In our present society daily life is divided among work and leisure, more or less adopted from some traditional religious views. On top of that, in more affluent countries, there is an allotted period for vacation, which varies from country to country, type of occupation, etc. We are accustomed to that and hardly question the absurdity of this system. It came into being as the result of stratification when the upper class of the society was trying to get as much benefit as possible for the work of the lower one.
There is absolutely no reason to inherit it by the Wisdom Society. However, the change would require an entirely different attitude to work and different structures. It will be sketched in this article, putting emphasis on the joyous aspect of cooperation and individual work.
Unanimous decision making
The issue of decisions is the most critical one. It is one of the frequent reasons why many communities, which are attempting to introduce egalitarianism, cannot find an acceptable solution and fall apart. Despite that danger, it is proposed that in the nucleus, decisions are made unanimously. Making decisions in any other way would undermine the fundamental principle of the Wisdom Society that is the removal of the stratification.
Such a principle would not be applicable in our modern stratified society, where participants in the decision-making process are firmly attached to their views. In such a situation the idea of benefitting the whole group is just a demagogical fig leaf.
However, making a decision by consensus is not entirely impossible. It is practiced hundred years by traditional Quakers, and more recently, since the thirties of the last century, by non-theistic Quakers as well. Recently it is also practiced by Seed of Change and DEV communities.
In Wisdom Society, where members are involved in re-discovering their innate wisdom, it possible to choose the solution beneficial for the whole community. It happens due to their ability to see the fluid quality of the state of their own mind. Without any trace of moral or religious influence, the participants are capable of realizing that the wellbeing of an individual is inseparable from the benefit of the group.
The other important element in decision making is group intelligence. It is a well known, thoroughly researched phenomenon, and unquestionably successful in decision making. However, in the case of the wisdom nucleus, it would be even more powerful by combining with group cooperative altruism.
An essential role in the decision-making process is played by the applied form. Each nucleus may develop its own version, testing its success and modifying it accordingly. Nevertheless, here I will suggest some procedures which could be used as a starting point.
Though I am not able to find and provide any proper neuro-scientific explanation, personally, I witness a few times a group of people spontaneously agree while choosing a coordinator of this group.
These experiences encouraged me to propose the following procedure. The participants are sitting a close distance from each other, forming a circle. This arrangement is adopted from the decision making practiced by some aboriginal societies. Looking at it from a modern, scientific viewpoint, we can speculate that there is a form of energy of consciousness of the participants which may be synchronized. This hypothesis is less far fetched than it appears on the first look. There exists a theory of cosmic consciousness called Orch OR proposed by one of the most famous, modern theoretical physicists Sir Roger Penrose.
Coming back to decision making, I suggest two variants of the procedure. Both assume that the participants have some experience in the basic wisdom practice, as described in the earlier articles. They are able, at least, to rest their minds while sitting in silence. For them may be appropriate the Variant 1.
Participants discuss the issue to be decided. They present their views, pointing to the advantages of the suggested solution. If the discussion leads to only one conclusion, the decision is made. Otherwise, if there are more alternatives, someone, usually the coordinator (see below), proposes a few minute’s long period of resting their mind in wisdom. After that, participants are requested to choose which solutions they prefer. If they spontaneously select one, the decision is made. If not, the process may be repeated, or the decision-making is postponed to the next day when (hopefully) it will produce a successful outcome.
It is suggested for more experienced practitioners who, during the discussion, can remain in that state of wisdom. As in Variant 1, the members are engaging themselves in a discussion presenting alternative proposals. Such discussion may be interrupted by short periods of silence during which the participants are resting their minds in wisdom. It is continued until there emerges a spontaneous consensus selecting one of the alternative proposals.
The above-described procedures may sound a bit unrealistic and can be criticized as inefficient. Consequently, I would like to stress that it is only a suggestion, and it is up to members of the nucleus to find a suitable form.
But before finishing the description of decision making, it is worth pointing out that the process of decision-making is not as serious as it may appear. The members are clear that a decision has to be made; they are not too strongly attached to views, and changing them is not difficult. All of that produces humour and … joy.
Coordinator of the wisdom nucleus
The decision-making procedures, as described above, are used only for issues of significant importance for the nucleus. Otherwise, the functioning of the community will become impeded by lengthy discussion. To remove that obstacle, the nucleus would select from among its members the coordinator. Her or his role would be threefold. The first one is making everyday decisions. However, if a member disagrees with a coordinator’s decision, it may be discussed later on using the communal format. Since the sense of responsibility of the members is one of the critical principles of Wisdom society, such situations, hopefully, would be rather rare.
The second duty of the coordinator is prioritizing and coordinating the communal activities of the nucleus. The third role of the coordinator is representing the nucleus as a member of the wisdom village council, which will be further described in the forthcoming article.
How to select the coordinator is up to the nucleus decision, but here will be suggested two alternatives. According to the first one, the coordinator will be selected in the same way as any significant decision. Alternatively, the role of the coordinator is fulfilled, in turn, by every member of the nucleus fulfills. This way, each person learn managerial skills. The length of the tenure of the coordinator may vary depending on the decision of the nucleus.
Relation with the neighbouring communities
One of the crucial issues facing the nucleus is establishing positive and stable relations with the neighbouring communities. Since, most frequently, the nucleus is situated in a rural setting, its neighbours often are involved in some form of farming or are retired city dwellers who decided to live in the country. Such communities value and practice relations between neighbours much more than in cities. This issue also includes relations with the local administration and the security and order forces.
The importance of such relations has several dimensions. We will begin with the behaviour creating a positive perception of the nucleus by the outside world. In rural communities, many aspects of a nucleus make it particularly interesting to its neighbours. This natural curiosity should be used as an opportunity to demonstrate the advantages of its underlying principles. Since rural communities are inclined to rely on their observation and common sense, the successful functioning of the nucleus would be most persuasive.
The next important aspect of the nucleus relations with its neighbourhood would be its involvement in the local affairs. In many countries like, for example, rural France (where I live), the residents very often create and become involved in all kinds of local projects. They range from learning a foreign language to choir singing and crocheting. Since some of the members of the nucleus are often highly skilled in a variety of subjects, if they offer them to the neighbours, they would become highly appreciated.
The nucleus may invite neighbours so they may see the advantages of the functioning of the nucleus. For example, they may learn about the technology of building wooden residences and the methodology of using techno-agriculture without chemicals. They also can be invited to participate in some of the festivities, which include food and drink.
All of that may sound trivial, but it is not. All such contact and demonstrations of projects show that life does not have to be an ongoing struggle to be on top or to survive, but can be joyous. This may convince the neighbours, much more than words, that the principle of wisdom living is worth closer investigation and even worth being introduced into their lives.
There are also pragmatic aspects of proper relations with the neighbouring communities. For example, the nucleus may try to execute some projects which, for this or other reason, are contrary to some local rules. In such situations, friendly and warm relations are invaluable: the local officials, who like the nucleus, may become willing to bending and adopting these rules, as needed
The last reason for maintaining friendly and respectful relations with the surrounding communities is protection. The single nucleus has no ability to protect itself from external aggression. As long as the general political and social situation of the country in which the nucleus is located is stable, this issue does not play a very significant role. However, in the case of disturbances, such protection can be provided by local order forces and its neighbours. Consequently, being viewed as a communal asset, good relations, and proper fast communication with the local police or its equivalent is very important.
Basic wisdom practice
The atmosphere in the nucleus is very conducive to the basic wisdom practice. Since everybody is involved in it, so it is not viewed as something strange and exotic. There is also freedom of constraints and impediments imposed on us in the current social structure. They include strict and long work periods, frequent involvement in the aggressive encounters with people around us, obsessive interest in the political situation, using free time for entertainment and so on.
In the nucleus, anyone decides when and how to do wisdom practice. Such freedom is possible because the fundamental principle of the members is responsible for one’s behaviour. It may sound naïve because our current social system is based on the belief that, generally, people are irresponsible. Consequently, they have to be controlled and forced to perform their respective roles. It is not surprising because, in a stratified system such as ours, the lower social strata is avoiding the oppression of the upper.
Each member of the nucleus has her/his individual room, so they can do the practice there. However, one can do it also in the natural environment in the area dedicated to its recovery. There, one can enrich the practice by experiencing perceptions of the beauty and power of nature.
The nucleus also provides opportunities for a basic group practice. Since members of the nucleus live in the same residence, those who want to practice as a group can do it without any complications experienced when people reside in geographically dispersed locations.
The group practice unifies and stabilizes the state of resting in wisdom. From this wisdom may manifest, discernment, creativity and freedom from attachment to fixed beliefs and concepts. That may be particularly helpful during decision-making.
I have not exhausted all subjects concerning life in the wisdom nucleus, so we could continue the discussion. However, I believe that this and previous articles suffice to describe its main qualities.
I would like to add that many of the presented situations are more typical for a solitary nucleus, and they would be different when the nucleus becomes a component of a wisdom village. This is done purposely, because at present when no nucleus exists as a physical reality, more important are suggestions needed to encourage and help in establishing one.
Before ending, I would like to return to the idea presented in the Introduction to this article, that is, the joyous quality of the nucleus living there. It is the same joy, which we experience being with a group of friends or family during a celebration. In this case, we celebrate the knowledge that our life and efforts contribute to saving humanity from the suffering of living in the stratified system and potential destruction. It awakens in us a sense of power and joy.
I just received a poem from my friend Henryk Szmidt. It is supposed to be about Joy, but it is not quite. Fortunately, the bird saved Joy.
I look into the well
to the meadow
I study the bowels of the city
interior of the trams
I won’t find it in books
is in poems
In a few notes
maybe bird singing
In the morning
will do the rest