This is great. What you are saying here is entirely in line with the Benedict Option, Wild Christianity, etc. What we often lack in all of this is the concrete, practical steps based on actually living it to start to put it into action.

Novice Br. A here at the monastery said the other day he became interested in monasticism because he didn't see how he could live a Christian life otherwise. This may become increasingly true for more and more people. I look forward to hearing more.


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Thanks Jack!

That's a fascinating note, about the novice. I think that points to the heart of the issue - how to build a way of life for non-monastic Christians that has a similar spiritual depth and integrity to monasticism.

One read on ancient church history is that monasticism (via the Desert Fathers and Mothers) arose precisely at the time when nominal Christianity became a possible, and even popular option in the Roman Empire. It's possible to see the history of early monasticism as a remedy/immune response to the watering down of Christian practice from the era of the underground church and the martyrs, to the era of Christianity as the state religion of the late Roman Empire. But the rub, for me at least, remains - what of the rest of us?

Perhaps there's a hidden blessing in the increasing chaos of our times, and the unraveling of Christendom - it forces the issue again, with a fresh urgency.

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Mark- We are in a time of radical reassessment. Ironically using the technologies developed under the passing paradigm to try and develop a different way of proceeding. This may constitute a performative contradiction, but I don't think it can or should be avoided. We can use it to share insights and knowledge to build a new way of being in the world. Both in the sense of a deeper understanding, deeper practices of connection to ourselves, each other, to nature, and to God.

Most of us have been de-skilled. So it is also a very practical opportunity to learn to grow things, building things, and fix things, etc. We are going to need to learn to rely on each other as the system starts to fall apart day by day. I fear what is happening in Ohio is only the start.

The way I see it, that no matter how we conceive of what we are going through, this will be a deeply radical change in metaphysics, anthropology and our spiritual relation to reality, etc. If for no other reason than we have strayed so far. My guess is that it won't be a return to premodern ways, which is probably impossible, but something new/old. Where this ends up may be impossible to predict.

So thank you for sharing your experience. I look forward to more posts.


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