Author: Christopher Nyerges

In Search of Real Survival

By Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is the author of 10 books, including “How to Survive Anywhere” and the newly-released all color “Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants.” He has led outdoor field trips since 1974, and does a weekly radio show. He can be reached at Box 41834, Los Angeles, CA 90041, or www.ChristopherNyerges.com.] All of us who have devoted our lives to studying and applying skills of survival are well aware of the periodic events which beset us all: wars, droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, economic collapses, etc. Some are “acts of God,” and many are acts of man. The practical skills of survival are direly needed by all of us. And yet, the media continues to serve up “reality” shows that provide little or no practical skills in our day to day living. Shows like Survivor, Man vs. Wild, Survivorman, and their offspring can be amusing, but are designed more for entertainment value rather than providing anything of real value. These shows which often depict buff individuals in a wilderness setting often showcase the worst of human nature in order to keep us glued to our seats. Though it amusing, and often nauseating, to see hungry men and women eating snakes, rats, and grubs, there seems to be little relevance to the millions of modern urban dwellers. What then is real survival all about? Our food-related survival skills...

Read More

“I HATE MY JOB” — Your job is your life is your health…

“Earn your living through your particular gifts, serving the community by doing the things you love, even though it means starting small. Money is the fringe benefit of a job you like.” — Author unknown Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Squatter in Los Angeles,” and other books. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.ChristopherNyerges.com] It is not surprising to hear reports that 80% of all “workers” dislike their jobs, and that “jobs” are identified as the single greatest cause, or contributory factor to sickness or disease in nearly 80% of the people studied. I don’t know how many workers in my town hate their jobs, but I suspect it is similar to the this study. In a 1973 survey in Massachusetts, a special Department of Health, Education, and Welfare task force reported that the best predictor for heart attack was none of the classic risk factors, but rather, the level of one’s job dissatisfaction (Work in America: Report of a Special Task Force to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1973). It is possible that this finding might be related to the observation that heart attacks (in the United States and other Western industrialized nations) cluster on Monday mornings from 8 to 9 a.m., which is the beginning of the work week. [Kolata, 1986; Muller et...

Read More

Christmas Cheer

Memories of Christmas Season 2008 Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is the author of several books. This article is an extract from his book, “Til Death Do Us Part?: Lessons that Death Taught Us,” available from Kindle or as a pdf from the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com.] In the days after my wife Dolores died, I still spent my evenings with Nami and Fikret and Nellie (the little dog that Dolores boarded), cooking dinner, sharing dinner, talking over television. Both Nami and Fikret were living in rooms in the front part of the duplex. Nami was from Tokyo, working at a Japanese firm in downtown Los Angeles while she earned her CPA license. Fikret was a student from Germany who’d be going home in a few days. That December was dark, pressing, my mind a constricted box of sorrow and loss. A close friend had earlier suggested to Dolores that she take Nami and Fikret to see the annual Griffith Park festival of lights, and Dolores had mentioned it to Fikret. I brought it up to Fikret and he wanted to go. I think he was more concerned about me getting out and “getting normal” than he was about seeing some electric light display. Anyway, he arranged with Nami to go one evening after Nami got home from work, and I drove. I had never seen the light show either, and though...

Read More

The Year of No Christmas

When I was perhaps 10, my brothers and I were particularly bad and misbehaving and belligerent one autumn. My mother gave us several warning and threats and a few “beatings” in her ceaseless attempt to get us to obey. But I don’t know what was wrong with us that year. It was as if we were afflicted by some unseen infection. Or maybe it was what all teens go through when they believe they know more than their parents. So my mother said, “Keep it up and there will be no Christmas this year.” Of course, my mother didn’t control the calendar. She just meant “no gifts.” That threat did at first affect our behavior, but then we’d go back to our nonfeasant and malfeasant ways. There were numerous threats, as November rolled into December, but things didn’t substantially improve. Now, I was at the age where I began to think about things, and the relative unfairness in the world, and the questioning of authority. But I also wondered why we should receive gifts at Christmas. By this time, I was aware that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time, and that it was primarily a religious holiday. I just didn’t get the whole gift thing –not that I minded receiving. But because I lacked an understanding of the whole picture, the idea of “no gifts” didn’t...

Read More

The Four Illusions of Money

Name(required) Email(required) Website Comment(required) Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is the author of several books including “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Extreme Simplicity,” and “Self-Sufficient Home.” He has lectured, taught, and led field trips since 1974. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com or Box 41834, Eagle Rock,CA 90041] During the early 1980s, I participated in the monthly WTI Plenary sessions which were held in Highland Park. These were all-day events where participants shared accounts of specific research they had been doing. I had been giving presentations on money-related topics, such as “What is money?,” “What is the Federal Reserve?,” “What is the IMF,” etc. The money-related lecture that stirred up the greatest emotional response was “The Four Illusions of Money.” I loosely based by presentation on an article by the same name that appeared in the winter 1979-80 issue of Co-Evolution Quarterly. The presentation and discussion lasted about two hours, covering many facets and dealing with the comments and objections from the audience. Here is a condensation of that presentation. When people are queried, almost everyone says that they do not have enough money, and would like to have more. Furthermore, one of the most commonly-cited reasons given by people who continue to work at a job they dislike is to “make a lot of money.” The reasons that this is such a ubiquitous goal – to make a lot of money...

Read More

Considering the Relative Shortness of Life…

It seems that my friends are always dying!  I  have learned that it is always best to tell your friends how much you love them when they are alive – not after they have died! In my book, “Til Death Do Us Part?”,  I share many of our stories of how to deal with the death of close loved ones in an enlightened way. We also talk about how important it is to support the survivors – spouses especially. The book is full of lots of unique ways to deal with death, and very interesting reading. After Dolores died...

Read More

Meet Justin Farmer

JUSTIN FARMER  helped to revive the interest in California Indian basket-making By Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is a teacher and the author of “Foraging California,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041] Nearly 20 years ago, I saw a huge, larger-than-life photograph of Justin Farmer at the Southwest Museum, in which he was holding a traditional long bow. I continued to hear about this man, and see his picture in books on Native American survival skills and methods of sustainable living. Finally, I...

Read More

Terumasa’s Questions

By Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is the author of books on self-reliance and wild foods, including “Til Death Do Us Part?” (a Kindle book), of which this is extracted.  He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock,CA 90041, or www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or  https://www.facebook.com/SchoolOfSelfReliance] Terumasa – Nami’s friend from Japan – had arranged to visit in December of 2008. Though Dolores tried to work out the details of his stay, she wasn’t really able to fully do so, even with my help. Nevertheless, Terumasa arrived after Dolores had already died. In the few remaining days before Fikret returned to Germany, Fikret taught Terumasa how to feed the dogs and perform several of the tasks that Fikret had admirably taken on. In the evenings of late December and early January, I would often sit with Terumasa and Nami and have dinner together, often watching television, and always trying to converse with Terumasa. Terumasa was a noble man who exuded greatness. I loved to be around him, and wished that our language barrier was reduced. One late afternoon, after we had the backyard memorial for Dolores, a few people lingered in the backyard and living room to talk. Terumasa sat there next to me, with Mel sitting there listening. Terumasa looked at me while we talked about Dolores. He said, “Christopher,” to gain my attention. “Christopher,” he repeated with great concern in his...

Read More

Cassie’s Gift

By Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges is the author of 14 books, including “Til Death Do Us Part” and “Squatter in Los Angeles,” both Kindle books. He can be reached via www.ChristopherNyerges.com.] I have many fond memories of Cassie, but I remember the end the most right now. I thought that I was taking care of Cassie and helping and saving Cassie – I had to carry him in and out, and was always concerned about his welfare. In the end, I realize that Cassie was helping and saving me. He instilled in me a sense of responsibility and caring that maybe I never had before. When I walked today, I missed Cassie so much, and I thought about his role in my life. I thought about how I tried to see his dog pictures of the world, how he processes the many smells that he takes so long each day to smell. When I attempted to go into his mind, like Beatrice Lydecker described in her What the Animals Tell Me book, I “saw” a colorful, very dynamic image of flowing geometric shapes that all moved like the wind in varying patterns, in a three-dimensional complexity. To me, it was the complexity of odors that meant so much to Cassie, and very little to me. Shortly after he died, I asked him to show me his picture, and I “saw”...

Read More

Support our advertisers….