Welcome to our community. We are pragmatic utopians, committed to practical action for a radically wiser, weller world. We create coliving hubs, start businesses, do research and engage in activism to pioneer a wiser culture.
This is our tao, or “way”. It is a guide to what we stand for and how we operate.
# How to Read the Tao
Or … The Truth Believed is a Lie. Live the Way, do not Follow It.
Before we begin, it is useful to emphasize a point made originally in the context of Zen teachings (and adapted from John Cleary’s introduction to the Blue Cliff Record):
The wise enshrine the miraculous bones of the ancients within themselves: they apply the teachings to themselves and their situations not just in their thoughts. They regard the teachings of the way not as an external body of knowledge to be possessed or as an infleible dogma to be believed or revered but as something living to be practised.
Ultimately, there is no fixed teaching. Nevertheless the real wisdom, the teaching of the awakening ones, is of one uniform flavor, that of liberation. Just as many rivers lead to the sea, where their different flavours share the unifying taste of of salt, so do the teachings of wisdom flow together into the sea of awakening and become one with liberation.
We are pragmatic utopians, committed to practical action for a radically wiser, weller world. We create coliving hubs (opens new window), start businesses (opens new window), do research (opens new window) and engage in activism (opens new window) to pioneer a wiser culture.
Find out more about:
- Who we are: see our people page (opens new window), who we work with (opens new window) and our story (opens new window)
- What we do: we run coliving hubs (opens new window), start businesses (opens new window), do research (opens new window) and engage in activism (opens new window). You can read about our plans here.
- How we make money: our hubs fund themselves through resident’s rent, activities like research and outreach comes from surplus from our businesses and grants.
- Why we do it: We want a world that is wise, well and awake. We think being changes everything and that key steps to make that wiser world are to a) spearhead a waking up, growing up, cleaning up culture b) make politics cool again to address collective challenges. See our narrative for more
- Longer: Despite our wealth and technologies, we are struggling at both a personal and collective levels. Personally, we are are not truly happy, satisfied and at peace; collectively we are failing to act powerfully on issues ranging from climate change to health. We believe the roots of both of these lie in our culture – which is grounded in materialism, technology and individualism – and thus a breakthrough requires a transformation in culture: the views, values, beliefs, practices that underlie our collective way of being. And … to do this we need to live or work together – hence creating co-living spaces and businesses; and to share ideas through writing and events, ultimately engaging in politics and social change. Full version: see our reason for the existence of our enterprise
- How it fits together: a beautiful diagram is coming soon!
- What have you done recently: please see https://lifeitself.us/blog/ (opens new window)
- How can I get involved? you can apply to be a fellow in a hub (opens new window), work with us or one of our enterprises (opens new window), or contact us (opens new window) to collaborate or contribute.
- Our medium term plans: see Plans
- Governance (who owns us? How are we run?): we’re owned by ourselves with no outside investors and a purpose-lock and an associated non-profit. Read more in our governance
- Principles: read about our core principles
- Patterns: read about the patterns we operate by
- All our initiatives: see https://lifeitself.us/initiatives/ (opens new window)
- Reason for our existence (SCQHs): see our situation, complication, question, hypothesis, also known as our root cause analysis and/or theory of change.