Strength in Numbers?

Our guest blogger this week is

Josh Ellison;

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Healer, Student, Teacher

He writes of himself:

I believe that we each share a role both individually and collectively as healers of ourselves, each other and the marvellous planet with which we have been entrusted. Assimilating ideas from Charles Eisenstein and Stephen Covey my intention is to prepare myself and others for the coming transition from a humanity based on competition, scarcity and separation to one of collaboration, abundance and interdependence.


Since around 2014 I have harboured a dream of founding a small scale community based on principles of radical self-reliance, free expression and a shift from monetary capitalism to a gift and trade-based society not unlike that of project like the Burning Man Festival (if that name is unfamiliar to you I strongly recommend looking it).

The conception of this idea coensided with my discovery of Mike Reynolds and the Earthship architecture that he has developed and continues to promote, his innovations in this field quelled many of concerns relating to basic pragmatism in establishing such a community. Earthships in a nutshell: A housing structure who design integrates the cultivation and harvest of the inhabitants food, water and electricity while employing ethical construction to ensure a negative carbon footprint and responsible disposal of waste.

Community then became my focus as I sought to establish a network of other like minded individuals interested in reducing their impact on our planet and cultivating a more compassionate and just relationship with our environment and its inhabitants. Then I began an acting career.

Since then “Mothertree” (a working title for the project) has sat on the back burner until a few months ago when a friend and I were discussing the disconnection, apathy and even fear we detected among strangers whilst living in London and sparked a new interest for me. I became curious about the correlation between population growth in a concentrated area and the level of compassion and empathy among the individuals of that population.

Common sense dictates that the smaller a community, the more intimate the relationships among its members are likely to be, an endemic degree of trust, compassion and accountability is established simply by our reliance upon one another.

As any study of herd mentality will demonstrate, when in groups people tend to become less accountable for their actions and less empathic towards each other. It has since become apparent to me that the rule of law translates to large scale accountability and that perhaps anarchy in its purest sense might only be feasable on a small scale.

Could a group like the Babemba tribe, who instead of crime and punishment embrace a system of forgiveness and uplift toward those whose transgress one another, exist in numbers of thousand or millions rather than just dozens? I believe so.

However it may require the compartmentalization of the larger population into smaller local groups-a military of peace if you will, with individuals and small groups accountable to one another by virtue of their familiarity and intimacy. Within a few generations:

Who knows? The expression “It takes a village to raise a child”-one that is echoed in loose terms through the cultures of many indigenous societies- springs to mind. And perhaps if our villages raise children and as a result adults to whom compassion is a first response rather than isolation or fear-we can conceivably have a London or a New York that reflects those values.

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