Taking Minimalism to a New EXTREME!

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Taking Minimalism to a New EXTREME! Empty Taking Minimalism to a New EXTREME!

Post by  on Fri May 04, 2012 12:00 pm

Can Going Without Money Hurt the Economy? One Man's Quest to Be Penniless

We can all do this to a degree. Eating out of dumpsters and living in a cave is not for most of us. Keep your job, your apartment, clothes, laptop, shower and shampoo - but stop buying all the "stuff" ESPECIALLY anything made in China. Become a total minimalist and you will have a freedom you have never known before. Ride a bike, shop at Goodwill and move to an area like Portland, OR where this lifestyle can be more of a reality.....

Taking Minimalism to a New EXTREME! Suelo

By ABBY ELLIN | Good Morning America

Daniel Suelo is 51 years old and broke. Happily broke. Consciously, deliberately, blessedly broke.

Not only does he not have debt, a mortgage or rent, he does not earn a
salary. Nor does he buy food or clothes, or own any product with a lower
case "i" before it. Home is a cave on public land outside Moab,
Utah. He scavenges for food from the garbage or off the land (fried
grasshoppers, anyone?). He has been known to carve up and boil fresh
road kill. He bathes, without soap, in the creek.

In the fall of 2000, Suelo (who changed his name from Shellabarger), decided to stop using money
altogether. That meant no "conscious barter," food stamps or other
government handouts. His mission was to "use only what is freely given
or discarded and what is already present and already running," he wrote
on his web site, Zero Currency.

The question many people wonder: Is he insane, or a mooch, or simply
dedicated to leading a simple, honest, dare we say, Christ-like
existence? They're good questions. And depending whom you ask, the answers vary.

Suelo wasn't always a modern-day caveman. He went to the University of
Colorado and studied anthropology, at one point considering medical
school. He lived in a real house, with four walls, a window and a door,
and shopped in stores, not their dumpsters.

But over time he says he grew depressed, clinically depressed, mainly
with the focus on acquisition. "Every time I made a resume for a job,
signed my name to a document, opened a bank account, or even bought a
banana at the supermarket, I felt a tinge of dishonesty," he said.

He was born into an Evangelical Christian
home in Grand Junction, Colo., and took his religion seriously.
Eventually, he started wondering why "professed Christians rarely
followed the teachings of Jesus--namely the Sermon on the Mount, namely
giving up possessions, living beyond credit and debt--freely giving and
freely taking--giving, expecting nothing in return, forgiving all debts,
owing nobody a thing, living beyond payback of either evil-for-evil or
good-for-good, living and walking without guilt (debt), without grudge
(debt), without judgment (credit & debt), living by Grace, by
Gratis, not by our own works but by the works of the true Nature flowing
through," he said.

Although he considered himself a Christian, he discovered that the same
principles applied to Taoism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
Sikhism, Islam, Mormonism, Shamanism, and Paganism.

One year he went to Alaska and worked on the docks. But that, too, he
says, felt dishonest. Instead, he and a buddy decided to live off the
land—spearing fish, foraging for mushrooms and berries. (Think Castaway,
but with snow). Suelo (which means soil in Spanish) eventually
hitch-hiked back to Moab with $50 in his pocket. By the time he arrived,
his stash had dwindled to $25. He realized that he only needed money
for things he really didn't need, like snacks and booze.

He began toying with the idea of living full-time without money. He
traveled to India, and became fascinated by Hindu Sadhus, who wandered
without lucre and possessions. He considered joining them, but then he
realized that "A true test of faith would be to return to one of the
most materialistic, money-worshipping nations on earth, to return to the
authenticity profound principles of spirituality hidden beneath our own
religion of hypocrisy, and be a Sadhu there," he said. "To be a
vagabond, a bum, and make an art of it - this idea enchanted me."

And soon, that's exactly what he did. He says he left his life savings—a whopping $30—in a phone booth, and walked away.

But he didn't do it in a vacuum; he maintained his blog for free from
the Moab public library. Rather than just sitting on a mountain and
gazing at his navel, he wanted to have an impact on others, to spread
his gospel.

In 2009, Mark Sundeen, an old acquaintance he'd worked with at a Moab restaurant, heard about
Suelo through mutual friends. At first, "I thought he must have lost his
mind," Sundeen, 42, said in a telephone conversation. But then he began
reading his blog, and grew intrigued. Sundeen divides his time between
Missoula, Mont., and Moab, where he was once a river guide, and he paid a
visit to Suelo's cave.

Gradually, he said he realized that much of what Suelo was saying made a
whole lot of sense. This was right around the time the economic
crashed, and "It felt like a lot of what he was saying was prophetic,"
said Sundeen. "That money is an illusion, an addiction. That resonated
with me after the collapse for the economy."

Sundeen was so intrigued that he decided to write a book about Suelo, The Man Who Quit money, which was published in March.

While the book reviews have been generally positive, Suelo has come
under fire by some who say he's a mooch, or a derelict, sponging off
society without contributing. They are valid criticisms: This is a guy,
after all, who's gotten arrested for train hopping, (what would Jesus
say about that?). And he's not opposed to house sitting in winter--not
exactly living off the land.

And besides: How is he actually helping others by going without? It's not like he's solving world hunger, or curing cancer.

Sundeen disputes these arguments. "He doesn't accept any government
programs—welfare, food stamps, Medicare," he said. "The only ways in
which he actually uses taxpayer funded derivatives is walking on roads
and using the public library. So in that regard he's a mooch--he's using
the roads and not paying taxes. But if you try to quantify the amount
of money he's taking from the system—it's a couple of dollars a year,
less than anyone's ever used."

Instead, he is actively promoting "his idea that money is an illusion,"
Sundeen said. "The Fed just prints it up, it doesn't mean anything and
it's going to lead us down the road to serfdom." Suelo simply doesn't
want to contribute to that, and so he lives life on his own terms.

That said, Sundeen wouldn't live the way Suelo does. "The appeal to me
is the living outdoors part, but I feel like I got my feel of that
working as an Outward Bound guide," he said. "At this point I have other

Suelo, for his part, has no plans to bring money back into his life. "I
know it's possible to live without money," he said. "Abundantly."

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Post by UnhookedLiving on Thu May 10, 2012 8:04 am

I really enjoyed this book. Those who put Suelo down are masking the fact that they don't want to even try to stop contributing to the problems of the day with all their purchases and desires. They are confused and afraid, They don't understand that a mass movement of radical simplicity could quickly and effectively turn things around for the better.
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Post by minimalistgeneration on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:03 pm

Many people following the common thought they work in a wheel made by the system in wich need to work,to produce to consume. It sells their time for a waged work, many times neglecting our affections and passions, don't realizing that the real wealth is a full life of passions in wich you manage your time,stay with our family, to do that that you have always dreamed, just changing our way to see the things get out by this wheel www.minimalistgeneration.com[url][/url] Very Happy
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