Feb 1, 2022 • 7M

The Village

A living image to describe my (and maybe your?) life.

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Simon Ohler
Examining life and celebrating the art of conversation. Speaking mostly with funny philosophers and other people I like.
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The Village Part II is out! Click here and read on!

The Village Part III is here! Read more about The Well!

The Idea

Every time the world goes silent in December, and the year is about to come to an end, I sit down with my friend Sebastian to reflect. We like to recap what has happened in this fading year, and we like to outline what we wish to happen in the emerging one.

We have done this for 4 or 5 years in a row now. We started with goals, then preferred systems over goals, and this year, for some reason, have ended up in imagery.

The image I came up with, without preplanning, right there in the present moment, on our phone call, was that of a village:

The village as a symbol of a cyclical, sustainable, and peaceful existence, for my own life.

Like many of us, I’ve spent much time last year dreaming and romanticizing about living off the land, in tune with animals, nature, and the seasons. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a true dream, but we will see. I know that my forefathers were prosperous German farmers in Transsilvania (Transsilvanian Saxons) and North-West Germany. And I know that, for me, Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley are the video games that have some of the best hours-to-joy conversion rates that I know.

From this dream, The Village emerged, as a model for creative work and life. I want to share this image with you. I’m curious what you think about it, and if you are cultivating a similar interface for your own life, or whether you would consider doing so. This idea came to me in a flash, so it’s a work in progress, and by no means finished, truthful, dogmatic, etcetera. Take from it what you will.


The Lore

The Village is made from these components:

  • The Man

  • The House

  • The Garden

  • The Field

  • The Shop

  • The Well

The man lives in the house. The house (and addendums) contains interfaces and tools for the man to do what he needs. Eating, sleeping, sanitation, as basic activities.

In the garden, the man does what he likes. He moves, he plays, he cultivates what is beautiful to him.

Every day, the man goes to the field, to do his work. The field is vast — a great space for large-scale cultivation. What will he plant? What grows here is not for him, at least not only for him. There will be too much, and he will want to offer the surplus to the people of the village in the shop.

They must want it, need it, and like it. What can he do best that the people also want, need, and like? That is his work, for that he tills the field and displays his wares in the shop.

And at the end of a long day, an eventful week, a productive season, and a transformative year, he sits by the well. Mostly alone, sometimes with a friend. From the well, he draws new strength and inspiration. On the water surface, he closely watches his mirror image and learns to understand himself better, and to serve the people better. The well reaches deep inside the earth to the essence of life that flows within. Sitting by the well is sitting by oneself, and must not be forgotten, in order to bring the cycles of the village to completion, which ensures steadiness and contentment, even when the seas of the world are stormy and treacherous.


Context & Questions

This is the basic lore behind what I envisioned as The Village.

While writing this I was wondering: “Why is it called “The Village”, if what you are describing only demarcates a farmhouse estate?”

I suppose “The Village” sounds nicer than “The Farm House”, for one. In terms of meaning, The Field and The Shop fundamentally interface with people beyond the demarcation line, and that is key. Think, “The meaning of life is friends” or “Happiness only real when shared”.

So, the farmhouse is here for my family and me, and the correct frame of reference to understand it is The Village.

Now, I will do some self-reflection and describe the condition of my Village. You are invited to continue reading. You are also invited to take a break here to take some time making up your own mind.

  • What is your life like?

  • Do you feel the village-vibe?

  • How would you modify this image / create your own image to describe the ins and outs of your own life?

Part II is out! Click here and read on!

Part III is here! Read more about The Well!


Thank you for reading! Next week I will publish part two of The Village, in which I will describe what the different parts of The Village mean for me. Some detailed self-reflection coming up! If you don’t want to miss it, please subscribe.

On February 25th, 2022, I will host an Interintellect salon on this topic. Interintellect is a platform that is reinventing the French salon for the internet. If you would like to discuss the ins and outs of The Village with me and others, please join me here. Tickets are $10, and you will join a ~3 hour Zoom call, with other interesting people, discussing this very idea.

Join the ii Salon

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