The aspects of leadership and management of tasks to sustain, maintain order in the infrastructure and carry out other necessary duties will evolve from a more corporate perspective to one of delegated and voluntary acceptance of social/administrative responsibilities.
The ultimate objective is to have Mandala Village model the behavior of an anthill, where all residents are empowered to follow their spirit without hesitation, developing progressively the state referred to as "Heaven on Earth".
The long-term management of the business aspects of the community may be conducted by either of two legal entities.
A homeowners association, or Village Association, is a conventional condominium association; which manages the infrastructure of the development (road, water and septic systems, etc.), oversees matters such as snow plowing and other maintenance, and regulates private construction and other activities that may affect other homeowners. All homeowners belong to this association and jointly set monthly dues for maintenance purposes. As of 1995, dues in similar communities were set at $50 per month and covered only the basics. Leadership will be rewarded.
Mandala Development Corp. is responsible for developing the community according to the criteria established by the founding members. Mandala Village Foundation will be liable for the development debts, and therefore makes relevant decisions about planning and marketing the community.
Agreements will have to be considered and drafted to assign responsibility for property such as housing. Ownership will take on a new meaning if in fact this consideration will still exist. It was considered early in the planning of Mandala Village, that building units would be leased to occupants over 99 years, with options for renewal. The founding members will have to consider this option carefully.
Members are committed to forming community, in which everyone feels a sense of responsibility for group visions and policies. We will strive to make decisions by consensus, however, in the early development stages because of time constraints, we will not use the consensus model (see Governing and Communications). With the time constraints we have, we will implement a more corporate approach to direction and function.
In the long term once the community is established, and if it is necessary to reach a decision quickly on an important matter (for example, some urgent matter affecting social, legal or financial obligations), the bylaws will allow for such decision making spontaneously. We will develop a process for referendum voting. Much of the daily work of sustaining the community is done informally.
Two models can be considered in our planning. They were developed in Europe and now practiced in a growing number of places in the USA and Canada
The first model is the idea of intentional community; a group of people who want to live in an environment that supports their personal growth on emotional, social, and even spiritual levels. In this model, healthy and honest relationships between people are deliberately cultivated, and there is a stronger sense of philosophical affinity (though certainly not uniformity!) than in a typical co-housing project. The Findhorn Community in northern Scotland is one of the best-known examples of this type of community, and it has directly influenced many communities.
We may consider a community that combines co-housing concerns for economical and ecological village planning, with the Intentional Community concern for supportive, nurturing relationships between people. This is an ambitious, exciting, and rare undertaking, which manifests as a unique place to live and to raise children.
We may consider communal living groups such as the Hutterites who live according to religious principles. They are not obligated to financial reporting to external agencies. In short, a non-profit order, and our enterprises may very well be governed solely from offshore through private, communications systems. The logistics of this concern must be handled carefully and together with our consulting team and founding members, we will choose the most viable and strategically considered components and methods to address social, technical and other concerns.
Co-housing is a term used by American architects, Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett, who studied cooperative housing in Denmark and promoted the idea in this country.
In this second model, a group of prospective residents collaborate to plan and build their own housing (without a profit-making developer involved). Homes are owned privately and deliberately clustered providing a village-like common space protected from vehicle traffic. There is also a Common House, a community dining, recreation and child-care center. A co-housing community includes a diversity of people, single and families, of many different ages; there is no religious or philosophical creed linking people, other than a desire to live more economically, ecologically, and cooperatively.
Ecological concern is important. We build homes using nontoxic and sustainably produced materials. Homes may use solar and wind energy, although we have abundant evidence that new and revolutionary energy systems will be developed in time for this development. All new construction is required to follow the guidelines established in the Design Review Criteria to promote aesthetic harmony and ecological sensitivity. Housing will be clustered around a central green, leaving most of the land in its natural condition. Septic treatment may be performed by a constructed wetland - a system that uses the natural decomposition processes found in ponds and marshes, unless new technology offered and available to us proves to be a better method. In addition, residents may have individual and community organic gardens. Mandala Village has a community-supported farm in its development plan.
Q: It has been predicted that serious social chaos will befall society. In the event that there is an all around chaos, starvation, anarchy etc. it is very likely that there will be a great deal of violence. People in desperation may take to the arms and try to get food, water etc. from their better-prepared neighbors. Shouldn't we think about our defense, too?
A: In light of this potential it is wise to consider the security of the community. I choose to address this issue this way:
In one of the 365 lessons, of "A Course In Miracles" we are told to reverse egocentric thinking leading to defensiveness with the lesson "in my defenselessness my safety lies". The community we are about to make manifest, "Mandala Village" must by mandate live up to its intention. If we are to succeed in our mandate, we must understand the principles of peace and non-violence.
I personally believe no one has the right to injure me, my body, or my family. I also believe in the law of magnetic attraction that states "like attracts like".
Our mission and our duty is to adhere to and embody the principles of "truth" and clear the mind of concern for such events, focusing instead on the Grace of God, letting all appearances of unloving thought or action dissolve into the nothingness from whence it came.
In community, we will learn the only way to peace is through practicing these values and principles and in doing so, remind each other daily to choose peace. We will establish a "beach-head" of higher consciousness as we initiate the New Paradigm through our Prototypical Community.
Do you believe yourself able to focus the mind on a single thought of love in the face of apparent danger? If so, then come show others how. We each become the student and the teacher of Miracles as we practice the Presence.
We can and we will create Heaven on Earth. It may take a few more weeks than originally thought, however we will succeed.
Mandala Village is not unlike "Shambhala" referred to in James Redfield's latest book "Search for Shambhala". It remains that residents embrace the ideal and progressively activate the thought-form resulting in a conscious environment as depicted in James Redfield's epic book.
Gaviotas, a truly successful community embracing non-violence in a most violent society in Colombia, South America is a fine example of a truly conscious group of people standing firmly and fearlessly in the face of drug-cartel confrontation.
by Richard K. Moore email@example.com
In developing my essay on 'ideology', I was led to conclusions I did not expect. I have decided to change my submission.
I now think the movement does need an ideology, and I've got a heavyweight contender to put forward for that role - a contender that I believe you might respond to favorably.
I was resisting the notion of ideology, because I could not imagine there being any ideology that would be suitable to such a diverse movement. Any pre-existing ideology would leave some people out, either because of their religion, current ideology, personal prejudices, or whatever. Besides, what are the chances that any pre-existing ideology would exactly match the requirements of our current circumstances, circumstances which are unique historically in many different ways?
I realize that you are thinking in terms of synthesizing a new ideology, taking into account that diversity and our special circumstances, but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Such a synthesis, I think, would be better called a 'platform', or 'manifesto', or 'program', rather than an 'ideology'. An 'ideology' needs to have a core simplicity, a central backbone inherent to itself that can be expressed in a word or phrase, like 'socialism', 'capitalism', 'anarchism', 'republicanism', or whatever. If it's a hodge-podge of ideas, then its something other than an ideology.
But then the penny dropped. I remembered some ideas that had drifted out of my mind, due to my recent pre-occupation with Daniel Quinn's ideas (Story of B), and with what I had been learning about the movement and its culture. The earlier ideas drifted back in, and they are about something I call 'harmonization'.
I'd like to put forward 'harmonization' as a candidate ideology - an overarching ideology for the new age. Here's how I would define it:
Harmonization (Brit.: Harmonisation). n., 1. A process of problem solving which seeks to find a best overall solution, taking into account the interests and values of all concerned parties. (Related: consensus, pragmatism; contrasting: factionalism, party politics.) 2. An ideology professing that society needs to be in harmony with nature, man in harmony with society, and different societies in harmony with one another. (Related: sustainability, collaboration; contrasting: exploitation, competition.) 3. An attitude toward the beliefs of others, which goes beyond tolerance, including as well respect and understanding. (Related: 'brotherhood of man'; contrasting: bigotry.)
Now let's consider your ideology survey, from the perspective of harmonization. Those ideologies represent summaries of the beliefs and values of various groups. The problem of coming up with principles and values that would be acceptable to all of those groups is precisely what harmonization (the process) is all about. Presumably, we could make a list, for each ideology, of its primary values and principles. We could then seek to make another list, which does not conflict with any of the ideologies, and which incorporates as many values and principles as possible. The result, I continue to suggest, would not itself be an ideology, but would be a 'manifesto' or 'platform' that all the groups could support while still retaining their separate ideologies.
Note also that it is possible for someone to hold more than one ideology / religion at the same time, if they are in different domains. For example, one can be a Muslim and capitalist, a Christian and an anarchist, a pagan and a socialist, and many other combinations. I suggest that everyone can subscribe to harmonization (the ideology) without sacrificing any of their existing values or beliefs, other than those of hatred, bigotry, and intolerance.
Furthermore, harmonization (the process) has already been guiding the movement's activities, even though it has not been recognized as such. Movement decision making has been by consensus (harmonizing the agendas of a single gathering) and decentralized networking (harmonizing the outcomes of individual gatherings). Harmonization (the ideology) has been at the heart of movement demands for sustainability, democracy, and an end to corporate rule. Harmonization (the attitude) has enabled diverse groups (such as union activists and environmentalists) to collaborate effectively.
I hope these ideas are useful to your current endeavor.
The Coming Energy Revolution, by Jeane Manning. ISBN 0-89529-713-2, Published by Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, New York
"The Secret Of Shambhala" by James Redfield available at most bookstores.
"Gaviotas, A Village To Reinvent The World", by Alan Weisman; available from Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 205 Gates-Briggs Building, POB, 428, White River Junction, Vermont, USA, 05001, http://www.chelseagreen.com