Change is Inevitable
It is very difficult to blog in the summer. If there is any season that should be spent outdoors and away from a computer screen, summer is it. The heat and vacation possibilities occupy a dominant share of mindspace, anything involving work is an afterthought. This project and the accompanying blog were launched on July 1st when I informed a select group of 35 people on Facebook of my intentions. It became official when I signed the agreement terminating my lease and officially became homeless. Now two months in, this is only my third blog post. Maybe starting out on a radically life-altering course of action during the Dog Days of Summer, which correspond to the dog star Sirius rising and setting with the sun and associated with periods of stagnation and the hottest muggiest days of they year was less than advisable. Add in the influence of Mercury Retrograde, and astrologically speaking, probably the worst possible timing for choosing intentional homelessness.
Anyway, those facts are noted and I press onward unperturbed. After all, I did not have much of a role in selecting when the project would commence. The Universe presented with me with a set of circumstances, and I made a decision to take a less conventional path toward a solution. The decision was to live as an Urban Nomad and not pay rent for 1 year, instead offering goods and service in exchange for a couch to crash on. And now as the waning weeks of summer are closing in and autumn approaches, I can already feel the brisk air returning to sweep away the doldrums and bring clarity and purpose. The harvest must be reaped, and there is work to be done to prepare for winter.
Beyond the changing of seasons, there are unforeseen circumstances that occur, that suddenly change our situation in a way that requires a different approach to the task at hand. Such circumstances as say, a financial meltdown or natural disaster, challenge us to see the problem differently, to view obstacles as an opportunity to create new possibilities that only existed previously as a potentiality. This is also a Supreme Law of Chaos Magic, by temporarily adopting an arbitrary change in your behavior or lifestyle, something outside the conventions of society or your normal beliefs and conditioning, you can access great insights and create new possibilities for yourself and others.
My purpose in choosing not to pay rent for 1 year has several aspects. It is a protest against the cost of living in NYC, which continues to go up even as the economy worsens. The system favors the wealthy at the expense of the vast majority struggling to get by. Rent is an expense that accounts for a large percentage of our labor and productivity that we seem to take for granted. For some reason we think it is natural to forfeit a major chuck of what we earn for the right to live on a piece of land we do not own. How much more creative and productive would we be if we didn’t have to work so hard to pay the rent? NYC used to be a haven for starving artists, who flocked here and made it the cradle of the counterculture and the avant garde . You only have to look at the landscape of the Lower East Side to see how the times have changed.
Another motivation is to promote a lifestyle and a new economy based on cashless reciprocal gift giving. The economic order is imploding. Everyone can see it before their eyes. I believe that it is being engineered intentionally by the elite banking class, to provoke civil unrest and justify the institution of an all-powerful Police State. It’s not necessary for you to believe that at this time, you only need to observe that the old system is no longer sustainable, and the solutions that have been offered by the establishment are not working. Eventually, we will need to adapt to our situation and collaboratively solve problems for ourselves. By paying rent, we are only perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and are not moving forward to empower ourselves. Property and Landownership is essential for achieving personal autonomy. If only an elite class has the means to purchase land, and the regular individual has to mortgage their entire financial future to the banks for that same opportunity, then we need to look at collective forms of landownership and communal living.
I propose a new Share Trade economy, which involves the sharing of goods and services through cooperative, cashless agreements. It is necessary to implement this type of alternative to the cash economy now, before inflation gets out of control and access to goods and resources is limited by scarcity. The old way of the Rugged Individual or the Nuclear Family unit, living in isolation from the greater community behind four walls and a roof will die out with the economic order that spawned it. Our ancestors lived in tribal societies and had no concept of land ownership. A return to a variation of tribal living with communal work and resources may offer a better hope of mitigating the effects of economic or environmental disaster.
Now, let’s discuss the practical motivation. By my calculation, if I can live rent free for 1 year I will save $10,000. No joke. Now how much could you save by living rent free? The hardship of the situation is living out of a backpack and couch surfing for a sustained period of time. Think of it as a kin to a long camping trip or backpacking through Europe. With that $10,000 my vision is to acquire a piece of land and create a collectively owned, off-the-grid, sustainable, organic farming and permaculture, holistic, Interfaith, Free Love, cashless Share Trade intentional community, armed to the teeth with assault weapons(what is the point of owning land if you can’t defend it?). It will require a large number of workers and shareholders to manifest this vision, but it does represent a legitimate alternative to the decaying authoritarian economic order.
Have Faith in CHAOS
I am writing this blog from my parent’s home in Pennsylvania. This trip was planned for months as I come home once every summer to visit them. However, it is also coinciding with Hurricane Irene. This blog will be published before the storm hits New York City. I am praying that the storm will die down rapidly and the damage and inconvenience will be minimal. Having been in NYC for 9/11 and The Blackout, I have seen how disaster situations pull people together. I am hoping that the hurricane is not too significant but serves as a wake-up call and inspires people to start creating the types of resource sharing infrastructures I am suggesting. Even if this storm becomes a major disaster, it is only the first of what could be many more. When inflation hits, the suffering will be on a mass scale.
As for me, I am not sure when I will be able to return to NYC. When I do, I will need to stay somewhere. I will need more places to stay than the 4 or 5 places I’ve stayed regularly. I would like to be able to move around based on where somebody has a need, not based on my need for somewhere to stay. This process is not about me needing a place. It would be easier for me to rent an apartment of my own. I have willingly chosen this as an obstacle to work with and create new possibilities. It is a spiritual journey for me. To prove to myself I can commit to an idea that sounds absurd and follow it to its logical conclusion, trusting that my Spirit Guides and Allies will protect me. It is an attempt to prove that one can live free simply by utilizing their gifts and sharing them with others. It is karma yoga. It is kind of like a literal attempt to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who was homeless and just traveled from place to place doing good things for people. It is a challenge and an opportunity. I hope to be successful and inspire others and create new possibilities, and to Find a Way.
So, when I come back to NYC, I will need you to offer me a floor or a couch to crash on occasionally. In exchange, I am offering to assist you with your needs. I have intuitive, healing and magical gifts to share, and many other talents. Think of any task you need accomplished, whether it something mundane like cleaning or something larger like starting a business. Send me your ideas of what you need, and I will help you get it done. All I need in return is an occasional place to sleep.
This is a social experiment. Perhaps it will fail miserably. I have no idea where it will lead. I have an invitation on the table to go to California. I am willing to go wherever I am called to be of service. New York, you have always been my first love. I just need you to show the love back.
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