- Terra Nova School
Our Terra Nova tour through Germany was concluded with our final event in Freiburg on Monday, November 24th. An intense time lies behind us. We – ten people from Tamera, which split up in two book teams "south" and "north" – have carried out reading events in 18 different cities with Dieter Duhm's new book Terra Nova: Global Revolution and the Healing of Love (English version to be published in autumn 2015). Now we would like to convey some thoughts that arose during the reflection.
First of all a huge "thank you" to all our organizers and to all those who have welcomed, accommodated and cooked for us. We did not expect such a great welcome; we were almost overwhelmed. We want to express a similarly great gratitude to all those who have visited our events, bought books and signed up to participate in the Terra Nova School. No matter where we were, whether in Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg or Freiburg – everywhere in Germany we met acknowledgement and positive resonance for the thoughts and our work toward Terra Nova. This journey gave us a lot of power and enthusiasm to continue. Thank you to all those who made this possible!
However this only the beginning. The work for building a new "field" must go on. This is why it was important for us to get in close contact with the thinking, the engagement, the questions and doubts of the people in this country.
What we encountered everywhere, was the unvarnished longing for community. Here lies the great potential ready to be awakened if we engage our powers intelligently. Community is a basis of life that could blow a wind of change into many political groups and actions. The feeling of loneliness and powerlessness is overcome by new experiences of solidarity and community. In a community, the individual finds much more encouragement to become creative and to tackle even unusually daring projects. We liked having people of all ages in our events. One participant said to us, "It is above all the older generation that still has the overview of what is going on politically. That is why there are so many powers in this generation that want to go forward and get active. The youth on the other hand is systematically pushed into the private sphere, occupied and distracted by computer games, social media and smart phones." Even if this statement is of course a wide generalization, it still shows an interesting situation. We were touched by the will for founding community in many people among the older generation. How can mutual support among the generations really function? An interesting task we all face! Everywhere in Germany there seems to be vacant properties that can only be sensibly used either by large-scale investors or communities. The knowledge of how communities can be formed seems to tip the scales, it is crucial for the course of development society will take in the future. Will the people, as one organizer said, continue to be the victims of a financial system that always only gives benefit to some few large-scale investors, or will they join together and create a power, which will at some be able to tip this system?
The Earth with its resources belongs to everyone, all fellow beings and us human beings. To create such a world that is peacefully shared is necessary to break the hypnotic spell, which has made us participate in a system neither serving our interests nor our hearts.
If we are able to build community, develop new forms for love and sexuality and social structures for stable, reliable trust amongst human beings, is not only a matter of a personal performance and capability but, to much greater extent, a question of the overall field we are part of. The attempts at developing community have so far mostly been founded on far too small level. People try to privately solve an issue of global proportions in small circles or between two lovers. "Community," Dieter Duhm writes, "is no lifestyle, but the next step in human evolution."
Thirty years ago it was the environmental movement that brought the existential issues of the destruction of nature, nuclear energy and pollution into the consciousness of the people. Through the untiring work of many groups a new field of consciousness for the importance of the environmental issue arose, which is why all rationally thinking people are nowadays aware that we can only sensibly exist on this planet if we respect, protect and care for our natural environment. We currently face a similar task – creating a field of consciousness for the relevance and solution of the equally existential and unresolved inner issue of the human race. It is of political importance whether we become capable of transforming the global pattern of fear, mistrust, competition and violence into a new pattern of lived solidarity, compassion, mutual support and trust.
We have also used this journey to get in touch with several people visible in public life and to get to know their views on the current developments. In talks with journalists, artists, activists and politicians many possibilities of cooperation opened up. We plan further networking trips in spring 2015 to continue these contacts and establish new ones. An independent journalist said, "In what you are doing, by creating communities that dissolve the collective structure of fear, lies the most radical counter model to the existing system, for when fear vanishes the system loses its very basis."
We were also happy to hear that even first public institutions begin to identify radical community projects as "light houses" or "real-life laboratories" in the social landscape of modern-day Europe. Some few radical community projects could set the trend for the future while they are surrounded by a variety of softer ways of communal coexistence such as neighborhood projects, collectives and all other transition forms from the conventional isolated individual way of life to communitarian existence. Through the diversity of community each one can find his or her right place and help enable the "light houses" to develop in the protection of this soft, supporting surrounding for the benefit of all. The "light houses" take their radical decisions in the different areas – reaching from shared economy all the way to "free love."
Every community needs a visionary core, a team of people who give the initial impulse and who are able to keep up over long time. How can we convey the community knowledge we have gathered in Tamera to all those who are about to jump into the adventure of community? We will use the wintertime to discuss and work on this question within the Tamera community. Which offers can we truly make, given the amount of all the pending tasks?
The Terra Nova School will play a crucial role here. We have already received a lot of feedback, many wishes and ideas at the networking meeting in Leipzig, where up to eighty German and Austrian Terra Nova students had gathered in early November. We thank all those who are actively participating in this thinking process. Your ideas and suggestions are very welcome!
We recently came in touch with an American online university that is offering us their infrastructure to establish a fascinating, creative and much more comprehensive learning space through the Internet. Besides this there could even be accredited degrees for Terra Nova students in the future. We are facing such enormous new possibilities, a possible change of dimensions and want to use the next weeks to find out how to go on.
The English edition will be published in September 2015 and present during various reading events in England, the United States and Canada. More information about our upcoming events here.
We are happy about all the positive feedback we have so far received for the new book and hope this campaign can truly contribute the planetary shift that has become so inconceivably urgent for the survival millions of human beings and animals, and probably even for our collective survival. Despite all the global horrors, we see a real chance for a new global society marked by solidarity, cooperation and trust. The great dream of humanity can come true – for there is the knowledge to make it happen.
With best regards, in solidarity!
Monika Alleweldt and Martin Winiecki
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