(Translated from the English by Michael Karner and Siri Gunnarson)
Geraldine, Emiliano and Gabriela!
We are writing to you after a stormy night. The nature forces seem to support us. We have rented a windmill near Tamera in order to summon as much concentration as possible so that we, Tamera, may find ways to help all of you, our companeros in Latin America: Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico.... We were encouraged by the invitation that we received through you. We are also moved by the very difficult and dangerous situation the peace community of San José de Apartado currently finds itself in.
At the moment, we perceive a great opportunity and necessity for the development of an effective, global alliance that could assist you in Bolivia, as well as our friends in Colombia…
We want to describe this great opportunity, and to share with you some of the basic thoughts that excite us and direct our course, thoughts which may contain a solution to apparently unsolvable problem.
We observe the problem of globalization in all countries. In every case, the same thing occurs: a country is ecologically destroyed and exploited through monocultures and exports. Rural villages and communities are torn apart, trust is broken, and humans flee to the great urban centers where they live in suffering. Those who want to remain in rural areas do so at great cost, they live under the constant threat of expulsion. Globalization systematically prevents all forms of self-healing: self sufficiency, the creation of seed banks, free access to water, education, participation in communities, or the building of subsistence economies. Double standards and misinformation are sown everywhere in order to control humans through fear.
How may we escape this curse?
Tamera offers the following answer: through the construction of models. And only through the construction of complex, sustainable and replicable models will we be able to escape this curse. That may seem strict, but it is actually something beautiful, as you know. (And of course it is an unknown thought which needs further explanation.)
I would like to give you here an example: Sepp Holzer is being invited to introduce his water landscapes all over the world, which is wonderful. But at the same time, he knows that even the best water landscapes are pointless if humans continue to fight each other. Water is a uniting element, but it can become the source of conflict between humans living in the same area. One group prohibits another group from accessing a water source that has just started to flow again. For a water landscape to manifest its full healing power it must be built in relationship to human communities, then it can move forward towards the realization of the whole model. And so I could continue until I have the whole model. For in order to create a functioning community I need to gain knowledge in love, in order to gain knowledge in love, I need to develop compassion towards the world, in order to develop compassion to the world, I need to re-learn how to think, in order to re-learn how to think, I need to know something about developing theories, in order to know something about developing theories, I need to go through an education... you see, one cannot divide something what is originally whole in single parts and then offer them separately from each other as help to others.
That is why it does not make sense to go to Bolivia to introduce the idea of water landscape on its own. However, Bolivia could begin with a water landscape and create a model-university out of it: a place where a holistic and sustainable model for a new civilization on this planet emerges through the construction of the water landscape. In this place, one could study the mystery of water as well as develop new fundamental ideas about agriculture and permaculture. In this place indigenous, mythological knowledge about the unity between humanity and nature could be documented and rediscovered on a modern, scientific level. In this place a global campus would arise that could educate young people towards professions that serve peace, and not war; a school for the study of the relationship between inner and outer peace could follow: a place of forgiveness and solidarity between humans, a place of pilgrimage for the healing of humanity and Earth. All these different parts create a synergy with each other and something unexpected will happen:
As soon as this place is built (even if only early stages of this plan are manifested) a miracle occurs. The people that visit this place remember their own dreams, and develop their own will to create their dream incorporating the elements that just amazed and fulfilled them. This was revealed in the “miracle of Mulatos” (in the peace community San José de Apartadó in Colombia). Massive energies were awakened that could not be stopped by any force of globalization. These are the energies of an idea whose time has come. The people have escaped the net of globalization by re-discovering self-consciousness, by connecting again to a goal and a perspective.
Then we come to another important foundational stone, which is actually the corner stone of our entire idea: all humans who are working towards system change must connect on a global level and create a network.
We can see this clearly in the example of San José de Apartadó in Colombia. This peace community, which does not only stand for itself, but carries the hope of numberless villages and groups in this war-torn land, faces a major challenge. We must help them. The community is being marginalized for quite some time through a national campaign to ruin its reputation. They are being portrayed as terrorists, and they do not have the means to set things right. They are forced into isolation, which puts them into a very vulnerable position. Those who offer international assistance to the community are accused of ignorance.
Here, a new kind of protection is necessary. There are many international groups and individuals who protect San José through political campaigns, international witness presence and public involvement. This is one of the reasons why San José has gained strength. But now a stronger form of protection is needed, namely the protection of a “global alliance”, or whatever name we give this transnational federation.
Imagine a model-university and peace project in Bolivia that would work in the same way as San José de Apartadó. And this time the government would support the initiative instead of attacking it, as forces around the Colombian government do.
Imagine a project this kind in Paraguay. Our comrade the alternative Nobel Peace Prize carrier Martin Almada is currently creating a university for solar energy and human rights there.
Imagine such a base in Brazil: a large water landscape in which the rainforest can regenerate itself, in which endless monocultures suddenly yield to a great diversity of species, in which a lively community lives and works.
Just imagine such places appearing in Peru, in Mexico… Movements such as the one currently being initiated by Javier Sicilia would join the global alliance and many more... In the core of their joint effort would be, next to resistance and fighting against injustice, the focus on the common dream, the model. Because one has found the belief again to be able to realize this dream one mobilizes whatever power is possible. And with every breath, with every handshake focused on a positive future, one escapes the claws of globalization and acquires strength and freedom to embrace the New.
In all these places mentioned above we already know people who could realize or support the realization of such model projects. These model projects serve as home bases for the global idea which will overcome the system of violence.
They do not see themselves any longer as only local bases, with local problems and local solution. Together, they act at a global level. With the creation of new bases, San José would not just be a brave peace village in Colombia, but one of some more solar centers in South America.
Next to their individual characteristics, these centers would have a common momentum: a common ethical foundation, a common agreement, common songs, common political allegiances, a common internet presence, a common identity, and a foundation with a common treasury.
Thus, the idea would gain in strength and attract more funds and international attention. People will not invest in projects that do not have a chance of success. Projects that are isolated are in great danger, but joined together with such a chain of new research centers they gain new importance. As soon as this happens one could say: they are part of a global community, the carriers of an emerging global vision that is currently dissolving the imploding system of oppression and violence. They are no longer isolated, but connected with other model-universities in the world. Together, they are called the Global Campus. Then donors could support a great idea rather than many single projects.
This is our plan, and we think it is a good plan. This is why we are ready to do whatever is in our power to realize it.
The first step is to contact all individuals and groups in our network who could initiate such bases in their countries and let them know about our plan.
With their help we want to find newspapers that could help prepare the mental field. For example, Tamera could have its own section or column in newspapers that would present short texts about different themes in the following categories:
Material foundations of life: Water, Permaculture, Food, Energy
A new women’s field: feminine strengths and community building
Education: the awakening of thinking
Or if we get to know what is currently discussed in these countries, we could connect to experts in our network who could provide surprising answers to this discussion. The Tamera contributions in the local media should be something that people really enjoy reading, something that brings joy and hope. We do not know how often such a newspaper section or column could appear. Once a month might not be often enough, but we will find out.
If you have contacts to media that would like to support our initiative please contact them and share your enthusiasiasm about this idea. We would like to begin with at least one publication per country, that would be a quiet but good beginning for what is yet to come. We will prepare some articles in the next days so that you have some material to show to the editors.
We will also write to people internationally active in the public arena to gather support for this plan, such as Noam Chomsky or William Robinson from the USA, Arundhati Roy from India, and others. With their help we want to spread the idea of models for the future in Latin America (and around the world, but Latin America is a priority) at an international level as fast as possible. Maybe we can already present the idea at the next World Social Forum, for example. You are invited to here, too, assist and think with us.
Then the next step: Once we know when we will visit Bolivia, we would like to meet a government representative in order to have the highest assistance possible for our plan.
Depending on how things develop, we could then contact donators who would be likely to invest in such a big project of building a model-university in Bolivia and others in LatinAmerica. That would be the (very big) next step.
At the end of July and beginning of August 2011 some participants from Bolivia will attend Tamera’s Summer courses and learn about permaculture, water landscapes and functioning communities. We truly look forward to meeting them. Please tell them about this plan and choose the most enthusiastic and most talented experts who would like to cooperate in realizing this plan.
Please use Tamera as a place for education as much as you can. If small groups of participants from every country join the Tamera courses the knowledge about creating models can return to their home countries very quickly.
These are our first suggestions how to best spread the knowledge on a global scale so that it is accessible to all who are looking for it and need it.
And then we will not forget to support the whole process with all of our prayers.
So that your child and all children of the world may find their protected and healthy environment and home on Gaia Earth – forever.
May life succeed all over the planet. Venceremos!
We are looking forward to receive your answer.
Monika Berghoff and Martin Winiecki
Institute for Global Peace Work, Tamera, Portugal
With greetings from Sabine Lichenfels, founder of the Global Campus, and the whole Tamera community!