Right now, I'm cramming a lot into this post. I'm all excited and just can't seem to help it.
Upheaval of our moneyless community
A zealous tourist from Denver felt it a prime duty to banish us. He reported us to both the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and to a private group set up to monitor and care-take the wilderness. Of course, our Orwellian zealot, filled with a sense of righteousness, drove in his comfy automobile back to his comfy temperature-controlled big box in Denver, to contribute to this comfy economy where taking-more-than-you-can-possibly-need and wasting-more-than-you-can-possibly-conceive are kept comfortably out-of-sight and out-of-mind. We must, after all, keep things looking neat: nature and wilderness packaged as museum pieces, to be enjoyed only as spectacles two weeks out of the year and on weekends, not experienced as a living daily reality. After all, a religious icon, an artifact, worshiped on an alter on holidays is worthy of honor, while a living, daily reality is too much to bear in the our artificial, arti-factual civilization, where art and reality cannot be the same, nature and civilization must be two opposing categories.
"Members" and visitors
A young woman named Adelaide came from Ohio to live with us for a while in our new wilderness enclave, bringing her wisdom and insight, and help us establish our new digs, and to join Daryl's and my radio discussions. However, it turns out, not unexpectedly, that she and Daryl became tight, and she whisked Daryl, my moneyless stalwart, back to Ohio. Romance, most often the glue that binds pairs yet the solvent that dissolves community. Meanwhile, Jake also moved on to I'm not sure where after we moved out of our cave camp.
Julia still comes and goes, not with us for long periods of time. Most everybody who meets her says, "Julia's one bad-ass woman." She's been helping us with her herbal and exotic concoctions and wise insights. I finished her book, The Edge of Sanity, (under her pseudonym, Olivia Burnette) and loved it. It's in a similar vein as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, sort of, and is an important commentary and indictment on our system and mental health industry, and highly entertaining and funny. Julia deals with lyme disease and must have a special diet, so she uses a little money.
We also had a visitor for a couple days from Canada, David, witnessing our little upheaval. David is the second Canadian (Sean being our first) to visit us this year (not including the Canadian film crew who came last spring). One thing that impressed me about David was his philosophy of no blame. If there is not blame in the first place, he said, there is nothing to forgive. People act according to cause and effect, as do all physical reactions in the universe, and when you fully realize this, the idea of blaming becomes absurd, he pointed out. How far back to you trace cause-and-effect until you find the source of blame? This comes from a person who experienced deep hurt from people and has an absence of bitterness.
Blame, Guilt, Debt, Money
David said he did not like the idea of forgiving, because forgiving cannot exist without blaming first. Why blame in the first place? I like and agree with this idea, on the one hand, yet even the very idea of saying "don't blame in the first place" is a call to eliminate blame, which is to forgive. The fact is, blame is the essence that runs our culture, in its obsession with punishment and prisons, and there must be forgiveness to banish blame. It would be wonderful if there were no blame in the first place, and no need to forgive. Here we could go back to hunter-gatherer culture that perhaps has no blame, no thought of credit and debt, no money, no prisons, no lawyers, no possession, no owning, no owing (debt), as the Lakota, John Lame Deer, pointed out.
Blame is giving negative credit to someone. Praise is giving positive credit to someone. There is delusion in both.
But there is the mysterious concept that, with greater forgiveness is greater love. This gets back to the original concept that David pointed out, that all things are natural. This, I'd say, would include our desire to blame, and then the need to banish such blame with forgiveness. It gives me hope for us, a culture that adores blame, adores guilt, adores credit and debt (money). If we can finally see our delusion, meaning banishing blame, meaning banishing thought of credit and debt, then we forgive all debt. In reality, please realize I'm not necessarily talking just about money, but about self-credit of praise and blame, and guilt (sense of debt), deep in the human psyche. Money is the visible manifestation, the symptom, of these things.
"If there were no debts... there wouldn’t be any money," (--Marriner S. Eccles, former Chairman and Governor of the Federal Reserve Board).
If this is true, to forgive all debts is to do away with money, which is to do away with all punitive and credit systems: lawyers, courts, judges, prisons, grade education, banks, lords (landlords, owners), which is to do away with the sense of self-credit, of blame, of guilt, of debt that debilitates our human psyches. Money has had its place, and money must go obsolete, because money is debt and the very manifestation of blame and debt and self-credit. All debt must be forgiven, all self-credit must be given up. Blame and guilt and self-credit must be banished.
Ironically, I'm talking to a population where many claim to be Christian, yet adores commerce, big corporations, banks, prisons, punitive laws and our futile wars. It adores blame and self-credit. In short, it adores money. The prime principle in Christianity is that out of greatest forgiveness arises the greatest love. If this is true, out of the ashes of the collapse of this overwhelming dragon of debt (blame, guilt) and self-credit that runs the world must arise the phoenix of immutable love.
During the time of upheaval, the Canadian documentary film maker, John Zaritsky, and his film crew from Reel to Real Productions (who had come last spring) were finishing up the documentary Celebrating Eccentrics, and wanted me to help them blog about it (both here and on their own blog). But I haven't had time or inspiration to even do caca with my own blog, much less helping with theirs, until now.
So far, it's been in several film festivals:
Here's the teaser:
And here's a short flick they made with me and my friend Cullen, about our music in the film:
For more info about the film, see
Matt and Cat and Ariella
After Jake went his own way, and then Daryl and Adelaide left, I must confess I felt my usual sadness, and a bit discouraged about our tribe. But it's been this way from the beginning, people coming and going. It's all of life - impermanent life. And very few are willing to live like this through the winter.
However, right as Daryl and Adelaide were leaving, a 25-year-old chap named Matt showed up with a young woman named Cat he'd just met. Matt had emailed months ago saying he was coming. Cat stayed with us for a while, but had to move on to Arizona, but Matt wants to stay for the winter. He totally gets this whole concept of there being no separation between work and play in the moneyless world, and he's excited about every project we work on. Besides, he's a great musician. I can't even describe what a joy Matt is to be around, grinning as I write this.
Matt and his dog, Hawkeye, and I hitch-hiked to my parents' in Fruita, Colorado for Thanksgiving. We also got to hang out with Cullen (the musician in the above video) and a new friend, Levi, in Fruita, as well as my brother, Ron, and, of course, my parents. Quite fun.
Then, while we were still in Fruita, a young woman, Ariella, arrived from Indiana to join our moneyless tribe, and Cullen brought all 3 of us and the dog back to Moab yesterday. We're just getting to know Ariella, but I am feeling please with her, so far. Okay, again, there's a very certain possibility of romance between Matt and Ariella, but, somehow, I'm not feeling at all worried about it. I am feeling so much love for them right now, its crazy. And the dog, Hawkeye, too. I usually discourage dogs, but Hawkeye is a well-behaved, mellow dog and I love him too.
I continue to do the radio show with friends on Sundays, discussing philosophies of gift economy and a moneyless world, and spirituality, interspersed with music (usually new indy music and world music or, if older music, obscure stuff that few get to hear):
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
Sundays 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm MST/DST
90.1 and 106.7 FM
also live-streamed at
Last Sunday I missed being on the air, since I was in Colorado.
Probably half my shows are recorded, but I haven't gotten it together to archive them yet, or make them available on the Internet.
Daryl and a guy named Raven have been great discussion partners on the show, with other friends often showing up. It's been crazy fun for me. Now that Daryl has left, it turns out Matt is not too shy to be on the air and adds zesty spice to the show.
Here's a reiteration of what we talked about on the radio last time:
Money, Oneness, and Division
This gets me all excited. I'm working on an essay, "Money: the House Divided", showing how the money mentality skews our vision of the universe into divisions and duality, a lack of realization of the oneness of all things. One example is the concepts of altruism and selfishness. In our minds, its either one or the other, and we think of them as separate things. This inspired last Sunday's radio topic: "Love & Fear, Altruism & Selfishness."
We think of altruism as selfless sacrifice for others and selfishness as serving the self at the expense of others. But look at the reality of a living body.
If your left hand scratches an itch your right cheek, is your left hand being selfish or is it being altruistic? Does your left hand expect any kind of payment, any kind of reward, by scratching your right cheek? Herein lies the philosophy of living without money or conscious barter. Freely give, freely receive, expecting nothing in return, because you realize the whole universe is one body. Anything else is delusion.
Does a cell in your body bring hurt or harm to the whole body if it hurts itself? Does a cell in your body help or harm itself by bringing assistance and health to a neighboring cell? To help others is to help the self. To help the self is to help others. This is basic life, 101.
You cannot love the Whole without loving your neighbor, and you cannot love your neighbor without loving your self. And you cannot love your self without loving the Whole and loving your neighbor. This is the very basic fundamental of both Judaism and Christianity.
The Greatest "Commandment
Hear, O Israel: The Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is One! You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Hear, O Israel, Eternal Being, our Gods, Eternal Being is One!
|(Hebrew reads right to left)|
You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Yahweh. (Leviticus 19:18)And he squished this "love your neighbor as yourself" commandment in Leviticus up against the "love Yahweh" commandment in Deuteronomy to point out this blatant anomaly:
Hear, O Israel, Eternal Being, our Gods, Eternal Being is One! You shall love Eternal Being your Gods with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.Hear, O Israel, because I'm pointing out something you have been deaf to!
You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am Eternal Being. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 together with Leviticus 19:18)
What you see as many is One!
And you shall love this One
with all your heart
with all your soul,
with all your strength.
Your love must for One and no other, never divided, not adulterous.
How can you love your neighbor and love yourself if they are separate beings from the One?
If they are separate beings, love is impossible!
This is the Holy Trinity, and the Trinity is One:
The Whole, Your Neighbor, Yourself.
The Whole is the Source, the Parent, of all. All credit goes to the Whole (Hallelujah). No particular can do anything of itself, but all comes from the Whole. ("I can do nothing of myself.")
Your Neighbor is Christ himself. If you don't see this, you do not accept Christ. "I was hungry and you did not feed me. Loving your neighbor, as yourself, is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way to loving the Whole. I Am who I Am, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Your true self is the Holy Spirit, God within, "the hope of glory."
This is fundamental Christianity, and it is fundamental Bible.
Here is another scripture I love bringing up, because "fundamentalists" won't touch it with a 10-foot pole:
I [the Son of David] said in my heart,
"Concerning the condition of the sons of men,
God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are animals."
For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals;
One Thing befalls them:
as one dies, so dies the other.
Surely, they All have One Spirit [רוּחַ ruach];
man has no advantage over animals,All have One Spirit. The Hebrew word here is רוּחַ ruach , which means Spirit or Breath, the same word translated as Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Bible. The Sanskrit word for Spirit or Breath is Atman, the same word used in the Baghavad Gita to refer to the Life Spirit, in every living creature. Atman is often translated as the Self in the Baghavad Gita and the other Hindu scriptures.
for all is emptiness.
All go to one place:
all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
With the heart concentrated by Yoga, with the eye of evenness for all things, he beholds the Self [Atman] in all beings and all beings in the Self [Atman].He who sees Me in all things, and sees all things in Me, he never becomes separated from Me, nor do I become separated from him.He who being established in unity, worships Me, who am dwelling in all beings, whatever his mode of life, that Yogi abides in Me.He who judges of pleasure or pain everywhere, by the same standard as he applies to himself, that Yogi, O Arjuna, is regarded as the highest.(Baghavad Gita 6:29-32)
Notice how Jesus himself is recorded as saying to his own people, when they condemned him for calling himself Son of God:
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”? (John 10:34)He was quoting from the Psalms:
I said, “You are Gods [Elohim],Now Jesus is calling his own people Elohim! Now it's all becoming clear, huh?
And all of you are children of the Most High.
Hear, O Israel: The Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is One! You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.Yes, Jesus taught nothing new, but reminded those of his own Jewish faith of their own fundamental religion, pointing out these two Great Commandments as One:
(Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28)
Notice how, in the Mark passage, he and a Jewish scribe are conversing in full agreement about the Greatest Commandment, and the Jewish scribe confirms what Jesus says, then takes it farther to this deepest fundamental of Judaism and Hinduism that I have just pointed out above:
So the scribe said to Him,Notice how he is pointing out what is stated in the Torah and the Prophets, which literally says there is nobody and nothing else but God. All is One!
"Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth,
for there is one God,
and there is no other but He.
And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
What would make "fundamentalists" purposefully skirt around and deny these most basic fundamentals of their own religion?
Now that's the mystery.
God is playing hide and seek with Herself,
the Hidden Feminine.
Now, that's a teaser for essays I'm working on, essays to come, Insh'Allah.