#12 - Sexual Healing (The Garden pt. 4)

Karim left by train, and I was supposed to be on it too. He was off to Egypt for two weeks to take care of a looming pile of paperwork related to his visa and schooling. I was to go to Spain, but had realized some hours previous that Portugal was not yet done with me. I would instead borrow a bicycle from Manu and follow that voice that had been telling me to go to Tamera all along.




Manu drew me a map, which I was less than adequate at following and I found myself inching up some steep, dusty road somewhere, nearing heat stroke and calling for help while two good-sized dogs howled and bit my legs. In retrospect, that's what Google Maps and early starts are for. When I arrived, beet-red and sweat-soaked, I was re-energized by enthusiastic reunions with the great connections that I had made a week prior, among them Sebastian and Sophie.

Now there was the curious question on the table of how exactly I was going to stay. As I mentioned earlier (in blog post "Here Today, Gone Tamera"), without being a part of one of the courses I had no business there, and the Thinking School course was halfway over. "But," Sebastian had an idea, "maybe if you study up and show them you're serious they won't be able to turn you away." Thankfully, if there is one thing that the American public school system is good for, it's learning to cram. Equipped with some texts written by the Tamera founders and enough coffee to kill a sick donkey, I studied up on some Tamerian philosophy.

Just follow the map

Tamera is a biotope - a self-sustaining habitat where humans, plants and animals co-exist symbiotically. So, the toilets are composting, water comes from the lakes, the food comes from the gardens where possible and vegan is the name of the game. While one lake is used for swimming and another for drinking, others are maintained as untouched habitats for wildlife.

Tamera was founded in 1995 by three Germans on a mission: psychoanalist and Ph.D. in sociology, Dr. Dieter Duhm (author of Terra Nova and The Sacred Matrix); physicist Rainer Ehrenpreis and theologian Sabine Lichtenfels. Tamera seeks to form a successful model for a future society free from war, defining itself as an ongoing research project over 30 years in the making. The root belief is that the current social paradigm on earth today propagates unhappiness because of some deeply ingrained social patterns, which can be studied and unlearned. They have created this living research center and community with the aim of understanding and eventually alleviating psychologically destructive human tendencies, like greed and jealously. Tamera's highest goal is to form a strategy for global peace.

Their method is first to create a strong community built on trust and communication. Members bring up anything and everything on their minds in regular community forums, so that any issue can be addressed by the whole. Everything from social politics to illness to latent sexual desire is solved collectively.

Yes, sexual desire. Sexuality is a major focus at Tamera. Our suppressed sexual desires cause a whole lot of madness, and the Tamerian goal is to use communication and the practice of free sexuality to untangle that madness. "Free sexuality" means destigmatizing sex so that people can be free of the shame and jealously that comes from supressing biological impulses. Sex is still considered sacred, just a sacred act that is shareable with more than one partner. One can have a spouse or life-long love and still e