Many people worry about the world we live in; the injustices and inequalities that surround us, our corrupt politics and institutions as wells as watching global warming taking full effect. We wonder how the world will ever be a better place. Is it even possible to start over, tear down the racist and sexist institutions that Capitalism was founded on or we wonder if it would even be worth to try? When we think we are alone, this thought becomes overwhelming. Yet, if we look harder, open our Westernized minds and ask ourselves what it would look like to live in a community that valued people more than profit and what would we find?
I found Damanhur, Italy; a community of about 800 people living together with intention, prosperity, equality, and purpose. This conscious, sustainable community is described as a spiritual community that believes it is their responsibility to maintain a “oneness” lifestyle with all living things, and restore a healthy, loving relationship between Earth and humans. Damanhur’s structure has been so impactful that it has been studied by others and then replicated all around the world, which makes Damanhur a social phenomenon.
The Federation of Damanhur, Italy was founded in 1975 by Falco Tarassaco with around 24 followers and by the year 2000, that number had grown to 600. The group holds a mix of New Age and Neo-Pagan beliefs that reflect their mission to restore the world to a peaceful, cohabitating place. Damanhurians believe in creating oneness with the planet and humankind, which will ultimately save the planet and humankind from self-destruction. Damanhurians do this by shedding light on how social, racial, and environmental injustices are rooted in everyday life. This community, then, lives by example to show it is possible to live without these cycles. It truly is a culture that demonstrates a different way of life; life with equality, diversity and people living as one with the planet. This United Nations award-winning sustainable eco-community is dedicated to sharing their way of life with fellow spiritual travelers so others may replicate it all around the world, and that is exactly what is happening. Branches of Damanhur are now in Boulder, Colorado, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, California, Japan, Brazil, Peru and Germany.
Damanhur’s entire foundation is based upon ethical and spiritual values. The Damanhur University has seminars which provide the tools and understanding to achieve inner transformation and sustainable consciousness and to discover one’s personal mission to help the planet evolve. With every evolving community member, Damanhur evolves as well. This community has established their own economic systems of jobs, politics, governed properties, currency, housing systems called Nucleos, schools and culture, but they are most famous for the Temples of Humankind and creating a machine that communicates with plants called Music of the Plants device. The community is unique in every meaning of the word. They are an example and an inspiration to take action to change the world for the better.
This community gives hope for a better future for this planet. Damanhur shows how connected the mind, body and soul are, which should always be represented within a community. Their economic set up, governance, employment, and overall community is one to note for future societal goals. Damanhur is racially diverse, breaks gender roles, cares about the environment, is feminist in nature and has low to no crime. This community has a lot to offer to rest of the world, the world just must be open to it. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing expecting a different answer; maybe it is time to try something new.