Greetings of Peace. This blog contains selections from my correspondence and other sources on a variety of subjects related to religion, philosophy, and spirituality. I hope that they may be of benefit to the interested reader. Concerning the title of the blog, read this entry.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where, What, How, and When?

(Continued from In the Sweat of Thy Face Shalt Thou Eat Bread)

Where?

Continuing my reflections, the first step is to ascertain where and under what conditions I would like to live and act. I believe that I would be ideally situated in close proximity to my family and religious community but because this is not possible, one or the other would be satisfactory. I have therefore three primary options, to live in or near the states of California, New York, or Virginia. The possibilities are indeed far vaster, but for the moment I will accept these self-imposed limitations as ideal. I would also be situated in close proximity to the natural environment, therefore preferring rural areas to urbanized ones, small towns over large cities. As for conditions, I must consider the specific manner in which I want to live. My spiritual and psychological needs being presently fulfilled to my satisfaction and generally susceptible to fulfillment under all conditions, my primary concern is with my physical needs.

Food

My ideal diet is vegetarian and centered around the staples of rice and legumes, supplemented with various vegetables, and augmented with herbs and spices. The traditional African diet approximates this ideal. I would like to grow some of my own food to the degree possible, but in order to obtain the staples I will require additional financial resources.

Medicine

Self-medication and treatment is for the most part impractical. As such I must rely upon a subscription to medical and dental insurance services requiring suitable financial resources.

Clothing

I desire to dress as simply and inexpensively as possible. Ideally, simple traditional garments can be assembled with little difficulty and other clothing may be purchased second hand. Depending on the nature of my activities, additional expenses for clothing may be necessary to suit my needs. This will require suitable financial resources.

Shelter

Building my own home is impractical. It is therefore incumbent upon me to purchase one that has already assembled. A simple two-bedroom house, sparsely furnished, with the necessary utilities and appliances is the ideal. This will require additional financial resources.

Transportation

I will require a vehicle of some kind, the nature of which will ultimately be determined by my sphere of activity. Living vehicles such as horses and camels have become impractical for general use as transportation such that a motor vehicle is necessary. An ideal motor vehicle would be the smallest, most fuel efficient, and most inexpensive to purchase and maintain but which is also suitable to the circumstances. This will require suitable financial resources.

Miscellaneous Conditions

Additional requirements may include a surplus of financial resources for retirement and emergency savings, travel, and miscellaneous expenses.

Based upon these considerations, I may conclude that I desire to live as simply as possible in the fulfillment of my basic needs in a small sparsely furnished house with a spacious yard for growing at the outskirts of the city in close proximity to nature.

It remains for me to determine which areas are in or near the states that I hold as ideal, to determine the cost of living in accordance with my established conditions, identify which types of activities are both available in those locations and capable of providing me financial resources with which to fulfill the above conditions.

What?

Every community contains various activities suitable to fulfilling the basic needs of its inhabitants. Based upon my Hierarchy of Needs, these include the following:

Spiritual Needs

Religious Occupations

Psychological Needs

Thinking, Teaching, Artistic, and Therapeutic Occupations

Physical Needs

Growing, Medical, Tailoring, and Building Occupations

Social Needs

Government and Legal Occupations

In small communities, these activities are relatively simple and direct. As communities become larger, the activities become encumbered by elaborate and complicated administrative machinery. The larger the community and sphere of influence, the farther removed does the activity become from its initial state of simplicity. Thus, in extremely large communities with very broad spheres of influence, these primary activities are transformed into industries wherein the entire process is fragmented and distributed over a broad range of individuals or teams, each responsible for some minute dimension of the activity.

Larger societies also develop additional fields of activity based upon interaction with other communities, distraction from boredom caused by excessive fragmentation, the preservation of nature made necessary by the abuse of its resources, and improvement of existing industries. In the first category are such fields as communication, transportation, and warfare. The second pertains to entertainment media. The third concerns natural and wildlife preservation. The fourth is concerned primarily with technology, in which artificial machines are introduced with the intention of augmenting both the speed and quantity of production in the various industries. Thus, in larger societies each industry becomes subject to three primary dimensions each with occupational possibilities, the activity itself, the development and construction of more efficient technologies that augment the activity, and the administrative dimensions of managing and directing the various tasks into which the activity has been fragmented.

On a small scale, the value of each of these activities in terms of monetary compensation is proportionate to its desirability within the community. On a large scale, the value of any given occupation is proportionate not only to the desirability of the industry, but also to the situation of the occupant within the administrative hierarchy. Those participating in the activity itself receive the least amount of compensation. Those involved in development of new technologies receive a greater amount and those involved in administration the greatest.

Based upon these considerations, I find that it is ideally desirable to participate in an activity within a small community such that it is subject to the least degree of fragmentation possible and in which I may participate more directly in it without the complication of elaborate administrative machinery.

In principle, I believe that I am capable of participating effectively in any of these fundamental activities. Further consideration determining my ultimate choice of activity will include the possibilities that are available in the particular locations in which I want to live and any self-imposed limitations based upon my inclinations or disinclinations and present existential situation. I must also conduct research to consider in more detail the occupational opportunities that society provides in all the minutiae of the various fields. Additional factors for the consideration of suitable activity include the values and trends of society and what is most accessible and sustainable in times of economic decline.

How?

This will be determined once a specific field of activity is selected. It will primarily be concerned with obtaining the necessary occupational training and education.

When?

I propose the reasonable goal of reaching my desired state within ten years time.

(Continued in Refinement of the Questions)

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