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Cluster of Leaves
Ego Tower graphic
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. (Dr. Seuss)
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. (Leonardo da Vinci)
The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. (Bruce Lee)
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. (Albert Einstein)
Take refuge in simple life! You will find three treasures there: healthy body, peaceful mind and a life away from ambitious fools! (Mehmet Murat ildan)
Simplifying Your Life
Simplifying your life is about gaining control of your life – creating more time, on the job and at home, to do the things you want to do. It is about streamlining your life so you have time for the people and pursuits you love. (Wendy Priesnitz)
I choose to live simply so that others may simply live. (Mahatma Gandhi)
It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. (Bruce Lee)
Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose. (CS Lewis)
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. (Lin Yutang)
You should give up many things so that you may be free. You have to be very clever to be able to do this. (Beinsa Douno)
The problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it. (Dee Hock)
The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. (Thomas Moore)
I am a big believer in simple [exercise] programs that emphasize compound exercises. Far too many people make training unnecessarily complicated. Moreover, the more complicated a program, the less likely you are to stick with it. It is always better to do a few things well and to focus on the exercises that provide the greatest benefit.
(Mike Mahler, 14 December 2011 email)
Stick to the basics. (Common tip given to learners)
The Hadza accumulate very few material possessions; those they do have are frequently distributed: sharing is fundamental to their ethos. As a Hadza, if you have more personal possessions – bows, arrows, stone pipes – than you have immediate use for, then you should share them, says James Woodburn. To the Hadza, sharing is not an act of generosity, he continued. It is a moral obligation to give what you have without expectation of return. (Survival, image 8 of 18, accessed 30 October 2012)
The more you know, the less you need. (Aboriginal saying)
The desire for possessions is destructive. Many people want for nothing, yet they still want more. Nothing that can be bought, or sold, has any real meaning. (Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami shaman, cited at Survival International, dated 2017, accessed 6 July 2017)
By slowing down, by simplifying, by breaking some of our consuming and spending habits, by teaching our kids simple pleasures, and by adopting simple pleasures ourselves, we can create a beautiful, happy, fulfilling life. And we won’t have to work as hard as we have been to maintain it. (50 Ways to Simplify Your Life book by Elaine St James, end of chapter 9)
Choose simple toys: A good toy is 10 percent toy and 90 percent child. The child’s imagination is the engine of healthy play. Simple toys and natural materials, like wood, boxes, balls, dolls, sand and clay invite children to create their own scenes – and then knock them down and start over. Avoid passive toys that require limited imagination. (Peter Emmenegger, in 'Nurturing the Playful Mind' article in Natural Child Magazine, unknown date of posting, accessed 19 April 2015)
If I’m in a constant rush or in survival mode, I don’t have time to listen to the quiet voices that will guide me into rich surprises like this… Now I leave earlier to appointments, so that I have time available to open a conversation with a random person who catches my attention, or follow a hunch to pop into a store on the way… Or when I’m thinking about someone, I take a few minutes out of my day to call or text them, to let them know I was thinking about them… often it leads to a spontaneous hangout, a sweet conversation, or at the very least, they’re left knowing that someone was thinking of them… So, make space for magic in your life — and listen to the little voices that offers the possibility for the universe to surprise and delight you!
(Brian Bayer of AMP, posted 12 June 2012, accessed 14 June 2012)
You don't need to outdo the competition. It's expensive and defensive. Underdo your competition. We need more simplicity and clarity. (Jason Fried)
I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I'll never be tested on. I want to paint because I want to, not because I've got something to prove. I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite. (Unknown)
Materialism & Hoarding
Today I choose less stuff, and more joy. (Seen on the internet)
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. (Bible, Luke 12:15)
"KonMari" method of Marie Kondo promises not only a de-cluttered house, but also a clean mind. At its essence is assessing each of your possessions and asking yourself, "Does this object spark joy?" If it does, keep it. If it doesn't, thank it and free yourself of it. It also suggests placing especially precious things where you will always see them, so they can always give you joy. (Adapted from BBC, posted and accessed 17 January 2019)
Related to KonMari method (above), it is suggested:-
- Before buying, ask "Will this spark joy?"(Adapted from The Story of Stuff Project, posted 18 May 2019, accessed 22 May 2019)
- Before buying, consider “Can I make it myself?”
- Much better than buying for happiness is giving - not just things - but especially giving of your time and skills to help or serve others.
The "Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" mantra is in that order for a reason.
As much as possible, Refuse to live the Rich World materialist, high-consumption lifestyle.
Then, Reduce consumption [personal action] and Reduce consumerism [societal action].
Then Reuse if at all possible. We need quality, long-lasting products. Repair things!
Only then Recycle. This should be the last resort in a Circular Economy. Our societies tends to focus on this step, whereas the earlier steps are far more important.
(Bruce Mitchell; also see here, here, here, here)
To have enough is happiness, to have more than enough is harmful. That is true of all things, but especially of money. (Lao-Tse)
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.
He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon a little. (Horace)
If everybody lives like the rich people, we need two other planets. Live on this planet with seven billion people in a way that we can all live. (Ervin Laszlo, 2006)
Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)
Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away. (Aitken Roshi)
The things you own end up owning you. (Chuck Palahniuk)
The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. (Epictetus)
The externals are simply so many props; everything we need is within us. (Etty Hillesum)
My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. (From Happy Thoughts edited by Toby Reynolds)
Bapak Subuh said the real purpose of material possessions is to serve as common benefits to mankind.
To the rich young man who came to ask what rites he should observe in order to have eternal life, Jesus replied, ‘Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, then come, follow me.’ And the young man went away feeling sad, for what Jesus asked of him was beyond him. Must we conclude then that, in order to follow Jesus, we must truly rid ourselves of all we possess and give it to the poor? Some have done this, but not all have become better disciples as a result. It is commendable to make sacrifices and renunciations, but what should we renounce and what should we sacrifice? We must strive to clarify our ideas on this subject. Material things weigh us down and obscure our view, but it is useless to renounce them if we do not at the same time rid ourselves of the thoughts, feelings and desires that encumber us even further and cloud our inner view. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
Recent research has shown that when we have too many things we are constantly dissatisfied. (Hildegard Wiesehofer-Climpson, University of Derby, BBC, 2m6s, posted 2 August 2019, accessed 4 August 2019)
As long as human beings place such importance on material gain and social position, they will always be in conflict with one another. For there is a limited amount that can be acquired in the physical realm, and it is impossible for the whole world to bathe in opulence. But this does not mean that the whole world cannot be happy, for in fact happiness is not opulence. It takes very few material goods to provide for our existence and for us to be happy, but only if we understand that we must work to orient our needs toward the psychic world, and beyond to the spiritual world, where the possibilities are infinite. There, each of us can eat and drink all we want without fear of being in conflict with our neighbours or being robbed of our wealth. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
We have a moral responsibility to reduce our consumption on a large scale. We need to reflect deeply on how we live our lives and whether everyone can have access to the things we have, and fairness, so we can all live a good life.
(Shakti Ramkumar cited at BBC, posted 3 April 2019, accessed 2 May 2019)
Want not, lack not. Only by limiting ourselves, the world becomes abundant… Limits are not a constraint on freedom. Limits are a condition for freedom… Learning to live simply so that others may simply live. (Giorgos Kallis, 2m24s, posted 7, accessed 10 June 2021)
Don't forget that the longing for simplicity is a spiritual longing. Asking physical things to meet spiritual needs doesn't work. (Linus Mundy, #32 in Keep-life-simple therapy Elf-help book)
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
(Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:24, New International Version (NIV))
If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and endeavour to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. You will pass an invisible boundary… and you will live with the licence of a higher order of beings. In proportion as you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex and solitude will not be solitude… (Henry David Thoreau)
Review all that you have accepted up to now in the form of knowledge, ideas and opinions; study them and ask yourselves whether they are consistent with the initiatic philosophy you follow. If they do, emphasize them, reinforce them and reflect more deeply on them. But for notions that go against this philosophy, be aware that they will lead you astray and create problems for you. So reject them. This might seem difficult or impossible at first, but you will then feel so much freer and lighter, and you will see so much more clearly! If, for the time being, you are still floundering in the dark, if you still feel hesitant, indecisive or constrained, it is because you are burdened with too many things which weigh you down and obscure your sight. It is time to sort through things. Go within and try to identify what you need throw away and what you must keep: you will feel lighter and become more clear-sighted. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
People accumulate so much that is useless and even harmful in their head and heart. Why? Because they don’t know how to sort things. They accumulate everything indiscriminately, whether it be good, bad, useful, useless, essential or superfluous. And then they complain, ‘I am trying hard, so why am I not progressing? Why am I not getting anywhere?’ Well, the reason is very simple: they have not yet understood that they must first work at clearing out. Yes, sort out and get rid of all that runs contrary to their spiritual ideal. For it is no use to have an ideal half-forgotten somewhere at the back of one’s mind; one’s entire life must be in harmony with that ideal. People consider it normal to have diverse tastes, needs, projects, points of view and activities. But if they take stock, and analyse them carefully, they will find that many of them restrict them to lower realms of consciousness which, until they abandon them, will prevent them from progressing. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. (Henry David Thoreau)
When you commit to the path of true evolution, you are like travellers crossing a border. As you are carrying all sorts of baggage, accumulated over thousands of years, you are stopped by the customs officers who say, ‘My friend, the path is long and rough. These things you have laden yourself with are cumbersome, useless and even harmful. You must leave them here.’ And they force you to get rid of what is heavy and dark and preventing you from resonating in harmony with the purity and light you wish to attain. Crossing the border is not easy, as it is always painful to give things up. But as you wish to ascend, you must accept the cost. If you persevere, soon you will pass through other customs again at the border of another region… until you reach the heavenly land fully liberated and merge with the source of eternal life. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
You give up various possessions. If, instead, you give up "I" and "mine", you give them all up in one stroke and lose the very seed of possession. (Ramana Maharshi)
Money & Spirituality