Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Enthusiasm for a Rural Intentional Community

I went to a recent event of like-minded "let's make the world a better place through personal transformation and green activism" folks, many from a group. It was hosted by a friend of mine and I went to support her and her work. The focus was mostly on envisioning this year and releasing anything that no longer serves us so that we are free to manifest what we want and need. There was a good turnout, maybe 20 people. The house felt quite full in a friendly way.

Over our potluck supper some of these like-minded folks began talking about how they wished there were an intentional community close by where they could live. As far as I could tell, these were people who are not very close to each other, maybe have met once or twice, but these half-dozen people were all expressing this same desire. There was even a bit of implied "where we could all live together." Several people volunteered information and enthusiasm about various green building techniques.

I am a little taken aback. My ultimate dream is to have pagan sacred space and community on rural land close to the city (and its resources and jobs). I have thought about and studied the logistics of how best to do this for several years now, and it is ultimately this dream that underpins the Time Bank and Incorporation initiatives of this year. If there is to be property, it needs to be bought and owned collectively. Unilateral action leads to authoritarianism, as I have personally witnessed repeatedly. In order for a group to invest in a property, there needs to be a legal structure under which to buy it (recognized 501(c)(3) religious organization, 501-something collective, land trust, etc.) and enough wealth, community spirit, and interest in the community to fund it.

I did join the conversation and offer many of my ideas. I got the impression that most of the people I was talking with are more at the "wouldn't it be awesome if" or "someone needs to" phase of dreaming, and that is fine. I am excited that there is that much latent interest at all. It shows me that there is a resource of interest there that can be tapped and developed.

Yes, I am mostly committed to working in the local pagan community first, and that is because it is my community. We are a (somewhat persecuted) minority together, and I would love to see us thriving. However, I now know that there is interest and enthusiasm among the
"let's make the world a better place through personal transformation and green activism" crowd, and that adds depth and ambition to my own visions for how this could all happen.

1 comment:

anastasia said...

I have to admit I don't share your vision for living in a community of any kind, pagan or otherwise. I don't like co-owning stuff, property, responsibilities, or anything else that I can think of.
Throughout the years of having discussed this topic with you and with others, I feel like my ideal situation would be to live on adjacent, privately owned lots, with not just like-minded people, but people that I actually love and trust. I have a feeling that a lot of people who say how much they'd like to live in a community like you describe have never actually thought about what that would be like, beyond the romanticism of group cohabitation.
Anyway, I'm not actually trying to make any point here, just using your blog to organize my own thoughts on the topic...