I've been clueless what to say.
My life has gone through huge upheaval.
Four months ago, my mom contacted me. She said she and my dad were becoming unable to fully care for themselves, and they didn't want to go into assisted living. Neither did I want them to go.
How can living without money include ditching our parents and grandparents to a system of paid assisted living? How can it include trashing what has been basic family responsibility for thousands of years? My parents didn't question taking care of their grandparents and parents. And my parents took care of me. Now it's my turn.
So I instantly dropped my whole life in Moab and my life on the road.
So here I be, in Fruita, Colorado.
Honestly, this has been one of the hardest things I've ever done, letting go of attachment to freedom from attachments, leaving friends behind, ditching plans & expectations I had for the coming year and beyond. Forget plans for moneyless community, projects, activism, travel, spiritual retreats in the wilderness, freedom. I've had to make lots of room for compromise.
But I realized this is what my path is all about, giving up all possessions, attachments, expectations, including my attachments to ideals. Find contentment and consistency in spirit in the hardest obstacle course of all, the biological family!
When all possessions are given up, can there be greater triumph and freedom? I'm finally coming to the point of fully embracing the hand life is dealing me. As I get past the intense burden of old family repeating patterns, I'm realizing the richness of connecting with my parents at a deeper level, of love, as they face their final days.
This has been my big test. Wandering without money in the middle of nowhere is child's play compared to this.
It's testing my ego. There is no glory in doing this. Notoriety I've experienced the past years has been going flat. Media has no interest in this (which, in a lot of ways, is a relief). There's not much for me to blog about, so I've thought. Hence, my silence of 4 months.
Am I still living without money?
But their relationship with each other, and their love and thoughtfulness toward me and my friends is incredibly beautiful.
I still am not taking or using money for myself, and I still have no identification documents. I still scavenge food as much as I can. But I share meals with my parents, much bought with their limited Social Security income, and I use utilities in the house, albeit as sparingly as possible. I have set up a camp at the river with a friend, but I still must stay at my parents' house a lot of the time. And I might have to get a drivers license since my dad is losing his ability to drive and my mom can no longer drive.
And, lo and behold, my parents are handing over their financial bookkeeping to me. Yes, to a man who hasn't balanced a checkbook in 15 years, much less used money! I also do yard work on a ridiculous lawn and other classically suburban silliness I don't fully jive with.
But I have planted a garden in the back, growing potatoes, corn, lentils, squash, peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, lettuce. Besides my letting the wild, edible purslane and goosefoot grow voluntarily, my garden isn't exactly permaculture, but it sure beats cultivating a useless patch of lawn in a desert landscape!
My brother, Ron, is also here, at least temporarily, so it seems. He has a disability, but does what he can to help out. I am also gaining deeper levels of relationship with him.
My nephew, Justin, and his wife, Mandy, live a few blocks away from here. Justin made the video of my parents a couple months ago. If you've read The Man Who Quit Money, you might recognize much of this story in it, straight from the horse's mouth!
New Treasure Trove of Friends in FruitaWhen I had thought there wasn't anything in Fruita for me, I discovered treasured friends and community in Fruita, hiding in the woodwork. As time goes, I'd like to talk more about them.
Here is a teaser of what Cullen has been working on for over a year. A modern Leonardo Da Vinci, Cullen is a genius, artistic at everything he touches. And this is a work of love, not commerce, the impetus of his life. Thus, I prefer him to any commercial producer & am infinitely grateful. He's submitted it to the Telluride Film Festival, so it probably won't be available to the general public for some time:
New Wilderness Enclave and a New Friend in TownI've tried staying indoors here, but it has felt quite oppressive, with major insomnia, so a few weeks ago I went exploring and was elated to find beautiful camping near by.
My first night camping out I slept deeply for the first time in months. I awoke feeling intensely grateful. I said to myself, "I think I'm ready to host visitors again, and maybe even form a little moneyless enclave here!" I kid you not, like a sign dropped from the sky, the very next day I got a call at my parents from a guy I'd never talked to before named Geryn, aka "G", asking if he could stay with me! He had just arrived in Fruita on his bicycle.
G seems just as gung ho about this budding little enclave by the river as I do. Okay, I must mention that it's refreshing that G is exotic. He's a a dread-locked black dude, 30ish, whose childhood and family roots was in Trinidad.
Flesh & Blood DistressThis has been another reason I haven't been motivated to continue publicizing my life to the world.
But now I've decided it's important to publish a bit of ugliness in my life under the "April 5th" heading below.
So the nation has made a historical jump in accepting gay people, and most of my friends are okay with my being gay, not even thinking twice about it. Such is not the case with some family members (in another state) & their church cronies. It's been sometimes hard resisting falling back into the hopeless distress & feeling of isolation I felt decades ago. Although I feel completely confident in accepting who I am, it's just not easy when some of your own flesh and blood can have their flesh and blood hearts hardened harder than concrete by the letter of religion.
The greatest enemy of Christianity is not Muslims, not Atheists, not hedonists and political tyrants, but self-proclaimed fundamentalist Christians. It is only when I am dealing with them that I start feeling that faith is worthless and destructive, that there is no greater reason to be an atheist. This is when I must go away from people and simply hang out in the wilderness, where all is divine, all is its own evidence, where no words, no arguments, no self-proclamations are needed.
See the April 5th heading below.
If you care to read further:
Chronological Facebook posts
Okay, I've decided to just cut & paste facebook posts of the last few months to give a chrony summary.
March 17 Moab, UT We're bred to be perpetual babies
I can't help but observe: Domestic animals are bred to never grow up, to fulfill the desires of the human ego. Experiments show that domesticating wild animals brings on traits of babies (floppy ears, spotted coats, curled tails, perpetually submissive behavior). Humans in civilization as we know it are also bred to never grow up, not trusted to be adults and take care of themselves. Wild creatures have the right to grow to adulthood. They need no permission to act, trusted to govern themselves, despite having brains much smaller than ours. But domestic humans and animals are denied the right to grow up. Does this correlate with epidemic mental illness in both domestic animals and humans?
March 21 · Moab, UT Evicted from my camp
I've been evicted again! I just got word yesterday somebody turned me into the authorities, so I cleaned out my camp & missed the 1st Annual Tipipalooza last night (I heard it exceedingly exceeded awesomeness expectations).The past weeks it has felt everything has gone eerily wrong, one thing after another! Last night I was dwelling on this, how utterly unjust our system is, but then had an instantaneous switch-a-roo. "I am liberated!" I hollered ecstatically as I cleaned out the camp and got rid of months of accumulated stuff from myself and many visitors.Needless to say, I love visitors, but you can't stay with me - you gotta figure out your own accommodations. And don't bring me anything, please. And pack out everything you come with. One day, perhaps a moneyless tribe will be possible. Right now all is up in the air.
March 24 · Moab, UT Edible Elm Seeds!
Treasures are right under (or above) our noses, local, strong & wild or feral. Elm trees are seeding now, even before leafing! Last year Cody James let me know they are edible! Though still green, they're even now edible & delicious, even with the tender husks! Last year, I winnowed & ground dry ripe ones & made amazingly delicious pancakes & waffles, tasting like buckwheat. My parents even loved them. Elm seeds are crazy abundant, easier to harvest & winnow than wheat, and I've a hunch they're a complete or near-complete protein. And you don't have to wait for autumn to harvest them, no tilling, no coaxing them to grow! A permaculture wonder! I've an inkling the whole Moab population could be fed with them. Perhaps they could become a staple crop around the world!
March 27 · Durango, CO Podcast
(Matt Dooley's post)
The first episode from the Quillcast with Matt Dooley. Daniel Suelo and Ande Lloyd , who does a great job interviewing Daniel and narrating!
Podcast, Animas High School in Durango,
"Grades, Money, And Me"
March 28 From Moab to Fruita
March 29 Fruita, CO The Highest Ideal - Mark Boyle's perfect response to my deciding to compromise and care for my parents.
April 5 Fruita, CO On Being Gay
April 24 Trip back to Moab (pics by Stephanie Raven Summerfield)
|Pete, Cullen, Suelo|
|Looking over Moab|
April 28 Fruita, CO On Being in Debt
Consider this deeply:
Everything in life confirms to me that
NOBODY CAN EVER PAY FOR ANYTHING!
There are no debts to pay, no guilt to requite, ever.
Guilt is debt is guilt is debt.
See a problem, fix it. But if you see it as a debt to pay, you're stuck in painful delusion, creating cycles of never-ending debt.
See a person harming you, address the behavior as a problem to simply fix. But if you see the person as guilty, to be blamed and punished, you're stuck in painful delusion, creating cycles of never-ending guilt and blame. Never ending vengeance, pay-back.
Money clouds our vision of this most basic truth, which is why most everybody reading this will likely disagree, initially.
The same applies to credit as to debt. See a person doing good to you. Freely accept it as gift, not payment or a debt to be repayed, then both you and the giver have joy. But if you feel too proud to take a gift, or you take it weighed down by a sense of debt (guilt), you deny both yourself and the giver joy, you are stuck in painful delusion, creating cycles of never-ending credit and debt.
When a river over-runs its banks and floods a village, the fool beats the water with a club to punish it. The wise person simply builds a dike, with no sense of punishment.
Isn't our entire culture, from top to bottom, stuck in painful delusion, creating cycles of never-ending credit and debt? Our economic, judicial, political, and religious systems, and our entertainment, as well as our social and personal behaviors are all one thing. To fix one is to fix all.
May 1 Fruita, CO Birthday Mysticism
"This ol' body has made its 54th time around the sun!
OK, don't laugh. Sometimes I turn into a crazy numerologist. Maybe ego fishing for importance & order in a seemingly random, chaotic world.
Earlier today I thought how number 54 felt boring and insignificant.
Yet my life feels so frazzled these days, like a cycle ended.
Then a couple hours ago the Rosary flashed into my mind (though I'm not of Roman Catholic culture):
54 beads complete the Rosary's circle.
That's half of the 108 beads of Eastern prayer mala (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, etc).
Now this gets intriguing (at least to me :-) ).
Is it coincidence that the sine of the 54 degree angle is half the golden ratio (sine of 108 degrees)?
The Golden Ratio is the ratio of geometry & spirals throughout all of nature.
The sine of the 54 degree angle is half the Golden Ratio (sine of 108 degrees)
May 2 Fruita, CO On Calling Oneself "Christian" or any other Religious Label
“Now I plead with you …
that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind ...
For it has been declared to me ...
that there are contentions among you...
Each of you says,
'I am Paulian,'
or 'I am Apollosian,'
or 'I am Cephasian,'
or 'I am Christian.'
Is Christ divided?"
--The Bible (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
Interestingly, the Biblical name for the Devil is “the Accuser,” translation of the Greek "Katēgoros" (κατήγορος), from which our word "categorizer" comes!
May 6 Fruita, CO My Fruita Friend
I am honored to call this man one of my best friends.
Meet Fruita's Cullen Purser: Taking a hands-on approach to building community
May 11 Fruita, CO On Heaven & Hell
I write this for those who have struggled with religious programming, plagued by heaven & hell, especially those of the Big Book Abrahamic religions ("People of the Book").
When your goal is heaven, to be saved from hell, your motivation is credit & debt. You have ulterior motivation. Thus you are false.
Notice how the mind concerned with heaven & hell is also obsessed with money & commerce & nationalism.
Notice how such a mind has no place for compassion.
Life is a big test:
What do you value most?
You get only 2 choices:
1) embrace love or
2) save your ass from hell & go to heaven.
Love, ever incarnated in the flesh, says:
"For whoever desires to save her life will lose it,
but whoever loses her life for my sake will find it." (Matt. 16:25)
Do we really think about this? That word "lose" here is 'apollymi' (ἀπόλλυμι), usually translated as "perdition", referring to the curse of hell & applied to Antichrist ("Son of Perdition").
Everything, I mean everything, must be given up for love. Even heaven.
Nothing is higher than love, nothing else matters.
Not even eternal heaven or hell matter in the face of Love.
Yes, this was my liberation through a lifetime of religious programming.
I do not want to go to a heaven built for those who rant against LGBT people, look down upon women, curse other religions, despise other ethnicities & customs, against other nations. If that is Christianity, then I denounce it and take hell. I would rather be in hell for the sake of love.
To find life you must give up life.
To find Christianity you must give up Christianity.
To find Islam you must give up Islam.
Those who want heaven & fear hell will be appalled by my heresy.
May 19 Fruita, CO On "Christians" Ignoring Jesus
It is my sincere and gentle wish that this pisses people off, on all sides of the spectrum.
May 27 Identical Twins: Fundy "Christians" & Fundy "Muslims"
Below I share emails from a professed Muslim over the years, like I get from professed Christians.
Just do a tiny tweak, change a couple nouns (e.g., "Islam" to "Christianity", "Mohammad" to "Jesus").
Do we not have identical twins, one professing Christianity, the other professing Islam? Do they both not have one identical spirit?
Muhammad and Jesus and the Jewish rabbis, as well as the sages of every religion, preached the Golden Rule as the essence of true religion. If any of us actually practiced it, wouldn't we see our exact mirror reflection in the other? Wouldn't we listen to another religion, considering that they could be right, as we would have them to do to us?
If we've missed the Golden Rule, haven't we missed all of our own religion, according to the the very fundamental of our own religion?
there is only one true religion in the world and the true one is islam. Other than islam is a false one. please...try to see the real life.. There is no god but ALLAH and Muhammad pboh is the mesenger. The Last messenger. Please you must read, study alquran... see how Cat Steven convert to Islam .... , Study the life of the last prophet from a true history not from the oreantalist/western manipulation. Then you know prophet Muhammad is the perfect man in the world."
"How good is someone is...but if he/she die in other religion ...the punishment is hell forever and ever... ""I hope you will embrace islam before you die , otherwise you will be thrown into hell forever and ever..I think you can be a very good muslim if you convert because the way you live is very humble. But if you still as it is now, for sure, confirm you will be in hell... because all non-muslim or kafir will be in hell. For your information Jesus, Abraham,Noah, Joseph, Isaac, and all the mesengers of god..peace be upon them were muslims , they were not cristians or jews. They were all muslims and will be in heaven . Muslim believe Jesus is the mesenger of god not the son of god. So you don't accept prophet Muhammad pbuh is the last prophet...come on man...have you study the life or sirah prophet Muhammad pbuh...please open your heart...don't you afraid of hell????. The life of hereafter is real and will and must happen as mentioned in The Holy Quran...and all non-believers will and must be in hell...oh so sad... I hope that Allah bless me and put me in heaven."
"This is how you live when you don't have guidance. You use your intellect in a capacity that it was never meant for, drawing up your own reality. God meant for you to work, earn a living, and be functional."
"'Enlightenment' thank you for wasting my tax money because someone pays for your ridiculous ideologies! And some ignorant people reading this ( we are still in a recession), and we are encouraging economic stimulus how the heck are people going to read this and what to aid in getting the American dream back? God created all things just like he created the people that have the ideas to create and discover what we have in this world. To me you are offending God to the highest extent by acting holier then though to not use the products, and knowledge that we have been given and especially if you don't pay for it and you use it or whatever you do then you are stealing from another persons lively hood."
May 29 On a Moneyless Community Forming in Colombia
|Un pasito a la vez|
Stuff like this makes me so happy. This hombre in Colombia, Juan Manuel Idrobo, contacted me 3 years ago, saying he wanted to live without money, & maybe start a community in Colombia. After 3 years he just contacted me again. Look what he's doing. I myself have yearned to start moneyless community but it hasn't worked out for me so far. So it thrills me to see other people are successful doing it or making steps toward it all over the world.