The Power of Community
As a small child in rural Ireland I clearly remember neighbours calling with home made cakes; story tellers holding court and card games around a turf fire, the singers and the gossips, borrowing tools and the extra hours of work people seemed happy to spend tending to a sick man's field.
By the time I returned as teenager television had arrived, a hazy blue light glowed in every front room and people didn't seem to feel the same need to connect with each other quite as much.
Perhaps Coronation Street, Eastenders and the Archers have since provided us with consolation prizes and made voyeurs of us all.
Once we turn off the TV and unplug from mainstream media for a while we begin to realise how we are subtly but consistently being sold an agenda that has no genuine interest in our "real life" propensity to share or build community, raise our consciousness nor express our Soul's purpose.
Sooner or later conversations about quality of life involve the word, community. It's as if we're still trying to understand exactly what it might mean so we can go out and find it, or make it happen somewhere.
We could call it a village, team, clan, network, or tribe, but whatever we call it, whoever we are, we all need at least one - and it can't be just virtual.
By gathering in nature, and intentionally getting deeply in touch with our human nature, a radical form of community building happens. Breakthroughs occur when like minded souls assemble in an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement. Such gatherings can help us recognise our inner contradictions and understand our unconscious powers. With our inspiration and courage fortified and our fear diminished, acting in community allows us to shine a little brighter in this world than we probably would do on our own.
[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="Picture_x0020_2" o:spid="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:225pt;height:225pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\P.K\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.png" o:title=""></v:imagedata> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif] At the core of our work is the notion that everybody, regardless of skin colour or social status, has come into this world with gifts to offer. It's up to each of us to make our offering in a way that is personally fulfilling and beneficial to our community. Rudolph Steiner's liberating and empowering notion of community was where each offers his greatest gift and, in exchange, receives all that it needs. In this way we are more likely to encounter our own magnificence because others can see us truly, often more clearly than we see ourselves.
We are concerned with the seeding of a new consciousness - from a scarcity/ siege-mentality to one of shared universal principles; from military logic to social logic; and from soldier/pawn masculinity to a sovereign form of multidimensional masculinity. But as long as we men are still buying into scarcity and competition and that it's every man for himself, we are recreating a solitary confinement of our own making.
Up to now men have functioned in pyramids, allowed ourselves to be separated into disciplines, ideologies, fields, colours, races, social classes, mind- sets, and religions. But now we are beginning to create more circles that help us both find ourselves and locate our tribes - other like-minded souls and potential creative partners. Can you imagine the power that will be generated when men concentrate on what we can agree upon rather than what has kept us mistrusting and divided?
I believe that as we each update our story from the inside out, we send ripples of inspiration and healing out into the world. By joining together and forming even fleeting communities to support each other, those ripples become waves that are powerfully helping to build a brighter story for all of us.