Baring It All On The Unbroken Path

It is a rather daunting thing to prepare for the show I am to perform this Saturday night. Not only do I need to be able to deliver a 1700 word poem, and sing 7 of my original songs, I will also be largely improvising as I attempt to express the world from my persepective. On top of all that, I’ll also be doing part of the show in the nude.

halloween-davidI’m not quite sure whether the nudity will attract more people to come or if it will deter them from coming at all. I think that the people the show will appeal to are evolved enough to move beyond the giggles and see the message behind the performance. Nevertheless, when I first arrived at The Flow Factory, I had a vision of my performing The Unbroken Path, and the nudity became integral. I just hope that its not too cold because that could be embarassing.

The Unbroken Path is about the journey that we are all on. Each of us has some sort of paradigm that we follow, whether it be a religious thing like the Romans Road or the Four Noble Truths, a self improvement guide like the Twelve Steps or the Eight Habits of Highly Effective People, a scientific understanding like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs or Hawkins’ Stages of Consciousness, or just a basic understanding of mythology like Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Beyond all of the language used to describe our vantage points, we are all on an unbroken path of realizing who we really are.

To develop the script for The Unbroken Path, I weaved together a myriad of these paradigms, connecting the common themes and finding the flow through all of them. Then I interpreted that outline into a poem. Since it turned out to be longer than the time usually alloted at an open mike night, I weaved in the songs I’ve written to describe the various stages of the human journey, and it became a show.

I am also hoping that the performance will lend some credence to The Flow Factory as a legitimate venue and inspire other area musicians and performing artists to utilize the space for their own shows. I believe that art is playing a key role in the shift our society is experiencing, and we hope to use that creative energy to develop channels for the cultivation of business, citizenry, and charity as well. So the financial revenue generated from The Unbroken Path through the recommended $10 flownation will be distributed to support me as an Artist, The Flow Factory as a Business, the Common Wealth Time Bank as the Citizenry, and the Sanctuary of Sarasota as a Charity.

I have written much about this whole ABC (squared) Economics concept, and I have experimented with its application. I feel that with the right amount of energy, it has the potential to be highly successful. I’m not sure if the show will reap the profits necessary to produce a tangible outcome, but if nothing else, I hope that it produces enough to help me continue on down this unbroken path.

The premiere of The Unbroken Path will be at 8pm on Saturday, December 21 at The Flow Factory, 2035 Cornell Street. For more information, send an email to inkensoul@gmail.com.

 

 

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The Turmoil in the Cemeterror

As I shared in Sarasota Day on Monday, the fire marshal put a bit of a kink in my plans for Cemeterror, but as I put myself into the job that must be done, it is still turning out better than I could have planned. Of course, it disturbs me that public service entities like the fire marshal’s office must come shake down citizens for more money, but in this society where everything is a commodity and so much activity is required for the supposed life-giving resource of money, I have come to accept it as par for the course. It is what it is, and I will continue to go with the flow in the hope that what I do within the system will help us to overcome the system and be able to flow more freely in the days to come.

CemeterrorPoster2013FINISHEDNEWEDITI’m not mad at the fire marshal’s office, but rather feel compassion for them in having a profession that requires them to be afraid for a living. Considering the stress they are under, both of the representatives that visited the site were kind and cordial, and seemed to actually want to help us meet our goals of opening in time and putting on a fun, yet safe, show. And while the act of having to take precautions in order to meet ordinance standards is a pain in the tookus, I can appreciate the intention of public safety under which the guidelines were created and have no problem with walking the extra mile in order to avoid a possible pitfall.

Although the extra precautions cause me some extra work, they also present challenges which force me to sharpen my skills and rise to becoming a more creative artist, a more wily businessman, a more conscious citizen, and a more active member of my community. For me, the more work I have to put into whatever craft I am creating only makes the unveiling of the art all the more joyous. There was a time when craftsmanship and passion were paramount in this land, and I sincerely hope that what I do here at The Flow Factory will inspire more of that.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living

zenbookThe Flow Factory is offering a playshop based on the book Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence Brandt. According to the book, “Zen is the integration of the spiritual and material—the shattering of any artificial separation we might impose.” As we move into this new paradigm of interdependence, and the government which has for so long herded us toward independence has now shut down, many of us are seeing the shattering of these artificial separations and realizing the unity of life which actually flows through all things.

 

Entering into this Renaissance as we move from the Age of Separation into the Age of Reunion, we are blessed with the fruit of the ages that have gone before us and the revolutions they created. Learning from the example of the Agricultural Revolution, we can revisit this concept of growing food where we live to develop the lifestyles of community, creativity, and resiliency that we long for. Drawing from what has worked from the Industrial Revolution, we can systematize our procedures and activities while simultaneously basking in the glow of the Information Revolution and realizing that all we need to know is at our disposal. Separating the wheat from the chaff through the harvest of our history, we have now, more than any other time in our civilization’s evolution, the capacity to incite the Wisdom Revolution.

 

By beginning to recognize and consciously work with the archetypes presented in this book—the Poet, the Hero, the Magician, the Warrior, and the Student-Sage—one may begin to experience his entire life in a mythic or spiritual context. Everyday life is experienced as a heroic quest and played as a game. In it, we fight for what we believe in, and we learn eagerly as students, and wisely, patiently as sages. All of this is framed within a poetic view of life—a view guided by the heart, alive with the spirit, and nourished in love.

 

Throughout our collective history, as notorious as our species has been for taking wrong turns and pandering to the wanton nature of avarice, violence, and self-importance, we have all esteemed those sages, prophets, heroes, and messiahs that perpetuated the ideal of love as true power. There is enough intrinsic value in loving what you do, who you’re with, and where you’re doing it to create an absolutely wealthy life even without the trimmings propagated through the commodity world view. Should we love our world enough and ourselves enough to go the extra mile in creating our lives instead of having them created for us, we have the potential for a miraculous shift in the operations of planet Earth.

 

We must have the love to go for what we know is right, even if it means paying a price. We who love life must work with life for life, while celebrating the mystery that is life. In short, we must be actively engaged in making the world the best it can be, while loving it exactly as it is. We must have the courage to believe that the world we have dreamed will one day be made manifest and that what we do as individuals makes a difference. We must have the courage to reject the idea of settling for work that is destructive to human happiness, or even indifferent to it. We must have the patience to view the movement toward life’s work as a week, a month, a year, or even several years but something that takes a deep commitment and the patience to see it through.

 

If you would like to take this journey with us, The Flow Factory is offering the Zen and the Art of Making a Living Playshop every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30pm. The fee schedule for the playshop includes a Pay-How-You-Want platform so that you can choose to support The Flow Factory with $5, 1 time dollar through the Common Wealth Time Bank, or one item from our wishlist. The Flow Factory is located at 2035 Cornell Street and is open 24/7 by appointment only.

The Next Phase of The Flow Factory

After Vincent Dessberg asked me several times about talking about the vision that he had for 2035 Cornell Street, we finally sat down in December 2012 and I asked him about his mission, his vision, his values, and his goals and objectives so that we could formulate a reasonable action plan. As the first step on the action plan was to clean up the shop, the resulting document simmered for awhile. I was living in Bradenton at the time, but when the time came to vacate for new guests, I asked Vincent about staying on the property so that I could more readily address the action plan.

As with most visions, there was a vast expanse between what Vincent saw as his end result and what we were given to work with. Originally, or at least at the time of our initial meeting when Vincent’s interest was most piqued by the idea, the goal was to create a raw food café, drawing from the food grown on the rooftop vertical gardens, and building climbing walls inside and out. In order to build climbing walls, we needed space, and since the building was chock full of remnants from previous ideas that had piqued Vincent’s interest, we were going to have to do some creative repurposing.

rooftop_farmI’ve told Vincent before that I think he is a man ahead of his time. I have watched his endeavors unfold since we met several years go, with varying degrees of success, and I’ve seen his frustration grow as he struggles to engage people with his attempts at serial entrepreneurism. However, as with all of the failures I’ve manifested in my attempt to do new things, I can only hope that he has become wiser for the wear.

Nevertheless, the majority of Vincent’s initial attempts culminated in an industrial light warehouse, where I volunteered for the task of transitioning the space from a collection of shattered dreams to “a support structure for healthy living, community development, and creative expression, and as a catalyst for a more fruitful economy.” Although his experiments had not yet reached any level of economic fulfillment, I saw in all of them the possibility for a thriving business. My idea was to build on the resources that we had at our disposal, and start weaving them together, sort of seeing each project as a seed and the space as a garden, carefully cultivating each crop so that it would bear the most fruit. Since I, myself, am also transitioning into a life of using money again, this also gave me the opportunity to give more consideration to the streams of finance that could develop from these various projects.

Even before my yearlong boycott of Federal Reserve Notes, I had been working on a theory of economic distribution that could be written up as an algorithmic code in order to allow for instantaneous financial distribution that would revolutionize the crowd sourcing phenomenon. And while I have not yet figured out how to develop the application, I feel that the true gift of what I am trying to offer is not the technological widget that will diminish participation in life to the click of a button, but the opportunity for actual participation in our own economic development by building avenues away from our dependence upon faulty systems based on debt, greed, and slavery and toward a more interdependent, community-based existence so that we may free ourselves of the unnecessary suffering that we inflict upon one another merely for the sake of a game with unrealistic expectations and largely unsatisfying results. I think that, while my WeBMaP idea of automatically distributing funds from transactions to fuel artistry, business, citizenry, and charity is really nifty, I don’t believe that we need a technological program to save us, be it a bank, a corporation, a government, a religion, or a computer application. What we need is to realize our freedom by realizing our unity.

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The opportunity that I have been given through my participation in this space allows me to experiment with my model on a practical level, where I can have measurable results, but more importantly, where I can actually taste the fruits of the changes I cultivate. It has been eight months since I moved into the space and started my process of organization and redesign. 

IMG_1766The Flow Factory currently operates out of 2035 Cornell Street, but the model can be replicated anywhere. Plus, with a flexible, multi-currency payment structure, including the Common Wealth Time Bank, and the fiduciary channeling system of ABC2 Economics, it offers the opportunity to help invigorate the economy while helping people do what they love to do: eat, play, make art, build stuff, develop relationships, teach crafts, and learn new things. And through that process, we can help people find new ways to develop greater enjoyment in life, stronger ties to the community, better health, and more sustainable practices to allow for a more graceful future.The time has been filled with a variety of experiments, varying degrees of success, and a few pinches of failure thrown in for flavor. However, I feel that we are now at a place where we are more prepared to fully open the doors to The Flow Factory so that we can develop a model of using open space as a conduit for multiple community and entrepreneurial ventures utilizing full free market economics that can be replicated and refined according to a community’s needs and assets.

 

How “Pay-What-You-Want” Works

Everything in life has a price. At least in the civilization we’re living in, everything has become a commodity. Looking at fair market value, we can scientifically deduce the monetary value of pretty much anything by simply comparing it to comparable stuff.

paybuttonfont3Yet even with in this matrix of wealth demarcation, the true value of a thing is still very much arbitrary, and what is worthless to one is priceless to another. Because we at The Flow Factory believe in wealth beyond the Federal Reserve Bank, and since that particular means of exchange has become a commodity in itself so that many citizens are lacking in that currency, we have opened up the possibility of alternative forms of currency in order to make all of our events, services, arts, and products affordable for ever member of our community.

For each transaction, the community member is given the choice of paying in Federal Reserve Notes, Time Dollars, Bitcoins, or barter. Each currency will have its own appropriate value assigned to it. A painting, for example, will have a comparable fair market value in Federal Reserve Notes and Bitcoins or the artist can name his requested price. Similarly, the artist will know how much time she spent on the work of art, which will account for the amount of Time Dollars the purchaser agrees to earn back by finding his flow in service to other members of the community in reciprocal hours. For events, likewise, there are fair market values on classes, performances, and exercises in the monetary economy and the length of the event determines the number of Time Dollars required for admission.

In order to further equalize the flow of our economy, each transaction will be channeled to the various participants utilizing ABC2 Economics. This ensures that our Artistry is supported to allow for more creativity, our Business is supported to allow for more ingenuity, our Citizenry is supported to allow for more sustainability, and our Charities are supported to allow for more humanity. By recognizing and honoring the entirety of our community and developing more collaborative methods of wealth development, we hope to help usher in a more balanced and healthy economy.

What would you pay for that?

 

For more information, check out http://flowfactorysrq.wordpress.com

 

A Rather Bizarre Bazaar

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Saturday saw the first Flow Factory Community Bazaar and a wonderful example of the creative potential of Sarasota’s newest flex space. As we develop The Flow Factory‘s operating procedures in order to give us more efficient and effective modes of productivity and resourcefulness, I am largely integrating the “Think, Act, Plan, Do” method of activity development. As such, Saturday’s event was a wonderful Act of community collaboration and envisioning.

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I’d spent the greater part of the previous week as I have the last six months, cleaning the place up so that it can be utilized as a place to foster economic development. The Thought was that a bazaar would offer the opportunity not only for artisans to showcase and sell their works, but also for teachers to open our minds to alternative economic appreciation through the sharing of skills and craftsmanship. Having gone through the experience, we now have greater insight through which to Plan so that we may Do it again with even greater results next month.
As it was, the event was a great success thanks to the participation of eight vendors and a wonderful smattering of citizens interested in another way of living in the world. Although Lynn Brusky was scheduled to give a weaving class at 3, her impromptu session had several people making their own yarn well before Joan Kershaw taught us how to make raw and vegan salsa, hummus, and guacamole at 1. Shortly after, Vincent from Rosemary Court offered us a soothing guided meditation, and Sharon Fitzpatrick, Alix Sun, Olga Komissarova, and Lex L-D showcased their artwork, along with the installation of The Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path.

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Although I would like to see more attendees come next time, I think that we had a great start to what could be a fantastic opportunity. If you are interested in getting involved with the next Flow Factory Community Bazaar, feel free to email me at inkensoul@gmail.com.