What is Sotrusozer Monastery?
At the moment, it is a daydream. It is a concept for a type of intentional community where men or women come together to live in fellowship. It would be a sort of secular monastery were we would exchange the hypercompetitive experience of life in society for a cooperative existence in a rural community. What is an intentional community? If you are unfamiliar with the term, refer to Wikipedia’s definition or the Fellowship for Intentional Community.
In such communities we will work together to grow our own food, generate our own power, and build our own structures. We will exchange the dehumanizing dependence on society that characterizes life today for the dignity and satisfaction of providing for ourselves.
I call these communities monasteries because the word conveys the nature of the experience I would hope to have there, not because there would be any religious affiliation required for membership or because of any shared religious practice. Monastery residents will spend a portion of their time in shared work, but be free to spend the majority of their time studying, contemplating, pursuing hobbies, or worshiping according to their own desires. I hope this concept will appeal to people from a broad range of backgrounds who possess a broad range of interests. I hope these monasteries will welcome people of any religion or no religion at all.
Sotrusozer communities would be single-sex. Why men only or women only? For my reasoning for that and a first draft of many other founding principles, please continue to the Conceptual Principles page. Discussion is not only welcome but sought after on the forum page. The short answer is that the concept is not mine, but one that comes to us from the thirteenth century when some women joined together in single-sex communities to build environments they wanted to live in, and a smaller number of men did the same. Those people were called Beguines and Beghards. Although they, due to the nature of the world they lived in, came from one religious tradition, the concept is universal. A few of their communities are still thriving some seven hundred years later. Obviously, they were on to something.
This website is both a place for developing a concept for communities of this type that will be fulfilling homes for the men and women of today, and a place for organizing the building of such communities. I, who created this website, happen to be a man, so you will see that the first community to be organized here will be for men. I hope women who are interested in this concept will not be put off from contributing to the discussion or from organizing here the construction of their own communities.
Some people in this world are ready for something different from the paradigm that is failing so miserably today. There is no reason to believe that it has to be entirely new. Much has been forgotten.