What do eco-communities and virtual communities have in common? With all the new eco-communities springing up all over the world, I began searching for successful models to base a series of upcoming articles. Simultaneously there are many emerging virtual communities and systems based on ecological, spiritual values that are incorporating technology like social media, blockchain and crypto currencies. How and where can these separate distinct communities interface, collaborate and share best practices to create a more sustainable, integrated and healthy future for humanity? Damanhur has been successfully living, working and thriving as a community since the 1970’s so they will be our first stop along this exciting journey into endless possibilities.
Members of the Damanhur Community in Italy believe that everyone has an individual mission or purpose, and they have developed a system for helping people discover their personal calling. In addition to this calling it is also recognized that each of us have a deep yearning to connect and serve within the larger community. What if our economy and social structure reflected this idea? Damanhur has some great wisdom to add to this emerging conversation. They have created an impossible dream which is now a powerful reality and they want to share it with the world.
“Community is the instrument through which we realize our dreams.” -Crotalo Sesamo, Damanhur Ambassador
What if we could live life according to our own dreams? I recently had the pleasure of sharing an inspired conversation with Crotalo Terassaco, an ambassador of Damanhur. We spoke about social commons, art, community systems, and sustainability, as well as the very real power each of us have to manifest and live our dreams. Since we are now seeing many established systems around the world crumbling from corruption along with various global crises, this is a perfect time to consider dreaming a better future... together!
Founded in 1975 by Falco Tarassaco and considered to be a laboratory for the future of humankind, Damanhur seems like a fantasy except for the fact that it is actually real. With a secret, underground temple carved by hand inside a mountain everything about it would seem almost impossible. That is exactly why Damanhur stands as a beautiful example, a model, a mirror, that reminds us of what humans are capable of when we work together towards a beautiful dream. Falco’s original vision is vast and encompasses the whole planet as he gave his life to create a template for collective enlightenment.
Damanhur is not a religion or a cult, they have no desire to push their ideology on anyone. They simply believe that everyone has their own inner connection to the divine, to their dreams, to their inner voice, and they have developed systems that help individuals reorient to trust their own inner brilliance. Crotalo reiterated on many occasions during our talk that members of Damanhur recognize that they are in a dynamic process where ideas evolve and change as needed. This is not dogmatic.
For example the community started in 1975 with nobody having private property. Today they have evolved to include forms of private property. They have a deep respect for the commons, understanding that humans share more than any one person could possibly own, therefore we must work together to steward the commons. This includes the air, the soil we grow our food on, the water and beyond. Humans are part of a much larger, and interconnected eco-system that supports and sustains life. In this regard they believe that the collective consciousness is much bigger than any one individual and must be held by the larger community.
What are the ingredients for a healthy community? Sometimes just taking the time to ask the questions, to reflect, meditate, or pray on them depending on your preference. Crotalo explained that true wealth is actually trust, trust in the process, trust in each other, trust in one’s self. Indeed perhaps that is why the dollar bill boldly states “In God We Trust”? The notion that money is not the sole source of wealth, that wealth can be in the form of creativity, honesty (social currency), a healthy environment, art, community and more.
Why are you here? Have you ever considered that you may be the ONLY person who can answer this question for yourself? Did you go from school to a career, to having a family and a busy lifestyle before you took the interpersonal journey to explore your own mystery? What is your dream, and how much time do you spend giving your life to make that dream a reality? What are your values and what is the language of those values? Somehow these and many other basic questions are often overlooked, yet they hold the keys to our personal power. When we look within ourselves and listen to the dialogue between our feelings and intellect instead of having others give us answers, we begin to experience true wealth and empowerment.
Damanhur is launching courses globally that ask these questions while inviting personal exploration of values. Values are usually associated with personal character while value is generally applied to material objects. Within the community there is an understanding that art, creativity, and meditation allow us to dive deep within ourselves, challenge ourselves, and bring something within our depths into physical form in the world. Crotalo calls this “Spiritualizing the Matter”.
A temple in a mountain is like the temple within each of us. This act of going within ourselves is exemplified in the process that created the beautiful temples in Damanhur. The metaphor of carving space within your life within yourself, to explore and ultimately excavate what is not needed while building a beautiful temple is very powerful. We humans have a very special gift to manifest, to create form our of raw ideas, out of dreams, out of our imagination. Why do we so easily allow ourselves to forget this, to place limits on our own potential?
When reality crumbles, we must call upon our own inner genius, we must gather in supportive communities and dream together. Eco and intentional communities are born from the desire to respond to current crises which includes environmental and economic. Ideas like local organic agriculture address both issues yet we live in a capitalistic society that doesn’t inherently respect the environment.
We are so quick to dedicate our lives to making money, yet money is merely pieces of paper with numbers on it created by people and fueled by our shared belief in its power. Just as we can visualize and create new community models, we can do the same with economic systems. The success of intentional communities, no matter how utopian they may appear, depend on a sustainable financial model.
Future of Humanity Advisor and Entrepreneur, Bill Melton recently visited Damanhur and I was lucky enough to catch him on the phone to discuss his experience. As an individual grounded in cutting edge technology for many decades he was very hopeful about the concept of integrating future systems like blockchain and crypto-currency models into the eco-village movement. Integrating the best practices of successful human communities with emerging technology are two of the most important foundational principles to establish systems that are needed for the future of humanity.
“The historical assumption of extractive economies is that value exists outside of us. The new economic system recognizes that infinite value lies within each of us. The job of this new system will be to find and release that value while honoring, developing, and nurturing the uniqueness of each individual.” -Bill Melton
Planetizing a system that recognizes the inherent value of each individual is the next step for humanity. This means that we must move away from extractive economies that exploit humans and natural resources for private gain. This leap from the old economy that is destroying our planet into a new one that nurtures will need to happen very quickly if we are to survive as a species. This will require the deployment of communication technology like internet, and be enhanced by the distributed, secure, transparent protocols that blockchain provides. It will also include massive online educational workshops and mentoring. This amazing leap, at the heart, will depend on community and community networks.
Love is an example of something that does not deplete the person who gives it. The more love you give, generally the more you will receive. The same is true for things like wisdom, kindness, creativity. This is regenerative abundance, and new crypto currency models are able to achieve this in the new economy. The internet encourages sharing, and was the beginning of technology disrupting the traditional privatization model. Blockchain will cause these changes to expand exponentially.
Communities can have their own currency. Since every community has its’ own needs and values, through crypto currency this uniqueness can be expressed through their local economy. Values can be assigned and transactions agreed upon through the open-ledger which is distributed, transparent, and secure. That is one way that blockchain technology is integrating with ecology, community, art, economics and even spirituality.
Damanhur is only one of the many emerging models and communities to keep an eye on, but they will continue to lead the way. They will be launching a global currency and citizenship for individuals who are ready to be part of an enlightened society. Join the Facebook Group to stay posted on their upcoming online workshop series, and visit my authors page if you enjoy this conversation.. They are bringing their dream to the world and will be networking with communities everywhere to engage in dialogue, to re-imagine what is possible, and to create a gift to the future of humanity. What is your gift to the world and the future? You are invited to participate in this beautiful unfolding in real time, in your community, and share it globally through virtual networks online. The world eagerly awaits your gift!