Looking back at those 10 years of community living, we had the incredible opportunity to be relatively free from the usual constraints of mainstream life (such as 9-5 jobs), mainly due to our conscious commitment to a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity, creativity and a lot of mostly fun do-it-yourself. We could therefore experiment and try out.
We were very aware of the opportunity presented. We gladly appreciated the simple abundance offered. And we were haunted by the responsibility this brought with it. Here we were — young, healthy, creative, blessed with all kinds of access to information and insight. What were we doing with it all?
We were trying to co-create a more sustainable culture — not just at the physical level but at all levels of existence that we were aware of. And yet, we kept bumping into this growing sense that it was not enough. What we were doing (which included growing our own organic food, spending literally hundreds of volunteer hours in forestry and water protection activism, hosting workshops and internships, organizing seasonal rituals and celebrations, working on personal growth, developing communication and conflict resolution skills, building alternative housing facilities, interacting with the greater community through the arts and a counselling service, dancing, singing and studying consciousness evolution) did not seem sufficient given the alarming rate at which this world seemed to be heading toward collapse due to increasing separation and destruction.
Within the community too we encountered an unexpected degree of transition and lack of commitment. We kept experiencing that people, including ourselves, would get to a certain threshold where what was required was a full Yes to the Real. Not a continued dabbling with the ego, although the growth in awareness around this habitual force in our lives was definitely beneficial, but a complete commitment to what really mattered in life. Why didn‘t we go for it? Why the fluctuations, the spurts of enthusiasm only to fade away after a brief ignition? And so we were left with questions and some doubts. What was it we were missing? If we couldn‘t make it, given the incredible setting, the good intentions, the luxury of time and choice, well then who could?
This growing sense that we were not living up to our potential, up to why we were here on earth, up to the service required from us, eventually led us to decide to take a year off (or rather „on“!). We untied any ties we had — commitment and work-wise (this took us two years to do…!), and set out to network and meet with others who might be holding similar questions or hopefully pieces of an answer and to see if we could come back with a more complete picture, with a clearer sense of direction and focus. With us we took our experiences of the last 10 years of community life, the intuitions and ideas we had about the next step in the evolution of human consciousness. We set out to ask, to listen and to share: