Heroes and Hobos

In the end the world you take is equal to the world you make.

Of Love and Other Currencies

I’ve been thinking about “money” and “success” a lot recently.

So much so that I was willing to engage that when in one of my spiritual quests on the internet I stumbled upon a series of neo-newage teleseminars named the facepalm-worthy “You Wealth Revolution,” I suppressed my snake-oil-salesman-sensors and listened to a number of the (it turned out, tremendously useful and inspirational) recordings.

One of them, as I’ve enjoyed telling friends of late, requires you to speak these words over and over:

I love money, and money loves me.

Well, what it also asks you afterwards is if you felt ashamed or dirty somehow by speaking these words. And then it suggests you repeat the phrase as many times as you need to shift your relationship to the concept of wealth, until you feel freed and comfortable inviting wealth, seen as a joyful, positive energy, into your life.

Are you still there? Ok good. I know this is where I may begin to lose the readers less familiar/adept/ willing to open to this sort of “new-age”/”hippy” language but I hope you keep reading and hear me out.

Because while I’m not (necessarily) suggesting that you listen to these seminars, I know for a fact that everyone, and perhaps in particular my community of independent creative professionals, has a lot to gain from what this seemingly simple exercise ultimately taught me.

What it made me realize is that I have had, in my life, a negative opinion of “money” — disliked it, associated it with people and practices I have no respect for, and that as a result I was confusing the energy around my becoming wealthy, in a positive and beautiful way. (And I think many of us are stuck here).

Here’s what I can offer you:

Many of us exist in a state of barely contained disgust and disappointment with many of the dominant systems and practices of financial and governmental institutions. We differentiate ourselves wholeheartedly from these systems as a matter of fact — we coexist, often uncomfortably. We recognize that within these systems, standard currency is disproportionately lionized — and that this is understood by most as “true,” regardless of the illusory nature of any a priori “value” associated with the paper, coin, or plastic by which each currency is circulated. 

As a result of this division, and in keeping with our desire to exist/persist within a different system/to reject the status quo/normative models and operations, we reject this notion of value (and by extension, its hard medium) instinctively, as an energetic refusal of the falsehood it so often promotes and represents.

However. In rejecting money and “the system,” we legitimize/make real the dominance/existence of a “system” external to our selves and our native abilities/values — as though were were not, by our very presence here, an essential, dynamic, and (a)evolutionarypart of any system on this planet.

By reclaiming our perception, narration, and productive attitude, refocusing on the positive, human currencies that *necessarily* precede, produce, and draw value systems [love, gratitude, recognition, support, acknowledgement, appreciation, affirmation, testimonial, etc.], we physically/energetically alter the “system” of which we are all bio-chemi-mechani-physi-electrically a part… and transform the direction and character of “currency” vis-a-vis relationships — first individually, and then exponentially via networks both local and global, grounded and virtual.

I hope with all my heart that the reframing above enables you to have the shift that I have had. Any and all follow up conversations or questions are strongly encouraged and welcomed.

I want to make absolutely clear that I believe that the wealthiest of us are those who give the most of themselves, in whatever medium. On April 1st, I threw a Curated Creatives “POTLATCH” at my home, the invitation of which included the below.

*At potlatch gatherings, a family or hereditary<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereditary> leader
hosts guests in their family’s house and holds a feast for their guests. The main purpose of the potlatch is the re-distribution and reciprocity<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocity_(cultural_anthropology)>
of wealth.*

Within it, hierarchical relations within and between clans, villages, and
nations, are observed and reinforced through the distribution or sometimes
destruction of wealth, dance performances, and other ceremonies. The status
of any given family is raised not by who has the most resources, but by who
distributes the most resources.*

This has already been an extraordinary year. It seems as though every one I
know who has given themselves to their hearts and their passions has been
repaid in exponential fashion. I continue to be astounded by the
embarrassment of riches I receive through my creative network, and I love
you all so dearly, that I thought it was time to bring old friends and new
friends together to share in a congenial atmosphere of creative
conviviality – music, art, food and general merriment.

At this time, I am doing everything in my power to provide a platform by which we can grow and establish energetically clear and positive value for ourselves and eachother — both via the growing Exit Strata community and soon via the establishment of the Heroes and Hobos Poetry and Publishing Cooperative (more on that later).

And I believe, with all my heart, that an open and generous hand, mind, and spirit is the seed from which wealth grows, the seed from which our community will thrive. Even in the past month the number of doors that have opened, the number of real smiles I have seen, and the number of light bulbs I’ve seen go on above others’ heads, as they began to feel like real, viable, sustainable success for themselves and others is possible….? is more than I need to keep me at it until these seeming dreams manifest.


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Who are these heroes and hobos?

You are.

If you are a writer, a poet, an independent magazine, or a small press, you are a hero -- and a hobo in the best sense of the word. You wander through this institutional wilderness seeking beauty in the word and on the page, and you've written your own maps and set out alone or with a few friends and just a bindle... but no longer.

HaH offers you membership in a club you *do* want to join, despite the fact it would have you. In fact, it's a club you're already in! We've already seen how social movements are accelerated and empowered by the integration of new, socially oriented technology and open source/peer to peer philosophy into traditional activism and community organizing on the ground.

By pooling our actions into a streamlined intelligence, we reduce waste/redundancy, and refuse the scarcity economy. By pooling resources, we insist on and produce viability, we recycle, reduce and reuse -- our minds, our currency, our time and energy -- and share in a new kind of cooperative institution built on a sound, network empowered business model.

Local and offsite membership levels are available for individuals, publications, and independent presses.


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