What the film A New We shows and demonstrates is that there is not just one way to live in a community or in an eco-village, but there are many ways. Thus each of us has to find out for him or herself what the individual needs are and which eco-village model serves these needs best.
The range of the modern term "community" is big and it goes from an income-sharing commune, to a student-flat or co-housing project, all the way to a modern eco-village. All of those have community characeristics and have benefits, as well as certain disadvantages.
After seeing all of this variety of communities and eco-villages during the making of A New We, what is my personal ideal eco-village?
My personal ideal eco-village unites the advantages of the community lifestyle with the advantages of the individual private lifestyle. That means the structure of the eco-village is set up in a way that it offers a personal land for each (soul)-family of about 0,5 ha to 1 ha in size, which allows them to create a space of love* on it and to be the owner of this land.**
On the other hand there is the village center as a "community-playground" which is owned by all members(likely through an association) and where the advantages of community-life are being explored and experienced. Here you have community buildings and materials, like a common washing-machine, beamer for presentations and films, activity-hall, everything free-shop, etc. You can join common activities like yoga, presentation, etc...or just have a chat with other people. There are no fixed common shared meals(but can happen if organised by people who wish so), but rather spontanious coming togethers for food e.g. Picnic in the grass. Cars are outside of the settlement and there is an organised car-sharing-circle.
What holds the people in this eco-village together is their common shared values and bright visions and aspirations for the entire creation. Love for all is the basic principle
and motivation shared by those people.
What is I think an advantage of this model is that it gives the individuals and families great freedom. Since every (soul)-family has its own space of love they do not need to spend energy to discuss about redundant things like: "Shall we put the tomatoes there or here?" And then having a discussion about it for an hour because 20 people are having a different opinion about it...
The people in my ideal settlement just agreed to a general standard of arrangements like "only organic farming, respect and care for all living beings, etc..." Thus the people enjoy great freedom and individuality, while experiencing the joy of having like-minded neighbours and friends around with whom they can share, interact and have various projects.
At your own space you can create a paradise oasis in cooperation with the diverse plants, animals and insects. A big variety of fruit and nut trees, berry-bushes, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs,
flowers and other plants make your life shiny and give abundance. Everything in this space of love will serve and love you and your beloved ones, from the smallest flowers and grasses to the
biggest trees thereon. It is the perfect place for your ongoing self-realization and for becoming the best you can be.
Of course there are also disadvantages in my ideal eco-village. One is that you might need more money because you will purchase/use a bigger piece of land. Another is that the sharing of resources is limited to a certain extend. E.g. it would be much more cost-efficient and environmental friendly to live in one big house as a commune and share one toilet, bathroom, kitchen, etc... however this disadvantage can be compensated due to the very simple lifestyle of the various people in this settlement. And as mentioned above there is still a significant amount of resources which can be shared in the village.
To give the shortcut for my ideal eco-village:
- around 10 ha of land.
- Around 10 to 15 familie domains(0,5 ha - 1 ha each)
- around 0,5 ha - 1 ha community space in the center
- individual landownership over familie domains
- common landownership over community center place
- common shared values: "peacefood"***, sustainability, spiritual growth, Ahimsa, etc.
- Every community part-taking is voluntary and is done out of free will
- other shared values: thriving for peacefood-self-sufficiency, nature-close lifestyle, etc.
- unschooling project for the children
- To be inspiring to other people through our simple, happy and healthy life
- use of sustainable energy, compost toilets, reed-wastewaterplant, etc...
- common use of various resources like washing machine, beamer, cars, etc...
- trial membership for newcomers for a period of time
*Space of love is a term described in the books of Vladimir Megre in the ringing cedars series. It refers to a space where a family has created a so called family-domain – a place which is a
self-sufficient aiming paradise garden with a house and provides for all the needs of the adults and children thereon. It also supports them in the unfolding of the tremendous potential which
lies in human beings. The space of love is the material, outer extension and expression of the internal spiritual self.
** That does not mean if they would leave the village that they could sell the land to anybody, but instead the members of the village need to agree to the
new person who wants to buy the land and live there.
*** The term peace-food in this text refers to an ahimsa(non-violence) kind of food. Since it is difficult to get ahimsa food from animals due to their and our nature it refers predominantly to plant-based foods. These are easier to get in an ahimsa-way(especially fruits) and thus is contributing to the global peace-field. Peace-food does not exclude animal foods like honey, milk or eggs if they are given voluntarily and freely by the animals. However it excludes products where violence towards animals has (probably) taken place. This is in no way a disadvantage for us since our bodies are designed to live and thrive on a plant-based diet and many living examples proof that.(Dr. Will Tuttle, Storm Talifero, Dr. Douglas, etc...)
Creator of "A New We" and Co-founder of L.O.V.E. Productions