a big hurry.

But like I said at the top, community-building is the hardest and longest of the prep tasks.  At least we're on the path.  As far as getting folks on board, I just this morning ordered up the special-edition CC DVDs (with the material to help me present the CC to groups of people).  I'll be offering it up to peeps in our community.  But I'm also getting hepped up to reserve the local community center and do a CC presentation to the community at large.  See who comes outta the woodwork.  Because the more prepped everyone is pre-SHTF, the more likely that an orderly way of being will endure the coming changes.  So my current short/medium-term task re community is to get our peeps thinking in terms of SHTF prep (in addition to group pottery classes and bowling nights).

It kind of feels like *really* being a hub of community building could be a full-time job (and I already have about 1-1/2 of those <smile>).  But if I can gather up a couple of other similarly-committed people then it gets much more manageable.  And I don't want to be the Big Honcho In Charge.  No:  I'd rather be the grain of sand that gets the pearl to coalesce.  What's that old phrase:  You can accomplish great things if you don't care who gets the credit?  <smile>

I'm really hungry to hear what other folks are up to in the community building department.  DTM is the frickin' *man* and I'm pretty familiar w/his story, but what about the resta youse?  

Thanks for listenin'...

Viva!   Sager 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Community Building

Sager,

Awesome story - what a unique and interesting approach.

We've got several "town" meetings coming up this next week, and I'm planning on going to them, and getting a feel for what people are talking about. I've ordered a copy of the "crash course" with presenters materials 'just in case'.

One of these upcoming meetings is about a community garden, and I'm hoping it'll provide an opportunity to really introduce permaculture, and the idea of getting a community market going. There has been a big push as of late to start buying and selling our produce locally - and I think that we have a receptive crowd for both permaculture, and the crash course.

That said - I'll be taking some of your ideas with me! I think that a nice, casual meet-up at interval is a great way to put aside divisive things, and just be friends.

Cheers, and thanks for sharing!

Aaron

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coolhandluke
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Re: Community Building

Wife and I just moved from Idaho to Virginia about 9 months ago.  I met Dogs and Cat through this website
after I found out they lived close by.  Have hung out with Dogs a
couple times and look forward to getting to know him and his wife
more.  They have a few years on my wife and I in life experience, so
its conforting to know someone like that is close by. 

We didnt know any of our neighbors until a few weeks ago.  We decided to make some cookies and then go hand them out and introduce ourselves.  It felt awkward, but it was a great ice breaker.  Since then we have had a couple of our neighbors over, gone out to eat with them, and gone shooting at the range with them.  Working towards a "Crash Course" introduction.  It feels better to just KNOW some of our neighbhors, even if they are not yet "getting ready." 

Unfortunately we live in an apt where there are not alot of gardening opportunities, so hoping to maybe get a community garden.

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Re: Community Building

Sager,

Great post.

It seems to me that community building/networking is often overlooked when we think ahead to what could be.  In the end, it is strong communities, and strong relationships with others that define our health and well-being.

To this end, my wife and I have been involved with community-building for several years.  We've done this in several ways:  First, we have organized (well, my wife, mostly) our street in annual yard sales and block parties.  This has allowed us to meet some of our closest community members.  Secondly, we've met with a small group of folks for 2 years on a bi-weekly basis as an off-shoot to a discussion on mindfulness and sustainability.  We have since formed a cohesiveness and bond and we know we can rely on each other in good times and bad.  Finally, we have formed a local permaculture group and are affiliated with others.

Aboriginal peoples throughout the ages have depended on their tribes for their very existence.  Our culture has broken away from the notion of needing community support - or, so we think.  This goes well beyond just needing social interaction.  We need each other's brains, muscle, and support, and it would behoove everyone to reach out and start building community wherever they are.

As an aside:  I haven't seen the acronmym, TEOTWAWKI, since Y2k days.  I remember some of the hysteria going into Y2k, and can't help but see the similarities to today.  I was a programmer working for an electric company during those times, and remember the long months of re-coding and testing that preceded the millennium change.  Y2k could have indeed been TEOTWAWKI had not many people come together to avert it - and it was.  While things are a bit different now, I can't help but think back and wonder how much of TSHTF (the new acronym) can be averted if we can focus on coming together instead of being lone wolves.

Ted

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Community Building

Ted,

Within your permaculture group, do you have "standard" crops that every grows, do you grow "complimentary" crops, or is it (like most everything) a bit of a compromise between the two?

Because everyone's needs and space are different, it's really tough to suggest the "right" thing for people to grow.

It seems that most people around here just do tomatoes and call it good.
That said, I've been seeing gardens springing up all over town since I've been home. Good sign!

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Community Building

Hi Sager,

that's a really inspiring story, thanks.

I'm trying to help re-kick-start the LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) in my local area which seems rather challanging because there are people with a long history with it and who seem to prefer stagnation to progress. sometimes I wonder if there were not better ways to start building community, but the LETS seems such a good way to find people interested in (and lead people into) 'waking-up'/watching the CC/whatever that I am sticking with it for now. 

There are already alot of things going on in the town which are positive, and only so much energy one individual has, so for better of worse, I've chosen this route and I'm gonna see it out - as well as preparing myself and my family in the best way for us - ie: skilling up, stockpiling food and wood, learning to grow food, learning to save money (although I just blew 300 squid on a wedding ring - its gold, though, an everyone here is telling me to put my money in gold!).

I really like Sager's informal way of building community, I have been organising social's at a local pub for the LETS, so I guess it is just a matter of time before things settle (internal LETS politics) and positive thinkers and movers turn up to support the cause.

peace and love to all,

Crash. 

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Re: Community Building

Aaron,

I'm not well-versed in permaculture.  I've read a couple of books, attended a few meetings, and started a local group.  Fools rush in...

As with most things in permaculture, one needs to take into account the microclimates of each site. Sun, shade, wind, soil, all make up a microclimate and my plot may be different than my next door neighbor's.  So, to answer your question, no one in the group plants all the same veges, nor the same way.

Complimentary crops are certainly a part of using what nature has designed.  Some plants help others out, or they can be allelopaths and be harmful.  Something I am just learning about.

As far as the increase in the number of gardens - this is good in many ways, and also a sign of the times.  The down side is that it's causing some seed shortages, but this can, and will be remedied (unless Monsanto gets its way).  This also hightlights the importance of seed-saving...and not buying hybrid seeds.

Tomatoes?  That's how I got my green thumb started years ago.  We all have to start somewhere.

Ted

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Re: Community Building

Hey Sager,

Community buildinging is indeed where it is at!  My husband and I are very social, but realized a few years ago we drive everywhere to be with our "community".   So a few years back we made a conscious decision to do more with our neighbors.  We live three miles from town in a small rural neighborhood of 60 plus homes. While we were certainly friendly with our neighbors, I would not call them friends.  We both got involved in our community water board and have gotten to know everyone in our neighborhood (for better or worse).  We got involved in the neighborhood Christmas/hanukah/Easter/Passover Celebrations (alot of fun).  I used to drive to a dance class twice a week, now I walk 4 miles  5 times weekly with a group of women from the hood....and have done so for five years now.  These are women much older than myself, and not that much in common on the surface (my goodness, one is a Republican!) but I have come to think of them fondly as my tribe. 

The gardeners trade plants, tools and veggies.  ALot of us loan out cars, bikes, kayaks.  We had down clothes, toys, furniture.  When we travel at holidays, we give our homes out to other folks visiting relatives.  We housesit, pet sit, babysit, deliver food to the sick and shut in.  It really does feel like a 1950's Beaver Cleaver kind of place.  Of course, there are few oddballs amongst us, who have never fit in, and like it that way.   But if something bad befell them, we would probably help them too. I have helped neighbors harvest lavender, grapes, make wine, beer, bread.  OF course, it probably would not have happened for me if I was 25 when I moved in, but at 35 I was ready to settle down and plant some roots.  Having kids helps too. Some weekends I never leave the hood....walk over to one neighbor's for dinner and a movie, have others over for brunch and croquet.  It really is the good life.  I am always telling people to live their life where they live...not drive to it.  

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: Community Building

greendoc wrote:

Hey Sager,

 

Community buildinging is indeed where it is at!  My husband and I are very social, but realized a few years ago we drive everywhere to be with our "community".   So a few years back we made a conscious decision to do more with our neighbors.  

 

Very nice.  My wife and I are considering a move next Spring (if conditions in the world permit) to a place where there's a neighborhood-ish feel.  We currently live on a fairly remote road where there are numbers of houses but it's not a walkable environment.  Because if SHTF, we *won't* be driving up and down and all over the place.  It'll probably be a question of bicycles and walking and such.  And knowing/being tight with your neighbors will be a fine thing then.

Thanks for your thoughts,  Sager 

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Re: Community Building

greendoc wrote:
Hey Sager,

 

These are women much older than myself, and not that much in common on the surface (my goodness, one is a Republican!) but I have come to think of them fondly as my tribe. 

It really does feel like a 1950's Beaver Cleaver kind of place.  Of course, there are few oddballs amongst us, who have never fit in, and like it that way.  

 OF course, it probably would not have happened for me if I was 25 when I moved in, but at 35 I was ready to settle down and plant some roots.  Having kids helps too   

 

 

 

I'm sorry, what's wrong with being Republican? As a conservative, I have frequently felt that my views are not welcome in this community. In fact, when i went to the crash course conference a couple months ago, I didn't feel like I could be myself without being crucified for my views.

 In case you didn't notice, the economy aspect of the 3E is much more in conservative territory, especially the part about fiat currency and central reserve banking being bad ideas. It doesn't get much more conservative than Ron Paul. And Glen Beck (a - gasp- "right wing" talk show host!!!) has mentioned the CC, and is clearly on board with the financial aspects. He's also said that he values freedom over everything else and if all hell breaks loose he'd rather be poor and learn to grow his own veggies and hunt than compromise his values for a job. In fact, I've found the 912 project, started by Glen Beck to focus on principles and values rather than on what party you are, to be a source of community for me. 

I find it interesting that you later say that you find your neighborhood to feel like a 1950's Beaver Cleaver kind of place...the kind of place that liberals often are critical of. And you also note that getting older and having kids makes you more receptive to this kind of atmosphere.

I propose you are probably a little more conservative that you'd like to admit, even to yourself. Typically we are liberal as young, idealistic kids and then we grow up and get some responsibility and wind up realizing that conservativism isn't all evil.

I view the concepts of CC to be a blend between conservative and liberal. The conservatives will more easily understand an buy into the economic piece, because underlying conservative thought doesn't trust the government in economic matters, and they are more likely to see the pitfalls of fiat currency. Conservatives also support gun ownership and tend to attract more survivalists, who have skills that would be handy in SHTF scenario. On the other hand, liberals are more likely to be in touch with the environmental aspect, and the concept of running out of natural resources. They are more likely to be knowlegable about alternative energy sources, and to know about organic gardening techniques.

So let's not be judgmental of one another. The ideal community needs both. And if we really face SHTF, what party you've affiliated with in the past won't matter.  

  

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Re: Community Building

Relax Poison Ivy,

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Republican, that was my feeble attempt at humor.  I should have put in one of those winking emoticons to better signal my intent.   I totally agree WTSHF it makes no difference what party your in, I bet it will be more a matter who gets it and who is willing to roll up their sleeves to do the work.  And that quality transcends party affliation.  

coolhandluke's picture
coolhandluke
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Re: Community Building

How did this thread start to get off topic?  Smile

 Lucas

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Re: Community Building

coolhandluke wrote:

How did this thread start to get off topic? Smile

Lucas

Sorry, but here I go... 

greendoc wrote:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Republican,

Greendoc, I have to disagree. Rupublicanism and Democratism are both belief systems. They both rely on a faith that the church of the Republicans or the church of the Democrats will save us from the tyranny of the other. It is the classic divide and rule tactics of the hidden oligarchs behind politics, those being the bankers, leaders of big industry etc etc.

So whats wrong with being a republican? The same thing thats wrong with being a Democrat: blind faith and a limited point of view. I think one of the clearest things from the crash course is that both parties have consistently acted against the interests of the people of the world and neither party is ever going to save us from anything.

I kind of sympathise with Poison, not because I am 'concervative' but in that the labelling of 'liberal' and 'concervative' is unhelpful and instead of trying to box people into categories so we can say they are like us or they are different we should just be listening to everyone and trying to understand everyone's point of view. The political spectrum is the same tool - dividing us. What we need is unity in these times, not division. After all, as Greendoc says, when push comes to shove most people will find the humanity within themselves to help one another within their community, regardless of the lines we may or may not have drawn in the sand over our percieved stand points on certain theoretical concepts about such abstractions as Unempoyment or Education which are no more than political footballs in a game where both sides are shooting in the same goal and the only losers are the crowd.

Sorry for going on a bit and a bit off topic, but I thought I'd get that off my chest a little,

hugs,

Crash 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Community Building

Get back on topic, or I'm bringing the Hooligan back.
Dogs knows what I'm talkin' about.

As a Republican myself, (or, more accurately, a conservative) I share Greendocs views. The Republican party sold me out, and left me holding the bag.

I didn't see a slam, and I don't think any political comments made around here are in a malicious way.

I can understand your point though, Ivy. As a conservative in Washington, I have to work harder than a cat trying to bury a turd on a marble floor to convince people I'm not a heartless, gutless, money-grubber, but a principled person who believes in liberty and small government.

=)

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Community Building

Some posts above report groups based on natural constraints such as 60 homes in a place. Most of us live in much larger societies with many hundreds, thousands or even millions of others.

There are various groupings that we can call community. Some may be by preference and others include many hundreds of people. These communities may be of little value if or when TSHTS. Assuming that we can return to or remain at our place of residence then practical community must mean our neighbours.

My opinion is that practical community needs to be of human scale and consist of less than 200 people including children. I have a number of reasons for this. Migration between groups is only a viable option if there are alternative groups. The smaller groups the greater the alternatives. In larger groups; leaders, despots, elites, oligarchies and hierarchy are all more likely. This could perhaps would lead to a structured group similar to our present society which is what has broken down. In smaller groups there is immediate accountability to the group and posturing, shamming and laziness are readily exposed. Small groups (tribes) have worked for us for 3 million years (after Daniel Quinn).

People can prepare for such practical groups in advance by identifying workable boundaries to capture a human scale number of people in total and to, where possible, include local resources considered of likely value to the group. These might include parks and waste land. Consideration can also be given in advance to the tools and other physical resources that might be of benefit to the group. These could include items such as seed, shade cloth and wire netting.

The time might not yet be right to form such groups but many of us here believe that a time is coming.

Those not convinced of the practicality of such groups may look at an example from Katrina cited by Ran Prieur at http://www.ranprieur.com

Ran Prier wrote:

powerless people in the French Quarter formed tribes
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9208714/

Don
________________________

still ...

here ...

still here

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SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: Community Building

pir8don wrote:

My opinion is that practical community needs to be of human scale and consist of less than 200 people including children.

The time might not yet be right to form such groups but many of us here believe that a time is coming.

 

And even if the time is far off (where we'll absolutely need these communities), we'd better get started laying some kind of groundwork.  Trust and cooperation take lots of time to build.  Without those two things, you run the risk of ending up in community with the wrong people, or people spend time duplication each other's efforts to prepare (think of going to a potluck dinner where everybody brings a dessert and no main courses).

Viva -- Sager 

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Re: Community Building

SagerXX - thanks for sharing your story and starting this thread.   

I learned a lot from reading the posts from you and the other fine contributors to this blog.  You've convinced my wife and me that we should be investing more time building community "trust and co-operation" - besides, it could be a lot of fun.

Larry

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: Community Building

Hey gang --

These quotes are from a speech called "Escape from the Zombie Food Court" by a guy named Joe Bageant.  He spoke at Berea College in Berea, KY, Eastern KY U and the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. 

The full text is here:  http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2009/04/escape-from-the-zombie-food-court.html

He speaks about waking up from the illusion of our American culture from the psychological point of view, and the importance of community and how its lack here in the US is a sickness upon the national spirit. I thought folks here might find these piquant:

(anything in parentheses is mine)   VIVA -- Sager

 

"Fortunately though, we can meaningfully differentiate our lives (at least in the Western sense) in the way we choose to employ our consciousness. Which is to say, to own our consciousness. If we exercise enough personal courage, we can possess the freedom to discover real meaning and value in our all-too-brief lives. We either wake up to life, or we do not. We are either in charge of our own awareness or we let someone else manage it by default. That we have a choice is damned good news. 

The bad news is that we nevertheless remain one of the most controlled peoples on the planet, especially regarding control of our consciousness, public and private. And the control is tightening. I know it doesn't feel like that to most Americans. But therein rests the proof. Everything feels normal; everybody else around us is doing the same things, so it must be OK. This is a sort of Stockholm Syndrome of the soul, in which the prisoner identifies with the values of his or her captors, which in our case is of course, the American corporate state and its manufactured popular culture. 

When we feel that such a life is normal, even desirable, and we act accordingly, we become helpless. Learned helplessness. For instance, most Americans believe there is little they can do in personally dealing with the most important moral and material crises ever faced, both in America and across the planet, beginning with ecocide, war making, and the grotesque deformation of the democratic process we have settled for. Citizenship has been reduced to simple consumer group consciousness." 

 

"Why prefer these expensive earth destroying things (fast food, inefficient transport, overlarge houses) over love and laughter with real people, and making real human music together with other human beings -- lifting our voices together, dancing and enjoying the world that was given to us? Absolutely for free. "

 

"So how do you escape the programming of the food court, and, I might include, escape even those parts of this school that may serve more to indoctrinate than enlighten you? All pedagogy, even the best, is nevertheless about control. How does one escape such a total system?


In a word, service. Humble and thoughtful service to the world. It is heartening that we do have concerned Americans studying to alleviate the great suffering of so much of humanity. I have no proof of it, but it seems like earnest idealism is making a comeback since its decline following the optimistic 1960s. People and institutions such as this one are attempting to move American society forward again, heal us of our national sickness to the extent you can, after decades of regression, not to mention repression. Of course, to solve problems you must first identify them. "

 

"They (people who are actively seeking to decouple from The System / build community) seem to already know what it took me a lifetime to learn: that each of us is but one strand in the vast organic web of flesh and blood chlorophyll. All things and all beings are inextricably connected at the most profound level. Any physicist will confirm this. We are bound by its every wave and particle, all of us -- the lonely night clerk at Motel 6 and the leviathans of the deep, the sleeping grandmother in New Haven, Connecticut and the maimed Iraqi child in Kirkuk. It can be understood by anyone though, simply by owning one's own consciousness. And in doing so we find that ownership and domination are both temporary and meaningless. And that the animating spirit of the earth is real and within us and claimable.

The purpose of life is to know this. Einstein glimpsed it. Lao-Tzu knew it. So did St. Francis. But you and I are not supposed to. It would shatter the revered, digitized, super-sized, utterly meaningless hologram. The one that mesmerizes us, and mediates our every experience, but isolates us from universal humanness and its coursing energies. Such as love. Or mercy. Compassion. Existential pain. Hunger. Or the unmitigated joy of simply being alive one finds in children everywhere, even among the poorest. Most of the human race still lives in that realm."

 

 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2120
Re: Community Building

I bought a copy of the CC DVDs and they arrived last week.  I'm planning (w/the guy who turned me on to CM.com) to do a presentation of the CC at a local community center in the next month-6 weeks.  Trying to get folks on the same page as the CC, and maybe pick up some likely prospects for the community me'n'wife are building.

Anybody here done a presentation of the CC for their local community (i.e., standing in front of people in a room as opposed to dishing copies of the CC to friends/family)?  I'd be very interested in hearing your stories / advice re a successful show.

Thanks in advance.

Viva -- Sager 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2491
These Folks Know Community

Snowplows clear roads for transplant patient

Convoy plows path in whiteout conditions for man who needed new liver

updated 3:42 p.m. ET, Tues., April 7, 2009

CASPER, Wyo. - Chuck Forbes has battled liver disease for half of his 59 years. When the time finally came for a transplant, a blizzard blocked his route to the hospital — until a corps of snowplow drivers saved the day.

Forbes was recovering after undergoing transplant surgery Sunday at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. He and his wife, Ruth, made it there from their home in northwest Wyoming despite the storm that closed roads Saturday in the southeastern part of the state.

"I hope those WYDOT (Wyoming Department of Transportation) guys know they performed a miracle," Ruth Forbes said.

She said her husband had been on a transplant waiting list for about a year when "we got a surprise call totally out of the blue at 7:30 on Saturday morning."

They had already made it all the way to Wheatland, some 250 miles southeast of their home in Meeteetse, when they encountered a road-closing barrier Saturday afternoon. A bit panicked, Ruth Forbes called 911.

"The operator said 'The road is closed, we've been forecasting this storm all week,'" she said. "Then she said 'Hang on, I'll get a patrolman to come talk to you.'"

Trooper Chuck Bloom arrived, talked to the couple and then returned to his patrol car.

"He came back to our car and said, 'If you wait right here, the area boss for WYDOT will be right here,'" Ruth Forbes said. "In a matter of 10 minutes, we had a convoy of plow trucks."

The couple followed nearly on the bumper of a plow truck from Wheatland in whiteout conditions.

Other trucks joined their caravan to plow a wider path.

In Cheyenne, one plow led them through the city. South of the city, another snowplow driver got them to the state line.

In all, the escort involved eight snowplows and covered some 80 miles.

They made it to the hospital at about 9:30 p.m. Chuck Forbes underwent his transplant at 7 a.m. Sunday.

"He is having a heck of a time getting out of the anesthesia, but they say that's normal because of all of the meds he's on," his wife said. "But the transplant went wonderfully."

 

This story made today bearable.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2120
Around the Fire -- another way I'm fostering community

I am one member of an 8-man group (the guy who formed the group is a CC devotee, as is one other guy) that meets once a month to discuss Any/Everything, but with an overall focus on living a conscious life in a too-unconscious world.  If it's too cold we meet inside around a fireplace or woodstove.  Last night we met outside although the temps were in the low 20s.  

Outdoors, we build a fire and sit around it in those collapsable field chairs.  We say our various prayers or make offerings to denote that we're taking time out of mundane life to address the concerns of our spirits (or soul, or heart, or psyche, or whatever you want to call it).   

And we just talk for about 3 hours (6-9 p.m., usually).  Everyone has to check in one way or another, even if it's just to say they don't have much to say (although usually everyone has plenty to discuss).   

Sometimes discussion is easy, friendly.  Sometimes it's contentious.  It's always pretty damn real.  There are also usually a lot of bad puns for some reason.  [smile]

A lot of the talk centers on how to be a good man in challenging times.  It's not like the basic principles are hard to figure, but their application in a rapidly-changing world -- well, it's nice to have 7 other guys with ideas and feedback.  And I know more about the inner life/real self (as opposed to the daily "social mask" folks tend to keep on all the time) of these guys than some people I've known for a decade.  We've been meeting for a year.

It takes dedication, it takes valuable time (we alternate hosting and some of the other guys live nearly an hour away -- so it's a 5-hour time commitment).  But anything worth building does.  And these will be some of the people I'll feel comfortable relying on in the years to come when things *really* change.

My wife also has a once-monthly women's circle that in many ways mirrors the above, although they've figured out their own way of doing it that works for them. 

Is anybody else out there doing anything like this?  Either in a men's group or mixed?   

 

VIVA -- Sager 

 

Amanda V's picture
Amanda V
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 31 2008
Posts: 262
Re: Community Building

SagerXX wrote:

I bought a copy of the CC DVDs and they arrived last week.  I'm planning (w/the guy who turned me on to CM.com) to do a presentation of the CC at a local community center in the next month-6 weeks.  Trying to get folks on the same page as the CC, and maybe pick up some likely prospects for the community me'n'wife are building.

Anybody here done a presentation of the CC for their local community (i.e., standing in front of people in a room as opposed to dishing copies of the CC to friends/family)?  I'd be very interested in hearing your stories / advice re a successful show.

Thanks in advance.

Viva -- Sager 

I would be interested to hear how this goes Sager.  I don't quite know how to approach it with most friends.  I mean, if I ask them to come around and watch a video most are keen.  When I tell them the whole thing is 4 hours, there is a real stumbling block.   But you really need the whole 4 hours, you can't really chop out bits.

How do you get around this ?

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2120
Re: Community Building

Hey Amanda --

I'm going to rent out a meeting room at the local community center for 2 hours.  Will handbill to advertise and get the grapevine humming too.  In the 2 hours, we'll start w/about 15 minutes of meet'n'greet, then I'll do an intro for about 5, and then show the first of the three DVDs, which runs about 52 minutes.  That'll leave us more than half an hour at the end for Q&A.

I'll plan on doing three consecutive Sundays or something -- 1 DVD per.  In my mind the group will likely winnow down each week, but folks who come for all 3 will be good candidates for community.  And if people come week 1 and end up telling a bunch of friends about it I could run a second series for the folks who missed the first time out.

Viva -- Sager 

jerry_lee's picture
jerry_lee
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 24 2008
Posts: 126
Re: Community Building

Hey Sager.Salute to you for your commitment to the community building task!

It's such a rarity, in my experience, for a group of men to do what you described, i'e. regular 3 hour meeting for talking.! Could I ask the story behind it's formation?Did it come out of your bowling group or where?

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2120
Re: Community Building

Well, it was a tangential offshoot of the bowling group.  

We had the bowling group going, and then my work schedule changed so Tuesday nights were out.  The bowling petered out eventually, but one of the bowling guys is active in the sacred fire community (http://www.sacredfirecommunity.org/) and picked out about a dozen fellas including me.  We set up the fire-circle gatherings and made a 1-year commitment.  We just had our 12th gathering and I think we're going to lose 1 guy but the rest of us are on board for more. 

Yeah, getting men to sit still without some other thing to Do while they talk is not usual.  [smile]  But once they understand the rhythm of it they generally dig the chance to slow down, listen closely to the other guys and relish the chance to simply speak from the heart, at their own pace and without interruption.

That's one of the few rules we have:  don't interrupt.  Others are don't offer solutions (unless they're solicited) and when you're making judgements, preface them with "I believe" or "I feel" or "In my experience" and so forth.  That's not to say we have a core belief that "everybody's right" or "everyone's feeling are equally valid/true" but if you preface your comments with the above, you're not de facto setting yourself up as an expert on somebody else's life, or Everything In General.  

It's interesting to see how the wives/girlfriends of the guys in the group bend over backwards to help make certain their men can attend.  They must be seeing something good in their man when he comes home from the fire.  [smile]  Or they're just glad to get him outta the house for 4 hours one Sunday a month.  [bigger smile]

Viva -- Sager 

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 26 2009
Posts: 680
Re: Community Building

Hey Sager - I think it must be option B ("Or they're just glad to get him outta the house for 4 hours one Sunday a month.") since most women would agree that too much unsupervised male bonding can have dangerous consequences [grin].

Famous last words "Dude - check this out"

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2120
Re: Community Building

PlicketyCat wrote:
Hey Sager - I think it must be option B ("Or they're just glad to get him outta the house for 4 hours one Sunday a month.") since most women would agree that too much unsupervised male bonding can have dangerous consequences [grin].Famous last words "Dude - check this out"

 

Or:  "dude...what's *this* button do?" 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2491
Re: Community Building

Sager/Plickety -

"Are we standing far enough away?" is male 20/20 hindsight code word for "We are way too close"

Plickety - 

Without asking you to violate any bylaws of the "Gender Code" by spilling details, aren't the unsupervised female bonding outings just as "bad" if not worse?

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 26 2009
Posts: 680
Re: Community Building

DIAP - oh yeah - unsupervised female bonding can be just as dangerous!!  I'm not exactly privy to all that goes on during those meetings either since I never quite learned the secret "girls club" handshake Embarassed  I'd say I'm probably more of a double-agent, I'm allowed into the boys' clubhouse easier, but sometimes slip up and say things like "Um, dudes, I think we're way too close to be pushing that button".

Ah, the wonders of not being strongly gender-indentified. Tolerated by both, but never truly accepted by either  ROFL

jerry_lee's picture
jerry_lee
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 24 2008
Posts: 126
Thanks Sager

Thanks Sager...or do you prefer SagerXX? I appreciate the Sacred Fire link and will check it out when I can focus.

Right now, my songwriting switch is stuck at the ON position (ala DIAP). Not genius so much as obsession sprinkled with ADD.

I hear those sirens singing.

So sweet I want to stay.

But when the bells start ringing.

Edgar Allen has his way.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2120
Re: Thanks Sager

jerry_lee wrote:

Thanks Sager...or do you prefer SagerXX?  

Either one is fine...I'm easy.  And FWIW, I lived in Lancaster, PA long enough to do a year of kindergarten at Nitrower Elementary...if it's still there...[smile]

Viva  -- Sager

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