Why I Sold My Stuff and Moved to the Jungle to Build Paradise

This is a guest post written by a featured Degenerate, Biochar Bob.

To learn more about his story, read his interview here!

A couple months ago I was asked the question: “Are humans a blessing or a curse to Earth?” My reaction was almost automatic: humans are clearly a curse to Earth. I was then asked to dig a little deeper and to make sure I really felt that way. Is it the human that is the disease? Or is it the design of society that curses Earth? Is the destruction of Earth an on-going conscious decision of humans? Or is the destruction a default by-product of humans working within a poorly designed system? Who is at fault, the car designed without brakes or the driver? Sure, humanity as a collective has done more than its share of harm on Earth, but does that mean that the human is cursed? Or does it mean that humanity recently has missed the mark, but has the potential to be a blessing? I believe that humans, at their core, are blessings to Earth capable of immeasurable love and creation. As I’ve once heard “Don’t live in your history, live in your vision.”

Dont live your history, live your vision - biochar bob

This realization dawned a new depth of love in my awareness. How liberating it is to walk down a street truly believing that each human is a blessing to Earth, rather than feel that humans are pests and curses. From this, I expanded and explored my awareness of humanity’s possibilities on Earth. I did not confine my understanding of humanity to the situation today and its subsequent history, but rather I allowed myself to consider a “perfect world” situation that may potentially exist in the future. If you judge something for what it is today and reject its potential, do you really understand and appreciate the whole of its existence? The acorn may seem insignificant today, but when given decades of time with the right water and soil, its might and grandeur is undeniable. How painful it was to feel that humans were a disease. And what a relief and a continually relevant inspiration it is to whole-heartedly believe that humans are a blessing to Earth. Live in your potential, don’t be a victim of your history.

I asked myself: what would a “perfect world” be like? What is possible, even if it may not be probable? Humans, in a perfect society, would give more than they take from each other and from Earth, leading to a world of abundance, even in the scarcity of some natural resources. Humans would cherish nature and live within it, not apart or in resistance to it. Each person would receive unconditional love and feel uninhibited to self-express and self-actualize, belonging to a society void of hate and judgment. There will be problems—problems are a necessary tool of growth—but those problems would be solved in love, not greed and fear. I imagine a world where our children and our food are grown with the same level of attention and compassion. Can such a world exist tomorrow? No, there is much work to be done in redesigning society to support such a world. But is it possible? Yes. But is it probable? That’s for us to decide.

Whenever I’ve asked someone to imagine a “perfect world”, then asked them if they’d prefer to live in such a place, the unwavering answer has been “yes.” This perfect world they imagined, sounds like Paradise, and who would deny paradise? In this paradise, then, I ask, are humans a blessing or a curse to Earth? They agree, that in such a reality, humans indeed are a blessing. This is the world I want. This is the world I am inspired to help create. I am certain that through a series of miraculous events, such a world is attainable. Dreams and reality are not opposites; dreams inform reality. This Paradise may be a dream, but it is a powerful North Star to take direction from. Am I certain as to how this will happen? No. But am I certain that Paradise is worth pursuing in the reality of today? Absolutely. And that is why I sold my stuff and moved to the jungle: to build paradise.

Dreams and reality are not opposites; dreams inform reality - biochar bob

A few months ago, immediately after being asked about humans being a blessing or a curse on Earth, I was asked another question; I was asked to join a team of world-class regenerative experts to help build Paradise. The project is to develop a replicable blueprint of a truly sustainable society in a jungle valley of Dominican Republic. The intention is to build the closest thing possible to “paradise.”

The model will stand as a demonstration to be duplicated and adapted across the world showing investors and environmentalists that both worlds win in this approach. Last week, I began my work as the Director of Soil and Agriculture for the project and will use biochar, compost, and regenerative agricultural techniques to grow more food while simultaneously increasing environmental health. As the project scales, we will eventually produce enough renewable energy from organic waste to power the entire valley.

Biochar Bob

In our souls there burns a deep desire to love and be loved unconditionally—the core blessing of humanity. This desire bubbles up through our subconscious and into our lives in the form of inspiration. Sometimes it feels like intuition; it feels like your gut. Sometimes it exists paradoxically as a very certain feeling, while also remaining uncertain in its detail, or its “how-ness.” This bubbling love has brought me to where I am, to follow the truth of my inspiration—because truth is not found through fear, judgment, and ego—the truth is unconditional love.

Unconditional love has driven inspiration since the beginning of humanity. Less consistently, unfortunately, does that feeling translate into action, as it is often discarded due to fear, ego, and judgment. The possibility to live inspired by unconditional love exists in each moment, as that energy is the core of our humanity. If that is true, then a world of unconditional love, “paradise,” is possible. I am inspired by this dream of paradise and I allow it to inform the reality I help create each moment.

Biochar Bob

The uncertain path that life has afforded me thus far has been difficult to understand at times—uncertainty can be a ravenous beast. There were many times when I’d lay down at night and wonder if I was too visionary, or unrealistic. There were many times when I’ve felt crazy because what I desire seemed so improbable and difficult. Through the support of amazing heroes, present and past, who pursued their vision against the judgment of the world, like George Washington or Nikola Tesla, and through the unconditional love of the world (it’s always there, somewhere), I have accepted and embraced by inspiration even in the wake of uncertainty. My heart and soul desires the manifestation of its love through the language of inspiration. It does not desire the creature comforts of certainty and currency that the world so often demands. Paradoxically, again, there is certainty rooted in love and inspiration, just of a different kind. The fuel of love and the truth of inspiration has allowed me to persist and pursue uncertainty to find myself, even at all, in this amazing opportunity.

In this project, I am working with Greg Ramsey, who has been awarded United Nations “Architect of the Year” in recognition for his influence on sustainable development internationally; Albert Bates, a visionary influencer in the ecovillage movement who has authored several books and in more than 60 countries; and Jeff Wallin, founder of The Biochar Company, which is a finalist in Sir Richard Branson’s $25M Virgin Earth Challenge for the first commercial technology that could remove a billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year; among other notable experts.

Biochar Bob

In the last several weeks, I’ve sold my stuff and am moving to the jungle to bring my expertise on biochar and social impact to the jungle, because that’s what I am inspired to do. I’ve launched a GoFundMe to receive the support of those who are inspired by the vision of a happier, healthier world, and would love to empower me in my pursuit. I’ll be posting videos through my Biochar Bob YouTube channel where you can join my journey – you can also follow me Instagram, and Facebook, and buy biochar products for your garden in the States from SoilReef.com!

Your inspiration is born in the truth of unconditional love. The details of what life has in store for you can never be known, they can only be discovered. Allow your inspiration to be the courage needed to pursue uncertainty.

Love and gratitude,

Biochar Bob Cirino


Photos: c/o Bob Cirino

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