Why Communal Living

How living with others reclaims your time and freedom

The subconscious message of the American ethos is that sharing is important for children, but adults are not truly mature until they can provide for themselves so well that they never need to share.

1. Natural & Wholesome

Living in a community is a natural human behavior, ensuring that more of our waking hours are spent on activities which are in alignment with our values and increasing our free time.

“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you.”- Carl Jung

The Loneliness Epidemic is “more dangerous than smoking 15 cigarettes a day” according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, and affecting 40% of Americans. In particular this affects seniors, 28% of whom live alone.

2. Purposeful & Integrated

Flow also talks much about how work is related to human happiness and flourishing. The basic problem of human psychology/biology is: that we are programmed to want rest/relaxation, but in actuality we derive meaning and happiness from work.

3. Freedom (of Time, Money, and Thought)

Communal living frees you psychologically from indecision and self doubt about the coherence of your lifestyle with your values. Practically, it also frees up your time and other material resources. Here are three examples:

EX 1. Communal meals

Let’s say that the community decides to eat 3 dinners a week together. There are 9 cooking-age adults in the community, and each meal shift requires 3 people (a chef, a sou, and a helper). This means that for every meal that you help prepare (1x/wk), you receive 2 other communal meals with zero strings attached.

EX 2. Tool sharing

As single family home owners we spend much time and attention picking out necessary tools for domestic life- washer, dryer, lawn mower, refrigerator, car. These are larger purchases, large tools, that get used frequently or not so frequently.

EX 3. Childcare/Division of Labor

Children are magical. Children are also the biggest, time-suckiest, most all-encompassing project that any human can take on.

Conclusion

According to a study in the book Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience, this is the how the average American spends their 117 weekly waking hours:

  • 10 hours- “work”- chatting, daydreaming
  • 20 hours- leisure, including exercise, reading, and TV
  • 7 hours- social
  • 50 hours- maintenance

Yoga teacher, amateur philosopher, eco-bitch living a badass, balanced, mentally healthy life.

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