story of my intention to establish an 'Intentional Community'...
As long as I recall
I've had the idea to live in a community of 'like minded people' or better
said 'kindred spirits'. When I was a child I drew pictures of places and
as a student of architecture I designed round houses for community living.
After that for the next fifteen years life took over with family, business,
profession, etc. until this was over and I was 'guided' to Ibiza. A friend
had invited me to visit him. He gave me his old car and I was driving all
over the island, exploring all kind of hidden places. I came to an abandoned
finca with a ruin of a farmhouse on top of a hill. Beside the ruin there
was a round place they had used to grind their grain with a horse. As an
architect I was used to measure things. So when I walked over the round
place I realized that it had exactly the same diameter as the round house
I had designed as a student. I thought: Well, why not? I can push down
the ruin and build the round house. I sought out the owner of the property
and bought it. Three months later I came with my horse, two dogs, two birds
and three chicken and moved into the only room of the ruin which still
had a roof. It was raining and cold and it was dropping through the roof,
the only dry place was my bed... This was quite a difference between the
luxurious house I was living in before, but I was happy to come nearer
of the fulfillment of my dream to build a community and this seemed to
be the ideal place.
So I started to repair
the roof. The farmhouse was about 800 years old and built out of stones
and wooden beams, which were pretty rotten. So it ended up that I had to
build a new roof. I had thought to push down the ruin but instead I rebuilt
it and added several round rooms... I was busy for the next two years.
I built a big swimming pool and drilled a well, made a stable for my horse,
In those days the
people living together in a kind of community were mainly hippies, but
I was not interested in this kind of 'lifestyle' and so I was pretty alone
and isolated, not even being able to talk with my ibicencan neighbors because
of language problems. What could I do to find like minded people? I wrote
articles and announcements in alternative magazines and then some people
were showing up who wanted to live in the country side, in nature working
with earth, etc. But these people from the city had their expectations
and beautiful ideas and when it came to work then after ten minutes they
dropped the tool...
The next few years
I organized therapy groups and all kind of other groups and it was quite
successful, but this wasn't what I wanted because I was still alone and
had to deal with all these more or less neurotic people.
Meanwhile I had build
several apartments and could host about 25 guests. I had built a hot water
system with solar energy, an organic garden, etc. But still there were
no people who were interested to live permanently in an 'IC'. People were
coming and going as short time visitors, mostly being more like on a vacation.
The years went by and there was no real change with people. Some were staying
a few months, but mostly the experiences were ending in disappointment
if not in a disaster.
There were times when
we were living with more than twenty people together. Yes, we had fun,
making music, meditating together and even getting done some practical
work, although it wasn't effective. Later on the work was pretty well organized
and with relatively little effort the place could be maintained. We were
doing some recycling and some gardening, making organic compost and we
had everything we needed. Sometimes there was building up a group which
gave the feeling of a real team, but people were not staying. There was
too much fluctuation, causing stress and energy loss. A few people were
showing up who were seriously interested in an 'Intentional Community'
and also seemed to be capable, but they left to make their own IC. I haven't
heart of one of them who succeeded, they all gave up after some time...
For more than ten years I am trying to find people through writing in the
Internet but with very little result. I have installed my own Web site
and invested a lot of time into it. People still are coming and going.
The only difference is that years ago people were staying a few months
before they found out that their expectations were not fulfilled, then
during the following years this time got shorter. From months down to weeks
and then it happened that they left after only a few days. We tried to
avoid this by having people fill out an 'info form' with a lot of
questions and sometimes we had also a long email exchange, which for sure
filtered out people, but even though this doesn't avoid that people coming
with a lot of expectations which then are not completed because reality
is always different...
What is it people
want? This is a beautiful place in the middle of unspoiled nature. With
enough space for every body. With the freedom to do what one likes to do.
We are not a sect. We have no dogma or rigid rules, although we are against
the consuming of drugs and alcohol. Of course there is some daily work
to do, but this can be organized in a way that everyone has enough free
time for oneself to do creative things. There is plenty of food and anything
one might need. So what is the problem? Might it be that there is too much
freedom? Might it be that people want to be guided? That they want a leader?
Or a strong concept? Finding their security from a belief system? This
is not given: There is no leader and no religious or spiritual concepts.
Obviously people don't want to be responsible for themselves, they prefer
to cling on authority and want to be guided. So if one wants to have a
successful community then one must offer this. One can organize workshops,
retreats, seminars, etc. and one must charge a lot of money for it, then
one will be successful. If things are given for free, nobody will be interested.
Being creative is a nice concept, but you have to tell people what to do,
if you leave it up to them then they will feel lost and leave...
Not dealing with money
just irritates people and they can't deal with it. We never charge money
for anything and don't deal with it. We can show people how to survive
without money only doing things which are necessary and one likes to do.
We have the proof that this works, because we are living like this for
many years, but people are so stuck in their way of life that they are
not able to enjoy freedom, they need to cling on their pseudo security.
So now after thirty years of trying, we are near to the point of giving
up. This happened already three years ago when I was fed up and wanted
to give away the whole project. I wanted to give away the place as a present
to somebody who would like to take over, but nobody was interested. They
probably thought that this was a joke, like the story when somebody was
trying to give 100$ bills to people in the street and nobody wanted these.
Meanwhile I was busy
with a personal process of healing myself from Fibromyalgia (see details
at: http://falconblanco.com/health) and
so I continued with the place. At this point we have reduced our work to
a minimum, so that we can manage, but the place is too big and still needs
at least three people more. We have several new projects to which we can't
give enough energy because there is too much work maintaining the place.
For us this scenario doesn't make sense and if nothing changes and no people
show up who are seriously interested to stay here as permanent members,
then for sure we will give up. Is there anybody who might be interested
to live with us?
I do not complain:
In these thirty years we learned a lot, although we paid for the lessons:
I have hardly any friends, I was robbed and betrayed, my nose was broken
and people tried to kill me, the last time they nearly did it, only a miracle
avoided it, but I was sick for several years. I could have lived quietly
without any problem if I wouldn't have the vision to realize the idea of
an 'IC', but do I need to drop the illusion about it? I am tired now and
in a way I have dropped it already. We had contact with a few people who
tried the same and they gave up after a few years, being bitter and disappointed
then not wanting to see anybody ever. That's not really the case with me,
even after thirty years although I am tired and would like to be alone,
I still like to be with people...
It seems to me that
people are not ready to live in an intentional or spiritual Community.
There is hardly anybody who is able to go beyond one's personality and
this seems to be necessary to form a community which is based on self responsibility
and awareness. Of course it is a learning and growing process, but without
a certain creativity which comes out of an already gained level, the living
together of people seems not to be possible. So you will understand that
sometimes I ask myself: "Goodness, what are we doing here? How long will
we be able to go on? Shouldn't I retire, sell the place and just enjoy
the rest of my life?" But when I look around then I also think: "There
needs to be done something, this world is a disaster..." So what?
One thing more before
I will shut up for a while: I love not only animals but also people, even
though people create problems and conflicts, but this will not stop me
from going on with my intention for a while, to do something for a change,
if not in this IC then in another way - at least as long as I am able to
walk, to use my hands and I am able to think and express myself.