I have been curious about monasteries, cloisters, medieval lives of nuns and monks, and generally the idea of the pious and scholarly individual who joins an isolated community. I have read a few good books on it, including:
and as someone who has my own belief in God who both worries about and understands the rise of younger people claiming atheism, I dream of ways of making that quietude, devotion, connection to the spiritual a part of life today. Developing more of that connection and having around us more living opportunities to foster that ‘oceanic feeling’ to offset the noise and bluster and nonsense that takes up our time, in ways that aren’t extremist political rallies or some other sinister and false community, would be a good angle toward ‘creating the future’.
I just watched a great YouTube video about life inside one monastery and felt like sharing. I think modern life would benefit from more ritual, group action that had generous meaning toward celebration, positivity, beyond the culture we have been handed. Reading aloud from the Bible (or other great book) while all your brothers (and sisters) listen, serving each other communally — that may be a cool way for you and forty of your besties to share a meal, is all I’m saying. It sounds like an amazing time to me, and I ain’t kidding.
I haven’t read Neal Stephenson’s book ‘Anathem’ though he is one of my favorite authors ever, but I know it deals with a type of scientific monastery, so I may have to check that out soon. Let me know if you’ve read that or if you have thoughts on this in the comments.