The ideal way of life is on an organic, sustainable vegetable farm. Most of the problems mankind is facing today are related to man moving from the farming way of life to city life. Sinning mostly comes from boredom, which is caused by the excess freetime of modern life. Machines perform many duties, and man now lacks exercise. Strangely, people drive cars to exercise gyms, where they run on pointless treadmills or bikes that go nowhere.
Modern man has difficulty acclimating to taking care of perfect strangers. In the cities, all workers work chiefly for strangers – whether it be their services or products, they are intended for people whose name they don’t know. A baker makes bread in mass amounts to be sold to people he has never seen. Teachers are put in classes full of students they never met before. This metropolis of strangers stacked on strangers makes for scandal after scandal. Bread isn’t made with good ingredients. There are poisons in the water. Why? Because when dealing with strangers, it is often in one’s own interest to do harm. People suspect that fluoride is put in water so that government officials (who do not drink that water) have a major intellectual advantage over their subjects. Scrap melamine used in Chinese milk increases profits for milk companies and harms the health of millions. The producers of these dangerous products either do not care that they are harming others or are harming others intentionally, so that they may have a leg up. It doesn’t affect them directly and quickly because the victims are strangers, and a society where strangers serve strangers is an urban society.
Farming is only our ideal state if the farming is for clean and healthy vegetables, and perhaps the occasional chicken, cow or goat to produce small amounts of dairy. Living on a vegetable farm is paradise, whereas living on a meat farm is hell. Vegetable farmers enjoy fresh food, a harmonious environment, and pure water. Meat farmers have flypaper hanging over their dining tables, and everything around them smells like manure. Their groundwater is undrinkable. They are constantly faced with the horror of death, killing, blood, and all kinds of diseases and parasites.
Living on a Hare Krishna commune or with Christian groups like the Shakers is ideal. These people live in the best conditions known to man and have very long, happy lives. Without modern machines and technology, they do beneficial work and exercise. They enjoy the most flavorful, organic foods. Most of their clothing and surrounding architecture is hand-made, and made with love for each other. Each member knows the other members and is responsible to them and loves them. It is well-known that Shakers lived in the highest living standards until the 1940’s when they were destroyed by the US government war machine. They wore the most beautiful clothes, had warm homes designed in ingenious and beautiful ways, had home-grown culture like songs and dances, enjoyed delicious, home-grown food and of course had meaningful spiritual lives.
Much of monastic living today lives up to these standards. Before joining a monastery do your research on their spiritual life. Maybe vegetarianism isn’t that important to you, but if you go to a self-sustained community where a lot of meat is eaten, you’ll find your environment is much more polluted and certain members will be condemned to shoveling manure and contracting parasites – and you could be one of them. It’s best to find a group that is vegetarian and has strong spiritual practices. Ask a spiritual leader that you trust which groups are doing well and which ones aren’t. When you find a place you think will be good for you, try it for a trial period.
Another option is to join the KBH and enter the 2015 negotiations concerning where we will make our own, long-term household. Being our own creation, it’ll be specifically designed for our own type. For example, we’ll practice religion that is closer to our native religions, wear clothes more appropriate for our culture, and have a cleanliness that is more associated with eastern religion groups (i.e., have clean, vegetarian surroundings).