Turn your signature into dozens more by sharing this petition and recruiting people you know to sign.
YOU YOUR FRIENDS 170 avg. THEIR FRIENDS 10,000 approx.
My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He’s watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home.
Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possiblity of parolebecause of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation.
Life without the possibility of parole means my brother will never have a chance to live outside of prison walls. It’s effectively a death sentence.
Tim made mistakes when he was young, but after 22 years in prison, he has more than paid his debt to society. He is not a threat to anyone. He wasn’t given a chance to get clean and sober to think about the damage he was doing to his life. They locked him up and threw away the key.
But there’s hope.
In December, President Obama granted clemency to 8 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving mandatory sentences for crack cocaine. And the Department of Justice recently asked for Bar Associations throughout the country to send them more clemency petitions for nonviolent drug offenders.
It costs $25,000 per year to keep my non-violent brother in prison for a mistake he made more than 20 years ago. So far, that is over half a million dollars. Not only is that not justice, but it’s a waste of money.
I need your help to show them that Americans think Timothy has paid his debt to society and shouldn’t be housed in a cage at the expense of taxpayers anymore. He should be granted clemency.
President of the United States
Clemency for Timothy Tyler
I’m writing you today to ask that you grant clemency to Timothy Tyler, who is serving life without the possibility of parole for a nonviolent drug offense.
Incarcerating Timothy Tyler costs taxpayers $25,000 per year for mistakes he made more than 20 years ago. So far, that is over half a million dollars.
Thank you for your recent support in our continuing efforts to obtain clemency for Timothy Tyler. So far over 357,000 people have made their voices heard by signing Tim’s petition on Change.org!
Lee Editorial is producing a documentary about mandatory minimum life sentences without parole, and will prominently feature Tim’s story. This is the same production company that created Tim’s website, in addition to producing the existing short promo video introducing Tim’s story.
There are currently over 2,000 individuals serving LIFE SENTENCES WITHOUT PAROLE for drug offenses in this country! Please take a look at this important project and consider getting involved if this is an issue that is close to your heart. Your continued support can help raise awareness and will give a voice to all those individuals and to their families who are living day by day with little or no hope.
Tim Tyler was a Deadhead in the early 90s and followed the Grateful Dead for about 5 years. In 1993 at age 24, he was arrested and convicted for selling LSD and sentenced to an unbelievable mandatory life WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. He has spent the last 20 years in Federal Prison.
2 life sentences? The courts believe in reincarnation? What a farce, Tim Tyler is a VICTIM of the prison industrial complex. It’s a business, prisons make billions every year, paid by our corrupt gov’t. It’s so lucrative they even include the revenue as part of the national GDP! WTF?
By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. See entries from Claire Messud, Jonathan Franzen, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, and more.
Dan Barber, chef of New York’s pioneering farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill, has long been a champion of the local, organic food movement. But now he thinks it’s time for the movement to grow up.
“Farm-to-table has failed to transform the way most of our food is grown in this country,” he writes in his new book The Third Plate: Field Notes for the Future of Food. Local, organic meals basically resemble what Americans have been eating for generations—a large hunk of meat in the center, veggies pushed off to the side. The sourcing’s better, but the diet hasn’t really changed.
In order to transform our agricultural landscape—and make farm-to-table truly sustainable—Barber insists we’ll need to develop a “Third Plate:” a form of eating that harnesses the incredible power of ecological relationships, while reflecting the proportions of what farmers can reasonably grow. In his conversation for this series, Barber told the story of how his search for better wheat flour led to a culinary epiphany, and explained why a line by American naturalist John Muir helps him articulate his vision for our food’s future.
When The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan’s now-classic 2006 work, questioned the logic of our nation’s food system, “local” and “organic” weren’t ubiquitous they way they are today. Embracing Pollan’s iconoclasm, but applying it to the updated food landscape of 2014, The Third Plate reconsiders fundamental assumptions of the movement Pollan’s book helped to spark. In four sections—“Soil,” “Land, “Sea,” and “Seed”—The Third Plate outlines how his pursuit of intense flavor repeatedly forced him to look beyond individual ingredients at a region’s broader story—and demonstrates how land, communities, and taste benefit when ecology informs the way we source, cook, and eat.
Barber is the recipient of multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country’s Outstanding Chef (2009). His second restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, is a working farm and celebrated educational center in the Hudson Valley region of New York. In 2009, he was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Dan Barber: My revelation in the kitchen occurred 10 years ago, standing over a bag of all-purpose flour.
The flour-bin is parked outside my office window in the kitchen, so it’s constantly in view. I watch it being emptied and refilled, emptied and refilled, all day long. We use a ton of flour at Blue Hill—we’re not unusual in that regard. All-purpose flour is probably the most ubiquitous ingredient in my kitchen. But I realized one day that I knew nothing about this particular ingredient. I didn’t know where it came from, or how it was grown—I only knew that it had absolutely no flavor, and it was in everything.
There I was, running a farm-to-table restaurant—meticulously sourcing my produce, cheese, and meats—and I hadn’t given a thought to this basic facet of my cooking.
So I decided I wanted to get my hands some delicious flour, flour from wheat with a story, flour with presence you could taste. Like any farm-to-table chef, I figured I’d start by finding a local, organic grain farmer. I found a guy named Klaas Martens, from upstate New York, who grew emmer wheat. This particular variety of emmer was, at the time, nearly extinct—but Klaas was preserving it, and he started to supply Blue Hill. I bought a grinder for the restaurant, and we ground Klaas’s wheat, milled it into our own flour, and made this stunning whole wheat bread.
There I was walking the farm-to-table walk with my organic heirloom wheat, basically milled to order. But before long, things started to get more complicated.
I went back to visit Klaas’s farm, thinking I’d write about him for my book, which was then in its earliest stages. On that visit, I had a second culinary epiphany—one that took place not in the kitchen, but in the field. Looking out from the middle of Klaas’s farm, about 2,000 acres, I realized there wasn’t any wheat—at least, not at that time of year. I was surrounded by millet, and oats, and barley, and buckwheat, some mustard greens, some kidney beans—but no wheat. All these crops, I learned from Klaas, had very specific functions. The beans gave the soil nitrogen, and the barley was there to build soil structure, the mustard plants helped cleanse the soil of pathogens and diseases. They were planted in this carefully timed sequence throughout the year. All of this was to prepare the soil, to create the best possible conditions for that great, amazingly flavored emmer wheat. Klaas couldn’t grow his healthy, vigorous, chemical-free wheat without those rotating those other crops in, too.
I remember thinking: Oh my god, I’ve got this all wrong. I’d created a market for this local, heirloom emmer wheat, but I wasn’t doing anything to support the entire system that sustained it. Seventy percent of the crops supporting me weren’t even being used. They were essentially dumped into bag feed for animals. At the time, there wasn’t a local market for buckwheat, for barley, or for millet, or rye, so Klaas had no alternative. He was just breaking even to build up enough soil fertility for wheat and corn and the stuff that could actually make him money. It just struck me as insane. I realized that, to support a farmer like Klaas, I needed to change my cooking. I needed to cook with the idea of the whole farm in mind.
Around that time, I read a line from John Muir for the first time—or if not for the first time, I read it consciously for the first time—that helped me articulate what I’d discovered on Klaas’s farm.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself,” he wrote, “we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
When he wrote this, over a century ago, of course, Muir wasn’t talking about agriculture—he was referring to the interconnectedness of natural systems. But the same holds true for farming. I had come to Klaas looking only for the wheat; but I learned that, in a healthy farming environment, you can’t separate one crop from the rest. Remove the barley, say, and the quality of the soil will degrade to a certain extent—eventually, the wheat will change, too.
I discovered that you can’t look at a great ingredient—a jaw-dropping, delicious-flavored anything—without understanding the ecology it came out of. In fact, without Muir’s quote, I don’t know if the full meaning even of the term ecology—and all the interrelationships that that word implies—would ever have made as much sense to me.
I began to rethink my relationship to food, understanding that each isolated ingredient in my kitchen is implicated within a complex network of relationships. If I want Klaas’s wheat, I should try to find a way to support his beans and his rye and his mustard greens, too. We talk about nose-to-tail eating of animals—to waste less, to innovate, by finding inspired culinary use for all the gamy, complex, less “choice” cuts of meat. Well, we need nose-to-tail eating of the whole farm. We’ve got to learn ways to give these “undesirable” crops some mojo through really creative cooking.
I made a dish from Klaas’s rotation crops called “Rotation Risotto”—it was all the crops that went to support the wheat, but no wheat, and no rice because he doesn’t grow it. It was 12 or 13 different lowly grains—barley, rye, grasses like buckwheat, legumes like Austrian winter peas, and seeds, everything, to use Muir’s word, “hitched” to the wheat. I fashioned these ingredients into something that resembles a risotto. Not only does it get people asking questions—“What the hell’s arotation?”—it’s incredibly tasty.
And that’s the thing. I didn’t begin the book with the ethics of an environmentalist, or an eye toward reforming our food system. It was selfish, really: My exploration was motivated by my simple and single-minded pursuit of great flavor. Each time I was driven out of the restaurant into the farms and fields, it was because I’d tasted something so great that I had to learn more. I’m a chef—that’s what I’m supposed to do. Chefs will do anything to find great flavors. We are pitbulls for flavor. And that hedonistic impulse actually has great power. Ultimately, it can translate into a changed landscape, and even better tasting food, if we stop focusing on growing individual products, and starting trying to grow nature.
I don’t think the local foods movement, as it currently stands, has the power to change our food system in this way. You cannot transform the landscape with a chef who gets excited about a tomato and then decides to support a local tomato farmer. That’s a good beginning, but it’s not enough. Because any kind of good agriculture—especially organic agriculture—does not allow you to plant a lot of the same crop without chemicals, or without sacrificing plant health.
By only buying the tomato, a chef doesn’t support all the many kinds of agronomic labor that go into its production. We can’t keep taking the cream of the crop. Otherwise, we’re ignoring all the farmer’s sub-costs—essentially saying, “You handle the pests and the plant disease, while I deal with the celebrated crop.”
We think we’ve done enough by choosing the coveted items if they’re local, if they’re organic, and if we can shake the hand of the farmer that grew them—but that’s not enough. The maturation of the local food ethos is a chef whose menu celebrates tomatoes in their right proportion, but also celebrates their connection to the whole—everything that it took to get that soil ready to plant that tomato. That, to me, is the awakening. And I don’t think I would have been able to see those things as clearly without the line from Muir.
One of the things that’s amazing about his idea, is that the circle keeps widening, the connections become more various, more beautifully complex.
I saw this on another trip to Klaas’s farm, many years later. He had started farming animals: chickens and pigs. After the emmer wheat is harvested, the pigs go out and forage on the stalks left in the field. All of a sudden, the wheat becomes a double crop: We take the grain, the pigs forage on the stalks and get free feed, and they drop their manure in the field. As a result, the soil is better prepped for this next rotation.
And I realized: What’s the difference between supporting Klaas’s buckwheat, or barley, and supporting the pigs? I had to support the pigs. And I had to buy Klaas’s eggs, because the chickens were doing same things on the other grains: They were eating the discarded grains, for instance, grains that were ruined by rain the day before a harvest, and were not fit even for sale as bag feed. Before he had chickens, Klaas would compost these grains. Now, you’ve got a waste product being fed to an omnivore creating this unbelievably delicious end product—essentially for free.
On a more recent trip, I went up and found that the system had evolved even more. A malting facility opened not far from Klaas’s farm. And why did a malter open? Because there’s an explosion of microbreweries in New York state, and nobody can get local barley malt because nobody’s growing barley—except for the farmers like Klaas who are using it in their rotations. Now Klaas makes a 30-percent profit selling his barley to the malter. And, as a chef, I’m forced into making another connection: to support Klaas’s wheat, I need to drink local beer.
My point is that it keeps expanding. That’s the beauty of Muir’s line: You can spend a lifetime, if you’re a good farmer or a thoughtful cook, being surprised by the connections. But you can spend a lifetime ignoring them, too. Because the techniques used in our industrial food system can be characterized by disconnection, a systematic unhitching. Everything is relegated to its own silo: vegetables over here, and animals there, and grain somewhere else. All the component parts are kept apart. And because they’re unhitched from each other, unsurprisingly, they’re unhitched from any kind of food culture.
So what is the role of the chef? It’s to help with the hitching. To show there is pleasure, good taste, and environmental sustainability in fostering connections. After all, that’s what cuisine is: the way a region’s unique ecological relationships, and place-specific advantages and challenges, become manifested through delicious food.
You see this time again throughout history: When Parmesan cheese was developed in Parma, Italy, it created an excess of whey. So, the farmers fed the whey to their pigs—and then they cured the meat and got prosciutto di parma. The whey, a byproduct of the Parmesan process, fattened the pigs into this wonderfully flavorful and delicious ham.
Or when French peasants wondered what do to with the tough and inedible meat of roosters and old laying hens. They broke down the bonds of the proteins by braising the meat in wine (another regional product), and got coq au vin.
You find that in Southern cuisine, too. Hoppin’ John—a quintessential southern dish—is rice, but it’s also cowpeas. That leguminous crop was so important in the south, because it allowed the southerners to preserve their soil well enough to get them rice. Then, they mixed in collard greens, because collards helped desalinate the soil. (And some bacon, because pigs were also part of the agriculture.)
In other words, people created these dishes to support an ecological reality. And they become ingrained in the cuisine, and culture of the place.
Most of America lacks strong regional cuisines because we were never forced into acknowledging the connections that Muir articulates. Once, we had the greatest soil in the world. We’ve essentially abused it for 200-plus years. The colonists who came over from Europe were not very great farmers. When their soils failed, most farmers dropped their farms and moved west—where they repeated the same pattern.
In Europe, you couldn’t just pick up and go somewhere new. And cuisines were developed as farmers eked out what they could with the limited land and resources. No had any of the modern scientific knowledge we benefit from today. But farmers knew, intuitively, you couldn’t plant the same thing in the same spot, and that you needed to mix your crops, and that certain crops worked beautifully—symbiotically—in rotations. They needed soil fertility, so they created a system of agriculture to support it—and then a cuisine to support that system.
Americans were never forced into that. So I’m sitting here today, talking about these issues, because we are such a rich country—we were so blessed, that we never required a more enlightened way of eating. It’s how we ended up with the 12-ounce, protein-centric plate.
That meat-centric plate is a great disservice to our soil, and to our ecology. It’s also a disservice to the rest of the world—because we’re exporting that model in a way that, in the truest sense of the word, is unsustainable. But we can find an alternative—what I came to call the Third Plate.
It’s an imposing task. I look with great chefs from other cultures with some jealousy. They can make connections to their cultural past, hitching to the rich culinary traditions of their parent culture. Great French chefs, great Italian chefs, are modernizing classic cuisine—riffing on it, pushing it forward. But what is Hudson Valley cuisine? It doesn’t really exist—there’s no time-honored logic to hold on to. I have no history to tether my cooking to, really, except for great ingredients. I still want to find a way to put it all together, though I haven’t done that yet. But that’s what I’ll continue to do. The hitching never ends. The circle keeps expanding.
JOE FASSLER is a writer based in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in The Boston Review, and he regularly interviews authors for The Lit Show. In 2011, his reporting for TheAtlantic.com was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in Journalism.
Alia’s Comment: I took this article straight off the Golden Age of Gaia website. Although it may appear as a radical departure from my usual posts, I feel that it speaks to a pre-condition for “Bringing Heaven onto Earth.”
I first learned about “open-sourcing” from Hope Moore of Fix the World Project and the promoter of the QEG (Quantum Energy Generator.) The person who is the main focus of this article, Robert David Steele, has been exploring this new paradigm approach since the 1970s.
I found his perspective enlightening and inspiring. This is a long article but in my mind, well worth the time invested to read it. You may also want to check out his latest book: The Open Source Everything Manefesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust. Now there’s a catchy title!
“Money only exists if two or more people believe it exists.” – Daniel Suelo
When I first heard the story of Daniel Suelo, I was immediately intrigued. After all, Daniel lives entirely without money and has done so for the past 12 years. In 2000, he put his entire life savings in a phone booth, walked away, and has lived moneyless ever since. Most frequently, he lives in the caves and wilderness of Utah where he eats wild vegetation, scavenges roadkill, pulls food from dumpsters, and is sometimes fed by friends and strangers. Daniel proudly boasts that he does not take food stamps or government handouts.
I found myself very interested in hearing what he has learned from the experience and how it might inspire me in my own journey to live with fewer possessions. So I contacted Daniel to see if I could ask him a few questions about his life and what views on money and possessions have shaped his existence. He graciously agreed. This is how our conversation went:
1) Earlier this year, your story was documented in a book titled The Man Who Quit Money. I opened this interview with a brief introduction. Am I missing anything here Daniel? Anything I should be adding to help us get a better understanding of who you are and the life you have chosen to live?
I don’t care for the statement, “Daniel proudly boasts that he does not take food stamps or government handouts,” because it can be construed that I put myself above those who must take food stamps or government handouts. I don’t judge those who do. I merely mention that I don’t take government assistance for the sake of those who might think I’m living on their tax dollars. I do boast about having few possessions and no money, because it’s ironic fun to boast about nothing special (wild creatures, after all, have few possessions or money and it really feels like no big deal), and to boast about what the rest of our commercial society debases.
I will add that I do make a small exception to taking government handouts: I use the public library to maintain my blog, website, do emails, and read books. This does cause ire in people searching for loopholes in my lifestyle. In my blog comments, a woman once responded to their anger by declaring that she pays taxes and doesn’t use the library, and that she donates all her library time to me. Then they were quiet.
2) Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview. I find it interesting that so many of the articles highlighting your story include something similar to this line: Suelo “came from a good family and has been to college. He was not mentally ill, nor an addict. His decision appears to have been an act of free will by a competent adult.” So, for starters, you are clearly not a crazy man. Correct?
A crazy man does not think himself crazy, so my opinion on the matter is meaningless 🙂 People will have to judge my sanity for themselves.
But it would be nice if we lived in a world that considered it crazy to cause harm to ourselves, others, and our environment or to praise those who do cause such harm. Then we’d have to say we live in a truly crazy civilization. A sane society would consider it crazy to kill living things and destroy food and water supplies in order to amass something that nobody can eat or drink, like gold, silver, and money. It’s crazy to sacrifice reality to the idol of illusion.
3) The thinking that led to your journey into willful moneylessness evolved by degrees during your travels. Could you share with us some of the foundational beliefs that have evolved in your life that led you to make this decision to give up money entirely?
My first thought of living moneyless came when I was a child. In my Evangelical Christian upbringing, I wondered why, if we were followers of Jesus, we didn’t practice his teachings–namely giving up possessions and doing not for the sake of reward (money and barter), but giving freely and receiving freely.
When I left home for college, I studied other religions and found that all the world’s major religions teach giving up possessions and doing not for the sake of reward. If all the separated witnesses are saying the same thing, it must be true. Ironically, few practice the one thing they all agree upon in word. What would happen if we actually practiced this stuff, I thought.
My dad also took us camping a lot, and I was a nature freak. I couldn’t help but see how perfectly balanced nature was, and it ran on no money. Why, then, couldn’t we?
As an adult, I thought it through more thoroughly. Nature’s economy is a pay-it-forward economy. This means one sows, another reaps, ad infitum. For example, a bear takes a raspberry, and the raspeberry bush demands nothing in return. The Bear takes with zero sense of obligation, zero guilt. The bear then poops somewhere else, not only providing food for soil organisms, but also propagating raspberry seeds. You never see 2 wild creatures consciously bartering. There are no accountants worrying what the bush will get in return. This is exactly why it works, because nobody knows how it works! There is no consciousness of credit and debt in nature. Consciousness of credit and debt is knowledge of good and evil, valuing one thing and devaluing another. Consciousness of credit and debt is our fall from Grace. Grace means gratis, free gift.
My next impetus for living moneyless came from observing the world economy and politics. Do our economy and politics function well? It’s self-evident, isn’t it?
My next impetus for living moneyless was to find authenticity for myself. To do out of one’s heart is to be real. To do for somebody, expecting something from them, is ulterior motivation, which is to not be real, which is to prostitute oneself.
My last impetus for living moneyless was to heal myself. Okay, I guess I’ll talk about my craziness. To heal myself was to first see myself as crazy, and only them could I become free of craziness. I was suffering clinical depression. Mental illness is rooted in having unnecessary, thoughts and to let go of unnecessary thoughts is to free oneself from mental illness. This is basic Buddhist philosophy. It is the philosophy of all the ancient religions. To cling to thoughts is to possess thoughts and this outwardly manifests itself in having unnecessary physical possessions. We accumulate what we don’t need out of fear and anxiety. This is true craziness. Unnecessary thoughts and unnecessary physical possessions (including possessing people) are inextricably linked. To accumulate unnecessary possessions is not to live in abundance, as we’re led to believe, but is to live in scarcity. Why would we have too much stuff if we believed the universe was abundant? Why would we worry if we weren’t crazy? Worry is simply lack of faith, faith that everything we need is in the here and now.
4) Your spirituality is clearly an important part of your journey. In what ways, have your spiritual beliefs strengthened you for this journey and lifestyle?
I mentioned above that this is about faith. Faith is eliminating unnecessary thought, trusting that everything we need comes as we need it, whether it is the right thoughts or the right possessions. Faith is being grounded in the Eternal Present. This is the common truth of the world’s religions.
5) What are some of the most important lessons about money/people/society you have personally learned over the past 12 years? And did any of these lessons surprise you?
Most important is that I’ve learned our true nature lives moneyless, giving freely and receiving freely. Even the most staid CEO is human underneath, and gives and receives freely with friends and family. By cultivating this nature in myself, I can see it in others, and it can be cultivated in others. When our real selves are cultivated, the gift economy is cultivated, our unreal selves (based on ulterior motivation) and all the nonsense drops away.
I have been surprised at the intensely angry reaction thousands of people have had at my living moneyless. It used to bother me, but now I realize that anger doesn’t come from people’s true nature, but from the facade they build up. The facade is threatened by reality. Who wants to hear that the basis of our commercial civilization is an illusion? Money only exists if two or more people believe it exists. Money is not a physical substance, but merely a belief in the head. Money is credit, and credit literally means belief (e.g. credibility). Money is literally a creed, the most agreed-upon creed, or religion, in the world. And what fundamentalists won’t get angry if you question their creed?
6) The reality of today’s society is that most people will never make the full leap into moneylessness like you have. Do you believe that your lifestyle still offers important inspiration for individuals and families? And if so, in what ways?
As I said, we all live moneyless at our core, in our everyday actions with friends, family, and even strangers. People tell me almost every day that they find living this way inspiring and even comforting. Even if people don’t intend on giving up money, they can still find that it isn’t the end of the world if they lose their money. If you are not religious, it is comforting to be reminded that life has flourished in balance for millions of years without money, and why should it fall apart without money now? Nature evolved you from an amoeboid to a human over millions of years, with zero money, so why should nature give up on you now? How is it that, when natural disasters (tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis) hit towns and cities, people suddenly forget about money and start helping each other? It’s comforting that we have a true nature beneath the falseness and ulterior motivation of commercial civilization.
And if you are religious, it’s comforting to know there is profound truth at the core of your religion (whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Sikh) that actually works if you practice it, that it isn’t all a lie. If we don’t practice the core truth of giving up possessions and ulterior motivation that every religion teaches, then of course our religion becomes a destructive lie, as we see all around us.
7) What are the practical steps individuals can take to free themselves from their pursuit (and bondage) to money – even if they will never live entirely moneyless?
People get overwhelmed unless they realize that all the tools they have are here and now, and steps can be taken right here and now.
Everybody, no matter how entrenched they are in the money system, can freely give and freely receive. Freely giving and freely receiving is our true nature, is true human-ness. And everybody is human. As I said earlier, it’s about being real, cultivating our true nature, and everything else falls into place, and all the falsehood drops away, no matter what station in life people are in. Even if somebody is totally skeptical about what I am doing, I challenge them to make it their goal to be totally real, with themselves and with every human interaction, and I propose they will then know whether or not I’m living a pipe dream.
Somebody once commented that our cities and towns could not function without money. But I say they and the world can’t function right now in the present system.
Take classic American suburbia, for example. People don’t know their neighbors, and everybody has their own cars, computers, TVs, lawn mowers, washing machines, etc, etc, as well as stockpiles of food and land they could grow food on. All we need is right here, but the only thing that’s holding us back is not physical reality, but belief, dogma. What if we actually spoke to our neighbors and agreed to share, like we learned in kindergarten and in church? What if we realized we could share cars, computers, washing machines, have dinners together, etc, which would not only save us expense, but would save expense on the environment, and, as a bonus, put smiles on our lonely faces? Then cities and technology would start serving us, rather than us serving them. But what’s holding us back? Not reality, not scarcity, but only our thinking!
As far as going all the way and living without money, people often ask me to teach them survival skills. Often I feel like I don’t know many skills, that it’s really about determination and getting up the confidence more than actual skill. Sometimes I tell folks to imagine something really silly: what if somebody offered you a million dollars to live without money for a year? I guarantee most people would figure out how to do it, skilled or no. This is about finding a determination, a motivation greater than a million dollars!
8) I’m curious how concerned you are about spreading this message of living free from money. I know you had the book written about you, you maintain your website, and you have agreed to this interview and various others. Is there a message you believe you have inside that is important to get out? And do you look forward to your story continuing to spread?
Yes, I now have a strong urge to spread the message. At first I just wanted to live my own life, whether or not anybody else took notice or not. Then I realized a message was errupting in me that I could no more suppress than an erupting volcano. Our society is not sustainable and we are not only heading rapidly into, but most the world has already reached disaster, due directly to our being trapped by our own beliefs. I want to shout this out to the world. But talk isn’t enough. It must be talk with action, right now. We could debate whether or not Paul Revere was trying to gain attention for himself, or we could simply take notice that the British are invading and we have to get off our butts!
Thanks so much for your time Daniel, I really do appreciate it. Your experience is unique – at least, in our society. As a result, it provides each of us an opportunity to reevaluate your own opinions and views on how we choose to live. And for that, I am very thankful.
To discover more about Daniel’s specific journey or find the answers to the questions swirling in your head, I’ll refer you to the FAQ on his website.
But before you leave, what parts of Daniel’s story resonated most with you? Did you discover any new insight or inspiration during the interview? Let us know in the comment section below. I’m interested to hear how his story is challenging others.