“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached. ” – Simone Weil

In 2000 Daniel Suelo put his entire life savings in a phone booth, walked away, and has lived money less ever since.  He lives in the caves and wilderness of Utah where he eats wild vegetation, scavenges roadkill, pulls food from dumpsters, and is sometimes fed by friends and strangers.

I found this article inspiring. Below is part of the interview revealing some of Daniel’s wisdom and experience from living in nature.  It made me question how often we share our possessions in this world and how attached we are to the illusion of money.  I realized from reading his words that society does not live or abide by the laws of nature and therefore we suffer. For the full interview by Joshua Becker:

“When I left home for college, I studied other religions and found that all the world’s major religions teach giving up possessions and doing not for the sake of reward. If all the separated witnesses are saying the same thing, it must be true. Ironically, few practice the one thing they all agree upon in word. What would happen if we actually practiced this stuff, I thought.

My dad also took us camping a lot, and I was a nature freak. I couldn’t help but see how perfectly balanced nature was, and it ran on no money. Why, then, couldn’t we?

As an adult, I thought it through more thoroughly. Nature’s economy is a pay-it-forward economy. This means one sows, another reaps, ad infinitum. For example, a bear takes a raspberry, and the raspberry bush demands nothing in return. The Bear takes with zero sense of obligation, zero guilt. The bear then poops somewhere else, not only providing food for soil organisms, but also propagating raspberry seeds. You never see two wild creatures consciously bartering. There are no accountants worrying what the bush will get in return. This is exactly why it works, because nobody knows how it works!

There is no consciousness of credit and debt in nature. Consciousness of credit and debt is knowledge of good and evil, valuing one thing and devaluing another. Consciousness of credit and debt is our fall from Grace. Grace means gratis, free gift.”

37 thoughts on “Detachment

    1. Yes I don’t think any of us have to live like Daniel but I think it’s a good reminder to know we are already abundant within and to detach from any illusions regarding money. Thankyou 🙏🏻

  1. Walking away from it all really isn’t the answer, but living with as much as I have is not the answer either. I need to shed. A lot. My goal is to get rid of 50%. Then maybe more.

    1. I think as long as we are detached within Emilie that is what is important. That I can be surrounded by things or money and know within I can walk away tomorrow from it all unattached, unaffected. 💜💜

  2. I can only imagine the sharpening of senses and a deeper connection and understanding of life. Thank you for sharing his inspiring journey Karen

  3. A wonderful share, Karen. We all can learn much from this, most importantly to detach from the illusions that money creates.

  4. In some way, Karen, this story reminds me of an emerging (and growing in popularity) trend in Japan. Younger people are consciously choosing to shed nearly all of their belonging and live ‘minimalist’ lives. Granted, not to Daniel’s extreme yet evidence of a shift in humanity’s views on material possessions and success. I am seriously considering such a shift myself.

    1. Amazing to hear this Eric. If our younger generation can do this it will create a lighter future. Well done for your consideration. I am sure you will be an inspiration to many.

  5. I love the idea of no credit or debt. Just live our lives simply, giving and receiving as things come up. Pay it forward. No thought of owing or guilt or selfishness. Nature has it down. We, on the other hand, don’t. I like what David said too – if we could all simply live with much less.
    Thank you Karen. Great post.<3

  6. Dame, he called us out, and with legitimate, valid points too! Oh well, I give time to help feed the homeless and do volunteer work. I am not the materialist kind, nor definitely not someone who is centered around money. But I am all for balance. I’m not the extreme kind. Selfish as it is, I want my own happiness too. It’s all in perspective. I understand that he’s not exactly taking about money, but also about freedom and the way of nature.

    1. I agree Rommel he wasn’t talking about money so much as the natural law of give and take. How we forget that money is just another form of energy and when we are generous with it and detached from it, then abundance naturally is given in return! This has always worked for me. Having abundance within our thoughts and our heart is all we need and your work giving to others is definitely the right action.🙏🏻

  7. Detachment is our way of living. And the paradox is that we have never been so abundant since shedding most all attachments. I say ‘most’ because there might be something I’m not remembering, but I don’t think so. I also believe we each and all have to come to it in our own way. There’s no formula, as it rattles too many screws loose in the fear department for most people. And fear is a huge obstacle in any aspect of life. Impossible to entirely rid oneself of it – it’s a survival mechanism – but mindfully, one can release most of its hold. Aloha.

  8. It’s not too difficult to imagine how we got to this point. Our general lack of empathy is especially fed via the recent phenomenon of social media, a virtual place where we can become so absorbed with the creation and protection of our own little worlds that we become rapidly anesthetized to the pain, suffering and struggles of others.

  9. We keep it simple because we have no other choice. I often wonder would I be the same if I came into money? I like the idea that I could help out friends and family if could. But I see many who have lots of money and they are no happier than the rest of us Karen. But it would be good to not have to think about the bills etc. Life is hard for all of us and as I age I’m finding the simpler the better, not sure why but money isn’t as valuable as it use to be. We always get by and have what we need in the long run.

    1. I think we change our attachment to wealth as we get older because we know what is important. We have both seen how quickly our life can change, and so practising non-attachment to everything is how we grow lightly in life. Abundance is always within us Kath. 🙂

      1. Agreed, yesterday I wanted to treat my sister a present that may not have been in my budget. A little voice inside my head whispered do it! You always have what you need Kath and we always seem too…..Needless to say I listened to that wise higher self and bought the gift. My sister gave me a big hug and thats all that matters, making someone’s day is so rewarding. Have a wonderful Sunday Karen its beautiful here in Tuross Heads with my mum xx

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