A New Kind of Household
Journal — February 14, 2017 — trust, home, love
It’s been two weeks since the start of my one-month community organization experiment, and it’s already a magnificent success.That is to say: the whole thing collapsed decisively on day ten. That’s what a successful experiment looks like, most of the time!
So far, here’s what I’ve learned:
The person I was two weeks ago, when given two cooperative friends and control of a kitchen, immediately becomes a tyrannical madman.Fortunately, my friends are forgiving, and willing to tell me to my face when I’m being a “little Hitler”. (After building up courage for a week or so.)
It’s senseless to act like a leader when you aren’t comfortable in your own skin.
Kanban actually works. (!)
I’m a passably good scrum master. (!!)
Reading the free ebook of Dragon Dreaming was a very good idea.Also, Dream, Plan, Do, and Celebrate make quite good general-purpose kanban columns. (!!!)
A good partnership makes everything possible, and a bad partnership makes everything terrible.
It’s wise to read The Continuum Concept as soon as humanly possible, no matter who you are or what you think your life is about.
Authenticity is the better part of humility.Step one: act as confident as you are.
Today I’m on the verge of learning something else. I’m not quite ready to say I think it’s true; I’m still grasping at the meaning of it. If I had to put it into words now, I might say:
I need to get married.
We’re gonna need more of these. (source)
A month ago I had an amazingly rewarding conversation with someone I barely knew. I had too many open questions in my life, too big for me to answer alone, and I came to the realization that, for whatever reason, I wouldn’t listen to anything anyone else said about it except for this one guy.
So, I asked him to go on a walk with me. We walked around for an hour or more. I started by telling him my most urgent questions, based on my four resolutions condensed into conversationally tractable form:
- Who am I home with?
- Who do I work with?
- Who do I love?
We focused on the first and second questions, leaving the third for another day.
I use the word “home” to refer to something very esoteric.If you’re the esoteric type, maybe you’ll get this: “home” is about mūlādhāra. I’m actually translating a more appropriate word from Ancient Greek: “oikos”, pronounced something like “eckous”, which is the etymological root of both “economy” and “ecology”.
It’s a certain quality that can be more or less present in daily life. “Home” means no worries about the basic things. It doesn’t imply an easy life, nor a life without worry. It’s less about “comfort” in the sense of convenience, and more about comfort in the sense of familiarity, stability, reliability and security.
Home can also be used for evil purposes. (source)
If I have to walk for five hours through blistering heat to carry dirty water from the river, so that my family will have something to drink, and we’ve never lacked water for all the years I’ve done this, I’m likely to feel home. But if I normally get pure spring water from the tap on demand, in my climate-controlled house, and half the time no water comes out, I’m not at all likely to feel home.
I can honestly say I’ve felt at home, most of the time, throughout my life. It hasn’t mattered where I am; I carry home with me. My expectation of still being alive and well, at the end of the day, is very high – and so far that expectation has always been met.
So, I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m searching for home. Rather, the trouble is that I have no company, and I’m in the process of learning how to change that.
During that conversation, it seemed like the answer to “who am I home with” was standing right in front of me. I said, half-joking, that I wanted to marry him and his wife.
“I want to marry you and your wife”, he said, while the horse walked into the bar. (source)
The half-serious part is what I want to focus on. Who do I need to become, to be able to make that proposal seriously – perhaps in other words – and deal with what comes after, if the response is a “yes”?
For some months now, I’ve had a vision of a non-existent social order haunting my mind. I first saw it during the Caminhada pela Agua, and it hasn’t left since. The details vary, but overall it looks like a holarchical structure of ever-greater (or ever-smaller) social units.Although it isn’t exactly a holarchy, for the same reason that a city is not a tree.
A few specific units are always in the list,The water basin also appears, every time, usually as the starting point. particularly the first three: individuals, as the smallest units worth considering, groups of three to twelve individuals,I don’t have a name for this yet, but I think it’s the answer to my second question. and groups of thirty to sixty individuals.
This final type of social unit I’ll call a “household”, here.
The households I see, aside from being roughly the same size, are extremely diverse. It might not even be right to say they’re all part of one culture; they’re a transcultural constant.
A household might be identified with a single building, or many, or none – it may be entirely nomadic. It may be part of a village or stand on its own. The individuals in it may be in it for life, or they might be constantly changing, as new ones join and old ones depart.
How do you join a household, you might ask? Why, you marry into it, of course.I don’t mean to imply that you marry a particular individual in the household. That would create all kinds of social complications; I think only a very crazy culture would do it like that.
This vision presents a challenge to me. If I want to live in a world that looks like that, it seems to imply I must get married, in the near future, but it doesn’t specify exactly what that means.
Some elements are definitely part of it – like commitment – and some elements seem to be left entirely up to my own decision.
Vexingly, this includes love, sex, and everything around,To be exact: kāma! which is a topic I’ve somehow managed to mostly avoid, in the last two years, although it’s plainly time for me to face it.
Thus the three questions:
And how do these sets intersect? (source)
Who am I home with?
Who do I work with?
Who do I love?