Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate? That question I think I can answer.
Rousseau wrote this on the eve of the French Revolution. I was one of those “masters” that discovered that I was a greater slave.
In the summer of 1993, I was on track to end up at the top of the Canadian banking system. This had been my dream since I left school. But instead of being happy, I was utterly depressed. Something was wrong and I did not know what it was. I felt like a donkey on a treadmill going around in circles. Ultimately I realized that I was a prisoner. I was trapped by my income and my debt. For a year, I was just miserable. For how could I have ever escape this trap? Then one summer day, I woke up and realized that I could escape. All I had to do was to walk away from this life.
This was my jump. The moment when I knew for certain that I had to leave the traditional work life forever.
But, if I had simply acted on that decision, I would have collapsed into poverty and chaos. Fortunately, I had a good friend, who, long before, made the Jump herself. She laughed at me when I told her that I planned to just quit. She reminded me that I worked for a heartless institution and that when I left, I should have a plan so that I could leave my prison cell and walk into true freedom. My homework for the next year was to find the direction for a new life that did not depend on my having a job. That is what I did. So, when the day came when the bank could no longer tolerate me, I was able to step off the bank boat into my lifeboat.
It took me another decade to learn how to live really well outside of the demands of institutions but I was always making progress because I had a lot of good advice.
This site is the result of all this advice and all my experience. I bring it all together for you. When I say, you, I mean you are a person that is at that point when all you feel is pain and depression and don’t not how to get out of that place.
Are you bound by chains that you don’t see? These chains might be how you rely on your job to provide an income. They might be how you rely on medicine to keep you well. They might be how you rely on your bank for the credit that keeps you going.
Relying on your employer, your doctor and your banker can constrain every part of your life. They can control your time, where you live, how you live and what you fear. You may know this. But what you may not know is that you can work constructively to break free from their grip on you. You can control how you make a living. You can control how you access credit and you can control most of the factors that make you healthy.
Disconnecting ourselves from the power of the institutions is a scary thing.
But more and more people are making this jump. They make the jump, not at first as a deliberate choice but as a result of a spiritual emergency. The tension and the pressure of being a slave and wanting to be free suddenly overwhelms them. In spite of themselves, they jump. They jump into a new reality where they know that they have to change or die.
Is this you?
If so, welcome. I think, I can help you.
I, more about me here, made my own jump nearly 20 years ago. This site is my best effort to aggregate all that I have learned myself and from others to help you with the spiritual angst of making the jump and with as much practical advice about creating a new economic and social world as possible.
I offer it to you as a guide.
There are “podcasts” where I discuss every aspect of the process of transformation. They are found on the menu called Content on the right. Here is the introduction.
I have also written several books on the practical aspects of creating a new life once you have made the Jump. See the Books section for them.
Robert Paterson’s Weblog contains nearly 15 years of my thinking. I consider it my idea sketch book and it also records much of my own journey.
Let me know here if I can help you more