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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Moneyless Tribe Update

I'm still in Connecticut, hitching west starting this Saturday - getting a late start.  I have to be in Billings, Montana by June 20th to meet a British film crew there, hopefully hooking up with a moneyless friend or two on the way.  

I'm feeling very grateful to my friends, Michael, Sarika, and baby Satya, for hosting me in Vermont, and to my friends, Gordon, Kay, and baby Mazzie, for hosting me in Connecticut.

Now it's to the Rainbow Gathering (inshallah) to launch the moneyless tribe.

(The exact location of the Gathering in Montana is not yet determined, probably not until the middle of this month).   

I'm likely not going to have much computer time for a while, so this'll be the last post for maybe some time.  

Posting about the Moneyless Tribe

I posted about the moneyless tribe in the Fellowship for Intentional Community (ic.org) website, copying it here:

http://reach.ic.org/postings/index.php?pageID=2

Community Forming Suelo Posted On 5/29/2013, Last Updated On 5/30/2013
A wandering moneyless tribe! Sharing in community my experience living without money for 12 years. To be launched at the 2013 Montana Rainbow Gathering. We are accepting folks willing to give up all money, and also looking for communities we can be of free service to on our migratory path and to network with.
Two-fold mission:
1) Practice gift economy by not having, accepting, or using money, freely giving and receiving, offering free services to individuals, towns, organic farms, intentional communities, churches, ashrams, monasteries along its migratory path.
2) Raise awareness by activist example, (eg, challenging concepts of private property and returning stolen lands to native people’s stewardship, reducing stress on the environment and ending dependence on corporate trade and exploitation of "third world" populations).

Prerequisite to join us: give up all money to your name, not taking or using it, to fully grasp the meaning of walking by faith (courage).

It is to run by consensus, to be ecumenical, to practice and bring to light the forgotten principles of the world's spiritual traditions (giving up possessions, doing for the sake of doing rather than for future reward).
Email Address: freemeansnomoney@gmail.com  
Web Address: https://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney/
 
-------------------------------

Other Miscellaneous Details about the Tribe

Since it is to run on consensus, all ideas here may be subject to change, depending on what our group wants.  

I envision us networking with intentional communities, organic farms, churches, ashrams, monasteries, towns and cities, etc., that welcome us, allowing us the gift of providing our free services (in whatever field).

Migrating to intentional communities can provide a kind of bloodline connecting communities across the land, instilling gift economy, keeping us open-minded to different ways of living, and also provide the option of scoping out communities for settling down to members who find they're no longer up for the migratory life.   

As we gain momentum, I envision more and more churches and regular house-holders in cities and towns offering us places to stay in churches, in private yards, in houses, in community centers, in support of us providing services in their communities. 

In the pay-it-forward system, others can donate food or items they already have on hand (not going out and buying things for us), as well as us collecting excess food at closing time of stores, restaurants, schools, etc., food that would otherwise be thrown out.  

Any services and items we provide are to be freely given, and all services and items we receive are to be freely given, already at hand, not bought or sold.

Beware of Pie-in-the-Sky Dewy Eyes

To anybody thinking about joining, a walking tribe will be very vigorous and unpredictable (though we can accept rides as an exception).  It's not for everybody. 
 

Group dynamics are difficult in modern culture not accustomed to community.  Modern human community muscles are atrophied, needing to be exercised and developed.  Conflicts and heavy disagreements are bound to arise among us.  

When circumstances get physically difficult and uncomfortable, which is guaranteed, we often find undesirable behaviors arise in ourselves we weren't aware of, and this can give rise to conflict with each other.  If we face this, not running away, with a spirit of patience, tolerance, open mindedness, and utter respect for each other, this will be our opportunity for self development, opportunities to become shining lights and sources of great power.  

But if we find our disagreements become too great, and we feel we must depart, we must also forgive ourselves.  There may be divisions, meaning our organism is then ready to divide into two new communities, each with differing, valid viewpoints.  All life divides and reproduces.  This is natural.

Activism

As I've mentioned in previous posts, something in the fore-front of my mind has been our culture's abuse of indigenous peoples, and our need to bring restitution and healing.  

Previously I spoke of one of the missions of our tribe being a walk of repentance, to call for our culture and our nation as a whole to repent and make restitution for what it has done to indigenous peoples, not only in the US, but all over the world.  

I'm envisioning us starting with the Lakotas, going to lands, such as the Black Hills, legally belonging to the Lakota tribe by US treaty (Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868), as well as by Supreme Court decision in 1980 (United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians).  More details on that later.  

But our primary mission is to live by example (the best activism), and in so doing, challenge our culture's ideas of private property and commerce, also reminding our churches of their ancient values (from the very beginning) of living simply, basic sharing ("holding all things in common"), and doing for the sake of doing, not for the sake of profit.  Only then can we understand abundant life.  These are the principles of all the world's religions I've looked into.  Few are challenging our religions to hold to their own most basic principles.  But this isn't going to happen without huge opposition and risk.  

This is about more than returning stolen lands to the Lakota people, but this is a great place to start, a very tangible, concrete object lesson.

Final Warning

This could all be very crazy ideas.  Life is a big crap game, especially in this lifestyle.  Nobody knows the future.  But the miracle of life came about in this great crap game, which I call the mind of God.  And the roll of the dice is what makes it fun, and magical.

Whatever your hand finds to do, 
do it with your might; 
for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
I returned and saw under the sun 
That the race is not to the swift, 
Nor the battle to the strong, 
Nor bread to the wise, 
Nor riches to people of understanding, 
Nor favor to people of skill; 
But time and chance happen to them all. 
(Ecclesiastes 9:10-11)


To them all!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Kay's Guest Post

I'm in Heber, Connecticut, staying with my friends, Gordon, Kay, & their baby Mazzie.

I'm looking to hitch-hike soon to the Rainbow Gathering in Montana.  
I placed a post for the moneyless tribe (to be launched at the Gathering) in the Fellowship for Intentional Communities website, for those who want to join the tribe or want to network with us.  I hope to post more details about it just before I hit the road.

Meanwhile, I'm publishing my friend Kay's guest post here, at her request.  Kay is married to Gordon, my friend who made the short film, "Moneyless in Moab" back in 2006.  Kay is also the person who set me up to do a presentation at the Unitarian Church in Manchester last Friday, May 31st (I feel very good how the presentation went.  I also realized afterward that May 31st is the anniversary of when I drove the car off the cliff in 1991.  Kind of eerie, but showing wonderful redemption).  

Thanks, Kay, amiga mia:

Kay's Guest Post 

This is a guest post blog-a separate entry that Daniel is allowing rather than a comment that will get lost. I am currently Daniel’s host, and I am also his friend.

Seeing the comments that are made on his blog—the insightful, the supportive, the critical and the repetitive (seriously folks, read his FAQ before making the same tired jabs and comments over and over)—I wanted to offer my perspective, and give some answers to the person that is Daniel * in his relations with others.*

He is a solitary guy in that his path is his own, and his ambitions and lifestyle are for very few. I live in a house, have a job, a partner, a baby, bills—the same things all of you do. But what I believe ends up ‘missing’ from the virtual Daniel is that he is a very real, very warm human being. He uses his blog to make a point, but those who know him as a person know that this is only one side of him. Just like all of you who make comments (that are sometimes so hurtful and angry!) that show only one facet of who you are, this blog is only one side of him. When we are with him, we never discuss his writings. His philosophies are wound around dialogue that is engaging and thoughtful. He is delightfully sarcastic, witty, and humorous.

My partner has known Daniel for over twenty years, before he gave up money. Did they remain friends after that? What kind of friend abandons another when they are faced with a human who has made great changes that make them feel better (and note, you trolls- HURT NO ONE?) Most of us have long-term friendships with people who become religious, give up drinking, change sexual orientation, get divorced, or other life changes that make us make mental adjustments of the person we knew, and know now. For these two friends, it was met with barely a shrug of the shoulder, and they moved on from that point, with the main change being that it was now harder to keep in contact.

I met Daniel seven years ago, as we flew out to Moab to see him. I was self-admittedly both curious and apprehensive. One very real question I had, which seems absurd now was, would he want to hug? Would he smell? How would I do it without touching his grungy clothes, or hands? That was my lesson... that to be without money does not mean to be without pride, or hygiene, or morals, or standards. And I took to him very quickly. As many do. Whether these people are his friends as a result of their support in his cause, or in complete oblivion to it, Daniel has a lot of friends. People like him. Enough to host him at their houses. Enough to trust them with their houses and pets as a sitter. Enough to give him rides. For some of you, I wonder—if you took a cross country trip, would you have enough friends who would help you out? Would your presence be welcome in their homes for more than a day? How about a week? Would you offer to cook meals, or stack two cords of wood, or forage and find food to help your hosts? Do you have the grace to know when to give a family their space, or when it is time to move on?

And this is the point I want to make. It is easy to judge someone from the other side of a computer screen. It is just as easy to type comments and hit send without understanding the social side of Daniel that is free from judgment, dogma, or worry. Yes, he’s taking up space in on our couch. Yes, he’s consuming our food, and using our internet connection to post his philosophies that you are taking the time (from your oh-so-busy lives) to read. But you know what? We’re alright with that. The trade off we get in the camaraderie, travel stories, intelligent discussion and laughs is well worth whatever money we are ‘spending’ on him, and we give it freely.