The Magic Cow Bridge House
A Next Culture Community
We know it is out there: it is possible for people to live together in a more loving, connected, and empowered way. A way where our Beings align with archetypal forces and create spaces for things like Love or Transformation. But how do we get there? How do we transform the parts of ourselves that block this kind of living and create separateness or smallness? How do we get out of Modern Culture, with its degradation of soul and heart that is so severe that the other day we heard a radio host joking about “normal marital hatred”?
The way we’ve found to do this is to live a Radically Responsible life.
Living a Radically Responsible life starts with learning to feel again instead of numbing out. When we feel our anger, fear, sadness, and joy, we reclaim invaluable sources of information about what we want and what we stand for. When we regain our sensitivity, we can no longer ignore, much less engage in, the normal status quo when that status quo is about normalizing “marital hatred”.
We practice Self Observation, check our purposes for what we’re doing, and get feedback from others too. Are we secretly creating a hierarchy? Are we creating scarcity? Are we closing our hearts because that’s what we think we need to do to survive?
We undergo initiatory processes to take our agency back. We unhook from ideas that belong to our parents or society. We reconnect with our hearts and energetic bodies, not just our minds, and practice saying what it is that we really think needs saying and doing what we really think needs doing.
This community is a practice center for doing this with other people. It is a long path to train ourselves to live this way, and that is why we do it together as a team. The reward is worth it. It is what our hearts have been longing for. Feeling, self observing, and reclaiming our agency lead to extraordinary levels of fun, connection, intimacy, love, empowerment, and being-with. That is the Next Culture we’re exploring. This community is a bridge to that culture.
My Authentic Necessity for Next Culture
A Letter from Meredith Witt
The main stewards of the land where this Bridge House is taking place have been a family of beavers. For years they’ve maintained a healthy ecosystem in the woods. The water they dam creates wetland environments that make the entire area around them more resilient to drought and wildfires.
My family, the human stewards of this land, didn’t know what to do with it and it was uninhabited for 25 years, lying in wait for a purpose.
That changed when I attended my first Possibility Lab, a training in Radically Responsible living. I experienced a dose of what life with others can look like when everyone is acting with conscious agency instead of being victims and waiting for others to create the world they want.
I got to see a level of collaboration and intimacy I had never experienced before. A type of aliveness I hadn’t experienced before. We were working together as a team to support each other in discovering more about ourselves than we’d ever known. We practiced new ways of listening, new ways of seeing, new ways of loving, and new ways of being.
I had always had the dream of building a community full of love, creation, and connection. I have the clarity now that this community is possible and it is not even that far away.
I want to build a community contexted in Radical Responsibility that allows for extraordinary levels of connection, intimacy, collaboration, and fun to happen.
The ponds and woods will remain under the stewardship of the beavers. The farmhouse, on the other hand, will be turned into a home and a radical laboratory for figuring out what people can do together and how they can access that extraordinary living I’ve experienced, in a way that is sustainable for the long-term and that regeneratively collaborates with the earth.
Francis Backhouse writes that “Beavers are indispensable creators of conditions that support entire ecological communities.” We view ourselves much the same. We are creators of conditions for extraordinary human living. We call this Next Culture.
A world where people are aware of the purposes behind their actions, where they take Radical Responsibility in their lives instead of defaulting to victimhood, and where they act from their individual agency, not from what others have told them is the right way to live.
To research how to build and live in a long-term, intergenerational, Radically Responsible community that lives in regenerative collaboration with the earth and which opens a door for others to join us.
Our Team of Next Culture Researchers
How do I consciously increase holding fear, expressing anger, using sadness for intimacy, to be direct, and to name the things I sense?
How do I build a regenerative community that is aligned with Gaia’s needs? How do I build bridges to Next Culture in the language of Modern Culture?
What does it take to build a circle of Next Culture collaborators? How do I transform myself to say what needs to be said, despite my fear of not being understood?
Nicole Hartley Bradford
How do I shift ever more into High Drama, internally, and externally with a Team?
The Legend of the Farm House
Why We’re Called “The Magic Cow Bridge House”
Our origins involve a runaway slave, cows living inside a house and covering the floors in feet of poop, 60 years worth of LIFE magazines, and a woman who wished a man Happy Birthday every year.
“The lightness for me comes from the image of the cow. I try to find words for my feeling: even when I go to a Bridge House with my history, however it might be, with my emotion, no matter how dramatic they might be, I AM A COW, which means for me: I am not my body, I am not my emotions, I am not my stories. This brings lightness to me, the switch from drama, Low Drama, to comedy, Divine Comedy.” — Ingrid Schmitthüsen
“Your ancestors left Poland to start a new life. Now you come to start Next Culture. They handled the more practical side. They fulfilled that. And now you are bringing the energetic change.” — Ingrid Schmitthüsen