|Life Blog 2: Community
I have been having an email conversation with a friend who, like many of us, is feeling a strong pull towards community, and have decided to share some of my thoughts in this blog.
In essence, what I envisage is a bit of a combination of an intentional community and a town with a sense of community. I see a small group of people choosing to live close enough to share various aspects of their lives, and inviting or attracting others to also come and live close by. This ‘intentional community’ works energetically and practically in the wider community of which it is a part. It works out its own momentum by following its inner compass.
From my admittedly limited experience of intentional community, it is easy to become self-absorbed and carry a sense of one’s own specialness. Certainly there may be a special impetus that initiates an intentional community, but then the challenge is to keep that impulse alive in an on-going openness to the divine spark – a constant listening inwardly, sharing, responding. When an intentional community sees itself as a model, or example, it is very easy to fall into a sense of being above or better than.
So, if I were to re-envisage intentional community, it would look like this:
It begins with one household purchasing (preferably) a home in a small town or suburb. This may be just a couple. They make a commitment to live in a way that fosters connection, cooperation and respect at every level – within the household, with those in the wider community of which they are part, between themselves and land/nature, and between themselves and the divine impulse, or Source. In this last regard, there is a commitment to allow the soul to lead – the inner compass, not just of the individual, but of the household, and as it grows, of the intentional community.
The intentional community grows slowly of its own volition. Perhaps there is a choice to manifest a particular element, skill, or configuration, but for the most part, those whom the soul of the intentional community chooses or calls would turn up. Living in close proximity (walking/cycling/wheelbarrowing distance) seems good, and/or another little cluster of household forms. Food growing is fundamental, and working together to do so.
Meanwhile, members of the intentional community are connecting with the local community, learning what best to grow, and how, and coming to know the community and how it ticks. The intentional community, while understanding itself as an intentional community, to all intents and purposes relates as friends. It has no intention to influence the wider community of which it finds itself part – it just learns from and contributes to in a flow of give and take. It is unassuming and quiet, delighting in its good fortune.
How does this land for you? I would be very interested to have your feedback and response.