Radical Simplicity: Freegans and Nature Boys
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
The mid Twentieth Century marked another rise in counter-culture movements fed up with being trapped in a capitalist system they didn't sign up for. A bright new world was unraveling and the younger generation was experiencing freedom like they'd never felt before. Evolving from the Shakers and Transcendentalists groups of the Eighteenth Century, anti-establishment groups like the Freegans, Nature Boys, fled this destructive consumerist world in search of simplicity, meaning and spirituality. One of the easiest ways to break free from a destructive system is to stop believing in the one thing that runs it, MONEY. For Freegans, treading lightly, mindfully and sustainably was the way of the future. As drifters and free spirits they banded together to find ways to thrive in harmony with Mother Nature. In urban environments they'd dumpster dive for meals and journey to the outskirts to forage native foods. This way of conscious living shifted the flow of energy and empowered the individual, thus slowing the train of environmental collapse. Another group that sprouted up from the pavement were the "Diggers" who opened free stores and gave away food and medicine, not expecting anything in return.
"The most precious commodity that humans have in this linear dimension is TIME and by stepping away from the race for money these young adventurers were able to finally reconnect with themselves and the Universe."
A group nicknamed the "Nature Boys" took this movement one step further and used their freed up time to journey deeper within. Adopting the Eastern practices of the Bodhisattva's and Sadus, they stripped themselves of any material belongings and money and returned to the wild. They spent their days sunbathing, foraging and meditating naked in lotus position in California's vast canyon systems. The most precious commodity that humans have in this linear dimension is TIME and by stepping away from the race for money these young adventurers were able to finally reconnect with themselves and the Universe. And that brings us to the present, where we find a man that goes by the name of "Suelo". Like his for-fathers and sisters, he quit money halfway through his life. The burdens that he carried while being trapped in a capitalist world, never getting ahead ready resonated with me. the truth about our society is that there is no honest work anymore because everything is tied to the suffering and pain money carries. By letting go of his ties to it he freed his soul and the reciprocity that is attached, to live a meaningful life based on spiritual growth and giving.
For the full biography of Daniel Shellabarger check out "The Man Who Quit Money" a novel by Mark Sundeen