Welcome to the brand-new Cameron/Baxter Films blog, appropriately called ON THE ROAD, with a tip of the proverbial hat to Messrs. Kerouac and Cassidy*. Today’s date is February 1st, 2024 and I’m writing from my media studio in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Connie and I, starry-eyed newlyweds that we are, are getting ready for the honeymoon adventure of a lifetime – a 3-month film production journey to Australia and New Zealand in search of a message for humanity from the indigenous elders, with a possible side-trip to Pondicherry, a former French colony in southern India and the home of a unique intentional community called Auroville, home to some 3,000 people from 40 or more countries. Auroville was founded by the great Indian activist and spiritual teacher Sri Aurobindo and his French life-partner, The Mother.
Sri Aurobindo, along with the Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, has been one of the great inspirations of my life, and I look forward to meditating at his ashram in Pondicherry. ChatGPT4 says: “Auroville was founded on February 28, 1968. It is an international township located near Pondicherry, India, dedicated to human unity, peace, and progressive harmony. The foundation of Auroville was supported by the Indian government and endorsed by UNESCO.” I should mention that intentional communities are one of several themes in our current film: IN SEARCH OF THE FUTURE: The Only Way Out Is UP!
* FYI: “Messrs” (pronounced “messers”) is an abbreviation for the French term “Messieurs,” which is the plural of “Monsieur,” meaning “Mr” or “Sir” in English. It is used to refer to two or more men formally or in business contexts, often preceding the names of male partners or associates in a company or firm. For example, “Messrs. Kerouac and Cassidy” refers to Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy, two iconic Beatniks who headed West from New York in search of America.
I used the word “possible” in that first paragraph because our Australia calendar is already getting crowded. Will we have time to get to India? Our first priority is the 50th anniversary celebration, on February 26th, of the discovery of the 40,000 year-old skeleton of Mungo Man, an aboriginal man who was ritually buried on the the shore of the now-dry Lake Mungo, an 11-hour drive into the desert from Sydney. The geologist who discovered the remains, Professor James “Jim” Bowler, will be in attendance, at the ripe old age of 93. Bowler’s discoveries have been pivotal in understanding human prehistory and the ancient climate of Australia. Jim also happens to be a huge fan of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The plot thickens!
There is much more to be revealed, even before boarding the plane for Sydney. On the subject of intentional communities, one of our destinations in Australia is a place called Crystal Waters, a community known for being one of the first and most successful examples of an ecovillage. Located in Queensland, near the Sunshine Coast, Crystal Waters was designed with the principles of permaculture and sustainable living in mind. Founded in 1987, it covers approximately 640 acres and is home to a diverse community of residents who are committed to environmental sustainability, organic farming, and community-based living.
TO BE CONTINUED…