Damanhur: An Italian Earth-Centered Community
“Damanhur: Sustaining Changes in an Intentional Community,” is the first chapter in the book Spiritual and Visionary Communities: Out to Save the World. In it I probe the question of how a community in the mountains of northern Italy coalesced from small, urban gatherings of spiritual seekers in the 1970s to the eco-conscious group it is today. Transformations under the leadership of Oberto Airadi, also known as Falco, run through the chapter. Key points of change include the revelation of the underground Temples of Humankind, the impact of the Internet and ecotourism, and the community’s involvement in local politics. The essay draws from interviews with active leaders as well as with some former members. Even as the essay discusses the inevitable dissatisfaction among some, it underscores the necessity of change in viable communities.