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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dia de Gracia Eterno

I was getting a few complaints about this blog being hard to read so I finally changed the template. I changed my anarchist black and slipped into something more comfortable.  Let me know if anybody still finds it hard to read.  [10:33 pm Dec 10.  Okay, I read the comments below and changed the template again, and I can keep changing it if it's still hard to read - no prob.  (This house computer won't let me put comments below)]

I also added to and revised the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the website, and posted there the media myths thing I blogged about last time. There are still more FAQs I want to add, when I get time.

What a surreal last few weeks this has been.  Cody just hitch-hiked out of Moab to the Salt Lake City area to visit relatives.  This is the first in weeks we haven't been together.

Dia de Gracia
Cody and I camped up at the cave, as well as in the near-town camp, until I began a house-sit at my friends', Deb and Ray's, over Thanksgiving.  We threw a nice Thanksgiving bash, cooking up salmon and fresh cuisine a la dumpster.  I baked a couple apple-strawberry pies from scratch and some dinner roles.  And my parents joined us all the way from Fruita, Colorado.  Brer and Haila and their baby Veda came, too.  My old friend Damian popped in, too, along with my friend John from Provo.  I got to see Damian's mom, Louise, too, after not having seen her for a few years.  A grand and happy time was had by all.  My parents definitely lit up the party, and I was glad they loved my friends and my friends loved them.  I must say it's great to have parents who are proud of their vagabond son.

Freemeal and Friends

My friend Pete took Cody and me up to Arches park a couple times to hike around and hang out and sketch.  We make a freely freaky threesome. 
That's an arch at Klondike Bluffs, on the left, that we hung out at and sketched. On the right is Moab - downtown I think - although it doesn't look too familiar for some funny reason... oops... I guess that's Moab, Jordan!

And then freemeal!  Every day at noon!  It's Moab's hub of freaky fun and palate pleasing.  My friend Auggie bottom-lines it, and my friend Michael has been cooking a lot for it, lately.  All the food at freemeal is food that would otherwise end up in the garbage.  It's leftovers from the schools, restaurants, stores, and various and sundry other spots.  It's usually quite delicious and nutritious, even gourmet sometimes, but totally shwaggy and greasy at times, too.  And you couldn't ask for a better host of company.  It's not just about hunger for food, but hunger for free community.  It crosses all class lines, and you don't have to pay for the right to sit your bum (pun intended) down and hang out.   

After Deb and Ray's house-sit, Cody and I camped out again a few days before I had to start another house-sit at my friends Phil D and Anne's, along with my co-house-sitter and good friend, Phil B. 

As I said in the previous blog entry, people ask me to house-sit.  I never ask for house-sitting or seek it out.  I often refuse it when I feel the need to be in the wilderness.  This house-sit lasts for a couple months, so I'm hoping to take advantage of this time to write.

"Do you love anybody?"

Brer, Conrad, Cody and I had a big jam with didgeridoos, xylophones, the piano, drums, and our voices a few nights ago.  It was a kind of going-away jam for Cody.  It was beyond splendid.

The next day I got an email from a stranger simply asking:

"Do you love anybody?"

I started crying.  Yeah, strangely, it came the day Cody hitched out of town and I missed him terribly.
I told Cody he can now tell everybody that he came all the way to Moab and caused me to fall crazy in love with him.  Just when I'd thought I was immune to all that. Totally unexpected.  It's a grand test of whether or not my life conforms to my own philosophy: Love and Possession - Sex and Money
He's got a beautiful girlfriend back in Colorado he is madly and faithfully in love with, and he is young enough to be my son. In other words, I'm trying to pick up my heart weighed down by crushing, unrequited, romantic love. 

On the other hand, this is exactly what I need, to learn divine love that goes beyond romance, beyond male and female, eternal. This is what he and I have mutually, and it gives me unspeakable peace.  This divine compensation makes all other loves pale in comparison. 

Romantic love is blind. Real Love is crystal clear vision of All Reality. Romantic love believes what it wants to believe. Real Love sees what is. Romantic Love comes and goes and breaks your heart. Real love never fails, through thick and thin. Real Love is Eternal. Real Love is often hidden under and obscured by Romantic love, and (if you are open to All Truth) is revealed when romantic love collapses and the heart shatters. Real love makes no distinction between male and female, old or young, ugly or beautiful.

Yeah, I don't think it's just me.  My male and female friends can testify that an angel came to town and caused lots of people here to fall in love with him.
Now, on with life.  The night after Cody left, Brer and Chris spontaneously came by the house and whisked me away to another jam at Conrad's house.  It was absolutely splendid.  Exactly what I needed.

Now life is quiet again, sort of, I think, and I am mulling over what to do with these splendid gifts I'm being showered with, mixed in with my aching heart.  I always did like bittersweets.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dispelling Rumors

I guess today I can't do my usual bragging about how healthy living moneyless makes me. I got a nasty cold, & so did Cody. I am house-sitting (yes, people ask me to house-sit; I never ask for house-sitting or seek it out). On the one hand, it's nice to be in a warm house when I am sick. But, on the other hand, honestly, it's only when I stay in houses that I get sick. With the exception of having gotten bronchial infection at a couple Rainbow gatherings a few years ago, I simply don't get sick when I'm living out-doors, even in freezing winter.
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Media Myths About Me

I want to blog about other things. But since there are several myths about me spreading around the media, I am reluctantly writing the following:
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I am learning how media works, & how the public & journalists often take what is published as infallible gospel, and how much rumor is spread without investigating the source.
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Firstly, I must say I felt very respected & honored by all the journalists who have interviewed me, & the inaccuracies they reported could probably be due to my being unclear. Journalism is like painting. The painter can't possibly do a perfect representation, but creates artistic interpretation.
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Here are the myths:
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Myth: I have a master's degree in accounting & anthropology.
Fact: I have never studied accounting & have only a bachelor's degree in anthropology (not that degrees really mean anything). I have no clue where it came from that I have a degree in accounting! I don't put much stock in degrees or titles. I learned way more outside school.
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False: I started living moneyless after my fishing trip with my friend Ray, after which I lived off the land in Alaska & then hitch-hiked back to Utah.
True: I started living moneyless years before working on Ray's Alaskan fishing boat. I went to Alaska 2 separate times. The first time was 2 years before I gave up money, and the second time was in the summer of 2007 (recorded in this blog), when I worked a summer without money on Ray's fishing boat. On both trips I ended up living off the land in Alaska. But on the 2nd trip I flew back, paid for by Ray. On the 2nd trip, I often felt I compromised my path, because I was supporting a money-chasing industry that exploits living things, & because I accepted the airline ticket. The experience was invaluable, though. I'm pretty unclear when I talk of chronology, which may have confused the reporter who wrote about me, & both my Alaska trips melded into one.
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False: I was a sadhu in India and a Buddhist monk in Thailand.
True: I was never a sadhu in India, but only observed sadhus & considered becoming one. I was never a Buddhist monk. I only stayed & meditated for a month in a Thai monastery. I also stayed at a Zen monastery in the US for a while.

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Maybe Either True or False: I don't work.
I say this because it is no body's business to judge whether or not I work, and it is not my business to tell! Perhaps when I say the whole point of this lifestyle philosophy is to "freely give, freely receive," I am lying or being a con. Perhaps not. The point of this path is to relinquish credit for work, as is proscribed in the Gospels, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, the Buddhist sutras, & the Quran. This means doing service in secret. Credit is money. Credit is praise. If I do service work & advertise it, my living moneyless is in vain. I may be a lazy bum who does nothing, or maybe I'm not. It's not for me to say & it's not for you to judge.
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Let me let folks in on a secret: life becomes splendidly beautiful when we stop judging (speaking assumption as fact), when we stop worrying about whether or not somebody we have never met might or might not be contributing work, and we do our own work and mind our own business!
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True & False: I live in isolation.
True: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I feel deep down it's unhealthy for anybody to not have solitary time; and it's also unhealthy for anybody not to have social interaction. Both must be in balance. Why is it that because my part-time home is walled by stone rather than sheetrock, this somehow makes me a permanent isolate?
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A reason I live this way is to eschew the utter isolation of American suburbia, where people don't even know who their neighbors are! If spending all day in front of a computer or TV & having interaction only through gadgets & windows (car, teller, digital screens) is not isolation, what is? This lifestyle actually puts me into a position of not being able to hide my dependency on people. I must mingle with people. I can't pretend that I am "self-sufficient." There is no such thing as a self-sufficient life form, or even particle, in the entire universe.
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Okay, this is really minor, & it's kind of silly I even have to bring it up - but folks love to capitalize on it for some reason:
False: My cave smells like patchouli (Denver Post article). My cave smells like I've lived there for years (Details article).
True: I've never used patchouli ever in my life - not that I have anything against patchouli. And I don't have anything against balanced, natural body odor. Either my candles or my citronella incense must smell like patchouli. The cave's vicinity sometimes smells of pack rat waste, since there are pack rats living in crevices above & near the cave. Having traveled, I hadn't stayed in that cave for months when I brought the Details reporter there. The Denver Post reporter says he didn't detect any bad odors on either me or in the cave - just the "patchouli" scent, while I myself noticed the packrat smell). I'm a clean-freak, like a cat, & I transport my urine & bury my shit & compost way away from the cave. And I bathe constantly in the creek, though I do not use soap (because it is a pollutant), though I scrub with sand. I constantly wash my clothes, too, by placing them in the creek overnight with rocks. Though these are minor issues, they are based on stereotypes. Perfect strangers I've never met, even on the other side of the world, have become experts in my hygiene! Then, again, maybe I reek so badly that my body odor wafts to New York & even to Europe!
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There are lots of other myths floating around the media, but these are most common now.

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Again & again, I keep recommending people read the FAQ in my website before making assumptions. I've tried in recent years to make my life as much an open book as possible, & to make investigating the facts about it as easy as possible. But folks still assume & insist on stating their assumptions as fact.

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Hopefully I can get back to some real blogging now.