Dream Alliance

by Paxus Calta

One way to think about community is as an antidote to the problems of contemporary society. A strong case can be made that deep sharing mitigates most climate disruption contributors. We see that highly intentional community helps heal some people’s mental health challenges. But the real allure of community is something larger.

If we look at living together and sharing our lives as a long lever for creating culture, then isn’t it possible to design a community in which the members become well harmonized and deeply mutually supportive? Community asks the question “How might we come up with a way to live together in which amazing, healing and transformative things are accessible to the people who live this way? How could we develop a set of rituals and communication patterns which helps members of these communities manifest their dreams? And if this is possible, what do we know about these types of successful cultures already so we can experiment with them?”

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One of the things we know for sure is we cannot be supportive without being communicative. And the more we can trust, the more we can share what we find to be true, the more profound our ability to advise and ally with people.

Cambia is reviewing how we dream and vision. The community is small and reforming and old traditions are being reconsidered by new members as well as founders with new eyes. For me, the piece of greatest interest is the exploration and manifestation of personal dreams. I believe this is a rich place for meme craft and hopefully deep personal satisfaction.

We are tinkering with the parameters of a dream alliance. The basic idea is simple, I tell you my dream and invite you to support it and then we switch roles. If you don’t have a dream, or it feels incompletely formulated (“i want more music in my life”) then your ally will guide you through an exploration to help refine and define it more.

If your dream is ambitious (“we need to deconstruct industrial capitalism”), your dream ally might help you identify the next piece (“let’s start a worker coop”). If your dream is sprawling (“i want to get people to think!”), then perhaps your ally makes you look on a focused part (“let’s start an inspiring book club”).

But more important than suggestions from your ally is a willingness to help manifest. “I would cook and drive for a local Food Not Bombs chapter, if that was your calling” or “You need to stop Trump, I will go door to door with you before the next election”. Or perhaps simple logistics “I’ll watch your kid while you meditate/exercise.”

I was excited about this thinking and I brought this rough idea to the Thursday night book club at Cambia. We are reading Charles Eisenstein’s “The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible”, one chapter each week and talking about it. And after my enthusiastic description of dream alliances, Craig was uninspired. “I am not excited about exploring people’s individualistic dreams, what would make this interesting to me is if we were seeking and building our shared dream.”

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This is consistent with Eisenstein’s thinking. That we need to move past dualism and find a new story which connects everything. Craig gets this, which is why he has been pushing this book and the concept of InterBeing. InterBeing, as close as I can tell, is a sort of secular enlightenment, where you feel and react from a place of being connected with everything and seeking some type of harmony with it all.

I don’t get it. I am a dualist. This is slightly challenging to the book group I think. Perhaps it is a bit like having a libertarian in your anarchist discussion groups. You are all talking about getting rid of government, but with little agreement when it comes to what happens next.

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And even though I don’t quite get it around Interbeing, Craig’s challenge feels like a friendly amendment. There is something very powerful about seeking our shared dream together. The alliance is richer when it is our dream instead of you supporting mine in exchange for me supporting yours.

And I am again grateful for Cambia which thinks these are the questions we should be pondering and energy well spent exploring and cultures worthy of our efforts to design them. I think a carefully constructed dream alliance could be super memetic. And that is my personal holy grail.

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Dream Alliance

Scenes from around the Communes

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Snow at Twin Oaks (picture by McCune)
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Keenan and friends building a roof at East Brook Farm on a trip from Twin Oaks (picture from Maximus)
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Working up on the roof (picture from Maximus)
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The home of Cotyledon, the new income sharing community in NYC (picture by Raven)
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Saturnalia being celebrated at Compersia (picture from GPaul)
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Sign at Cambia (picture by Raven)
Scenes from around the Communes

Local Mystic

from  Your Passport to Complaining, November 19, 2017

Sometimes we get lucky.  Sometimes people find us who we are so pleased are spending time with us it not only restores our faith in humanity generally but also that it makes sense specifically to invite people we barely know into our homes as extended guests.

23331272_10212127849130448_7806888791146210264_o Zoja is from Zagreb (her name rhymes with Soya).  She self describes as someone into plants, herbalism, spiritual healing, holistic medicine, photography, music, yoga, art, and mindfulness. She found Cambia online, corresponded with us for some weeks and just arrived last week.  We have quickly fallen in love with her.

This is not just because she is upbeat and willing to chip in on whatever is happening around Cambia.  For me at the core of it is that she brings compelling ideas to this deeply philosophical community.  Specifically, she qualifies as a mystic by my definition.

A mystic is someone who asks you to think of the central question in your life at this moment and then explains to you why that is the wrong question.

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Zoja is a world traveler, it will be months before she returns to her home country of Croatia.  A tour which will take her through several continents and advance her experience of new cultures.  We are already sad she will only be at Cambia for three weeks.  But the key with shooting stars is to be in the moment with them and let them go gracefully when they head off to their next adventures.

 

Local Mystic