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

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Auclair, Karina




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”.


Cultural Anthropology




Carleton University

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