The other night I was at a party and someone asked me what I did. Instead of mumbling out something about working at a church (like I might usually do), I sort of had a renewed energy. I said something like - "I work at a church because our souls need to be cultivated and inspired to action. We live in a society that emphasizes politics and business and entertainment - mostly to the exclusion of the soul. And why wouldn't we? It doesn't make us any money. It doesn't usually make you famous (and if it did, it would require too much for most of us [think mother teresa]). All the while, the things we say we care about: the forests and the mega-mammals, are dying off as we go about our business of raping the earth and one another. All the while our children are born into toxicity. I think we need to put some more emphasis on cultivating the soul. On finding our soulful intuitions and following them and taking action, so that our politics and business and entertainment are seized by the soul and not the other way around, because the other way around brings us selfishness, greed, hubris, mass extinction, exploitation - you name it."
The person I was talking to, at a big fancy party in an absurdly large and self exalting house in Boulder, acknowledged that yes, they supposed this was true. I sort of felt like I had just put them on the rack and asked for a confession. The beer made it feel better to both of us.
And so this brings me to the why of Alt C, the thought of emphasizing soul in community. Commonly called church or sangha. Reason for being: Because the soul is vital - to: love others be kind be generous seek the common well being be sacrificial be wise be a peacemaker live in hope seek justice be humble mourn for suffering see and cultivate the good in others be a force for good