I had a dream last night. In the dream I had been dealing with some large conglomerate entity that had its corporate offices in one of the large hotels in its nationwide chain. I was to meet someone (I'm not sure who) to discuss an issue (I don't know what) over which we were in some sort of conflict involving money. Upon leaving the hotel I found a parking ticket on my car's windshield. I promptly snatched the ticket from under the wiper and marched back into the hotel and into the office of the receptionist of the person with whom I had just met and asked, "What's this?!" I was informed by the receptionist that their parking lot closed at 3:00 pm. and I must pay a fine. I threw the ticket on her desk and said, "I had an appointment to meet one of your corporate officers and now you want to fine me for using your parking lot? Here you can pay this!" And I left, end of dream. Well not exactly but fighting off aliens with Dumbo the Elephant in the fox hole next to me firing a machine gun with a cigar clenched in his teeth has nothing to do with the reason for this post.
I found the dream interesting because it mirrored what has been going on lately in my waking life. As some of you know, the last 18 months for me have been somewhat cathartic. Situations of my own making forced me into resolving issues and making decisions regarding my future that had been put off for too long. External influences compelled me to learn more about the institutions and policies that effect my life. I realized that the "rules" have been written for the purpose of imposing financial slavery on the whole of our society, and that those who wrote and administer the rules, do not follow them. I was inadvertantly liberated from those rules and the systems that have been set up to create, manage, and perpetuate massive consumer debt. My loss of the Holy Grail of our consumerist society, a good credit rating, put me beyond reach of the mechanisms by which most Americans find themselves mired down in financial quicksand from which they rarely, if ever, escape. I know a lot of this borders on cryptic but hashing over the complexities of my situation will not change what went down. What is important to know is that I found myself in a situation that required an honest reassessment of what my priorities are in life. Basically, I am talking about embarking upon life in a completely different direction. I have come from a high consumption, high standard of living to a lifestyle based on a minimal consumption, high quality of life model. For years I thought that high consumption meant a high quality of life and I couln't have been more mistaken. I have made a leap to a lifestyle from an earlier time; a time of self-reliance with self-sufficiency as the goal. Discerning my needs and releasing my conditioned desires made that leap easier than it might be for those more addicted to their possessions and conveniences. Once certain things lose relevance in your life, you lose interest in them. As those things fall away from you, so does their power. Absent the fear of losing these things then, makes you fear-less and beyond the reach of those who would use that fear to manipulate you. Wresting control of one's life away from those who seek to manipulate it engenders a sense of power, self-determination and freedom. No longer having the deck staked against one allows for relatively rapid growth and success. More income is freed up to be used to solidify one's own financial security. Reaching that point is living true liberty and freedom.
The plan for self-determination and financial freedom, is simple and centers around self-sufficiency. The basic outline is this: Buy as much land as you can afford, at least five acres, more if at all possible, preferably wooded and somewhat hilly. Being on one's own land not only brings important freedoms, but valuable options that can be had in few other ways. Do what ever is necessary to live there full time. Any vehicles, currently being financed should be immediately paid off or sold. Purchase a less expensive vehicle, preferably flex-fuel capable of burning E-85 and/or pure ethanol that can be owned outright. This will save not only the monthly payments and finance charges, but also at least 60% on auto insurance. This one change will bring big benefits almost immediately. Buy a chain saw, a wood stove, and a water purifier. Do not drill a water well. They are costly and need periodic maintainence. Collect, purify and use rainwater instead. The advantages of NOT having a well are many. One is that you will still have access to your water supply even when the power grid goes down. There is also the associated monthly power bill for the well pump you will not have to pay. Grow sweet sorghum or sugar beets as an energy crop. It is very inexpensive and easy to distill your own ethanol fuel for vehicles and cooking. Keep very little money in any checking accounts. Any cash that would normally go into a savings account should be converted into precious metals, numismatic gold or silver. Do NOT use credit. Make as many purchases as possible with cash. Pay bills with cash or money orders. Whenever possible, cash all checks at the bank on which they are drawn. Does some of this sound inconvenient at best, a pain in the ass otherwise? Yes, it is but call it the cost of freedom. Make it as hard as possible for "outside entities" to track expenditures or monitor actual income. Get rid of rediculous, exorbitantly priced crap. This includes expensive cell phone plans, buying designer clothing, fitness club memberships (owning and working land makes for plenty of exercise), and digital cable or satellite TV. Do not eat or drink anything with the sweetener aspartame as an ingredient. It was first developed as a compound to be used in creating chemical weapons. It attacks the brain, erodes your memory, and is seriously addictive. Buy canned food in bulk and keep a six month supply on hand until you can grow your own. Buy non-genetically altered, heirloom seeds and plant an organic vegetable garden. Build a root cellar for food preservation (a root cellar uses no electricity and doubles as a storm shelter). After a few months of eating organically grown foods and drinking pure rain water, the toxic chemical load will begin to lift from the body. Chemically-induced miasma will give way to clear headedness and memory improves. Refusing to be a willing victim also also caries with it added benefits such as, but not limited to, lowered blood pressure, peace of mind and a penchant for self-determination.
This plan will seem pretty drastic to some as it represents a major lifestyle change. To those who have been following it for a while, it seems the only sane thing to do given the current global economic and political landscape. But what about the American Dream and keeping up with the Jones's? The American Dream is an artificial carrot that the media, advertising, and mainstream TV dangles in front of you as an attainable goal of an artificial life, if you are willing to go into enough debt. The Jones's are on food stamps and in hock up to their eyeballs. Their home is in foreclosure. I am not advocating the illusion of wealth here. That is part of the old dysfunctional past. If you think the government will come to your aid and help you preserve your current life style, well, I'd love to see you try to float that idea past some Hurricane Katrina victims. What I am talking about and advocating is self-empowerment and the easy steps to true financial security. If you love your life and crave liberty, following this plan can lead to the kind of life America's Founding Fathers intended for us all, true freedom and financial independence. Besides, self-sufficiency is groovy.