Friday, 9 October 2009

Follow up to previous article

This was listed in the comments and replies section with regards to the article below;

Great article, Gabriela, about one of my oldest and closest friends. Unlike some other pieces written about Daniel, yours gives him the respect and dignity he deserves, focusing on global issues of poverty, wealth, spirituality and human happiness. Daniel has a degree in Anthropology from CU, Boulder, which is where we met in the 1980’s, in a course on the Psychology of Religion.

My favorite anecdote about Daniel is the way he made it to my wedding in 2001. At the time he was living in a swamp in Florida, rich in wildlife, taking meals with the Hare Krishnas and spending his days doing research in the university library. To get to the wedding in Utah he contacted the Drive-away company and offered to transport a vehicle. They set him up with a brand new Mercedes convertible. Along the way he would park this $60,000 new convertible adjacent to dumpsters so he could rummage for some food “to go.”

Daniel’s lifestyle over the last decade can be portrayed as anthopological research, living in a fringe subculture of a powerful and wealthy society. What he notices about the rest of us is both intriguing and compelling. But Daniel is also a great biblical scholar who reads Hebrew and other ancient languages, finding profound nuances in scriptural passages, then conveying deep truth in a way that awakens more conventional people like me. His current lifestyle is driven by a passionate, mystical philosophy that will never allow him to feel homeless on a planet that is entirely owned by God.

Although Daniel tries never to barter, at one level he does participate in the same kind of barter system known for centuries to Franciscan or Buddhist monks. His presence in our house “adds value” to the quality of life experience that my wife and I enjoy. He brings peace with him wherever he goes. We adore him, and so do all of our animals, whom he often “babysits” when we travel. You could even say our many fruit trees adore Daniel. He has helped prune and cultivate them over the years, thoroughly enjoyed many afternoon naps in a hammock in their shade, and savored their bounty with a kind of deep, mystical gratitude that few of us humans ever really feel.

If anyone could call Daniel a “mooch” it would be me and my wife, because our home (and refrigerator) are always and unconditionally open to him. Yet we have never felt mooched, or otherwise taken advantage of. Quite the opposite, we look forward to his arrivals, feel enriched during his stays, and are saddened by his departures. Daniel is not a weight on society, holding us all back, as the word “mooch” implies. Instead, he is more like an angel who asks for nothing, but lifts us up others with his peace, love and wisdom.

Perhaps the “mooching” equation should be turned around. How many in the world, who enjoy great material wealth, truly have an endless supply of love, wisdom, inner peace and happiness that they share freely with others around them? In many respects Daniel can be thought of as a saintly leader, one who has made great personal sacrifices in order to develop broadband access to God. Now the rest of us get to “mooch” off of his free internet wi-fi connection to heaven whenever he is around.

Inspiring, to say the least.

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