High Entropy wrote:
OMG! I wanna know everything!
1) Who are you people?
2) Why did you decide to create a special community?
3) How many people does your community have and how do you live your lives?
4) Do you have anything in the form of a religion or creed that your community believes?
5) How are you connected to the temples?
6) What does one need to know in order to live among your community?
7) Does the person who saw the visions of the temples live among you?
8) Anything interesting to note for us outsiders?
May of these questions are answered in more detail on our website. He is the short version:
1) We are people from all over the world that choose to live together because we believe in the mission of Damanhur:
Within every human being exists a divine spark that must reawaken.
Damanhur is a living laboratory actively manifesting this dream. Reawakening requires the use of our free will to consciously choose to live each experience life places on our path; to conquer habits, act without dependence on external forces, and share dreams and the work necessary to achieve them. In this way, every person can make contact with the spiritual energies within to reconnect memories which lead to full awareness of one's true nature.
2) In the late 1970s, a group of people were gathering in a center in Turin researching different areas of spirituality, magic and parapsychology. They realized that in order to manifest what they were researching, they needed to work together more closely, and the best way to do that was to live together. Damanhur is a center for spiritual, artistic and social research. Damanhurian philosophy is based on action, optimism and the idea that every human being lives to leave something of themselves to the others and to contribute towards the growth and evolution of the whole of humanity.
3) We have around 1000 citizens and friends, of which about 500 live in the Valchiusella valley. Those numbers fluctuate a little here and there. :) As to how we live, the best is to read: http://damanhur.org/index.php/about-us/daily-life
4) Damanhur has a spiritual school and philosophy. The Temples of Humankind is the physical representation of that philosophy and a place for us to continue our spiritual research. You can read about our philosophy here (though it is only the tip of the iceberg): http://damanhur.org/index.php/about-us/ ... philosophy
. Also, many of the courses taught through our Olami University are based on our spiritual philosophy and research. Action and change are the centerpoint, and they are expressed through our daily lives, private practice and joint rituals.
5) All Damanhurians are connected to the Temples both spiritually and physically. We work to construct them, practice our spirituality in them... they are alive. We give it energy and it gives us energy.
6) The only thing you need to know to live in the community is whether or not you want to be here. We are open to all people from all walks of life. We have a program called NewLife where you can come live as a citizen for 3 months and learn all about our community. You can read more about it here: http://www.damanhurinside.com/2011/11/0 ... e-project/
7) Yes. His name is Oberto Airaudi, also known as Falco. He is the main founder (there were 13 in total). You could say he is the spiritual leader of the community - the day-to-day is managed by the citizens through various roles and responsibilities. Every Thursday, he does an open Q&A session for the community. Every Friday, he does an open Q&A with all the guests. These can be seen at http://www.livestream.com/damanhur
, but unfortunately, at this time we only record the Italian. The sessions are simultaneously translated into multiple languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Croatian... depending on the guests), but we are still working on how to broadcast all the languages.
8) There are many interesting things to note, I wouldn't know where to begin. I would say that the important take-away is that Damanhur is one model of a community, there are many others. We encourage people to decide what community means to them and then put it into action. Some may come live at an ecovillage, some may get to know their neighbors, while other may work in community centers... all community is good, since it is working together that we manifest our dreams.
Whew... those were great questions. I hope the answers help give you a little insight. If you have any others, feel free to ask them here or at our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/damanhur.ms