Saturday, 10 November 2012

A manifest for a new way of living, more sustaining, humane and community-based!

Today I felt a truly revolutionary mood. Very energetic and inspired and brave, with enough courage to tread ahead seeking truly new and different forms of living, that are practical.

I a tired of the bulshit of the world, the stupidity, unsustainability and greedy of most human ideas and projects. I am sorry to be such critical. Actually what concerns me most right now are solutions rather than pointing the problems or the fingers.

The problem/solution is both spiritual and practical.

I listed the most important goals to pinpoint a future community self-sustaining project. And I am probably missing a lot more points!


  • Growing our own food, including also grains, pseudograins (such as amaranth), pulses (beans, lentils), highly nutritional food (chia, kale..), alternative sustaining root crops (such as yams, skirret, groundnut), and sources of vegetable fat (sunflower, sesame, avocados...). Although I am mostly vegetarian I do believe everyone should be  tolerant to each other diets, so I accept people want to raise animals and fish. Personally, I enjoy the idea of having some self-grown eggs, honey and milk.
  • Including perennials to aleviate our hard efforts of growing annual crops that demand much more fertility and water needs (examples: chilean mesquite, bamboo, good king henry, skirret). Fruit trees and shrubs (nuts, pomegranates, figs, berries and even more exotic species such as bolivian coconut, enset...).  From all the areas listed in this article, this is the one that perhaps I am doing more effort to explore. In Iceland, where we currently live this is really difficult, but in warmer countries like Portugal (our home country), this is easier. In previous posts, I calculated that 1 hectare should be enough to sustain food for a few (around 4+) people.
  • Have water issues solved, especially in a country like Portugal, prone to dry climates, by creating lakes and swales that increase loca moisture. Rain harvest and perhaps try grey water recycling with cleansing water species, some even edible (such as arrowhead)
  • Create fertility to sustain our soils and food, by growing compost crops (rye, lupins, honey locust...). This should increase nutrients in soil. Because nutrition is very important.
  • Create a community spirit, focusing in the expression of our challenges, needs fears, wishes, to go beyond our interpersonal problems. I don't want to be naive and think this is easy, but we must do all efforts to aleviate not only personal and material struggles/suffering but also relationship and emotional suffering. Good communication, strategies for team communication and decision are all important. Striving for the best possible consensus and democracy. Yes, difficult but this is all important.
  • I believe community works much better than single individuals. Easier to self-sustain. Perhaps a number of 5 to 10 is ideal to start. Or a network of self-sustaining smallholds that share with each other. It is important to unite and network more the individual efforts being done in Portugal and elsewhere. However I must say one thing: I know of the obscure problems of many communities (they still mirror the same problems of conventional society), but with increase communication, I believe humans will want to "copy" the best of their neighbourhing communities, to improve themselves too.
  • Relationships and money are usually two issues that create most suffering for people, therefore it is highly important to we strive to find true solutions for these. Give from our heart, be honest, humble, free, good spirited, good communication, not greedy (money nearly always create corruption and bad feelings - I have first hand experience of this), etc, and there are many authors and thinkers that have suggested ways of improving our approaches to money and relationships. Have our needs met and expressed, everyone should feel fine. We should investigate and work over our own problems, fears and wishes. Let's us be prepare also for the remaining society all around us. Whatever we feel, we live in same planet and we share the same home and challenges, we cannot live isolated anymore. We must help each other to change and improve ourselves.
  • Go somewhat into spirituality. I think there is something in spiritual practices and ideas, that can help us. Meditation, yoga, anthroposophy, psicoanalysis, and many other practices can helps find us solutions to connect with our inner being and increase our good spirits. Not a lack of spirituality (otherwise its dead materialism), but not excess religion/cult spirituality. A healthy balance.
  • Music, arts and criativity are also very important parts of our human being... for food criativity, see my partner lovely blog www.receitasdomenuverde.blogspot.com (sorry its in Portuguese but you can use google translate to read it)
  • Also so important: children. How we give birth as human as possible. How we raise our children and kids, and educate them as humanly as possible. How we prepare them for the harsh outside world. The last two questions are in desperate need of solutions!!! Let's us build "new schools".
  • Have a "roof" to sleep (housing!). From tents, yurts, caravans, normal housing and alternative eco-housing, everythhing can be considered to aleviate our need for confort (a very human thing). We shouldn't have to pay so much just to have a place to sleep! Honestly, this is one of the areas I have experimented less (I talk and think much more than I do), so wereally need to go a little bit more practical on this one.
  • It is important to find solutions for the problems of energy needs and transport, without relying so much in imported solar panels, fuel for cars, etc... I have a feeling that there could be new solutions fo the future. I am not the kind of person good with mechanics, but some people are, and those might be the pioneers for these new models of energy and transportation.
  • Perhaps create local businesses as a way of sustaining ourselves in our currently money-based society. It is very important both to assure that we do not become a survivalist society of growing our own food (without money to buy extra food), and also we do not become greedy and corrupt and overly focused in making money. I believe in a balance. Possible sources of income can be selling our own food, workshops, crafts, education, plants, rural tourism, self-publishing of books, etc... And so with this, I finish the first version of my life manifest :)
We live in truly revolutionary times (you can see that in the world around us), thus let's us share with each other, to work to manifest these ideas, goals and solutions, to aleviate our human needs. 

Let us not be passive or lazy. Let is be pro-active, daring and brave! Let us be pioneers.

More practical ideas are welcomes in your comments!

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