If you look carefully at what is going on in the world right now, you will notice that society has reached a dead end. It has reached the edge of a cliff. The next step is the fall. Be it socially, politically, or economically, the foundations that held the modern world together are about to collapse. This is not a new phenomenon. It is history repeating itself, just in another form for another generation. It is the cycle of life.
Throughout human history, great civilizations have emerged from small tribes. They’ve evolved to become huge empires, which then collapsed on themselves, returned to the tribes they emerged from, only to emerge again in a new form of society, usually more advanced than the old one. You and I, we happen to live at the time of another collapse. Till now, you have heard about it, or read about it, or seen it in movies. It’s usually referred to as an apocalypse or a post-apocalypse. The films don’t get it right, exactly, but you get the gist. Now, you get to experience it live.
What is your plan for when this collapse comes? What if it came tomorrow? Are you prepared?
A Castell is a survival plan.
A Castell is a tribe.
A Castell is a building.
A refuge from the storm in the time of collapse. A place where you will find your purpose in the time of darkness. The Castell will withstand the test of time because it is built on three dimensions that can survive anything: a Spiritual Dimension, a Virtual Dimension, and a Physical Dimension.
01 — SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
You must first understand that you are consciousness. You are spirit. You are this thing that you cannot see, you cannot hear, you cannot touch, you cannot smell. You are your thoughts. Your feelings. Your fears. Your beliefs. Your stories. This is all you are in the end. If you had no consciousness, your body would be just another organism, faced only with the task of feeding and breeding and surviving.
The Spiritual Dimension is the dimension where all Castellers of our tribe, the Castell Tribe, are united. We see our bodies as a vessel where consciousness dwells.
What is consciousness? Nobody knows for sure. Maybe one day we will know. Or maybe we never will.
The Castell Tribe is the mirror for your consciousness. The place where you bounce your thoughts, express your feelings, exchange love.
But, as a Casteller, you have to understand that everything you do in life is for your consciousness. The end result is not materialistic. It is spiritual. That is why this inner invisible, unhearable, untouchable, unsmellable world of yours means everything to us. Peace, war, love, hate, joy, suffering, happiness, belonging, separation, meaning, all these are the tenets, the dualisms of our tribe. And we know we can only get there together.
A Casteller believes that life on earth is not an accident but a simulation.
A Casteller wants to know who the Creators of the simulation are and what is the purpose of the simulation.
A Casteller believes that we are spiritual beings. That happiness is a state of mind and spirit, and is not dependent on the pleasures of the body.
A Casteller believes that there is a purpose for their life.
A Casteller believes that love is the highest goal to strive for.
A Casteller believes that he was created in the image of the Creators.
A Casteller does not boast about his achievements in life because he knows that he had nothing to do with them. He just played the role that was given to him.
A Casteller reads the signs of the time and knows how to interpret them.
A Casteller knows that the collapse is not far away and wants to be prepared.
Time is the only real currency you have on this earth. How are you going to invest it?
Everything begins with time. When you spend time with another Casteller, time turns into ideas, and ideas turn into reality. Without time, nothing new can come forth.
Castellers are expected to meet at least twice a week. If you cannot find time for your tribe, do not waste our time.
We expect you to find time for the tribe whenever it is needed. We expect you to give time to other Castellers when they need you. We expect you to be on time when you are needed.
By respecting time, you respect others.
Take time to listen to a Casteller’s problems. Take time to help the solve their problems. But do not forget, the Castell Tribe, as a whole, comes first. It has priority over your personal problems.
To understand who you are or to draw a picture of yourself, you would have to get out of your brain and body and watch yourself from a bird’s eye of view. No one can do that.
Castellers believe that you had absolutely no say in the creation of you. You did not decide what skills you will have, your upbringing, the culture around you, etc. And the most important point is: You cannot control your thoughts. The mind is like a waterfall, and there is no way for you to stop it, the same way a waterfall cannot control itself. It is the environment around it that dictates its behavior, and the laws of physics written by the Creators.
Time is a gift given to you. Spend it wisely. You do not know how much you have left.
The Castell Tribe will take a lot of time from you, so if you want to join us, you must renounce all other obligations that could distract you from your Casteller duties. The Castell will be your life till we survive the dark times.
Naked you came to this earth, and naked you will go. What will you do with the wealth you have accumulated? You cannot take it with you. Wealth takes a lot of time to manage. You must choose between contributing to your tribe and managing your wealth. When the collapse comes, if you think your wealth will give you security, then you are better off keeping it and forgetting us now.
We expect Castellers to live a minimalist life. Keep only the basics, and sell the rest. The money can be used to buy shares in companies or to make other investments that do not involve material goods. Do not keep your money in a bank.
We expect every Casteller to get involved financially in the building of the Castell by paying a monthly contribution. It is the same for everyone. If, at some stage, you do not have that money, you can ask other Castellers if they can support you.
You see, in each and every aspect of your life, you are dependent on another person and they on you. Together we are interdependent―we rely on each other for our independence. We encourage you to build friendships and share your life’s journey with others.
We are living in times of one financial crisis after another. When money loses its value, there is only one currency that will stand the test of time: true friendship. The true value of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money.
You have no control over your life. Let go of that notion. For every decision you make, there are billions of variables that decide the outcome of your decision. Think!
Do you decide when you fall asleep? Do you know what your next thought will be? Do you decide when exactly to wake up if you have no alarm clock? Can you control what other people think about you? Can you see the future? Can you see what is in the human mind? When you make a decision, do you know exactly what other people’s plans are in that moment and how your plans will interfere with theirs? You see? You are a lot weaker than you thought.
You were not born perfect. You, like all the humans on this planet, have a mental sickness inside of you called Greed. Greed is the reason for so much of the pain we have in the sick society we live in. Greed is not always about materialism. It can be about power, control, career, moral values, aesthetics. If you think you do not have it, look closely inside of yourself.
Greed is inside each of us, and it displays itself in different shapes without us noticing. You mostly cannot see it, but the people around you do. This is why it’s important to be surrounded by people who love you so much that they will make you aware when this cancer starts growing in you.
This life is too complex to manage alone. The Castell Tribe is our DNA. Tribes survived for thousands of years, and they will survive for thousands more. Without a tribe you are nothing.
You, as a human being, have needs. You need clothes, shelter, food, transportation, relationships, entertainment. And to fulfil those needs, you need other humans who have the skills to satisfy them. You want the surgeon to know how to operate, the baker to know how to bake; you want a bus driver to know how to drive, the musician to know how to play. The greater the skill of the person helping you, the better your need will be fulfilled, and the happier you will be. What skills do you bring with you? How good are you at those skills? How good are you at fulfilling other people’s needs?
You were born with all the talents to help satisfy your needs and those of others. If you do not see your skills as being of any use for others, you are surely already a lonesome person. Either you must learn one or more unique skills, or you will live a miserable, lonely life. Does it sound materialistic, capitalistic, egotistic, simplistic to you? Do you think this is not love? Love is giving and taking. Sowing and reaping. Serving and being served. Caring and sharing. Love is not a one-way road.
What counts in our Castell Tribe is not the fact that you lived. It is the difference you have made and continue to make in other Castellers’ lives. We are in this life together.
The Castellers will be there to build you up. Support you. Love you. And the same is expected of you in return. Having a tribe that cares about you is the best investment you can make in this life. But this investment demands commitment.
Commitment means being there in good and bad times. Being committed to help. To share. To encourage. To show up. To criticize and to love. To sacrifice. To laugh and to cry. To build and destroy.
The Industrial Age created an academic educational system that has nothing to do with the reality you live in. After you finished thirteen years in school, did you know how to cook for yourself? Did you know how to file your tax return? How buildings are built? How clothes are made? How disease is cured? How to start a business? Ninety percent of what you learned in thirteen years is next to useless for anything in real life. The first thing children in the Spartan tribe were taught was how to survive independently in the worst conditions. Shouldn’t school prepare you for life? Now, you come out of school, and you are more confused than when you went in.
Instead of learning how to love knowledge, you started hating it. You were forced to learn things you were not interested in. You were punished with bad grades for things that were out of your control — like your innate abilities or disadvantages in writing, mathematics, science. You were forced to compete with other students instead of cooperating with them. You had no life goal to learn, so you learned only for exams and a grade at the end of a term. You didn’t learn because you wanted to improve your skills, you learned because you needed a piece of paper that said you could move to the next level of a system that did not care about you. You were just another brick in the wall.
But our Castell Tribe wants your knowledge. We welcome it. We want you to share it with us, and we will share ours with you.
Castell Tribe is for people who have a vision. Maybe you will say: ‘I am not good at anything.’ Well then, get up and start learning something.
A Casteller must always have a learning attitude. Castell Tribe is about learning and sharing knowledge with each other. If you are not willing to learn (because you believe you already know everything), then don’t come to us.
When we say ‘learning,’ we do not mean only knowledge of medicine, architecture, masonry, carpentry, automobiles, and so on. We also mean learning how to be positive, encourage others, deal with situations, make relationships, solve real-world problems, and other such important skills..
A Casteller is not your average person, and he isn’t looking to be one. As a Casteller, you are a human being with a purpose. You want to achieve something, whatever that may be, and you will have our help in getting there. Knowledge means enlightenment. If you stop learning, you stop living. We learn for life. We learn for survival.
You were born to be a creator, not only a consumer. What do you create? What do you produce? We are not talking about money here, we are talking about creating something that people can benefit from. Something you are good at. A nurse creates a service we all require at some stage. A car mechanic keeps us mobile; he is a creator, too. A policeman protects you from thieves; he has created peace of mind for you. Don’t think of creators as artists only. A creator is anyone who brings forth something others can benefit from. So, make yourself useful, and you will receive love and support in return.
Skills are important tools to connect to people. The Castell Tribe has created a space for you to exercise and improve your skills. Don’t be satisfied with the level of your skill. You can always get better at it. And the only way to get better is through practice and through listening to feedback.
If you believe that your life is in your own hands, then we wish you all the best in your lonesome fight for survival in the times of collapse. If you want to depend on others so we can achieve independence together, join our tribe.
02 — VIRTUAL DIMENSION
The Creators created the spiritual world, which exists parallel to our world. It is a reflection of our reality but in a different dimension. In the spiritual world, I am sure each of us has a profile with a picture and a description of our character. It is said that the Creators created humans in their own image. Now, we humans have created our own parallel world. We call it the virtual world, or the Internet.
The virtual world existed in the past in the forms of books, magazines, newspapers, and other written or visual media. But those methods were very rigid and controlled. Concrete. Finite. Now, the virtual world is there for you to express yourself, to define yourself, to mirror yourself. It has become an extension of you. But even to this day, the Virtual Dimension is also controlled by the Internet platforms you use. They set the parameters to what you are allowed to post and what is forbidden.
The virtual world has become a vital part of the modern world. It has given us a lot of benefits, and it is clear it would benefit the Castell Tribe as well. The feelings we have when we communicate in the virtual world are the same as we have in the real world. Anger, disappointment, joy, fulfillment, and so on. People fall in love in the virtual world, as absurd as it sounds. If this is a good way to find your partner or not is a question each person should ask themselves. It works for some, but it does not work for others.
In some form, the virtual world is a reflection of your spiritual world. When people are threatened with physical harm in the virtual world, the suffering of the victim seems often the same as in the real world. Although as they say the devil is in the details, that paranoia can go too far. In the real world, you can hurt the body of a person. In the real world, you cannot hurt their soul because mind and spirit are not physical parts you can grab. You cannot touch them. However, it is very important to realize that the risk in the virtual world is not real compared to the physical world. I cannot get hungry, thirsty, or be killed in the virtual world.
We decided to name the online portal where Castellers connect to each other SVP. It stands for the Spiritual, Virtual, Physical. To survive the collapse, we know that we have to choose cutting-edge technology. These are the basics needed for the Virtual Dimension of the Castell.
An electronic identification (“eID”) is a digital solution for proof of identity for Castellers. This is also your access to SVP, and in the time of the collapse, it will make sure we can identify ourselves from unwanted intruders.
Apart from online authentication and login, the eID gives Castellers the option to sign electronic documents with a digital signature. This will make sure outsiders cannot falsify documents in our platform.
Castellers also have an electronic identification chip (eIC). It is an RFID microchip that is implanted under the skin of their hand so it does not get lost.
Social Network Platform
SVP has its own social networking platform. This is where Castellers are connected to each other in the virtual world. It does not need much explanation because we are all familiar with Facebook and LinkedIn, and the interface is essentially the same.
Virtual currencies are the future. Transactions in such currency are transparent, faster, and cheaper. In the past, every tribe became corrupt once the big money started flowing in. The virtual currency makes sure that corruption in a tribe is almost non-existent. The flow of money is transparent for each tribe member. Also, a virtual currency eliminates banks, which throughout human history, have served as tools of exploitation. There is no need for a third party in a virtual currency system. The virtual currency the Castell Tribe will use is also called SVP. It will be based on Blockchain technology like Bitcoin, until such a time that newer technologies support a safer system for virtual currency. The current world currencies will become totally unstable in the time of collapse. They might lose value completely. Also, physical currency can be stolen or damaged. This is not the case with virtual currency. The Castell Tribe is the only force that controls their currency.
The virtual marketplace will help Castellers exchange things they might need during the collapse. It will be the eBay of Castell. Since we assume that the Castell Tribe will grow, a virtual marketplace helps to make sure the sources of the goods supplied to the us are reliable. Also, here, transparency is very important, and it can only be achieved in the Virtual Dimension, where Castellers can report on their experiences in buying and selling products.
This will be like the Wikipedia of Castell. A lot of knowledge these days is stored in people’s minds or on corporate servers. The Castellers will store their knowledge on the SVP so other Castellers can access it during the collapse.
It is clear that the Castell must have its own Internet because the providers of Internet services during the collapse might refuse to continue those services, or they might charge horrific sums for people to stay online. They also might shut down the current Castell platform at any time. To make sure this does not happen, the Castell will have to build its own digital network. Many such initiatives have already started in the United States. Local communities are building their own wi-fi networks with off-the-shelf hardware technologies and open-source software technologies. Those so-called “mesh networks” already exist in cities like Berlin, Athens, and Barcelona. Those networks are independently owned by the communities behind them.
The future of humanity, and, of course, the survival of the Castell, will depend on the tools and weapons of the future. AI is the future, whether we like it or not.
03 — PHYSICAL DIMENSION
How can you become a Casteller?
You can only come to the Castell through the invitation of someone who is already a Casteller. If you want to join the Castell, these are the steps:
1 — Castell guest: During this time, you will be invited to spend some informal time with us. It is mostly at the Sunday gathering and a short time after the gathering. Keep your Sundays free because we are very spontaneous in what we do after the Sunday gathering. This period takes a minimum of six months to one year, depending how regular you were in attendance.
2 — Castell friend: After six months or more, we will invite you into our smaller circles. Get to know you better. Maybe even involve you in private events. As a friend, you will be asked to help with the Castell. However, you cannot attend the regular midweek meetings.
3 — Castell aspirant: Once you are made an aspirant, you are allowed to attend most events. You are also expected to commit a lot more time to the Castell. However, you are not allowed to vote. Voting is the time when full tribe members will decide if you can become a Casteller. If you get invited to the yearly initiation ceremony, then you have made it.
4 — Casteller: To become a Casteller you need the vote of the Castell Elders. There are twelve of them. They are chosen yearly by the Castellers. They are the ones who will observe you carefully during your aspirant phase. They often listen to the opinions of other Castellers. As a Casteller, you get the full right to vote on Castell matters. The Elders decide on most matters on their own, if all of them agree on a matter. If they do not, they put the matter to a vote by the other Castellers. Each Castell has a maximum of 120 Castellers. If more people want to join once the 120 is reached, a new Castell is founded.
A Castell building will need fifteen rooms―one for each knowledge field, and a gathering room for the Castell Tribe. In each room, Castellers will work on different scenarios to prepare for when the collapse comes. These are the rooms:
1 — Food: Food and water are the basics of survival. Since no one knows when the collapse will come, we will have to keep enough in storage and plant enough around the Castell to keep the supply going. Needless to say, the food we grow will be local and easy to harvest without needing complicated infrastructure. Livestock is also crucial to the Food endeavor.
2 — Clothing: This is a bit more complicated, as we will need to clothe members of different shapes and sizes. Everything from daily wear and sleepwear to seasonal garb and battle armor must be considered. We will be looking for skilled clothing manufacturers to join our ranks. Mass production and techniques will be discussed in the Virtual Dimension to determine the best way forward.
3 — Building: Since we do not know how long the dark times after the collapse will last, it is worth considering locally sourced materials like rammed earth bricks and walls, and, of course, timber, which is plentiful in Germany.
4 — Health: Considering the fact that medical supplies become very scarce during disaster times, a basic supply is required. Also, natural and alternative medicine should be taken into consideration, as well as Castellers who are knowledgeable in those areas.
5 — Communication: Each Castell should have their own server to keep data safe. Since major communication lines are owned by big corporations, it will be difficult to build our own, but we can use their systems as a model to create a better system for ourselves. We must also consider old methods like messengers and pigeons and signals for when there are inevitable glitches.
6 — Transport: This is also a difficult topic. Transport vehicles and transport systems these days are extremely complex structures, totally dependent on each other. Fuel is used for transportation in vehicles, and at the same time, it has to be transported by vehicles. It is like the chicken and the egg conundrum. We will consider equine transportation as the last alternative to electric and/or low-fuel-consumption vehicles.
7 — Government: The Castell will have its own system of governance. This structure will be based in the Virtual Dimension, and as a safe backup also in physical documents; as always, transparency is crucial.
8 — Finance: The virtual currency is vital to the Castell’s success. For emergencies, a small amount of physical currency should also be stored.
9 — Business: It is important that the Castell keeps a business relationship with the local community. Even in times of disaster, the business can still exist.
10 — Entertainment: To the Castell’s morale during the dark times, entertainment is also important. It brings people together.
11 — Society: The Castellers will have to observe very carefully how the society they live in develops during the collapse and the dark times to follow. Based on these observations, the Castell will decide which role to play and how to integrate. The Castell should under no circumstances become a parallel society. It should not stand for a society that tries to escape the current system. As history has shown, like with the Jonestown Massacre, these secular groups are not necessarily a long-term solution. With our Castell, we should be able to lead the post-collapse society into a better future.
12 — Education: Since Castellers will inevitably have children, the continuation of their education is to be granted. Adults will also receive education on how to deal with certain situations in the dark times, and other topics that will become relevant as needs present themselves.
13 — Technology: Solar power or geothermal? Off-grid Internet or main provider? Hydroponics or fish farm? A lot of questions like this will have to be discussed in the Technology room when the time comes.
14 — Environment: Although protecting the environment will not have the highest priority in the times of collapse, it will be crucial in the dark times to follow. A Casteller believes that the environment is part of the Creation, therefore it should be treated with respect.
15 — Defense: To defend the Castell during the time of collapse, a protection force is needed. Each Casteller is part of this defense force. People with military or police background should train each Casteller to defend their tribe. Each Casteller is required to fight till death, if necessary, to defend the Castell. We live together, we stand together, we fight together, we die together.
Long live the Castell!
>>> This is a chapter from the book: THE MANUAL: FOR A LIFE THAT CAN STAND THE TEST OF TIME