Monday, May 26, 2008

The Book of the blog is close to being published!

We are pleased to announce that the book of the Imagestreams and blogs will be available soon to purchase via the website

Not only does the book explain the inventions with diagrams and links to websites for verifications, it also teaches the methods of Imagestreaming and discusses how to apply the insights to daily life.

Watch this space!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Connecting peace and sustainable development

Sometimes I can’t get things out of my head. It may sound like a long shot, but as I stepped onto the plane to Berlin to attend a Words of Peace conference with Prem Rawat, I couldn’t help my intuition that peace and sustainable development were linked somehow and that maybe the journey and time with him was going to provide some insights.

Landing in Berlin for the first time in my life, old images of the war, the division of the two countries and its uniting cropped up. But there was no wall, no division. strained to work out if I was in the East or West, but no. Just people. This is the way it should be. No divisions. No wars.

War in itself is not sustainable; it destroys environmental, infrastructural and mineral assets for future generations. And just looking after your own nation is not sustainable either. If the planet goes so does your nation.

Already in the video sequences at the start of the event I started to realize the core of the issue. It is about understanding who you are, your own core. The better we know what we are here for the better we can arrange our life on Earth to fit.

In fact understanding who you are, what life is, is a central theme of his message. He contrasted his message with two other schools of thought. One where you are meant not to enjoy or appreciate your life here on Earth, but to follow a certain code in order not to suffer in a life which comes after death. Another says your life now is a result of actions in your previous life and you cannot change it. Prem Rawat’s message is simpler: life is a gift, every breath is a miracle and you not only want to enjoy every moment of your life, but it is perfectly possible.

He talked of those who promote democracy as a way to peace, but commented that in one democratic country most people did not want the Iraq war and they went to war anyway, and in that same country they have the highest percentage of people in jail.

A session the second day focused on the techniques of inner peace that he teaches. I was reminded by something he said earlier: that do not let the situation of the world get at you. The key to peace is inside you, focus on that, on enjoying what you have.

Having spent a very pleasant break in the Berlin sunshine with a sandwich, cappuccino and convivial company of acquaintances new and old, I went back to a questions and answer session having let go of that question that was initially burning in me.

To my surprise, the second or third question was about world peace. I started to form an understanding. When you understand the value of your own life you understand that you cannot abdicate responsibility to leaders. The result of this mass abdication we can see in that there are more educated people on the planet than there have ever been. And yet there are more wars and more people starving. Some of the best educated people are also those who are cheating the most.

A sustainable, world living in peace, dignity and prosperity will come from each individual realizing the value of life itself for themselves and taking back the responsibility abdicated to leadership.

As each individual sows seeds of acting with kindness and dignity, these seeds will grow to a greater world consciousness.

Because life is a gift, receiving the gift with appreciation and giving back in dignity through living with kindness with the people of the planet is the way to live. Ideas of ownership, taking what you want by force or deceit, from the very people who looked after you and made your education possible, is surely no recipe we would like to hand over to future generations.

Rather, the understanding that peace is possible for all, and with it will come prosperity and the opportunity to enjoy the gift of life to its fullest.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Swedish Eco-village veteran shares valuable advice for ICs

Interview with Mia Torpe

Back in the 70s Mia and a few others decided to create an eco-village in a suburb of Stockholm. She still lives there, and is today environmental manger for a large housing organization. Her experience is invaluable for all would-be Intentional Community residents.

Here are some highlights of the advice she gave in a recent interview I did with her.

1) Get a queue and raise the stakes as you go along. Just by asking for USD 10 as a membership fee meant they lost a few people. Then they raised the fee to a monthly one and lost a few more. They required that queue members worked in the association a minimum number of hours, and they lost a few more. From gathering around 4000 names they still had difficulty selling 45 apartments.

2) Start with subject working groups from the beginning. For eco-building so much knowledge is needed if you are to be able to give good input to the building contractor. They had 4-5 groups. These later on organized study circles in which attendance was mandatory.

3) Three levels of purchase. They offered apartments as turn-key, finished shell requiring kitchen, plastering, finishing and simple empty shell.

4) The apartments were slightly smaller than average, focus being on creating more common areas.

5) You all need a common vision that needs formulating clearly.

6) Every project is unique.

7) There was a lot of “like to have” talk from members. In the end, because everything costs, they made a list and voted on the five most important factors to include in the project. This system was very effective for coming to agreement.

8) Mandatory working days are still in effect.

9) Decisions were made by consensus as far as possible. They were able to use the church to host large gatherings.

10) Get books. Build a library of information.

11) If Mia were to do this again she would try to eliminate the need for heating all together and create a so-called passive heating system. She is worried energy prices will increase living costs dramatically.

12) Hold large information meetings. These attract members.

13) Create a communal area - even if it is rudimentary. They could just about afford an uninsulated "barn" to meet in, but they gathered there even when it was cold - drinking beer and socialising. It was well worth it.

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