hygienic darkroom retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham

darkness startup


I found the way nature gives us to reverse the cause of all our suffering and problems. It is simple, quick, cheap, pleasant, and rational.

The original human condition is joy, health, and freedom. It only turned to suffering with mass major trauma. Which comes from the routine brutality of civilization. Which originates in

A man is so powerful that if even a handful are restored to it, the system will collaps e and humanty will be freed to take care of itself

At 15, joy overcame me. It felt natural. When it faded, I searched nature for its cause. She showed me.

The cause of joy is wholeness. Health. Biological integrity. Joy comes from success in being, not doing. Joy indicates that all is at it should be. Increased biological activity in adolescence had briefly restored my integrity.

Wholeness and joy dominate nature’s order. But in a material universe, things collide. Global scale disaster results. Mass major trauma follows. Through cataclysm, humanity is cast into suffering for millennia between long spans of joy.

Just as nature makes us whole and breaks us with cataclysm, so does she provide the means of repair. This is nature’s drama for man.

For organisms, repair means healing. The primary condition of healing is profound rest. Rest that is profound enough to heal from cataclysmic trauma occurs in extended total darkness.

I developed a rational, restful model for using darkness. It is rooted in hygiene, the science of health. So it is called hygienic darkroom retreating. It is radical yet subtle. Its effects are massive and rapid. It reliably leads to miracles.

These include:

  • relief, rest, and recovery from distress, exhaustion, and illness
  • natural healing from trauma, the cause of suffering
  • restoration of the personal power necessary for freedom
  • return of the lost self and the recovery of joy

I wrote a book about it. My readers and I tasted these benefits in trial retreats. Now, with a complete model, everyone can fully benefit. This requires a self-supporting, organized team. Thus…


I am starting a business. We will do everything related to hygienic darkroom retreating:

  • writing, speaking, teaching, interviews, and media production
  • consultation, retreat support
  • research and development
  • manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and installation
  • sales of related products from other companies, including humane computer technology

The business has unlimited potential. The model has implications for every field. It will not merely transform an industry. It will redefine the world’s economy and our entire way of life.. To begin funding it, I am:

  • preselling our catalog:
    • information: my book in paper, lectures
    • services: consultation, retreats
    • goods: componentry, darkrooms, microfactories, neighborhoods
  • fundraising with asset-backed credits
  • initiating the start-up process to form the business and attract capital. Credits purchased now will be redeemable for future investment offerings at a bonus rate.

The vision of Human Conditions is to restore humanity to the original human condition of joy, health, and freedom. Our mission is to make darkness approachable by ordinary people on normal terms. This means making it a turn-key, franchise operation. Click, and it just works. I mean simply, perfectly, beautifully, in every way, for everyone involved.

Human Conditions will be the first darkroom operation to meet this world-class standard. Most people do not have time for anything less. There is no reason they should.

The world desperately needs a way back to sanity. Yet the soul maintains its composure at all costs. It has endured all while awaiting nature’s perfect solution.

The presale’s unusual terms reward past supporters. The catalog lists offerings with delivery dates, prices, and drop-down descriptions. It is also the order form, with fields for quantities and options . The goal of the presale is $11,400. The plan tells how we will start up.


  • prices in $USD
    • B : base
    • G : with gift certificates
    • shipping added at checkout
  • gift certificates
    • surprise bonus!: you have a gift certificate if you ever gave me material support:
      • donations
      • contributions to my 2016 crowdfund
      • leanpub purchases @70%; forward receipt or mention order # or date and amount paid
      • other contributions. Mention them with a record (eg, an email, SMS, etc). If you lost it, say so. I might have it or remember. Claims gladly honored from anyone who helped me in any way since my research and development began 33 years ago.
    • tradable for credit, non-expiring, transferable
    • limitations: limited amount usable per item; non-appreciating; non-commodity-backed, non-applicable to shipping (credit has none of these limitations)


  • click item names for descriptions
  • catalog is also the order form: enter quantities and options directly
  • click Check Out at bottom of catalog to place order
  Delivery  Item $B QtyB $G QtyG Total Options
2020 Sep }*} 25   10      
  • commodity-backed. Value is pegged to startup prices of offerings. Eg, 25 credits will always buy a paper book, regardless of future dollar price.
  • appreciates 10%/year for 4 years, 6% thereafter. Eg, 20 credits will increase to 24.2 credits after two years.
  • redeemable for any future investment options with further 10% bonus
  • applicable to shipping of future orders
}*} 1   0.40    

Return of the Lost Self
the hygienic use of darkness

This is the complete manual of hygienic darkroom retreating. It is the way nature gives us to reverse the cause of our suffering and problems: unhealed major trauma. As organisms, we are self-healing, provided the proper conditions. The primary condition of healing is profound rest. The most profound rest occurs in an extended stay in total darkness. See blurb for full description and to begin reading. 200p.

}*} 20   12        
    — additional copy 12   8    

Available in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats for desktop, mobile, and Kindle

}*} 15   8    

Standard lightproof vent for darkrooms. Multiple orientations, highly adaptable. (/air#helix-vent)[air > helix vent] for full description, context, images

}*} 40   30    

Shortened helix vent for inside enclosures like silencer. (/air#helix-vent-z)[air > helix vent-z]

}*} 25   15    

Fleece strips with tape. This is a simple way to lightproof edges of a door or casement window. Enough for a large door, including threshold (/darkness#door-seal)[darkness > door seal]

}*} 40   30    

Eliminates vibration from fan. (Usually combined with silencer, which eliminates sound of fan.) Includes 120mm 12VDC case fan & AC-DC12V adapter.

}*} 35   25    
  2021 Apr        

20-90 minute presentation of the outline and essence of hygienic darkroom retreating. Up to two hours total, including Q & A. Expenses not included.

}*} 200   120    

e-paper tablet, 10.3” ReMarkable 2, Linux OS, upgraded for USB external keyboard, loaded with recommended books

}*} 600   550    

e-paper monitor, 13.3” Onyx Boox Mira, highest possible speed, professional-grade, common connections (HDMI, power supply)

}*} 1400   1350    

fits under doors with minimum 13mm gap to floor. In options, specify door thickness, width, gap in millimeters air > threshold vent

}*} 35   25    

hyper-ergonomic keyboard for writers, high-quality mechanical switches. My design: vertical-offset, split, angled, tented (collapsible), yet one-piece. USB-C cable.

In options, specify:

  • linear, click, or tactile switches
  • Qwerty, Dvorak, Colemak, Workman, or blank key layout
  • color: black or white
}*} 250   220  

As comfortable, stable, and truly lightproof as a mask can be. H-strap system holds it in place through the night. Thin memory foam distributes pressure without bulk, maintains space for eyes. Soft, durable, washable cotton: French Terry cloth (sweatshirt fabric). Reliable light seal around nose. For travel, nightly sleep and mini-retreats until dark-enabling your bedroom. light > sleeping mask

}*} 30   20    

activated charcoal filter absorbs odors, smoke, chemicals. Usually combined with silencer.(/air#filter)[air > filter]

}*} 70   60    

Blocks exterior noise. Heavy shell and baffles, natural hypo-allergenic insulation, multiple orientations; optional lightproof vent, fan mount, and air filter fit inside. air > silencer

}*} 80   60        
    — add helix vent-z 30   20    
    — add fan mount 40   30    
    — add air filter, with mounting plate 80   70    
    blinds, custom. Priced per m²          
  • measure
    • in cm (1” = 2.54cm), to nearest tenth of cm, eg, 86.4 x 52.3
    • width and height
      • wall attachment: measure window recess or, if trimmed, from outside of trim
      • frame attachment: measure from outside of frame (for panel, inside of sash)
  • order
    • enter measurements in Options. For multiple blinds, enter measurements of each window
    • quantity = widthheight0.0001 (for multiple blinds, enter total)
    • photographs
      • take 5-10 photographs of each window style from inside, from 3-4 angles. Get closeups of hinge, latch, frame, trim. Take one photo of each additional window of the same style to capture any differences.
      • upload to public webpage (eg, imgur)
      • include page address in Options
  • 0.3mm thick black plastic used in commercial construction
  • white lining, non-woven, for heat control and normal exterior appearance.
  • edge
    • folded to seal out light
    • pre-taped for instant installation. Extra tape included. darkness > plastic
}*} 0.003   0.0025    
  • blackout fabric: polyester with odorless acrylic coating
  • self-adhesive velcro at edges with tabs for reusable seal. Hook side adheres to wall
  • velcro comes mated for instant installation

darkness > velcro

}*} 0.008   0.007    
  • wooden panel that blocks light and some noise
  • fleece seal for snug fit
  • measure from inside of sash
  • can integrate with silencer, existing hinges
  • compatible with vent, fan mount, air filter
  • price includes cutting of one hole. Specify shape, size, and placement in Options (perhaps a link to a photo of a sketch).

darkness > panel

}*} 0.007   0.006    
  • lightproof paper cassette and rails.
  • low-cost: made with IKEA economy blackout blind.

darkness > roller

}*} 0.012   0.01        
    — — add helix vent to any blind 40   30    
  • portable, composting, separating
  • for sitting or squatting
  • wood frame and top with sheet-plastic container
  • bucket for poop
  • funnel with 3m drain hose for pee
  • 1L soda bottle bidet with modified cap and large needle for making more
  • compatible with shower and ventilation

water > toilet

}*} 100   70    
  • portable, collapsible
  • sheet metal pan, 12cm walls, and rounded edge
  • translucent curtain with tubular rood
  • drainage: siphon pump and 3m hose
  • hanging hand-washing sink
  • compatible with composting toilet

water > shower

}*} 180   120        
  Aug }*} 40   25    
    }*} 400   250    
    }*} 25   15    
    }*} 15   10    

custom Linux, pocket-size, for e-paper monitor

}*} 400   350    

6 hours (+ expenses)

}*} 400   250    
  2022 Mar        

per day (1, 4, 8, 20-60 days)format

}*} 60   45    
  2023 Feb        

off-grid prefab, for living and retreating (5% deposit)design

}*} 30000   25000    

shelters, infrastructure, common building (12-50 people, ~35k each, 5% deposit)

}*} 420000+   360000+    

tooling to produce buildings and components at home

  • *designs are conceived but not yet prototyped or illustrated in my book
  • all components subject to improvement by superior design or process, earlier shipping, and lowered prices
  • many more hygienic products and services to come

goal: $11,400

The goal is staged. Once I reach $3000, I can begin work on the book. I will make up any shortfall through the startup process (see plan). This will not delay book production but assembly drawings and book redesign may wait till next edition.

A third of the income from each stage will pay for items listed. Two-thirds will pay business costs: manufacturing, expenses, and debts. Shipping is not included.

Stage Item Amount Goal
1 hygienic computer, keyboard 3000 3000
2 legal counsel for forming business 3000 6000
3 assembly drawings for book 3000 9000
4 copy editing, proofreading, book design 2400 11400


Steps are roughly in order. Some will happen concurrently.

  1. launch presale
    • find members of my network to share presale with their networks
    • reach first stage of goal
    • pay for new computer
    • update and expand promotion of presale
  2. edit book
    • integrate final pieces of model
    • refine organization of book content
    • simplify sentence structure for clarity, easier reading, and better machine translation
    • hire draftsman to make assembly drawings
    • get book copyedited, proofread, and designed
    • print and ship on schedule
  3. develop business
    • study the startup process
    • create pitch deck, investment plan, and other standard documents
    • use documents to present the business to attract further funding and team members
    • begin organizing work together
  4. produce components:
    • develop production processes and tooling
    • refine prototypes
    • produce and ship components on schedule
  5. misc
    • lecture:
      • refine existing talk according to model
      • begin speaking in public
    • produce microfactory kits, prototype darkroom, design neighborhood
    • seminar: plan and organize
    • expand catalog with related products from others

qualifications and risks

I could print the current edition of the book right now and ship it. Over the years, I have done so many times. Basically, it is good. Readers find it substantive, clear, and well-written. It contains a thousand times more information than I had when I first retreated. Its theme, the restful use of darkness, has remained constant.

The book has 98% of the content I want it to have when it ships in five months. From tests, I know how long my intended method of revision takes. Making theoretical breakthroughs as I work and managing the pre-sale will take more time. It is all built into the schedule to ensure timely delivery.

I have produced or prototyped everything in the list except where noted. I have experience shipping things internationally from both America and Europe. I grew up around small business. My father, his business partners, extended family, and friends always whisked me behind the scenes to see how things worked. I have worked closely with entrepreneurs in both publishing and manufacturing, read business books my whole life, and have done business consulting. I know double-entry accounting, spreadsheets, simple programming, basic law, history, philosophy. I have recovered enough personal power to succeed in a rough and tumble world.

Through rehydration, a hygienic practice, I have recently found a simple way to reverse the worst of my crippling health issues. Day by day, I am restored to function. This is another example, in 32 years of relentless, uncompromising effort, of my resourcefulness and diligence in finding ways to continue. After nine months of gestating my completed model, I am clear about what I am doing and how to proceed.

Socially, a stable web of relationships with my neighbors and international collaborators holds me. Politically and economically, I am still vulnerable. This presale is designed to amend that. The legal help I will retain will help me deal with the strange political changes occurring globally.

Inaction is the biggest risk we face. If no one tries to realize this idea, if its influence never bears on world conditions, we will lack the most powerful possible means of dealing with the nonsense that confronts us today. The Adversary has lately increased his destabilizing pressure. I have studied his ways for the last three years and minimized my exposure. I’m a survivor with a unique set of skills. I’ll find a way to fill your order and execute my plan.


“Give me a lever long enough, and I will move the world,” said Archimedes. A corollary is to find the small lever at the world’s center that activates all its processes.

Nature has revealed that lever to me as the hygienic use of darkness. It widens the baffling bottleneck we are stuck in. It enables the human soul to rapidly restore itself and then the world. It is the most crucial thing possible to do. The task has stretched me to the breaking point several times. Somehow, it keeps easing me back. So far, so good.

Thank you for your ongoing interest, consideration, and support. Today, we begin again.


I believe joy is natural. Nature gives us an essential condition to reverse the cause of our suffering and restore joy: darkness. I discovered this through a long investigation. With hygiene, the science of health, I developed a model⁠It results in:

In myself and others, I have witnessed:

Joy overcame me when I was 15. It was natural and real. When it faded, I began a long investigation into its cause.

My long search for its cause led me to darkness. Darkness is the condition nature I believe joy is natural. Nature gives us darkness as the essential condition for healing from major trauma.

Unhealed trauma is What was it all for, and what is left?

A new phase of my life has begun: application. The phases of preparation, discovery, and development took 48 years.

In November, I completed deve Now comes application of the result:

After 11 years, I have completed development of my model for the hygienic (healthful) use of darkness. It reliably produces miracles. These include:

I have finished developing my model for the hygienic (healthful) use of darkness. It reliably produces miracles. These include:

for joy’s causal structure. Bit by bit, nature has revealed it.

the restful use of darkness.

Bit by bit, it revealed itself.

I search nature for its causes, and bit by bit, nature shows me.

p another way of life, plan b

I believe joy is natural. So I searched nature for its cause… and found it. Nature does give us the way to reverse the cause of all our suffering and problems.

In 2019, I completed developing a model of it. It is called hygienic darkroom retreating. It reliably produces miracles. These include:

  • relief, rest, and recovery from distress, exhaustion, and illness
  • natural healing from cataclysmic trauma, the root cause of human suffering
  • the return of the lost self
  • restoration of personal power

My readers and I have glimpsed these benefits in preliminary retreats. Now we can realize them fully. This requires a self-supporting, organized team. Thus…

Recovery could include dental decay, aging itself, and even birth defects. Miracles, it turns out, are easy. You just have to provide the conditions.




\n\nYYY\n\n}*} (/)[> ]

Add columns: Options, image linking to full description, opening in new background tab?

  • threshold vent
    • glue fleece to ends to seal against baffle?
    • gap left, gap right
    • change - to – in “h = gap - 3” formula in drawings silencer can have precut holes with fleece rings to refill kerf. search book and replace window “opening” with recess folding break for paper, plastic, fabric, with creasing mechanism (roller or iron), maybe light metal, maybe with heat
  • all workers must have bought credit and done at least a 5-day retreat
  • need 3 types of instruments?: gift certificates, credits, stock
  • requirements
    • credit purchase
      • 200 minimum
      • redeemable for catalog items or gradual cash refund
      • refund accumulates monthly at rate of 0.0001% of profits per credit
    • work
      • advisor (if suitable) w/ 10,000 credits, 1 hr per month
      • other work
        • credit requirement and hrs per month vary
        • wage or credit for extra hours
  • benefits
    • ownership
      • receive a percentage of assets per credit ever held, redeemed or not, in the form of ownership titles. These are redeemable for assets in case of business failure.
      • initial percentage, 0.0001% per credit. Value of titles is calculated thereafter from value of company at time credit is acquired and work begins. Company evaluated through conservative accounting, updated at least quarterly if not in real time. Sabbaticals allowed for retreating and related research, 1 yr maximum.
      • buyout of titles at company sale or within 3 years of ceasing work, calculated from time work ends; unpaid balance earns 6%.
    • profit sharing: 0.0001% per title per year
  • future business development through the startup process may allow conversion of titles to regular tradable stock.
}*} 1   1    

Once restored to the original human condition of joy, health, and freedom, we will function without the crutch of technology

along with the cause of our suffering and her way to reverse it. Nature gives us an essent mass major trauma. disrupted it It is disrupted by major trauma Trauma Darkness is the essential condition nature gives us to heal from

Mass major trauma damaged us, causing universal suffering. Darkness is the essential condition for the profound rest necessary to heal from major trauma. Nature gives us this means to become whole again and thus recover joy, health, and freedom.l

longer than daily rest, with perfected conditions.

life showed me that joy is the original human condition. It is natural. So Once restored to the original human condition of joy, health, and freedom, we will function without the crutch of technology The increased biological activity of adolescence had partly restored me to wholeness.

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