Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Colorado & Back

I’m back in Moab, after a couple weeks at my brother Doug’s cabin in the Colorado mountains. 

I’m now house-sitting for a few days at the house of my friends Phil & Anne, which is giving me a bit of time to write, and also update the website. I just added a 27th FAQ & A to the website: 

And I recently revised # 14, too: 

I hope to add more, as time allows. Time is getting ripe to write one about technology. I’m also working on an essay about the basic laws of lending and interest in Nature, the Banker in the Sky vs. our bankers of commerce on earth. It’s about that epiphany I had about the World Dragon not long ago in the Gila wilderness, while experimenting with living off the wild land. Hopefully I can put it in the website before I’m gone from this house. 

 Back to the happenings in my life the past couple weeks: 

Biological Family

I visited my parents in Fruita, Colorado for a couple days before going to Doug’s cabin in Conifer. I also got to see my other brother, Ron & his wife Aggie, in western Colorado. Biological family time! 

At the cabin, Doug & I talked a bit about our parents and upbringing. We feel grateful. Can you believe our parents still adore each other after over 60 years married? 

 My brother Doug is a jack of all trades. I never thought before how incredible it is. He is a clinical therapist, and an ordained minister, but can’t find employment in those fields, so he’s working at Home Depot. He is also a mechanic, a carpenter, a roofer, a musician, an artist, and who knows what else. He’s really struggling, working constantly, like lots of folks, with the bad economy & his debts. 

We talked a lot about debt and Christianity, what all this means, what are the solutions? He can’t seem to find a niche in the church world. 

Pastors, Priests, Pulpits & Pews 

Strange, this is my time to be surrounded by ordained Christian ministers! Doug’s neighbor, Bart, also happens to be an ordained minister at a Messianic church near Denver, and told me he is really interested in my lifestyle. So Bart got his friend, Peter, another minister from another church, and took me to lunch. I was pleasantly amazed at how sincere and open, even passionate, about what I am doing, Peter and Bart were! Peter looked like he was in his 20s to me. When I first met Peter, I thought, “he’s still young and idealistic, fresh out of seminary, not corrupted by cynicism, yet." But my mouth dropped open when I learned that Peter is 40, and he’s been a pastor for many years! 

I've been disillusioned with most of what is called Christianity, and its hypocrisy, for years. But I’m finally seeing a remnant coming out of the woodwork, and it warms me to the core. 

Coincidentally, about this same time, I got an email from an Episcopal minister, very supportive. Also, when I hitched back to Moab from eastern Colorado, another Episcopal priest gave me a ride, and told me how much he believed in this lifestyle. 

I've also been getting lots of supportive emails from folks of all denominations who are on that fine line--at the periphery of religion, not quite able to find a place in either the religious world or the non-religious. I know the truths I've seen at the core of my own and all world religions are too infinitely profound to throw them out. The bitterness from religion’s hypocrisy doesn't grip me anymore; the true light is shining from amidst the corruption, like gold sparkling out of ore. Now I’m finding droves of folks, all over, who feel the same, & are emailing me, telling me so. I can’t express the gratitude I feel. 

One Heart, One Mind 

I'm realizing all this time I've been giving the impression that I've been getting mostly negative emails & reactions. But the reality is that most, maybe 90%, of all emails to me have been very supportive. I'm stunned, and full of gratitude. 

When you follow your heart totally, ignoring people’s opinions, you can feel utterly alone, almost unbearably so, on one hand. On the other hand, there is a hunch that drives you, that if you follow your heart single-mindedly, enduring to the end, you discover that your heart is the heart of all humanity, that we are all One Mind. Yes, it is so, without doubt! Our Babylonian distractions keep us from seeing our True Heart, our One Mind. 

Okay, more about my hitch-hiking odyssey last Monday. 

Hitch Hiking Across Colorado 

I left my brother's place before dawn and arrived in Moab just before dark. Every single ride I got hitching back to Moab from eastern Colorado was from an amazing, inspirational person. I can’t always say that about hitching, but now I can. My first ride was from a an experienced hitch-hiker named Curt, a man of clear eyes and awareness, who only took me maybe a mile from the Colfax exit outside of Denver to a better exit onto I-70. Then I got a ride from an amazingly friendly guy named JP, who brought me to Frisco & brought me into the coffee house there to meet his friends. My next ride was from a woman named Jennifer O., a Frisco resident who took me to Glenwood Springs. I must say it’s been hard to stop smiling since meeting her. She’s one of those people who knows mistakes & hardship and has come out with joyful, flying colors, and total compassion. That’s enlightenment. My next ride was that Episcopal priest, named Harrison, who just moved to his new parish in Glenwood Springs from Vermont. He’s near my age, but was only ordained a few years ago. He said his true seminary was life, working as an O.R. nurse, among other things, until he decided to go to official seminary. The next ride was with a young couple on their way to Salt Lake. I didn't get to talk much with them, because I rode in the back of their pickup, under a camper shell. But I couldn't help but feel that just their vibe was beautiful. They let me off at the river road to Moab. Two amazingly friendly & pleasant young guys from Denver & Boulder took me all the way to Moab. They were intelligent (like genius level) and passionate about science, philosophy, art, nature, the desert, and life in general. They are Burning Man fans, too. I've never been. Maybe one day I can go to Burning Man, if a way comes about for free. 

Good to be back in Moab. I am in that season of feeling life’s endless, sparkling possibilities again! All feelings pass, but I’m enjoying it while in season.



    In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

    If we can resist the urge to respond to trolls, and it does indeed get very difficult at times, but if we just ignore them no matter what, they will lose interest and go away.


    This can be a great place to have discussions if they don't get hijacked by the trolls.

    Let's try our hardest to stop feeding them!

    We can do it! Don't respond NO MATTER WHAT! Even when you can make a point that really scores, you feed them!

    We can do it! I know we can!

  2. Daniel,
    You didn't mention much about your stay at the cabin; was it a rustic, off the grid deal, or did it have all the creature comforts?? I have a soft spot for cabins, as I used to build rustic cabins for a living (mostly for folks from big cities looking to "get back to the land".) Have you ever considered constructing a small, simple cabin of your own, from scrounged materials??? (thoughI guess you would need to own land to do that!)

    You are right, if we don't feed the trolls,then they can't get a foothold here!

  3. On the formatting issues . . . I had this problem on blogger and it's something in the html code. I usually have to go back, go to the screen that shows all the html codes and fix it by hand, but maybe somebody more tech saavy than me can give you a short cut.

  4. Suelo, many people think I live freely, because I'm a young man living on a Ranch in sunny California, enjoying life, raising some goats and chickens, not having to pay rent, working less than part time on my own schedule, yet still having ample money to travel when I wish and then some. Then I tell them no, this is not living freely, but someday I will. Not many support my decision to give up a beautiful and simple life, but I couldn't imagine anything more beautiful and worth while. What better test of faith is there? than to live in the moment, not always planning for the future, not knowing where your next meal shall come from?

    I'm sure your blog is helping to open many minds...I personally didn't need any convincing as freedom has been calling me for quite some time, but enjoy reading it none the less. All the best -Gary

  5. Joe said...

    Suelo, your website and blogs make my heart smile. "Rather than love, than faith, than fame, than fairness...give me truth."

    I need to visit you and talk. I have been to Moab already and thats where I found my passion...climbing ;)

    oh man it would be great to converse with you...I am excited to read your blogs, share your accumulated knowledge and story and incorporate what I can out of it all into my life.

    How do I e-mail you?

  6. Yours is the first and most likely the last blog I will subscribe to. You articulate a lot of things that have been narrowly escaping my mind recently. I am going to start reading Therou and the rest now. You're truely an inspiration!

  7. Suelo, my name is Jon. I'm here in Beijing, China. I am a martial arts teacher. I wrote to you before but maybe you didn't get my email.

    please contact me at

  8. Hi Suelo,
    your answer to "how to live moneyless with a family" came the day after a friend said to me "I'd like to see Suelo live moneyless with kids". Thank you. I felt defensive about her statement,I found it dismissive. So I answered her with your own words..."Why do I live moneyless? Because I have no more strength for the world of artificiality, no more strength for the world of ideology separate from reality! Why should I want to return to clinical depression? All I want is the real and to be real. It takes work to hold up a prop, an act. It is Rest to be Real."

    I started the transition to be my "Real" self, to discover myself without "props" a few years ago. I find your words awakening another step, the key has been turned.

    Thank you

  9. Suelo,

    I have a question for you. What were your life's ambitions, if any, when you were 25 or 30?

  10. Your story offers hope that no matter how bad things could get, survival is possible, and not just possible but happy and abundant.

    I have a question for you: The city I live in allows people to sign up for garden plots so you wouldn't have to own the land. Would you plant a garden for subsistence?

  11. Jim, thanks for the tips.

    Gary, Joe, Nick, & Melanie, thanks mucho for the encouragement.

    Jon, sorry about not getting back to you. I just emailed you. I'm still going through more emails than I know what to do with now.

    Joseph, at 25 my ambitions were to be an anthropologist MD & an artist. At 30, to simply be happy.

    Piper, thanks, too. Community gardens give me hope for cities. Yeah, I'm actually part of a community farm now. I like the idea of living off the land where there's wilderness, & living off community gardens in cities & towns.

  12. Suelo, that's a bit amazing, because my brother's ambition was to be an anthropologist MD. However, he turned out to be just an MD, because he didn't have time to pursue anthropolgy after getting his medical degree. Interesting and worthy ambition, though. The President's mother was a PhD anthropologist.

  13. Daniel,

    Out of 9 people who have posted here so far(including myself), you ignored my question and answered or commented on the rest. how do you decide who you respond to??? if you feel someones questions are not worth answering, you should at least say so!

  14. Suelo,

    I find it interesting that you seem to be making your peace with Christianity. I too have had trouble with my Christian upbringing and now loosely identify myself as a Buddhist. However, lately I have developed a respect for the Christians that I know and the faith that they have. I still have issues with organized religion and the hypocritical greed (for money and power) that tends to go with it, but I'm gratified by the good intentions and genuine desire to be good people that I see in most Christians.

    I wonder if the current economic circumstances have done something to blunt the unhealthy relationship between Christianity and money?


  15. Hey Rob -
    I actually tried to answer yours several times, before the others, but couldn't get it to post on that house computer. Then I forgot about it yesterday at the library. So here goes again:

    Doug's cabin is a small, hundred-year-old log house that he built onto. Cooking & heating is by wood stoves, & the toilet is compost. But it's not totally off-grid; he has electricity & gas (for water heater), & says he pays +or- $30/month utilities in winter.

    I sometimes stay in an underground kiva-type structure by the river somebody else started & I finished building. I prefer underground structures because they're insulated & stealth. If not that, I'd prefer cob or tamped dirt (as in Latin America). Meanwhile, the cave is already built, so I need no more.

    Joseph -
    I have to ask which ambition would be more worthy, more challenging, my ambition at 25 or my ambition at 30?

  16. Suelo,

    I think the two are equally worthy, because both represent your desires and dreams at the time.

  17. As for which ambition is more challenging, however, I would say being an anthropologist MD is more challenging, because millions of people can be happy, but millions of people cannot be an anthropologist MD.

    Being happy should not be a challenge for anyone.

  18. Hey Daniel,

    Thanks for responding to my question. and I want to apologize for what I said in my previous post, I let a bad personal situation reflect in my post, and I was wrong for allowing that to happen, so forgive my childish out-burst!! Your brothers cabin sounds nice, and I like your idea of building with cob or tamped dirt; I have done a lot of reading on alternative building methods, and helped for a while on a straw bale and stucco structure. it is fun to see what can be built from natural and scrounged materials!!I also helped build a small shed using cord wood and colorful old glass bottles for the walls; it looked so cool when the sun would shine through all the colorful bottles, to the inside!

  19. Indiana here.
    Hi, Daniel. Glad to see, things are going well with you. Lovely pictures, BTW.
    When you have a chance, I'd like to know how is meditation helping to improve your life, and what meditating method you use.
    Take care, all the best to you!

  20. Daniel,

    Glad to know you want to talk bout technology.
    Let me ask you a question, ¿if someone offered you a way for overcoming aging by scientific means would you accept it and why?.

  21. Imagine the possibility of living with excellent health and strenght for an indefinite amount of time. And you could choose at any moment the option to stop living if you want to.
    What would you say?.

  22. Miguel, I think Suelo would prefer to "live in the moment", rather than to have immortality. Immortality may be overrated. It may not be for everyone.

    Plus, I think you are being very unrealistic about all this immortality, nanotechnology, etc. stuff. In truth, the world's resources are stretched to the limit by overpopulation. Ecosystems are being destroyed, demand is exceeding supplies everywhere, billions of people live in dire poverty, and hundreds of millions on this earth are literally starving right now. And you want to introduce a big new plan to suck up natural resources, time and effort, into leveraging nanotechnology which will only help a tiny few?

    Your dream will never happen. Industrial civilization is much more likely to collapse, than for some kind of nanotechnology revolution to happen that will transform everything and make us all immortal.

  23. Joseph, you should read Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near. It explains how technology is evolving at an exponential rate. At the beginning of an exponential curve it seems like a linear progression, but later it begins to grow very fast. So 100 years at today's rate of progress can easily become 25 years at an exponential rate of progress.

    Right now, many of this ideas seem like science fiction fantasies and most people prefer to believe they are impossible or else too far away in the future. People think like like that because among other reasons we have not yet reached the neck of the exponetial curve. You will be amazed at how fast technology evolves in the following decades.

  24. Google "Law of Accelerating Returns" and you can get some information on the subject.

  25. I would also suggest that you study the subject of exponential growth in depth and see how it applies to a wide range of phenomena.

  26. Miguel, OK, I will look into these things, and review them. But, your friend Kurzweil gets many good reviews from science fiction writers and others who are into speculating about the future. I would suggest you read something by Lester Brown of the World Watch Institute, or my personal guru, Jeremy Rifkin of the Foundation on Economic Trends. Or, for more depressing (but interesting) scenarios, try Dmitri Orlov of, or James Kunstler who writes ClusterFuck Nation.

  27. It seems you like the more realistic thinkers, which is a good thing, but may be inadequate to predict technological change. Remember that technological progress is exponential, so linear predictions don't work.

    For example look at the Human Genome Project. It was a 3 billion project expected to be finished in 15 years. In the 7th year of the project they had only 1% of it completed. Many experts believed it was impossible for it to be finished on time and that it would take a century, but alas they didn't take into accout the nature of exponential progress. It was completed 2 years earlier than planned. Impressive, no?

    Realistic or pessimistic experts have been predicting doomsday scenarios since a long time ago. They are also good at saying "That's impossible". So I would recommend not believing everything they say.

  28. Notice there is nothing supernatural about gaining control over the aging process and to be able to repair the damage in the cells to stop and even reverse aging in the body.

    It will be done by biotech and nanotech not in 100 years, but in 20 years. Of course only few people will be benefited at the start, but as in any exponential trend it would take a couple of decades (or less) for most people to have indefinite lifespans.

    Joseph, given you have progressive political views and place a high value on ethics, I will recommend the "Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies", it is focused on emerging technologies and it's social implications. Check it out:

  29. It is better to be an intelligent troll than a blind follower.

  30. Of course Suelo thinks different, right?.

    I think he loves blind followers and if they are stupid much better. It's logical and it's human nature.

  31. Even the Buddha had it's share of blind followers. It's obvious that someone smart enough is not going to follow someone else, for much time that is.

  32. I suspect people with lemming like tendencies would be more interested in blindly following the exploits of Paris Hilton (or whoever the celebrity du jour is these days) and keeping up with the Joneses than following Suelo. After all, there haven't been (at least to my knowledge) throngs of ascetics descending on Moab since Suelo came into the spotlight. I think it's fair to say that most of us follow this blog because Suelo presents an interesting perspective and serves as a living example that it's possible to exist and participate without being part of what to many of us has become a soul crushing economic system.


  33. Hmmmm. It could be argued there are other kinds of lemmings, including more sophisticated lemmings as Suelo's followers.

    Any independent person would be ashamed of being a blind follower.

  34. Two requirements for being a Suelo follower:

    1. Be stupid.
    2. Always obey and never ask questions.

    If you don't have the above you are not a good Suelo follower.

  35. In order to comprehend what Suelo is doing, this koan must be understood:

    "I'm going to pose a question," King Milinda said to Venerable Nagasena. "Can you answer?"

    Nagasena said, "Please ask your question."

    The king said, "I already asked."

    Nagasena said, "I have already answered."

    The king said, "What did you answer?"

    Nagasena said, "What did you ask?"

    The king said, "I have asked nothing."

    Nagasena said, "I have answered nothing."

  36. Miguel, I wouldn't insult Suelo on his own website. I believe Suelo is sincere.

    Or are you criticizing Suelo's followers in the same way Nietzsche criticized Christians? He was against Christians, but not against Christ.

  37. Ken,

    I would just disagree with you that nobody follows ascetics. Remember Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven's Gate cult? They were ascetics, and he preached celibacy to the point where many of the members of the cult had themselves voluntarily castrated.

    Also, remember Shoko Asahara of the Aum Shinrikyo cult. He preached asceticism and Buddhism, but the group was fanatical and violent.

    I'm not saying Suelo's followers are a cult at all -- Suelo shows very little, if any propensities to being a cult-leader type at all. I don't really believe Suelo has a big ego. At least, he seems to be a person who has learned to control or suppress much of his ego. And that's a good thing.

    I'm just saying that asceticism is a very strong lure in many cults.

  38. I agree that Suelo is sincere with himself and other people. But I think he is a fanatic of moneyless living. He believes it is the only and valid way of living life. This is the point where I disagree with him.

  39. Miguel,

    Maybe Suelo is a "fanatic of moneyless living". And I agree, that is kind of weird and misguided.

    But, better a fanatic of moneyless living, than a fanatic of money, any day. We have already seen the results of those who worship money. Wall Street greed, derivatives trading, big banks peddling fraudulent loans, etc. have crashed the economy, caused untold suffering, and made millions unemmployed.

  40. Suelo certainly doesn't have an ego as big s Christ, Buddha or Mohammed. Because you need to have a massive ego to found a new religion.

    Greatness implies having a big ego. Thankfully I was blessed with a massive ego, that I am learning how to control. (Trust me, it's difficult).

  41. "But, better a fanatic of moneyless living, than a fanatic of money, any day."

    Agreed. But moneyless living fanatics tend to group all people under the label of "greedy", in special if a person is successful in business. It is unfair and sectarian.

  42. To clarify myself, the only reason I say "moneyless living" is weird and misguided is because I think almost no one would prefer a hardscrabble life without a modicum of creature comforts, to a semblance of a normal life with a house, a bed, regular meals of delicious food, the company of others, a regular sexual life, enjoyment and entertainment, etc.

    I'm not saying that one has to be obsessed with material possessions, money and power. But I have serious questions about anyone who pursues either extreme -- extreme wealth, or an extremely sanctimonious renunciation of money and materiality.

    I don't think Buddha taught this. I thought he taught striking a "happy medium", a Middle Way.

    Money in itself does not enslave people. That is a pious illusion. It is the love of money, the obsession with money (and the power that it can bring), that corrupts people, enslaves them, makes them rotten, and separates them from their souls.

    Maybe people who renounce money, renounce money out of fear of something within themselves (weakness?), just like a Catholic priest renounces sex out of fear. Or like Muslim fundamentalists separate the sexes and cover their women out of fear.

  43. I knew it wouldn't be long before Miguel showed up to pollute this site again, and of course, Joseph is backing his master! If anyone took the time to read (and understand)this blog, and Suelo's websit "living without money",than maybe there wouldn't be so much ignorance and assumptions here!but, the trolls here need to have their say, no matter what! how pointless!!!!

  44. Joseph: I agree with many of your points, but I'd like to point out that I never said "nobody follows ascetics." I said that ascetics haven't grouped together in Moab to follow Suelo. While I agree that there is a certain lure to asceticism, to me that lure is about freedom (in this case from materialism). Giving up posessions in order to follow someone else would be trading one type of attachment for another.


  45. How convenient those waste baskets became available just after Lonewolf's comment.

  46. Intellectually, the middle way seems very reasonable and I believe that it was a responsible way to go in Buddha's time (indeed for most of human history). However, our economic system and technology make it virtually impossible to utilize the economic system without exploiting the environment in an unsustainable way. This leaves asceticism as a responsible alternative.

    After all, how can doing something that isn't sustainable be anything but destructive? How can one continue to do something in good conscience that one knows to be destructive?


  47. Miguel,
    You really need to grow up, and quit making such immature statements. Lonewolf is saying what everyone else is most likely thinking! you come here and carry on like a petulant child, and people are sick of your nonsense!!if you can't conduct yourself like an intelligent adult,then maybe you should leave this site to those who can!!
    To the rest who post here, thanks for the intersting comments!!

  48. Ken,
    I agree with you, but sadly, most people do not care what kind of impact they have on the environment, as long as they can live their life with all the modern "conveniences". and "good conscience" is some that is really lacking in this country! being destructive seems to be the norm nowdays, as long as society can have all the things it thinks it "needs" to survive! it is sad how most people are content to destroy this planet in the name of "progress"!!

  49. Ken,

    Actually you make a good point. I agree that we as a civilization have to decrease our ecological and industrial "footprint" on this planet.

    However, while I agree it is noble for an individual to do this, you will not see me among those who preach that "individual action equals global action", or that individual action is a sort of substitute for societal and political action.

    It is not. I am thoroughly convinced that changing society, to save humanity and the planet, can only ever arise from concerted, collective action, and that starts from political organization.

    Preaching that individuals can have a dramatic impact on things by composting, making straw-bale homes, or retreating into caves (as an extreme), as a recipe for saving the earth and humanity, is like the proverbial "opium of the masses". It is a convenient, happy anesthetic.

    Collective action or no action! The people should become conscious, rise up as a mass, and demand consciousness from our leaders, or replace them!

  50. Joseph:

    I agree with much that you say. I personally don't feel a whole lot of guilt about my impact because that impact is a result of the fact that I was born into a society that requires us to treat the environment badly in order to participate. If I had been born into an aboriginal tribe somewhere, I would essentially be carbon neutral. I'm not going to feel overly guilty because of an accident of birth.

    Having said that, I do feel that any individual can serve as an example to other individuals thereby motivating collective action. "Be the change you wish to see".

    If nothing else, the simplicity that one experiences in the attempt to be as environmentally friendly as possible can be pleasant.


  51. Ken -- you make some excellent points!

    And mind you, I'm not saying that it's wrong for individuals to downscale their consumption and minimize their carbon footprints. It's a good idea and one can lead a rich life doing so!

    However, all that is no substitute for collective consciousness and collective action. Activism "in the world" trumps individual action, because it has a potentially much larger impact.

    If we are truly concerned about the world, we will all become activists to get rid of the politicians and business people who promote greed, overconsumption, environmental destruction and wastefulness. Activism means not sitting on one's hands. It means political action, shouting the message from the rooftops, repeating it over and over again until it is heard and sinks in. It means demonstrations, writing, using the media to the extent possible (even though the media is corporate dominated), and using the political system. It means active participation in every aspect of life -- not retreating from life, not retreating from the fray, from the political fight, from the contentious, quarrelsome world of political action.

    "Do not go gentle into that good night /
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light!"

    And to that I would add, do not retreat into a cave. Rage against the abuses of the world by all means, but plunge yourself into the middle of the fray, into the middle of the system, into the middle of society, and fight the good fight!

  52. Moneyless world? Check out this mother who feeds her six children on $4 a week... and bought $267 of groceries for 1 cent

    I didn't look for that article to post here, I just found it randomly while reading The Huffington Post.

  53. Joseph, have you actually read my website? If so, try it again.

  54. Suelo,

    I have been reading your website bit-by-bit, whenever I have time. But there's so much on it, the whole thing will take quite a while.

  55. Thanks, Joseph. But, of course, only read it if it's pleasurable to do so.

    I had to pop back to the library since this was in my mind:

    I hear quite often that I'm living an extreme while the Buddha taught the Middle Way. This same Buddha lived without home or possessions, and taught giving up possessions. We love the Buddha and Jesus and Socrates, Lao Tzu, St Francis, Henry David Thoreau, because they are far away in history & don't challenge us. If they were alive today, they'd be considered weirder than I, I assure you.

    My life does not in the least feel extreme, though I see most humans living in the extreme. I am not an ascetic. Taking more than we need is extreme. So is taking less than we need (asceticism, self torture, which Buddha denounced). Wild creatures live the Middle Way, without possessions. Humans can also live the Middle Way, plus be conscious of it! This does not mean I expect everybody to live in a cave. It does mean that I would love to see everybody take only what they know they need in their very own hearts, and share everything. Then we live comfortably, equally, even with our homes and technology! And we refuse technology if it means poverty & inequality for others, or if it means our own inner lack of peace! Only then can our politics and economics come into balance, with our environment.

    All politics are futility without our change of heart! This is as sure as the sun rises & sets! Don't we all know this, deep in our very own hearts?

  56. Suelo,

    What makes your way "extreme" is not how much you take versus how much you don't take. I agree that you don't take much, and that is admirable. But you have mostly isolated yourself from society, so how much do you give?

    True, you give your writings, but your writings are all about your isolation and minimalism, and nothing about your service to humanity.

    Since you have so much time on your hands, have you taught a child to read lately? Have you fed a hungry old person? Have you built a house for a homeless family (like Jimmy Carter and many others do)...?

  57. It's a fact that rich people have more capacity to help others, than poor people. So, it's no surprising Suelo is very limited in that area.

    Furthermore Suelo is not a good physical or mental healer. So, he is not able to help people with physical or psychological problems.

    That said, I don't blame Suelo for not helping other as much as other people do. He is actually more selfish that he wants us to believe.

  58. Suelo is the typical civilized "holy man" incapable to help anyone. I much prefer the primitive shamanic model as it's achives a better balance between body and spirit.

  59. Miguel, Jesus Christ helped a lot of people, and he was relatively poor.

  60. And don't forget about Mother Teresa. How rich was she?

  61. Joseph, you are mentoning notable exceptions. In most instances being poor is not a good trait to have if you want to help others.

  62. Also, you are ignoring the most important second issue I raised. The lack of care for the body of civilized religions. It is common for religions to be elitist and to ignore the well being of the common man. This doesn't happen in shamanistic societies.

  63. Correction:

    *The lack of care for the body by civilized religions.*

    In other words the elitist despise of matter, sexuality, money, health, women, nature, technology and so forth.

    Modern religions have an unhealthy preference for the intangible, spiritual, asexual, non-profit. It's not good because it's unbalanced.

  64. Quoting myself:

    "Suelo is the typical civilized "holy man" incapable to help anyone. I much prefer the primitive shamanic model as it's achives a better balance between body and spirit."

  65. And talking about despising women, Suelo admited being a homosexual in his writings. It is not surprising for me when I ponder on Suelo' sexuality being of the homosexual type, when we are living in a society that is emotionally and intellectually homosexual. We as social beings isolate and dominate women in almost all of our interactions.

    Suelo is just taking the homosexuality implicit in our society to it's logical sexual conclusion. No big deal.


  67. If Carmen Sandiego and Waldo had a child, it would be Suelo.

  68. Miguel,
    "Being poor is not a good trait to have if you want to help others"....that is such a ridiculous statement. the rich may be able to write a check(which is nice), but it's the average joe who mans the soup lines,or helps build shelters for the poor and homeless!a persons ability to help others is not defined by their bank account! it is my experience that the "poor" people are the ones most likely to 'give the shirt off their backs',and the rich are the ones who look down their noses at the poor and homeless!!!

  69. And now, Miguel has gone off the deep end.

    I just saw the reference to homosexuality in part of Suelo's writings. I would be tempted to say, "So what?", because I am very pro-gay rights.

    However, I think of Ted Kaszynski, the Unabomber. Deep within some of the newspaper articles about him, were a few passing references to the fact that he had been interested in getting a sex change operation while he was a professor at Berkely, and had written some things about his gender mis-identity problem.

    OK, I have no problem with that, but why should it cause someone to completely isolate himself/herself from humanity, and take a paranoid, antagonistic stand towards humanity and human institutions?

    Are the two interrelated?

    I have always said that politics are interesting, but psychology is even more interesting... And if you scratch a person's politics (or social views) and look underneath, you will find their psychology... and the psychology is much more interesting and revealing.

  70. Being rich is not a guarantee for helping the poor, but it provides the means to do it. It's simple economic logic. Also, there are some psychological underpinings to justify my assertion that rich people tend to help the less privileged.

    It is a fallacy to think rich people refuse to help the poor, at the contrary, they are more motivated to be altruists, because they have met their own needs and have excess goods to share with others.

    I have met many poor people who are selfish, envious, proud and defitely not interested in helping anyone. Of course not all poor people are as that, but it's certainly not rare to find such types of poor people.

  71. Joeseph: "if Carmen Sandiego and Waldo had a child, it would be Suelo". I thought you were better than that; guess I was wrong!!and you have the nerve to say Miguel has "gone off the deep end"? well, if so, you just joined him!!

  72. Joseph:

    Wow, it seems you are on to something. Although, I won't go as far as labeling Suelo as a criminal, there are indeed some striking similarities between weird criminals (and cult leaders) as the Unabomber "Ted Kaszynski" and Suelo.

    I would not want to go deeper on that line of thought because I have some respect for Suelo, but if I lacked compassion I would certainly would follow that line of thought to it's ultimate consequences.

    P.S I am also pro-gay rights, because I think gays should not be discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation. However, I think homosexuality may be a symptom of our own misogynistic society.

  73. Rob: Agreed. So much for someone who claims to have compassion. It seems Joseph doesn't have any problems for indirectly ridiculizing and demonizing Suelo, while chastising me for being too harsh and insulting "Suelo".

    I prefer a man as myself who doesn't use a veil of hypocrisy to hide their real intentions or thought. As Suelo and his boyfriend Joseph do, because they are afraid of facing reality.

  74. It is interesting that the same hypocritical attitude I find in Suelo, I also see in Joseph. They seem to be masters in the art of indirection at the expense of truth and strenght of character.

  75. That said, I still respect Suelo as I know he is following a difficult path he chose for himself. But I strongly oppose his views on money, banking and commerce. Also, I have some reservations about his attitude towards many issues.

  76. Rob,

    I was just joking with that Carmen Sandiego remark. I think this is such a serious place; it could use a little humor, sometimes! I hope people agree with me here...

  77. Rob,

    You are absolutely right in your comment to Miguel at 10:38. I would argue that many of the poor and the humble do even more to help other needy people, considering the little they have, than most of the rich.

    And I really hope I didn't offend you or anyone with my remark above. Sorry if I did.

  78. But Miguel makes some good points, too. Rich people are better situated to help the poor, and many rich people -- like Bill and Melinda Gates -- have done incredible things for the poor around the world.

    Let's just say that the motivation has less to do with one's bank account than what's in one's heart, but the wealthy can just do more.

  79. Miguel,

    Have you ever heard of the Raelians? You sound like one.

    And I don't mean that as an insult. I have had discussions with some of them, and I respect them. They are an interesting group of people.

  80. "You are absolutely right in your comment to Miguel at 10:38. I would argue that many of the poor and the humble do even more to help other needy people, considering the little they have, than most of the rich."

    Joseph, I think you are absolutely wrong in that one. It doesn't take a genius to understand not all poor people are a Gandhi, a St. Francis of Asissi or a Christ. It's simple common sense and reflects an education in economics and psychology.

    "Have you ever heard of the Raelians? You sound like one."

    Ouch, that was offensive. I guess I have some dislike for extreme rationalism and some times I go to the other side of the spectrum. It's really unfortunate I sound like a cult member.
    I guess I need to develop my reasoning hability more, to avoid such naive misrepresentations.

  81. "And I really hope I didn't offend you or anyone with my remark above. Sorry if I did."

    Lol. You are a master manipulator, unfortunately it also means you are weak and full of falsehood.

  82. OK, Miguel. Anything you say. We all know you are the most intelligent person here, by far, and we are all but mental peons compared to you! :)

  83. Miguel,

    I disagree with you on a lot of things, and I also agree with you in probably more ways.

    I was actually comparing you to one of the few "cults" I like, and have respect for... The Raelians.

    In fact, I don't really like to use the name "cult" for this group, because I think they are benevolent (I don't know enough about the facts behind their beliefs -- if any exist -- to assess their credibility, though).

    From many conversations with the Raelians, and from reading their literature and attending one of their public meetings, I know this about them:

    1) Their beliefs are based on assertions by their founder, French journalist "Rael" (that is an assumed name), that he was visited by benevolent aliens in 1973.

    2) They are extremely pro-female and believe we live in a misogynist society. Most of their members are female, and many are highly educated.

    3) They are extremely pro-technology and pro-genetic engineering. In other words, they probably fit Miguel's definition of "transhumanists".

  84. "Lol. You are a master manipulator, unfortunately it also means you are weak and full of falsehood."

    Uh-oh. I have offended Miguel, the fiery, hot-tempered Latin. We all know Miguel is just playing out his genetic tapes, acting true-to-form as a fiery, emotional, hot-tempered Latin. Proud, quick to take offense, and full of that hair-triggered Latin machismo!! Ha ha!

  85. I am afraid to be too systematic and well-educated to classify as a hot-tempered and pressumably illiterate Latin. Good try.

    Actually I am very cold tempered. But I get more and more angry with time. Like ancient roman soldiers did in battle. Big difference.

    Also, I doubt I am a good exponent of latin machismo, although I would like to be. Strength of character is more important than hypocrisy, in my book.

  86. Miguel,

    Whenever you post here, I hear the sounds of trumpets and castanets, and calls of "Ole!", and the strains of this old song...

  87. First you confuse me with a raelian, next a latin macho man, and now a spanish matador. Where do you want to go from here?.

  88. Since you asked

  89. Joseph, I find your romantizicing of poor people ridiculous, but I could be found guilty of doing the same with rich people. In the end both social groups are nothing special, only individuals really count.

    And btw, stinginess is a characteristic of low and middle class people. Rich people tend to be more generous, specially the new rich.

    It is actually a good sign of social mobility the fact I am generous with poor people, even when I am from the lower middle classes (and I am still in that lower social strata for the time being).

  90. Miguel,

    It may be true that I romanticize the poor to some extent, but my soul cannot condone gross inequalities. I also believe that the forces of chaos and disorder in the universe are ultimately stronger than the forces of order, but that humans can allay disorder, chaos, suffering and strife on a limited basis -- that is, for greater than the span of an individual's lifetime. Or much greater than a person's lifespan. The evolution of life and animals, Darwin's theory, is a "temporary aberration" in a chaotic universe, where order and complexity was created out of disorder for a limited period of time, but eventually that shall pass. As shall all orderly systems -- even if other orderly systems will arise after the previous ones collapse.

    How does this factor into my attitudes toward poverty? I assure you that my attitudes towards poverty are not based solely on compassionate emotionalism (although that is part of it). It is based mostly on pure, cold reason.

    I think that you are someone who believes in order, evolution, and technology. I do too, but I think you believe it is worth it for some people to build themselves up, materially, techically, financially, etc., at the expense of others. You believe either that (A) the progress of some in the absence of progress for all, will eventually benefit those who are left out, too; OR (B) that the welfare of those who are left out doesn't really matter, because people should focus on their own welfare -- i.e., people are entitled to be selfish, a la Ayn Rand's philosophy.


  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

  92. Note, please, that (A) and (B) have very different motivations, but they both result in the same unequal distribution of wealth and technology.

    My contention is that in every system, whether closed or open, disorder will eventually triumph over order.

    Since the uplifting of a few (by technology, finance, education, etc.) only benefits a few, at the expense of many who are left out, the many who are left out (the "have-nots") will eventually unite against the wealthy or powerful (the "haves"). By strength in numbers and the power of "asymmetric warfare" (i.e., what is being used in Afghanistan and Iran, and many other places, right now against the forces of "order"), the "have-nots" will eventually either destroy what the haves have, or they will die trying.

    This eventuality cannot be prevented forever, but it can be put off, by the "haves" constantly adapting to eruptions of disorder, by "buying off" the poor, by helping them materially. This in essence "buys more time" for the forces of order, and extends the period in which most of the "haves" can live comfortably.

    Truth be told, they may have to live comfortably with a little less, but better live comfortably with a little less for a longer period of time, than to live lavishly with everything for an unexpectedly short period of time, as King Louis XIV of France and many others found, much to their surprise and chagrin.

    So that is the coldly rational part. Where, then, does compassion enter the picture?

    I am a sociobiologist by philosophy, and I believe humans (and all animals) are genetically programmed to have a behavior called "altruism". (In humans, the highest form of this is called "compassion".)

    However, because all genetic traits are delivered according to a Bell Curve, some humans have more compassion than others.

    Hence the dichotomy between "left" and "right" on the political spectrum.

    People over on the left side (like myself) are genetically inborn with more of this "compassionate" programming, which is really just a way of saying that we have more genes programming us to believe (in our guts) what the human genome has learned over the millennia, in terms of everything I wrote above about "extending comfort for the many over a longer period of time by neutralizing disorder".

    Whereas those on the political "right" are inborn with fewer of these compassionate genes, and more of the self-serving, material-wealth or power-seeking genes.

    It is a bit more complex than this, as are all explanations for human behavior, but what I have said above generally holds.

    More to come on this...

  93. As usual, the Miguel and Joseph show is off and running,both (or one and the same??) trying to SOUND more intelligent than the other. this is not a contest to see who can use the most
    "50 cent" words, though to read these posts, some would think so! there is nothing wrong with intelligence, but when it is so obvious that someone is TRYING real hard to come across as smart,well, that is just pathetic.these two(or one??) are doing nothing but stroking each others (?) egos. I have never seen such an attempt to spout so much useless info, and quote so many other people...perhaps they should come up with some original ideas,if they are able to!! so pathetic, and such a waste of space!! isn't it curious how those two(?) knock each other in one post, than stroke each other in a later post???

  94. At least we are smarter than you are, Lonewolf. That's something, I guess.

  95. Miguel,

    I think we can safely ignore Lonewolf.

  96. Miguel,
    How do you figure?? because you read a dictionary before you post?? grow up little boy! I don't feel the need to flaunt my intelligence, I know what I am capable of, and don't need to try to prove it here!that's known as self-confidence, something you obviously lack, among other things!! you are transparent,as are your attempts at showing "intelligence"!!you apparently have no shame,otherwise you would do everyone a favor and leave this site, and quit making a fool of yourself!!

  97. Miguel and Joseph are re-fricken-diculous.... BWAHAHAHA!!!!

  98. I think Joseph and I should move to an appropiate discussion forum of politics, economics and technology, because we have some interesting arguments to discuss.

    Bye, losers.

  99. Joseph said...

    Yes. I suspect this forum is being subtly manipulated or watched over by someone under spurious pretenses. Notice I have stopped using my Google account for this post.

    Miguel --

    Here is a blog we can migrate to:

    Also, one of my favorites is ClubOrlov.

    If you have any suggestions of Transhumanism blogs, please let me know.

  100. Joseph said...

    Also, here is a good one -- and very appropriate:

  101. Joseph said...

    Here is my first post on the Futurist blog (see November 01 at 5:30 pm), on jobs, the economy, unemployment and the future of the US:


    Hi Suelo. You are encouraging others to follow their own religious traditions. Religious people have followed their own religion their whole lives and we haven't seen any fundamental social changes. Kindly I ask you; Since most of your writing is coming from different traditions, IS ENOUGH TO FOLLOW YOUR OWN RELIGION TRADITION? ARE YOU COMBINING MORE THAN ONE SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FROM DIFFERENT RELIGIONS? Ana

  103. Joseph, King Louis XIV of France was actually one of the greatests politicians of all time. But we have to admit he was a terrible economist, as have been all the great political figures from Julius Caesar to Napoleon. To put it bluntly, these kinds of people are good for burning cash, but not for earning it.

    Also, I think you are wrong about your right and left dichotomy. In fact, I would prefer to picture the right as guardians of tradition and the left as revolutionaries and innovators.

    The right represent people in strong positions of power and wealth, but who are secretly afraid of change and social upheaval. These kinds of people are too afraid to take risks to increase their wealth or power, so they tend to stagnate in time.

    The left on the other hand represent the innovators, revolutionaries and progressives.
    People who are not afraid to take risks to get money and power. (Hint: I consider myself a "big D" Democrat.)

    Finally, I agree that disorder triumphs over order, but not in the way that you or Suelo envision. It is a far different reality actually.

  104. I also think it is unfair to say technology benefits the haves at the expense of the have- nots. I fact the haves usually have a hard time understanding technology and it's implications. While the have nots know how to use technology to their advantage.

    To finish with an illustrative example. John McCain doesn't know how to use a computer, while Obama is good with technology. Get it?.

  105. Miguel,
    I thought you were leaving, to go to an "appropriate" forum for you and your side kick Joseph?? as someone mentioned before, you are obviously not a man of your word!! and you call everyone else a loser?? what a jerk!!!

  106. It is a slow process, be patient.

  107. It seems ALOT of people here need to grow up and quit calling names and starting trouble! I am not taking anyones side in these childish posts, I just want to come to a sensible site where the posts are about living without money, as Suelo intended. why is that so hard for some to comprehend??

  108. Joseph, I recommend you read Richard Cantillon's "Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General". It is the book that layed the groundwork for the development of economic science, further expanded by Francois Quesnay and Adam Smith (the founder of the classical school of economics).

  109. Joseph wrote...


    I agree with much of your comments... I won't be posting too much over the next week, because I have to do an annual report at work... but I will be back. I'm glad that you are a Democrat, because I am, too -- I agree with you on that. Also I think I know where you are, because if it is on the island where I think you are, I have lived there myself for two years! But there is no reason to state the location.

    I definitely think some of us, and you, should partially migrate to other blogs for our conversations, not because this is a bad blog (except for certain intolerant people here), but because there are perhaps other blogs which are more appropriate for our topics.

  110. Hello, Indiana is here.
    Ana repeated my question for Daniel regarding meditation.
    Daniel if you respond, there are actualy two questions:
    1. How does meditation improves your life (how do you benefit from meditation?)
    2. What meditation method do you use?

  111. Sorry for the grammar in my above question.

  112. My computer time is limited, so I can't possibly answer everything!

    Will I have to start monitoring these comments, as much as I've not wanted to???

    Please, basic human respect is all I ask! That means not dominating the blog. It means letting others be heard. And it means not name-calling. Please.

    Indiana, I meditate in the formal sense, though I consider all of life a meditation. It's about letting go of thoughts & simple observation/awaremess of what is - like Zen. It's something to talk about when there's more time - maybe part of the FAQ.

    Service to humanity & all creatures is key to meditation. Service done in secret is essential. Tooting your horn about your work(working for credit) ruins it, though it will mean you'll be criticized for not contributing to society. It's all about renouncing credit, which is the truth at the core of every religion.

    Ana, my point is that religion does not work because people are only talking religion, not practicing it. A medicine doesn't work if you put it on an alter & worship it, rather than swallow it down. Case in point: Ask yourself who practices Jesus' teachings. Mouthing on and on how "Jesus is Lord, Lord", even as we hoard wealth, bomb people, & rape the environment isn't practicing our own religion. I'd say the same of other institutional religions.

  113. Suelo thinks the only valid religion is his misguided fanaticism. Nonsense I say, religion is something subjective and does not conform to the whims of a deluded hippie.

    Suelo talks about service done in secret, but he toots his own horn with this ugly, hypocritical and ridiculous blog. Can someone say deluded moron?.

  114. Suelo talks about service to humanity, but he is one of the most selfish people I have known. He doesn't contribute to society in any tangible way and believes he is superior to those who do contribute in some way.

  115. Suelo,

    Actually, I disagree that talking about your service is necessarily bad. Bragging about it would certainly be bad, and tacky, but keeping other informed about what you're doing to help people and serve humanity is a very good and positive thing. First, because it exposes your example to others and inspires them to act. Second, because it provokes debate and provides information about ways to help.

    On the other hand, keeping utterly quiet about one's service to humanity is just another form of pretense. It's rather arbitrary, because you certainly don't keep quiet about living in a cave and eating from dumpsters. You actually go on the BBC about it, in fact.

    If service to humanity is so important to you that you elevate it to something almost sacred by not talking about it, then it should also be important enough to do full time, as a job. Yet you reject jobs just because money is paid for them? How about a full-time volunteer job at a shelter, in return for a bed and food? I'm sure such situations exist out there. Money wouldn't even have to enter the picture.

  116. Suelo,

    Here's an idea. Would you accept "care packages" mailed to you, from around the country and the world, gratis? I am serious about this. If you had a postal drop, or a friend's or relative's address where you could receive packages, people could send you simple foods, sustenance, maybe fresh clothes, reading material, etc. I even thought of sending you a cheap solar-powered or crank-driven radio.

    I would actually contribute to this, if you requested this from people.

    I admit that part of my interest in doing this stems from my contention that you are a victim of our economic system, and are not ENTIRELY doing what you're doing voluntarily. I think there is, or at least there was initially, at least some involuntary component to it, whether it was central in your mind or not.

    Also, I want to test if you are really anti-materialist in that you would reject, say, a radio, even if the radio itself is not money. In other words, would you reject useful gifts from people, because they are technological artifacts or somehow represent our money culture? Would you reject gifts of new clothes?

    How much of what you are doing is a pure rejection of the concept of money, and how much of it is an anger-driven repudiation of human society? Of what could be called the "forced interaction" with other people required by work?

    If those are the psychological roots of your endeavor in the wilderness, then I submit you have only convinced yourself what you are repudiating is money. Perhaps you are actually rejecting all aspects of human society and social interaction because you intensely dislike it.

  117. Whatever I say or don't say, your verdict has already been decided.

  118. Suelo,
    I hope you don't let all the BS get to you,there are just certain people in life who feel the need to question and challenge everything. most of the people who read this blog read it because they are interested in WHAT you are doing, more than WHY you are doing it.I feel that most people are interested in your day to day life,the challenges of living how you do...I know I am!!so, ignore all the BS, and keep on keeping us up to date. Take care out there!!

  119. Well, Suelo, I just asked if you would be interested in care packages. If you are, that would be one way of allowing others to help you. If you would like a radio, books, packages of dried fruit, nuts, etc. -- it could make the quality of your life a little better, and easier on you. You did mention a couple of times, in interviews, that your life without money is not easy. If you had, maybe 20-30 people sending you a small package each month or every few months, I mean really cheap and simple stuff, you could still live without money, but live better. And the outlay for many people would only be a few dollars a month.

    I am not proposing this only to help Suelo, but maybe as a new model for us "regular folks" to help homeless and poor people. If the poor used free access to the Internet in libraries like you do, perhaps a website could be set up to facilitate packages like this being sent to the needy.

  120. I don't see why Suelo's motivations, contributions, and actions in general should be questioned anymore than anyone else's.


  121. Ken, I agree. But I get angry at Suelo's holier than thou attitude. Maybe I am taking it too personally.

  122. Joseph’s posts seem strangely reminiscent of the temptation of Christ in the desert. Also in regard to your comment that Suelo is a victim of economic misfortune shows just how little you understand his convictions. I just found this blog and I am drawn to it not because I am disenfranchised, but because I have, of my own volition, come to a similar understanding as Suelo.
    I have only read the bio and this post so I don’t know if this is true, but in regard to the comment about isolating oneself from society, I agree. Those who possess the truth must not hoard it for themselves. But based on this single blog entry it is quite obvious that Suelo is not living in isolation.
    As an aside I don’t understand how anyone could find the time, or justify spending the time you have on a single discussion board. It’s cool that you disagree with what he’s doing, however do you honestly think you can dissuade others from appreciating his lifestyle. Why spend the time seeking out people just to rail against them? I mean there are so many people on earth doing a whole lot worse than this guy, why not voice your concerns in their direction.
    That’s all I have to say. And I will forewarn you that I have no intention of responding to anything you say because I honestly cannot justify spending any more time debating this.


  123. Re: Joseph

    Sorry. I read some more of your other posts and they all seem pretty well informed and contain valid points. Debate is good.

    To Seola.

    I respect what you are doing. It is not the only way live, but you do not champion it as such. That said, a great deal of people could take a page from your book or post from your blog.


  124. Miguel,

    I suspect that you are taking things a bit too personally. I don't really interpret Suelo's attitude as being "holier than though". I guess he does have an authoritative tone, but that's completely appropriate for him to use as the owner of this blog.

    I think it's easy to feel threatened by ideas that oppose your way of looking at the world (and the individuals who embody those ideas). However, I don't see the potential for Suelo's ideas to cause the collapse of western capitalist civilization. What I do see in Suelo is someone who has discovered an alternative way of living that works for him and is sharing his insights and views with others in order to add to a larger conversation about how we as individuals can fit into the larger picture while taking care of our physical and spiritual needs. (Sorry about the run on sentence.) I see no reason to feel insulted or threatened by that.


  125. I meant "holier than thou".


  126. Ken,

    I agree with you in your basic analysis of Suelo. However, perhaps the central failing of Suelo's thesis about money is that he is overintellectualizing his ideas about the alienation and disaffection caused by money, and how it leads to an "inauthentic" existence (that is my term which I believe roughly encapsulates Suelo's ideas; I'm not sure if Suelo himself has used this term).

    Basically, Suelo seems to have a feeling of alienation, ennui, or as some philosophers called it, "Anomie" about a money-driven society.

    (For those unfamiliar with the word "anomie", it comes from Middle French, and Merriam-Webster defines it as "personal unrest, alienation and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals.")

    Maybe Suelo can correct me if that is not the central emotional problem he has with money, but I think I am close.

    In any event, as an inveterate pragmatist, I see Suelo's feeling of alienation as something that partially stems from an overintellectualization of this whole money thing, which in turn is psychologically-driven and therefore very specific to Suelo (and also perhaps to the rare individuals who have a similar psychological makeup to him.)

    Empirically, the fact that the vast, vast majority of people in the world have not seen fit to "voluntarily" flee to caves and renounce money, tells me that Suelo's prescriptions are not something that taps into a universal human desire.

    I do think that Suelo's intense Christian-fundamentalist upbringing, combined perhaps with other specific aspects of Suelo's psychology and individual situation, cumulatively caused his flight from society.

    I do not think he is some kind of prophet professing universal truths.

    As I said before, it is not money itself, or even a society that uses money, that is the evil we must abhor and control. It is human greed, and those who put money and power above charity for their fellowman.

  127. Joseph,

    You can't be serious; I consider myself to be relatively intelligent, but I have to say, no one speaks as you do unless they are trying real hard to sound smarter than they are, and according to my old psych professor, that is a sign of a socially backwards individual who is striving to fit in and hide their lack of true social skills. most truly intelligent people don't feel the need to "prove" themselves! in fact, very intelligent people usually seem less intelligent, on the surface!!

  128. Anonymous at 6:38 -- you sound just like one of the jocks in my 7th grade gym class trying to insult one of the studious nerds by using pseudo-intellectual babble parroted from their anti-intellectual dads. A person uses "big words" -- therefore they are trying to sound "smarter than they are". Never mind what the big words mean, or what the sentences mean. Just disregard that and leap to a conclusion to suit your own phony prejudices.

    Try sitting in any serious graduate school classroom where psychology, literature, or sociology is being discussed, and the professor would fail any student who could not express himself with erudition.

    I don't need to defend or justify the way I express myself; I am proud of it.

  129. I said that I wouldn't continue debating this but I think I have to jump back in. Again Joseph you really haven't read much of this blog if you are accusing Suelo of reverting back to his "fundamentalist christian upbringing." He has explained his reasons for returning to the faith he was raised with, none of which include shame, guilt, self righteousness, or anything related to what you associate with fundamentalism. Quite simply he came to the understanding that all beliefs hold piece of truth, which is lost in the politics, rhetoric, greed, etc which surround it. Once these things are tossed aside the differences in these faiths are similar to those of language. No on of intelligence would claim that English is the only language that allows communication between people and that all others are gibberish. We are born into our unique cultures, all of which are built on different languages, religions, customs, etc. Seulo has, like others, found that it is foolish to run from our pasts, or to try and adopt another culture as this furthers our own confusion and helps to disenfranchise others from their own traditions. It is better to find the truth within your own environment... which is not to say we shouldn't enjoy or appreciate that of all others.

  130. I think Joseph has some good points. But I think Suelo's view of money probably stems from his upbringing, as this stage always plays an important role in later life. I wouldn't be suprised if Suelo learned a negative concept of money because of his parents family values.

    It has happened many times before where a child is indirectly taught to view money as dirty and evil. It is not surprising these kind of people are total failures in their professional lifes and end developing an anger towards society and compensate with a "holier than thou" attitude. In other words they go from the money to the morality arena. They change one of type of insecurity for another.

    I have always distrusted Suelo's story of wonderful loving parents. I think there is a dark side to all this that he conveniently ignores or hides from other people.

  131. Anonymous,

    Trying to sound smarter than you are is not as bad as it's usually potrayed, in fact the opposite is true. It can actually make you smarter as you make a greater effort to structure ideas and to communicate them.

    Conversely taking your intelligence for granted, can make you less logical, creative or intelligent. This is because you put in less effort.

    We are what we strive to be.

  132. It is not surprising that the most stupid people of all, are those who take their intelligence for granted. Classic examples are provided by ignorant people who attempt to impress others with their stupidity.

  133. Back to subject. Thanks for answer my question Suelo. I might be repeating myself, but I think this is a very important point. My feeling has always being that there is something missing in the Christian traditions that hasn't been taught to the ordinary men on the street(not so much in the monastic life), and I think it could be the mystic part that somehow is missing from the scriptures. As you are admitting that you're practicing some kind of Zen meditation too; that for practising what the scriptures tell you, maybe you need a certain awareness level to understand them that only can be reach with certain meditation practices. Hope that makes sense. Regards!

  134. I recommend reading C.G Jung's work and William James' The Variety of Religious Experiences. Very enlightening books on mysticism, symbols and religious experiences.

    Comparative religion is a great field of study, it can teach a lot about spirituality. Even more than Suelo in some aspects.

  135. This is the only cave I might go to:

    Cave Automatic Virtual Environment

  136. Suelo is the living practice of spirituality, you can't compare it with any intellectually reading about it, and you know it Miguel. Only the ones who practice are the ones who can teach you more accurate about it IMHO. I would like to have the time and the means to read every book that with good intention has been recommended, but I would be happy to read just the essential to live a happy and fulfill life. And in my own words, I think the downfall of our society is that we have overfeed our body but we have left our spirit to starve, so we have to find that balance again.

  137. "I think the downfall of our society is that we have overfeed our body but we have left our spirit to starve, so we have to find that balance again"

    That's a very informed statement.

  138. Miguel,

    I thought your were leaving?? you spread more filth and lies than anyone I've ever encountered!! You are a parasitic troll who neads to leave like you said you would! for once in your life, be a man of your word!As the saying goes, a man is only as good as his word!!be a man and bow out gracefully! no one will miss you!!

  139. Maybe Suelo SHOULD start monitoring the comments here; it would be a sad thing to see happen, but if people persist in posting childish remarks and going off topic, then it would be for the best interest of this forum. personaly, I think we should all act like adults, and not require someone to "babysit" us!everyone seems to talk about intelligence smart do you really have to be to post a reasonable question or response??

  140. Who are you to ask me anything?. Instead of critizing me, you should look inside yourself, you will surely find many areas to work on.

  141. My last comment is not directed to Rob but to the poster above him.

    Rob: Could you be more specific?.

  142. Miguel,

    What I meant is that I(and I'm sure others) am tired of the constant arguing and name calling going on here, as well as the off topic posts. this is a forum for discussing living without money; not religion, not technology, not intelligence, and not a place to "one up" each other. granted, some of the topics above have SOME bearing on living without money, but people tend to stray too far, and start turning this site into a religious debate, or a discussion on technology. I'm sure there are sites for those topics! lets stay on topic HERE, and act like mature adults!

  143. To Ana, Miguel, Rob, and everyone talking about religion here....

    In my message above, I was NOT implying that Suelo's fundamentalist Christian upbringing directly caused his repudiation of money, as a result of Christian preaching against money.

    Quite the contrary, the modern Christian fundamentalist movement in the USA *supports* the structures of this country that promote greed and unbridled capitalism.

    This movement, and many of their prominent preachers such as Pat Robertson, actually promote extreme capitalism as a matter of ideology. And the vast majority of their Religious Right followers in this country (who, parenthetically, are usually but not always of Scots-Irish heritage), fall for it, hook, line, and sinker, and parrot it, mixing this ideology with their religious teachings.

    I am speculating that Suelo's renunciation of money is a result of an emotional and psychological BACKLASH against this ideology, and all its implications.

  144. Joseph: Hmmmm. You could be right, although I have seen the opposite. Half-assed businessman disguised as preachers talking against greed and opulence. Not very impressive if you ask me.

    Not surprising that pure economists (Austrian School of Economics) don't like Christian Churches of any kind because they create political and social movements that press for political action and economic intervention. So they actually interfere with the normal functioning of economic activity.

    Rob: I think I agree with you here, it can get irritating when we get off topic. That said, I see a very narrow minded views on here.

    According to the first poster who preached his "DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!!!" rethoric, it was only necessary for me to go away to have good discussions, but I am afraid that good discussion have not really taked place in the past at all.

    I have been noticing this forum is very polarized, I only see isolated supporting comments and offensive (sometimes very clever) comments. There is no middle ground, no debate, no questioning. I only see rigid dogma in for or against Suelo's lifestyle and philosophy.

  145. Here are some questions for debate:

    How would a moneyless economy deal with those who only want to take without contributing?

    Would it be possible for greeding individuals to exploit a moneyless economy the way they exploit the current economy?

    How would Suelo's (or anyone attempting to emulate him) lifestyle have to change in order to survive in a society with less wasted consumables?

    My apologies if these have already been addressed somewhere, but I beleive that these questions could prompt productive discussion rather than insults and petty arguments.


  146. Ken -

    You raise some great, and valid questions above. The answers to the first two would depend on a lot of things, including individuals' preferences and philosophies about charity. I'm just going to analyze the last one you asked.

    I think if a paucity of "wasted consumables" existed, or if our society was geared toward much less waste and more recycling of used, castoff, and excess commodities, including food, certain aspects of Suelo's life would be a little harder, or at least more regimented.

    For instance, if Suelo could not make up for this gap by finding 100% of his food in the wild, on the occasions where he did want to eat "mainstream" (for lack of a better word) food, he'd have to visit community shelters and stand in line, or he may even have to do some work in return for food.

    Certainly an even exchange, and no money would have to be involved. In fact, I think that a lot of homeless shelters and other charities for the poor offer situations exactly like this.

    Why this kind of set-up could not be expanded, to accommodate a lot more people, I don't know.

    But certainly it's another way of living without money, and also, it wouldn't necessitate people moving into the wildnerness and living off insects, squirrels, and dumpster diving.

  147. Another thought:

    Let's all be very honest with ourselves here. What Suelo is talking about, i.e., a moneyless society, is basically perfected communism.

    There can be no argument about that. Suelo is talking about the end-stage, or goal, of textbook Communism.

    Now, I will not make an argument against that, because real Communism has not been tried on this earth. We are all used to totalitarian versions of "communism", as practiced by the Soviet Union, Cuba, Mao's China, etc.

    The textook description of this final stage of communism is this:

    "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

    Notice that is a bargain, with two bound parties. The collective gives each person sustenance according to his/her needs. This is a solemn pledge, a social contract. And the individual gives his or her labor to the collective, according to his or her abilities.

    There is no way of escaping this, and the bargain does not include those who want to sponge off the collective.

    That's a commonly misunderstood part of Marxist doctrine.

    The individual MUST commit his labor to the collective, according to his or her abilities, or else he or she is cut off. Ostracized. And starved, unless he or she can find a way to live outside of the collective, or unless he/she is deemed incompetent or insane.

    Alas, there is no free lunch either, in the perfect communist society.

    Careful what you wish for, else it might actually happen.

  148. "Now, I will not make an argument against that, because real Communism has not been tried on this earth. We are all used to totalitarian versions of "communism", as practiced by the Soviet Union, Cuba, Mao's China, etc."

    Yes, it has been tried, albeit in a smaller scale. It's not a very good model regarding freedom, progress or commerce. That said, it has some admirable qualities.

  149. Miguel,

    To a great extent, communism is a mutual pact between the collective and individuals that depends on the "honor system".

    If there are people who want to take resources from the collective, but not give their labour in return, those people are either punished or expelled.

    It reminds me of the "honor system" in use in public transportation (buses, subways, trains) in many European cities. For instance, in Frankfurt, there are machines to buy train tickets for the local city trains, and practically everyone buys them, but there is no mechanism to read these tickets, no "turnstiles", and these tickets are almost never checked by conductors. (Unlike on the Deutsche Bahn inter-city trains, where tickets are always checked).

    So, basically the local trains rely on the honor system. This is true not only in Frankfurt but in many cities across Europe. On the other hand, the London Underground does have ticket-validating turnstiles.

    And by the way, in many European cities the buses and trolleys also work on the same type honor system.

    Now, think about the USA and city public transportation here. EVERY form of public transportation, however local, has some form of official validating of tickets, usually via machine. There is no honor system, period. Nobody is trusted.

    It says something about the United States that our society does not trust "honor systems". I think it is because the authorities think that the average American transit rider cannot be trusted, or at least that a very large number of Americans can't be trusted.

    America has weeded out most honor systems and turned everything into a "fee-for-service" situation where you cannot do a "free ride".

    Although I don't like free riders, I would prefer to live in a society where most people were honest and not motivated to cheat -- meaning a society that could afford to use honor sytems here and there.

    Societies that protect and provide for their citizens have more honest citizens, because people have their own money to pay for services (whether honestly earned or collected as part of a fair welfare system, or a combination of both). These societies produce honest, happy people, who aren't disposed to cheating.

    You can infer backward from there, that societies that use "honor systems" in day-to-day activities are fairer societies which take care of their people.

  150. Yes, but you haven't begin to explore the ugly side of it. It's never black and white.

  151. It's unfair to say the American way of life is inferior to it's European counterpart. In fact it's superior in many areas as economy, freedom, risk taking, entrepreneurship, and more.

    Europeans have a bureocratic mindset and an innate aversion for taking risks and finantial independence. And this is taking it's toll on their respective economies. That's something European Goverments are attempting to solve promoting Venture Capital funds.

    It will be good to illustrate this bureocratic mindset with two examples, Denmark and France. Disclaimer: I love those two countries, but I can't deny they have a dark side not everyone notices. Enjoy:

    The Danish Page

    La French Page

  152. Miguel

    I don't think you can judge a country by how many venture capital firms it has. Been there, done that... I started 2 start-ups and made pitches to VCs, and attended innumerable VC conferences. The whole scene is overrated, their intelligence is overrated, and 90 percent of the companies they fund are garbage and don't deserve to even exist.

    Funny you bring up Denmark, because I'm going there next month.

  153. Actually, that Danish ethic described on that page - about not flaunting that you are "better" than anyone, not being proud of wealth -- that shoud be universally applied and should be implemented in the USA. I don't see that happening, but ultimately the only thing that could really save the USA is if that kind of thinking is implemented.

  154. Really?. That's not what Finland's goverment is thinking and the results show a growing economy in biotechnology and other high tech firms. Have you heard of Nokia?.

    Even Switzerland is asking what Finland is doing so well in it's economy and they have discovered it has to do with a strong support of Venture Capital. Something that Switzerland lacks.

    And the USA is the biggest VC market. It's no wonder the best high tech companies are American.

  155. Joseph, I think you are biased. You are no better than the fanatical Ayn Rand followers that promote laissez faire capitalism for the whole world.

    Fanatics miss the essential point that everything is relative. Any model you choose has it's advantages and disadvantages. There is no exception to this.

    And America doesn't need to be "saved".

  156. Biotechnology and energy startups are great and we need more of them here... but Dot-Com Bubble 1.0 and 2.0 -- most of the companies funded were crap. I admit to that having been a part of both bubbles, and having been burned in both bubbles. When Sweden and Finland invest, though, you can bet that most of the stuff they're putting money into is good. Finland consistently ranks #1 in the world in school mathematics and science testing, with Switzerland ranking not far behind. And where does the wonderful USA rank? We are so far down in the cesspool as not to be even competitive. Our wonderful capitalist system here is producing generations of semi-literates who are only qualified to consume... which is exactly what our corporate masters want! ha ha ha!

  157. I am a pragmatist in many ways and totally understand that everything is relative. In a socialist system, I'd probably be right out there advocating for free enterprise. I believe you must STRIKE A BALANCE. Speaking of Buddha, the Middle Way and all that, the same applies to economics.

    The problem in the USA is that we've shifted so far to one side, the ridiculous, deregulated, laissez-faire model, which Edward Luttwak called "Turbo-Capitalism", that the best medicine for us right now is to be shifted WAY back in the other direction, towards more social programs, much more regulation of business, etc. Bring back Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" and all those programs -- the WPA, CCC, etc. Re-regulate business, especially multi-national corporations. They have no god-given right to wander the earth exploiting peoples. Do you think China allows its companies to ammass piles of cash without contributing something back to society? The answer is NO. That is why the Chinese have the oldest continuous civilizaton on Earth -- 5,000 years old. They think long-term.

  158. Now that you mention it, you should read this site about American Education:

    American Education History Tour

    And next you could read a free online version of "Underground History of American Education" or buy a copy.

  159. "The problem in the USA is that we've shifted so far to one side, the ridiculous, deregulated, laissez-faire model, which Edward Luttwak called "Turbo-Capitalism", that the best medicine for us right now is to be shifted WAY back in the other direction, towards more social programs, much more regulation of business, etc."

    I agree with this and I think president Obama is heading the country in the right direction.

  160. It's really funny the way people's prejudices color the way they write. For instance, the guy who wrote the article on how bad everything is in Denmark, refers repeatedly to their "communist tax system".

    That's a contradiction, because a truly communist country, even one that half-heartedly pretends to be communist, wouldn't really have a tax system, especially not an onerous one.

    If the collective (people, state, whatever you want to call it) owns the means of production, the collective also collects all revenues from the provision of goods and services, and would pay out salaries from those revenues.

    There would be no need for taxes in such a society.

    So when he calls Denmark "communist", he is way off base and it shows this guy has a kindergarten level of understanding of economics, at best. It shows that he is just an angry, bitter, prejudiced loudmouth with a chip on his shoulder and an agenda to pursue. In other words, a biased reporter trying to shove his version of the "facts" (heavily laden with his own opinions) into our faces.

  161. Joseph, I have to admit I got angry with him too, because I love Denmark. But he has some very good points.

    It is easy to turn a blind eye to the faults of the countries we respect and admire. (It seems you don't respect or admire the US).

    And I think you have a very bad level of economics too. You should read Hayek.

  162. I don't like Hayek. I think he is used by a lot of people to justify economic rubbish.

    Also, the guy who wrote the rambling article about Denmark doesn't make any good points. It seens he is just a bitter Danish person who for some reason didn't like the society he was living in. That article is quite old, I believe. Now that I think about it, I saw it, or something very similar, posted on the internet probably around 2000.

  163. Denmark the Happiest Place on Earth --

    Denmark is not perfect, but its citizens consistently rate themselves the "happiest" of any people on the planet.

    I think this comes from Denmark's very high standard of living, wise economic, tax and spending policies which has created the closest thing to a wisely-planned, beneficent society where people's needs are met, where people don't have to struggle to survive and hold three jobs, fear defaulting on their mortgages, get harrassed by bill collectors and credit card companies to make escalating loan payments they were tricked into by underregulated lenders, etc. In other words, they have a humane society.

    Now you can talk about innovation, entrepreneurialism, until you're blue in the face. But all of that doesn't mean jack squat unless you FIRST have a humane society that takes care of its own. Spend money on taking care of people first, creating a livable society where all are educated, housed, fed, etc., and then only after all those conditions are met fully for all people, should you worry about "entrepreneurialism".

  164. Agreed, but I have met a few danes that are not happy with the classic Xenophobia of Denmark. One of them got a degree in the US and back in his home country he was discriminated for it.

    Futhermore even if you don't like Hayek, it is good to read his theories because they show a different view of mainstream economic theory.
    Not everything is as simple as it seems.

  165. Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes

  166. Miguel and Joseph,
    I thought you two were leaving this site?? remember, you said people here are losers? you both jam up this forum with garbage that no one cares about, or wants to hear, yet day after day, you come here and stroke each others egos! TAKE YOUR TRASH ELSEWHERE!!! leave like you said you would, or are you both liars??

  167. "A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers." Friedrich August von Hayek

    "Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality - an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order." Friedrich August von Hayek

  168. "but I have met a few danes that are not happy with the classic Xenophobia of Denmark"

    Are you referring to the Danish "Muhammad" cartoons?

  169. No, to the discrimination of foreing people in Denmark.

  170. Suelo,
    After coming across your blog researching my roadtrip to the southwest, I look forward to hearing more. I fell in love with Moab, Utah this summer,although I didn't need to drink from Matrimony springs to know that one day I will live there. As a tourist Moab was pretty pricey, however falling asleep listening to the Colorado River was priceless in itself. I think what you are doing is very interesting, although I am not giving up my debit card anytime soon:)Your way of life seems to be very peaceful and fulfilling. I send you blessings, Crabby

  171. Greetings
    I found your blog about a month ago while I was traveling in the northwest and Ive been meaning to contact you. I too live without money, although I do pay for public transportation when I have to. I do work-trade when I can, I vollunteer on farms and I dumpster dive when I have to. I just started a blog the other day. I'll be posting on my recent journeys in the next day or so. I have to go into the woods to write because I can't stand computers. Peace my brother.

  172. We have seen recently the pernicious effects that religion can have on a person's mind. Exposure to religion at an early age, or religious indoctrination through life, often promotes psychosis, or at least what psychologists call "schizoid behavior". I have a friend who was a successful professional, but also a member of the Mormon Church and surrounded by Mormons. He recently took his own life with a gun, and I believe that long-term exposure to the destructive influences of religion may have played a strong role in his turning the gun on himself. Here is just one recent example from the media of what religion can do in promoting criminal behavior, and how people use religion to justify criminal behavior:

    We need to control religion, tax it, and discourage it!!!

  173. Joseph, I think it's relative. Some people find meaning and enlightening in their religions, others find alienation and superstition.

    I happen to be an agnostic, but I am also a trascendentalist. I believe all religions have some truth in them.

  174. You should visit an Unitarian Church.

  175. Miguel,

    On the whole, the so-called "Abrahamic religions", Christianity Judaism, and Islam, have caused more devastation and harship in people's lives, and more warfare, suffering and strife, than they could ever hope to cure. And other cults like Mormonism, Scientology, and Aum Shinrikyo have brainwashed people into harming themselves and others.

    The issue is not what kinds of spiritual solace one can get from joining a moribund group of lemmings like the Unitarians... the issue is, is the United States of America going to tax religions now, particularly when we have a trillion-dollar plus budget deficit?

    TAX ALL RELIGIOUS ENTITIES HEAVILY, and divert the money to helping the homeless, the needy and the working poor!!!

  176. It's amazing how little you can find, on the Internet, along the lines of a serious public policy debate over the taxation of religion in the USA.

    It seems that the political establishment in the US is afraid to broach this subject for fear that Aunt Gertrude and her fellow hordes of orthopedic shoe-wearing churchgoers back in Keokuck will take offense and clobber them at the ballot box.

    The truth is that this issue has never been seriously raised in the USA in the sense of a sustained public policy debate, and needs to be raised NOW.

    The best diatribe on this subject I could find on the Net are the following....

  177. Taxing religions is a very unethical, not to mention unpopular idea. I have heard it said by satanists and militant atheists. It's not something I would encourage any goverment to implement.

    And I find your view of Abrahamic religions as terribly biased and unfair. As much as I respect Buddhism and the Buddha, I think you should look at the dark side of Buddhism too:

    Critical Links to Buddhism and Lamaism

    And read this book:


    "Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism"

  178. And now I ask, does this makes Buddhism evil?. I would answer with a strong "No". Buddhism has many enlightening aspects to consider it worthwile, at least for some kinds of people.

    However this only applies if you can accept Buddhism may have a dark side. I have heard many Buddhist supporters blaming my sources as propaganda. It seems some people prefer to live in their own fantasy world and I don't have any problem with that.

  179. Miguel,

    All that is interesting coming from a person who has called religions "obsolete" here on this blog. I thought I agreed with you on the subject of religion. Now I think you are being contrary just to be a contrarian. You have previously slammed religions here.

  180. Taxing religion is not unethical, Miguel. It is much more unethical NOT to tax religions.

  181. The fact I am an agnostic, doesn't mean I call traditional religions obsolete, if anything I think they will adapt to future events. Also new religions are appearing all the time.

    Religion is not dead, it's alive. New ideas for religion and new leaders are emerging. Last time I was checking Osho and Adi Da, both very impressive spiritual leaders with novel ideas for religious thinking.

    I would consider myself a deeply religious person. I think I mentioned Carl Jung and William James on this blog. And I don't remember slamming religion, except for reading Suelo doing it with Christianity.

    Taxing religions IS unethical according to most people's standards. I would advise you to consult with sensible thinkers in politics about taxing religions. I think the answer is very obvious, as it's not ethical, not practical to implement, and in the end it's wishful thinking. Only a totalitarian socialist regime might be able to do it.

    Being a contrarian is useful for developing flexibility of mind, but I don't think I am being that here. I am only stating my views.

  182. Miguel, do you think taxes in general are ethical? Would you have the government tax all of us, but not tax religious institutions?

    Why should religious organizations get favored treatment? That is blatantly unethical.



  183. I think SOME taxes are ethical, yes. Furthermore any non-profit institution should not be taxed, and religions should be no exception.

    Religions never get favored treatment in modern democracies. This only happens in totalitarian theocracies as Islamic societies and the old feudal theocracy of Tibet. Yes, the Dalai Lama was favored, until the chinese changed their old fashioned way of living.

  184. 1. The problem is that most religions in the USA, including the Catholic and Protestant mega-churches, as well as most Jewish congregations and many Islamic groups, are businesses masquerading as "non-profit entities". When one really examines their finances, one will see the huge amount of unethical profiteering they engage in, hidden under the cloak of "religion". TIME TO TAX THE RELIGIONS!

    2. You lump the USA along with all other liberal democracies, but we are by far the most religious of the "liberal democracies". In the USA, it is clear that people use religion as a crutch to mask their own intolerance and unethical behavior. Moreover, we are a society in which the average person still elevates superstition over science:

  185. 1. Agreed, but the answer is more regulation. Taxing religions would be unpopular and probably a bad choice.

    2. I agree, however I am doubtful that natural sciences should be given preference over the social sciences, spirituality, art, literature, philosophy or music. I have heard some natural scientists obsessed with rationalism and hard facts, who claim any kind of symbolic thinking should be abolished, including poetry and metaphors.

  186. 1. Miguel, let it be unpopular! Sometimes the populace has to be dragged kicking and screaming into present day thinking! Much of the US population is hopelessly retrograde in their thinking. I am stating what I would do as president or as a legislator, and moreover I'm making a public policy proposal that I think should be fought to achieve. In fact, I may have my friend in Taiwan design a website to promote this cause, and turn it into an advocacy group! I think this is the 'cause of the century' for the US, because it ties together our fiscal problems (tremendous) with the reactionary cultural attitudes of much of the US population, especially in the South and Midwest. Even if it has only a small chance of being implemented (as you say, it would be highly unpopular), I think that openly debating this alternative, everywhere, would be very healthy for the USA!

    2. I agree that natural/physical sciences should not be promoted over social sciences, art, literature, music, etc. However, the dichotomy we're talking about here is not natural sciences versus social sciences, it is natural sciences versus unscientific superstition. The government should promote rationality, scientific thinking, and teach that in the schools, along with the social sciences, arts, etc. However, the government should also have a role in actively discouraging superstition and irrationalism, and should spend money fighting these impulses. Some of that money can be what is collected from these parasitic religious organizations!

  187. Some people group the social sciences under the scientific superstition label.

  188. Joseph,
    You talk about creating "the cause of the century", yet you and your lackey Miguel can't even manage to follow through with something as simple as leaving this site, as you both claimed to want to do! you two(or one in the same?)are totally clueless about the real workings of this come hear preaching all manner of garbage, trying to sound important, yet all you really accomplish is to sound like the frightened hate mongers you really are. scum like you need a seriuos reality check, and one day, someone WILL give you one!! now, keep your word and leave this site, and take your anti-religion views with you!! (or is it too hard to keep your word???)

  189. Why don't you ignore us?, that's what the first poster claimed was needed for us trolls to leave.

  190. Miguel,
    It's hard to ignore your filth when you spread it all over this site. of course,that is what you want,that's why losers like you and Joseph pollute a decent site like love to cause problems. now answer this...why don't you leave like you said??? are you not capable of being a man of your word??

  191. Religions aren't taxed because people believe there is a "seperation of church and state" (this isn't in the constitution). The government is not allowed to form an official religion (not have NO religious statements in it's buildings etc). It's freedom of religion, not from religion.