Update: 344 of your fellow adventurers are now enrolled in Stature, our new character sculpting deep dive. How would you like to grow your character for 2020 and beyond? Join us for this epic journey!
My long-term path of exploring personal growth has often felt like repeatedly breaking orbit around a familiar star to go explore elsewhere in the galaxy.
Usually this involves three stages:
- Recognizing that the familiar star is limiting my growth; becoming aware of its constraints
- Feeling increasingly attracted to new possibilities outside the current star system; itching to go explore
- Taking action to go explore; breaking orbit; accepting the consequences
One popular star is the star of religion. Many people dwell in its gravity well. It can be a difficult one to leave, especially if you’re threatened for trying like so many are, but breaking orbit opens up a world of new possibilities. There’s an enormous sense of freedom and expansiveness to be found away from this star’s influence.
Another popular star is the star of violence. When you orbit this star, you exist in a world of allies and enemies. Animals are property and product, and the flesh of other beings is a reward that you’re entitled to.
You may also be familiar with the binary star system of jealousy and possessiveness. Those within this complex system frequently lay claim to each other. Clandestinely sneaking off to explore elsewhere is common, but those who get caught are treated harshly upon their return. Even so, within this system appearances are more important than underlying truths.
Searching for Home
On your path of personal growth, you’re likely to break orbit from several different star systems, go explore elsewhere, enter orbit around new stars, and then eventually break orbit from them too.
After some time you may find yourself drifting in the space between stars, looking for a new system that truly feels like home to you.
If such a system already exists, with enough searching you may be able to find it. Then you can settle into orbit and enjoy the wonders of that system for as long as you desire… at least until you get the itch to go and explore some more.
But what if you either can’t find your desired system, or you suspect that it doesn’t exist?
Then you can go find an unoccupied system, plant your flag, and start your own colony. Invite like-minded people from elsewhere in the galaxy to help you colonize it. So if you can’t find a home you like, you’re always free to go build one and invite others to join you.
Creating Your Own Colony
After many years of exploring, I never found a pre-existing, populated star system that felt like home to me. I found some really interesting systems, but the best were usually only a 60-70% match for what I desired… not quite good enough to settle into, although definitely worth visiting for an extended time.
Partly because I didn’t see a better option, I found myself a quiet corner of the galaxy and started my own little colony. It’s not very big, but since I was free to design it as I liked, it has all that I need to be happy.
On this colony we have no established religions. We love philosophy, but have no need for creation myths or gods or anything like that. We love to explore truth, but we have no sacred texts.
Our food is fairly simplistic compared to what’s available elsewhere in the galaxy. We don’t want to overcomplicate or corrupt our sustenance, so we just eat whatever grows fresh on the trees here. Occasionally we’ll get creative with our meals, but for the most part we’d rather put more attention on higher level pursuits.
Our greatest fascination is each other. We love deep conversation. We love co-creation. We’re always working together on some creative project or another. Our colony is a very low-stress place to live, but there’s a constant feeling of positive pressure to tune in and outwardly express the inspired messages that flow through us every day.
We’re optimists at heart and encourage the heck out of each other. Ideas are nice, but we place more value on the expression of ideas. We love to say, “Make it so!”
We’re shamelessly affectionate. Hugging is our standard greeting. We love making each other feel good, both physically and emotionally.
We’re all very curious, so we love to explore. Our colony may be home, but we’re frequently off exploring some other part of the galaxy either together or individually. We gain a lot of creative inspiration from exploration.
We don’t always agree with each other. We actually love disagreement because it’s an opportunity for us to play. Much of our colony has been colorfully stained by some of our previous fruit-hurling battles — a practice we engage in with the utmost vigor and enthusiasm. Whereas other systems treat shame, fear, and guilt as weapons to keep people in line, we regard them as toys for our amusement.
We love hierarchy too — at least as a tool for play. Instead of static titles, we normally refer to each other as Master, Mistress, or slave. These roles can shift multiple times each day depending on our moods, and they allow us to playfully express ourselves while preventing stagnation and boredom. When someone is feeling authoritative, they may start issuing commands, and others will generally play along. When too many people want to be dominant at the same time, some very silly battles can result. And when too many people feel submissive, generally someone will assume command and make everyone do the most ridiculous things until they feel inspired to do something creative. We constantly explore leadership, teamwork, and authority in a most playful manner.
We do have personal possessions, but we’re minimalists in that regard, so our personal territory doesn’t extend far beyond the clothes we wear. We’d rather create, play, experience, and explore than acquire. Possessions are boring to us.
We love to share what we create. We freely gift our creations with the galaxy as a whole, and we encourage others to expand upon our contributions. It’s hard to find a system that hasn’t been influenced by our creative work.
We do have money, but its role is more playful than practical. Anyone is free to create unlimited financial credits out of thin air, and they can gift or spend those credits however they like. People on our colony often use money to buy hugs, massages, and other pleasures. These are freely given anyway, but it’s still fun to occasionally offer someone a thousand credits for a hug. Our colony has a rich variety of silly rituals for expressing appreciation, gratitude, and affection, some of which include gifts of money. We love to ensure that everyone here feels valued.
We generally avoid conflict with other systems, partly by remaining obscure but also by not having anything they’d want to take from us. Our system has few resources they’d care to claim, and anything they might value, such as our creative work, we share freely anyway. We live off the energy from our star, and we inhabit a strategically irrelevant arm of the galaxy. As far as targets go, we remain deliberately unappealing.
The animals of our world are sacred to us. We see them as our brothers and sisters. We do not own them or keep them as pets, but we share our colony with them. When guests visit from other systems, we teach them about the animals of our world and encourage them to treat the animals with respect and love.
Many people are aware that our colony exists, or maybe they’ve heard of it, but few know its exact location or would be able to find it. We’re very cautious about inviting people to visit, and we’re even more cautious about inviting people to join. When we encounter people who express interest in visiting, but it’s clear they’d be a mismatch, we gently refer them to other systems which we feel would be more suitable for them. If it seems necessary, we might even deny the existence of our colony altogether: “Yeah, that place is just a myth. Doesn’t really exist.” We also have some staging areas where we can evaluate people to see if they’d be good matches before we risk exposing ourselves to potential conflict.
Relative to other systems, our colony is delicate and could potentially be knocked off balance if incompatible energies were to infect the place. Security is very important to us, not in terms of protecting our lives or our property but in terms of guarding our peaceful, playful, creative energy and the values we hold sacred. We don’t seek to make our colony popular or even well-regarded. We seek to maintain its purity of essence. It just needs to sustainably exist, and that is enough.
This is my colony. It’s certainly not as grand as some other systems, but it’s my home, and I’m happy here. While I still love to explore and probably always will, my heart keeps drawing me back to this simple colony again and again. It’s the one place in the galaxy where I feel the deepest sense of oneness. And most beautifully, it exists.