#18 - Marriage, Crime and Government

Roughly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Much of the time it is a complicated and ugly process. Crime diverts a lot of societal energy in the form of tax dollars put toward the police and military, among other things, and the idea that "we are not safe" takes a psychological toll as well. The disparity between the rich and poor today, as well as disagreement over how government spends our tax dollars has been increasingly (though unsteadily) coming to a head since the birth of capitalism. Does it have to be this way? If quality of life is what we're after as a society, perhaps we ought to rethink how we approach issues such as these. Eco-villages, like Damanhur, may have som

# 17 - Make Yourself (Damanhur pt. 2)

"So, we all just... tried - all together, cooperating and bringing out the best in each other," explained Formica Coriandola, founder of Damanhur's laboratory of art and a prolific artist and researcher herself. She took me under her wing during my stay with the community. She smiled as she spoke, as she always smiled when she spoke, warm and present. She was talking about the building of the temple, but also about the building of the community. -------------------- MAKE YOURSELF - Damanhur pt. 2 -------------------- Today, Damanhur is a federation of ecological and spiritual communities in Northern Italy - 15 kilometers of eco-housing, organic agriculture and artistic creations, draped over

# 16 - The Secret Temple

It was dawn, October 1991. The sun had just peeked its head over the lush valley of Valchiusella in Piemont, Italy when the quiet was shattered by police helicopters and ground units moving in on a small community called Damanhur. Armed officers ordered people from their homes, equipped with drug-sniffing hounds and a camera crew. The search found nothing. Nobody mentioned the temples. July of 1992, the small community was raided again. This time the State Prosecutor, Bruno Tinti was involved. "Show us these temples," he barked, "or we will dynamite the entire hillside." The people of Damanhur had no choice but to comply. They led the police to the entrance of a secret underground temple, an

# 15 - Cultivating The Garden (pt. 7)

I came back through Milfontes, where I had first arrived some weeks prior looking for some kind of "eureka" to direct my search for happiness insight. Felipe, Susana and my good friend Ivo found me coming up from the beach to the road. "We know that you said that you could only stay one night," they said as we hugged, "but you have to stay another day. We already invited everybody to your going away party." We cooked together, played songs, shared poems and laughed. At some point I quietly became aware that the person I was when I first arrived in Milfontes had melted into somebody a little bit softer, a little bit slower, a little bit happier. Our intention with this leg of the documentary

#14 - Frankly Speaking (The Garden pt. 6)

I sat awkwardly awaiting Frank's arrival in his home, sweaty beyond measure, blowing down the collar of my shirt when nobody was looking. I apparently had not learned my lesson about biking uphill through the dust in the intense Alentejo heat. I wasn't welcomed all that warmly, and for good reason: folks around these parts have become jaded toward people with cameras who take what they need for a story that they can manipulate however they see fit and generally don't do anything to help out an initiative. "I'm a bit allergic to journalists," Frank told me, first thing. "You know I'm a journalist myself." "I'm not a journalist," I assured him. "You say you're making a documentary, it sure sou

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