We Can All be Happier Without Money
More and more people are realizing that money is a burden and not security. I realized that 25 years ago when I was selling municipal bonds, the years when the concepts of Spiritual Economics was given to me. I was on the phone 7 or 8 hours a day trying to find people that had too much money and didn’t know what to do with it. Often I would find someone who could be convinced to ‘invest’ in whatever bond or mutual fund I was promoting at the time. I often found people that had a lot of money that they were burdened by, and my job was to relieve them of that burden by trading their paper money for a paper certificate that promised to pay them back more over time. That’s how the paper money system works—people who have too much of it loan it to others who don’t have enough of it, but then have to pay it back with interest so that the people with too much money will have even more money, and the people who don’t have enough money will have even less of it! Do we see something wrong with this picture?
Other people are burdened by not having enough money. Trapped as we are in a consumer culture most people don’t know how to survive without money. This has the effect of destroying their self-esteem and making them feel worthless. A terrible fate for a human being, since nobody is worthless because everyone has something, even many things, to give. The problem is that our culture is not set up in such a way to facilitate their giving their gifts. We want to do something about that.
Seven years ago I decided to enter the gift culture, depending on the idea that by giving my gifts my needs would be taken care of. I can tell some amazing tales of how what I needed came to me as if by magic. Of course I know it is not magic, but simply the way this world works. It is my hope to convey to the readers of this website just how the world works and why we do not need money, and even why we are better off without it—especially spiritually.
Over these years I have been writing about the Gift Economy and this has brought me into contact with some amazing people. One of them is Heidemarie Schwermer, a German woman who, at the age of 54, made a deliberate choice to stop using money. She cancelled her apartment, gave away all of her belongings, keeping nothing but a small suitcase of clothing. That decision changed her outlook life dramatically. Today, after 14 years, she is still living almost without money and claims she is feeling more free and independent than ever. How’s that for a retirement plan—we may be seeing more and more people adopting that plan as the economy continues to tank.
- “I had everything I needed, I had a house and I had raised two children. I gave it all away.”
Documentary filmmaker Line Halverson made a video of Heidiemarie—Living Without Money—showing how Heidiemarie has made a life out of giving instead of getting. Heidiemarie has also had severla books written about her and her chosen lifestyle. She gives her gifts to people who invite her into their lives, and in return they are happy to sustain her simple needs.
Heidemarie is constantly on the move, meeting new people, staying with old and new friends for a few nights. She is never worried about the future, she’s not even pre-occupied about where she will sleep next week or where she will find her next meal. She knows by experience that things always work out for her as long as she is open to whatever happens. She travels all around Germany, often she is also in Austria, Switzerland and Italy, holding lectures about her experience and trying to convey the message that an easier way of life is possible.
Today I was looking at KarmaTube.org and learned about another person who had the courage to eschew money many years ago. Meet Daniel Suelo, who abandoned the use of money in the year 2000. I haven’t met Daniel except through this video. One can also read about him in the book and watch a question and answer session with Daniel on YouTube.
The fact is that the concept of money is nearing the end—for two reasons: 1) too many people know what a scam it is for it to be perpretrated much longer, and 2) too many people are realizing how we can all be happier in a gift economy. In fact if we want to dramatically change our lives all we need do is to orient ourselves to what gift we want to give to the world and focus on that. As The Peace Pilgrim wrote many years ago: it is impossible to give without receiving. And it is much more secure. Once we experience how our needs will always be met when we focus on giving we learn to live free from anxiety. Please think about what gifts you want to give to the people of the world, and search for ways to give them. And then please write to us here to share your experiences.
Video from KarmaTube