Want To Start A Commune

Just came back from visiting a very successful commune in Tenn. It wasn't entirely what I expected or envisioned, but it certainly was no disappointment. And what impressed me the most, were it's people.
Well adjusted, feet-on-the-ground and open.
This commune was started in 1971, a hippie movement of folks from all over the country with all different backgrounds. Gathering together to set a common goal of lifestyle. Primarily, to find a way to live in peace and harmony with their fellow man, as well as nature.
I cannot say that I agreed with ALL their precepts, but something is working for them.
My idea would be similar, and in fact, as I discussed with a few of the residents, to use them as a guide.

To begin, I am not in it for fame, fortune, or accolades. If I have to consider it MY commune, then it's not going to happen.
However, as in all ideas that begin with bringing people together, there needs to be some guidelines and goals set from the beginning. that is ultimately decided by a group, and in this case, I would say those who have intentions of making such a move and have a vested interest it.
For me, at the beginning, of course I will have my own agenda, and honestly, if these things are not what someone is interested in, then I would say this community is not for you. These are goals that I set as the beginning criteria for 'membership'. They are as follows:

1) To live a peaceful co-existence with others, with the understanding, that because of 'personalities', there WILL be conflict and disagreement. That's human. But resolution in a peaceful, non-threatening manner is the goal.
Race, religion, politics, place of origin etc. are not a factors for residency

2) To live in harmony with nature as best as is practicable. This includes finding and using alternate energy sources besides the fossil fuel base that exists in society. It also includes dealing with waste of all kinds.
I personally am averse to the present accepted systems of handling human waste. Currently, in most metropolis', sewage systems within the city use an enormous amount of fuel to simply dry and burn it, then it's gone. This is not to mention the cost per family, plus the environmental havoc they reek just to run sewage pipe underground.
The only other system I am aware of is what has to be used in rural areas called a septic system. Now, previously, I have designed and installed some of these systems. the main problem is that their very design
is inherently flawed because they have to be designed to leak or to seep out effluent into the ground.
I won't go into the technical details, but current studies will tell you that what leaks out is harmless, and that there are enzymes that embed themselves in the bottom that render it harmless.
After having dug up a few of these systems, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is not accurate.
These areas underground are disease incubators and when dug up, is considered hazardous waste and cannot be simply thrown to the side to let nature deal with it.
There are alternatives, I am currently using one that works very well.
My apologies for taking off on this issue, but it is one of my pets.

3) To attempt, collectively, to develop grassroots methods for energy and waste, and freely give of them to anyone else that wishes to incorporate them. If anyone is waiting on government or corporate solutions, I'm afraid they are a long time in coming.

4) The effort at growing wholesome, organic foods and developing the methods to increase the efficiency there-of. Part of this effort, though perhaps not organically, is corn for gasohol. Right now biofuels are seemingly coming on strong. True enough, but at present, according to a study done by the University of Kansas (also considered the most comprehensive study thus far) bio-fuels only 'break even' energy-wise.
The energy used to grow, harvest, manufacture and ship it, is roughly the same as we save in pollution when using it. I see a lot of hope for this, and would Love to collaborate with others on it.

For the time being, those seem to be paramount in my mind, but others may have more ideas and thoughts on what they would like our collective goals to be.

And I will say that some goals are a 'must', while others may be simply choices one makes on an individual basis.

I have no illusions or desires of becoming a 'guru' or anything to that effect. I know what I know, and others will no more or additional knowledge and even ideas as to what we want.

All I am after is a peaceful society of good folks working together for a common goal, who wish to incorporate minimalistic, low-impact living into their lives.
I don't know about anyone else, but I have spent too much of my life 'bitching' about the environment and humanity! And now, I'm hoping to light a 'candle in the dark'.

Incidentally, I already have the property to begin this effort.
basementsong basementsong
41-45, M
8 Responses Jul 28, 2010

This all sounds great, I was wondering what state are you planning on doing this, and how large of a property do you have for this?

Actually, I have no 'plans' per se, I merely state I would like to do this. If enough people get together that have a sincere desire, I have the land and the where-with-all to get started.
Of course, there must be much discussion as to what you/me are getting into, our goals, ideals, philosophy etc. then set forth a plan. I'm living, currently on less than 4 acres, developing alternate forms of energy reachable to the common man is my goal here. I have 12 acres in Metcalf Co. (Kentucky) totally undeveloped, with a small year round spring fed creek. This property is for all intents and purposes, totally wooded. I had 20 acres, sold 8, however, my neighbor has purchased it from the guy I sold it to, (long story) and has offered it back to me for what he paid, which is about what I sold it for. My point being, that if we feel the need to expand, that other 8 acres will be available. Personally, I would suggest we begin on the property I'm living on, see how it goes, and if we choose, we can begin the infrastructure here, for another property. People make the commune, not the land. If the land has relatively reasonable resources, it can be made sustainable.

where can i find more information out?

Well, you can email me or if you prefer we can chat via gmail or skype. I have not pursued this since my last post, as I have been busy just getting prepared for winter etc. and had an auto accident last year and spent 6 mos. recovering from that. As a result, my 'place' was utterly destroyed by the bad winter we had because I was living with neighbors during recovery and could not be here to tend it. So far, I have pretty much been repairing, replacing and otherwise trying to get back on my feet from it, as well as preparation for this coming winter, which many of us down here agree it will be as bad or worse than the last.
My email is ljb5one@gmail.com
If you wish to discuss it or ask questions, I am still open to the idea of a community type effort here

i sent an email

An elder in my clan have told me that the spirits informed him that I was once a member of the 'turtle clan'. Don't connect personally, but know that my place is among the trees, rivers & streams. That's where I hear the speech of Earth Mother. when I first started on this path, I dreamt about crows, I thought they would have some special significance in my life. They do, but not as 'totem' animals, they are messengers and have told me when friends need something so I can respond to that. This is an awe inspiring journey and really had me freaked out at one time. But as I become more in tune with it, I settle down and am more able to perceive what's going on around me.

yeah i totally love the way the native American Indians lived their lives. I know what you mean, yes they ate meat but they also did honor their animals the buffalo, they only took what they needed and as you said nothing was wasted. And also i agree even if you do eat meat this definitely does not reflect your spirituality. I have no judgement to be honest, people are people i want to see the good in everyone. You have a great way of looking at life its very inspiring. Oh and thankyou for that pearl of wisdom that you gave me about the desiderata, i had read it many years ago and totaly forgotten it. But it brought it home to me that i most certainly do not want to become bitter and vein. From now on i intend to change that thought form of comparing, (it just doesnt get you anywhere)<br />
into thoughts of ï am neither too little nor too much and i do not have to prove myself to anyone! <br />
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I had a reading done last year, i don't usually but any hows i was told that i have an ancient linage to the native Americans. I suppose there are allot of people that feel very connected to these Indian tribes.

I don't disagree flowerheart (great new name) with any that you say. And getting back to basics IS the idea. I already have in place a wind turbine and working on many other projects. I hope to have them in place soon.<br />
The commune that I visited also believes in vegetarianism, however, they note that eating meat, to them is not a reflection of your spiritual self. <br />
I belong to a movement which incorporates Native American spirituality. for centuries, most tribes believed that an animal offered it's life to you for sustenance and when a kill was made, their spirit is prayed to and thanked.<br />
The Buffalo, second most powerful animal spirit to the eagle, was the very existence of many tribes such as the Lakota. Every part, including bones were used, nothing was wasted. When the existence of the buffalo was stopped by the white man, the existence of the tribes that depended on it also stopped. <br />
I prefer vegetarianism, but I live a meager existence myself, with intent.<br />
Not always, but when meat presents itself as a supplementary diet, it would be foolish for me to turn it down. I think part of many persons misconception about being vegetarian, is that the food is bland. I'm sure you know otherwise. Though I am not adept at vegetarian cooking, I know those who are, and the food is wonderfully fulfilling and very tasty. Were it available always, I would prefer nothing else.<br />
Spirituality is the essence of a communion between people, and though I don't understand everyone's idea of spirituality, i don't judge it. You are very wise in your vision of it's necessity and seem to be aware that spirituality has a broad definition.<br />
Indeed, Earth Mother has absorbed much from mankind and certainly, ways need to be discovered and created for us to live without harming her. Her wrath is terrible at times, but it is my belief that much of it is created by us.<br />
My prayer is that we are not too late, but there are some signs...<br />
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Without a doubt, forgiveness is a keystone to living with others. Tolerance is the trailhead though. If we can tolerate each others' perceived 'shortcomings', maybe forgiveness comes easier, or not necessary. Though, trying to be a realist, perhaps that is more Utopian than earthly. It is a hard earned virtue indeed.<br />
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Thank you for your input and wisdom flowerheart, if we could gather more with your insight, perhaps there will be hope.

I think we need to go back to basics and keep it simple, they way we used to do it in the olden days, using windmill power and hydro technology. Become vegetarian, we need to honor the animal kingdom and honor the land - Earthmother! We need to give up using chemicals that we flush down the drain.<br />
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I think people need to become more spiritual (and not in the religious sense) to develop the qualities of truth, understanding and most of all LOVE. After all isn't love what we are all striving for to love ourselves and to give love unconditionally. Forgiveness is important as this is what ends karma between two people or many nations. We need to develop these qualities for Man to co-exist in harmony.

Got any ideas? Anything to add to my existing precepts would be helpful.<br />
I think the problem with getting something like this off the ground, is that most folks are entrenched in society as is, vested. Been there, and the only reason I am living the minimal lifestyle as I am, is because I was forced into it. Though it was already in place, and was my intent to do this anyway. Even though there were other options at the time, this was the most viable. And by 'forced' I mean, I was forced to abandon the way, and location I was living at that time.<br />
For me it was still a leap of faith, but not quite the jump it may be for some.<br />
I think it would take a courageous soul to abandon the life they know, for one they don't, even if they know in their heart it's a good choice.<br />
Stay in touch 'elleti', and maybe we can glean some ideas from each other.

here here!! Im in total agreement with you on this one, i would love to start a commune too, this is one of my dreams. Especially with what things may happen on earth in the not too distant future. There will be a great awakening but also there maybe be some bad stuff happening.