We are a learning and problem-solving community whose identity emerges from our individual members and the vast interconnecting relationships we have with each other.
We don’t espouse an ideology or adhere to a manifesto. If forced to come up with a singular description of our “doctrine,” we could do no better than Ralph Waldo Emerson, when asked the same question:
Our central doctrine is the belief in the infinitude of private man.
Some of us are religious, others are not—but we are all thinking about the deep questions of life and existence. Some of us are entrepreneurs, others tinkerers, some artists and musicians, but we are all misfits—just like you.
Each person is unique. Nobody really fits in, at least not without effort. We aren’t so sure it’s worth the effort, trying to please everybody else, trying to live our lives for other people’s expectations. So we’ve decided not to.
We’ve decided to tear up the scripts for living and figure it out on our own—through prolific experimentation—what kind of life each of us wants to live. Some of us want to be entrepreneurs. Some want to create software. Some want to make a living off our art. Some of us want to live off-grid and grow our own vegetables. And some want to make peace with the corporate world and do “tours of duty” in traditional jobs. There are those that want location-independent income, and others that want to run their own pizzerias and cafes. These are just a few ways of life Exosphere members are experimenting with.
But none of us want to be type cast, tied to one script, moored to somebody else’s ideal vision of what life is “supposed to be.”
Life is supposed to be lived.
That’s all we are sure of—and that it should be lived consciously and deliberately, thoughtfully and with care. It is possible that life is just an 80 year vacation from unconsciousness and nothing more. So what we do with our time ought to be what matters—to us. Nobody should tell us what the “important issues” to care about are, but we can certainly have lively discussions and share thoughts about them.
We can’t sell you an easy life, because not a single one of us has an easy life. Much less one to spare—nobody does.
We’re tired of generation after generation of smarmy snake oil salesmen, hypocrites in funny hats, slick talkers in suits, Ivory Tower know-it-alls, and other self-appointed experts promising Utopia if you buy their elixir, believe in their Idol, vote for their party, attend their university, or read their blog.
We start from the assumption that life is difficult and that there’s no real way to escape it.
Harsh? Well, it’s true. One of the books we refer to a lot is The Road Less Traveled, and it starts with that very premise. Like any book, it’s not perfect, and it has flaws and points of contention, but we like it anyway. And not being dogmatists, we are happy for people to think for themselves and discard the ideas that just don’t work for them.
At our core, we are all Travelers on The Road, and our mission is to help each other on our unique journeys along it, especially when it gets tough. And it always gets tough. Staying on-script is hard enough. Going off-script is even harder. But it’s becoming less and less a choice.
Scripted realities are collapsing all around us. Every day another script is tossed in the dust bin of history by technological evolution and social change. To the point where if you’re over 40, then chances are that everything you think will be true for your children’s lives in the future is completely wrong.
The clock may even be running out on your own script. You may not make it to retirement before it does. That’s why our membership is so diverse in age: from teenagers to people in their early 60s and everything in between.
Now if you’re thinking about coming to one of the Academy terms, or joining our community, because you think we have the answers to life, then don’t.
We don’t have any answers about how you should live your life. We can’t live your life for you. We can’t give you a way out of your problems.
That has to come from you, and you alone.
Indeed, if you think without us, that you’ll fail, then you’re probably going to fail anyway. There are no magic tricks, no mantras, no divine assistance, no vision boards or laws of attraction that will deliver you from your problems—whether those problems are financial, vocational, relationship, spiritual, or psychological. You are the only source of your solutions.
“Nothing will bring you peace but yourself.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
What we can provide you with are lenses through which to see the world differently.
Yes, we have found some things that work for us and have worked for lots of other people. And we are enthusiastic about sharing those things.
Anything you have ever learned is because you learned it. It’s you who has to do the learning, you who has to do the changing.
On our side, we can help you find a context which is different and helps you break out of your normal habits. As well as the comradery from a community of other people trying to do the same thing.
We can help you think about things more rationally, by asking you challenging questions and helping you dig under your assumptions. But we can’t give you to any definitive answers because they are different for each person.
If you are like us, then you never want to stop learning, exploring, experimenting, creating, and building. If you are like us, then you want to look for things to do in life that eliminate the distinction between work and play.
Exosphere is a community whose only agenda is to help people be themselves, to explore what that means, and to enjoy our uniqueness while we put our talents to use in interesting ways to solve the problems we face. Exosphere is a blank canvas on which you can paint your life experiments.
Our community is working on some pretty interesting problems, and looking for others who want to join them in their work. Here are just a few examples:
Exosphere is an institution striving to be an organism that brings together people from all over the world who are aware of the proverbial Matrix and want to live an examined life. People who are thinking deeply about problems, and tinkering with the tools that might lead to the discovery of solutions to them.
Our philosophy of innovation is that most advances in technology happen accidentally by serendipity, the result of tinkering at the margins rather than top-down corporate, academic, or governmental research.
Indeed, the advances in technology attributable to these kinds of organizations have often been accidental by-products created while trying to make something else.
This doesn’t mean we oppose large, traditional organizations, or that they are our enemies. Quite the contrary, we want to see all of humanity flourishing, and anybody working toward this goal is our ally. We are constantly seeking collaborative opportunities with organizations whose goals are aligned with ours.
There are many ways to participate in what we do, and to get a taste of the myriad ways we have chosen to construct our lives.
You will find few, if any, groups in the world as diverse in nationality, language, age, areas of interest, and ways of thinking than Exosphere. We are striving to be the most Differently Free people in the world.
As a starting point, if you choose to attend a term at the Exosphere Academy, we can help you practically with the question of vocation. The vocational pursuits are central to the questions of existence. Indeed, how we spend our days are how we spend our lives. What to do with one’s life is perhaps the foremost of all questions, and while questions like the nature of God may be avoided, the vocational question cannot be.
The vocational question is the starting point for helping people begin going down this path, as it is the most practical of all the universal questions.
Exosphere is unusual in that we not only help people examine the deep underlying assumptions of their vocational pursuits, but we also have an all-encompassing view of what vocation means.
That is, we view vocation as the question of “what am I called to do with my life” as not merely referring to work, or how one makes their living, but also of what kind of family life to pursue, how avocation should support vocational interests, etc.
We help people see and build their life as a single, integrated life, rather than a divergent, compartmentalized one.
All this comes together to create a very unique place to anywhere else in the world.
We are sending our signal out into the world, hoping it falls on open eyes and ears of men and women also seeking to make a true difference in this current age.
If you are one of these people, we invite you to continue this conversation at email@example.com
We would enjoy hearing your story and comparing maps of the world.