As far as how I survived my “year without money,” and how I survive now, I continue to allow Life to provide as I provide for it. I have meager needs and have found they are met quite adequately by my community as I seek out ways to meet the needs of others. Utilizing my gifts as a writer, filmmaker, artisan, craftsman, laborer, cook, photographer, counselor, teacher, and whatever other roles open themselves up to me, I feel I offer certain values to my community that cannot be adequately quantified by our present monetary system. By offering my talents as gifts to my community, I have faith my safety and security will be provided for and any extra value received will be passed on throughout my community.
I realize this is far from a perfect science, yet I also realize, having watched the economic meltdown over the last few years and seeing the discrepancies in the estimation of value throughout my society, our system of finance has its imperfections as well. All I can really do is to be the best version of myself I can be, and hopefully inspire others to realize their own value beyond the inadequate representation we have come to rely on by adhering to the myopia of the monetary system.
I feel money has been a fine tool, and has its uses. But as Abraham Maslow said, “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” For the changes that need to be made in the world, I feel money may be largely inappropriate tool unless we decide to truly understand its powers and limitations, and use it accordingly. We as a civilization have so many other possibilities toward creating the sustainable future we imagine, and I feel we must look beyond the limiting confines of the economic system, especially one as fraught with injustice, coercion, and corruption as the one currently in use.
Ultimately, the purpose of my latest book is to explore the notion that money has guided the development of civilization, and culture is what keeps an economy alive. From the time we started perceiving more value and interest in our tools than the reason we started using them, we inextricably changed the course of our evolution. My hope is to weave together the story of how money has been developed in concert with our religious systems, hierarchical governments, and the effects our attention and obedience to these thought systems have had on us – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually – and then consider where we could go if we were to find our balance.