Mindrolling – Ep. 171 – Terra Nova with Jared Levy and Martin Winiecki

Terra Nova

Raghu brings Jared Levy and Martin Winiecki on the show to talk about the Tamera community and the book that it inspired, Terra Nova.

Jared Levy returns to Mindrolling to introduce Martin and talk about the important work being done at Tamera. Martin is a core team member of the Tamera Biotope in Portugal, where he is Coordinator of the Terra Nova School and the Political Department. The two discuss the impactful research done at Tamera as well as the hope it holds for our future.

Click HERE for the video version of this podcast.

Show Notes

Perfect Timing (Opening) – Martin explains how he came to be at Tamera. As a teenager, Martin became interested in seeking spiritual and political peace. Martin was soon introduced to a three-year program offered by Tamera, providing the study of peaceful political models.

Utopia (6:00) – Tamera is a peace research center which tries to create a holistic model, seeking to showcase a new form of co-operative society between people and nature. The society is based on a decentralized self-sufficient way of life, free from any violence.

Tamera was established in 1978 by founders who believed in creating the social and ecological structures that allow people to co-exist in trust. They educate and empower people around the world that want to engage through humane alternatives. The book Terra Nova is a thesis statement of sorts and is written by one of the founders, Dieter Duhm.

“You have to turn around everything that our culture has set up. You have to revolutionize people’s way of coexistence.” Martin Winiecki

Finding Function (10:00) – Jared Levy got involved with Tamera after meeting Martin and Benjamin von Mendelssohn, another member of the center’s leadership, at the UN Nexus conference in the summer of 2015. Martin and Benjamin inspired Jared with the responsibility they felt to demonstrate the possibility of a functional utopian society.

Destroyed Love (14:30) In the book Terra Nova, author Dieter Duhm, discusses the concept of destroyed love. One of the deepest parts of the study at Tamera is how to develop the community by repairing our broken capacity to love ourselves and each other. There is a core dysfunction with our ability to open our hearts. A center philosophy of Tamera and Terra Nova is that fixing this issue is essential to the success of the model.

The Self (21:30) How does Tamera deal with individually working on one’s self? The concept of community can be misleading sometimes. Collectivism comes to mind for most, but it is something where the individual informs the community, and the community informs the individual.

One of the goals of Tamera is to create a kind of social setting that has so much trust that it motivates a person to take down their destructive patterns. Instead, developing an ethical behavior where they desire to help one another.

Towards the One (31:00) – In Terra Nova, Dieter Duhm discusses the interconnectedness of all beings in a singular consciousness. Understanding the interconnectedness of souls is essential to building the type of community that Tamera seeks perfect.

The philosophy in Terra Nova shares much with Eastern philosophy and spiritualism. Martin discusses Duhm’s influences that led Duhm to his beliefs. Duhm trained as a psychoanalyst and was interested in the inner life. Psychedelics and the socio-political environment motivated Duhm to find a balance between it all.

“It is our spiritual duty to be joyful and to use or unique gifts to benefit all.” – Tamera mission statement

Coming to Tamera (36:20) – Jared discusses his experiences at Tamera. The goals of Tamera line up substantially with Jared’s aspirations in life. He describes Tamera as having a palpable field of trust.

Jared took part in the thinking school at Tamera. There, questions such as, “What is the worldview around or connection to animals,” are raised. At Tamera, the philosophy is put into practice. The connection with animals, for instance, is an example of this practice. At Tamera, chickens live with foxes and wild boar walk through without disturbing the peace.

Life Water (40:10) – As part of creating a self-sufficient community, providing clean water is an essential element of the Tamera project. Tamera is located in a dry area that experiences extreme drought. To address this, Tamera contacted ecologic visionary, Sepp Holzer. They implemented Holzer’s “Water Retention Landscape” method which has revitalized the ecosystem in Tamera.

Birth (46:30) – An aspect of Tamera that impacted Jared greatly is their approach to the birthing process. Citizens of Tamera are encouraged to share the more private and sacred moments in life with each other. The love and trust found in during the birthing process is a quintessential example of this aspect of the community.

Rethinking Love (50:00) – The core idea that Raghu and others brought back from their experiences in India with Ram Dass and Maharaji, is the concept of learning to love truly. This idea is also discussed in Terra Nova and perfectly summarized in by a quote from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

“In its true sense, learning to live in the right way means learning love. True love does not make claims of possession or conditions. To my knowledge, the only thing that really heals people is unconditional love. Love is what gives life its meaning.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Another aspect of love is discussed in Terra Nova, which is the concept of liberating sexuality. Martin explores the reality of sexuality today and the way Tamera in grapples with the issues it brings to the table. They believe that we do not need to live in a world where we suppress our longings. Instead, it is thought that following our longings will lead us to a state of oneness and unconditional love.

To get to know Jared more and learn about his non-profit prison reform program, Inside Circle, check out his last visit to Mindrolling.

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Photo via Tamera