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kent smith
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Has anyone here lived in a interdepended community based on a religious or common held belief system such as the Amish or Mennonites?
kent
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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No.  I've visited one, in Alaska, that's part of a network of Christian communities.  We came close to asking to join, but they are charismatic and we aren't.  Otherwise I liked a lot of things about it.

Kathleen
 
Gord Welch
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Location: Oregon
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Hello, this is my first post here. May I participate?

My wife and I are Anabaptist and have been searching for a group to join for about 5 years. We have looked all over NA but are feeling as though there may not be a group to join. We have very conservative beliefs but we have absolutely nothing in common with conservative mainline groups because we are Anabaptist. We differ very little from the conservative mennonite groups, but differ in a few important ways which would prevent us from fully embracing/being fully embraced.

We were not raised Anabaptist, but rather found our way through Biblical study and careful thought. This creates an interesting situation when visiting ethnic mennonites. We have never visited Amish, but you know, we don't speak their language, so it would almost be like moving to another country.

One thing about the conservative Anabaptist groups is that they are not conscious about environmental issues. This means we have a different paradigm of thinking about the world, even though our other religious beliefs are almost identical. In this way we are more in line with say, The Farm, and have thought about their ways carefully. We like them, and might join, except we are not vegetarian and they do not allow animals.

My wife has lived for a time in the Taizé community in France, which is a transitory Christian community in a unique Roman Catholic/Protestant tradition. It focuses on quiet and contemplation and meditation on scripture with mantra-like singing.

So we are interested in finding others you might share an interest in permaculture for the sake of falling in line with the way the world was created, and bucking the trend of the Anthropocene. We like quiet, natural, conservative folks - we also brew and vint at home, because we see it as Biblically promoted.

What I guess I'm trying to say is that in finding a community to live with, what holds true for most groups rings even truer for religious ones... articulation and subscription of beliefs is vital.
 
                            
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Gordwelch, you might try looking in Latin America. There are Mennonite colonies in any of several countries. Aside from Old Order Amish their Ordnungs are typically a little more strict than their counterparts in Canada and the USA.

Among other colonies I am aware of is one in the highlands of Belize that raises vegetables for local markets (that are apparently extremely needy of fresh produce--Belize is not a very productive country), and several in Paraguay. There are Mennonites in Mexico but personally I would prefer other countries.

The Paraguayan colonies are fairly easy to find and contact. They speak Plattdeutsch but can understand Hochdeutsch. A few of them are in the subtropical-humid southeast where people grow things like sweet potatoes and soybeans, and some are located out in the Chaco which is a very hot, dry alluvial plain with a short but intense rainy season. They've experimented with crops like Jatropha out there. I've suggested Moringa to them. Chaya would probably work too.

As is typical of more traditional Anabaptists they tend to be wary of strangers. You can warm them up by sounding culturally and theologically compatible, and by offering friendly favors.
 
peter mukunda
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I'm of Mennonite background, but of the most liberal branch (lesser known, it seems, than the horse and buggy ones), which is not outwardly noticeably different than the rest of NA (except to the trained eye, perhaps). I still live amongst many Mennonites in a rural setting, but my beliefs have evolved. I consider myself a spiritual Mennonite only in the sense that I strive to take whatever is good of Anabaptism and Mennonitism (and other isms), and in the sense that "truth-seeker" is the ultimate definition of any type of spiritual believer (in this case, of Mennonite).  Meaning, I go where my truth-detector takes me, even if fellow Mennonites (or others) do not accompany me.

I believe in organics, permaculture and in intentional communities/ecovillages. Frankly, I see these not as only good and practical practices, but now also see them as very advantageous for helping to survive the coming chaos, which will be an intensification of the global environmental crisis and other problems, along with economic woes - recession, depression and outright survival. These may be with us for some decades, starting very soon, lasting until humanity and Mother Nature settle down more - when humanity arrives at greater sanity and the Earth at greater healing.

I'm in a networking phase. Contacting others and discussing intentional community. When I do join or help form one, it will almost certainly be rural, as I'm a farmboy and in love with the idea of living in a quiet, natural place. I currently live on a family farm, but it's not ideal in a number of ways. It's not an organic farm, for one thing.

I could conceivably be in an intentional community with good atheists and agnostics, but more ideally I'd like to be with people with sincere spiritual beliefs. I don't actually care what religion or path they're on, as long as they have a good one, live it, and are tolerant, friendly, practical, wise, earth-loving and have a sense of humour. My own beliefs would probably be described as "eastern". I'm learning meditation, etc. I need people who are at least tolerant of my beliefs.

In terms of belonging to a potential ecovillage or ic, I've described my vision at
http://directory.ic.org/22865/Walden_Farm   I live in Canada, in the province of Saskatchewan. I am 47, male, single. I can also be contacted at hjb39@hotmail.com

I'm with those who bemoan the overall lack of sound earth practices among Mennonites and others. Among most farmers around here, at least, there's little questioning of chemical/factory farm methods. I applaud the notable exceptions.

But I think most farmers, including Mennonites, a rude awakening when the factory farm system collapses, and the only thing possible and intelligent is more sustainable farming and living methods.

To have faith and ideals of non-violence, peace, etc, as Mennonites generally do, must go hand in hand with a vision of environmental integrity, as well as social tolerance, progress and harmony.
 
Tyler Ludens
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lightning, if you haven't seen it, you might enjoy this website about how love of the Earth can be in concert with Christian beliefs and ideals:  http://creationcare.org/



 
peter mukunda
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Just have time for a glance, at least for now, but it looks positive - thanks
 
                                      
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I live in what is affectionately called "the Amish Triangle."  Within twenty miles of my home there are four Amish Communities, two Mennonite Communities, two Mormon Splinter Communities, and four Anarchist Communities.  All of them are based in "Religious Beliefs" and none of them can be said to be any more interested in ecological or sustainable lifestyle than your average rural neighborhood.  They spend as much, if not more at Wallmart and they are some of the biggest consumers of disposable, landfill-bound garbage of any group in four counties. 

This is tough for me to report because I have always held the Amish and Mennonites as perhaps the last great refuge for sustainable practices left in American.  As the only Naturopath/ Medicine Man making house calls in Missouri (that I know of), I have had hundreds of opportunities to sit in houses, shops, barns, schools, chapels, and so forth, and witness the for real, day to day activities of my former idols.

Fact is, none of them see the environment as anything more than a tool provided by God for the use and pleasure of men.  The earth is not to be replenished.  Rather, the earth is to be subdued.  The earth is the footstool of God, whereas men are his children, his heirs, and if heirs then we have a whole lot more to look forward to than the footstool - we have the whole house.  The footstool just ain't enough for the children of God.  As a Native American Medicine Man who has declared intention to replenish the Earth, it just sickens me. 
 
peter mukunda
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Spiritual movements usually evolve, splinter and may lose focus over time. In the case of Anabaptists, including Mennonites, it's been about 500 years since their beginnings. There are all types of Menno groups and individuals around now, some more environmentally-conscious, more educated in genral and more sensitive to many issues.  There are also many groups and individual who are not very aware and do not strive to be so.

It's a general trait of Mennos to keep their nose to the grindstone, as was necessary in decades and centuries past. So, they're generally hardworking, consistent, practical, efficient, etc, in my experience. But, as we are both saying, many have not caught on enough to ecological, agricultural and consumerism issues. They have gone mainstream in farming methods and are mostly not organic, not around here, anyway.

A problem with various groups can be that everything can just become routine. They found some truths and established some systems of living that worked or they liked years ago, and so now they might just be keeping the machine running.  There may not be enough discussion of new ideas. Perhaps they also see themselves as being the "righteous ones' in society - so no need for questioning and possibly new/altered directions. But the problems I'm touching on are, of course, not strictly Mennonite or Anabaptist, but prevalent among all humanity...

When the availability of farm chemicals and fertilizers, etc, ends or becomes unreliable or unaffordable, I expect anyone with a hardwork ethic and practicality to have those virtues help them in adapting to new situations. Hopefully hard times will also be a significant mental/spiritual wake-up call for everyone, too - that they did not come by accident, but due to many things humans did.  I expect we'll be into hard times and survival modes in just a few years, if not sooner.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Another part of the issue was actually brought on by the environmentalists themselves -- some of them were (and are) so extreme in their views that it borders on worshiping the earth itself, rather than the One who Created everything.  This brought on a revulsion in a lot of Christian circles, turning people away from anything to do with environmentalism.  People on both sides forgot about the need for balance -- the creation is not more important than the Creator or the humans who were created in His image; but on the other hand, we do need to take care of the environment, if only because it has to function properly in order for us to survive, and also because who wants to live in either a trash heap or a sterile environment (balance, again!).

Kathleen
 
                                      
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It is a very basic doctrine of my Native American Religion that to use a gift given by the Creator without careful stewardship is to disregard the Creator.  To use up the good of the earth is that kind of disregard. 

What I don't understand is how people, especially Christians, get the idea that they can do whatever needs to be done with the earth, and still be O.K. with their God.  Lookit.  Even if we use the metaphor that the Earth is God's footstool, when was the last time you went into your neighbor's house and pissed on her sofa?  Never!  Me neither!  It's just not any kind of etiquette anywhere.  Where in the Bible does it suggest that we mere humans would ever be justified in destroying God's footstool?  I don't get it.

But this thread is not about all that.  I apologize for going there, but, you know, I just don't get a sense that "Spiritually Based" ICs really are, unless part of the doctrine demands that their members at least treat God's furniture as we would wish our neighbor treat ours. 
 
peter mukunda
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1)  I've gone back and done some editing in my posts, as I feel I was drifting into negativity. I'd rather speak of what is positive.

2) Kathleen, "balance" is indeed a good word.

3) Cloudpiler, yes we have lost touch with the Earth and must get it back.


It is hard to operate in the world now without involving oneself in bad systems, but we can work towards improving them. However, the era of survival is upon us, IMO, so we also have to deal with that, often just doing what is necessary to keep body and soul together. But, a lot of the bad systems of doing things will topple on their own, as people return more to simplicity. Chemical companies, for example, rely on farmers having money to buy their products and on a fairly complex system of producing and distributing their products. As economies fail, etc, I can't see them operating, or not nearly as smoothly.

As the environmental crisis builds and builds, and wreaks havoc on humanity, more and more people will also sincerely question how we have treated the Earth and will turn towards better modes living, treating land, air and water in much better ways. So, basically, the coming crisis, though unfortunate and painful, is also the best promoter of better thinking. After a while (probably some decades) I see the Earth settling down, rebalancing itself, aided by a more enlightened humanity. Basically, we're in for a rocky ride, but things will get better later - it's like the birth of beautiful child, preceded by a difficult labour...   
 
Tyler Ludens
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Cloudpiler wrote:
It is a very basic doctrine of my Native American Religion that to use a gift given by the Creator without careful stewardship is to disregard the Creator.  To use up the good of the earth is that kind of disregard.


I agree with this idea.  Does a good child break a gift given to her by her Father?  No, a good child treasures and preserves the gift.

 
            
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Cloudpiler wrote:

What I don't understand is how people, especially Christians, get the idea that they can do whatever needs to be done with the earth, and still be O.K. with their God. 


Genesis 1:28 God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

Befruitfulmultiply.jpg
[Thumbnail for Befruitfulmultiply.jpg]
 
                                      
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See, I don't get that whole dominion over everything bit.  We do not dominate the bacteria that live in our guts.  We live our lives without even knowing they're there at all.  But by God when they are not there doing their job, we know it then don't we?  When we swallow the antibiotic and the diabukus of the blowhole is about turning us inside out, is that what "subdue" the earth means?

Here is a fundamental belief system that must be re-thought.  If Spirituality-based ICs have domination of people or place at their core, how can they sustain?
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I think that you have an incorrect idea of what Biblical 'dominion' means, though, Cloudpiler.  As, to be honest, do many other people, including a lot of Christians.  The world's view of having dominion over something is to be boss over it, which is correct as far as it goes.  But they leave out that the 'boss' is the greatest Servant of all.  Jesus Christ came to earth to SERVE mankind, and to SAVE us, not to rule over us like men do (although there will come a day when He does that, too -- and at the same time will restore the earth, so don't think He's going to destroy His own creation!  That's a 'man' trick, not something God does.).  He tells us that we are to be like Him, and that means serving and helping, not ruling over.  The one with the dominion does have ultimate authority, but they are supposed to use that authority for the good of those they rule over.

Kathleen

ETA:  Keep in mind that some of the worst-ever offenders as far as the environment is concerned have been the Communist countries.  China, Russia, and so on....People in this country are, I think, beginning to use Christianity as a scapegoat for all kinds of universal human failings, which is very much too bad, and forgetting that ALL people have the capacity to do evil inside of them. 
 
peter mukunda
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Yes, if the human species is "top dog", what do we do with that responsibility? Fortunately, a more harmonious, synergistic, preserving outlook is growing among people and promises a bright future. But, we will have some years of trials, some of them severe, before we reach that bright future.

The best thing to do (on a physical level) is to be prepared. Put up some non-perishable foods. Grow a vegie garden. Learn to save some seeds. Have a plan for when electricity and other utilities fail. So on and so forth. Forming an intentional community can be part of both a survival strategy and a strategy to live more greenly, as well as a potentially better social situation.

Basically, we should be optimistic and light-hearted, but also realistic. Humanity won't glide into that brighter future, but arrive rather broken and bleeding. But it's good to know it is coming...!
 
                                      
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I live in a unique area.  North of me about fifteen miles is an Amish Community.  East of me about nine miles is another Amish Community, and west of me is another Amish Community and two Mennonite Communities, all with different rules.  The one north of me admits no one but Amish or Mennonites.  The one west of me admits proselytes, but only as the wife of an Amish man.  The one to the east of me admits anybody who will become Amish. 

To the south of me is a Mormon splinter community with about half polygamists and half monogamists.  You are welcome there if you believe that polygamy is necessary for salvation, even if you don't practice the principle yourself, and if you agree that all things government are evil and should be abolished.

The other ICs close to me are anarchist and don't really come into this discussion, since the only criteria they require is that you donate everything you own to the community upon admission and then you must render up everything you might make to the community thereafter.  You must also give up the SS Number and file some kind of suit against the Treasury for the return of the money I guess they've got from mortgaging our birth certificates.  I don't mix with them much, but they call for help from time to time.

What I think is interesting is that all these groups are ICs based in some principle, or a group of principles, they call "spiritual."  I am a rank outsider and get to see the inner workings because I have become rather well known as a Healer in the area, I make house calls, and I ask only whatever donation for my services that the individual or family deems appropriate.  They all know I'm a pretty scary, mixed bag of religious beliefs myself and that I am never apt to agree with them.  But they also know that I don't believe in dictating the beliefs of others.  They have become comfortable with that, so I get to see them in their work clothes, so to speak.

What I have observed with all of them is that (except the anarchist who I don't care to get to know very well) is that, as diverse as they are, they all have the same idea where the use of the land is concerned.  The Amish in our area have no problem with the use of chemical soil amendments, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, and neither do the Mennonites.  They have created fescue deserts identical to their neighbors who practice agriculture.  The Mormon splinter doesn't have any philosophy at all about such things, so anything goes.  They have crowded forty or so families onto one rocky piece of property and have created one of the ugliest, sickest forests in the area.

I have also observed that each of these groups use the same justification when I ask them about land stewardship.  They quote the bible and the fact that God gave Adam dominion over all the earth.

I believe that if each of these ICs adopted the Permaculture Ethic of care of the earth, care of people, reduce consumption and return the surpluses into the system, they could actually call themselves "Spiritually Based."  But because of its connection with environmentalism, every one of these ICs deem Permaculture to be "Of the Devil."  Their own bad and unsustainable, status-quo practices, practices that have proven disastrous, are all God-Ordained, and therefore, they are justified in hurting the earth and contributing to an uninhabitable planet for future generations.  Spiritual-based, and immoral.

 
peter mukunda
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The writings of Ken Carey of Missouri have been greatly influential for me. In particular "Return Of The Bird Tribes", which is about the awesome spiritual glory your people's past (and present), Native Americans, and the great relevance of that past on these times. It's quite poetic and esoteric, but so beautifully written (channeled) that I felt the spirit of it come through very strongly and it touched me deeply, even when the information was so beyond me. (The spiritual universe is no doubt a big and complex place...) It explained so many things in a way that I have not read elsewhere. I consider it a scripture. And the stories included, those of Deganawida, Haiwatha and White Buffalo Woman are very spell-binding and instructive. I was uplifted and I felt it to be in more or less in sync with everything I believe about life and this age. I once passed through part of Missouri and regret that I didn't try to find Ken, though I don't think he is too much open to fans seeking him out, especially unannounced. But if I would get a message in a dream or something, I wouldn't hesitate to make the journey back. 
 
Tyler Ludens
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lightning wrote:
Yes, if the human species is "top dog", what do we do with that responsibility?


I don't actually believe we occupy position as "top dog."  Personally, I think it's pretty clear the bacteria hold that position.  Without them we could not survive.  Without us, they would be fine. 

 
peter mukunda
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LOL 
 
peter mukunda
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Cloudpiler, this may be too obvious to mention, but all we can do is learn about whatever is good in other intentional communities and incorporate it into our own ideas, as may be beneficial and appropriate. The world is full of all kinds of people living in all kinds of ways. Most won't change, but slowly, and perhaps only when they are forced to, perhaps at a time of crisis, or series of crises. The exceptions to this, the thinking, evolving individuals and communities, can be rare. But they do exist. And this is also an era of people reaching for answers, of people striving for growth in many departments of life, so this is producing more people and groups eager to develop themselves positively. I'd generally just learn what I could from these groups and resist the urge to put much effort into trying to influence them. Many such conservative groups view change and new anything as the enemy, so it's often difficult to even bring a topic up.

But, sometimes they're impressed when something "new" is introduced as something which is really old - something which is more time-honoured, but got left behind. This was the case when Deganawida and Haiwatha tried to bring cooperation and peace to the warring tribes of the Great Lakes region, apparently. Some tribes didn't want any new ways. However, part of the argument which eventually convinced them all was that inter-tribal harmony was actually a far older, more nobler tradition than the more recent habits of warfare.

There are many groups in the world who are convinced that their ways are the best and holiest, and all outsiders are evil, or at least not as good as they are. Some groups are actually humbly doing their best, but the more sanctimonious, unswaying attitude is also prevalent and it can be hard to endure. Yet, they do claim to be based in Truth, so when certain truths stare them in the face often enough, there may be some movement... I also have a soft spot for children, women and others who caught in such communities in negative circumstances, and would welcome the chance to assist those who try to escape them. It can hard for them, but not impossible, especially if they have some sane friends on the outside. They were all born into (or otherwise arrived at) these places for a reason, but this doesn't mean we can't help them escape what are often oppressive conditions. Some of these places are riddled with abuse - psychological, physical, sexual, etc - despite whatever shinier veneer may be presented to outsiders.  Sometimes the rules and hierarchy of such places also borders on tyranny, if they aren't in fact that.  I know of some Mennonite communities where alcohol, drugs and other substance abuse is common (despite any rules against such). So, with these types of issues present, it becomes more understandable why they also may not have very progressive outlooks on environmental issues either; the members are largely in "survival mode".

Anyway, the bottom line, IMO, is that there is often much going on in the dynamics of a community and so its members may be very slow to change anything. So, perhaps all we can do is learn from such situations. If nothing else, practial things, like how to work with horses, how to fix things, etc...   
 
Kate Nudd
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Thanks,everyone, for this great thread.
Lighting,what you write in your previous replies resonates with me and I have sent you an email through the ic.org site.
I am appreciating more and more in my life that I am thriving in this moment and that my work here is to 'be a light unto myself' ( words from Buddha) so that this is emitted to the world/others.  It (whatever 'it' is) is not outside of us, it rests within. Pretty simple yet not so easy to assimilate. It has become for me a quiet,calmer way to 'be' in the world and not what I have been in my past.
This is healthier for me and I believe for those who I am with. This affords me greater patience, tolerance and acceptance.
I also see that the practical things( chop wood/carry water) assist in the very essence of being in the moment and/or coming to the light within.
I look forward to others comments.
 
Lee Einer
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Cloudpiler wrote:

What I don't understand is how people, especially Christians, get the idea that they can do whatever needs to be done with the earth, and still be O.K. with their God.  Lookit. 


I will need to duck and cover after saying this, but
The Abrahamic creation myth provides the non-rational template for this and some other attitudes which many find unacceptable.

The creator made the universe just by saying so. That's pretty authoritarian. And he's a dude. Who made a smaller dude to rule over the planet and subdue it (and there we have the idea that they can do whatever they want with the Earth.)  Woman was made only as an afterthought from a spare part to see after the little dude's needs (presumably sex and housekeeping.) So there's the explicit patriarchy and sexism.

And it goes on. Disobey or question and the creator will dispatch you to a terrible foul-smelling place of eternal torment (the mythic basis for extraordinary rendition and gitmo.)

Creation myths are powerful. That's why we have them. And we can just look back over the last couple of millenia and see what this particular one programs us to do.

 
peter mukunda
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The Bible is highly metaphorical and, therefore, many portions of it are difficult to understand. Opting for overly-literal, narrow, shallow, selfish interpretations which lead to disharmony, imbalance, oppression of fellow humans, destruction of the environment, etc, is not a solution.
 
James Stark
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**Hoping LasVegasLee is willing to share his foxhole**

There are many parts of the bible that, whether interpreted as literal OR metaphorical, are simply atrocious. I bring this up because there is an assumption here that's being made. To suggest that someone is interpreting the bible in a, "overly-literal, narrow, shallow, selfish interpretations which lead to disharmony, imbalance, oppression of fellow humans, destruction of the environment, etc," way is very knee-jerk, and defensive.

I bring this up not to cause conflict, but to emphasize the need for harmony. To be "spiritual" is not a necessity when it comes to caring for this, our only planet. It doesn't matter whether you are Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Pagan, or any other system of belief (or non-belief). The topic of this thread begs a very serious and valid question: Does one NEED to be spiritual to hold the same reverance for the earth that spiritual folks do? Can an atheist care as much about the planet as a christian? (I do realize the intended topic was not, in fact this, but the relation to it I feel is very relevant. )


In short, I sincerely hope this is NOT a community based on spirituality. I see nothing wrong with seeking out those that share your beliefs. I just hope that this forum (here's the part that relates) is one that accepts all people with an interest in permaculture/environmentalism/sustainable living and the like.


Hope I didn't get too controversial. If I did, I'm sure I'll hear about it soon! LOL
 
Lee Einer
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James Stark wrote:
**Hoping LasVegasLee is willing to share his foxhole**

To be "spiritual" is not a necessity when it comes to caring for this, our only planet. It doesn't matter whether you are Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Pagan, or any other system of belief (or non-belief). The topic of this thread begs a very serious and valid question: Does one NEED to be spiritual to hold the same reverance for the earth that spiritual folks do? Can an atheist care as much about the planet as a christian? (I do realize the intended topic was not, in fact this, but the relation to it I feel is very relevant. )



My personal perspective is that "spiritual" is the flip-side of "carnal" or "profane" or "material" and is one half of a false dichotomy. Why make spiritual and carnal? By doing so, we cut the world, our experience, and therefore ourselves, in half.

And I think we can go somewhat beyond caring for the Earth, by finding our place within nature. Believing ourselves to be separate from nature is the first step down the road to abusing nature.
 
James Stark
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LasVegasLee wrote:
And I think we can go somewhat beyond caring for the Earth, by finding our place within nature. Believing ourselves to be separate from nature is the first step down the road to abusing nature.


That gave me butterflies. I couldn't have stated that better myself! Well said my friend.
 
peter mukunda
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James, I don't understand this to be a spiritual site, only this particular conversation (perhaps others, too, I'm not aware of). However, anyone who sees dharma (right action, right living) as an essential part of a spiritual quest, of spiritual living, is bound to see permaculture as spiritual. If they don't, they're just starting out or are lost or don't understand permaculture.

Atheists may care as much or more about the Earth and community, AFAIK. However, I'd argue that ultimately anyone who engages in a sincere and deepening spiritual search is wiser and more effective at it.

I often think that many atheists are very spiritual, they just don't recognize it. Maybe it's better that way, at least at first. What mainstream culture often calls "truly spiritual", I often do not.

Many agnostics and atheists tend to take bad examples of "spiritual" people (and they often GREATLY outnumber good spiritual people!) in order to write off spirituality as a whole. However, a mountain of fools' gold doesn't disprove the existence of real gold...

I did not feel (knee) jerkish or defensive in my statements. I merely stated, in brief, what I believe.

These are deep, long subjects. Perhaps this is not the right place. But anyone can contact me at hjb39@hotmail.com , if they wish. (Use a good subject heading, so I don't erase it as junk mail.)

Lastly, I may be more in rebellion against certain "spiritual" movements than atheists, such as fundamentalist Christianity. I learned the other day of "ominion Mandate" and thought, "Okay, now this is pure evil!".  
 
Tyler Ludens
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What is a "spiritual person"?

 
peter mukunda
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I should perhaps clarify my last remarks. There are probably some fairly healthy versions of "ominion Mandate", but in this case I was referring to an article which used it in an argument which stated that environmentalism is unspiritual, put forth by certain Christian fundamentalists. I found it completely bizarre.
 
peter mukunda
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Re: "Spiritual person." Ultimately, I'd say we're all spiritual beings, but in this case I was referring to people who have spiritual beliefs (ie: belief in God, karma, reincarnation, etc) and consciously try to live a life based on such beliefs.
 
                          
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I am looking for people interested in living the old-fashioned life without being Amish. Check out my vision...

http://leavingbabylon.wordpress.com/ludda/
 
peter mukunda
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Sounds like there could be a ludda potential in this...

I like the emphasis on reduced noise and glaring lights, although sometime there is little way around making a bunch noise, but it should happen more mid-day, if possible, IMO.
 
Leila Rich
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This thread has moved in a direction that I want to contribute to...
I find it very common for people to link 'spirituality' with goodness, morality, ethics and what have you. I am not a spiritual person, but I try to live a good, moral and ethical life.
I suppose I'd call myself an atheist if I had to and am perfectly comfortable with the possibility there's no 'after' when I die, although I'm pretty taken with the physics rule that energy cannot be destroyed, but changes form, so I suppose there is an 'after' after all...
 
peter mukunda
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Yes, there is no death, IMO. Only the exit of consciousness from a life form (in this case a human body).

I believe we remain in an astral world, until reincarnating.

 
Peter Carroll
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nancy sutton
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I just wish we could all speak only from our own personal experiential perspective... and not from one of absolute certainty, that considers any deviation to be damnation. It is interesting to hear others' stories, and not feel the need to judge which are more or less 'true/better/valid etc'.. which we all do, whenever we come across 'differences'.   Like, maybe we could share and listen, so as to learn and love, instead of feeling the pressue to do 'God's' work of 'saving' (which involves identifying the 'unsaved,' of course :) ... as in leave it up to whatever a Bigger-than-Human-Mind might be (or not be) to do it's own 'saving'... and let us we just do the hard part.. enjoying one another ;)

If there could be a community of such rare folks, it might work.  (Even the sweet St. Therese of Lisieux found the hardest thing about living in a deeply ascetic monastery was her fellow sisters' small irritating characteristics :)  Being human ain't easy .... however, we do great in the short term... see 'A Paradise Built in Hell' by Solnit, for the historical corroboration.

Btw, there's a new book, '150 Strong', Rob O'Grady', about the author's research showing that we'll all need to learn how to live together successfully in the upcoming troubles, with compassion and generosity and tolerance... or we'll be unsuccessful.  (150 is the 'Dunbar Number' re: minimum number where all can be known by all.)  I think it is online here...http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/06/22/150-strong-a-guide-to-community/

 
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