Essentialism and Anti-Essentialism at Acorn

paul in the back field
paul in the back field

This is a quote from the interview Paul did with our friend Joanna for her senior project (a broad study for psychology of several secular intentional communities). It’s one member’s neat summation of “the essence of Acorn” or rather, one essence, since he himself claims a certain anti-essentialist temper:

Please tell a story about something that has happened here that you think illustrates the character of this community.

“Uh, I don’t know. For the past several months, I’ve decided what I want to do every day and then done it. So does everybody else. I don’t know, I’m not much into deciding what community is like in some sort of essential way. I guess the thing that sticks out most for me is that we’re a pretty self-directed group of individuals who then have conversations with each other in order to bring ourselves into alignment. And the best example of that is that everybody’s sort of doing what they think they need to do and then talking to each other about it and it keeps going. Like, the community keeps going. The things that need doing mostly get done. It’s been steadily improving. Progress. The business has been growing. You know, order’s arising out of chaos. Maybe that’s what Acorn is all about. Order arises out of chaos.”

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