To live in healthy community.
To live together, under one roof, with men (and women – why not?) who find and build “home”.
To establish a refuge in which all the nonsense and the madness of the world is rectified through frequent sharing, thinking and discipline.
To be bound to the pursuit of what is really valuable and lasting.
To support each other without binding each other.
To grow together.
To age together.
To love together.
To die not alone.
Is it so far-fetched?
Imagine coming home to the monastery from a day’s work (and I don’t see why those of us with gainful employment outside the walls might not keep it), knowing that there will be food and relaxation and discussion and laughter and commiseration and rest and safety and love.
The house would have a pervasive peacefulness about it even when the “monks” were engaged in spirited conversation and celebration.
There would be no need for robes. We are not talking about “mouseketeers” or Shriners. There might be ceremony and ritual and music and art and writing of all sorts. There would be some rules, but only those that facilitated the common good.
Monks could be coupled or single or polyamorous. Contemplative or chatty. Industrious or reflective.
Each couple or single or polyamorous unit would have his/her/their own room. There would have to be plenty of bathrooms. One giant kitchen. One giant dining room for communal meals. Several gathering rooms. Some kind of central hall that would handle the convening of the entire community. I hesitate to call it a chapel because I don’t want to exclude those who while wrestling with the concept of God are not inclined to common prayer, but I would not exclude that possibility. And oh let there be a beautiful garden.
And let there be frequent visitors for we are folks who love the good company of lively people.
Sounds irresistible, and, some would say, impractical, but think of the community that already exists through this mechanism that we already share. Would this not be the next step?
I need to think more about this.