I’m Mark Manney, an American entrepreneur, writer, musician and digital nomad with a career in enterprise software sales. My Abscondo project is all about learning to enjoy life by loving unconditionally and telling the truth. This is a creative exploration of freedom that includes my books, podcast, mobile app, original music and more.
The Abscondo project is about finding true fulfillment, perfect love, lasting happiness and life purpose. Nothing qualifies a person to speak on any of this other than a life lived for this purpose. Most of my life was spent seeking but not finding. In 2015, when my marriage ended in crisis, I was healed through a committed spiritual practice of unconditional love. My life and my relationships were transformed, and my life purpose shifted to helping others to heal as I have.
I was raised by loving, Christian parents in small-town Wisconsin. In high school, I fell in love with and then immediately married an exchange student from Slovakia. I attended the University of Colorado on a basketball scholarship—earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and an MBA in Technology Management. After university, my wife and I moved to Seattle where I held a few corporate jobs in enterprise software sales. Until age 30, the story of my life was rather typical. I followed the world’s lessons, did what was normal, and accomplished everything that is supposed to make us happy.
But I wasn’t happy conforming to the corporate world and to the rules and expectations of a normal marriage. For many years, I was deeply depressed. Rather than trying to cope with a life I did not want, eventually I made the radical choice for freedom. I convinced my wife to escape the corporate grind and we moved to Slovakia—her home, and a place I had fallen in love with.
In Europe, I explored my freedom fully. I worked according to my own schedule, traveled, and felt inspired to make music and write. I also took a forbidden leap into several intimate relationships with wonderful woman over the course of many years. I had always loved my wife, but had been unhappily monogamous with her. Despite many honest attempts to create a relationship that might fulfill both her needs and mine, she understandably remained inflexible and unwilling to find a true solution. After many years of frustration, I decided to try my own solution.
One night, a lover called me “Abscondo” and explained what the word means. To abscond is to leave a situation or go into hiding, taking only what you want while leaving the rest behind. Very perceptive of her, as this is how I had lived since absconding from Seattle to Slovakia. I adopted Abscondo as my creative moniker.
Trying to fit into a situation you don't isn't the way. Everyone has a right to freely be who they are. But attempting to explore freedom through deception (as I had done) is a tragic error. Lies always have a way of being revealed. That’s just how life works. You can make illusions seem real for a time, but eventually everything is exposed and crisis ensues. Even as I was experiencing what I needed to; by withholding honesty my life was in chaos and I was frequently ill. While I sought experiences and self-worth in relationships, I was often not loving in my deeds and made many fundamental errors.
Eventually, I found the courage to stand firm in loving openness about who I am. Whenever you tell the truth, that which is false in your life is removed. The end of a 22-year marriage is an extremely painful, ugly process. Even though we are loving co-parents to a wonderful little girl, my wife had had enough. She found someone more appropriate for her and forced me to move out.
Shortly thereafter, a friend suggested that I needed to learn to love myself. Rejecting my attempt to seduce her, she said that I had been seeking love from women when I needed to be looking within. She suggested I read Don Miguel Ruiz, which I humbly and immediately did. This is how I learned to love myself. Eventually, I began studying A Course in Miracles, Eckhart Tolle, the Tao Te Ching, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and many other spiritual writers. In a very short time, I had escaped my ego and had spiritually awakened.
My spiritual awakening was first a discovery of unconditional self-love and self-forgiveness, and then a practice of unconditional love that extends to all. At around this time, I wrote about what I had learned in my book Belove: How to End Pain by Escaping Your Ego.
I am now in a committed, open relationship based on unconditional love with a woman who has also escaped the ego. We live together peacefully, in perfect honesty and unconditional acceptance. We have no rules, only the intention to love, to always forgive, and to always accept each other. We have found that, in this type of relationship, there is never anything to argue about. There is no jealousy or conflict even as we are both open about everything and free. Even as we go through the typical challenges of raising our young son, each day feels effortless, blissful, and happy.
She and I have found the perfect love and trust that people seek but never seem to find. The problem is that everybody is going about relationships in a way that makes true love and sustained happiness impossible. We try our best to share what we have found so that others may also heal. In 2018, I made the DIY documentary called Treetops to share the reality of one summer in our humble life. In 2019, I also wrote another non-fiction ebook called The Switch: How to Find Happiness and End Crisis by Telling the Truth (click for free download).
Still living in Europe, for the past decade I’ve enjoyed running a sales agency that serves software companies around the world by making executive-level introductions which lead to new business for them. Inspired by Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek, I built the business in such a way that we deliver extraordinary value to clients even as I make a living by working only 5–15 hours per week.
In my free time, I recorded four albums under the name Abscondo (enjoy my original songs wherever you normally listen to music). I also wrote three books and post nearly every day on the blog and on Instagram (follow Abscondo).
In 2019, I founded the I Am by Infobeing Foundation; the charitable non-profit behind the I Am by Infobeing mobile app. I Am brings union by connecting people based upon our wants and needs. The app also features a virtual currency called IAM, which can be used to purchase favors from other users. I Am by Infobeing is a decentralized community of conscious people coming together to unleash our human potential by freely connecting, doing things together, and even exchanging and storing value in this virtual economy. I Am is the culmination of a vision I had in 2001. I see success with this project as my biggest mission in life, though progress toward fulfillment of this radical, huge vision has been slow.
In the end, the primary meaning of life is something we can all do right now: we can forgive ourselves and one another. We can unconditionally love ourselves and one another. When we accomplish this, the result is always perfect and ongoing joy, bliss, and happiness. Unnecessary suffering can end, crisis can be averted, and life can instantly become a total success. The purpose isn’t external success; yet all external manifestations start from within by merely knowing that you are love. To align with love, it is necessary to undo the ego’s grip. This is the key to ultimate success and the lesson I will do my best to continue to teach for the remainder of my life.
The reason for my daily practice of creating and teaching is only this: I have a duty and calling to share what I have been fortunate to have found. The miracle is love and this is what I do my best to offer. I claim no credit for anything and in no way see myself as special or superior to any of my brothers and sisters. I offer what I create for free, in love, because to give is the same act as to receive. If you trust me as a friend and a brother, then together I know we can walk the awakened path of unconditional love, total honesty, and presence.
Click here for information about how we can work together directly.