What is Unique About New Culture?
New Culture comes out of examining every aspect of our existing cultures and experimenting to find out how to create a world based on love and freedom, rather than fear and violence.
In our explorations, we have looked at everything from inner aspects of one’s self-experience to global consequences of our societal choices. Some areas we have focused on include: methods of dealing with painful emotional reactions; developing healthy boundaries; conflict resolution skills; alternative models of family, community and “tribe”; improving communication across gender, ethnic, and racial lines; acceptance of neurodiversity and diverse mental experiences; freedom in sexual and loving connections; reducing consumption and global impact of our lifestyles; living in healthy relationship to children; making sustainable choices around food and diet; organizing to create local, regional, and global change. We look forward to future explorations in these areas and others, such as the aging and dying process; money and our relationships to it; disability and “normality”; social entrepreneurship as a means for social change, etc.
PERSPECTIVES WE’VE FOUND USEFUL
IN EXPLORING AND BUILDING A NEW CULTURE
Being “At Choice:” In New Culture, you are always AT CHOICE about your participation in any workshop or activity. Honor your sacred intuition and follow your joy and excitement.
Ask for What You Want: It’s always OK to ask, if it’s OK for the answer to be “no.”
Boundaries: “No” is as welcome as “Yes”, maybe even more so. In many ways, “no” is the most intimate communication you can give another human being. If others can trust you to say “no”, they can believe you wholeheartedly when you say “yes”. Being clear about what you want in the moment creates more freedom for others– it is always OK to say “no” or “stop;” it is always OK to change your mind from “yes” to “no” and from “no” to “yes. We flit like butterflies; we flow like a river; we go back and forth like ocean waves. We learn to know ourselves in each moment.
Curiosity: Wow! Why did that happen? Why did she react that way? Why am I feeling these feelings? A curious person is an empowered person. You are not your feelings; your feelings visit you, like houseguests that can be entertaining or difficult. When your feelings become your masters, you have lost your freedom and autonomy.
Personal Power and Responsibility: Part of New Culture is learning to take 100% responsibility for one’s feelings. A key insight is that difficult emotional issues that arise in everyday life are opportunities for personal growth. The internal conflicts must be resolved before the external stresses can be dealt with. This means that the person with the feelings is the person with the power — the power to look inside, learn and grow. Intimate relationships are a crucible in which people can heal themselves, find joy with each other, and look outward with hope and energy to transforming the larger world. So if feelings are coming up for you, take this as an opportunity to practice what we are learning.
Flexibility and Non-Attachment: Attachment to a specific outcome — needing to have things a certain way — is often rooted in old hurts and can cause new ones. In New Culture, we are learning to stay light on our feet and to adapt flexibly to new situations. “Huh — I didn’t get my needs met the way I wanted. How else could I do it? What new amazing thing could happen next?”
Transparency and Openness: How do we live well together and co-create joy? How do we maximize our opportunities for getting what we want? When people have healthy boundaries and take responsibility for their own feelings, relationships become easy and joyful. I can honestly share my thoughts and feelings without fear of hurting you, because I know that you will set a boundary if you do not want to participate further. If painful emotions come up, I know that you are not to blame for my pain, and I am not to blame for yours. Instead of keeping silent for fear of hurting each other, we are both freed to explore what would bring us joy.
Co-Creation of Events: We are building a New Culture together. Everyone involved is a volunteer and make no profit from New Culture activities– it is a labor of love. We honor each other both in our strengths and our imperfections. If you see an area that needs more attention, you are invited to communicate this lovingly, and to think about how you can act powerfully and gently to make things better.
Karma Yoga: We work together to serve our community’s physical needs (for beauty and order, good food, healthy spaces) as well as our emotional and spiritual needs. Notice how you feel as you serve — are you joyous? Tired? Happy? Frustrated? What is it like working with others? All feelings are welcome.
Learn more about New Culture here
Network for a New Culture (NFNC) (www.nfnc.org) is an all-volunteer, grassroots network. The Summer Camps are the heart of NFNC. Since 1994, Summer Camp and New Culture have grown to include more time, more places, and more people. Smaller gatherings now happen every few weeks in many places around the country: Seattle, Washington DC, Eugene OR, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Hawaii, and more. Group houses and intentional communities have formed in many places that incorporate New Culture values and insights (New-Culture.org.)
Although NFNC is not formally organized, volunteers have created several not-for-profit corporations in the spirit of NFNC to manage the finances for major New Culture projects. The New Culture Institute handles Oregon projects, the Center for a New Culture sponsors projects on the east coast, and New Culture Northwest is active in the Seattle area. The first two corporations have been granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; others are in the process of obtaining that status.