COMMUNITY (communitas)-- a very provocative word, many believe they already understand and practice, or in the sense of a noun it is a place they already belong. 

I do not assume nor expect "community" in my life. I find it is only with dedication and commitment that a deep sense of community with others with a mission arrives, and even then, it can be very fragile. My greatest interest is to help guide community development that is a sociotherapy for the community itself and all communities of the world (human and otherwise). 

Indeed there is a wisdom in the notion that "when two or more gather there is community" but the quality of that community varies. I find "true community" as M. Scott Peck used to teach, is a good practice and with a powerful theoretical ambience to it. But even that movement from the 1980s faded out, much to my chagrin. However, his book The Different Drum is a classic and well worth the read and study, at a minimum.

My life-partner, Barbara Bickel and I have always been interested in community and are currently planning to 'build' a new learning community around some of the key thinkers and theories that have continued to excite us on our quest of learning, growing and maturing with a bigger purpose than our own success or satisfaction. In that sense we are interested in communities of mission, and we invite you to enter dialogue with us on this newly emerging project. At this time, I won't say more specifically, as we are still in the very early stages of putting out our vision and inviting others to explore that with us.

My own experience:

I have been fortunate, but also a seeker, and have worked and lived in/with four major conscious and alternative communities in my life. I have also attended numerous intensive workshops and conferences that were experientially-based and found deep sense of community (more ephemeral) there. Always, there was a guiding facilitator of great skill and I most appreciated that.

The three I'll speak about here do not include "family" of genetic origins and blood lines, which have been community of great importance, as is my relationship with Barbara, now 22 years strong. First, was landing in a small town in the middle of bible-belt Alberta to be a school teacher for a career, and meeting in the area some really fascinating progressive thinkers, which at that time of 1980-1988 circled around what would be called the Aquarian Conspiracy, Brain/Mind Revolution, New Paradigm, and various Future-centered initiatives that included elements of new age and human potential movement philosophies and practices. That community, founded and led by Jean Robertson, disbanded after a decade, but was a great first learning experiment for me. I learned a lot of what doesn't work in true community and the pathologies that can kill it.

The second (1983-1993) was a therapeutic community (treatment center for adolescent boys and their families in crisis). I got hired as a consultant and worked many positions, art therapy, case manager, staff trainer, and therapist as well as program designer. It was an incredibly painful, fearful, joyful experience that taught me so much about human behavior, the best and the worst. It really cut my teeth on being a "warrior" and "magician" in the midst of chaos and crisis--that is, in the midst of people hurting and trying to heal. I was glad to be a significant leader of that work at Quest Ranch during those years. I thank the young boys especially who taught me, trusted me, and struggled as I do often in conforming to a 'normal' society and way of life that is so often repressive.

The third (1989-1998) was the ideal community of communities for me, as I was ready to take the knowledge of what I had learned in the previous two and put best practices into place in a liberation context. It was called the In Search of Fearlessness Community (click on "Projects"). It was this project, from a mystical loving relationship, that arrived at the level of soul, not personality nor career. Although, it also had its many crises operating in this at times gross and brutal world toward the soul and its gifts, this decolonizing project (from the 'Fear' Matrix) has remained the burning fire in my heart and will until I die. I invite all to dialogue with me, to research, to study, and come to understand what the potential is for a community, whatever name it calls itself, to abide by the World's Fearlessness Teachings.

The fourth is to come in the future, and I have strong visions for this already. I see it as a learning community based on a practice of sociotherapy for social change, a concept like the International Peace Boat program but this one would be about the Fearlesship (see my new course at John A. Logan College on the front page of this website).

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