About Hipster Monk

“The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.”
~ Joseph Campbell

A Single Turd Floating in the Sewage System of Life

Remember when you thought you were something special? You had all the answers. You were full of naive optimism and you were going to change the world.

But then you came to the realization that you’re not very special. You are one individual on a planet of 7 billion similar individuals. You realized that in the grand scheme of time and space, you are as insignificant as a single turd floating in the sewage system of life. And finally you realized that perhaps you should focus more on changing your perception of the world and less on changing the world itself.

No? Oh, maybe that was just me.

But the word ‘individual’ is tricky because more often than not we define ourselves and others by the groups we belong to: American, British, liberal, conservative, hipster, redneck, Catholic, Muslim, vegetarian, etc.

It can be a useful means of description, but it’s about as accurate as my turd metaphor (not very). Not to mention a great way of dividing people.

  • So how do we gain the freedom from these obstructions that deny us our individuality?
  • Given the relative insignificance of our individual lives, how do we carve out a happy, principled, meaningful existence?
  • Most of the world’s people would say a spiritual life provides answers to these questions. But is that true for everyone? Is it the only way?
  • Why is it so hard for all of us to get along with one another?

I don’t have the answers. That’s what this blog aims to explore.


About the creator of Hipster Monk

Todd HebertMy name is Todd Hebert. Some would call me a hipster, but I’m definitely not. I’m much, much cooler than that.

I’m not a monk either, but I have definite monk-like qualities. Spending my days in peace and quiet, reading, studying, mediating, writing, and working mindfully is a life I dream about. Possessions are a hinderance. Sex is an unnecessary distraction. One day I plan to be a secular monk and live in a van…down by the river.

Before Hipster Monk, I ran Not About Religion, a magazine that explored the intersection of religion and atheism with politics and pop culture.

I live on the outskirts of Portland, Maine and have two pretty special kids that are destined to change the world.