But how do you live in community?

Here’s the most frequent question I’ve heard since living in Damanhur! It is a legitimate question, if one considers the dizzying increase, at a global level, of single member homes.
This question is often accompanied by the typical eye-strain that denotes the difficulty in believing that cohabitation is actually possible in a family of twenty or twenty-five people, and the even more challenging idea of ​​being part of an even larger reality which we call the ‘People’, of around six hundred people…

There are people who say they could never live in similar conditions and others who are moved by the thought that it is possible to create a network of affection and deep solidarity among so many people. It is very particular to see this range of reactions, which show how our western society has lost the archetype of coexistence, of living together and of feeling deeply part of a collective identity.

Boredom is the least of the problems!

Answering the same question all these years could be boring, very boring! Fortunately boredom, when you live with so many people, is the least of the problems, so even responding to such a request has given me the opportunity to reflect on the many anecdotes related to community life that in these forty years have characterized our everyday life, from the early years until today.
One of the things for example that always amazes everyone is that in the 80s-90s, the residents decided to move often from one house to another to be able to create significant connections between each other. Most of the people here today have obviously experienced moving in this way, because every time I have spoken about it, an incredulous expression has been painted on the faces of those standing in front of me.

Someone once also told me, with deep concern, that they were unaware that several statistical surveys state that moving is one of the major causes of psychological stress, after mourning and separation. At that point I was also worried about it, not for all the moves made together over the years and challenges that were overcome, even happily, but to the idea that we live in a society where moving can take on a similar connotation.

Well, in Damanhur there are people who have moved about thirty times in forty years, who are still enjoying excellent health and a great sense of humor ;).

Nothing better than trying…

The thing that I love most about Damanhur is absolute originality. One of the most innovative ideas of recent years is, for example, to have decided to open the door to a form of “temporary” citizenship, eg. lasting three months.
Usually in communities, you either choose to go there to live or you choose not too. In Damanhur you can stay for quite a long time, either as a guest or a woofer, but this formula does not really mean becoming part of the community.

“Temporary” citizenship allows anyone who wishes to become an integral part of the community, even for a limited period, and since we opened up to this possibility hundreds of people from all over the world have lived this experience. This project is called New Life  and has also allowed people less inclined to live a community experience to be able to see firsthand what it means to cohabit with others, as well as given some tools to start new communities in the world to those who participated with this intention. Some have even decided to become citizens of Damanhur permanently;).

And you, what do you think about community life? Have you ever felt the desire to live this experience? If you are interested in exploring this dimension, visit the Gen site, you will find a lot of interesting information on the different community experiences in Europe and in the world!