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What’s the Point?
By Kevin & Donna 

We are often asked, “what’s the point in living the way you do…are you just trying to escape society?” And the answer is this; the point of living the simple life – for us – is to get our living expenses down to the level where we don’t have to work more than necessary. We only want to earn money for what we really need. It’s about getting our lives in harmony with natural, organic life and using money only to supplement and help supply our basic needs. In other words, we want to use money, not be used by it. We’ve often said that the only real freedom is in the minimum of needs. And that is something each person must eventually define for himself.

And what exactly is freedom – true freedom? How free are we in this country? We think we are free, but it is an illusion in modern society. Many people live in little boxes – isolated, tidy, immaculate, scrubbed, odor-free, predictable, insulated from nature. If and when it ever happens that there is no more food in the super-supermarkets of our cities (and it is, in time, going to happen), who is going to feed us? If we haven’t grown or bought sufficient food, what sort of freedom is that! Who is going to give us a handout?

Freedom is in intelligent preparation, working cooperatively with the earth, obeying the forces of nature. Those who seek to be in alignment with it must work to free their minds from ignorance and false values. Those who are meek are always prepared. They store up provisions, not because they are anticipating great calamity, but because they love themselves and others enough to live sovereign, never wanting to be dependent on anyone else.

Nature is the wild, free, ever-moving life-force. Only nature exhibits complete freedom for all life. Modern society exhibits complete enslavement and a disregard for natural life processes, because it depends upon the system of commerce and exchange. Survival and preparation does not promote fear. The ant or bee does not add to fear. It adds to the harmony of the natural world because it is in harmony – it is in alignment with what it knows to be the truth.

There have always been earth changes; there always will be. The earth’s environment is a living system and the more that human society continues to mess around with that system, upsetting the delicate balance, the more important it is for conscious and concerned individuals to learn how to become self-reliant. Many people may not like hearing what I am saying in this article, but experts agree and have been warning humanity for several years. (See the article entitled “Scientists Warning to Humanity.”)

Droughts, famine, disease, plagues, environmental disasters, wars, economic hardship and floods are happening right now, and these things will only get worse unless mankind changes his present course quickly. There won’t be a balanced system if we keep consuming natural resources and dumping our pollutants and cutting down old growth forests. The stock market cannot support the world’s population with hefty annual returns. We can’t all be rich and live the cushy life in cities or dining on our yacht under the moonlight on the Caribbean Sea. For everything we take from nature, someone else down the line has to do without. The earth’s resources are finite.

Now understand that surviving need not be a hardship. When you are in flow with nature, you never have to struggle to survive, because you are just “in the flow.” You may still need money to survive at this level – that’s true – but do you know how much money is enough? Do you really know? How much money and how much time must you put into working for others in order to provide yourself with the simple basics? That is the question we all have to ask and confront, because wanting more than the simple basics of life leads you toward further digression away from the easy, basic law of nature. When you’re in the flow, and your mind fully understands the laws of nature, then “your yoke is easy and your burden is light.”

The way back to harmony with real life – natural life – is not to make more and more money – it is about needing less and less, and providing for yourself through cooperation with the earth. (Eating a natural vegetarian diet is an important starting point as well.) If you have to keep paying someone else to provide you with what you need, when will it ever end? How secure is that? Nature freely gives to us abundantly, the only trouble is, we don’t value what she offers – we want more and more and more. Most of our desires are totally unrealistic (huge houses, boats, new vehicles, diamonds, gold, servants…there is no end to it). As with everything, it takes education, but that doesn’t mean necessarily school education. For example, I completed two years of college and another year and a half in trade school and I ended up not even knowing what wheat looks like, how to plant it, how to separate it from the chaff, or how to bake it into bread. That was the result of 15 ½ years of 20th century public school education. But what I did learn to do was get a job and sell my labor to someone else in order to earn some money so I could purchase bread that someone else baked! Instead of learning how to work directly for primary reinforcement (the stuff I need to survive), I was taught how to sell myself to earn secondary reinforcement (money) to buy what I need. I think that’s quite an inefficient model.

Now when we look at the conclusion of all the ancient cultures and sacred philosophies of the world, it is consistent - we must go back to the wilderness and align ourselves with the natural rhythm of life and the cosmic order. For it is there that we discover contentment, a sense of purpose and all we need to be healthy and happy…“your Heavenly Father already knows what you need.”

Going against that is never going to work. In the end, everything that is out of alignment with the cosmic / natural order will eventually crumble and destroy itself. Our present society is already doomed to fail because the system that supports the world economy is short-sited and not sustainable. That is the simple fact. It’s not a criticism or moral judgement; it’s just the way it is. If you study the history of ancient Persia (modern Iraq) and look at the area known as the “cradle of civilization”, the once fertile land between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, you will see the most shocking site imaginable. Today it is a barren wasteland of rock, sand and rubble, and the 5000-year-old remains of several great cities. They are all gone. The horizon spreads out for miles without a single blade of grass, not a single tree or bush in the landscape. This land is now totally useless because it was over-farmed by growing wheat and other grains in order to feed the large populations which migrated and gathered in certain areas (ancient cities), in order to create commerce, businesses to make money, and the trading and selling of goods.

The same thing happened in the region of what is now known as the Sahara desert in Africa, which was once an abundant fertile land. It was destroyed by years of growing wheat to supply the Roman Empire in the height of its years of world domination. During that time, nothing was done to cooperate with the land, to care for it with sustainable methods of agriculture.

Similarly, in America it happened during the era known as the dust bowl. Settlers came in and cleared the land in order to raise wheat and nothing was done to rebuild the topsoil. Soon after that, the U.S. Government started to advocate the use of chemical fertilizers. Crops grew, but they weren’t healthy crops. That brought an over-abundance of insects, naturally programmed to wipe out diseased plants, so then we started using pesticides and herbicides…but still, nothing was done to rebuild the topsoil. It took the earth millions of years to create that level of fertility, and now we’ve almost completely wiped it out in less than 3 generations!

These desert lands are a warning of what is happening to America. If not for chemical fertilizers and pesticide poisons modern agriculture would not be able to sustain huge cities. And all we have done is put off the inevitable demise. There is no topsoil left in this country. It’s been long gone for many years. The rich abundance that we see in supermarkets is due to chemical usage and agri-business. But the sad reality is that it takes more and more chemicals each year to produce the same amount as the previous year. This escalation of chemicals is reaching a critical mass effect, destroying the health of the planet. And what isn’t good for the planet is always worse for terrestrial and oceanic lifeforms, even including man himself.

Is this a fearsome truth? Is it doom and gloom? How could nature be doom and gloom? How could it be anything but admirably beautiful? But if we fight against it we will not win, because Nature knows it is forever, while we are still fragile and insecure when we remain in ignorance about the cosmic and terrestrial laws of life.

To prepare is a wise thing to do. If a person has even a small piece of land, he can grow his Staff of Life, and he can learn to preserve that which he grows. That will carry him through even the most difficult circumstances. Then he is free. But most people today are not free! When a drought comes and the baker doesn’t bake the bread because there isn’t any wheat, because the wheat didn’t grow, because the rains weren’t there, how are they going to have bread? Will they even know how to bake it? Will they even know how to grow the wheat and separate it from the chaff? Many don’t know because they are no longer in love with the land. Instead, they love only modern conveniences.

It has been said that the meek will inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven. It is not going to be the intellectual. It is not going to be those who love complexities. It is the meek, the simple people, those who are humble within their hearts, who are close to the earth and work harmoniously with it. They are the ones who are in alignment with it.

Droughts are already happening. The water table is dropping drastically in the midwestern states and California’s water supply is drying up as well. The food supply in America is threatened because we keep feeding the world, making other nations dependent on artificial fast food, instead of encouraging native foods and sustainable agriculture. Genetic modification of seeds and animal life is not going to work because it is short sited and profit driven. The argument that we need genetic bio-technology or hydroponic chemical farming to maintain a growing population is false. How are the world’s poor going to pay for these kinds of technologies? Where are they going to get the money for chemical fertilizers and pesticides? The only real, sustainable answer is earth-friendly, bio-intensive organic gardening and farming, utilizing mulching, recycling organic materials and smarter use of water. And that is something that more and more people are going to have to do on their own. Large corporations and governments simply won’t do it because these easy methods do not produce profit.

Cities are seductive and many people want to live there. They love the big city lights, traffic, shops, theaters, restaurants and shopping malls. But what is the major disadvantage to living there? When you think about it and apply common sense, the answer is clear. There are no fields, only parking lots, freeways and buildings piled up on top of one another. There is little room to grow anything but baskets of flowers. Where does their food come from? When we reason it out it makes perfect sense that it is not advantageous to live in a city. Cities are a death trap. They are going to be the first to spew forth diseases and plagues simply because there will be no fresh water and not enough food. Where will all the human wastes go when there isn’t enough water to flush it away? This is just simple fact and it is very obvious. (See our article entitled, “Humanure Composting”).

The model America is following is not working. There has to be another way, an approach that will begin to liberate mankind, heal its people and bring peace to the world. Trying to create a business to make money, to be independent, to be free, to be happy and fulfilled is not the way anymore. Consumerism and commerce are not natural systems. Trading goods and products is good, certainly, but trying to generate money (secondary reinforcement) has become restrictive and inefficient (especially for the working poor), but most of all, it is not sustainable. The system cannot keep going on at its present rate. Something is going to give sooner or later. For every thing we sell as a product, produced from natural resources, someone else has to do without it. When a natural system is followed, when people take responsibility for their own primary reinforcement first, then their works and efforts are efficient and harmonious. In other words, it’s better to produce your own food to eat yourself than it is to grow more food than you need in order to sell it for money to buy other stuff that you don’t really need (or to pay government fees, taxes, permits costs, etc).

Everytime we expand too big and desire more than what is basic or easily obtained from our immediate environment, we waste precious resources and human energy. And we take these resources out of the hands of the poor. You see, it is our desire for more and more that causes us so many consequences and takes away our power and peace. The less we want, the more content we are; the more we have, the less satisfied we feel. It’s the iron law of cause and effect governed by natural / cosmic law.

Trading what we produce is far better, and less able to be regulated. It empowers communities and creates trust. But of course it’s not always easy to do, so we have to earn some amount of money. Often we have to sell some of our goods and services and that is perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it isn’t necessary to create a business to fulfill some dream in order to be happy. Creating a business is often a real nightmare; especially with all the restrictive government regulations, taxes, licenses, etc.

 Donna and I tried to create a business with our sourdough bread baking. In fact, almost everyone we knew encouraged us to do so. “It would be great,” they said, “you’ll make a fortune…everybody needs that bread!” We quickly realized, however, how stupid and complicated the whole system has become. We wanted to supplement our income and decided it would be fun to try and sell just a few loaves at a weekly farmer’s market. So we went through all the proper and legal procedures and checked with the local health department, the department of agriculture and the local government office to see what was required. The bottom line is this…they are completely insane. We discovered that for us to bake only 20-30 loaves of bread a week it would cost us $1100 a year in fees to the government agencies and the local farmer’s market committee. To cover that cost would mean we would have to sell 50 extra loaves a week. So now, to make a little bit of cash selling 30 loaves of handmade sourdough bread each week, we’d have to bake 80 loaves a week. Now of course, we cannot physically do that by hand so we would have to purchase an electric grain grinder ($600), a mixer ($3000) and a bigger oven ($4000) and upgrade to get a certified kitchen, add a bathroom, install 3 sinks, large freezer and refrigerator, cover marketing costs, packaging, labels (and the associated permits for each product), additional equipment, possibly hire some help…now we’re up to $20,000, and by this time it’s not the same quality handmade bread anymore because we’re using machines to produce it.

Gone are the days of the local village baker happily supplying his relatives, friends and neighbors without interference from local and federal agencies. Though the present system has been designed to “protect” us from unsanitary health conditions, more often than not it has only tied our hands and caused unnecessary hardship to those who want only to honestly generate a modest income. You see the system isn’t designed to work. It’s easier to bake the bread for ourselves and trade a few extra loaves for apples or seeds or whatever else we find that others may want to offer.

The idea of creating a business to be financially free is not simple anymore. It’s far better to sell your services, labor or expertise to earn a little money and spend the rest of your energy and time providing for your basic needs and improving your consciousness, developing art and studying ancient wisdom. In other words, go out and sell yourself to the system as minimally as possible, and then take the money and run! Run back to your safe, sane and humble hovels, which you have created, where you can live simple and peaceful lives, in cooperation with the forces of nature. Starting a business at home, though it seems like the American ideal dream of success (like winning the lottery), often requires going into debt. Donna and I have a simple goal, to earn and live abundantly on only the amount of money that will keep us below the poverty level (less than $18,000 a year). In this way we minimize the taxes we pay and do not contribute financially to a government that is hell-bent on war mongering and its’ insane production of military expansion, bombs and nuclear weapons. What we’ve sought to demonstrate at EarthStar is that simplicity means valuing you and your family’s life above everything else, especially profit and money. Making a business trying to bake bread would do nothing to empower other people and it would only enslave me. I’m more than happy to freely share my information with others. More people should bake their own bread anyway…(real bread doesn’t exist in a supermarket…see our article entitled “Facts About Naturally Fermented Bread”).

Valuing our health and relationship with the Earthly Mother is far more satisfying than getting involved in complex, antiquated strategies. For some people a business works fine. They have the skill and determination to make it work. Good for them! But not for me. There are entrepreneurs, who have the financial resources and guts to become highly successful business people, but it’s almost always at the expense of someone else and it threatens the limited resources of the planet. And also, they are at the mercy of customers that have to spend some money.

In summary, to be a conscious consumer is the first step, that is why we teach others to make smart food choices right away. Our food choices affect all the other aspects of our lives and set us free on the path back to the natural laws of life. (See our article entitled “Eating for Freedom”). It also contributes to sustainable agriculture and good health for us as well as the environment. Living in a large town or city, eating out in restaurants and shopping at Wal-Mart cannot be the answer for everyone. It is a system that cannot sustain large populations without robbing valuable resources from others. Eventually large cities will have to dismantle; those who don’t get out may possibly perish. Sustainable agriculture is the only real foundation of a successful community. It is not technology, factories, nor medical institutions…sustainable agriculture is the only real answer. Healthy  soil = healthy food = healthy people. This is a formula for success!

If anyone is really interested in further study of this subject please read Professor Szekely’s book “Cosmos, Man & Society”. The following quote, from page 127 is one of my favorite passages, and it inspires me every time I read it.

“We must lead mankind back from the great towns to the country, just as the peoples of the Bible were lead out of Egypt. Disease and death and destruction are close at hand, and the new society can only be constructed if the fundamental equilibrium of human society is re-established and seventy-five percent of people return to the fundamental occupations of a simple, natural life, to a natural agriculture, to freedom, and to harmony with the natural laws and natural forces.”

(A current booklist of Professor Szekely’s books are available from I.B.S. Internacional, P.O. Box 849, Nelson, B.C. Canada V1L 5A6)

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