June 27, 2015

Fire Is Hot

When Alexander the Great met Diogenes the Cynic and asked him if there was anything he could
do for him, Diogenes replied, "Stand a little out of my sun".


In a saner world writing about living simply would be similar to writing about the wetness of water, or the hotness of fire. Not so long ago it would have been self-evident that simplicity is the only sane and realistic way to live on this planet.

We have known this for thousands of years, and there is ample evidence to show that we were taught this valuable lesson long ago.

If it weren't for the discovery of cheap fossil fuel energy a couple of hundred years ago, we never would have been able to make perpetual, infinite growth our goal. Harvesting this energy has made us lazy, materialistic, and hazardous to all living things. But we had to be taught to go against conventional wisdom learned over eons of living on our gentle planet.

Most of us alive today in the "developed", "advanced", or "civilized" world have been brainwashed to ignore our intuition and experience that tells us deep down inside that simple is the way to go. As the result of a massive campaign of lies and deceit we have come to believe that we can have everything everywhere all the time. Without repercussions.

Wrong.

Instead this mode of thinking has led us straight into immanent collapse. It was not always this way, as shown by the following timeless wisdom.


“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” - Lao Tzu
"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus 
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."  - Confucius  
"The greatest wealth is to live content with little." - Plato 
"And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?" - Jesus (Mark 8:34-38) 
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” - Jesus (Luke 12:33)
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates 
“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.” - Buddha 
“The worldly comforts are not for me. I am like a traveler, who takes rest under a tree in the shade and then goes on his way.” - Muhammad 
"Before you take any decision, consider its effect on the next seven generations." - Hopi proverb


Water is wet. Fire is hot. Life on Earth must be lived simply. Not believing these does not make them less true.

2 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 28, 2015

    A simple life is its own reward-George Santayana, Spanish Poet-philosopher (1863-1952)

    If only I may grow: Firmer, Simpler - quieter - warmer. Dag Hammarskjold

    Just a few of my favorites, Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, Bruce. Those are good, and a nice addition here.

      Delete

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