Hello beloveds! Urbndervish here.
I pray that all is well with you! I know that it has been a while since my last posting but after the last letter of correspondence with my cousin/brother, I felt that the information therein could possibly benefit you.
The letter basically was a series of topics but the specific topic that I would like to touch upon is simple living. This concept has been given the names: “asceticism”, “slumming”, and my personal favourite, “voluntary simplicity”. Regardless of the nomenclature, the concept basically refers to an approach to life whereas quality is favoured over quantity.
We live in societies where the market has basically dominated all aspects of our existence. By market, I don’t mean the quaint, outdoorsy tents with vendors and bearded farmers selling their wares; nor am I referring to the fluorescent-lighted, neon edifices replete with multi-coloured boxes and hapless, grinning, underpaid employees. I am talking about the institutionalized entity whose life-blood is the consumption of the masses. (Sorry bout that! I promised eternitysojourner that I wouldn’t make this entry too bogged down with pedantic, academic jargon!) Basically, by market, I mean the upper echelon of “suits” who benefit from people buying things.
Okay. As I was saying, the market has its grubby hands in almost every part of our lives; whether it is the education industry, prison industry, entertainment industry, etc.! The fact that each one of those words end with “industry” lets us know that their main goal, as with any other industry, is to utilize resources to churn out a product to sell for consumption.
Unfortunately, even our last bastion of hope has been touched by the market: religion. I mean, instead of the pulpits being used to forward the ideas of temperance, reflective contemplation, and the like, the televisions are plastered with images of pasty-faced, thousand-dollar suited moguls preaching the “gospel of prosperity”; much to the chagrin of their purported founder who ate a simple diet and “didn’t have a place to lay his head”!
As you may notice, the title of this entry is “In a culture of excess, even overabundance is deficient.” This is the mantra that we will use in our journey to freeing the hold of the market in our lives. This statement is so true because the market would like to convince us that we don’t have enough; they then sell us excess. In our desire to find meaning and quality in our lives, the process of reflection and inner-happiness has been substituted with the fear of material deficiency. This fear has been fueled by the very people who want to sell us material. We cannot hope to convince another person if they do not convince themselves.
One has to ask themselves: “Have these products fulfilled their overall purpose?” “How have these products brought meaning to my life?” These accumulations just sit and collect dust while we search for its replacement. Is that the life that we want to live?! With all of the creative potential that the human possesses, why is it that our development is always hindered by the incessant need to consume?! Why do we ignore the voices of the ones that we love when they only desire a second of our time; only to listen attentively to the voices of those who do not care about us spend hours telling us which car to buy, which house to buy, and which clothes to wear?! Truly, the landfills are the cemetery of desires.
That withstanding, we felt it appropriate to bring a different perspective. Please don’t mistake our words of advice as being “preachy”! They are just loving suggestions to our family, friends, and the occasional web-surfer who mistakenly came across our blog while searching for information on Mongolian throw rugs.
The plan is to post a series of entries giving practical advices on simplifying our lives. This is coming from a perspective of people who have tried and found these methods to be successful. We figured that we could find statistical researches and scientific facts to back our claims, but we are not writing to statisticians or scientists, we are writing to people who we love and who love us.
We also want to stress to you all that you must pace yourselves when trying to apply these advices. Do not beat yourselves up if you are not able to immediately. Try to implement some of the changes that you deem important. It is understood that people are at different levels and spheres of understanding. So you might not agree with everything that we suggest. Even so, know that these advices are sincere and are coming from the heart. We are not perfect; but in the process of seeking to attain some type of quality of being, we wanted to leave little breadcrumbs of experiential tips. Hope you enjoy and enjoin!