Wednesday, May 28, 2008
A Wandering, Moneyless Tribe
I'm back in Portland, camping with friends by the river. Over a month ago, unexpectedly, I left Moab, went to the Cali Bay area, ended up here.
I've actually been wandering moneyless with 3 other folks! Their names are Simon, Grace, & Jesse. We've been together for over a month, up the west coast. We are soon to part ways again and I'm going to miss them. These kids actually found me, through this blog. No blogger pals have dared carry through with hooking up moneyless with me till now.
Here's what happened. Last month my Moab friend, Val, offered to take me to Santa Cruz, Cali and back to Moab. Meanwhile, some Christians in Aussie Land made contact with me through this blog & invited me to their forum. Then they hooked me up with these 3 wandering Christian kids (Jesse, Grace, & Simon) in southern Cali who were willing to temporarily ditch their U-Haul-converted-to-an-RV, as well as all money, and travel with me to Oregon for a few weeks. Though I let them know I accept that all religions are equally valid, they still were open. Their open-ness & universalist spirit, their passion for practicing the teachings of Jesus, impressed me, so I decided to plunge in & hook up with them. They happened to be in San Jose at the same time Val offered to take me to Santa Cruz, which I took as confirmation this was meant to be. So here we are.
I've grown to love these 3 kids dearly. Their sincerity & spiritual maturity touches me to the core. I've learned much from them.
They're part of a small world-wide Christian movement called "Jesus Christians". They hold to the radical idea that the teachings of Jesus are actually meant to be practiced! They observe the obvious, that what is called Christianity blatantly rejects the teachings of Jesus, reducing Christianity to a simple artificial Evangelical formula. That means they urge practicing, not just talking, New Testament teachings: giving up possessions, living by faith, living communally, being loving, open-minded. For me, this has been a test of my deep-down hunch - that if Christians actually even so much as desire to practice the basic teachings of Jesus, they can't help but see all religions as one. Giving up possessions, doing things without desire for credit, is Basic Religion 101, whether you are Christian, Taoist, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, or Shamanist.
ADVENTURES WITH MY WANDERING FAMILY
I've had a few minor disagreements with the Jesus Christians. But living the lifestyle they promote is such a rare and beautiful and fragile thing, I can't knock them. Why strain at gnats and swallow camels? I encourage this movement whole-heartedly, & I feel honored I could be a part of them and continue to be a part of them.
Here's what we've done together. We left San Jose with only empty packs & each a set of clothes - no sleeping bags or blankets even. What we have needed has come when we've needed it. We mostly train-hopped up the coast from San Jose, with a bit of hitch-hiking & a lot of walking, too. We visited friends & some of their family along the way. We have done work projects. We have held a couple forums about moneyless economy on college campuses. And we even went to a mega-church carrying signs. Yup. Grace's sign said "The love of money is the root of all evil"; Simon's sign said, "Love or Money, God or Greed, what is your motivation?"; Jesse's sign said, "Love your enemies, including Iraqis & Bush"; and my sign said "Hey Christian, 'You still lack one thing, sell all your possessions & distribute to the poor' --Jesus". We were surprised at how quickly we were asked to leave. But we were eventually invited back in, as long as we left our signs outside. We had a money-burning demonstration the other day.
There's so much more we've done together & so many coincidences & blessings, but I'll save your eyes from more reading.
Grace, Simon, & Jesse are heading back to San Jose in a few days.
Being back in Portland has been grand. My old (and new) friends here, from tree-sitting days, and from Food Not Bombs & such, are more of my family. I'm dizzy with gratitude. It turns out I plan to go on a bicycle trip from Portland to the Rainbow Gathering with a few of my Portland family (Satya, Sarah, Vlad, & maybe others) plus my new friend, Jose, a former Jesus Christian member of Simon, Jesse, & Grace's team, who decided to join me.
Yeah, I can't describe my gratitude.
When all is gratis, all is gratitude, all is Grace. I keep saying that.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT ALL THIS:
A MONEYLESS ECONOMY WITHOUT A SPIRITUAL BASE?
I don't see how the moneyless lifestyle, True Anarchy, can work without a spiritual base. Somebody out there who believes it can, please prove it to me. I mean try it. For example, if you don't trust in money & trade, what is there left to trust in? If you complain about the commerce system (money & every form of trade) what is your alternative to it? What or who takes care of you, who or what manages the Credit and Debt of the Universe if there is no money system to trust in? I challenge even the scientific mind to actually believe your own science. Why does Natural Selection and the balance of nature work? If you truly believe that Chance & Natural Selection evolved us from an amoeboid to a human, why are you now afraid to throw yourself into Chance? Why do you continue to side-step the laws of Natural selection by trusting money management, the control of credit and debt, which has never ever brought balance or even peace of mind? I don't give a gnats ass what you call the Law of the Universe that controls Credit and Debt outside of the money system. You simply have to have faith in that Law. Simple religion is belief in Love, whatever you call it. I don't care if you call it God, Buddha, Evolutionary Law or Yabadabadoo. The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name, Lao Tzu states. I dare say simple science in practice is faith, faith in the Law of Nature, whatever you want to call it. Work for love or work for money, either or. That simple.