Tensions on Erraid: How the Need for "Human Sustainability" Challenges an Intentional Spiritual Community

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  • The desire for an alternative to the lifestyles most commonly available in western societies continues to motivate individuals to search for intentional communities. The mandate of the island community of Erraid, and its parent organization the Findhorn Foundation, is to provide service to the world by educating guests on living more in tune with nature, Spirit, and fellow human beings. In order to facilitate this experience, they require the presence of short-term participants and long-term members. My research showed that although most short-term guests were satisfied with their experiences of Erraid, members struggled with their aspirations to live there permanently. "Human sustainability” was difficult to achieve because of the tensions created by the conflicting reality of the Findhorn Foundation presenting itself as an alternative to the lifestyles in the “West”, while relying on that very system in order to exist and have people to “educate”.

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  • Copyright © 2016 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2016


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