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Andrius Kulikauskas, ms@..., +1 312 618 3345.
I share my thoughts about a culture of independent thinkers that I wish
to organize over the next ten years or so. I imagine that this might
be the kingdom of heaven which Jesus invites us to. I am encouraged
these next two years to explore, What might the kingdom of heaven be
like? and reach out to hear from people of all outlooks.
This year on March 31, 2008 in Vilnius, Lithuania we celebrated the 10th
anniversary of our Minciu Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt for serving
and organizing independent thinkers. I feel that we have achieved our
laboratory's purpose. We have established a haven where those who wish
to share of themselves are most welcome. We are openly encouraged as we
I do have to keep looking for sources of work. I have yet to find steady
income or make a profit or pay back my loans. But our lab has shown
unquestionable value. We have provided paid work, travel, computers to
dozens of participants. We are able to organize hundreds and thousands
I look to our dreams to decide where to invest ourselves. I will start
with my own dreams. Even as a child, I wished to know everything and
apply that knowledge usefully. I have made good progress to observe and
pull together the conceptual limits of my own mind and perhaps all minds.
I am excited that our laboratory's culture makes practical a shared
framework of values, investigations, endeavors, visions by which we
might understand each other as one person in many situations. My dream
is now to make real such a culture.
We have at least the beginnings of such a culture. We have collected
hundreds of answers to the questions, What is your deepest value in life?
What is a question that you don't know the answer to, but wish to answer?
What would you like to achieve?
We observe stages in our personal growth as independent thinkers. Our
deepest values are able to represent us truly; they are the aspects of
love which we personally champion; they are perhaps our very souls that
grow only brighter and cannot perish. Our investigations have us
cherish the unknown, so that we can embrace our endless growth. Our
endeavors make apparent that we strive for the sake of others and the
root of our striving is to reach out to the hard to reach.
Independent thinkers are true to themselves, thus slow to agree to
others, thus never in the center, butthus everywhere else. We make
sense of our lives with our own private languages, yet we are able to
agree with each other deeply, perhaps absolutely, for we can refer to
the same existential situation. At the heart of our work together are
* We work in the Public Domain by default. We allow others to share and
reuse our work freely so that we might use our best judgment to help
each other and build on each other's work. We work openly, think out
loud and work-in-parallel.
* We understand that money can bring us together, but you can't pay
somebody to care. External motivation must defer to internal
motivation. We work for free and thereby demonstrate what we do care
about, and so we can meet each other halfway when we work for pay.
* We want all to succeed and so we make good of every person's
I ask us to share our visions of such a culture. Or simply, what kind
of world would we like to live in? Muhammad Yunnus has us ask this
question in his book "Creating a World Without Poverty" which Pamela
McLean is encouraging us to read. We don't have to remake all of the
world, we can start with a part so that all might appreciate what we
mean. I think that a culture with 100,000 active and 1,000,000
supportive participants would be large enough to address our life's
challenges, and allow us to create our own world where we might fall in
love, have families, raise children, and flourish across the
generations. Franz Nahrada and I think of a culture that allows for
God as independent thinker, and then looks to the independent thinker in
every person, and reaches out further to foster centers for global
villages, routes for traveling self-learners, festivals for projecting
our visions, associations for stewardship, and concords for harmony. I
like that we are scattered around the world, but I hope that we might
grow strong locally and even be the dominant culture in one or more
countries such as Lithuania or Kenya.
I feel ready to focus my work at our lab to establish such a culture.
We need not rush, but can tap into our boldest aspirations. I am
encouraged by the support of Janet Feldman, Kennedy Owino, Dennis
Kimambo, Rachel Wambui Kungu and many others whose hearts leap and beat
that we might all rise and dance together.
I have learned to be strong as a leader and thereby allow others to be
strong as well. I thank Benoit Couture for urging me to acknowledge God
as our supreme Commander. (Benoit, how are you? please send me your
phone number!) I do listen to God, and I do enjoy his fellowship, but
in many matters I myself take responsibility, as I did for our work in
Kenya, just as we all do for our work. Yet I must acknowledge Jesus as
the source of key principles that I have offered and that we have proved
effective, such as "love your enemy" and "give everything away". I
acknowledge Jesus as a Commander whose commands I accept even as they
challenge me. This is the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount, who
delighted Mohattma Gandhi and others from many faiths.
Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven as within us, amongst us. What
does he mean? He has several parables about that, and I think they all
say, "What you believe is what happens", just as the DNA of a mustard
seed has within it the mustard plant. He has many teachings, such as
"love your enemy" and "give everything away" that I think were utterly
taboo in his time, and are so counter to our world that I and perhaps
all of us wouldn't think to invent them. I find them divine, from a
mind greater than my own, yet we have shown that we can live by them,
and make them practical. Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". Who are the poor in spirit?
Perhaps we are, as independent thinkers, for we are spirit, yet
isolated, thus poor. The kingdom of heaven may then be a culture by
which we can follow such bold commands with many small leaps, small
risks, rather than as martyrs. Are we not invited to organize such a
culture? to act as we think best when our master is away? I feel that I
have come to this point where I wish to do so, and we have a haven from
which we can.
I will act slowly and purposefully to learn from all who might
contribute to such a culture. I look forward to engaging people from
all manner of cultures and outlooks. I also wish to make plenty of
space for God to participate and to learn how to pray in twos and threes
so as to include him all the more.
In the coming months I will turn anew to our values, investigations,
endeavors and diagram them so that we might navigate them and apply
ourselves with enthusiasm. We have much to do:
* For the Includer http://www.includer.org - mapping out our endeavors
for optimal use of marginal Internet access (thank you, Ricardo and
all!), creating software system, organizing content, practicing with
circulating content, trying out devices for reading content, contacting
makers of digital photo frames and ebook readers.
* Dennis Kimambo has agreed to serve as Commander for our actions to
stop genocide in the South Side of Chicago.
* Organize our team in Lithuania, especially around a movement for sobriety.
* Make a plan for our activity in Africa.
* I continue with my philosophical work.
* I would like us to collect experiences from our lives, including stories.
* I would like us to do work that advances math literacy, see my course
notes for precalculus:
* And other projects in self-learning, see my flash cards for phonics:
As we write about our projects, I can figure out what paid work we might
best seek out.
I am aware of quite a bit of activity by our lab's participants -
Rachel, Dennis, Kennedy are on the Peace Caravan
http://www.peace-caravan.org, Maria Agnese Giraudo and Samwel Kongere
will be in Ghana for the elearning conference, and Ricardo has sent me a
wonderful letter about business activities. I invite us to work openly
as much as we can, and I intend to focus my own efforts on those who do!
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