Fully-Functioning Sustainable Communities
Personal and Community Fulfilment
Sustainable communities are created so their members can live with all of the advantages not yet available in mainstream living – inexpensive, non-wasteful, non-destructive, non-harmful, healthy, wholesome, sustainable, nurturing, inspiring, healing, etc. These advantages are not approached as some far-distant goal, but are built-in from the beginning. They are the means, as well as the end. They are priories that are not compromised and not discarded. Such high objectives require that a sustainable community be functional in the widest, fullest, most comprehensive sense, which is the natural orientation that sustainable people live.
Fundamental to Nature
Community is a fundamental principle of nature, and is the way that nature arranges its various life forms. Micro-organisms, plants and animals form communities, both within species and among species in their interaction. Ecosystems are communities of organisms. Families of ecosystems form bioregions, within natural catchment areas, and the planetary family of bioregions interact together to form a planetary super-organism, recently named Gaia. Many scientists were incredulous about such miraculousness, which is obvious to many wholistic thinkers, but now, through harnessing super-computers, their observations are bearing this out.
Natural Way of Living
Community is also a completely natural way of human living. It is the way that Australian Aborigines and indigenous peoples all over this planet have always lived; it is the way recognised spiritual teachers all over the world have always encouraged their students to live; and it is the way that many whole-brain people prefer to live. Wholistic, life-affirming methods ensure the community becomes a functional whole, even as each person becomes unique and self-empowered.
To live in a completely fulfilling community, all aspects of community life need to work together, interact seamlessly, and contribute to overall community wellbeing. It is not a lot of trouble to create such a community; it is in fact the easiest way to set up a community, and the best way of avoiding trouble and preventing the sort of problems that plague modern society. It is the optimum, and most harmonious way of doing things.
Components of Fulfilling Community
Components of a fulfilling community include:
- Wholesome ethics and sustainable (wholistic and sustainable) principles are vitally necessary. To the extent that these are present, community spirit will continue to grow, bringing everybody together in exquisite, creative convivial company.
- Good food is essential for good health, and without good health, a community is far from fulfilling itself. The best food is that which is grown naturally and locally, as it is the most nutritious, health promoting and suitable. Organic gardening and sustainable farming practices can ensure abundant crops and a veritable food forest.
- Natural, “complementary” medicine can assist with good health, and in many cases can reduce or even obviate the need for chemical medicines, many of which can have dangerous side effects. Chemicals are properly the second last method before surgery.
- A sound ecology is needed for permanent sustainability. Permaculture can ensure the environment is continually improving, free of pollution and waste, becoming richer, offering more shade and general greenery, and a fresh food jungle.
Growth Dynamic towards Higher Expression
Life-Affirming communities are human fulfilment organisms, par excellence. No other structure on our planet is so capable of growing, empowering and self-actualising people.
The natural development of any organism is always towards a higher, more complete, more perfect expression of itself. So too, of any community within nature, be it of micro-organisms, plants, animals, ecosystems or bioregions. Just as a plant blossoms and fruits, just as a rainforest develops and matures, and just as a coral reef abounds in life, so to, a human community has its own natural fulfilment. It too has a need to blossom, to fruit, to mature and to abound in vibrant livingness. This is the essence of community and a true, natural, human community will naturally seek its own fulfilment.
For the individual within a fulfilling community, it means that he/she will be naturally drawn towards doing those things that enhance community integration and functioning. In fulfilling those higher community needs, the individual’s own higher needs are served and will likewise become fulfilled. As in the community, so to in the individual. As the individual helps to actualise the community by serving its needs, the community fulfils the individual’s higher needs. This is the same dynamic optimisation that occurs in nature.
Actualising Human Potential
The highest purpose of community living is to actualise and fulfil the human potential, individually and collectively. Communities resolve the age old conflict of individual vs state. Communities enable the both the individual and the group to blossom together, simultaneously, synergistically, as each facilitates and enhances the progress of the other, and should always be designed with this purpose firmly in mind. Communities are the optimum way of living for human beings. No other way of living has the potential for exquisite, durable, sustainable, improving living; and no other way of living can draw the wholistic qualities out of a person that an sustainable community offers.
Solutions for All
Sustainable communities were first created by forward-looking, visionary wholistic thinkers, out of an urge to live a creative, sustainable, fulfilling life and provide an excellent harmonious environment for their children to grow up wholesomely. They now provide human and environmentally friendly solutions for sub-optimum or problematic living applicable to every stratum and demographic of society. Undoubtedly, wholistic and sustainable solutions will eventually become part of everyday mainstream living as societal problems increase. Anybody can now choose to live in such a way today, utilising the best traditional practices combined with the best sustainable practices, and appropriate technology, to create an empowering and interesting way of living, reclaim their health and wellbeing, and enjoy a fulfilling life.
Almost everything described here has been known and practised for decades, and has been implemented all around the world in thousands of communities that are working functionally and succeeding as healthy, wholesome, uplifting environments, and preferable places to bring up children. Over time on many of these communities, families have passed through generations, people’s health has improved, orchards and gardens have matured and are almost self-running, living costs have gone down, daily chores have diminished, their lives have become more relaxed, easeful and enjoyable, and substantially buffeted from the increasing stress, and general economic and social deterioration. Community members can have an empowering personal life and a nurturing community life at the same time, as these are mutually supporting and enhancing. One should not detract from the other.