I absolutely adore living up there. Since I've been back in the Utah desert, though, my life hasn't been so quiet and hermitish. You can see it hasn't been so quiet and hermitish for the past year on the road. And I've been coming to town a lot. There are so many splendid, shining people in Moab.
I've been dwelling on the idea of community a lot the past year, and the beauty of civilization & human creativity & industriousness - civilization & human creativity & industriousness minus all forms of money (including conscious barter). I'm really no primitivist. Ah, to take the moneyless model and apply it to civilization! Then, I feel deep in my bones, we would see something so splendid and sparkling and artistic it would make civilization as we know it look ridiculously pale.
I've had a grand urge to do something besides meditate in a cave. Meditation in a cave has taught me this. Meditation taught Gautama Siddhartha this: Meditation is one eighth of the eight-fold path: be on your butt, but also get off your butt and mingle, communicate, do. Love requires two or more folks, and without love, why even be alive? ................................................................
To Be Or Not To Be Known, That Is The Question
From my last blog entry you can see I decided to stop worrying about my ego and make a website again (separate from this blog): Living Without Money, in an FAQ format and essays, to answer questions people aren't getting answered through this blog. As I've said before, years ago I made a website called American Sadhu, shortly after I started living moneyless, but I felt it was turning into my ego trip, taking my mind out of living in the present. So I deleted the whole thing with one simple click.
Since then, ideas & revelations have been flooding down on me and I've had little outlet for them. This blog has fulfilled part of my instinct for outlet. But it's hard to lay out readable philosophies in a diary. People keep telling me I should write a book, and I keep saying I would if it could be published & given away for free. Silly me. Here, for the first time in history, one little human being can publish ideas instantaneously all over the world without paying a dime.
Now any ol' vagrant like me can be lifted up with self-importance, without a fee! ;-O
And the human doesn't have to rely on paid marketeers to determine if those ideas are worthy of publication. The people of the world can judge for themselves.
So the World Wide Web is caught in the web of the money system. Yet within it is freely giving and freely taking, without obligation, like a morning glory growing through the cracks of concreted Earth! Use it! Use everything, as a moneyless pigeon nests on banking towers, as barnacles hitch rides on luxury ocean liners, as rats nest in corporate mega-church basements, as bacteria infest the veins of CEOs! Use everything, without money, as Nature uses everything, without money! So the web is still barred from the poorest of countries, though that is changing. Good or bad. Whatever, use it. Use it with integrity. Yes, we need to shake up you rich first, show you a reality you perhaps haven't ever considered. The poor will greatly rejoice when you rich let go of your hoarding. The poor will greatly rejoice when they realize they don't have to chase the illusions you have created for them.
A Glossy Rag For Affluent Men
Anyway, so here's what's happened the past few weeks. Right after I decided to stop hiding so much and I made the website, the freelance journalist, Chris Ketcham, contacted me wanting to interview me for Details magazine. This made me nervous. I would have refused a couple years ago. Details, of all magazines, "an upscale and irreverent fashion magazine for affluent men (and those who aspire to be affluent)"! Egad schmegad. But I would be dishonest to say my ego did not feel flattered, even if their intention ended up being to make me a laughingstock. And I liked the idea of not preaching to the choir. Yes, I said yes, with shaky email fingers.
So this interview stuff is what I've been doing. Chris came up to camp with me for a couple days. He even got to meet Riley the Ringtail Cat. I've grown to really like Chris Ketcham, and am grateful he's doing it instead of anybody else. He has written a lot of thoughtful, conscious articles for mags. The article comes out in May, and I'm a bit nervous. And I keep feeling wary about my head, that it doesn't get big, and my path, that I don't compromise it. And I don't want to pretend to be humble and act like I don't like this, mixed with feelings of wariness. Life is risk. And how fragile truth is, when it can so easily be sold and bastardized for 30 silver coins. Pray for me. Pray for us all.
Keep Practicing Gift Economy, Keep Envisioning Gift Economy
Meanwhile, I am meditating on ways to bring out the free economy, the moneyless world, already existing latent within society. You can see it happening a lot in Moab. My friend Brer got Free Meal going here over a year ago, based on Food Not Bombs (a world-wide freegan movement). Then other people, like my friend Auggie and a guy named Scott, among others, have taken it and run with it.
Yes, I am meditating on pristine, beautiful civilization with all forms of money gone obsolete. "Give, expecting nothing in return," quoth Jesus, quoth Peace Pilgrim, quoth Lao Tzu, quoth Muhammad, quoth Buddha, quoth Krishna, quoth the sun shining above you. There is no other way to enlightenment, no other way to balance, no other form of Love than this. Meditate with me on this, and share. And share with me if you get revelations.