[Update Note, added June 12, 2016:
Since the Spring of 2015, I have not been living completely without money. I had to temporarily forsake my life of house-less and moneyless freedom to take care of my aging parents (though I still don't directly take or use money for myself as much as possible).
My dad finally passed away last February 2016. I now have "power of attorney" for my mom, am executor of my dad's estate, and my name is on their bank account. This means I had to get a state ID again (but I've managed to resist getting a drivers license), and I shop for groceries, pay their bills, and deal with all the bureaucratic bullshit I'd thought I'd walked away from for good.
This has been one of the hardest times of my life, playing the absurd games of our commercial society, dealing with the dementia and slow death of my parents, having to forsake friends and social life and freedom to wander, forsake plans of moneyless community and speaking engagements, and deal with sleep deprivation. But it is my wish to continue living moneyless after this exception.
This is teaching me that there is absolutely nothing about living with money that appeals to me, that I could voluntarily go back to.
Yet, this has also been a deep privilege being intimately involved with my parents at the end or their lives, and for this and all the trials I have been infinitely grateful. And this keeps me empathetic toward all the slaves to commerce in this world]
I Know It Is Possible To Live With Zero Money, Abundantly
How? Because it's happening to me,
as it's happening to ants and deer and slugs and sparrows
and bacteria and atoms and galaxies.
That's right, it's
It's happening to the whole, infinite universe
outside our teeny-tiny itty-bitty Babylon we call "civilization"
(which we think is the whole universe).
Yup, I boast!
I boast about
Let the Nothing-Specials boast,
for Babylon has boasted its delusions of "value" & "progress",
and trampled Nature,
shat on Beauty,
"My Gratis is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in Weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my Weaknesses"
"Poverty is my Pride."
--Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh
"My sermons are criticized by certain audiences.
They say that my sermons are hollow, not holy.
I agree with them because I myself am not holy.
The Buddha's teaching guides people
to the place where there is nothing special...
People often misunderstand faith
as kind of ecstasy of intoxication...
True faith is sobering up from such intoxication."
--Kodo Sawaki ("Homeless Kodo")
I've been living without a cent to my name since the autumn of 2000 (with a month's exception during my first year). I don't use or accept money or conscious barter, and I don't take food stamps or other government dole (not that I think those things are bad or that those who use them are in any way inferior).
And, after years of doing this, to my joy, I've learned there are other people in the world doing the same.
I simply got tired of acknowledging as real
this most common world-wide belief called money!
I simply got tired of being unreal.
Money is one of those intriguing things
that becomes real because you believe it is real.
Wild Nature, outside civilization,
runs on gift economy:
"freely give, freely receive."
Thus it is balanced.
Commercial civilization runs
on thought of credit and debt
(knowledge of good & evil);
thus it is imbalanced.
What nation on earth
can even balance its own budget or environment?
Gift Economy is Faith, Grace, Love
--the message at the heart of every religion,
though rejected by virtually every religious institution.
The proof is inside you:
Wild Nature is your True Nature,
crucified by commercial civilization.
One Day, in the Present,
we will dis-cover
descending from Now,
--yes, Artistic Splendor
that makes what we now call "civilization"
pale to absurdity!
THINGS ABOUT MONEY
"THEY" DON'T TEACH YOU:
Essays Sprouted in El Suelo:
(In word, anyway, though few practice it.)
You may leave comments at my blog:
You may call me Suelo
(or 4-letter words or whatever you like):
Please understand I can't always answer all emails.
If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.
- Marriner S. Eccles, former Chairman and Governor of the Federal Reserve Board
Forgive us our debts
even as we forgive our debtors. - Jesus
I seek refuge in you from sin and from being in debt.
Owe no one anything,
except to love one another,
for one who loves another has fulfilled the law. -Paul
And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorney or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We were in a really bad way before the white man came, and I don’t know how we managed to get along without the basic things which, we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilized society.
You can't get rich if you treat your relatives right.
You can't get rich without cheating people.
Cheating people is the wrong way.
That way gets you into trouble.
Men should be honest to get along.
Peace Pilgrim: Because I talk about spiritual truth, and spiritual truth should never be sold - those who sell it injure themselves spiritually....
"Those who attempt to buy spiritual truth are attempting to get it before they are ready. In this wonderfully well-ordered universe, when they are ready it will be given.
Non-possession is allied to non-stealing. A thing not originally stolen must nevertheless be classified as stolen property, if we possess it without needing it. Possession implies provision for the future. A seeker after Truth, a follower of the law of Love, cannot hold anything against tomorrow. God never stores for the morrow. He never creates more than what is strictly needed for the moment. If, therefore, we repose faith in His Providence, we should rest assured that He will give us every day our daily bread, meaning everything that we require.... Our ignorance or negligence of the Divine Law, which gives to man from day to day his daily bread and no more, has given rise to inequalities with all the miseries attendant upon them. The rich have superfluous store of things which they do not need and which are, therefore, neglected and wasted, while millions are starved to death for want of sustenance.
Those who wish to make room for the Lord must find pleasure not in private, but in common property…. Redouble your charity. For, on account of the things which each one of us possesses singly, wars exist, hatreds, discords, strifes among human beings, tumults, dissensions, scandals, sins, injustices, and murders. On what account? On account of those things which each of us possesses singly. Do we fight over the things we possess in common? We inhale this air in common with others, we all see the sun in common. Blessed therefore are those who make room for the Lord, so as not to take pleasure in private property. Let us therefore abstain from the possessions of private property—or from the love of it, if we cannot abstain from possession—and let us make room for the Lord.
--Saint Augustine (354–430 CE) [Commentary on Psalm 131], unanimous with virtually all the early church fathers & mothers. Is this the same religion as what passes itself off as Christianity today? Augustine is beloved (in word) by both Evangelicals and Catholics. Augustine gave up his possessions to the poor.
Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught,
will we realize that we can't eat money.
-- Cree Proverb
I am poor and naked but I am the chief of a nation.
We do not want
riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good.
We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches.
We want peace and love.
--Red Cloud, Oglala Sioux
is not about feeling guilty about past ancestors. This is not about
feeling guilty at all. Guilt accomplishes nothing. This is about
recognizing and acknowledging the mentality of our ancestors is just as
strong, if not stronger, within ourselves and our culture today. And
this is not about race. This genocidal mentality is called business. Business justifies anything. Recognize
and acknowledge, change our hearts and behavior,
and move on. And this is not about looking at the splinter in native
eyes (yawn... yeah, some natives had wars and skirmishes with each
other), but about looking at the lumber yard in our own. Did any
nomadic native tribe massacre whole populations or destroy their own
ecosystems we all depend upon, as our own business culture has done and
is doing, over and over?
In proportion as he Simplifies his Life, the Laws of the Universe will appear less complex, and Solitude will not be solitude, nor Poverty poverty, nor Weakness weakness.
--Henry David Thoreau
I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the God.
I know that my plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred but a proof that I am speaking the truth?
. . . .
I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you...
. . . .
And that I am given to you by God is proved by this: - that if I had been like other men, I should not have neglected all my own concerns, or patiently seen the neglect of them during all these years... exhorting you to regard virtue; this I say, would not be like human nature.
And had I gained anything, or if my exhortations had been paid, there would have been some sense in that:
but now, as you will perceive,
not even the impudence of my accusers dares to say that I have ever exacted or sought pay of anyone; they have no witness of that.
And I have a sufficient witness to the truth of what I say--my poverty.
--Socrates [Plato's Apology]
an apostle to any nation
without the wealthy saying,
"We do not believe
the message you bring."
"No servant can serve two masters,
for either he will hate the one
and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one
and despise the other.
You cannot work for God and money."
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money,
heard all these things,
and they ridiculed Jesus.
Better than ritual practice [abhyasa]
is knowledge [jnana, or gnosis];
Better than knowledge [jnana]
is concentration [dhyana, or zen];
Better than concentration
is renunciation of the reward of all action,
from which directly issues Peace.
(Bhagavad Gita 12:12)
And what is money
but the representation of
the reward of action?
The use of money, talent, cleverness
to gain power
or deriving power from any use of these is evil.
But there is a power which is in no way related
to that power which is evil.
This power is not to be bought
through worship, prayers and self-denying
or self-destructive meditations.
All effort to become or to be
must wholly, naturally, cease.
Only then that power which is not evil, can be.
--Krishnamurti (p.23, Krishnamurti's Notebook)