Why We Don’t Recognize Ourselves Anymore
Another eight months has gone by since our last update in February 2015 and we don’t recognize ourselves anymore we have changed so much. Living in Nature, eating what we grow, and forming lifelong bonds with other humans outside our family, animals and plants has had an amazing impact on our evolution as human beings. We have strayed so far away from what is “natural” and what it really means to be human that it has literally turned us into something subhuman. If you have ever felt that something is not quite right in your life or that you are not at your full potential, it is because we are not living the way God had intended. We have strayed so far. It is time to come Home where we all belong.
Why We Don’t Recognize Ourselves Anymore
Compared to how we were when we lived in California, we have definitely changed in so many respects. The following table compares our “before” and “after” changes we have undergone so far in just one year and 3 months of living on our Motherland in Costa Rica:
|Lots of material possessions||Have only 20% of what we had before|
|Changed clothes every day||Change clothes about once a week|
|Showered every day||Shower about once a week|
|Used toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towels and napkins||Use water, soap and cloth towel|
|Lived in a 2500 sq ft house in suburbia in less than a 1/8 acre lot||Live in a 700 sq ft wooden shack in Nature on 60 acres|
|Used electric toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste||Use toothpick/twigs and homemade mouthrinse (JAL still uses floss and toothpaste)|
|Used laundry soap||Use homemade citrus enzyme cleaner|
|Had no pets||Have a cat and a free-roaming wild parrot|
|Kids went to public school||Kids create their own curriculum at home|
|Ate 60% prepackaged foods||Eat 5% prepackaged foods, make a lot of food from scratch|
|Filled two large residential trash bins each week||Fill only 1 standard size grocery bag of trash a week|
|Did not grow our own food, bought a lot of expensive organic foods||Organically grow 60% of our vegetables, all of our bananas, noni, and soursop (see Current Projects for a list of other food growing on land)|
|Spent most of our time indoors||Spend most of our time outdoors in fresh air and sunshine|
|Rarely did manual labor, spent more time on computer, thinking a lot during waking hours||Do a lot more manual labor, spend less time on computer, more time in meditation mode (calming the mind, reducing thoughts or mind-chatter)|
|Used an alarm clock to wake up on weekdays||Rarely use an alarm clock to wake up. Wake up naturally.|
|Took lots of vitamins and supplements every day||No longer take any vitamins or supplements, just eat more whole, fresh, nutritious foods|
|Spent 7-8 hours away from our kids each weekday||Our kids are always with us, talk to each other a lot more, forming a lifelong parent-child bond that make us inseparable|
|Ate meat, dairy and eggs||Ngoc and kids are now vegan, JAL is still vegetarian|
|Spent money on “going-out” types of entertainment or celebrations||No longer spending money to “go out” for entertainment or celebrations; love spending time with each other on our Motherland paradise|
|Played board games with each other||No longer have board games, just more quality and interesting conversations|
|Ngoc wore lipstick and eyeshadow every day with her hair down||Ngoc no longer cares how she looks (no makeup) and keeps her hair tied up in a bun every day|
|Never wore stained or ripped clothing||Wear stained and ripped clothing regularly|
|Had a mortgage and water bill||No more mortgage (debt-free) or water bills|
|Lived surrounded by artificial sounds (noise pollution)||Living surrounded by sounds of Nature|
|Lived with polluted water and air||Living with fresh mountain spring water and pristine mountain air|
|Went to dentist for x-rays, stain removal, and cavity treatments||No longer go to dentists because we realized that dental treatments actually contribute to dental problems. Teeth are healthier as a result (only Ngoc has some stains on her teeth).|
|Ngoc wore contacts or glasses everyday||Vision improved naturally, do not need contacts/glasses|
|Spent a lot of time and money cleaning and maintaining a large home||Spend very little time and money cleaning and maintaining a small wooden shack|
|Used synthetic sponges||Grow our own loofah sponges for general household cleaning and body care|
|Worked to earn money to pay bills||Working to permanently eliminate expenses so we won’t need money|
As you can see in the above table, we have simplified our lifestyle drastically moving away from the wasteful, destructive, and soul-less world of consumeristic materialism to focusing on things that really matter: our physical, mental and emotional health, strengthening our connection to each other and Mother Nature, and doing our part to rehabilitate and protect our part of Mother Earth.
The Zen of Manual Labor
Manual labor has long been valued in Zen Buddhism (as well as Chinese Buddhism) as a spiritual practice in humility, self-reliance, discipline, focus, concentration, meditation in action, and fine motor control over the body. For me, it is an excellent way to use my physical body to accomplish much needed work while calming and clearing the mind of chatter so that insight, solutions, inspiration, illumination and clarity of Self can arise within me. I use to dislike manual labor and thought of it as “menial” like most other people living the monetary system materialistic lifestyle. But now, I see it as a wonderful spiritual opportunity. Everything I do with my body, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is an opportunity to create something physical as physicality is one of the greatest gifts we have, especially when we are endowed with the physical form of a human being which not all beings get to experience. This is not to say I no longer enjoy using my brain, but I feel I am now using my whole body to create my physical world and experience.
Improving Vision in Nature
Living in a natural environment surrounded by the beauty and majesty of Mother Nature has made working outside on the land a most enjoyable activity for me. Nothing beats breathing in fresh, clean air, the feel of the breeze and sunlight on the skin, and the aroma of flowers, leaves and soil teaming with vibrant life. One of the wonderful “side-effects” of working outside is improved vision to the point where I do not need to wear glasses/contacts anymore. Instead of sitting in front of a computer all day in an office job, my eyes are now free to look and move all around as I love to look up and in the distance as well as up close when I am on the land. The landscape and scenery are breath-taking and ever-changing. Every scene I behold is a masterpiece of art never to be replicated ever again as no cloud, light, wind, plant or animal formation is ever repeated in Nature–the work of a masterful artist indeed. Symbolically, my improved vision means that I am finally “seeing” reality and living in it and no longer living in the myopic world of artificial lights and walls. If living in Nature is not possible for you now, you can try the eye exercises and massage in the Throw Away Your Glasses! Thousands Of People Improved Their Vision With This Method! article and avoid wearing glasses or contacts as much as you can as these contraptions actually keep your eyes from developing the eye muscles (as well as relaxing them) that lead to improved vision. In other words, long-term use of glasses or contacts can actually prevent you from improving your eyesight or make your eyesight worst.
The Scroungers–Plight of the Hidden
After two years of homeschooling, our 15-year old son Max Luzardo has published his first fiction book. Known for his masterful story-telling skills along with his two siblings providing thousands of hours of laughter among themselves, the first public sampling of his gift is now available. Though written as a very entertaining children’s book (ages 10 to young adult), adults will also enjoy it as a deeper allegorical story about the current human condition told through the eyes of dogs and some foxes. What makes this book unique compared to most children’s books out there is that it is written and illustrated by children (instead of adults) for children and therefore has no hidden adult agenda embedded within the book and is guaranteed to be entertaining for children as who would know what children would enjoy than other children.
Written by the creative genius mind of Max Luzardo (pen name Max B. Hundkopf) and illustrated by the artistic free-spirit 11-year old hand of Allegra Luzardo (paintbrush name Marsha F. Hopkins). Edited by José Alberto Luzardo and Illena Rosenthal. Published by Ardent Light.
If you have not already, check out the FREE preview of the book, book reviews, fan art, and fan letter. If you have already read the book, Max would be so grateful if you could provide a review of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or on the Ardent Light web site page for the book. Please also consider giving it as a gift for the holidays.
Goodreads Book Giveaway — LIMITED TIME ONLY!
If you are in the U.S. and cannot purchase the book, but would love to read it and provide a review of the book, you can enter for a chance to win one of eight first edition paperback copies of The Scroungers–Plight of the Hidden by Max B. Hundkopf in the Goodreads Book Giveaway drawing.
The giveaway starts Tuesday, October 27, 2015 and ends Friday, November 27, 2015. Click the book icon on the right to enter the giveaway drawing. You will just need to provide your name and the mailing address to ship the book to. Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive the book.
Raising Children, Raising Ourselves
Now that Allegra (our youngest child) has reached puberty in July, the teenage years of our children have opened our eyes and changed us in ways we did not expect. The hormonal changes seem to have brought forth all the repressed emotions of childhood, emotions that were held back out of fear, respect or awe of the all-powerful, all-controlling parent as seen from the eyes of a young, trusting and moldable child. JAL and I were raised with the old parenting paradigm of control and shaping with the view of the child as a blank slate to be made into our image (or the way we wanted them to be). Luckily, I happened to rediscover a book shared with me titled Raising Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort during these episodes of teenage emotional releases and started reading it. I only read about half of the book, but what I learned from it transformed our relationship with our children for the better. The most fundamental lesson was just a simple mind-shift: to value our children for who they are instead of who we want them to be by replacing our controlling and shaping style of parenting with one that values, trusts, and nurtures children’s innate abilities and autonomy. This profoundly changed the way we relate to our kids affecting everything from homeschooling to how we make decisions, eat, and work together as a family. It has brought us a lot closer to our children as our children are discovering and expressing themselves more as individuals and us parents are slowly beginning to earn back our children’s trust and respect.
On January 22, 2015, four days before JAL’s birthday, JAL decided to adopt a cat from the San Isidro de El General farmer’s market to help control a mice infestation we had in our house. The mice ate up many of JAL’s favorite clothes, Ngoc’s favorite towel, and many of our fruits. After watching the How Wolves Change Rivers video we also had a newfound respect for predators and their vital role in an ecosystem. Within three months of living with us, the mice problem disappeared completely and never returned.
Because Crikey and his mother had been raised by humans since birth, he does not go out to hunt much (unlike our previous two feral cats). He mostly hunts critters that are inside the house and he loves to hang out with us inside the house when we are inside and outside with us when we are outside. However, on August 6, 2015, he opportunistically caught a white-crowned parrot and brought it into the house screaming for its life. Allegra took Crainer away to safety outside while Max and Renzi distracted Crikey. Crainer flew to safety to the tallest tree a good distance away from our house. When JAL was told the story, he immediately went to the tree and called to Crainer to offer him a banana. It was love at first bite and he has been with us every day since. JAL had always wanted a pet parrot since childhood but did not like the idea of having one in a cage. His childhood dream had finally come true.
What we realized living in nature for almost a year and three months now on the Ardent Light Motherland is that every land has its own unique characteristics or personality in terms of its particular geology, water features, species of plants, microorganisms, insects, fish, and other animals that naturally inhabit the land. It’s as if all these elements together comprise one larger living being that you can come to know and love very deeply if you spend enough time with her. For this reason, we will never abandon her and will only help rehabilitate her, protect her, and help her ecosystem thrive. You can tune into her by simply listening for her presence. As a living organism, she will respond to your actions and give you signs.
Our new friendship with Crainer is one of those signs. The parrot is known as the bringer of rain and seed. Rain symbolizes growth, the will to persist, hope for the future, and sadness for the past. Seeds represent new ideas which can bring about a new growth or new direction–a message which is so pertinent to us now as a growing tribe as well as a message that will be pertinent to all of humanity.
Once Nature was suppressed and removed through the establishment of cities, factories, industries, and large-scale, conventional agriculture, the Garden of Eden vanished from many places on Earth and therefore God’s presence was almost impossible to feel, hear or see. This is because the Garden of Eden or Mother Nature or the Earth is the physical/feminine representation of God. It is God’s womb or home for us. It is the only place where you can commune with him/her, communicate with him/her, and feel God’s presence. Famous enlightened beings like Moses, Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha became enlightened only after spending a long period of time in the wilderness. They did not achieve enlightenment by studying in universities or by being disciples of other master teachers. They realized God by spending a long period of time in direct communion with Nature. God communicates or sends us messages through Nature.
For example, two hours before two potential tribe members visited us, a hoard of drumming wasps suddenly appeared near our roof where the dining tables are outside. I immediately felt a feeling of gratitude as I intuitively felt it was a very good sign. JAL, however, felt a lot of fear because drumming wasps are also conventionally known as warrior wasps, an aggressive species, one of only three insect types (the others being the bullet ant and the tarantula hawk) to receive a rating of 4 or higher on insect sting pain indices such as the Schmidt sting pain index. So JAL tried so many times to deter them from starting to build a nest under our roof. He tried everything from putting up a crumpled newspaper to resemble an existing wasp nest to burning wood to smoke them away, to spraying the wood with gasoline. Max, Renzi, Allegra and I tried our best to convince him to stop, but he seemed determined to get rid of them. He tried for three consecutive days and they always came back to continue building their nest and never once tried to sting him or any of us. Finally, our youngest child, Allegra, was able to convince him to stop with the purity and wisdom of her words and we have been living in harmony with these wasps since.
Now the wasps have finished their nest and it looks a lot like the shape of a uterus. These wasps can build nests in a variety of shapes, but this one resembled a uterus, a powerful sign or symbol of creation and birthing of new Life. Wasps themselves, in some African traditions, is a symbol of evolution, and control over our life circumstances which is very much related to our tribe’s efforts to help humanity awake and evolve to take back control over their own lives by freeing themselves from the monetary system of slavery. Some Native American Indian tribal myth indicates the wasp as the creator of the earth, and a symbol of order, organization, and productivity. Ancient European lore recognizes the wasp as playing a big part in pollination, thereby symbolizing fertility and creation. The prime season of the wasp is spring, and so it is symbolic of new beginnings, and starting new projects. The wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family, especially the drumming wasps which are known to communicate with each other by drumming or beating their wings in unison, making an incredible drumming or marching sound. For this reason, the wasp, especially the drumming wasp, is also a powerful symbol for seamless communication, teamwork, and Unity. The wasp is a master architect so it can especially help guide us when it comes to building, whether it be a new home or building construction, or the building on a dream–and boy does our tribe have a lot of building construction to start this year as well as play a part in the building or materialization of humanity’s collective dream of Total FREEdom for ALL.
Paradise Nestled Within Paradise
The two potential tribe members mentioned above that visited us on the day the warrior wasps made their appearance wrote the following review of their visit:
Rich and I arrived at our planned “scouting excursion” destination on Saturday, stunned! We beheld a true “paradise” panoramic that neither pictures or words could describe. Nestled there is Ardent Light community. We had an exhilarating time with Ngoc and Jal, and their incredibly bright children. Ngoc and Jal were generous hosts, offering us nourishment (most delicious banana-coconut milk smoothies) grown on their land, yummy delicacies from their garden and local pejibaye. On their property (about 60 acres) we toured only a small section, including an impressive waterfall and the central area where they now live and work. They shared with us their projects in progress: permaculture design, greenhouse and gardens, water catchment, sites for communal living (kitchen and work spaces), the view from the future yoga/workout pavilion is beyond spectacular and areas for houses, cabinas, even tree houses, all for developing a self-sustainable, ultra-self-governing community. This excursion alone is worth the whole trip. ~ Carolyn Trimmer, organizer for The Costa Rica Project
Only Boring People Get Bored
Ngoc and JAL’s 20th wedding anniversary was on August 18th and both of us did not feel that we needed to do something special or go somewhere to celebrate because our experience of celebration, purpose, well-being, enjoyment, relaxation, curiosity, learning, love and connection has been a daily occurrence ever since we started living in Nature on the Ardent Light Motherland. We noticed this same attitude when it came to Mother’s and Father’s Day, our birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and vacations. We no longer feel a need to take “vacations” because we don’t want to miss a moment of the current life we are living now. We realized that when you have finally found your Motherland (your “Home” for all generations to come) and you only work for the purpose of getting out of the monetary system, you start to have a 360 degree view of Life and can see a clear path to FREEdom for ALL. We now get to spend a lot of time with each other each day, with our three children, our tribal family, and with Mother Nature. The need to always be entertained (or to keep busy), to go out and do something “fun”, is a sign of an inability to relax, a lack of internal peace, joy and internal direction. We look for joy outside ourselves when we are not happy inside. When we are genuinely happy inside we actually want to share our happiness with others because it is overflowing from within, because we ourselves are the embodiment of joy. We are more generous with our knowledge, time, attention, love, energy, possessions, and money. A person who is not joyful within, is always seeking to find what they can get from others and how they can escape their uneasiness or lack of purpose or direction in Life.
Never Give Up
Overwhelmed by the all the problems in the world, there is a tendency to just give up and do nothing but continue our own daily routines and keep our attention on only our nuclear family or just our own self and friends. Our field of vision narrows drastically as a result. Those in the New Age movement believe they can just solve the world’s problems by simply meditating or by simply creating their own reality in their mind and immediate surroundings. If friends and family do not fit their version of reality, then they simply avoid or disown them. I know because I did the “been there done that”. But as I continued on my path of mental and emotional deprogramming and body detoxification, the vision of the future I had eight years ago of a world without money and governments reawakened within me and for the first time I knew what we needed to do to make sure this bright future on Earth becomes our collective reality. The following story of Earth regeneration, healing of broken communities, and transformation of poverty to abundance is just one of many that will appear from all over the world. I hope one day that our Tribe’s story will be added to this collection of history unfolding. See How Permaculture Can Restore Ecosystems & Communities.
Unconditional Love: The Only Thing Worth Fighting For
As stated in the The Path to Total FREEdom for ALL blog article, the monetary system (including barter and trade) is responsible for programming us to give or love conditionally, which is the opposite of Unconditional Love or a gift economy. Another term for Unconditional Love is Divine Grace. It is how God loves us. In God’s eyes, we can never do any wrong. We are loved as if all our past mistakes were completely erased freeing us from any judgement, guilt or condemnation and instead only the purest blessing, gift or Love is bestowed upon us without ever needing to earn it. I cannot think of anything else more important now than dedicating our lives to regaining our innate capacity to love without conditions. This is the One true path to Enlightenment or Total FREEdom, the ultimate Awakening of our True Self. Becoming the expression and embodiment of Unconditional Love is the only thing worth fighting for and in certain cases, even worth dying for. It is the most powerful healing force in the Universe. See more at: http://ardentlight.com/ministry/unconditional-love
Humanity’s Evolution to Vegetarianism, Veganism, & Breatharianism
My longest and most controversial article to date. A glimpse into humanity’s future and how our change to “lighter” diets can help restore us back to our full potential and heal our beloved Mother Earth. Please be aware that I recently switched to a vegan diet (on 3/7/2015 from a meat-dairy-eggs diet) so the information shared here will try to be enlightening to both vegans and non-vegans and both groups may not like some parts of this article because it will present information that supports both sides to a certain extent. The idea is to have compassion and understanding for both humans and animals, and hopefully resolve major misunderstandings between vegans and non-vegans. See more at: http://ardentlight.com/ministry/humanitys-evolution-vegetarianism-veganism-breatharianism
Now that our Tribal living experiment is in its 10th month, we have some more experience and lessons learned we can share in this article. We currently have 22 folks tell us that they are interested in the possibility of joining our Tribe (have not told us they have changed their mind yet). We have learned a lot from the questions they have asked us and would like to answer them as well as share what we have learned so far in our own tribal living situation in this updated version of the article (new sections include “Stability of the Founders”, “Motherlands Are Guaranteed Never To Be Sold”, and “Tribe Agreement”). See Our Experiment in Tribal Living.
As explained in the “Tribe Agreement” section of the Our Experiment in Tribal Living article, our Tribe Agreement document is currently in its draft stage and therefore is confidential and not posted on our web site. It has been almost one year and three months in the making. It is the most difficult document we have ever worked on because it acts like the Tribe’s constitution, our first attempt at self-governance and since we have never done anything like this in our life, we envision it being an ever evolving document until our entire Tribe is formed.
If you are interested in the possibility of joining our Tribe, click the SIGN UP For Email Updates button on the right to put yourself on the mailing list for the Ardent Light Tribe Agreement document. We will then contact you to get to know you better and make sure you are human (i.e., not a spambot) and if all checks out well then we will send you the most current link to the document within 1-2 days. You will also be sent the new link to the document whenever future changes are made (the link to the document will change whenever we make changes to the document to ensure confidentiality). You may unsubscribe from the document’s mailing list at any time (if you are no longer interested).
NOTE: We are currently considering a new legal structure for the Tribe that we hope will meet everyone’s needs better and be closer to our ideal state of self-motivation so that “rules” and their enforcement are rarely needed. However, we need to first consult with a knowledgeable lawyer to make sure the new proposed structure is legally viable in Costa Rica. In the meantime, just be aware that the document may undergo major revisions to reflect this new structure if it can be done legally. If you are on the document’s mailing list, you will be the first to know.
This first year on the Motherland has been spent mainly on getting to know her as well as learning how to grow our own food. Towards the end of this year, we hope to start constructing our first three guest cabins so that the Luzardo family can move into them temporarily while we tear down the wooden shack we have been living in and build our own cabins we will permanently call home. The construction of our own cabins will start next year after the three guest cabins are complete. Trey’s cabin construction will also start next year. You can always see the Current Projects page to check our progress.