Sunday, 31 March 2013

Cyprus Bail Out

‘If your bank deposits could be confiscated’
Money held in Bank deposits is like the stuff we store in the garage, or in those big warehouses that specialise in storing stuff you don’t immmediately need. If the storage unit burnt down we could still survive. We accumulate stuff like we accumulate money…. in case we might need it later. Our attachment to property or money is a substitute for community, it allows us to feel we can manage alone. It is a denial of our interdependence. If the financial system breaks down, as seems inevitable according to Paul Craig Roberts :
we need to turn to each other. All the signs are that we are in the middle of a system breakdown. No good trying to hold on to it or patch it up. It never really served us anyway. Young Kim is right. We need to find true value in community, in sharing. It is not going to be easy to shift from a competetive economy to a collaborative one, but we really have no choice.The hard bit is recognising that there is a real alternative, and that actually is what we have always wanted but never believed possible. ‘A civilization in which socially and environmentally friendly free association between autonomous producers and citizens becomes the norm’ – Michel Bauwens p2p-foundation.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Notes to a Collaborative Community

Community collaboration will need to involve unifying our inner selves, and visa versa. Positive social change includes the heart and compassionate union with the other, which implies a commitment to care for others and their vision of what they need.

This Easter I was present at my grand-daughter's primary school end of term assembly. The children portrayed in detail the trial of Jesus and his crucifixion, and the words they recited kept emphasising the role of the Jewish religious leaders in accusing Jesus. Then the vicar(?) joined in, got the children shouting 'crucify him', and emphasised again the role of the Jewish religious leaders. As he finished I asked to make a comment, and said we need to remember Jesus was Jewish, his mother was Jewish, and I am Jewish, and many Jewish people would not have wanted to crucify Jesus, that we have to be careful not to encourage anti-Semitism by the words we use. The headmistress and the vicar denied that was what they wanted to do. But several of the parents expressed their support for what I said. And later the assistant head said she would pursue this with the children to make sure they were clear, and it would be a good focus for discussion for the older children.

However, what I was aware of in myself was my antagonism towards the vicar. I would love to have offered what I said with love rather than antagonism. I wasn't angry, but I didn't, couldn't see him in a positive light. I disliked his face and his eyes seemed empty. I tried to imagine his dedication to god that took him to that position, and I couldn't feel it. I felt completely protected and I had no fear. But I couldn't feel him as a human being. Even now.

With the help of the NVC Social Change Telesummit   A Path with Heart   I am seeing that in order to get to that place of genuine joyful engagement, I need to be in touch with the deep grief and anger around injustice to nature and humanity, that results from realising that things are not the way I want them to be. These inner demands, judgements, can be an obstacle to getting in touch with the sadness and deep mourning, which is en route to allowing the fullness of life to flow in its vitality, bringing with it unimagined possibilities.

It is this inner divisiveness which separates us from each other. Martin Luther King -It's a good thing I don't have to like people in order to love them (paraphrase) 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Iceland Myths debunked

Monday, 25 March 2013

Yorkshire Retreat for Schumacher North

Dear All,
Yesterday I went to look at the venue for our weekend away June 14/15/16 – Currer Laithe. 
 I was greeted by Jean (age 83) who runs the farm and holiday cottages with her sister (age 74). Neither of them is much above 5ft. The property was derelict when they moved in 50 years ago. Most of the renovation they did themselves, parquet floor, mullioned windows, etc. as well as providing breakfast and an evening meal for 20 guests for over 27 years, while running the farm, and rebuilding stone walls to bring it up to the standard required by the National Trust, so that the property could be covenanted. (Neither married, so there are no heirs, and they were anxious that what they started should be continued after their demise) Jean who was a local headmistress before she took over the farm full time when her dad died, has also found time to write 5 books charting the progress, and describing the sort of life they led, as well as their annual holidays taking the girl guides to the Hebrides. As I left she presented me with the first book of the series – 'We'll see the Cuckoo', which is full of the joy they both emanated at being given the opportunity to devote their lives to this work.
Both sisters were highly critical of a government that does not acknowledge the value of farmers, and the work they do to protect our heritage. They were interested in the theme of our weekend. They bemoaned the loss of birds since their childhood, the inactivity of children who spend their time in front of a screen, and even the lack of spiders in the house. We agreed that to turn this trend around is not going to be easy. Nevertheless there was no thought of giving up. This attitude, I think, provides a good backdrop for our discussions. ( Unfortunately they will be away that weekend in their beloved Hebrides)
The house itself has a 'homespun' feel. It is a working farm, so at the moment the smells and mud of the cattle tend to predominate. Calves are reared and they keep a few donkeys and goats. By June they will be out in the fields. This is not the open country of the Dales. The built up areas of Keighley are clearly seen across the valley. But the house is surrounded by the farm's 200 acres, and inside the house feels quiet and remote.
We are being offered an extended weekend, from Friday afternoon through to Monday morning, so we will have 2 full days. (Jean said “People don't seem to want to leave on Sunday”) Most rooms are twin, with bathrooms and toilets close to each room. It would be helpful if you would let me know if there is someone you would prefer to share with. Also if there are any special dietary requirements.
If you can offer to cook a meal or a dessert, either beforehand, or on-site, that would be splendid. (We can provide money for ingredients) Since there will be 8 meals including breakfasts, you should reckon to be washing up or helping to prepare a meal at least once during our stay. (Nearer the time a rota may be helpful).
In general this is a do-it yourself retreat, so please feel free to volunteer or make suggestions to add anything you would like to see. There are 2 sitting rooms, allowing for a variety of activities. An upright piano in one, suggests a musical evening so other musical instruments will be welcome.
Cost : Between £50 - £80
A £10 deposit will secure your place. Maximum of 16 places.
If you can afford to pay the higher amount it will allow others with less funds to be included.
I look forward to communing with you all.