Recently, one proposed solution to the ills that have befallen Unitarian Universalism is forming a monastery, or more than one. An odd choice I thought, as we derive from Protestantism, which historically has valued the family over the monastery as the venue of spiritual development. I’m reading Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a classic of unorthodox city life and planning. (In so far as the orthodox were misguided and self-deluding radicals.)
Referring to Ebenezer Howard, the proponent of “garden cities” in England, she writes (p. 17),
His aim was the creation of self-sufficient small towns, really very nice towns if you were docile and had no plans of your own and did not mind spending your life among others with no plans of their own. As in all Utopias, the right to have plans of any significance belonged only to the planners in charge.
I can’t think of any Unitarian Universalists — at least those with the gumption to see a monastery work — willing to accept those terms — unless each is the planner.