The communes described in this book existed as separate autonomous and exclusive settlements. They differed from the general society in their way of life, institutions, social setup, and their systems of production and consumption. Their separate existence and idiosyncrasy were a matter of choice. It was consciously made by the founders of each commune and its members, who opted to realize their beliefs and doctrine via the communal way of life. To this end communes were social units established through self-realization. Hence, any discussion of their social way of life has to be preceded by an examination of their founders’ spiritual world. As any other attempt at generalization, this may pose a problem because the ideological and religious motivations that brought about the establishment of 270 communes encompass an enormous variety. Even so, a comparative study of those basic principles comprising their beliefs and doctrines reveals common denominators that may help us to draw a characteristic profile of the convictions and creeds that brought about the establishment of communes and ensured their existence.