Walt Patrick, Windward Foundation
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navigation, contact, access: click ►▼, link & ••• — September 30, 2018
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how to contact us
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Leif Smith
303-778-0880
Explorers Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 9100
Denver, CO 80209
USA
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leifsmith@gmail.comImportant: If we are not already in email communication, please put “*****” at the beginning of the Subject: line of your email. This will assure that we don’t miss the first email you send to us.
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Explorers Foundation ••• home page
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efBegin ••• top level for all outlines
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Vortices ••• list of all vortices
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freeorder ••• the concept & vision
 
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Investment History
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2007: Cobden-Bright Award: $250
 
 
Windward is an intentional community located just north of the scenic Columbia River Gorge about 80 miles east of Portland, Oregon.
 
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Walt Patrick - an introduction to Windward
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“I studied chemistry at a small college in eastern Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I was working as a chemist at a carpet mill in northwestern Georgia when the Oil Embargo hit, and the carpet industry collapsed almost over night because carpets are pretty much made out of oil. That drove home the lesson that sustainable communities can’t afford to gamble their survival on the importation of non-renewable resources.
“My years spent in Appalachia helped me see how poor, rural communities were being drained of their natural resources and their talented young people. I could see that it was essential that another path be developed, one which used renewable resources such as sunshine, rain and carbon dioxide to meet basic human needs. Since then, much of my life has been dedicated to exploring that path. B2M is the best way I know of creating a sustainable energy system capable of breathing new life into rural communities.
“I realized early on that the challenge of creating sustainable community was a group undertaking, and for more than forty years, I’ve lived in intentional community; it’s not always been easy, but it’s never been dull. It’s a path that has allowed me to weave the strands of my life into a specific piece of land. This journey has helped me understand how vital it is for people to place themselves between the land and the systems that are steadily grinding the land into dust, along with the many lifeforms that depend on it. I feel very fortunate to have found a group of people who are committed to stopping the destruction by using heart, body and soul to say there’s no trespassing on this land because here we stand.
“As a steward, I’m committed to being one of those people. Perhaps you are one too.” -Walt
PatrickWalt
 
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Origins of Windward
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“Windward started in the mid-70’s in the southern Nevada desert. We think of our first decade as the time when we worked to figure out what we wanted to create - the time when we designed our ”ship.“ In the fall of 1985, we made the commitment to move to a place where we could create a more independent and self-reliant life. We had originally planned to move to a floating ship, but a majority of our Board of Directors didn’t believe we were organizationally ready. After a lot of discussion, consensus was reached to look for a landed site with access to water.”
 “After a two year search, we settled in Klickitat County in south central Washington state, and began the long and adruous task of moving. Some of our people got on with the task of transporting tons of gear a thousand miles north, while others remained behind to keep operations going during the move. Even after the primary task of moving was completed and our southern operations were brought to a close, some of our core people remained in Nevada to finish personal projects.”
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Why Explorers Foundation has invested in The Windward Foundation
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There is wisdom about complex systems, human and ecological, being developed at Windward. Good thinking about boundaries, a concept fundamental to freeorder, is being done here. The document called "Fine Print", noted below as glyph 207 in Explorers Foundation Glyphery is one of the best things I've seen on intentional community. —leif
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glyph#207: community (begun in mid-70's) . self-reliance . old, new . creativity . problem solving . washington, klickitat, north of Columbia River Gorge, Oregon ... management of complex systems, sustainability ... intentional community ... designed order, spontaneous order, balance, freeorder ... recognition of and respect for boundaries ... model, test, hands on ... Walt Patrick ... Windward Foundation ... note on taxonomy & parataxic distortions ... plans for civilization
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"The Fine Print" ••• a magnificent piece of work. -leif, July 2007:
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On "Parataxic Distortions" (part of the above)
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Parataxic distortions
Taxonomy is the study of the art and science of naming things. It's one of the essential elements of communication, since we have to agree on the names for things in order to know what each other is talking about. It doesn't do much good for me to tell you that I'm going to be working with the backhoe today, if you don't know what a backhoe is.
The greater a person's taxonomic skill, the more precise their capacity to communicate. For example, a cow, a heifer, a steer, an ox, a calf, a free-marten and a bull are all types of cattle, and each word describes some clearly defined and relevant difference. For example, if a cow has twin calves, one male and one female, the female is called a free-martin, the relevance being that they're presumed to be infertile.
Lincoln once asked a reporter a question. He asked, "If you called a tail a leg, how many legs would a dog have?" The reporter answered, "Five." to which Lincoln replied, "No, the dog would still have four legs. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."
The art and science of calling things by their true names is important. It's also important to remember that this is a one way street. The map is not the same thing as the territory it represents, and any real thing is more than the sum of its names.
I might describe someone as being a woman, and that word would call up a number of images in your mind. Some would be relevant, and other might not apply to this particular person. If I added that this person was a senior, you'd further define your image visualizing either someone over the age of 65 or who was in their last year of either high school or college. Sometimes names can be informative, and sometimes misleading, and effective communication is often a matter of attention to semantic detail.
A parataxic distortion comes about when we try to use terms, not in an effort to describe reality, but rather in an attempt to delineate it. When people name a thing, they call forth an array of assumptions, only a portion of which may be accurate. The act of naming enhances the perception of one set of characteristics, and lessens the perception of others. This editing of reality is a parataxic distortion, and it can greatly impair the process of getting to know others and yourself.
Each of us has a gender, a racial background, an age, etc., and while these are authentic components of who we are, each of us is much more than the sum of these labels. Each of us plays various roles in society, but our essential essence is more than the sum of the roles we play.
It's all too easy to use labels as substitutes for getting to truly know each other. It's all too easy to allow the parataxic distortions to mask over the authentic human being that exists underneath all those labels and roles.
It takes time and effort to work your way past the labels and masks, and to really get to know people - who they really are and why they do what they do - but it's worth it. There's a deep hunger in the human soul to be known and valued for who and what you are, and the only way we can meet that need is by doing it together.
One advantage of the cooperative lifestyle is that there's time to do this. One disadvantage is that much of the process is automatic, and even if you wanted to, you wouldn't be able to avoid getting to know people, including yourself, as complex individuals instead of prescribed roles. The result isn't all neat and tidy, but it is authentic and rich.
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Governance of Windward - the bylaws
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In conversation with Walt Patrick, July 2007, I realized that the Windward bylaws may be one of their most important achievements. A project like Windward occasionally encounters rough roads. What are the springs that absorb the shocks? The mode of governance is encoded in their bylaws. —leif
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History of Windward — an index of notes going back to April ‘95, to the founding of Windward in the mid-70s in Southern Nevada.
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Stewardship
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Stewards are called from a wide range of spiritual traditions to undertake the task of preserving the past for the sake of the future. It's easy enough to preserve tangible things by separating them from every day life much in the way that a painting can be preserved by locking it away in a museum, but the preservation of living things isn't achieved so easily since life can only be preserved by living. For example, heirloom seeds can be saved for a few years, but every so often stored seeds must be planted and new seeds produced in order to maintain their viability.
A person embarks on the path of Stewardship when they recognize within themselves a need to take responsibility for the ongoing welfare of the world around them. Stewardship is not about seeking control or dominion; rather, it is about seeking an understanding of the natural environment and using that knowledge to facilitate positive outcomes.
Stewardship involves an ongoing search for truth; not "The Truth" ®, but rather a true understanding of how natural forces interact to create the world we experience. This is important because we can not facilitate a process which we don't understand. Today we have an unprecedented amount of knowledge as to how natural systems work, and consequently an unprecedented opportunity for stewardship.
The concept of Stewardship is integral to many religions. For example, a Christian basis for Stewardship is laid out in Matthew 24:14-30, while a Native American basis for Stewardship is expressed in the Great Law. Similarly, the Dalai Lama has described a Buddhist basis for Stewardship, and Islamic scholars assert that a pro-active Stewardship is essential to Islam.
The time when humankind had to strive against nature is past; today, we must work with nature in order to preserve its ability to sustain life. Up to now, we have lived off a vast inheritance of natural wealth, but the age of dominion is passing away; the old growth forests are gone, the great schools of cod are fished out, the aquafiers are being pumped dry. Soon, the only resources we will have will be the things we create and the things we recover. Either we will become good and faithful stewards of nature's bounty, or we will pay a heavy price.
Stewardship is not a theoretical exercise; rather, it is the ongoing, hands-on search for sustainability. Stewardship is founded on sustainable practice. Non-sustainable systems diminish our future, whereas sustainable practices enrich our future. It is the Steward's quest to search out sustainable practices, and to use the knowledge gleaned to create working models which function as an integrated part of nature.
Over time, nature produces sustainable systems. The question that will be answered in the coming years is whether humankind will play a positive role in that process, or become its victim.
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Energy
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Windward is engaged in applied research into the challenge of showing how twenty people can be sustainably fed, fueled and clothed on one hundred acres ... marrying pre-industrial crafts with post-industrial technology to create a critical mass of sustainability at the small community scale.
.oOo.