Life-Affirming Community Living
Nourishing and Nurturing, People-Friendly Environments
Life-affirming communities are not new. India has a several-thousand-year tradition of ashrams, created expressly for the purpose of self-realisation. Most religions and traditional indigenous groups live communally, sustainably, and engage in practises to facilitate achieving spiritual goals, consistent with their own understandings and respective traditions.
The essence of life-affirming community living is the quality of relationships. It is the quality of relationships, not rules or disciplines that make communities work well and be exiting and uplifting places to live. People living and working together in pursuit of common, higher purpose that members consider more meaningful, useful and fulfilling than what is commonly practiced in cities, towns, or in the surrounding countryside. A nurturing environment, where each person can each live his and her own highest principles, to themselves, to one another, to their families, and to their neighbours.
These communities are consciously designed to be places of living that are:
- founded on a high standard of ethical principles;
- free from the growing problems of mainstream living;
- encourage wholesome, creative, uplifting relationships;
- gentle, nurturing, uplifting environments for raising children.
Life-affirming communities are created to offer a fully integrated, fulfilling life of high quality relationships with everybody, including with oneself, free from exploitation, expediency, conflict, compromised principles, crime, violence and destructive relationships. They are based upon caring and are created to acknowledge, appeal to and to draw upon the very best of human nature, using the best of human understanding, and most appropriate technologies, to create living environments that will facilitate positive development, healing, upliftment and self-actualisation among its members.
There are several coincident reasons for starting up and living in such a community:
- to live co-operatively and embrace a more enjoyable, better quality of life;
- to live for a better reason and higher purpose than acquisition and accumulation of material wealth;
- to live inexpensively, without the exorbitant costs that are associated with conventional mainstream living;
- to live without either contributing to, or suffering from the many problems that now trouble cities and towns;
- to create a place where all children could grow up together undamaged, helping and supporting one another.
Underlying Wholistic Principles:
- a acceptance of the underlying wholesomeness of human nature;
- a structure that is based upon, encourages and facilitates honesty, trust, goodwill and benevolence;
- a movement towards co-operation and caring, and away from competitive exploitation, and the problems that follow in its wake;
Life-Affirming Community Purposes and Activities
Often they have been created to serve multiple purposes concurrently:
- internally, for improvements in all aspects of living, including economic, work, lifestyle, child-raising, educational, spiritual, health and creativity.
- externally, to have a wholesome, creative output into mainstream society that would contribute to making an improved society, and the world a better place.