Reflections – Macaco Tamarice – Damanhur

Damanhur LogoPerhaps one of the most difficult things for people in western society to image is a community that is completely self-sustaining and interactive; not reliant on any outside source for the fulfillment of their daily needs with an equally shared sense of responsibility for the success of that society. It has become common place for all of us who live in so called ‘wealthy’ countries like Canada and the USA to purchase at any time goods from all over the world. In the US people expect that their roads and schools will be funded by and supported by the ‘government’ and in Canada it is expected that our health care will be also provided for by a similar body of representatives. As our countries are large and cover vast amounts of not only land but of constituents (people) these governmental bodies (made up of people) have grown exponentially over the years as they attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of the people.

More people to care for means more responsibility, more responsibility means more hands, more hands means more money, more money means…

The problem is that although for the most part the people who have been elected to care for us do care about us, the system itself in which they find themselves trying to function has become so complex and in many ways distant from the reality of day to day life that it would seem to the general populace that we the people are being used and abused. Sadly it would seem that the entire fault of a failing nation could be placed into the hands of a few ‘powerful’ men and with that comes the realization that individual power (the power of the people) was handed over long ago and is only now slowly being returned to its rightful owner.

How did it happen? How did we allow ourselves to get to the point where we can no longer rely simply on our willingness to participate and to work for our own success and the security of our families? Were we duped, played, misdirected or fooled by money hungry men into giving up our various rights and freedoms?

I have to admit, it would be simple indeed to blame a mysterious group of manipulative individuals for our downfall, easier perhaps for us to swallow the pill if we can convince ourselves that ‘they’ told us it was candy; yet even the smallest of children when given medicine carefully concealed in a teaspoon of honey knows deep down that the underlying bitterness means an extra added ingredient. So what happened???

I could be said that we got lazy; not so much in a physical sense but rather emotionally and intellectually. We knew on a deep level that we deserved a better life, that our efforts when compared to the benefits we received from those efforts was unbalanced and unfair. We collectively set about working on a system that would alleviate some of our fears and our worries. We put our faith into the hands of people we trusted to provide the things we needed then directed our attention to more personal issues like the purchasing of homes, cars, clothes and vacations. We stopped paying attention to where these things came from because we had worked hard to make sure there would always be a system to provide them. Then ‘we the people’ got greedy and each year our needs and wants grew until our needs and wants outgrew the system that was designed to provide them.

The thing is, is that at the end of the day if we absolutely must lay blame, which I might point out is not necessarily the healthiest pursuit, then the blame must be laid on ‘we the people’. As such it is we the people who must now work together to correct any mistakes that may have been made in the past and ensure that they are not made again in the future. The building of a society is a trial and error kind of thing, societies (the massive families that they are) grow and expand over time and as they grow so too must each individuals understanding of what the needs and wants of that family are.

When dealing with our social and economic issues is it such a bad idea to think in terms of our own family dynamics; to reflect on what works within our own households, learn from and take that acquired knowledge out into the world in which we live and work. Is it such a crazy idea to make the attempt to run our businesses and our government the same way we would run a family? When a family functions well it is because they genuinely care about the needs of the other members of that family, sacrifices are made at times to encourage the success of individual members and discussions are held on how best to move forward with any major decisions that will affect the family. A well cared for home is a home where each individual gives equal effort to the care of that home and it is commonly acknowledged that one person alone cannot successfully provide care for, food for, shelter for an entire family unite. Knowing this, why then is it ok for us to assume that one man, be he the president or prime minister, can effectively care for an entire nation?

Thankfully it is never too late to reinvent the future and as our awareness grows so too does our understanding that the fate of any great nation (or tiny household) depends on the continued interest and engaged activity of those living within it.

Self sustaining communities like Damanhur stand as a shining beacon of hope to those of us who would work to turn the tide of self destruction and create a sustainable society because they have shown us what can be accomplished when we get involved with and actively participated in the growth and expansion of our communities. They remind us that it is indeed possible, when we work together as one united force, with a united intent and purpose, to build the peaceful co-creative world that we ALL wish deep down to live in.

Jean Victoria Norloch

To explore more of Jean’s work you can visit her at

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2014-08-09T14:16:51+00:00 May 14th, 2012|Reflections| Comments