"Visionary Society" is a term that I, Lion, came up with.

I am using my portrait on this page, to establish clearly that these are my words and my thoughts, and do not necessarily represent the thinking of every StarCommunityMember.

None-the-less, what I say here, is important to the StarCommunity; This is completely what I stand for.

This page exists to explain what I mean by "Visionary Society," for any who are interested.

Visionary Society

I explain by way of a contrast -- by contrasting the "Visionary Society" with the vast majority of communities and [[Communes?]] that people know of.

I created this term after I discovered TheFederationOfDamanhur, during my lengthy research into communities. (some day: LionKimbrosStudyOfCommunities?.)

What I noticed is that the vast majority of communities that I studied belong to what I have come to call the "WesternAnarchistTradition."


In short, what the "Western Anarchist Tradition" values, the basic pattern of the Western Anarchist Tradition, is a pattern of formation that centrally values these things:

My "prototype" for talking about the "Western Anarchist Tradition" is TwinOaks, a beautiful community in Virginia, founded in the 1970, but there's no reason to restrict the concept to Twin Oaks. There are countless communities all around the United States, in cities and rurally, -- not as developed or as advanced as Twin Oaks, but they are out there. (TODO: include a link to the FIC communities map directory here.) Further, there are CoHousing? communities and housing coops and others that I would also include in the "Western Anarchist Tradition." It's a reflection of a broad and post-modern philosophy that can be applied in many different ways, but has these basic elements.

Damanhur & the Visionary Society


It's against the background of the Western Anarchist Tradition that the "Visionary Community" or "Visionary Society" can be understood. (see also: CommunitySocietyCivilization?, for the distinction between "community" and "society.")

In my study of communities, (LionKimbrosStudyOfCommunities?,) somewhere around 2007 I believe, I stumbled across a highly unique community: TheFederationOfDamanhur.

I was astonished by the breathtaking achievements and undertakings of the Damanhurians. They were something completely different than everything I had seen before, and I had to understand what made it work.

For example:

Clearly, in terms of inner aspirations and outer achievements and connectedness, this was something very different.

I needed a name to explain "what is different about this?", and the term I came up with was "Visionary Society," pulling from the term "VisionaryArt" that was going around at that time.

I realized that what I was looking for, for myself, was not encapsulated by the Western Anarchist Tradition, -- which I was attracted to -- but more deeply, by the spiritual aspirations of the Visionary Society.


I studied everything I could get my hands on, about Damanhur. A few years later, in my research, I chanced upon Tamera.

I realized very quickly that, this too, was also a Visionary Society. And as I studied the spiritual philosophy that motivates Tamera, I was shocked to see how similar it was -- in terms of it's spiritual insights and philosophy, in terms of its political aspirations for the world, and in terms of its emphasis on the arts.

There are certainly many differences between Tamera and Damanhur, but in terms of what it is about them that makes them Visionary Societies, I find that they are constitutionally almost identical. Even names that they have chanced upon are very similar, and the patterns of reasoning are extremely similar.

It was here that I realized that there is a pattern, that there is a core informational structure at work in these communities, which means that the pattern can be replicated.

It remains (and this is an urgent consideration) to see if the Visionary Society can continue to be visionary after the death of their charismatic founders. For example, the Findhorn community appears, sadly, to have lost its zeal with time. There are other possibly visionary communities, such as GANAS in New York, that have lost their charismatic founders, or visionary communities like Synergia that have not extended to young people (I'm not sure it was really their mission, to form a society,) -- so: It definitely remains to be seen if (A) Visionary communities rely on charisma to survive, and (B) can survive, as actively Visionary communities, the death of their charismatic founders.

In a way, the effort of the StarCommunity is to establish a Visionary society, and a visionary way of life, without charismatics, and in a way that can survive the death of the founders. To the extent that Charisma means "magic," then -- it cannot be done. But there is a difference, I posit, between magic and a charismatic, and I believe that everybody can make genuine contact with magic, reliably.

To give some coordinates on this -- AlanMoore? is cited as having said: "I can remember one of the last conversations I had with my very dear and much missed friend, the writer Kathy Acker. This was very soon after I had just become interested and involved with magic. I was saying to her how the way I was then seeing things was that basically magic was about the last and best bastion of revolution. The political revolution, the sexual revolution, these things had their part and had their limits, whereas the idea of a magical revolution would revolve around actually changing people’s consciousnesses, which is to say, actually changing the nature of perceived reality. Kathy agreed with that completely — it sort of followed on some of her own experiences — and I still think that that is true. In some ways, magic is the most political of all of the areas that I’m involved with."

By magic, I am not referring to anything that would seriously challenge or contradict what I might call, say, RichardDawkinsGradeScience? -- the science that you would learn or relate about with any real-life full-grown University educated scientist. Rather, it is something more on the order of "the magic of WaltDisney," -- a sense of possibility, a connection with wonder, embedded in insight and pro-activity, willingness to engage in the world, and Vision, with a capital-V, like BuckminsterFuller?, or MartinLutherKing?.

To further illustrate what I mean by "a Visionary Society," if I were going to list what I see as essential values or projects of the Visionary Society, contrasting with the Western Anarchist Tradition, I might say:

While there are still many of the same values as exist in the Western Anarchist Tradition, they don't have quite the same emphasis. For example, in both Tamera and Damanhur, raising children together is something that is important to the people that live there. But it doesn't hold as much of the "mental share" of the picture as it might in other places.

Consensus and process and, to a degree, egalitarianism, are still important in the Visionary Society, but they take a back seat to [[Dream?]], to spiritual aspirations, to the realization of the dream.

In the Western Anarchist Tradition, there is more of a backing on the principles of "rights" and "deserts," on what is "fair." In the Visionary Society, it's more about the mission, of creating the dreamed for Society, and realizing the inner potentials of each person, which are understood with reference to a spiritual philosophy, rather than a more legalistic concept of "the rights of man."

Note that the concept of a [[Society?]] or a [[People?]] is distinct from the concept of a [[State?]]. But that conversation is better reserved for the page CommunitySocietyCivilization?.

Hopefully, I have communicated something here of the distinction between a Visionary Society and a more garden-variety Western Anarchist Tradition community. This should prepare you for understanding some of the key distinctions between the StarCommunity, and many other communities that you may have read, heard about, and come to love.

A big part of my personal mission for my life, is to establish the Visionary Society as a recognizable form of Community, distinct from most everything else we're seeing around us. I want to grow the concept both in recognition (so that people know "this is a thing you can look for, this might be what you are truly longing for,") and also in terms of architectural understanding, so that people can see what it's inner structure is, and for those who are called to Visionary Society, to be able to progress and continue the work of replicating and expanding the reach and influence of visionary societies, around the globe.

StarCommunity is, in some ways, something that I use as my workshop for exploring how, specifically, visionary society may be created.

Star Community is not yet a visionary society. It's not even a visionary community yet. I'm not sure that it's visionary anything yet, except in it's aspiration and aim. And yet I believe that we have several of the key numbers of the complex pad lock combination worked out, to unlock that possibility. There are some pieces that are not here yet, which are subjects of particular research primarily conducted socially in the SpiritualQuest gatherings, and in research excursions in the world.

And so this is, in broad overview, the structure of the nature and question of a visionary society.

See Also


Define external redirect: LionKimbrosStudyOfCommunities RichardDawkinsGradeScience Dream Society MartinLutherKing CoHousing AlanMoore People SolarPower SocietyOfDream CommunitySocietyCivilization BuckminsterFuller State Communes SpiritualIntimacy SpiritualPhilosophy AlternativeCurrency