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“Conflicts and how we learn to settle them help us to evolve as human beings.”

 

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Home » Features » Community Life

Community Life: Experiment in Living and Giving
by Diana Autumn
                                                                                                                  en español 

 

“Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all peoples, of all kinds to live together and work together in the same world, at peace.”
            - FDR, Undelivered Speech, 1945

On all fronts, in numerous aspects, all over the world, human beings have taken up this challenge:  to live together as one, in a harmonious, peaceful manner.  One place where this is occurring in an intense and purposeful way is in the Communities of Cafh.  Here, members of Cafh have chosen to live together to develop spiritually as an offering to help humanity.  We have given up our personal lives and ambitions to live in a Community to cultivate the science of human relationships as a response to a call from God.

Community life is not a new idea for humanity.  Throughout the history of humankind, in many cultures and religious beliefs and spiritual paths, some individuals have chosen some form of Community life as a response to humanity’s need to unfold relationships.  The convents and monasteries of the Middle Ages kept alive learning and the development of the intellect.  Always on the cutting edge, their rules and method of life regulated real and pressing life circumstances of getting along.  One Rule specifically forbade weapons in the bedroom, so each monk had to learn to trust his fellow monks.  Monks and nuns who followed Buddha grouped themselves into Communities, where they experimented not only with achieving meditative states, but also with the basics of human relationships, sharing food and resources outside one’s family ties.

The task today is no less daunting.  As globalization brings the world closer together, the task of getting along and settling conflicts becomes a task that affects all of us.  People have become aware of the challenge and are working on it in whatever way they are called upon to do so:  in families, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods, as well as in Communities.

Community life has called us to accept the challenge and to work on our relationships in a continuous and sustained level.  There is no escape from it.  The members form a Community in which they live, work, play, study and unfold spiritually together—every day, all the time.  And besides, we really care about improving our relationships.

Working on human relationships is a process, and the process means that we embrace all aspects of life.  This includes the conflicts as well as the times when things are flowing smoothly.  We can’t expect that there will be a time without conflicts, but we can see conflicts as a means of growth which helps us to come closer to the other members of the Community.  They help us to know ourselves and to know what areas we need to work on.  Conflicts and how we learn to settle them help us to evolve as human beings.

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