You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. - Buckminster Fuller
The Light Living Laboratory aims to work with leading thinkers, doers and planners (a) in the communities that make up the global network of eco-villages with a view to developing the modules for living that will help make the objectives of the eco-village movement the world’s social norm, and (b) who are and have been thinking about and articulating ideas about new social norms.
Richard Gilman, a co-founder of the Global Eco-village Network, in 1991 provided this classical definition of an eco-village -
“human-scale full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world with multiple centres of initiative in a way that supports healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.”
By starting via this website, the Laboratory aims additionally to illustrate the process of an idea growing to physical manifestation and launch.
For avoidance of doubt or any romantic notion that might arise from the term eco-”village”, we need here to state that it is not suggested that a collection of villages alone will be able accommodate, in the manner intended, the world’s population at its projected levels of 9.5 billion by 2050. Vertical cities, such as those suggested by Jacque Fresco & Roxanne Meadow’s, The Venus Project, may well be part of the solution. What is however crystal clear, is that unless the ideals of the eco-village movement, enhanced by the work of the Laboratory, form an integral part of the design philosophy of future communities, no matter what size or shape, we will fail in creating the living spaces and environments we all so deeply yearn for.
The following are two illustrations of what future communities might look like -
The paragraphs below each represent a short summary of the core philosophies behind the Laboratory’s starting position on some key socio-politcal areas; each subject matter is addressed in detail in the individually tabbed sections of this site.
The first Light Living Laboratory (LLL) could in theory be located anywhere. From inception it is in tendecd to be a model for others to follow and emulate. It will itself draw on some of the experiences and lessons-learned from similar initiatives that have occurred throughout human history, although none – to our knowledge – ever set out to be a laboratory.
However, there are a number of reasons that suggest that the first LLL needs to be located in the UK, with the South West and / or Wales considered the ideal regions : this small island group has always had a disproportionate impact on the rest of world and can safely continue to be seen as a major communications centre. Much of our modern world’s core structures and beliefs are based on the thoughts of Adam Smith on economics, Newton on physics, John Locke on philosophy and Darwin on evolution. It is felt that their descendants are quietly waiting to host thinkers and visionaries from all over the globe so that equally influential ideas can be hatched for the radically different world the LLL is expected to help shape. These musings on the potential location of the first LLL should not be interpreted to mean that the LLL is seen to be “British” project – far from it, the inspiration and guidance does after all reach us from far distant corners of the multiverse!
And the principal language of global communications emanated from here.
Those who choose to live permanently in the Laboratory will have initially been selected against a range of criteria reflecting the requirements of a settlement of this nature.
The selection process starts with the individual him- or herself and starts withj a simple question : what activity will for the next phase of my life make my heart sing? If there are several, then list them according to preferences, or strength of internal joy. If one or all of the things you list are on the list of skills required and shown elsewhere on this site, under “help required”, you will have passed the first and major pre-qualification.
Next, please quietly consider each of the following points and ask whether they apply to you -
Lastly study the rest of this section and then decide whether you want to make your interest in joining known to us; if yes, please send us a detailed communication on why you believe you will be able to contribute in making LLL the relevant place it is intended to be. We deliberately do not provide forms or formats for personal information as we are interested in seeing how you express and present yourself. The more open and detailed you are, the greater your chances of being invited to meet us.
Everybody applying, and considered to be a candidate, to live and work in the Laboratory, will be invited to interview and then an experiential weekend. If after these 2 stages, they are still considered a suitable candidate, they will be invited to join for a probationary period of 6 months. This will give us all a chance to get to know each other well and see how readily and easily we can interact. The LLL seeks to avoid having to devote too much effort into maintaining a harmonious community by attempting to admit only those who through inner work have reached levels of being that are less likely to result in disruptive interpersonal issues of the lower energetic kind.
We have no finite numbers in mind, although of course these will ultimately be determined by a combination of the size of land we acquire and the minimum numbers required to make a laboratory such as LLL work.
The core philosophy underpinning the design and life at the LLL is that we humans are an integral part of nature and need to behave and live accordingly. This does not require any special ceremonies, rituals or belief systems, it is simply a fact. This fact expresses itself in us learning to listen and communicate with the land on which we wish to build, with the plants we wish to plant, with the trees with whom we shall be sharing the space, with the animals who live and work with us, and some who will be expected to give their lives to feed some of us. The land will tell us how and where to build, we simply need to explain, ask and allow ourselves to be guided.
Many of us have already developed the ability to hear and feel nature, those who have not yet will quickly learn.
Our guiding principle is love, not the variety that makes people fall in (and out) of love, but the love that is recognised to be basic building block our universe and world. Within this world based on love, we see all life to be interwoven and continuous – at times in a physical body, at times in pure spirit.
At the risk of over-stating the obvious, the world is simply what we, collectively and individually, make of nature, the purpose of our lives, our relationships, what we actually do between birth and death, etc. Probably no one person’s world, if we could each describe ours in sufficient detail will match that of another person – it all depends on perspective resulting in our world-view, the German world “Weltanschauung” encapsulates this better.
Our planet on the other hand we can measure, prod and even weigh, and thus can share a common view over.
Once we fully understand that each of our worlds is entirely of our own making, as is that which the news media so assiduously report on, it actually becomes quite easy to participate in the re-design of one or several of these worlds. A change of attitude, away from being helpless in the world of one’s own making, is a first big step. But as the LLL is aiming to create a world in which most would feel at home, the aim becomes to synthesise that which most of us share, but rarely have an opportunity to express, leave alone experience.
If we need to define the difference between a community and the LLL – this is it : we are not turning away from a series of worlds we do not like in order to create a collective new one for the community, rather we are each unafraid to define what it is we want for ourselves and those we love, and will then work with other like-mindeds towards creating a world that will give all humanity the world we genuinely believe they want. We will base our choices and design on knowledge and experiences as well as guidance received internally, in meditation, through experimentation and adjustment, and by always making reference back to nature. And whatever we develop and wherever we are in this development it will be available for free sharing to anybody interested or who asks.
There are many facets to a world; to do a meaningful job, we need to address each facet and aspect, we need to be holistic. To many the idea of redesigning the world becomes overwhelming, frightening even, yet this need not be so. Like with everything, there is a skeleton, a structure that gives shape to any world : if we identify the key girders of this structure and work on these, all the myriad other parts will fall into place and can be fine-tuned as in the LLL setting we discover the need for such.
Across the top of this website are a number of subject headings, these are considered the main structures we need to examine. Get clarity on these, and all else will fall into place. We can start the process of clarifying these structures, here, right now, please provide your inputs. But we will only be able to test the resultant new world by physically congregating in the LLL. This also explains why we shall have to have the right blend of people, at critical mass numbers, to make the LLL a success – there is no point in designing a new model of education if there are no children to educate; or to develop new ways of doing business if no business opportunities exist; etc.
And please never lose sight of how this journey of new world design begins – with you going within and asking what makes your heart sing, and then telling us about it. Before writing to us, the second question may ask whether or not you want to become a bold new world venturer, experimenter and eventual teacher by joining the LLL, or associating with it.
Each of the subject headings will be explored in detail in their individual sections and in workshops we shall be developing while the LLL is under construction; the following provides a quick flavour of the approach we shall be advocating in designing our new world, version-1 (NWV1) -
Agriculture – it is pure madness to extract all the soils nutrients only to put back stuff that has been manufactured, is supplier-dependent, is mostly poisonous and harmful to other life, does not recognise the nature and life of soil, etc. We have the knowledge, skills and technology to work with nature, while naturally enriching the earth with each growing and harvesting season. Different soils, requirements, climatic conditions, availability of labour, will require adjustments to local conditions without detracting for natural agriculture and food-growing, and live-stock breeding.
Economics – suffice it so say here, contrary to the view of many, that this is not a natural science, but one that draws selectively on them; its fundamentals are so suspect that a redefinition of them will throw up the short-comings of this joyless “science” that has held back the liberation of human creativity and genius for far too long. With this redefinition, ideas around banks, the need for them, their role as well as how to conduct business, the concept of ownership, etc. will drastically change.
Education – what is its purpose? For far too long we have continued with the myth that education is a privilege, to be earned in one form or another; this stems from the Industrial Revolution which needed slightly better trained machinists that had been the case hereto before. That industrial model has stuck in the minds of teachers and parents – only a good education will secure a future for your child! Piffle – education as perceived in the old model becomes an agent of control, churning out young people who will broadly support the status quo, and who will not be too demanding so that those jobs that cannot be automated or computerised will still be filled. Educating to release brilliance, to create questing enquiring minds, is anathema to the existing order. By being part of the LLL, everybody, irrespective of age or background, will continually be re-experiencing and relearning. Education de-linked from monetary reward and job-security reflects nature and promotes the natural desire in all things living to learn and grow.
Energy & Fuel – working with and in nature, there is no need to take anything away from her that might weaken her natural cycles and structural needs. The abundance in sustainability will make shortages inconceivable.
Governance & Leadership – LLL will promote the concept of “leaderless leadership”, where a council of elders may periodically assemble to address issues that require a broader perspective, but day to day tasks are carried our by groups assembled for such purpose. Groups of this nature will be “led” by those with the most relevant expertise to complete a given task; on completion of the task these “leaders” will fade back into the community. The innate naturalness of life in NWV1 will make fully participating in it effortless.
Nature – were part of her and exist within her. Learn to live and experience this truth and our new world will almost immediately become visible.
Science & Technology – we need to understand the limitations of science and the arrogance that at times attaches to some of its disciplines; but, notwithstanding these, as perpetual learning is one of the joys of being, we need to appreciate science for the tool it is and use it to progress further in the development of our technologies in alignment with natural laws and principles.