IMS Facebook Discussions
the more refined conclusions here
and strive to edit this so that it may become a practical guidebook.
In one way that is good, because it will force me to lay the designs out in a usable way, which is what I intended to do from the notebook and... which is the reason that the notebook was in my pocket. I had done the drawings in a pocket sized notebook, so I could carry it with me. Let me recommend to you that you do not use a notebook that is small enough to wash by accident.
They were very incredible designs, outlining the community layout, buildings, and use of land. There were many notes about organizational structure, operation and the politics of such a community. I may or may not be able to reconstitute them, but I do think I will be striving to construct a model of the community, much like a train board.
It is unfortunate that that happened, but in order to construct the community we would have needed enough land to fill Montana, so it was not something that was immediately practical.
I do want to publish the designs for the community, if even as a conceptual design, so I will be working to do that and possibly posting those designs here as I do. No promises though. AG
Recent discussions about the state of mind which envelops the artist have spurred some thought on the subject. Initially, there was a great deal of passion about establishing the A&O Soc.. The primary intention in this regard has been, and remains, the establishment of a living environment that is designed to support the unique needs of the artistic mentality.
A big part of that, in the long view, is the establishment of The Creative Archive and in that regard, use of the web and in particular the digital environment that it depends on, will certainly be a part of that foundation and seems to be the best starting point. In lieu of actual facilities, the archiving of the artist's work in the digital domain is a viable alternative, to establishing a record of the artist's work. Of course, the work of recording the material is a huge task, but the process of doing that would certainly be a service of IMS and The A&O Soc.
The primary objective at this point in time is to publish the designs for The Alpha & Omega Society. These designs include the outlines for the modus operandi (as it pertains to numerous levels of participation) sketches for the facilities (which extend from a core "Inner Sanctuary" outward in layers to the outermost degree of commercialization), the management notes (which include the politics involved in the governing of the community).
All of this is extremely complicated, and will require, not only a Board of Directors, but a Social Governing Body which would oversee the assorted rules and regulations which must be implemented in an environment such as this. It is not so much a remaking of the existing society and the current Modus Operandi, but rather a realigning of the purposes and a focus on the needs of the Artist, above the needs of other members of the society as a whole.
The purpose of such a realignment lies primarily in the fact that the classic "starving artist" is a result of an increasing disassociation from a social environment, which historically has existed, but is becoming increasingly external and desensitized to the aesthetic environment (or mentality) which the artist is compelled to dwell within.
It is most certianly true that social environments have been created to support the artist, some of which operate quite successfully.
The Alpha & Omega Society is intended to be akin to those Artist Communities, however, the basis for the A&O Soc. are the teachings of The Church of the New Jerusalem and a primary aspect of the community must be the spiritual component and associations of the people involved.
The A&O Soc. is not intended to be based on a generic non-denominational, non-commital spirituality. It is clear that artists, like everyone else are on a path to discover their own spirituality and so that path must be honored and supported. But the clearly stated and specific basis for the A&O Soc. are the teachings of The New Church.
This is not intended to, and does not, exclude persons who are unclear about their path in terms of spirituality, but there is one very clear and definitve critera for participation in the activities of the A&O Soc.. That is a very distinct and undeniable "leading by the Lord" to be associated and involved in the activities of the A&O Soc..
There is not intended to be the exclusion of any religious or spiritually uplifting teachings from The A&O Soc. . Rather all such teachings that have been presented in the world should be included for the purpose of discovering the truth that lies within them. But as so stated, the Teachings of the New Church are to be the foundation for any growth that occurs within the community. This being the case, it should be understood that the point of the community is to foster unity in the understanding and pursuit of Truth, Goodness and to discover the method by which this understanding can be put into application.
A larger purpose of the environment that is conceptualized, is to rediscover the aspects of societies from times past and from locations around the world, that bring forth the best that man has been, is and can become. In this rediscovery, discovery, and conceptualization the foundations of the A&O Soc. are formed. It is the application of these elements into a social environment, that serves the aesthetic enhancement of the artistic experience, but still allows for the artist to live in the lifestyle that best suits his or her mentality... this is for this reason that the Alpha & Omega Society being formed.
A very large part of the community, as needs be in this material world, are the economics of such an environment. In the larger concept of the A&O Soc. the economic behavior of the community is rather socialistic in nature. I know that in America this is a bad word because America is allegedly based on capitalism. But it is the corporate raiders and the greed mongers who have literally destroyed our social environment because of the freedom and propagation of rampant capitalism. In the current environment people are taught and encouraged to grab all they can, while they can at the expense of the "weaker" people in the society or those who are not so aggressive. In my opinion this has been quite destructive to our society and it has in a very large sense shifted our values in a very non-productive direction. I say this with a very different understanding of what is and is not productive.
Productivity is the pursuit of aesthetics & beauty in form and interaction thru art, to seek peace, harmony, truth, goodness, wisdom and love. It is not the creation and acquisition of goods with which one can increase the numbers in ones bank account and therefore permit one to create rampant greed, selfishness, social depravity, isolation and conflict. This is my opinion and it is the basis by which I move forward to conceptualize The Alpha & Omega Society.
I am certain that I will not live to see this manifested, therefore it is my mission to publish the material I have gathered and to proffer my thoughts on the subject as best I can before I depart for the great (un)known.
There have been numerous projects whose seeds are beginning to sprout, which will be nurtured in the environment of Image of the Mind Studios. The organizational structure of the A&O Soc. is being defined and Mission Statement is becoming clearer as discussions are taking place with potential board members.
Numerous requests have come in regarding management of large sums of money for charitable causes and an endowment program is being designed to accommodate this as a service offered by The A&O Soc.. Such a program will also provide operating funds to the foundation and it's programs. Unfortunately I fear that many of these offers are not legiamate.
The management structure of The A&O Soc. is essentially layered to segment essential functions from project functions, which will operate independently from each other. There will be tiers within each segment which will likewise be independently responsible for fulfillment and micro-management of their own resources. The net effect of this is to simplify management and establish more stability in the organization. Of course with this approach, the personnel structure will be defined by smaller teams with more autonomy and of course, the Project Directors & Department Heads will be answerable to the Board of Directors, not so much for their fulfillment, but more so for their adherence to a set of standards, which will maintain the level of integrity that is necessary for the health of the organization as a whole.