The facts of nature cannot in the long run be violated. Penetrating and seeping through everything like water, they will undermine any system that fails to take account of them, and sooner or later they will bring about its downfall.

- C. G. Jung

s u r v i v o r s

There is much talk today about how civilization and empire might go the way of Sumer, the first urban conglomeration in history--and the first to succumb to ecological catastrophe. Peak oil, global warming, frankenfood, epidemics, nuclear bombs, genetics or nanotechnology run amok, and proliferating radiant energy sources are only a few of the possible scenarios that stain our time with a mood of apocalypse.

We do know this, however: a civilization built on means of production that waste huge regions of the biosphere is inherently unstable and will not survive the night. Breakdowns already appear, New Orleans only a particularly bald example of how the so-called Third World already occupies the United States.

Given these facts, we feel it important to start Opus Pax ("Work of Peace"), a catalog of Best Practices for building communities hardy enough to survive what's to come, resilient enough to face change, and democratic in the tradition of indigenous societies in which every member of the tribe has a voice. We see our time of troubles as an opportunity to experiment with dreams of how things could be for us, how we might live more in accord with the rhythms of Earth and with dreams well dreamed, individually and collectively.

The catalog might be available in wiki form so people can edit and add to it, but it would definitely include documents for easy downloading onto hard drives, flash sticks and cards that can be carried in a pocket or notebook, digital cameras, and other convenient and widely available technologies. Read more about it at the catalog page.

For a thoughtful paper on community practices and psychological depth, see Mary Watkins' paper "Toward Splendid Cities."

For technical know-how on sustainable practices, visit the RunningOnEmpty2 group at Yahoo.


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