The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the rise of a unique counterculture movement that sought to challenge societal norms and embrace a more communal way of living. At the heart of this movement were hippie communes, where like-minded individuals came together to share resources, responsibilities, and ideals. Trust, community, and sharing formed the foundation of these intentional communities, allowing them to thrive in pursuing a balanced existence. In this article, we will explore the essence of a hippie commune, its principles, and its relevance in modern times.
A hippie commune is a collective living arrangement where individuals with shared beliefs and values come together to create a self-sufficient and sustainable community in a single large residence or spread across multiple houses on the same plot of land. The overarching goal is to live off the land, sharing the labour and fruits of their collective efforts. From cooking and bills to chores and clothing.
The Spirit of Free Love
In many communes, "free love" prevailed, allowing individuals to engage in consensual relationships with multiple partners. This practice, known as polyamory in modern times, exemplified the openness and non-judgmental nature of these communities. While some communes embraced this aspect of free love wholeheartedly, others chose to focus more on emotional connections and primary partnerships.
Hippie communes strived to minimize their reliance on external sources of income. Although initial financial constraints often necessitated working outside the commune, the ultimate aim was to establish sustainable practices such as animal husbandry and organic farming. By selling surplus produce or engaging in artistic endeavours, the communes aimed to generate income within their self-contained systems.
Roles and Responsibilities
Within a commune, every member had a specific role and responsibility. These varied from maintenance and gardening to trade and other essential tasks required to run the community smoothly. Depending on the members' skills and the available resources, some communes had access to electricity and running water. In contrast, others opted for a more primitive way of life, relying solely on the land and their efforts.
The Evolution of Communal Living
While the heyday of the hippie movement may have faded, the spirit of communal living continues to thrive in modern society. Today, communes have evolved to adapt to the changing times while still holding to their core principles of trust, community, and sharing. Let's explore some of the reasons why modern-day communes are gaining renewed interest and popularity.
In an era marked by environmental concerns and a growing desire for sustainable living, many individuals are drawn to living off the land as much as possible. By minimizing their carbon footprint and prioritizing eco-friendly practices, modern communes seek to create a greener and more environmentally conscious way of life. While some still rely on modern amenities like gas and electricity, they only do so when necessary, opting for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces as an alternative.
Balancing Independence and Interdependence
Living in a commune provides a delicate balance between individual freedom and collective responsibility. Communal living allows individuals to maintain independence while enjoying the support and camaraderie of a close-knit community. The shared responsibilities foster a sense of interdependence, where each member contributes their skills and expertise to benefit the whole.
Communes in Today's World
Modern communes can be found across the globe, offering individuals a chance to experience a unique way of life. While they may not resemble the communes of the past in every aspect, their core values and commitment to community remain intact. Websites like Diggers and Dreamers provide valuable resources for those interested in communal living, offering guides and notice boards to connect with existing communes or find like-minded individuals to start new ones.
Communal living, especially in the context of hippie communes, is often misunderstood and associated with negative stereotypes. However, it is important to challenge these misconceptions and recognize the viability and benefits of communal lifestyles.
A Viable Way of Life
Contrary to popular belief, communal living has provided a viable way of life for thousands of individuals in the latter half of the 20th century and continues to do so today. By pooling resources, sharing expenses, and embracing a simpler lifestyle, communes offer a sustainable alternative to mainstream living.
A Diverse Spectrum
Communal living is not limited to a single demographic or set of ideals. It encompasses a diverse spectrum of individuals united by a desire for connection, shared values, and a different way of life. Communes can vary in size, structure, and principles, allowing people from different backgrounds and walks of life to find a community that resonates with them.
Research and Preparation
For those considering communal living, thorough research and preparation are essential. It is important to understand the dynamics of communal living, the expectations, and the specific principles that guide each community. By taking the time to explore different options and connect with existing communes, individuals can make informed decisions and find a communal lifestyle that aligns with their values and aspirations.
The Beauty of Communal Living
Hippie communes may have been a product of their time, but the spirit of communal living persists in modern society. By prioritizing trust, community, and sharing, communes offer an alternative way of life that promotes self-sufficiency, sustainable practices, and a sense of belonging.
Whether embracing a simple existence, living off the land, or fostering a close-knit community, communes continue to inspire individuals to seek a more harmonious and fulfilling way of life. If you yearn for a different existence with like-minded individuals and a shared vision, consider exploring the world of communes. Communal living might be the path that leads you to a deeper connection with yourself, others, and the world around you.
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