See also 14. You say you don't use money, yet aren't you using products of the money system & relying on the hard-earned money of others?
Can I compare myself to wild animals?
Okay, I'm somewhat like wild animals, but not completely. I have lived solely off the wild land 4 different times in my life, and I work on an organic farm. I still supplement my diet with wild edibles & the farm food. But I am also a scavenger of civilization, like a raven, sort of. Here's why.
In reply to FAQ # 14 above, somebody wrote to me:
"BUT they [swallows, pigeons] could live without all of this and they would survive. They just choose an easier way to get food and shelter but naturally they would survive without it... Would you survive without rests from the supermarkets? Would you survive without your cloths, shoes? Would you be happy without Internet and so on?"
These animals would survive or not survive without these products of civilization just as much as we would. But they would not survive without each other. I cannot survive without the industriousness of my fellow human, whether it is fire, arrowheads, or clothes. I cannot survive without human assistance, just as a wolf cannot survive without the pack, or the lion without the pride. I dare say industriousness & technology would exist with or without money.
If you took away a swallow or pigeon family's attic or building, I guarantee the family would most likely die or at least certainly struggle harshly, just as we would, just as an owl family would if you took away its natural hollow tree. Take away a sunken ship (product of civilization) & destroy a whole coral ecosystem. Nature makes no distinction between what's "natural" & what's "not natural." Nature integrates everything.
First, I can take or leave the internet, but it is my instinctual urge to speak my path to the world. If there were no internet, I'd probably be on an old fashioned soapbox. I'm glad, though, I can take advantage of the internet. If the collapse of money means the collapse of the internet, I'm okay with that. But I believe the internet and all technology can survive and actually come into balance when money ceases.
Despite appearances, I am not a primitivist, nor am I against technology
The point of my living this way is to be able to go anywhere & do anything, relying on faith to lead me, acknowledging my total dependence upon my human neighbor and my human neighbor's total dependence upon me! I am dependent upon my neighbor and my neighbor is dependent upon me, not the illusion of money, despite appearances.
Living solely off the land or growing one's own food, quietly living apart from conventional civilization, is a good path. And I have friends who do it. If so-called "self-sufficiency" is what impresses folks, I have lived off the land at four different times in my life, eating only wild edibles: twice in Alaska, once in a long trek down the northern California coast, & once in the Gila wilderness. I have made many of my own clothes - even now having a winter wool jacket I made. I have learned how to make fiber cords from plants, animal fur, and to knit & sew. I am sure I can make my own shoes and forgo my glasses. However, such things are not so important to me any more. I have realized I have another path, another duty. I usually live in a cave or other camps simply because there is no other way I can ethically follow my path without supporting a corrupt system. But I am not here to prove my self-sufficiency, not here to be isolated from civilization, but to mingle and challenge and cultivate the moneyless freely-give-freely-receive instinct that already exists within everybody within civilization!
It's worth it being called a hypocrite & a bum & mentally ill & an egotist & self-righteous if it brings you to read this right now!
You are at this very moment thinking outside the conventional box of civilization, are you not? It's so worth it to me that you are right now thinking outside the box, even if it means you believe me a hypocrite for using this computer, for scavenging civilization's waste, and putting myself on a soapbox and saying, "Look at me! Look at me!" Even if it means you think I am a self-righteous egotist looking down on you, it's worth it, because you are now thinking outside the box. It's so worth it I'm giggling in my deepest bones. Why hide the light under a basket? We humans have been given mouths to speak, and everytime any human opens his or her mouth to speak, isn't he or she saying, "look at me"? Don't you speak when you need to speak? Maybe one day my ego will run away with me. I'm not immune to becoming a ridiculous egotist. Pray that it not be. But know that now you are getting challenged to the truth, regardless of what you think of me. Let me be a fool if it means conventional thinking is challenged.
And, if you profess yourself to be a Christian, are you not most likely right now having to face the teachings of the Jesus you previously ignored, even now getting challenged to look at the Jesus you claim to believe? It matters not what you think of me, what a bogus nutcase I might be, then, does it? Let us all be fools if it means bringing down injustice in the world.
It is my duty to scavenge!
I feel it is our responsibility to not waste things, to use everything, not to throw perfectly good things into landfills, especially in a world where millions are starving. And I cannot in good conscience kill a deer or a fish if I don't need to, while there are literally hundreds of fresh dead animals thrown into dumpsters every day. If I had money I couldn't buy most meat, supporting an industry that has such disregard for living things. But I will surely retrieve them. The dignity of their lives must be restored. In a world where millions upon millions are starving, our waste is obscene and immoral (Yes, I dare use that forbidden word). I can assure you that, in the USA alone, I see with my own eyes there is enough perfectly good food thrown away every day to feed the entire world. Most of it is inaccessable, locked away in dumpsters "for your safety" (a common, incessant quote by corporate managers and law enforcement officers).
The generosity of a society is inversely proportional to its waste
I would be overjoyed if I found zero good food thrown away, and I would be forced to find other moneyless methods to live.
In a less wasteful society, you can't find good food in dumpsters, but you do find more generous people & way more gratitude. I've traveled abroad & witnessed this myself. This is why I believe one can live the wandering mendicant's life most anywhere in the world. Faith works everywhere. I often have my doubts about places like the Sudan, but maybe that's because my faith is still weak. But all I know now is where I'm living now, and this is where my duty is. I'll let the Buddhist bikkhus & the Hindu saddhus live moneyless in Asia, the Christian monks live moneyless in Ethiopia, in lands where there's little waste but greater generosity, and I'll live moneyless here, where there is obscene waste and less generosity, and more fear that somebody might be getting something for free.
This is what astounds me. Why are there few or no protests about our overwhelming greed and waste, yet every day people spew venomous anger at little freegan folks like me for being "leeches on society" because we take only what we need and grab a few crumbs that fall from the Rich Man's table? It's astounding. I ask for nothing, not even food, except occasionally I ask restaurants for food already destined for the dumpster. Oh, yeah, I do ask for rides now and then by putting my thumb out for rides that are already running. And I take what is freely offered.
Who is the real mooch?
When we take only what we need, all is balanced. When we take more than we need, this is called greed, theft. Who takes only what he/she needs? Please think deeply on this. I don't even have problems with parasites. But I wouldn't insult parasites by comparing Babylon to them. A parasite drains its host. Yet, a parasite has a place in Nature's balance. Even so, would you call me a parasite? Am I draining my host?
I would say Babylon (commercial civilization) is more than a parasite. It is like a cancer, which destroys both its host and its own self.
Do I impose anything on Babylon? Yet Babylon imposes obscene burdens on most everybody & everything. Babylon has so raped the land & poisoned the water that few places exist in the world where a person could even live off the land or even grow her own clean food if she wanted to! Then Babylon turns around and tells us simple folk we are dependent upon Babylon and should be grateful to it for taking a scrap of food that it doesn't even offer freely, but throws out and even puts under lock and key in a dumpster! It's like a thief who steals your house and home, then condemns you for eating a couple scraps from that stolen home's trash bin! This is exactly what Babylon has done to the Native Americans.
Okay, this turned out an angry answer. I don't recommend anger, except at rare times. Anger is a part of the universe and must be validated. On rare occasions we need to stand up from our lives of gentle equanimity and make a whip and take it to the merchants and moneychangers in the temple. Anger is not effective if we use it all the time. And anger is most effective, in fact, powerful, when we use it sparingly.