What activities can COOL members participate in?

Discussion in 'COOL Activities' started by skip, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    Now this is where things get interesting. :)


    Central to my concept of COOL, is having members engage in community supported activities. The purpose of this is to solidify our group identity and to present the wider community with a variety of services that will benefit the public and illustrate our selfless intentions.

    There are two main categories of activities I'm referring to. The first would be religious ceremonies that members can participate in that express their beliefs, their joy, their communion with One Love and each other.

    These would include the usual rites-of-passage like reaching adulthood, marriage (if one choses that option), death, devotional/meditation activities - which could conceivably include everything from Sufi Dancing to Shiva worship to pagan fertility rites to rock concerts to Zazen!

    The second category would be community outreach activities. The could provide things like counseling, environmental awareness, neighborhood improvement, daycare, recycling and other social projects. We can share our wisdom and skills with the larger community.

    If we are to be a real community (which we seem to be already), then COOL would provide its members with social, legal and moral support when needed.

    We could also get involved as activists, esp. if there doesn't seem to be any effective organizations seeking the changes we'd like to see in the broader society. But this would have to be an individual's choice regarding participation. Again, I would think it unnecessary to force anyone to do anything.

    However if the community wishes, it could set a level of involvement that would be required to continue membership in the community. In other words, if you don't participate in anyway with the community, then it would be hard to say you're really a member. There should be a minimum of responsibility set to maintain one's standing, I would think. I mean you can always agree with the community's ideas, but to be an active member one would have to be active in something.

    So I see a committee selecting what activities members might be interested in participating in, and somehow making those official. This would never mean other activities aren't, just that those particular ones are "sanctioned" or "official".

    Being a virtual community of course would limit our options for group activities in a particular location. Of course should the community grow in size, it would be possible to create local groups who could then get together for these functions.

    So we should initially focus on activities that members can do alone or with friends. Some of these would take the form of rites or ceremonies. We could adopt existing ones or create entirely new ones.

    I'll go into the possibilities of these later...
     
  2. Morning Myst

    Morning Myst Member

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    This is where I can see a problem rising. The Hip community is dispersed around the world, which makes it difficult for rites requiring a "priest" (sorry, lack of a better term. Maybe Officiant?). I, myself, live in Montreal, and I don't think I could make a trip to get my marriage celebrated (assuming you're o.k. with gay marriages ;) ).

    As for the other stuff, like meditating and calling upon Gaïa, it's easy to do it alone, so no problem there.

    I also love the idea of volonteering and community services. I believe that all who can should help other.
     
  3. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

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    i always dream of building demonstration communities like j. donald walters did/does/is doing, with ananda. and it is always just that; dreaming. yet things DO get built and done. and we can be togather in our hearts and in our dreams.

    and who'se to say we can't pray, chant, ritualize, without officiants, in our collective dreams?

    there ARE other things we CAN do too. no one of us, i very much doubt, can compell any other of us to actualy do them, and this is a very good thing because no one can ever completely know the reality of anyone else's situation, even however intimately they may personaly be aquainted with their outward form and tangable presence.

    my feeling remains that the greatest good is the avoidance of causing harm, and along those lines, boycotting of aggressiveness, and finding and using as much as possible, alternatives to driving an automobile, buying power from the combustion fed grid, groceries from the corporate distribution mechanism, housing from contractors, lumber from clear cutters and so on. the list can grow and alternatives like public transportation and local produce at farmer's markets or actual potlatching with neighbors are among the do's to replace the desired don'ts.

    rites and cerimonies. the simplest solutions are the most eligant even here. although diksha, the transference of spirit energy involves creating sprit energising settings.

    i am leary of setting required levels of envolvement. again none of us can ever really know the limitations of anyone else's reality.

    motivation is one of those things i see as being more important what is motivated then how much it is. the love of all that is friendly and nontangable, without further attempting to predefine what is beyond human capacity to conceive, but only rather to accept that it is, this is a powerfully positive unifying force.

    really the most important thing, if we don't want to fall into the problem found with so many of other beliefs, is to avoid encouraging ourselves and each other to deceive ourselves as to the mechanisms by which harm is caused and avoided.

    =^^=
    .../\...
     
  4. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    I think it depends on how many people want to join in - if it gets bigger then there's probably more scope for group activities and meet ups etc.


    One thing I'd suggest is to come up with some kind of symbol or logo for COOL.
    Christians have the cross, Muslims the crescent, Hindus the Om, CND had the 'peace sign'.
    Maybe people could submit ideas and designs which could then be decided on by vote or whatever. I'm sure there's lots of creative and artistic people out there.

    To return to group activities - perhaps it would be possible to arrange stuff on a regional basis - by city, state or country.
     
  5. Tipo Sensuale

    Tipo Sensuale Senior Member

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    Central to any community - whether religious, civil, or whatever - is the concept of shared rites and shared experiences.
    COOL should have some basic 'rites' for birth, marriage and death. Maybe even coming of age rites, but they need not be a formal event requiring an officiant. Maybe a laxer view of rituals, where if two COOL believers want to get married there is a ritual they can undertake on the beach, in the fields, or wherever - just requiring the two of them and a witness. No officiant, no need for mass congregations, just a simple ritual that can be repeated amongst one couple or amongst a couple and thousands of celebrants.
     
  6. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

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    Yes..you want to be careful with rituals and the like...if you want an open community ...you can have these sort of things open...but you can be restricted....
     
  7. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    I'm reposting this here from the CB forum.

    I envision special ceremonies (like a rock concert) to honor the great musicians of our time. The ones who pushed the envelope, turning entertainment into a visceral and spiritual experience. I'm referring to musicians like the Beatles, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, etc. These pop idols are already worshipped by millions, so I think it would be a great idea to create a kind of ceremony to honor these musical "saints" who gave their all to their craft, their music a life-long inspiration to so many!

    Imagine if we had a traditional setting like a gothic church, or even an outdoor setting like an amphitheater or a stonehenge type place, and we bring in the amps and live bands (or even a dj if no live bands available), and conduct a ceremony to honor their music.

    I would expect such music to be a part of a number of COOL ceremonies.

    Of course other types of music are more than welcome (let's not forget ppl like Ravi Shankar - great for meditation), sakuhachi, chanting, etc. There would be few limits on this, although I think some kinds of music might be too dissonant to many.

    I think such ceremonies would meet themnax's statement:
    "the simplest solutions are the most eligant even here. although diksha, the transference of spirit energy involves creating spirit energising settings"

    There is such a wonderful spirit energy at rock concerts, no?
     
  8. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    Yes, well involvement could be as untaxing as helping create the Conscious Bible. Which would require people to do web research and cut & paste & maybe add a commentary here and there. I doubt that would tax anyone more than posting in these forums does.

    People who join, and don't contribute in some way, really aren't members as far as I can see.

    COOL may be obliged to help its members in some sticky situations, possibly even taking resources away from others. This situation could easily be abused by people who claim to be members but have never contributed in any way. So that is one place where we'll probably need to draw the line.
     
  9. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    This is being worked on as we speak. Someone is designing a logo of a heart with wings (similar to the sufi logo, but with other symbols). If anyone else likes that idea, you can submit an image for review.

    However, nothing is set in stone, so anyone who has a good idea can open another thread and discuss it or post up an image they think might work. We may open this to a vote later.

    Speaking of voting, I haven't yet mentioned the DEMOCRATIC nature of COOL. I may have come up with the idea, and at this juncture I have the most reponsibility for it, that doesn't mean I'm the decider of everything. I want you ppl to be involved as much as possible in decision making.

    I've got an organizational structure I wrote up a long time ago for this, but I probably need to review it again before I present it. It involves setting up committees to share responsibility for decision making, with the general membership getting to vote on most issues. This is a CORE value of COOL, democracy.

    For example on the Conscious Bible, we can either setup a committee to review the submissions and decide themselves what goes in, or we could open it to everyone to vote. We could even make this question a poll for everyone to decide.

    I'll probably have to retain authority on questions that affect this site or the coolove.org site, and financial and legal issues that would affect Hip Inc. or myself personally.

    So one of the most important activities of COOL members is to VOTE! That too helps keep one "active" in the community.
     
  10. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

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    I understand the value of ritual, but this (COOL) could be a point where we can free spirit from dogma.
    That would be a demonstration of ONE LOVE.

    The great popularity of Pagan sects and the so-called Kabaalah movement (Y Berg's, not actual Zohar-Tanya ecstatic worship) is based on a desire to move from dictated ritual to self-guided ritual, and eventually, being with the infinite.

    THat said, perhaps we could agree to mark birth, coming of age, dedication to partners (howz zat for allowing all human partnerships, gay, straight and poly?) passage from childbearing, death and so on...
    Now, how to do that?
    Obviously no one is born into COOL (yet). So they have ritual that speaks to their soul. That's why white people jump brooms and goys smash glass at weddings. Something speaks to them.
    Having a data base (even referred) of life passage rituals around the woorld with the technical and social aspects along with the spiritual aspects would be a great service.
    prototype vows/ sevices online.

    I strongly suggest looking into ordination mechanics as well. ULC and Spiritual Humanism both on-line ordain.
    as for active, next time you are doing something, have COOL referenced.
    Protesting? have a line like COOL- Community of One Love (Web site addy) as a tagline on your sign. Then tell people about it.
    at a show? stickers! just the right size for Nalgene bottles to cover the brand name.
    Making and selling something?
    a COOL link on a Web page or a flier in the shopping bag. Heck, COOL cloth bags....
     
  11. Scholar_Warrior

    Scholar_Warrior Be Love Now

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    Religion, being a system, requires dogma as structure.

    Understand things for what they are. Cool is a brilliant idea for the structuring of the chaotic imput from many into one coherent group, or democracy. This has a very powerful value, but do not confuse it for what it is not. This can be a religion, but the onus is always on the individual to extract truth from the preserved code.

    The word 'religion' is based on the latin, religare', which means to bind. The idea, of course is the binding of the individual with the infinite, or of the particle with the whole. It is a complete system.

    Like all systems, individual religions have their strengths and their weaknesses. It is up to the individual to solve the puzzle of the signposts given by these systems by distilling the truths out of the clues left by their elders.

    It seems to me that what is most important is to create a legally legitamate entity through which those of us with a greater tolerance of diversity should be allowed to seek "God" in our chosen manner.

    Does this make sense to anyone else?
     
  12. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    I'm 100% with you on that.

    Love the day of the dead! It's almost as much fun as halloween! Now there's a celebration I like! :)

    Halloween is a time when we face our fears, and get rewarded for doing so. It's similar to day of the dead.

    So what would a COOL Halloween be like?
     
  13. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

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    Well as a Pagan, I celebrate Samhain, not Halloween, and there is a difference. For me, it is about crossing the threshold into the darkness, with the trust that I will emerge again in the light, transformed, and free of the past. It's also about lifting the veils, altering or expanding consciousness to reach beyond the predictable and ordinary - again, crossing a threshold - into a realm where things are less certain and absolute, but perhaps, paradoxically, more meaningful. It is the time when we push ourselves beyond our fears into the unknown, are transformed by death (of ego if not of body), and make peace with and release our pasts, making room for the future.

    I think a COOL Halloween/Samhain/Day of the Dead (really we should name our own holidays, rather than borrowing ones that already exist) might include the following:

    1) Some kind of acknowledgement and celebration of those who have gone before, especially those who have encouraged personal, community, or cultural transformation.

    2) Some kind of releasing, cleansing, or symbolic death, to free the participants of the "excess baggage" of ego and the stresses of the mundane year. Symbolic transformations, such as dressing up in meaningful costumes as commonly practiced on Halloween/Samhain/similar holidays, and/or by some other means such as ritual body modification like tattooing or piercing might be included in these practices.

    3) Some kind of a structured rite of consciousness exploration, with ethnogens or without, as the participant chooses. I believe that at the very least a superficial level of structure, training, and guidance should be a part of this rite, to avoid the problems encountered by other groups trying to re-create or reconstruct substance-induced shamanic practices in the past.


    What other seasonal/subcultural/spiritual observances should we ackowledge?
     
  14. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    That sounds great Kitty! :)

    I like it all. I think it will take time to develop the ceremonies.

    Yes! I thinking naming our own holidays is good, esp. if there isn't any equivalent, or I'd say in the beginning we could start with those holidays that seem most appropriate, and maybe research any ancient rituals that might also seem adaptable to our needs. I wouldn't mind attempting some of the old rituals if they seem intriguing. After all why throw out hundreds if not thousands of years of social adaptations? The ancient ones had lots of time on their hands to test various methods and developed ceremonies that most fulfilled their purpose.

    I'm all for modernizing things if they seem too quaint or ridiculous. I'm way more interested in the meaning and effect of the ceremonies than the actual instructions.

    Of course I think we should design ALL the ceremonies to be as fun as possible, even somber ones, within reason. (I wanna Balinese funeral - how's that sound for fun?)

    I have a list in my head of ceremonies. But I'm just gonna go one at a time so I don't short change any of them.

    I like Halloween/Samhain to be a mind expanding experience. I think that a major goal of Halloween and Day of the Dead is to displace the fear that people have of death and the unknown. It's appropriate that Halloween (all souls day) happens in the mid fall when death is all around (leaves falling from trees etc.).

    So a psychedelic experience would seem to be an appropriate ceremony on Halloween. There's always an element of fear in every trip. I once dropped acid on Halloween and went to a huge party. It was one of the best nights ever!

    Believe it or not, Halloween is just about the ONLY holiday I celebrate anymore! But I'm ready to get more involved. I've just been missing the motivation. Every damn religion's holidays seem so remote in meaning anymore. Not that I ever put much into them.

    Oh, wait, Thanksgiving too. I celebrate that because to me it's imbued with the most meaning for everyone. A day of thanks. No religious connotations, no commercialism, just good food and friends and family.

    What kind of Thanksgiving ceremony would be COOL? Are we ever going to stop making COOL puns? Oh damn! That was a pun too! ;)
     
  15. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

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    Thanksgiving is purely an American thing - I can't see many non-Americans wanting to adopt it. I myself wouldn't be interested.


    I think it's ok to celebrate the main pagan festivals - solstices, equinoxes as that fits in with the seasonal changes etc.
    However I'm not really very focused on rituals myself. I see it as belonging to the lower end of spiritual experience.

    Another idea would be to have days like the church has saints days, only dedicated to teachers, saints etc from many diverse traditions.
     
  16. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    Actually thanksgiving is based on a PAGAN holiday. It goes back to harvest festivals in pre-xtian times. The name thanksgiving is definitely of American origin.

    I don't see why non-Americans wouldn't like it. In fact wherever I've lived in the world I've turned my non-American friends on to Thanksgiving, and every one of them LOVE it!

    The last time was with my buddy Wally Duck and his family in Australia. They slaughtered their biggest, best turkey (yes they raised them, but never ate them or had thanksgiving) for it. They invited their friends and we all gave thanks for our blessings. They liked it so much they said they would continue to do it every year.

    And when I was living in Amsterdam, we would invite our Dutch friends over and they would freak out cause the Dutch eat turkey, but never get to see a whole cooked one. In fact a Dutch friend I haven't seen in about 6 years, recently contacted me just to remind me about our Thanksgiving dinners.

    Of course it could just be the turkey and trimmings, but I believe every human has a need to "give thanks", and to have at least ONE day dedicated to acknowledging others, the bounty of nature and our good fortune at being alive another year.
     
  17. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    Ah but don't you see how much FUN & rewarding they can be? Just like halloween and thanksgiving. These are celebrations, but with a minimum of ritual, and what ritual there is, is straight forward, easily understood, but still imbued with meaning.

    I've always been put off by religious rituals as they mostly serve the purposes of the clergy; to reinforce their role & status in the community, to keep their flock from straying, to exercise their power over their members (confession is a good example), to provide situations where they can get money from their congregation, to reinforce the dogma, etc.

    The benefits for the congregation of course is the "blessing" they supposedly get for births, confirmations, marriages, funerals, etc. This is the part that bothers me the most. The idea that only a church and clergy can "sanctify" these rites of passage, make them legitimate.

    I rather see the rites & ceremonies as an opportunity to share our joy and bring the community together (if it's physically possible). There is a lot of bonding that goes on, as well as socializing at these events. These are basic human needs, not self-serving clergy needs, and so that should be the emphasis.
     
  18. Oz!

    Oz! Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    Skip + Bill ..... you seem to be arguing the validity of what is, essentially, the same day of celebration (orginally a festival of lammas, then later christianized into michelmas) ... and popularised into the Harvest Festival among the europeans and Thanksgiving by the america-bound pilgrims

    here's a very simplistic site that gives a basic descripton of the modern celebration of this day in three different cultures (USA, Canada and the UK)
    http://www.crewsnest.vispa.com/thanksgiving.htm

    Personally i'd love to see a resurgance of a public celebration of this day, and i think in these times of crass commercialism.... people forget too easily that it's the basics that power our lives... not the luxuries.

    I do think the name "thanksgiving" for such a day is too familiar with US culture and tradition tho' ... wrongly so, but it's their in the mass psyche as an american/christian-only holiday.... but a new, more cross culture name should be easy to come up with :)
     
  19. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    All Saints Day? I like the idea, but I think rather than just honor a diversity of "saints" all at one time, dilutes the message each brings. I would almost prefer a series of holidays, each celebrating a different sage or group of sages with a similar message.

    For such events honoring people, I think the focus should be on the message, and not the messenger.

    For instance a celebration of Ahimsa or World Peace might include acknowledging the contributions of Gandhi, Jainism, Martin Luther King Jr. Then any ceremonies would be tied in with acknowledgement of how important it is for people to actively confront injustice and prejudice with consciousness raising and non-violent protest.

    For instance those who wish could participate in a local protest for a different cause each year. So for such a ritual there might be a coordinator, perhaps a committee to oversee the event, but no need for an official "priest" to provide the "sanction", bless the event or act as boss.
     
  20. skip

    skip Founder Administrator

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    Actually I think Thanksgiving is one of the least religious holidays, even though the name was thought up by Xtians. It's not like Christmas or Easter, for god's sake. ;)

    In fact half the participants in the first American Thanksgiving were NOT xtians, but pagan heathens.

    I think ppl need to keep this in mind, and realize that some things are Americanisms, some things are Xtian, but somethings belong to all humanity, that were appropriated by the Church as only by keeping some of the old pagan traditions could they entice so many into the fold.

    So it's worthwhile to separate these things in our minds because they are of different origins with different intents.

    Thanksgiving is such a neutral word, I'm surprised American fundamentalists haven't Xtianized it more. If so it would be "Thanks to Jesus Day" or some such rot. Like he put the food on the table. Then I could see dumping the name. But you'll be hard pressed to find a better word. After all the only "rites" on that day are "giving thanks" and carving the bird. That's it. No reference to God unless your family likes to say "grace".

    BTW, grace is something we should consider as a separate ritual. In fact I think we need to say something similar every time, before lighting up that bong. There's a ritual I feel is really needed. How else can we show our respect for the "herb"?
     

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