The basic goal of freeriver is to create a place where people can live together in a way which is free, peaceful, revolutionary and creative. We hope to create music, art, and pursue our dreams. We also would like to promote peace and live in harmony with the earth and with each other.
My name is Stuart, and I am a member of freeriver. Here is a little bit about what inspired me to begin on this quest to create a place such as freeriver.
Growing up, I felt from the very beginning that the world was a bit strange, and that people seemed a bit unhappy with the way society was structured and I felt that people in general felt trapped by it. I went through school, listening to teachers, and following the flow of 'the system'. It seemed strange to me that right from the beginning children are taught to listen and follow, and not to just operate freely. They are taught to be subservient and obedient. They are made to sit still, learn information that they have no interest in and taught to translate their whole world in a logical and rational way. Of-course its true to say that this is not the only thing school teaches, there are good things about it too, but on the whole i would say the main message is one of obedience, subservience and order.
I spent years in the system, in college, in university and so on, and eventually i just felt that it seemed like it was just one big distraction from the main event, which is life itself. So, i went on a quest to discover myself, and discover more about nature and life outside of society. I Identified with the hippie culture of the 60's and felt a similar yearning to reach out to something more cosmic and colourful, and live life in a way which was free and heartfelt. I learnt to play the guitar, learnt to meditate, went travelling around India and other places, and tried to cultivate some greater sense of understanding about life and my place in this universe. This journey then led me to go and live in a hippie commune/spiritual retreat centre (www.gauntshouse.com) where I spent the next 4 and a half years.
During that time i discovered many things about myself and the world, I learnt more about how to balance my own energy, how to meditate, how to centre myself. I studied yoga, shamanism and many other things. I learnt a lot about people and the dynamics about living in a community. Over this time, I saw many things, but one thing which has become a driving force for me now was the discovery of just how peaceful, free and happy one can become when all of the common pressures of society are stripped away.
Often, when people first joined our community, they would be a little bit stressed out, their faces would be weathered, and their eyes would be a little bit tired. Over time, when they experienced freedom, a sense of living in a tribe, and the sense of belonging that living in a community can bring, i would see them totally transform. A twinkle would appear in their eyes, and I would begin to see this happy child-like spirit emerge that wanted to play, dance, sing and be free. Also, their thoughts would change, they would talk about beautiful things such as nature and dreams, and they would be more inspired and peaceful.
There is lots to say about my experiences of the commune, and yes, it wasnt perfect, but it did give me a glimpse into a way of living which is so beautiful. People in common every day society generally seem to have this inner belief that life cannot be magical, free, colourful and playful. That we have to work hard, and slave away night and day. That things can only be gained through stress and that dreams are just wishful fantasies. But, i really feel, and I know that there is another way to live, a way which nurtures the soul, and makes us feel energised, where we feel that we have everything we need and we feel a sense of home and a sense of peace. This way can happen we we come together, we we work as a tribe, I really feel that freeriver could be the beginning of something special. A real, colourful, cosmic and vibrant community, a place where we can build each other up, work together and bring out the best in each other. A place who's focus is true liberation and collective harmony.
Together we can make magic happen......