How Simple is Rich?

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If you’re receiving the complimentary course via newsletter (in the blue box to the right), you’re probably noticing how backwards everything we’ve been programmed to believe and repeat is. Our instruction was intentionally designed to cripple our learning. Most people ask themselves, “how MUCH work/ money/ education/ training do I need to get rich?” When I turned that question around to “How simple is RICH?” I discovered something curious.

Waterhouse-Diogenes
“When people laughed at Diogenes because he walked backward beneath the portico, he said to them: “Aren’t you ashamed, you who walk backward along the whole path of existence, and blame me for walking backward along the path of the promenade?” Diogenes of Sinope, as quoted by Stobaeus, iii. 4. 83
When we start questioning all of the “truths” and sacred cows we’ve learned to spend our lives believing in, we start discovering how amazing, fun and EASY life is, by its very nature. 

For example, we’ve been taught that “the more you have, the richer you are.” While traveling around the world for six years with two carry-on sized backpacks, one with wheels, I discovered that 2/3rds of what I had in those backpacks almost never got used! In the meanwhile, I paid ten years of rent to store an RV full of my belongings back in the United States.

Was I richer for having all of that stuff in storage? No, actually, I was poorer. After I sold all that stuff I was FAR from covering the ten years of storage! So, the more stuff I had, the poorer I got.

The Chinese have a saying:

The one who is truly rich is the one who knows when s/he has enough.

Weird, but true. But that’s not all. Few of us imagine that if we limited what we have to the essentials, we could actually be enjoying far more, even materially, than if we had to own all that we want to enjoy. Life’s about enjoyment, isn’t it?

While living in South America I found out something else wonderful and strange:

Caracol Falls
These are Caracol Falls, in Southern Brazil, near a place where I spent three months on a friend’s hacienda. Each of us decides where and how we spend our lives. I like to spend MY life on EARTH, REAL Earth, the places that waterfalls careen off hundred-foot-high cliffs, where wild orchids grow in lush rainforests. Photo by Tiago Fioreze (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

South America is covered in summer homes, coastal homes, haciendas, ranches and all kinds of properties that people only use during their vacation time. Summer lasts from Christmas to the end of February. After that, these homes sit empty… well, actually NOT empty: they’re full of furniture, stoves, refrigerators, televisions, stereos, electronics, dishes, cookware; all easy pickings to any local thief who knows that house is going to sit empty for ten months out of the year, and many do. Mice, also, like to occupy empty homes and make little nests out of furniture stuffing, electrical wiring insulation, papers, wreaking havoc on empty houses.

People are looking for honest and responsible people to live in and care for their homes – all expenses paid – when they’re not using them. It’s a HUGE plus, for them. It’s very common for them to PAY someone to live there on the larger properties, to give them a car, a salary and even their own, separate home on the property, just to keep an eye on the place, keep the lawn mowed, maintain a “presence” there by keeping the lights on, and deal with any problems that come up – and notify the owner so he can send a repairman to deal with them. Pretty easy stuff.

What that amounts to is that you can get PAID to live like a millionaire year-round while the millionaire has to work twelve months out of the year to pay for the luxury of using the place for two months. YOU do the math: who is living richer?

When people talk about “redistributing wealth” I say nonsense! They are actually talking about redistributing stuff.  Stuff isn’t wealth. I don’t want more stuff! I want to enjoy WEALTH and CAN, ALREADY, right along with FAR MORE STUFF than I ever want to work for or own!

Many years ago a Guajira woman I love and admire talked to me about all that stuff I had stored in my old RV: “You don’t just own that stuff. It also owns YOU. All of those books, all of those papers, all of that crap you haven’t even looked at in over a decade, the boxes full of pens, knick-knacks and random crap that you “might” someday be able to put to use, but haven’t, in decades of having them, storing them, moving them around: all of that stuff consumes some of your energy every single day. All thatt keeps you from having the energy available for what you’d REALLY like to engage with now.”

Seeing the nature of LIVING WEALTH takes learning how to recognize what’s going on in a greater ecology than the world I’ve seen so far, meeting someone else’s needs and addressing their concerns while addressing my own, as well.

Most of us have learned to orient to reality as if it should be what it isn’t. Then we get told about all of the stuff we have to do to “survive” like every other schmuck out there. What we don’t get told or shown is what the possibilities are that are far more brilliant than living the life of a schmuck. We don’t learn to actually see reality and to learn how to live rich, explore the possibilities, and have a ball doing it.

I’ve discovered a bunch of these possibilities and realities all over the world… on my own.

Think for a moment how many young people go to college, get massively in debt, and graduate with zero real life skills and a twenty year treadmill to pay off all that debt! What if, instead, they could actually live richly, earn money, grow a whole array of skills for all kinds of different environments, learn new languages, make friends around the world, develop income sources, and enter an apprenticeship of growing as full-spectrum human beings for a lifetime?

Think how many people in their forties, fifties, sixties, even seventies never even had time to discover that there’s more to life than that treadmill.

This is not pie-in-the-sky dreaming. I’ve been living this way practically my whole life, starting with ZERO money. I grew up with a father who was always broke and always busy working, obsessively. Living rich is far easier than most people imagine, but you have to be able to SLOW DOWN to discover how easy it can be for you. It does take learning, adventuring and it helps to have someone show you the ropes and possibilities instead of figuring them out from square one.

I’m committed to creating amazing, affordable learning opportunities for people worldwide, in such a way that the investment in learning translates into real-life skills people can run with straight out of the gate.

Deep Freedom Now is about REAL Freedom in REAL LIFE.

Imagine that you learn permaculture, as just one example, but it could be just teaching conversational English.

Permaculture is an art of designing and creating rich, self-sustaining, complex ecosystems full of food. This means that when you stay on larger properties, you actually enrich the owner and every other living thing on his or her property, even growing food that can be sold. Now that property actually becomes a source of income for the owner, instead of an income drain. He’s actually RICHER thanks to our presence on his land. So are you. So is the land!

You can sell part of that food, eat some, reduce your expenses to zero, and feed most of it back to what’s Alive on the land. The land will make you RICHER, especially if you relate to it in the way tribal people have for millions of years, instead of “gardening” or mono-cropping it.

If you have a team capable of transforming expenses into income sources do you think you’d have people interested in having you show up and profit-share? You can count on it! Especially if they know they have a trustworthy, reliable team of people who will actually DO what it takes and it doesn’t create a burden on them.

Say you build some cottages on the far edges of the land that you can rent out for a reasonable monthly income. That income now pays for YOUR help on the land there. Is the owner delighted? Absolutely. You now have a place to invite close friends to come live with you very affordably, and even to start their own income-generating ventures on that land. It doesn’t take too long before that kind of income allows you to buy your own land and start your own ventures, individually, with partners, or as a group. Even if you decide to buy land individually, as an investment, you’ve got a whole group of friends as potential collaborators and participants.

Let’s say you develop a piece of land of your own with permacultured gardens, chickens, rabbits and pigs, seven simple but cozy, self-sufficient cabins or pallet wigwams to rent out by the month, a communal kitchen and gathering space – and let’s say you’ve had a great time developing all that but you want to travel. If you invited people from www.couchsurfing.org and www.wwoof.org to help you build the place, providing food and shelter in exchange for 4 hours/day of work, you’ve got a whole tribe of friends to whom to offer an opportunity to manage the place while you’re away, to enjoy having a stable place to live for months or even years, and to profit share on the rent while also having a whole community space to either rent out to individuals and couples, and/or create events, workshops, retreats to further their own work.

All kinds of variations begin to emerge in the community you build, as different people with different skill sets and talents begin to develop, refine, extend and grow them. Everybody learns together and is actually BECOMING wealthier, as a system of living, growing, connective intelligence.

Maybe you’re not into permaculture. Maybe you’d like to learn how to teach people super-fast language learning, or how to recover their health, or have a portable business you can do online. I have taught people these skills worldwide. What if those sources of income become much, much more; like sources of fun, connection, opportunities, vacation homes, new friends, new learning, new adventures to share with others?

I’m not trying to convince you of this. This is the way I live and I love to share it. But I’m not out on some mission to try to convince or cajole anybody to do anything they’re not interested in, on the contrary.

One thing I’ve discovered in teaching around the world is that I really get off on those who are already UP FOR IT. The ones that need all kinds of prodding aren’t my bag. I’m not into that. Life’s too short, brilliant, rich and interesting to hang out with those who would rather contradict someone who’s experienced than choose to experience. Got that?

In the mainstream paradigm everyone is struggling at a job trying to make enough money to pay rent, to pay off debt and to buy stuff. Daniel Quinn, in his brilliant book My Ishmael, describes this as an economy where we Make Products to Get Products.

In this way of living there’s a fundamental human need that is almost-completely unfulfilled and which sustained tribal forms of organization over the entire course of human evolution. In this Make Products to Get Products economy everyone is essentially isolated, in terms of fundamental, lifelong support.

The tribal model is not product-centered, nor is it anti-product. What it is is SUPPORT-centered. I am NOT talking about “going back to the past,” nor is Daniel Quinn. This is about a way of life that works, based on Giving Support & Getting Support. With support, the products are just one more aspect of support. People get what they need when they need it and everybody realizes that Wealth (which is to Being-Well what Warmth is to Being Warm) – is not a function of a Quantity of Stuff, but rather a Quality of Life, and SUPPORT. The “stuff” is the easy part, and the distractor for most people today.

In tribal models the rules governing relationships are pretty simple. First of all, nobody has a right to tell anybody what to do. Secondly, relationships are centered on giving support and getting support – not just with a small group of other people, but with an entire community of Aliveness, of places, of plants, animals, trees, streams, water sources, mountains, valleys and shapes of Aliveness, in Living Reality.

Once everybody – including friends who are landowners, millionaires, permaculturalists, business builders, musicians – knows that they have a whole tribe of people who will give them support and whom to support, then all of the Stuff begins enriching far more people than when everybody has to “have his” just to survive. Suddenly it not only becomes possible for people to “live like millionaires” with only a backpack of belongings, it also becomes possible for the millionaire to “live like backpackers” with freedom from time and worry constraints because they know they’ve got a whole tribe of allies who will give them support and to whom to give support.

The millionaire actually becomes RICHER, even monetarily, thanks to both giving and getting support. So does everybody else. And, instead of paying some relative stranger to take care of his property, he’s creating a whole community of people he’s exchanging support, brilliance, fun, creativity and enrichment with – while still having the privacy of his vacation home for his own enjoyment with his family during those times when he desires that, and gladly knowing that trusted friends are his allies in enriching him, his land and all of the Life that is there.

Everyone is freely associated and free to offer both the products, services, and support they desire.

There are countless variations for doing all kinds of inner-city, rural, agricultural, educational versions of this anywhere in the world. I’ve spent the last six years doing this in Belgium, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and the United States. Over the next year, expect to receive invitations, from me, to such learning adventures, around the world, where you get to come spend anything from a week, to several months, with me, very affordably, and gain skills that will expand your world and enjoyment for a lifetime.

2 Responses

  1. Dave Shea

    O…I am not rich by any standard as far as material goods are concerned….everything is disposable…just stuff…I do value soap and my toothbrush….Dave

    • Journeyman O

      and just think, a little piece of a branch off a pine tree, chewed a little on the end, and you’ve got a perfect toothbrush. Pound some yucca roots and you’ve got soap. Aaaah! Now you’re ready for adventure! HA! I hope you’re doing great! O

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