Ecological and Social Structures for the Healing of Life on Planet Earth, Part I and II
PART I: AN INITIAL PROJECT OVERVIEW
The development of humankind seems to be entering into a dead-end street and this cannot be overcome by traditional means. The work of the United Nations, NGO’s and innumerable peace projects is both important and indispensable. However, it cannot hide the fact that there are hardly any positive projects and goals on a global scale any more. Under the circumstances, a convincing perspective for non-violent cohabitation of our planet is no longer visible. In order to create more favourable preconditions, centres would have to emerge in which the non-violent cohabitation of the human being with all co-creatures can be thought through and developed in an exemplary manner. The aim of the Project of Healing Biotopes is to concretely establish such centres.
The project consists of the development of international and, as far as possible, autonomous communitarian organisms, in which the living conditions for a non-violent future are researched and applied practically. It is the result of many years of research work in Germany, Switzerland and Portugal, where various groups have worked on a concept that could respond to the world- wide globalisation of violence with new thoughts for a world-wide globalisation of peace. During this time, close contact has been established with groups and individuals in Colombia (Gloria Cuartas, peace village San José de Apartadó, Universidad de la Resistancia), India (Vasamalli Kurtaz from the Toda tribe, Rajendra Singh), Kenya (Philip Munyasia, OTEPIC permaculture), Cameroon (Joshua Konkankoh, Betterworld Cameroon, Bafut), Togo (Tiyeda Abalah), Benin (Salim Dara), and especially in Israel-Palestine (Ecovillage Farkha, Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem) as well as to GEN (Global Ecovillage Network).
The new centres are defined as “Healing Biotopes” or “Peace Villages”. The first such centre has been in development for some years now in the future workshop Tamera in Portugal. What is to be developed in these centres is a type of “Biosphere 2”, but no longer as a closed eco-system as it exists in Arizona. Instead what is created is a new living system that connects, in a non-violent way, the areas of life of human beings with those of nature, and the sociosphere with the biosphere. This requires establishing the necessary inner (social, human and spiritual) preconditions within human communities. Within the framework of this project, an experiment is to take place on the 134 hectare site with the Portuguese name “Monte Cerro”. The participants of the experiment will live together, work together and think together. They will research the possibilities for the non-violent cohabitation of human beings and the cohabitation of humans with nature. All questions of cohabitation, such as the social organisation, the roles of the genders, ecology, ethics, etc., will be addressed in a new way.
The project represents a global aspect in two regards:
First: The economy of globalisation has torn humanity from its anchor. Such anchors are or were the land off which and on which one lived, life in the tribe or the extended family, an organic community organism, a far-reaching autonomous economy, being embedded into nature and Creation, and being at home under the protection of a greater whole. This natural anchoring is reflected in an inner value system of truth, trust, sticking together, mutual support, hospitality, helping one’s neighbour, and taking care of the natural environment. This natural value system has been torn apart by a historical process of uprooting.
The totality of the capitalist “colonisation” (Edward Goldsmith) and its economic system has caused billions of people to lose their inner and outer anchor, their basic human values, their home, their trust and their meaning in life. The outer ecological and military destruction, which is inevitably linked to capitalist colonisation, corresponds to an immeasurable misery on the inside. The increase in the “epidemic” of crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, violence, depression and psychosomatic diseases are also a part of this.
Within this context, one can understand the wars of our time and the rage of killing and destruction. It is obvious that humanity has to find new forms of life in order to be able to end the era of terror. This global view automatically makes it absolutely necessary to build new community organisms in which the inhabitants can rediscover their natural values and resources at a new level. Such community organisms are to be built as models within the Healing Biotopes. The idea is not to copy old systems, but to develop new ones.
Second: The “new world order” that is the goal of globalisation, includes the cashless exchange of goods, electronic identity badges, so-called “free trade zones” and the extermination of all domestic subsistence economies. This means that an increasing part of the earth’s population (indigenous peoples, the poor, the unemployed, the landless, the sick, opposition groups, freedom fighters, truth seekers, autonomous thinkers and unpopular inventors) are excluded from the supply of goods. Moreover, since one result of unemployment is the decline of purchasing power, a part of the production becomes meaningless and unemployment, in turn, increases again. A special kind of global vacuum then emerges as the part of the earth’s population that drops out of the economic system will need a new form of living. Here, too, the Healing Biotopes could present possibilities for solutions. The new community organisms that are to be established are independent of banks, multinational corporations or states and will have a mostly autonomous supply in all vital areas. In a sense, it is a “return” to local systems of economy that are based on community, but they are connected with new technologies and new social structures, including a new relation between the sexes.
How can local groups have a global effect? How can the conditions of structural peace that are created at a few places on earth have an effect on the whole earth?
The answer lies in the characteristics of holistic, all-encompassing systems. The functioning and parameters of such systems are described in detail in my book “Future without War”.
What will determine the success of such peace projects is not how big and strong they are (compared to the existing apparatus of violence), but how comprehensive and complex they are, how many elements of life they combine and unite in a positive way. When establishing new fields in evolution, it is not the “law of the strongest”, but the “success of the more comprehensive” that is determinant. Otherwise, no new developments could have been able to establish themselves, for when they began, they were all “small and inconspicuous”.
In this context we can formulate the central research question of the Healing Biotopes as follows: which social, ecological, economic and spiritual preconditions must be realised so that – on the basis of the current state of our evolution – the general information necessary for planetary healing work can emerge?
The main problem is not the question of whether the centres can be globally effective but whether we are able to really create them. Since they are a part of the whole, the burden of the whole also rests on them. They can only be successful if they reach the “universal foundation” that they share with the whole. That universal foundation is the indestructible basis for all human beings, it is their common source and inheritance, their divine core. It shows itself in the capacity for truth and love and in the acceptance of the higher orders of life. Communities begin to be globally effective once they have found, in the tapestry of humankind, the very dimension in which all inhabitants of the earth are connected to one another. It is on this basis that the fragments of life, which have been separate for so long, converge and unite: man with woman, human being with human being, sexuality with the mind/spirit, Eros with Agape, human being with nature, human being with God. Here, the indispensable spiritual dimension of future healing work becomes apparent. Healing is the return from being banished, it is the negation of the original pain that consisted of separation.
PART II: THE EXPERIMENT
We begin with a thought experiment. Imagine the Spirit of the World coming to a group of people and giving them the following task:
“You are to find out under what circumstances the earth can be healed. For this, you have your mind and your spirit, your body, your ability to communicate and the entire knowledge that humans have gathered at your disposal. First, you must find out how you yourselves can live together in a non-violent, healing way among yourselves and with the creatures of nature. Start all over again, and use all your intelligence, your knowledge and abilities, your collective power, intuition and vision in order to find a common way. The suffering of the world, including your own, has been caused by human beings and thus it can also be healed by human beings if they find out how. I will give you three years for this research project. The essential elements of the healing process should have been found by then. Open your minds and spirits to MY presence, for I will help you when you need help. I wish you much courage and joy of discovery in your work.”
We are, in fact, planning to turn this story into reality. Many people who feel the apocalyptic pressure of our times are now ready to cooperate fully with all they can in a project of this size. Since the experiment has been in preparation for more than 25 years, we will not begin with a “tabula rasa”. During these years, a group of experienced work group leaders has emerged, consisting of Sabine Lichtenfels (theologian, co-founder of the overall project), Paul Gisler (automobile mechanic), Roland Luder (physicist), Oskar Eckmann (teacher), Amelie Weimar (medical doctor), Barbara Kovats (solar technology), Bernd Walter Mueller (water specialist), Benjamin von Mendelssohn (Grace Foundation) and others.
For several years Tamera has also been operating a peace school, in which especially young people have been prepared for the tasks and professions of future peace work. The training takes three years. The experiment itself constitutes a phase of such a training. The training incorporates theoretical lessons, training in craftsmanship, historic expeditions and deployment to areas of crisis. Through their experiences in Israel, Palestine, Croatia, Bosnia, Colombia and India the future peace workers will get to know the thoughts and goals of the global peace work. Those who have seen with their own eyes, felt with their own bodies and understood with their own heart what is occurring today all over the world, will participate in a deeper way in the establishment of a humane alternative. The world needs help!
The model character of the experiment requires a mostly autonomous supply of food, drinking water and energy. Since the future Healing Biotopes must free themselves from any dependency on the supply and economic systems in society, the demand that they be autonomous in this sense is not only an ecological requirement, but also an ethical one. We must also know where the food that we eat comes from. Gradually, this will also apply to other areas of consumption. The experiment at “Monte Cerro” has 134 hectares of poor soil at its disposal, which can be turned into a fertile biotope. From our experience with permaculture (Holzer, Fukuoka etc.), with communication with plants (Findhorn, Dorothy McLean), with peace gardens (Eike Braunroth), with aqua culture and water healing (Schauberger, Sepp Holzer and others), with solar technology (Kleinwächter and others), with energy work and geomantics (Pogacnik and others), new ecological concepts have emerged that have a significance that surpasses the local conditions. The soil and vegetation of the whole region urgently needs a comprehensive biological and geomantic healing.
A NEW RELATIONSHIP TO NATURE
For our conduct with nature, we apply the following principle, which was formulated by Albert Schweitzer: Reverence towards life and respect towards all fellow creatures.
This includes creating a living system that fits in to nature and also gives the animals space when they seek contact with human beings. This not only applies to what is already accepted as domestic animals, but also for animals such as mice, rats, birds or toads. They have an important place in Creation.
The aim of the Healing Biotopes includes changing our behaviour toward the living beings of nature in general and also a non-violent approach to so-called vermin. They are all part of the big family we call life. Nature beings (“Devas”) follow a mental/spiritual orientation that is designed for cooperation with the human being. Human beings and animals form a planetary community. In the Sacred Matrix of Creation, they are not destined for war but for co-evolution and cooperation. We are not only working for our own survival; we are also working for a model of a non-violent, sustainable ecology in harmony with the laws of life of the biosphere.
BASIC RESEARCH: STRUCTURES OF REALITY
Parallel with the practical projects, there will be a department for basic research in the (planned) university. It will deal with energy research (possibilities to use “free”, cosmic energy etc.), matter research (what is matter actually?), water research and flow research (Alfred Wakeman, Theodor Schwenk and Victor Schauberger) and oscillation and resonance research. It will also be engaged in life research, research on the functional and structural logic of living matter, on the principle of power, the effectiveness of field forces, the phenomena of “synchronicity” of mental/spiritual and material events and the principle of spiritual attraction. It will also deal with non-material cycles of subtle energies and information, harmonics research, the effect of sound on the processes of life, the significance of the egg shape, etc.
Basic research is directed toward technological and ecological renewal, but it will increasingly connect with consciousness research, since there are ultimately mental/spiritual forces that control the material world. The basis for the structure of reality is a mental/ spiritual matrix. Therefore, healing work that aims to change our material environment is always also work on the mental/spiritual matrix. (This includes research into the mental/spiritual areas of “prayer research”, meditation, ethics, vision work etc.)
The cultural life of the project is comprised of all forms of artistic work: painting, music, dancing, theatre, placing stones and sculptures in the landscape for healing, landscape design and various other work.
Among other things, this deals with rediscovering design principles that are used by Creation itself, such as unintentional actions that have a high accuracy and success rate, effortless concentration and dealing with difficulties in a playful way (Wu-Wei and Mo-Chi-Chu in Taoism). In this sense, art is the conscious application of autonomous processes of Creation, thus approaching the original context of art and cult. Joy and creative energies are produced through communitarian actions and humorous rituals. Artistic actions, as documented for example in our art brochure “Die Wäscheleine” (The Clothesline) are a part of the healing process of a coming culture. The establishment of an arts hall as an art gallery and theatre space, an open air studio and a special building (“futuroscope”) for the performance of futurist theatre pieces are all planned.
FURTHER AREAS OF WORK
Below, I will mention some important work areas, for which further co-workers and specialists are needed.
Workshop, crafts and technology – establishing a place for youth – the youth school – raising children – the guest area – the horse project – handicrafts – the shop – healing – political and human networking – the media agency – the computer network – congresses and events – the kitchen, nutrition etc. – administration – the economy – ecology … In the long run, all this can only succeed on the basis of a stable community that functions in the human area. That takes us to the issue of community, one of the core issues of the project that cannot be outlined in a few sentences. We cannot put the best goals into practise unless we are able to establish functioning communities that have the ability to survive. Ecological humanism requires a new social structure. Throughout the history of the project, surprising experiences have been gathered in the area of human co-habitation, and they have made us think more deeply about community building and solidarity.
SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING THE EXPERIMENT
The participants are supposed to learn how to live and work together harmoniously. Also, they will cooperate in the work on the historical issues of humankind of our time and find a path of healing. It is a small model society, where the basic questions have to be asked again, without relying on pre-fabricated answers:
- How much leadership does a community of this size need?
- How can efficient coordination of the various working areas be guaranteed?
- What is the healthy relation of individual free space and the need of the community?
- What forms of life and work awakens the highest potential in the individual?
- What makes a human being permanently happy?
- How can conflicts be solved?
- How can the difficulties in the relationship between the sexes be solved?
- How can our fellow creatures in nature be involved in the peace work?
- How can we live together with animals that nest in our houses and gardens because they seek to be close to human beings (birds, mice, rats, toads, snakes and other so-called “vermin”)?
- How can one communicate with nature beings (Devas)?
- What do educational programmes look like that make sense to young people?
- How can the healthy development of children be promoted?
- What is healthy nutrition?
- How can spring water and drinking water be revitalised?
- How can communitarian consumption be limited to those essential products which do not contribute to global exploitation – we call them “complicity-free” products – without returning to the level of cave people?
- How can we develop recycling systems with a maximum use of the waste? (“Nature doesn’t know waste.”)
- How is it possible to work in a concentrated way for a long time without getting tired?
- What does a spiritual life look like in practise when it comes from personal experience?
- How can a lively network be organised?
- How can a common vibration of calm and joy be created in the face of the abundance of tasks?
We assume that not all of these questions will find ready answers, for we find ourselves in a universe in process. We believe, however, that if we do a good job, the directions in which we can find convincing solutions will become clearer and crystallise. We are dealing with finding a new way for cohabitation in the human biotope, a way where the human order can reconnect with the order of life and Creation.
THE SPIRITUAL ANCHOR
All earthly life is woven into cosmic life, and there is no basic separation between this world and the next world, between earthly and cosmic, between the material and the mental/spiritual world. The tasks that must be completed could not be solved if divine help were not to come to our aid from the whole of the world. On the one hand, the (entelechial) forces of self-healing, which are inherent in all areas of life, must simply be stimulated in the right way to reach their goal. On the other hand, there are spontaneously operating “field forces” that always become active when new developments are in resonance with the whole. A basic aim of our project is to enter into lasting cooperation with the Sacred Matrix. It is the power of Creation, the basic pattern of the “implicit order” (David Bohm), that is the basis of all things and all life forms and regulates their relations. The spiritual focus of the project is not directed towards the next life but towards the physical, sensual world on earth. The participants will therefore rediscover the female sources that were suppressed for thousands of years, and will integrate them into their future work. (This explains the high significance of the issues of love, sexuality and new roles for the sexes.)
At the moment, a special “Ashram” is in development, a place where cooperation with the forces of Creation can be learned. All project participants have the possibility to practise their spiritual exercises or to go on retreats in this space. The establishment of functioning future communities will no longer be possible without the establishment of solid spiritual foundations. A new culture emerges from the reconnection with the divine laws of life and the universe. There are certainly many paths to this goal, but there is maybe only one key to open the gateway: the rediscovered quality of TRUST.
PRECONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATION
We are often asked what preconditions for cooperation and participation people must fulfill to be able to participate in the experiment. What matters is one’s inner willingness to cooperate and the extent to which one’s human qualities conform to what we consider to be the “ethical basis” for the project:
• mutual support
• assuming responsibility for the community.
These are no minor qualities. They do not depend on the individual’s academic degree or professional position, but only on his or her state of consciousness. We must apply the measures that the world needs for its healing to ourselves, too. Participants must, therefore, be ready to open up to a high degree of self-change and to overcome old habits.
The experiment itself is mainly intended for young people between the ages of 18 and 40, who are willing to take on the tasks and professions that are necessary for establishing Healing Biotopes. Older people are also warmly welcome, if they can adjust to the new life circumstances. Participants know that crises and conflicts are unavoidable in such a novel experiment. They are committed to seeing the coming difficulties as a part of their path of learning and – if at all possible – to stay for the entire three years. It is therefore important that they inform themselves thoroughly about the meaning and the purpose of this experiment beforehand.
People with leadership abilities and team spirit, experts in the areas of ecology, technology (energy, water, information), architecture, administration and medicine, are particularly wanted.
Written originally in 2004; updated 2010
Translated from the German by Frieda Radford