A community for the devoted extension of justice

This version:

2012-04-11 Revision (Update #1)

Principal author:
John L. Clark


We must work together in pursuit of a just world. This declaration sketches an outline for a community that has this goal at its core.


This is an early draft of this declaration, and has not been formally adopted by any group. It may be missing key components. I strongly encourage you to respond with any critique you may have.

We must work together in pursuit of a just world. This declaration sketches an outline for a community that has this goal at its core. Justice proceeds from perceiving—and acting toward—the other as sister or brother. We must therefore pair the symbolic with the real, using each to reinforce the other in order to remain unified and engaged in this consuming effort. A just world extends to the elemental foundations of our lives and existence, and so coming together for justice must encompass the full expanse of reality. The community must carefully discern the nature of that reality, and at the same time it must provide associated symbols to extend across the limits that are themselves the foundations of that reality.

Our lives are not independent of one another, but rather our actions affect the lives of others, so we choose to live in such a way that both symbolizes and manifests this interdependence. Becoming attuned to this connection and contributing to its maintenance involves attending as closely as possible to the nature of this interdependence. We need one another, and we should live in such a way that we can closely and regularly support each other with our needs. Also, we must live in such a way as to avoid compromising the abilities of others to meet their own needs, both now and in the future. We should take every opportunity to meet the needs of those around us, and so we should position ourselves so that we can be close at hand to regularly offer support to and receive support from those in our immediate community. We then build on this core to extend support to those who do not identify with us.

We have not earned the basic elements of our lives (or even our lives themselves); rather, they are gifts. Therefore, this community is fundamentally one of gratitude and thanksgiving. Further, we express our gratitude by focusing on giving back to the entire larger community. This, in effect, defines our community by what we provide to others, through the wise use of the initial set of gifts present in an abundant and nurturing world. We each have different capabilities that we can offer as gifts to enhance our own lives and the lives of others, and we seek to weave those capabilities into a rich net that supports and comforts the entire community.

We aim to communicate openly with one another about key issues that affect the whole community; this communication should happen as frequently as needed to facilitate the maintenance of the community. We should develop our practices and constraints in a way that provides an opportunity for all community members to contribute to binding decisions. Our will should never be enforced through the application of or threat of personal harm, but instead through social censure. We should strongly encourage and foster repentance, forgiveness, and, thus, reconciliation between and among people, both for healing divisions within the community as well as providing a pathway for others to join this community.

We value regular devotional exercises, which serve several key purposes in our lives. These exercises focus on the shared symbols and meaning that bind our community together. They reorient our awareness back to our common purpose, and so they infuse us with enthusiasm for facing the challenges of living our lives in support of one another.

The principles of this declaration do not stand on their own. Instead, they require grounding in some additional understanding that justifies these sentiments. Members who would join in with this declaration need to agree with an external justification (which they may provide) for their participation in this community. All members must agree that these statements of justification are consistent and complete with respect to the principles of this declaration.

This page was first published on 2012-04-25 17:21:00-05:00.

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