Reach Enlightenment by Living in a Cave, Eating Trash

If you have three minutes and enjoy watching online videos, this segment from the BBC about Daniel Suelo, a man who lives in the desert in Utah and hasn’t used money in twelve years, exists. A book, just released, also exists: The Man Who Quit Money, by Mark Sundeen.

But really the best thing you need to know about The Man Who Quit Money is this:

Since abandoning money in 2000, the former cook from Moab, Utah has remained an active member of his community and avid blogger.

OH REALLY? (Yes, really.) His blog is called Living Without Money (good name), was created using Google Sites (RIP), and I just spent about two hours reading everything on it.

Here are some highlights, from his FAQ:


• “One year I went to Alaska with my 2 friends, Leslie & Mel, in their van & spent the late spring, summer, and early fall there. At first I worked on the docks. But none of it felt honest. So I quit and decided to go on a solo pack trip and try to live off the land for a few weeks. Lo & behold, I ran into a Basque dude named Ander who was also toying with thoughts of living off the land. So that’s what we did. We speared fish, ate mushrooms & berries, and lived very well. Then we hit the road, hitch-hiking, and realized how generous people were, and were astonished at the plethora of magical “coincidences” that kept happening to us. Eventually we split up and I decided to hitch all the way back to Moab, Utah, with $50 in my pocket, just to see if I could. When I arrived in Moab, I had $25 left. Then I realized I had only used money for things I didn’t need, like snacks and a beer. For the first time, I realized I could live totally moneyless.”


• Our true selves already live moneyless. The rest is bogus illusion. This lifestyle is the nature and desire of children. Any child or young person I talk to, not yet too programmed by the Man, thinks it’s cool.

• Money is illusion. Illusion is neither good nor evil. Attachment to illusion is evil. Attachment to illusion is called idolatry.

• Chance formed me and continues right now to mold me from the dust of the earth. Chance evolved me from an ameoboid to a human. Why, after millions of years of honing me down, would chance forsake me now?

• What would happen to society if everybody renounced money and gave up their possessions to the poor. What would happen if all people stopped taking more than they need? … What do birds and fish and lions and mushrooms and bees do? How do they do it? What would happen if everybody practiced what they themselves know to be true? Stop pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about.

• Are swallows nesting in house attics dependent upon money? Are pigeons nesting on bank skyscrapers dependent upon money? Are barnacles clinging to aircraft carriers and corals living on buried artifacts dependent upon money? Are bears and ravens eating out of dumpsters dependent upon money? Nature uses everything, without discrimination.


• I’ve been sick & vomiting 3 times these past 8 years living moneyless. Ironically, the first two times were not from my usual dumpster dine-outs, but the first time when a friend had me over to her house for dinner and the second time when a friend bought me food at a restaurant. The third time I got sick and vomited was when I carelessly ate a poison cactus.


• Because of house-sitting, with computers available, I was able to create this website.

If you would like to spend the rest of your Monday reading about our terrible society but also being strangely compelled to drop all things and walk into the woods, you can do that right here.

Photo Credit: flickr/psyberartist