What if in your busy lives you and your friends decided to commit yourselves for a year or more, fulltime or part-time, to doing as much non-denominational, ethically individual good as possible for your community and the world? If you made such a decision, and made it one of those select ones you really intended to follow through on, what would you do? We at The Freehoodship have entertained this very question. We believe that for our actions to be most effective in promoting the good, we must first of all better understand what the good is, and have tools for doing that. Second of all, our actions must themselves be well designed, creative, heartfelt, and fun. The Freehoodship has decided to make this commitment for the year 2013, 2014, and beyond. And we’ve decided to do it for free, because we’re that good or that crazy (or because we have no money nor need it)! We humbly invite you to join us!
The Freehoodship is a transformative and experiential learning environment and service organization where world, plural and singular, microcosmic and macrocosmic, inner and outer, becomes laboratory and altar, canvas and playground, not just “the” truth or “a” truth but hopefully some genuine articles in between. The Freehoodship is for those with the novitiate itch to intuit secret and not-so-secret exits and entrances into the infinite, itself – both the infinite in the world and in each human being, and bolstered with that shape-shifting knowledge, to freely serve both. Play, joy, openness, respect, compassion, rigor, reverence, emptiness, abundance, imagination, humility, freedom – you get the picture – are what we’re based on and based of off, they’re our denotations and connotations, our invisible t-shirt slogans. We seek to act at the intersection of Augmented Reality Adventure and interventionist art, our 24/7 remote drones already scoping targets for our perfectly ambidextrous hugging, metaphorically speaking. At the Freehoodship, the age of the onlooker is officially over. Why? Because who wants mere reiterations of what we have now or the dystopian fantasies of technological Singularity and religious Rapture. It’s high time we co-create more of the beautiful realities we’re looking for.
Free: Freedom research and practice is a central mission of The Freehoodship. We tackle the question of freedom at its epistemological core, which has less in common with a noun than a verb. We also tackle it in the field with real-world actions that must (we’re bossy in this regard) inspire the imagination and bring joy. Doing whatever you want whenever you want is, of course, not freedom. Freedom is achieved in emancipating ourselves from our habits of thinking, feeling, and doing. It demands a simultaneous deepening and expansion of our worldview – an expansion of self-interest to include all interests. Freedom, for us, will be a creative, ongoing act! Oh yes, and we’re doing it all for free!
Hood: When we say “we” on this website, we’ll work hard to make sure it’s not simply the “royal we,” which is to say, we at the Freehoodship believe that the strongest communities cultivate and support the freedom of the individual and that likewise the freedom of the individual is best developed in community – hence the “hood” in the “Freehoodship.”
Ship: We mean “ship” as in “fellowship” and “ship of state” (and “state” as in “state of being,” “mental state,” and “statecraft”) – ideally the Freehoodship is the “flagship” hybrid of all of these.
I: The upper flange of the I-beam or I-being or Self or psyche – to speak in analogues – must withstand forces of compression (fixed ideas and finger pointing) while the lower flange must withstand forces of tension (complacency and shrugs). Because these two forces are greatest at the top and bottom of the beam (the limits of consciousness), and progressively weaker as you move, on a vertical axis, toward the horizontal midline, the I-beam has its characteristic shape, a strong steel flange at the top and bottom, and a slim vertical web that appears to do little but hold the two steel flanges in place. At the horizontal midline of the vertical web, the diminishing forces of compression and tension meet in a neutral axis, a place of equilibrium, the balanced human heart, potentially.
U: “U” as in “you” as in “the other” as in “Theory U” as in “the cosmic bathtub,” which is a symbolic representation of the evolution of consciousness. The arrowhead means movement on all these levels, or better yet, in all these dimensions. All people and all history are potentially cycling through – we can help move them through – our hearts.
Drop of light or flame: When we align ourselves lovingly and courageously with our highest ideals, insights come like drops of light into the chalice made by the I and the U.
2013 & 2014 & Beyond: 2013 & 2014 & beyond will be structured as a multi-year Augmented Reality Adventure and interventionist art project for young adults (or any who want to play) and will be loosely based in Sacramento, California. The grand plan of those of us who decide to join The Freehoodship will be to design a game with a series of creative and fun missions that will best help us transform ourselves, our communities, and our relationship to the earth. I imagine these missions will involve personal development and study, interventionist art projects, culture creation, as well as joyful service of many other sorts. Participation in The Freehoodship will be entirely free, whether one functions on a given day as student or teacher, player or artist. We have chosen 2013/14 because we’re hoping The Freehoodship will be a sort of healing chronopuncture in the new cycle of time that begins then.
Project #1: The Freehoodship Adventure for 2013 & 2014 & 2015: Andrew Sullivan, poet, teacher, and augmented reality adventure designer, will be performing/playing, in and around Sacramento, the 38 missions he originally designed during the early prototyping phase of the international alternate reality game, PlayTheCall. He created the 38 missions with the idea that the one who plays them will experience an archetypal hero’s adventure. Everyone interested in this project is invited to check out the missions and join Andrew in tackling them.