Monday, 22 January 2018

"The Man Who Quit Money" by Mark Sundeen

A simpler life: part 2

    "The Man Who Quit Money" is the true story of Daniel Suelo, born in 1961 into a fundamentalist Christian home in Colorado.  At college in Boulder, he struggled with the tenets of his parents' religion, and began reading the scriptures of all world faiths, while visiting a different church each week.
   He worked in a hospital for awhile as a phlebotomist (drawing blood).  He also worked for the Peace Corp in Ecuador. Actually, as he wandered, he picked up many different types of work. 
    But Daniel was very concerned about the environment.  He spent 3 months sitting in a tree to save it from being cut down. He lived 20 years in Moab, Utah, connecting with other like-minded wanderers.  He made some money by house-sitting and other odd jobs.
Daniel Suelo
    In 2000, he decided to live without money.  He was very concerned about his ecological footprint and decided to "use what is freely given or discarded and what is already present and already running".  So he lived in a cave while foraging for food on the land and in the dumpsters.
  Suelo's story parallels Thoreau in that they both were very deep thinkers, and although Suelo wrote a great deal, none of that writing has been published, although he does have a website and a blog. (He uses the computers at a library).
   Although Suelo worked on many jobs- Alaskan trawler, food kitchens, women's shelters, he never accepted money.  In fact, when publishers wanted to have his story written, he refused any pay. He was willing to give his story but wanted the books to be given away.  The publisher ended up agreeing to give away some copies, not all.
  The author went into way too much detail in some parts of the book (such as the pages on the U.S. monetary system and the difference between premillennialists and postmillennialists in his fundamentalist upbringing).
  But I tried to put together the pieces in order to understand this man, Daniel Suelo, who lived in a cave and ate other people's discarded food.  I believe that he was basically trying to solve life's mysteries.  His search was spiritual, as well as ecological.
  Daniel was one of many back-to-the landers.  And we will pursue this movement further in the next blog.

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