Saturday, June 11, 2016

VISIT TO A CITY OF THE FUTURE

COME WITH ME TO THE WORKSHOP OF A GENIUS. This man's Ideas will influence the development of world culture, ecology, architecture, philosophy and YOU.

                                                            Meet Paolo Solari




He envisioned and inspired this:  The world's first ARCOLOGY
located halfway between Phownix and Flagstaff, Arizona.
We decide to go see the place.  Kathy dresses brightly in one of her many flashy gowns.

CB takes a load of us from the 1st BAND OF BOONDOCKERS.

We have dinner in their cafeteria.
Look at their exhibits--watch a film--then make an amazing discovery.


Here's one of our own: Eva.  Years ago she modeled for Paolo and there she is in a book of his drawings.  She has a titilating  story to tell about that session.  Will add it at the end of this post.
Kathy, Barb and Jo (to remember the moment)

RANDY SUMMARIZES PAOLO'S PHILOSOPHY.
1. Civilization began when humanity began to live close together behind defensive city walls.
    Density increases contact, communication, exchange of ideas, skills, products and invention.
2. A great evil of our age is URBAN SPRAWL. It is wasteful of resources--separates us--ruins the natural environment, creates an insulating CAR CULTURE.
3. We can save our environment by living densly again in beautiful, connection-stimulating ARCOLOGIES (architecture/ecology). Think Beehive cities of about 5000 people.
Here's a fair article from the NY Times about the current state of the experiment.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I support Paolo's philosophy that connection can be enriching.  It is a central point in our BAND OF BOONDOCKERS, a mobile community even less damaging to the environment and more stimulative of connection than Arcosanti. I don't think he gave enough thought to the PATTERN OF THAT ASSOCIATION---a crucial detail we hope to remedy. I am preparing a post comparing the patterns of association in various Indian Tribes and the dramatic differences they make.

EVA'S TITILATING STORY:  While visiting Arcosanti some years ago--Solari was in residence and doing charcoal drawings of (beautiful) women.  A posted notice asked for models.  Eva volunteered and sat for him. (nude)  In mid session he asked her in his charming Italian accent:  May I "keese your neeple?  She said no!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

BAND OF BOONDOCKERS--PART 3 WHEN HEROES CONNECT


 HEROES (in Joseph Campbell's writings--and here) are people  who respond to the urge to wander into the unknown--muster the will to overcome difficulties--learn from their experiences and share what they learn with others.

All my current companions are heroes in this sense.  All have courageously left the safe and familiar--engineered a comfortable mobility---dared to roll into the unknown---opened up their senses to new experiences.

AND ONE MORE THING:  THEY HAVE CONNECTED-- FOR A TIME-- WITH OTHER HEROES.

The advantages of doing this are obvious and not so obvious:
We are a comforting presence to one another.
We exchange useful information for our journey.
We inspire one another to deeper adventures.
We reap the energy bonuses of collective efforts.
We enhance our sense of ourselves as we are reflected in our interactions.
We polish our social effectiveness.

My vision of our connection is similar to the story of the Knights of the Round Table.  Worthy people gather for all the reasons listed above and eventually formulate a QUEST for themselves.  Then off they go in ones or twos or more to do the deed they have imagined.

AND THEN THEY RETURN TO US---for all the reasons listed above. We are the family of their affection and support---the springboard of their quests.

A GRAND PLAN---RIGHT?  AAhh but everyone knows that that grand plan came crashing down at last--for reasons all too human: love, sex, power, greed-etc.

TO KEEP OUR GOOD THING GOING---TO AVOID THE ROUND TABLE DISASTER--I OFFER THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS AND INSIGHTS. (I have been involved in 4 such visionary enterprises covering 20 plus years. Here's what I've learned:)

1. Humans in close association have 7 primary challenges: PRIVACY, POWER, PERFORMANCE, PROPERTY, PEACEMAKING, PERSONNEL, PURPOSE.
2 These challenges can be approached in two distinct ways:
   A. Moral solutions--try to  "ENGINEER PEOPLE" (persuade" "compel" them to behave harmoniously.
   B. Technical solutions---ENGINEER SITUATIONS so that it is nearly impossible to "do wrong."
       (example: people speeding in the trailer park where children play:  Moral approach: Post a sign           urging a safe speed.  Technical approach: install a speedbump.)
       Believe it or not--most all the challenges mentioned lend themselves to technical solutions---and        thus it is possible to  eliminate  all those vast, wasteful misunderstandings and  rancor and make-wrongs of the moral approach. ( Detailing the how of this is grist for another post)
With squabbles  based on these 7 issues whisked away, people are free to SYNERGIZE and BLOOM.
   
 IMAGINE A CULTURE OF SYNERGY AND BLOOM.
     Imagine the Beatles in their best years---synergetic--creativity in bloom.
     Imagine paying no rent.
     Imagine a life in pleasant weather.
     Imagine a band of talented people to hear your ideas.
     Imagine a spirit of YES--people willing to play your games.
     Imagine a set of friends with no desire to own you, control you, use you.  Who watch you come          and go with equal joy.

THAT IS MY VISION FOR THE BAND OF BOONDOCKERS!



Thursday, June 02, 2016

BAND OF BOONDOCKERS---part 2 guest editorial

I'M PLEASED TO SHARE A RECENT EMAIL FROM MY COLLEAGUE AND FELLOW BOONDOCKER
CB Genrich 
May 31 at 6:49 PM

I’m very enthusiastic at the prospect of forming a tiny mobile society - a band of boondockers. My vision is that our band is very similar to what anthropologists refer to as a band society. Selections (for brevity and relevance) from the Wikipedia article “Band (Anthropology)”:

[In anthropology, bands are the tiniest societies, consisting typically of 5-80 people • Until at least 40,000 years ago, probably all humans lived in bands, and most still did as recently as 11,000 years ago • Bands have no permanent single base of residence • There are no formal institutions, such as laws, police, and treaties, to resolve conflicts within and between bands • Organization is often described as "egalitarian" in the sense that there is no formalized social stratification into upper and lower classes, no formalized or hereditary leadership • ”leadership" should be thought of as informal and acquired through qualities such as personality, strength, intelligence • The band is the political, economic, and social organization that we inherited from our millions of years of evolutionary history.]


This is pretty fundamental human stuff and I believe we can benefit from returning to these roots. It's odd to think of those bands as boondockers. Yet they as we had no permanent residence and lived on the land in a way I think modern boondockers can really relate to.

The Wikipedia article also says "In effect, a band is an extended family or several related extended families." Clearly the band I'm interested in forming will not consist of an extended family in the same sense. I take liberty in the caveat "In effect".

Because it will be the family-like character that will distinguish our band from the many other groups of boondockers or RV'ers who, on the surface, appear to function similarly. Our band will emphasize lasting relationships and we will have near familial familiarity with each other. I should know the names of your children and grand children and recognize them in photographs. This character makes our band more meaningful.

I don't want to take the family analogy too far though. I'm not likely to put you in my will for example. Perhaps a better analogy would be the neighborhood-like character of the band; a mobile neighborhood of good friends.

Who's in the band will determine the quality of the band and we should be very cautious in this. I want to be in a great band made up of wonderful people who fit together well. It's not utopian. It's practical. Let me say it again: Who's in the band will determine the quality of the band. Wonderful people who fit together well can get along, make allowances, communicate, cooperate. We all know people who aren't wonderful as well as wonderful people who don't fit together well. Who's in the band will determine the quality of the band. The rest will work itself out organically.



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A REAL LIVE "LUCIFER" PAYS US A VISIT

BRACE YOURSELF SWEET PEOPLE---WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SHOW YOU IS A REAL PERSON.  HE CAME DOWN TO ARIZONA-- AND LIVED WITH US FOR A FEW DAYS.

Here is a portrait of him in the 15th century

Here's our happy and unsuspecting family:  A BAND OF BOONDOCKERS:   (a travel family of friends) shown here at a pizza joint in Sedona.

BAM!!!!---Out of Nowhere this personality came into our lives--as a couchsurfing guest. That's him on the right giving lessons to CB.  His knowledge of technology and music was amazing, (is this the first time his image has been photographed?)

He went down to the river with us but would not go into the water. (was this our first clue? is fire afraid of water?)

Instead he stayed on the shore--posing here with Kathy.
He sat down and actually let me interview him---was open and reasonable--likable--even introspective.

Joined us in our regular Sundown Ceremony (we gather to appreciate sunset)
That's him--second from the left.

Our first physical clue to the  true identity of our mysterious guest was  after sunset when he suddenly got up --addressed some unseen entity---and began to dance.

OOOOOH  sweet people--You shoudda seen it.  Magnificent is too mild a word.  We all watched with open mouths and stunned minds.

But he had only begun!!  Dancing barefeet in the desert-- he whirled with the grace  of a ballerina--  the energy of a tasmanian devil.  I wondered if he was actually touching the ground.  
In the history of mankind, how many humans have ever seen Lucifer dance?
Feel free to copy this photo and show it to your children.


AND THEN---AND THEN!! HE SUITED UP-- in a fashionable jet black tailored  suit that accented his eeriely splendid body--
and astonished the whole campground by walking around playing devil tunes to our neighbors. 

SUDDENLY, HE KNELT---and played a tender love song that had this couple weeping and holding on to each other.

AAAh but friends he was just warming up for an evening  performance.  He had us take him to the local dance hot spot.  When he entered the room, a hush fell across the crowd and all eyes turned to him.  He did not know a soul in the room--(or perhaps he knew everyone) but seemingly assumed that everyone knew him.  And the band  made way for him as he simply walked on stage and began to play.  I could swear I saw sparks from his fingers as he touched the bow. He fiddled like a mad man-- blew us all away--(punch up the song: The devil went down to Georgia and you will get some sense of his style) The band  was as stunned as we were---tried to join in and jam with him.  
AND THEN HE BEGAN TO DANCE--- ALL AROUND THE STAGE AS HE PLAYED.  Imagine a fiddling leprechan dancing--it was like that--heart rousing--feel good--jig inducing music.
AND THEN HE BEGAN TO SING-- He grasp the mike with the confidence of a Sinatra and sang a song no one had ever heard.

AND THEN HE WAS OFF STAGE -LAID HIS FIDDLE DOWN -AND BEGAN DANCING WITH THE LADIES.  One of them told me this morning that dancing with him was at first like training a wild stallion--stomping and whirling---AND THEN IT WAS SUDDENLY WONDERFUL--his gyrations had awakened the mortal lady's powers of seductive dance--he instantly GOT IT---LET OUT A MOAN--and joined her in a beautiful, sexy synchronicity.  
Later, his dance with Kathy had people shouting out--GET A ROOM.

He slept that night in the back of CB's truck.  (it serves as a cozy bedroom for our couchsurfing guest)
Next day, a beautiful lady came and whisked him away.  

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  OH DEAR READERS--THIS MAN WAS SCARY--The most intense personality I've ever experienced.  He was exhilerating also---brilliant--super confident--unashamed--joyful. He slept 12 hours at a stretch.
People with this kind of charisma start religions--and wars.

Before he left, he gave me his card--said he dresses this way for formal occasions


Thursday, May 12, 2016

LOOK AT THIS HODGE PODGE OF RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES

WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS TRUE?? WHAT WOULD A REASONABLE PERSON BELIEVE?
Here's a quick photo survey of the religions represented at the Tucson Book Festival.

See this line of booths--there were 3 more lines just like it.  Each regular sized booth cost $600 for the two days.  Got something you want to say to the reading public?

Or----just make yourself a sign and walk around with it.

I will begin my survey with Eckankar:  curious about these folks--click here.

I didn't get this story.

I won't burden you with a summary of each--I'm sure you can guess what most of them are about.

I once associated with one of these groups in DC.  
The Seth books of yesteryear (ouija board messages from beyond) brought this group into being.

These folks want everyone on the planet to have a bible.



There were 3 Islamic booths representing 3 versions of that faith.  Each more anxious than the other to persuade us they are peaceful.

 This program was aimed at children in private religious schools.

Curious about this guy? click here

The Muslims would do well to persuade the West that they are livable with.  They have a limited amount of time to "reinterpret" their Holy book as Christians have theirs.


Speaking of which---this association supports Christian oriented education.  (the indoctrination of children)

This was not a religious booth.  They really want to teach children how to get along without violence.
I read some of their stuff.

This brand of religion is the one most likely to destroy humankind---by resisting any sensible kind of population control.

???

These are followers of the teachings of Gurdjieff.
Want to "wake up"?  Check his views out here.
AAAAHHHH---Finally--we come to MY People.  The FREETHINKERS.
Got an open mind??  Give a listen here.
This guy must be one of us.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES;   We are soooo lucky to live in a secular tolerating society.  We owe a great debt to Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers who prevented the establishment of a state religion and at the same time allowed free expression to so many whacky religious ideas.

As for me --let me declare myself:  I am content to live in this mystery, enjoying the wonder around me; having no certain knowledge of our origin or destiny; participating in the creation of culture and ethics;willing to speculate and listen to others' speculations.

I have two ideas on how to reduce religious tensions:
1. Teach a course in school on indoctrination--how people come to believe what they believe.
2. Create a "Religion Warehouse." as I have suggested in my book: 4o Years A Nomad.

THE RELIGION WAREHOUSE

Kids are gathered outside at eight,
Doors are opened at nine.
They are here to sample religions of the world,
All strung out in a line.

Row upon row, every living faith
Represented in spacious booths.
And every booth has people anxious
To share their “eternal truths.”

They have pamphlets and films and all 27
Major “holy books,”
The Bible, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita.
Every kid’s invited to look.

As they wander up and down the aisles,
Believers of every bent
Urge the children into their booths,
Like barkers at a side show tent.

The Christian section has 200 booths,
Each with a different slant
On God, salvation, Jesus and heaven,
That they wish to implant.

There are nine different versions of Islam,
Six different kinds of Jews,
A host of Buddhist sects,
A hundred types of Hindus.

The New Age section is replete
With people pushing “spiritual” stuff,
Smiley-faced believers in a thousand things,
Like crystals and superstitious fluff.

The American Indians drummed up a crowd
With dancers adorned with feathers.
Truly believing that Shamans can heal,
And Kachinas can change the weather.

Cults took up a whole wall–
Gurus of every stripe,
Dominating tyrants trolling
For the total submission type.

The atheist booth had scrappy folks,
Dead sure in their conclusion
That religion is the opiate of the people,
A dumb and deadly illusion.

Agnostics had a cheerful booth
With banners above and below.
The upper one said, “Keep an open mind;”
The lower said, “Nobody knows.”

The Mormons were talking ‘bout golden books.
The Quakers pushed peace and hope.
The Amish urged us back to the land.
Catholics said obey the Pope.

Back in the corner were Unitarians,
Of all the churches most odd;
The only church that didn’t claim
To have a message from God.

Muslims were a backward lot,
Their religion frozen in time,
Their nations ruled by autocrats,
Their women treated like slime.

Voodoo believers sacrificed chickens;
Spiritualists summoned ghosts.
Urantia folks told of flying saucers;
Tantrics urged sex uppermost.

On and on the religions stretched.
Children came and went until
In a day or a year, their minds were clear,
Or perhaps just had their fill.

Then back to the world, having chosen
“Truths” that suited their taste.
Most took bits from several faiths,
With a job of “cut and paste.”

Gone was arrogance and dogmatism.
Their study of religion and history
Lets them tolerate ambiguity,
Embrace the human mystery.

In a few short years, religious wars ceased;
All nations made a truce.
Every civilized person now agrees
Indoctrination is child abuse.

Freedom to choose your religion
Is a universal human right.
Parents stopped laying their trip on kids,
And the world sleeps better at night.
























Saturday, May 07, 2016

BAND OF BOONDOCKERS---A new Vision

INVENTING A NEW PATTERN OF ASSOCIATION---to enjoy---to send as a gift to the future.
Consider the pattern that Colonel Sanders invented--profited from--and sent into the future:  A new way to prepare chicken.  His gift/pattern persists long after he is dead--and is elaborated on (extra crispy)
Corporations and governments are patterns that persist into the future.
Perhaps the most famous pattern ever invented was the US Constitution:  A way of cleverly dividing powers and responsibilities so that peace, prosperity and justice have the best chance of prevailing.
I will save the details of our new pattern for another time.  For now, will just give you a glimpse.

Here is a shot of the first BAND OF BOONDOCKERS parked.

And here are two heads in which the idea was hatched.

Here are a group of friends we enjoy associating with and who we hope to share the pattern with--

Along with folks like these: Ashley (left) from Georgia and Claire from France. A part of the pattern involves inviting guest to camp with us via the Couch Surfing network.  CB has earned a 5 star rating from them by being a super host.  If you don't know about couch surfing click here .
Meet Josh who surfed in from a Mennonite community in Pennsylvania.  I supposed that he would be shy and hesitant to express himself---but the party that CB hosted was so compelling that he stood and danced---and even sang for us.  

Here is the party man himself---a DJ to trump all other DJ's.  Can you see that tiny watch on his left wrist?  It is a superwatch and by merely touching it, he can call up any and all music ever recorded  on that marvelous sound system behind him. I challenged him by requesting an obscure gospel hymn from my youth.  In a flash, a terrific choir was blessing us all with the joyous words.
CB is perfecting the art  of music hosting:  Everyone participates--listening and silence are sprinkled in.
Meet Travis and Lyss from Pennsylvania--touring the West on a shoestring. (Couch surfing is free)
Meet  Jose, a beautiful, brilliant and world-wise traveler from Ireland and Portugal. CB and I picked his brain for hours.  And of course the ladies were charmed.  He enjoyed our company so well that he came back for a second visit.
He shared his food with me.  I gave him a copy of my book and signed it: To the most interesting man in the world.  This guy may well be the one. Ladies from town followed him all the way out to our camp. 
Meet Rebecca from Australia.  She charmed us all.
Answered a hundred questions about her life and her country. (Do y'all eat Kangaroos? etc)
She stayed about a week with us while attending seminars in Sedona.

The group must shift locations every two weeks.  This one located off Forestry Road 525 near Sedona.  Almost every day we had visitors from the sky.  ( view from my door.)


RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Are you beginning to get the drift of the pattern we are forming: People who like each other--camping together---bringing into our midst fresh and interesting personalities.

I will reveal more details about the First Band of Boondockers as we invent them.  As our title suggest, we hope this sort of thing catches on and that there will be a Second Band of Boondockers and so on.  Some day in the future I can see a vast gathering of us in a forest glade.