On the Need for a Clear Direction -
Finding Our Way in Community

by Matthew Webb

The founding of a community is in part like the founding of a society, or even an entire world. It is no small matter. As with all great inventions, the form is always followed by inspired conception. If an idea has great merit and real quality, then so too will the device or community. Like a seed, good ideas must be planted upon fertile ground where they can grow and bloom. Lacking this, all objectives will either fail or simply never grow beyond a certain point. Everyone knows that to grow a plant requires knowledge of soil, climate, moisture and sunlight. To grow a strong community from the seed of even the greatest planning requires knowledge of resources, social circumstance, wisdom and spiritual focus.

Our first and foremost resource as human beings is not lumber, coal, stone, solar energy, liquid fuels, seeds or even land. Our foremost resource is ourselves. Any tool is only as useful as the hand or spirit that wields it. The first priority in life must therefore always be the refinement of the tool user, not the tools themselves. From our own inner capability do these materials find utility and fashioning for the sake of building community. This means that in order to successfully build an infrastructure, we must first refine ourselves. The capability of our minds is genius, the strength of our bodies is enduring and the potential wisdom of our souls, born of cosmic purpose, is limitless. It is from this soil well prepared, that the most progressive communities must sprout. These are the basic nutrients of community excellence, (not to mention the source of our survival as a species) whose fruits shall be the sweetest and most nutritious of all, for everyone concerned. These fruits spring from the rich soil of truth.

The social circumstances in which we live are very challenging, and we must be realistic about this. To build the new we must simultaneously dismantle the old. We live in an age of social disempowerment, where it is commonplace to imagine that humans must depend heavily on outside sources for their own health, sanity, spiritual guidance and even their own thoughts, emotions and beliefs. We live in an era wherein nations routinely proclaim that their own deeds of oppression and injustice as liberating and just. We live in a mindset that follows where the majority leads, simply because the television says so, (regardless of any facts to the contrary) and where rational and logical debate are the rare exception not the rule. We also live in an era of information, possibility and choice, for those who seek wisdom and the inner strength to find it. It is within this world climate that our community vision of human excellence and greatness of spirit, must grow and flourish. It is our task to choose carefully which aspects of this climate are useful, and which need to be utterly discarded. Arguably, the list of what needs to be discarded in modern society is BY FAR the longest of all.

While there have been countless attempts made to produce a utopian mode of community living, the successes remain fewer than few. Many high conceptions have come from great minds down through the centuries, for the sake of generating a new social order. But a new social order we have not yet achieved. This fact is not for the lack of trying, but rather, it is because we have accepted the answers to the wrong questions, rather than asking the right questions to start with. The question of, "What would make an ideal community?" is one that cannot be asked within the limited framework of modern ideas and institutions. We have to think outside this small box long enough to crystallize the real answer. To do that it is necessary to first realize just how limited modern notions are. We've been conditioned by these our whole lives through peer pressure, religion, government and the media. Let us assume for a moment that ALL of these sources of public belief are basically mistaken. Let's take a fresh look at what life is all about.

The ideal intentional community cannot be one that is primarily based upon our human past. We have not truly progressed as a species far enough, either mentally or spiritually, to use our own past as a foundation for the future. This is especially true since the very word "progress", is still assumed to denote the ravaging of natural areas of the Earth with asphalt and concrete, while developing higher and higher technologies. Technology is only a tool with which to do our spiritual work here, not an end unto itself. Nor is it a means to make even more monetary profit at the cost of sanity, health and livability. We need to re-define such words as "progress" so that they reflect their true meaning in the context of Cosmos, not country, city or special interest ideology.

Cosmic progress means applying ourselves to those ideals such as expanding consciousness into greater love and clarity, which are the very source of our evolution as biological beings to start with. It also means living life as souls in bodies, whose true identity can never be anything so petty as job descriptions or socio-economic status. Our true identity as souls is that we, like the rest of nature, are conscious beings in a conscious universe. It is the purpose of that universe to expand consciousness, refine self-awareness and accelerate the process of evolution. That must be our purpose as well, if we are to create the ideal community arrangement, let alone survive the next century as a species.

Some imagine that setting up the perfect physical circumstances for community is all that is needed, and that the rest will fall into place. To this end, there are those who invest heavily in solar power, alternative building methods, organic horticulture and the like. These technologies are very good; there can be no doubt. But there is also no doubt that without a higher reason for employing them other than being, "energy efficient" for instance, is a relative waste of our spiritual potential. Such community leaders imagine that by taking careful stock of finances, each member’s weekly labor quota, and using all the technologies of modern agriculture or urban living, that this is what is called "independence".

Yet this is not an independence of mind or spirit, nor does it in itself accomplish man's further evolution. That kind of thinking to the exclusion of Cosmic relevance, is just more of the same mainstream materialism seen infecting every aspect of modern life. It is no different than the average persons' obsession with making enough money to retire wealthy and "financially secure". It misses the essential point of life that living is not about making money or having elaborate material goods, it's about having enough tools, be they dollars, meditation techniques, computers or ploughshares, so as to accomplish our spiritual task here on Earth.

Others imagine that by structuring a community after the rigid rules established by a church or other source of ethical codes, that people will be given the "framework" they need for mutual living. But this is not the case, since the rules and codes of behavior established by human kind are inherently inferior, to those that are already well established by the Cosmos at large. These Cosmic "rules" are the laws of nature, which have also been partly described by modern physics. They involve how the universe is structured, and why life functions as it does. It is not the small laws of enforcement that we need, which aim to corral the mind of the participant as though it were a wild animal to be subdued by force. Such community concepts don't take into account that the nature of spiritual progress is self and mutual realization, not conditioning.

What we need in community and in society as a whole is to return ourselves to recognizing those Natural Laws that make our heart beat, the plants grow, our minds soar and our souls commune with one another. Right action and spiritual motivation come from the realization of these, not the blind following of rules or their authoritarian enforcement. This is a large part of what is meant by "refining the tool user, rather than the tools".

The source of natural wisdom from which we may draw, is from the same deep ocean that has carried the great Seers, visionaries, inventors and spiritual Masters of all time to their Earthly fruition. That source is none other than the consciousness itself that we already ARE, as well as the consciousness that the universe already IS. That wisdom tells those who would listen, that we are NOT separate from nature; we are a self-aware extension of it. It also tells us that there are no such things as "separate issues" such as politics, social inequality, war or environmental issues that require "separate treatment". On the contrary, ALL ISSUES ARE SPIRITUAL CONCERNS, and it is upon this Cosmic Foundation that all other considerations are inherently built. We must address this spiritual foundation of reality with competence, in order to address the human condition with any hope of success.

We are consciousness raised up past a certain evolutionary degree, which can now KNOW ITSELF. In essence, we are matter that is animated by spirit, and not just a random collection of atoms. It is this human, evolutionary arrangement of matter, awareness, energy and intent, which accounts for our extraordinary abilities as Homo Sapiens. Having gone further than the animal not so much in form, but in the capacity for self-awareness and self-change, the human evolutionary course is ours to guide. Yet we cannot access our extraordinary and inherent abilities of genius and great wisdom, unless we realize that there is such a thing as Truth, and a purpose for life far beyond consumerism, militarism, nationalism and materialism.

Our true purpose as human beings can accurately be called, "the aim of evolution", which is self-knowledge and species advancement, or in other words, the expansion of consciousness. Existence has it's own cosmic purpose in the evolution of life, of which we are an inextricable part. Our purpose is to further advance this Cosmic Cause, through wise decision-making and spiritual inspiration. Higher and higher love, combined with progressive clarity, can and must become the new, standard human interaction toward that end.

We CAN intentionally cultivate these qualities together. It is this evolutionary purpose that is based upon the development of the consciousness we ARE, and which all life IS, that will save our species from the brink upon which it is now poised. Without sufficient realization of truth and Cosmic Purpose, our species will remain lost in it's own delusions about what life is all about. Until realizing this, we will remain fixated upon brand names, television sit-coms, fashion trends and gossip magazines, until the day of our collective extinction. Until we realize the inherent purpose of life, as opposed to the artificial, human-made purposes of corporate greed, we will always be moving toward entropy, war and insanity of all kinds. The purposes and laws of Nature will not be denied forever. If ever there was a test of our fitness to survive and evolve, this recognition is IT.

It is necessary that we, as centers of consciousness, (otherwise known as "souls") do realize this bottom-line of the self. "Realize" means, "to perceive with such accuracy that we enthusiastically act with daily devotion upon that which is understood". To realize ourselves as souls whose composition is consciousness, is to implicitly understand a great many other important issues at once. Among these are the understanding that "we are all one", that psychic streams of feeling, intent and thought flow between us constantly, making society a collective creation, and that our communion with both God and Nature is made possible because they too are literally MADE OF CONSCIOUSNESS. Thus we are both the created and the creator of forms, and with this ability come specific responsibilities. It is through us and all other life that Cosmic Consciousness manifests itself here and elsewhere through the universe. We CANNOT access these facts and their implications fully, until we achieve sufficient self-realization. That means going beyond the ideas of self composed by job title, race and nationality, and into the Truth with which we were born. Upon achieving this, we may then carry forth such self and God realization into our daily lives. This is what is known as "spiritual focus".

Our salvation then, if there is to be one, ultimately rests upon our degree of self and mutual realization, coupled with sufficient spiritual will to address the cosmos on it's own terms. Its terms are those comprising natural laws and processes, as well as the spiritual laws and processes that reflect them. Consciousness, or that which is called "God", as well as that which we refer to as "soul", have the same three constituents. These three are INTENT, AWARENESS and ENERGY, and in that order of importance. To know self is to know consciousness. To know consciousness is then to know others as being of the same essence as we. If we are to master the purpose of life, generating on this planet a progressively superior place to live in peace and enlightenment, then it will also be necessary to progressively enhance our mastery of Intent, Awareness and Energy. When we purify our intent towards one another for instance, it is then that truly progressive relations are made possible. When we expand our awareness beyond the personal, it is then that we are made empathically aware of the feelings and intentions of others. Upon raising our level of energy, we are made more capable of accomplishing great things together.

It is Intent that guides our lives. This is true not only through personal intent, but group, planetary and cosmic intent. The intent of modern human beings is the primary basis for all the world's problems, as well as its ultimate solutions. To achieve world peace, enlightenment and high intelligence, our most fundamental need is to purify our intent toward nature and to one another. The reason we see so much misery and chaos played out on the world stage, is because human Intent is wrongly focused in all areas of the globe. The faulty intentions behind materialism and consumerism are largely responsible for this.

The very term, "intentional”, implies that we're aware of our progressive intent in forming such a group, and for the sake of improving our lives. But we must do more than merely improve the circumstances of a few human lives. Our intent must be focused at levels much higher than self or community interest alone. Only a progressive, PLANETARY intent for the good of all can provide us with the needed fuel to generate a truly profound social shift. Only the Cosmic Intent of evolution, recognizing the commonality of souls in bodies, which we all are, is ultimately worthy of our community focus. Community no longer means just growing a few veggies or making solar power for a select few. It must also mean that we ultimately recognize the whole world as our community, for the interconnectedness of life intimately affects each and every person from around the globe. The social norms and expectations of this current world society are far too low, (selfish and materialistic). They do not serve us well, nor do they serve the Cosmic Purpose of which we are a part. It is extremely important to realize this when forming any community.

Our world-based community movement can be founded upon such basics as the following:

1. Recognizing that the same basic principles of plant and animal growth, nutrition, consciousness, biochemistry, life cycles, reproduction, and the like, are the very same principles that govern our human existence. Science describes these in detail, but usually without realizing their spiritual application or significance. Modern humanity does not seem to realize that it cannot live indefinitely without recognizing the universal constants of all life. Among these are efficiency, progressiveness, logical action, practicality, evolutionary improvement, the need for natural and clean sources of water and food, etc. By observing how nature works, we can re-learn the great values of natural living, and in accord with the evolutionary processes of nature.

2. Recognizing that the laws of nature (a.k.a. Spiritual Laws) are what have molded and shaped all life on this planet. Humanity is no exception to this rule. This is why we need to return to nature in every practical way, so as to regain our true strength, wisdom and inner vitality. Human beings have tried to "outdo" nature for centuries under the premise that it exists to serve us. The truth is that we are as much a product of nature as any other plant or animal, and that the true reason for our existence is to be an extension of Natural Intelligence, (the presence/intent of God in matter) for the sake of furthering the evolutionary process. The rightful place of humans is therefore to serve the designs of nature, not for nature to be sacrificed for the sake of human whims. As all Native cultures know, we can learn better how to serve nature by constantly working with it. In so doing its influence purifies our lives, and teaches us how to live better with the Cosmos and each other.

3. The gaining of wisdom, as defined by the greater application of truth in daily life. Wisdom is the embodiment of truth. The greater the embodiment of truth, the greater is the wisdom that results from it.

4. The increase of intelligence and intuitive cognition, through the right use of the mind.

5. The expansion of consciousness and the recognition of the true self, (beyond just the physical body or mind) as soul.

6. The recognition of that which the Western world calls "God", and which the Eastern world calls, "Consciousness" as the prevailing force and intelligence that is seen running through all natural forms, including ourselves.

7. The practice of personal and group meditation/prayer, for the sake of self-knowledge and spiritual advancement.

8. Placing spiritual growth as the foremost priority in daily activities, while recognizing the distinct differences between spirituality and religious dogma.

9. Holding truth to be the highest and guiding principle in life, and the best course for personal relations. There is one truth by definition, not many. There is no such thing as "your own truth" since the truth never bends for the sake of personal preference. Our purpose as intelligent and wise beings, therefore, is to determine what the Cosmic Truth already IS, (as composed of facts, collectively known as "reality") rather than trying to re-invent it from scratch, or by using the standard misconceptions of modern society. This requires objective observation, intuitive crystallization and logical evaluation of all subjects.

10. Rejecting faulty and destructive models of society, such as consumerism, egotism, materialism, nationalism and militarism, which act only to artificially divide the world into warring factions, from which there can arise no true victor. We do this in favor of the already provided template for right living, found in natural and spiritual laws.

11. That logic and intuition must work together, and check each other's conclusions. The same is equally true of science and religion, both of which can be mutually complimentary when the truth is seen clearly.

12. The progressive cultivation of clarity and the valuing of clear, honest communication.

13. Upholding the vision of collective wisdom, one that is greater than the wisdom of one or a few.

14. Making decisions through the process of educated and logical consensus.

15. Collaborating with other communities and individuals, for the sake of greater collective accomplishment.

16. Emphasizing excellent health in all ways through right eating, exercise, herbal/natural remedies and meditative self-healing.

17. Offering educational materials to the world for the improvement of the human condition.

18. Living in an independent, simple and free fashion, unfettered by the unnecessary limitations of the modern world. We must continually emphasize self-empowerment in all ways.

By engaging this Cosmic Evolutionary Purpose together, (so as to improve ourselves and each other at will) the course of history will be transformed for the better. In doing this we become active participants in Creation, rather than just being creative persons. In such an undertaking, individual persons could be likened to atoms and communities to molecules, whereby the first cells, (cities) of a new human culture would find their highest expression.

When our community is dedicated to Cosmic Purpose, it then takes on much the same role as DNA does in the creation of new, fresh life for our kind, one which could replicate itself worldwide in a relatively short period of time. This truly revolutionary basis for living together could sweep real vision and wisdom into the stagnant pools of modern society. But to crystallize this ideal basis for community requires a great deal of intelligence, based upon knowledge of how the universe really is, not necessarily how we imagine or want it to be.

To begin, we can use the principles of nature as a basic template. Then, through self-realization of the consciousness we are, truly see how we can interact with each other as SOULS in a higher, spiritual way. This will be a way of interaction and understanding that is far beyond what has ever before been known in the history of mankind. Let us keep ever in mind that there exist cosmic purposes far higher than those currently employed by mainstream society. It is to these we must strive, so as to create something truly great together. Through such a basic vision of ideal community as a starting point, this crystallization can then evolve further into a highly profound social movement the world over.

Why strive for less than this, especially when this is exactly what our species most needs? This work will greatly aid the evolution of humanity, as the seed of a New Way.

Matthew Webb visionquest@eoni.com
The World Mind Society http://www.eoni.com/~visionquest