With my biological Offspring so many decades ago, the best I knew was to try and provide both, and there was much limitation in my circumstances, and I chose to have it constrain what I otherwise might have done. I tried to do both, offer them life, and survival in The Wider culture.
But James has not selected that as the optimal course for himself. Quite radically no. He has chosen to devote almost nothing to survival these last twenty years, and everything to life, serving from the soul in solidarity., attempting to love the world to life no matter the personal cost, for the joy of it.
If the James of today were a parent today, would he have the right, the duty, to try and optimize the environment so that child would find the near weightless Joy, and the agony, of living the world's nightmare every breath, that hands-down he greedily selects every moment every day for for joy or, should he constrain that, dilute that, thereby dramatically reducing the odds of that, and offer them survival with rare and occasional Joy in The Wider culture?
James has survived these last twenty years, and as best he can tell it's because he has loved the world so intensely toward life in action, that although most of the world sort of can't stand him being around because it makes them uncomfortable, or intimidated as someone said recently, they're unwilling to let him die, so far. Oh, and the prior James through accumulating modest social security has financially kept he and his work these last six years or so and a few small donations from folks along the way. Never solicited.
But if Social Security went away today, or tomorrow, as Trump and the Republicans desperately want, James would not change the way he lives, total Devotion to loving the world toward life, for the greedy Joy of it. And if he then quickly dies, he then quickly dies. Personal greedy choice.
If he were a parent today would he have the right, would he have to duty, to devote not every single bit of his life to influence his child, if he had one today, knowing that it could increase the likelihood of the culture allowing that child to die of neglect, abuse, or worse as James subjects himself to?
He doesn't know, but he sees the choice much more acutely now, and it's much more likely that he would choose life, with all he has learned these last decades, about the infinite superiority of joy versus pleasure / intoxication / lost / safety / comfort / social acceptance....
And he's also learned that his needs, catching himself up in the way of being, loving the world to life, his material needs/wants are close to zero. Close to zero costs of housing, food, Comfort, entertainment, transportation... The costs that for almost everyone in this culture consume almost all of their adulthood earning materially... for their own Survival, their ultimate value. At the moment James is living in a house by day, and his choice, a garage at night. James is no more joyful now than the years he was living on the streets of Washington DC. He is no more nor less joyful now then when he was living up in the Wilds of the Sierra mountains. He was less joyful when he had an apartment, beautiful Apartment, senior subsidized housing in a Washington DC suburbs 5 years ago. In fact his joy was constrained by that and jettisoned it....