We have observed that
all the major religions have a universal message: Love and help
each other. This precludes any use of violence to achieve religious
or spiritual goals. Acceptance, mercy, and meaningful work are prerequisites
to happiness. There is no wealth without happiness. As Mohandas
Gandhi said; "Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony." The spirit thrives on a sense
of equilibrium, within and with the rest of the world.
Inclusion and tolerance, treating one’s neighbor as one would
like to be treated, and a respect for individuality and uniqueness
are some of the concepts that form a spiritual life--one that does
not exclude other belief systems. Extremism, or collusion by one
or more religions for the purpose of taking over, or eliminating
another, will not be tolerated. Oscar Wilde said, “Every saint
has a past and every sinner a future." The most meaningful
experiences in life can come from mistakes, heartbreak, and pain.
After all, human beings are most certainly alike in their imperfection.
As Therefore, people are asked to show empathy and suspend judgment
of others, whenever possible.
Freedom of religion is a tenet of a free society. To have the freedom
to practice individual forms of spirituality, it is necessary to
be tolerant of varying beliefs. J. Krishnamurti, in his book Freedom
from the Known, warns against choosing one belief system at the
exclusion of all others. "When you call yourself an Indian
or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you
are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are
separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate
yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.
So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to
any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial
system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind."
Walden Three supports no one type of religious belief system, but
recognizes the need for spirituality to be a part of everyday life.
Special care is taken to provide a special retreat in each building
for reflection and contemplation. Since each building is built at
least 600 feet from another, every citizen’s home would have
sweeping views of surrounding gardens. No home would overlook a
freeway, a dumpster, or billboards. Instead, fields, playgrounds,
gazebos, pools, flower and vegetable gardens provide a plethora
of areas for spiritual and religious contemplation and practice.
Permaculture, a quasi-spiritual practice that promotes the cycle
of natural regeneration, would be the preferred method of keeping
the grounds healthy.
Students are encouraged to learn about various religions and spiritual
teachings to gain an appreciation for the breadth and scope of spiritual
life, as well as the tradition from which ideas hail. Fundamentalism
will be handled by literally going back to “the fundamentals
of the religion,” with the understanding that the fundamentals
of every major religion come back to kindness, tolerance, and forgiveness.
Through the study of ancient religious texts, we hope to gain a
better understanding of the mind and the human experience.
We recognize the need to seek out the soul as equally important
as understanding the mind and body. Bringing “soul”
back to everything from work, to medicine, to the buildings we live
in, to the family, is one of the main objectives. According to Thomas
Moore, in his book The Care of the Soul, many of contemporary societies’
problems can be understood in terms of an absence of soul. Our mechanized,
speed-oriented lives are beginning to lose the deeper connection
to ourselves, and to the rest of the world. The soul then acts out
in mysterious and sometimes mythical ways—through neurosis,
disease, and violence.