Worshipping the mobile god

“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring”
Chuck Palahniuk

Mobile phone addiction is starting to really annoy me. In one sense I can understand the mobile phone as a tool. A technology which is as intimate to humanity as the anthill is to the ant. It has been argued that the anthill is a part of the phenotype of the ant and our technology could be viewed similarly except that an anthill supports the life of the ants. Our technology on the other hand is suffocating our natural symbiotic relationships with our world. In many ways our technology is destroying the culture, environment and the world that we live in and mobile phones are a fantastic illustration of this. On the one hand your smart phone allows you to be connected to the world wide web of infinite consciousness, knowledge and information. At the push of a button the user becomes a telepathic entity able to instantaneously project an idea to the otherside of the planet.

However, and this is a big however phones emit electro-magnetic radiation at levels that are probably not safe for humans. I have a sense that in 20 years we will probably view the health consequences of the mobile phone in similar terms to how we view smoking cigarettes today. Here we are gaily enraptured with a device that is significantly disrupting the invisible electro-magnetic field that surrounds us and supports our health. To see the effects of this Google –“cell phone in beehive”. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that bees are smarter than us for when exposed to the constant pulse of the cell phone bees will not return to the hive. Over a longer period of exposure than a minute or two the entire hive of bees will flee from their home never to return. Now I’m not as smart as a bee and even I can figure out that isn’t a good sign.

In partnership with the delirious health impacts are the social impacts that cell phones are having on our society. Take a look at the city surrounds. The default posture is eyes down face illuminated by microscopic flatscreen. So utterly enthralled by this addictive technology we stumble from place to place without social grace and ever so clumsily bumping into any and everything. Why have we let ‘liking’ facebook posts take precedence over gazing into the eyes of our lover or listening to the imaginations of our children? Why to we allow the bleep of the device to snatch our attention from more potent ruminations and mysteries of life?

I long for the day when cell phone users become the smokers of the day. Forced into dim little alcoves away from the rest of us to partake of their dirty little button fiddling habits. Far enough away that there aren’t ay secondary health consequences for the rest of us.

Moble phones are just a tool people. They are not some new god.

An idle man’s master plan

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”

Socrates

If your life is a complex mess, if work is making you hate your life, or if you feel like your house is more like a warehouse than a home then maybe simple living is for you.

I feel one should start the simple living journey by filling the void inside. We all have a void. We try to fill this with attention seeking, possessions and self obsessions, but the void only ever disappears when we remember who we are. You see we seem to forget who we are in birthing process, but who we are is so fundamental to our existence that it’s critical to rediscover your true self. This step alone will naturally lead to simpler living while radically improving the quality of your life .

Through the process of self-discovery you will probably arrive at a conclusion about the importance of spending your waking life as a consumer of matter. We have been hijacked into the life of the consumer by social and economic forces constructed to enslave us from birth. This is isn’t how we should live if the goal for our life is happiness.

To really kick things off shed all of the bills and payments that you can, learn skills to do things yourself and embrace trade, bartering, community building and freeganism. Unbank my friends!

Freeing up your money will give you some money to invest and this cycle compounds to the point where you can conclude that work is stupid and that you don’t really need to do it anymore.

Of course you could complete these steps in reverse order: give up work, invest money, stop paying bills, get over consumption and you would have all the time in the world to find yourself, but the first way is probably easier because it minimises pain and the process will accelerate as you preserver with it.

Unbanking with the Millenials

“The unbanked are described by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as those adults without an account at a bank or other financial institution and are considered to be outside the mainstream for one reason or another. The FDIC estimates there are 10 million unbanked or underbanked American households”

Wikipedia

Relatively recently I discovered that like in the USA, tax is voluntary in my country too. There is perfectly legal and entirely reasonable way to opt out of paying tax if you so choose. Several actually. Of course the fact that you can do something does not mean that you should. There are important ethical, social and environmental considerations about becoming a ‘freeloader’. There are good arguments on both sides.

Long time readers will have a sense that my views are that community is essential, and the more locally we live the better for us all. Life should be lived in a selfless not selfish way and policies like universal basic income are an important step forward. This supports paying tax even if one doesn’t need to. Throw in subsidized health care and education as important considerations. While all very good reasons to pay tax I increasingly see my tax dollars funding hostile military actions against foreign people I have no beef with. If someone was bombing my community, murdering my family and friends and snatching my children in the night I might want to chop someones head off in retaliation. The solution to war is peace. You don’t and can’t fight for peace. You peace for peace. Make war unprofitable and there won’t be any. If we withdrew troops from protecting poppy and oil fields or stealing natural resources and killing under the guise of anti-terrorism we may find people become less hostile towards us. Add to this the massive increase in corporate welfare funded through a corresponding decrease in social welfare, or the militarisation of the peace (police) force, or the systematic running down of public health and the public fool (school) system and you will begin to understand my aversion to the government dipping its bloody, grubby, and sleazy hands in my pocket. Realistically I must also confess to being an idler that hates work and so the idea of an instant 40% pay rise sounds great! I feel that there is more social good in my family having the money and therefore free time to be more charitable than donating it off to the state funded bank bonuses and bloodshed. This long lead-in brings me to the point of this tale. To voluntarily withdraw my consent to remain a taxpayer I must take a couple of actions one of which brings joy to my heart. By depositing, or having someone electronically deposit money in a bank account, I am agreeing to pay tax. Under our law no bank = no tax essentially [WARNING: Please check the laws in your own country very carefully before embarking on a similar project]. While the thought of no bank and no tax is a happy notion the pragmatist in me is mired in questions of day to day life. Herein I arrive at the title of this post. As I struggled to figure how or even if it is possible to live unbanked (forfeiting the convenience of the 24 hour access money card seems like a big step) I discovered that significant numbers of young kids (millennials) have rejected the banks entirely. They are a socially conscious group that hates the devastation and destruction inflicted on us by the banking titans. They are a long way down the unbank journey and are awash with tips, tricks and clever strategies to successfully unbank. It has been empowering and refreshing to be mentored by such knowledgeable people as young as 15 years old! It has long been my opinion that one of the most important and most powerful actions you can take in the world is to unbank your families wealth. Up until now I have held an inaccurate view that unbanking would be all too terribly hard, but convenience is a sad and shabby reason to maintain these arcane and malevolent institutions and with millennials and the internet everywhere ‘how’ is really no barrier at all.

The enslavement of children (your children) by you!

“Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery”

Wayne Dyer

 

 

I suspect that most parents would be horrified to learn that they have been unwittingly swindled into a contract where they have passed the ownership of their child’s physical body to a CORPORATION that is listed with the Security and Exchange Commission.

Be horrified though, because if you have registered the birth of your child in any country in the world you have almost certainly turned your little bundle of joy into a commodity and at the same time you consented to that commodity being ‘owned’ by someone other than  you. While you remain the guardian you are no longer the legal owner of the child. The possession of the legal title is now the Government’s and in many countries the Government is simply a corporate entity listed on a stock exchange like Monsanto.

As a parent I’d like to think that my child is sovereign. The thought that he is owned or enslaved is heartbreaking, but this runs against the corporate logic of the world. The child is a thing and a thing must be owned by somebody. This is an inversion of what I wish for my son. I want him to grow up to be an independent, self-governing altruistic man. I’d like to watch him grow, individuate and live his life by common law principles like do onto other as you would have them do to you. I do not see him as a thing, a possession or a commodity to be owned by anyone. He should be free and sovereign. Allowed to live as he pleases so long as it doesn’t cause loss or injury to another living soul.

Of course the Government is having none of this. They bind him in economic slavery from birth to steal his labour (tax), to determine where he can go, what he can say, what he can and can’t ingest, who he may marry, what types of jobs he can have, how he may travel. They turn him from a natural man with unalienable rights into an EMPLOYEE and a CONSUMER and a TAXPAYER who must do what he is told.

As a first time parent I had no clue that we were transferring legal title of our son to the Government. At that point I didn’t even realise the Government was a company like Monsanto. The process by which the Government steals your child is through the creation of what is called a STRAWMAN. The STRAWMAN is a legal fiction set up corporatize the natural child thus making them legally accountable to pay tax and submitting them to be governed by statutes (the law of the corporation).

It is shocking to discover that your child is the chattel of a company, but you are the chattel of a company too like your parents before you. When I say that we are economic slaves I mean exactly that. The clever trick in all of this is that the truth has been systematically kept from us. We are slaves, but we think we are free.

If cash is King then the King is dead!

“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight”
Johnny Cash

The missus came back from a utilities company with worrying news. I trust her fully, but I couldn’t believe what she was telling me. Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that we meet most of our expenses with cash. Handling cash is one of the key things, in my opinion, that you can do to get on top of your money management.

Anyway as it turns out she had gone to pay a bill with cash, but was refused. The alleged reason was that they didn’t accept cash any longer. Cash is legal tender and to not accept it as payment is illegal in our country (that’s a whole other story). A few days later I had the same experience. They basically told me that I should direct debit and that they didn’t want cash on the premise for security purposes – blah, blah, blah.

This is a worrying trend that I’ve long predicted. The authorities hate cash. It’s dirty and expensive to produce. It creates a logistics issue ensuring cash is fluid. Like you need to move it around to ensure the circulation is appropriately distributed. Worst for authorities is that cash transactions aren’t traceable. They can’t easily steal a portion by calling it a tax. Worst still they don’t have a complete record of your movements, your expenditure and the level of control that they would have in a cashless monetary system. I also think that they hate having to deal with a human being face to face. Numbers on a screen don’t angrily complain about all the ways the utilities company is not doing what it is charging people for! Why deal with actual humans if you can work with non-threatening spreadsheets instead.

There is a more sinister concern that is probably the second reason I am pro-cash. Say for example there was no cash. Everything was electronic [some people think they would like that because they are technocrats that like the idea of their phone being their pocket money]. Before you jump on that wagon keep your mind open to the downside. To do anything in a world where paper money no longer exists you’d need an electronic bank account [sounds ok]. Now say the government gets even more totalitarian or fascist leaning than it is now and that is unacceptable to you so so you protest [what does this have to do with money?]. Well, the government responds by turning off your bank account and with no cash available it would be more than a minor inconvenience. You’re in deep shit Dorothy. It would be in a terrible situation. How would you eat, where could you live, how would you accumulate a non-physical e-money? It’s all just numbers on a screen now [oh!].

A cash based system gives you rights. It allows you to remain private. You have an ability to continue to transact with people in your local community to feed, cloth and shelter your family without an authority ever entering into it as a invisible third party. Once cash is gone you lose the right to life and must rely on the benevolence of the banking sector and the government.

Some people seem to think that if this fictional scenario played out that some underground currency would fill the gap for people that have been struck off the government books, but answer this – is it legal in your country to develop your own currency and trade it in your neighbourhood now? If you live in most countries in the world it is not just illegal there are serious consequences for printing an alternative to ‘legal tender’. The government and the banks are very aggressive about ensuring they are the only game in town.

So even if you are into tech you need to fight the death of cash. A cash based system however bad or unfair is [or however cool the electronic payment tools become] better than the alternative of a money based system without cash. True a moneyless world would be better, but with so little to gain and so much to lose the establishment would never let that dream become a reality without bloodshed.

Don’t anticipate a book review from LeM (I’m afraid)

“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

I’d really like to do a book review on Russell Brand’s new book Revolution. It is right up my alley.

Brand is talking about toppling the elite designed and maintained system that doesn’t really work for anyone other than the owners.

Russell isn’t advocating chaos. He’s simply suggesting we could and should be thriving under a mutually designed system that fairly distributed resources, looks after people, takes care of the planet and protects the other species we share this blue rock with. Hear, hear mate. This resonates with me. I’m not so much anti-capitalist. More pro life and liberty for all.

Trouble is I won’t be doing a book review anytime soon. I reserved a copy of this book at the public library. 19 people in front of me means in a little less than 2 years I’ll get to read it. By then pretty much no point doing a review as anyone with a flicker of interest will have read it already. [In the meantime no spoilers please!]

As I said I am really interested in this book and this will all be old news by then, but I just can’t bring myself to go into town, find a shop and part with $40. Besides, its nice to have things to look forward to in life. Hopefully my loan of this book will neatly coincide with a beach holiday and pleasant weather out.

The abundance mindset: Part of the critical path of successful simple living

“The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it”

Henry David Thoreau

One of the things I recall about starting my journey in simple living is that off the bat I felt like a second class citizen.

I was focused on lack, on scarcity. Because a vast proportion of my money was saved I never had money for anything. I had a feeling that I was missing out. I was centred on lack of money to the extent that when people treated me like a hobo I felt hurt. At that point my clothes were substantially newer than they are today. There weren’t any holes in my shoes and I wasn’t a hair farmer. The joke if I’d noticed it was that guys and gals in flash corporate clothing that were treating me badly probably had less in the bank than I did (at that point a little over $100k).

My early experience of simple living was bitter sweet. On the one hand I was begining to harvet the benefits of frugality and minimalism. I was becoming aware of my economic slavery and I was seeing how little freedom I actually had. But, at the same time my self worth was taking a hammering. All because of my perceptions of other people’s behaviour towards me.

Slowly I began to see everything differently. By any modern western standard, and especially considering most people have less than $1000 in savings, I was very rich. I shifted away from a focus on poverty and scarcity in line with our family principles toward what I was grateful for, what I had and what I wanted in the future. This mental evolution changed my life.

Now I’m thriving in a simple lifestyle. I notice abundance in every area of my life. I feel blessed. I am intimately connected to living a more localised, quieter, and simpler life. I’m happier,and less hostile. I feel successful, clever and brave. When I’m on a train, a bus or out in a public space I freely shrug off peoples negative emotions. Truth be told I probably don’t even notice . I try not to judge their personal insecurity.

I smile because they may never know what they are missing if they keep living the corporate (or corporations) dream.

Life on the other side is better.

You’ll only discover for yourself if you are brave enough to give simple living a chance.

If you do try, give yourself a big head start by getting your head in the right space first.