Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Ego

I've been back in the cave, and my so so so cute and beautiful ringtail "cat" friend is still my closest mammalian neighbor. [the pic on the right isn't really THE ringtail cat, but A ringtail cat pic I snagged off the internet]

I absolutely adore living up there. Since I've been back in the Utah desert, though, my life hasn't been so quiet and hermitish. You can see it hasn't been so quiet and hermitish for the past year on the road. And I've been coming to town a lot. There are so many splendid, shining people in Moab.

Glorious Community

I've been dwelling on the idea of community a lot the past year, and the beauty of civilization & human creativity & industriousness - civilization & human creativity & industriousness minus all forms of money (including conscious barter). I'm really no primitivist. Ah, to take the moneyless model and apply it to civilization! Then, I feel deep in my bones, we would see something so splendid and sparkling and artistic it would make civilization as we know it look ridiculously pale.

I've had a grand urge to do something besides meditate in a cave. Meditation in a cave has taught me this. Meditation taught Gautama Siddhartha this: Meditation is one eighth of the eight-fold path: be on your butt, but also get off your butt and mingle, communicate, do. Love requires two or more folks, and without love, why even be alive?

To Be Or Not To Be Known, That Is The Question

From my last blog entry you can see I decided to stop worrying about my ego and make a website again (separate from this blog): Living Without Money, in an FAQ format and essays, to answer questions people aren't getting answered through this blog. As I've said before, years ago I made a website called American Sadhu, shortly after I started living moneyless, but I felt it was turning into my ego trip, taking my mind out of living in the present. So I deleted the whole thing with one simple click.

Since then, ideas & revelations have been flooding down on me and I've had little outlet for them. This blog has fulfilled part of my instinct for outlet. But it's hard to lay out readable philosophies in a diary. People keep telling me I should write a book, and I keep saying I would if it could be published & given away for free. Silly me. Here, for the first time in history, one little human being can publish ideas instantaneously all over the world without paying a dime.

Now any ol' vagrant like me can be lifted up with self-importance, without a fee! ;-O


And the human doesn't have to rely on paid marketeers to determine if those ideas are worthy of publication. The people of the world can judge for themselves.

So the World Wide Web is caught in the web of the money system. Yet within it is freely giving and freely taking, without obligation, like a morning glory growing through the cracks of concreted Earth! Use it! Use everything, as a moneyless pigeon nests on banking towers, as barnacles hitch rides on luxury ocean liners, as rats nest in corporate mega-church basements, as bacteria infest the veins of CEOs! Use everything, without money, as Nature uses everything, without money! So the web is still barred from the poorest of countries, though that is changing. Good or bad. Whatever, use it. Use it with integrity. Yes, we need to shake up you rich first, show you a reality you perhaps haven't ever considered. The poor will greatly rejoice when you rich let go of your hoarding. The poor will greatly rejoice when they realize they don't have to chase the illusions you have created for them.


A Glossy Rag For Affluent Men

Anyway, so here's what's happened the past few weeks. Right after I decided to stop hiding so much and I made the website, the freelance journalist, Chris Ketcham, contacted me wanting to interview me for Details magazine. This made me nervous. I would have refused a couple years ago. Details, of all magazines, "an upscale and irreverent fashion magazine for affluent men (and those who aspire to be affluent)"! Egad schmegad. But I would be dishonest to say my ego did not feel flattered, even if their intention ended up being to make me a laughingstock. And I liked the idea of not preaching to the choir. Yes, I said yes, with shaky email fingers.

So this interview stuff is what I've been doing. Chris came up to camp with me for a couple days. He even got to meet Riley the Ringtail Cat. I've grown to really like Chris Ketcham, and am grateful he's doing it instead of anybody else. He has written a lot of thoughtful, conscious articles for mags. The article comes out in May, and I'm a bit nervous. And I keep feeling wary about my head, that it doesn't get big, and my path, that I don't compromise it. And I don't want to pretend to be humble and act like I don't like this, mixed with feelings of wariness. Life is risk. And how fragile truth is, when it can so easily be sold and bastardized for 30 silver coins. Pray for me. Pray for us all.

Keep Practicing Gift Economy, Keep Envisioning Gift Economy

Meanwhile, I am meditating on ways to bring out the free economy, the moneyless world, already existing latent within society. You can see it happening a lot in Moab. My friend Brer got Free Meal going here over a year ago, based on Food Not Bombs (a world-wide freegan movement). Then other people, like my friend Auggie and a guy named Scott, among others, have taken it and run with it.

Yes, I am meditating on pristine, beautiful civilization with all forms of money gone obsolete. "Give, expecting nothing in return," quoth Jesus, quoth Peace Pilgrim, quoth Lao Tzu, quoth Muhammad, quoth Buddha, quoth Krishna, quoth the sun shining above you. There is no other way to enlightenment, no other way to balance, no other form of Love than this. Meditate with me on this, and share. And share with me if you get revelations.


  1. Thanks for your words. I'm so glad we met you!

  2. Suelo,

    Your site and blog have inspired me. I am determined to be real.

  3. Wow! Details! We totally feel your pain, but hopefully it will get your message out. In this economy, people will be able to understand the message better. I bet that's what that columnist wanted... and you gave him so much more. Hopefully these folks spending $50 for a stupid pair of jeans will get the message! Cheers with a chewy squawberry margarita!! We LOVE you!

    Ps- We'll tell Dr Love and crew... and frame your article-- not because of you of course. You know, don't want to work your ego. :D

  4. Well, that's ok, just as long as you set the framed copy (gilded frame) on a proper alter with prayer candles.

    I keep thinking of you guys, G & K, and also Dr Love & crew. Missing y'all muchisimo

  5. I read through your entire blog tonight. i've been simplifying my life for several years, downsizing whenever i can, and continually learning how little i need to life a good life. in fact, life is better with less. your ideas about money are intriguing.

    i'll be following your posts. thanks for sharing your life with us.

  6. I actually read the article in the magazine featuring you. that article is what drew me to your blog. I'm very intruiged by your way of life. What is coincidental is that I've been looking for a blog written by someone like yourself to perhaps pick up tips on how to live my own life like this. Thank you for sharing with the world!

  7. i have a question: do you really believe it is possible to change the entire human nature (in regards to living in a community where everyone looks out for one another)? If we could, would that not be at least some evidence that we are unique among the inhabitants of the earth since you can almost guarantee that any human baby will develop some behavior that harms there fellow human? It seems to me from observing human beings and history, that our default nature is selfishness, greed among many harmful traits;i am of the opinion that it is the height of arrogance to think that we can really change all of humanity to love one another to the degree that we will all, and there certainly are a lot of exceptions but we are not talking about exceptions but rather every human on earth, give our lives for a strangers or at the least care so much that we will wake up every day and go work for them irregardless of what we may gain. it seems to me that such behavior has to be trained and is not natural.

    1. I realize this is essentially a full decade after you wrote this but here's a response anyway.

      Christopher Ryan always says "Question the premise." Who wrote the history you refer to that seems to show humans are always selfish greedy and harmful? What narratives are we exposed to about the state of the world and history and what political realities are these narratives used to justify?

      In the context of our existence as anatomical modern humans, agriculture and large scale Civilization (generally what our histories recount) is something like 5% of our history and how has that changed us? How do people in true Hunter gather societies (that do not have land ownership or farming) that are closest to how we most likely lived for 95% of our history behave?

      Don't forget to question my premise as well. Where am I trying to lead you?

      My observations and assumptions about human nature are currently the inverse of yours. Are we not trained to be selfish and greedy, against our original nature?

      Very little was I ever told as a child that the world was a safe place or that I could trust my mind, my body, nature. I was subtly taught to be afraid because the world will terrify and hurt me. I think that mentality becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

      I interpret the fact that so many sages lived and loved throughout history in all cultures and environments in ways very similar to Suelo to mean that those lifestyles are much closer to our true nature.


    2. Thanks for your response, M. I missed this comment and would have written a response similar to yours.

      I'm working on an essay about the nature of "evil" and money.

      I want to put to rest this common belief, prevalent in both secular and religious circles, that humans are innately flawed and actually need money and "law" to keep them in balance. Evidence upon evidence shows the opposite to be true. Just as a virus or other infection takes control of a living being, causing it to do things against its own nature (such as a parasite causing an insect to drown itself so the parasite can continue its life cycle), so the virus of commerce takes the helm of our brains, speaks through us, defending itself against our own nature. Humans not being true, humans not following their own innate nature, are the ones doing the destruction, not the ones who are true, truly human. This virus of commerce, not our own authentic nature, is who is speaking in these typical comments, which are the abundant majority.