"Our aim in founding the State was not the disproportionate happiness of any one class, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a State which is ordered with a view to the good of the whole we should be most likely to find Justice. . ." |
Plato, Commonwealth III
In all historic eras, humankind has ordered its life according to specific societal archetypes, patterns of behavior, and objectives. When these elements become injurious and deadly--as at present--then we can overcome these destructive societal archetypes, patterns of behavior, and objectives only by understanding the true Form of these elements and thus realizing their Truth.
Adepts within or influenced by the Perennial Tradition 1 have created close-knit coalitions of seekers and initiates which embodied the Form Commonwealth:
- Egyptian hierophant temples
- Pythagoras' community at Krotona
- Plato's Academy
- Esoteric Christian communities
- Neo-Platonic academies in Alexandria and Athens
- Plotinus' attempt to set up a new Academy called Platonopolis
- Gothic Cathedral schools
- Cathar communities in southern France
- Bernard of Clairvaux's Cistercian Order
- Cambridge Platonist group
One of Plato's most important projects was the search for and investigation of the Form Commonwealth--which included societal archetypes, patterns of behavior, and human objectives. In Plato's quest for the Commonwealth Form he was seeking more than a mere accumulation of haphazard historical facts about humankind's political and social life. He was questing after the supersensible Form Commonwealth, a comprehensive Model that would make possible a more perfect terrestrial embodiment of the Commonwealth Form.
"If man desires a better world, if he wishes to shape positive events, he must also know how to contemplate the archetypal so as to bring the sensible world into as great a conformity with the intelligible world as possible; there he bears immense responsibility on the existential plane in which he lives. If on this plane things do not proceed as they should this is because the individual does not know how to build according to the laws of ideal harmony. . .|
"Man is a second demiurge whose task is to carry the intelligible into the sensible and the sensible into the intelligible plane. This world is in ruins because man wishes it so, but it could be different if he strove with humility to discover his internal Ruler, first of all, and then to contemplate what is perfect at certain levels of being."Raphael, Initiation Into the Philosophy of Plato, 1999
In a similar vein to Plato, this Perennialist novella imaginatively creates a social archetype of the Ideal State--the New Commonwealth:
- To inform readers concerning the Form of penultimate social-interpersonal polity
- To provide a goal toward which advanced human effort can aspire
- To work toward the overcoming of demonic forces that corrupt and pervert social-political-economic principles and institutions
"A true philosopher cannot help patterning himself on those with whom he holds reverential dialectical interchange. And if he is called upon to fashion the archetype of a true Commonwealth he will construct it of those elements which he perceives in the higher realm of Forms: goodness, justice, and every civil virtue. To be of the highest quality, a State must be designed by a philosophical artist who is inspired to structure it according to the heavenly archetype."|
Plato, The Commonwealth, Book 7
Though a complete embodiment of the Form Commonwealth does not yet exist in the terrestrial domain, the Form Commonwealth does have being in the sovereignty of the higher realm of Forms for those persons who seek to behold and understand it through Dialectical Interchange and by living in and locating their being in the realm of Forms. Such Perennialist seekers make themselves citizens of this Commonwealth by discerning, exploring, and treasuring it as a reality and an ideal.
"It is necessary, in the first place, to turn our attention constantly and continuously to the higher ideal which we wish to realise; to the highest ideal
we can form of truth, goodness, and beauty. In proportion as we can do this we shall find truth, goodness, and beauty becoming realised in our
nature. The practical outcome of an intelligent realisation of the existence of our higher divine Self, is the opening up, as it were, of a channel of
communication through which the higher can flow into, and manifest in, the lower. There is an actual structural alteration in the physical body and
nerve centres. Every thought conditions a definite physiological change. We shut out the higher possibilities by thought alone, by thinking ourselves
separate. Just in proportion as we think of ourselves as divine, in proportion as we realise that the divine is within us, shall we come to a conscious
realisation of our divine nature and powers. Nor is there any other path by which this may be accomplished."William Kingsland, Scientific Idealism|
We're able to understand and realize the Commonwealth Form through study of Plato's teachings, through Dialectical Interchange with others interested in Commonwealth, and through creating a new, contemporary imaginatively created Pattern delineating how small, experimental communities come into being, determining through their common experience which structures and methods are effective and beneficial. This imaginatively created Pattern--the Novella--explores how these communities train in Dialectical Interchange and group decision-making in building effective equalitarian communities and how they then fecundate the larger society with their knowledge.
There have been many historical political "experiments" that provide some insight into the essential features of a commonwealth: fifth century Athens, the Venetian republic, and the United States, among others. And there have been a number of "utopias," imaginatively created accounts of idealized communities. But all these are merely distant approximations of the Form Commonwealth, which we must understand if we're to create a commonwealth movement.
"The first requirement in the possible creation of the new society is to be aware of the almost insurmountable difficulties that such an attempt must face."Erich Fromm, To Have Or To Be?, 1976|
The model community introduced through this preface is of the type referred to as an intentional community: a planned residential community designed from its inception to possess a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, and spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources.
The type of community envisaged is intentional in the sense of creating a new grouping of qualified persons, not attempting to work with a pre-existing group or community. This prototype sees the community consisting exclusively of members who have successfully completed a training program that assures they possess previously determined skills, capabilities, and values. Persons, then could not be a member of this community, simply by virtue of the fact that they already resided in a particular town or city.
A cooperative commonwealth community can succeed only if all its members share the requisite values and possess the necessary capabilities. Communities, cultures, and civilizations of the past have all failed because even when there were quite a number of capable persons--as in fifth century BCE Athens or eighteenth century CE America--the number of persons incapable of developing the ability of thinking for themselves--among other defects--meant that the entire culture eventually degenerated to the present state of capitalist fascism, imperialism, and militarism.
"The gnostic being will take up the world of Life and Matter, but he will turn and adapt it to his own truth and purpose of existence; he will mould life itself into his own spiritual image, and this he will be able to do because he has the secret of a spiritual creation and is in communion and oneness with the Creator within him. This will be first effective in the shaping of his own inner and outer individual existence, but the same power and principle will operate in any common gnostic life; the relations of gnostic being with gnostic being will be the expression of their one gnostic self and supernature shaping into a significant power and form of itself the whole common existence."|
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1940
The Nature of the Novella
Since this novella has been created through the process of imaginative creativity--apprehending Forms, selecting intentions, developing patterns, actualizing Forms and intentions in terrestrial reality, and experiencing the manifested entity--it is advisable that you examine this background essay while reading the novella. The entire novella will only make sense and become understandable to persons who have studied these underlying concepts and practices concerning creativity.
The novella constitutes a form or design of a community intended for the "real world," not merely the world of fiction. It is the purpose of the author to bring this community to full realization as soon as possible, during his lifetime of thereafter.
The realization of the cooperative commonwealth community is in part dependent on the presence of intelligent persons in a society responding appropriately to the novella. Whether such discerning people will be present in American or world culture within one year or one hundred depends on innumerable factors.
"Not . . . until popular government had been made possible by the diffusion of intelligence was the world ripe for the realization of such a form of society. Until that time the idea, like the soul waiting for a fit incarnation, must remain without social embodiment. Selfish rulers thought of the masses only as instruments for their own aggrandizement, and if they had interested themselves in a more exact organization of industry it would only have been with a view of making that organization the means of a more complete tyranny. Not till the masses themselves became competent to rule was a serious agitation possible or desirable for an economic organization on a co-operative basis."|
Edward Bellamy, Equality, 1897
This design or pattern has been constructed in fictional form because this allows for presentation of concepts beyond present actualization, dramatically illustrates actual development of a community, and provides a goal for realization.
The ultimate purpose of the novella is to contribute to human evolution: development of highly functioning individuals and the coordination of such individuals into a productive, harmonious unity.
"No inventions or peerless presentations of any form of human conceptions are as important as personal demonstration of the harmonious living which comes of higher consciousness."
Betty White and Stewart Edward White, With Folded Wings|
The novella has been written for those readers who are genuinely interested in the possibility of actually participating in a cooperative commonwealth community enterprise. If you find you are seriously interested in helping to develop a cooperative community, you may want to see if you have the intellectual and financial qualifications for membership in this cooperative community as outlined in the novella.
Only if you're convinced that a new form of political-economic-social system must be produced to replace the soul-destroying machinations of fascist capitalism we now suffer under will you have a chance of understanding this novella.
"The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before." |
Do not, in other words, experience the novella as you might an ordinary novel, essay, or article: that is, in a manner in which you stand apart from the story being narrated, the characters' personal feelings and actions, and hold yourself aloof from the entire phenomenon. If you find you're incapable of personally involving yourself in the story, I'd suggest you not try to read the novella.
If you participate in the novella appropriately, completing the screening and training exercises, and believe that you are intellectually and financially qualified for participation in the cooperative commonwealth community enterprise, follow the guidelines provided and make the appropriate contact with the author through the email address provided.
I've constructed the novella so that serious readers can vicariously experience the planning, formation, and maintenance of an actual community. As you read the novella, you should enter into a form of psychic engagement with the story's characters and events, leading to actual mental involvement with the persons and situations as if you were a part of the narrative.
"Say to yourselves: the little group of us here have waked up a little sooner than the rest of them, can see the danger a little clearer, are passionately convinced of the thing to be done. Then we're the ones to do it. It's only the conviction that we are the ones to do it that is going to accomplish it."
Betty White and Stewart Edward White, With Folded Wings|
Purchase the Novella
1 See the author's book The Perennial Tradition explicating the secret legacy, the single stream of initiatory teaching flowing through all the great schools of mysticism and genuine philosophy.