NOs and "Intentional Communities"
On Sat, 24 Oct. 1998, presf@spiderweb.com.au wrote:
   Michael ( Phoenix Rising Farm): As you can see from our site we are very practical. We have completed the first stage and are ready for the second (more people). I am under no illusions as to how difficult that will be. We are not interested in expressing dreams, we have a goal and will do OUR best to achieve it. This does not of course mean we can achieve the impossible. We are interested in people who can relate to others from deep within themselves (from humanities truth) not people who can spout new age litigies. You are right there are very few people who can rise above their own personal cultural beliefs. Honest communication is indeed rare. Also I have noticed that WORK appears to be a dirty word amongst a lot of people. Some people seem to feel that a little meditation and a few positive thoughts can change the world. I hear them say "we are spiritual beings that are living in a material world". They like the sound of the first part and have no understanding of the second. I don't agree with permaculture (lots of reasons) but do agree with Fukuoka that we would do well to question the need to do this or that. Our place is based primarily upon food (plants) I have found most communities have a fetish for building monoliths to their own egos. Gardening is somewhat a humbler activity. Bit of a rave! but there is no point being nice about it. We are looking for very different people who would like to live amongst other deviants. I think there may be one on each community - how to decide how to get together? 
BeiYin: What is the difference between a 'dream' and a 'goal'? If one is trying to achieve the realization of a dream then this is one's goal, right? Doing one's best is part of trying to reach it. - You write that you are interested in people who can relate to others from deep within themselves, from humanities truth. I can relate to this wish, because I have had this as long as I can think. But also it seems to me, that this longing is a dream which is pretty unrealistic. I am searching since all my life for such people, not only the last 25 years.
You write: "I am under no illusions as to how difficult that will be." Really 'NO ILLUSIONS'? There past just two years and you couldn't find one 'kindred soul', so let's see what will be 25 years ahead. It might turn out that you had indeed a lot of illusions about that...
I have written enough about my people search in my Home page...
You are right what you say about 'work' but it seems to me that you are mixing up different levels: To lead a 'simple life' and to work hard doesn't necessarily mean to 'relate from within', to be more serious, honest or sensitive. 
I admire Fukuoka and his work and would like to practice his knowledge here in Falcon Blanco, but it is not possible to dedicate the energy which would be necessary, so there is just enough for a little garden. This garden we don't keep up because of need, but because we like to do it, so this is not what you would call 'work'. 
To be more rigorous about 'work': For me real work is all what someone is doing by relating from within to what shows up. Everything else without this is just a game, which might be a substitute for real work and an escape from oneself and reality. Only this can be the primary base. To say: "Our place is based primarily upon food (plants)", sounds more like a joke to me. 
Sorry, I don't want to rip apart your ideas and I better stop now, hoping that you don't get angry with me, because I believe we can come together, at least with a creative discussion... 
   Carol (Phoenix Rising Farm): At first I thought - our rules are too strong maybe we should bend a little. Then I realized that having people here who were not completely interested in being here, living here with us in the same way we were prepared to be here with them, would be too big a drain. I am just getting out of kindergarten myself learning to be responsible and not suck energy from others. Learning to express myself and respond to the challenges and opportunities in each moment to be "grown up". And having so much fun growing food and being with the animals that live here and enjoying nature. Feeling very connected with all that is here and thinking about what could be here if there were some more people who wanted to share a simple life. And being here is opening my mind and heart to really knowing in my guts about living in the real world. About being fully engaged in daily life instead of living on the energy of dreams that will never be manifested in the world. To think about the practical things - to solve problems, notice what needs doing and take responsibility for getting it done, rest when I'm tired, take time to be still and marvel at the beauty all around, to keep going with relaxed determination to complete a difficult task, all these things are part of being here now, in my body, alive to what might happen next.... So I want to share what is here with people who can appreciate living simply, doing physical work and having fun living together. The tricky thing is that the people who I would like to share with are probably set up somewhere else already! 
   BeiYin: When I read what you have written here, I am getting a warm feeling coming from my heart and this feels very good, it doesn't happen very often. - So spontaneously I would say: You are the right person to be part of 'Falcon Blanco'. 
But then there are my experiences with people, which told me that the expression on paper or in cyber space might be completely different from that what shows up in daily circumstances. So I can't dare to trust those expressions and I am obliged to check out more. What you tell sounds all beautiful, but I know that there is a whole world behind you and what shows up is just a little part. Right, this is a clear representation and I recognize you as a 'kindred soul' but still then there is all this what you yourself don't know and what would show up through confrontation with new circumstances in which I might be for you a too strong encounter. Then we are in trouble because naturally you will go into defense, etc. You would try to convince me that you are right, that I need to change, etc. We would get stuck, you naturally would use all tricks to survive and because I would not join those games and because this is my home, you would escape... On the other hand, I would not be able to come to your place, because I would not abandon my cats and dogs, I like sometimes some honey in my herb tea and if I would find a lost child on my way I would take it with me, at least to take care of it for a while. To think that I could be a 'drain' because I 'consume food and take up your time so that you are not available to work or socialize' and that I might 'hassle other community members', that's more than plenty to stop me even from visiting you the maximum two weeks, apart that I am older than your rules allow it and that my abilities lay on different fields than on the acre, although I like to be with plants, more to keep connected with earth than to 'work hard'
Conclusion: Just to say NO because somebody or something doesn't fulfill rigidly postulated conditions, means to exclude part of the world and those possibilities connected with it. It means to cling on rigid imaginations and expectations, not being really open to life. Life in its wholeness, how it comes and how we should respond to it. Because I have the confidence, that whatever comes to me is just right to help me growing, what of course doesn't mean that I need to except everything. My ability to distinguish is part of my awareness which has to be present and to be used in any given moment.
So then what might be the meaning of our encounter in the cyber space? I don't know yet, but I am open to investigate more about it. Are you willing to go on that we can find out together? I believe we have good abilities and conditions...

To understand better the comments Michael and Carol made, here the rules copied from Michael's and Carol's (Phoenix Rising Farm) Web site: http://www.spiderweb.com.au/~presf/

Who can join? We are looking for four people under 40yrs who: 

*are active and enjoy physical work - "work is love made visible" Kahlil Gibran
*are highly self motivated and practical 
*have a commitment to personal growth and are open to change 
*are prepared to transcend cultural expectations 
*are willing to create community
*want to lead a simple life 
*have made a choice not to have children (or whose kids have left home)
*We choose to lead a simple, non materialistic, communal lifestyle based on these   Principles for cooperative living: 

*meatless diet (eggs, dairy products & honey included). To produce meat for only two people would take all 40 acres, meat as a source of protein is a waste of resources. The philosophy behind the community is "growing" rather than "rearing to kill".
*no alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. These reduce one's awareness, wouldn't you rather live amongst aware individuals?
*no children living here permanently. Children are people! We can support 6-10 people. As there are two people here already we could realistically only support two typical families. Besides there are plenty of communities with kids (maybe none without kids), so we're going for something different - a community of adults! Besides the first principle of environmental ethics (Paul Ehrlich) is to reduce the population drastically ie. no kids.
*visitors to stay no more than 2 weeks. Visitors put an enormous strain on a small community - they consume food and take up their hosts time so that the person is not available to work or socialize, they may also hassle other community members. If everybody wants someone to stay then they come under prospective member status.
*no dogs or cats. We want to enjoy the wildlife. We have snakes, lizards, wallabies, the odd roo and hundreds of birds. All of them becoming quite tame - who needs pets?
*no TV. When's the last time you saw something that was really worth watching? Let's put on our own plays, readings, band or other entertainment.
*addictive, possessive, or acquisitive behavior is not acceptable. If we are going to live harmoniously together this makes sense - doesn't it?
*disagreements will be dealt with openly and resolved quickly. Who needs festering disputes - let's try to do things a little differently.
*members are expected to contribute to all aspects of farm and community life and work. No freeloaders, otherwise everyone else has to work harder. No hermits - we're trying to create community (not A Community).