April 19, 2017

The Gods Want Us To Live Simply

Symbols from the 12 World religious movements:

Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism
Christianity, Chinese folk religion, Hinduism, Islam
Jainism, Judaism, Contemporary Paganism (pentacle), Shinto
Sikhism, Taoism

The gods must be crazy. They want us to live simply. I wonder if they know something Consumers don't?

Pick a god, any god. It doesn't matter which. Chances are that simplicity is part of their gig. Any historical spiritual teacher has taught us through their own example that a simple, modest life is the way to go.

No religion I know of asks devotees to work until they drop from a heart attack just so they can accumulate stuff, entertainments, and luxurious experiences.  Any that did would not have devotees for very long.

Nor would it have a functional planet on which to worship.

No, the gods want us to live a sustainable lifestyle for without people, gods go extinct.

Pick a god, any god. Of those invented so far, all are in unanimous agreement when it comes to advice on simple living - it is the only way to go.

Why aren't more followers heeding that message?

One does not need to go far to find examples from the world's major religions that support living simply.


"I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to.

We know how unsustainable is the behavior of those who constantly consume and destroy, while others are not yet able to live in a way worthy of their human dignity.

Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a society of consumption and empty appearances."

- Pope Francis


"We have become wrapped up in the fast-paced society of today, which is really unnecessary. Can we not live a happy life without overpriced clothing and basically a surplus of everything? Can we not live a happy life without making sure we go out every weekend, just because it’s the weekend and we have to go out because everyone does? Can we not be simple and just take the time to realize that we are the ones creating our own problems?"

- from Islamic Insights


"Live a simple and harmonious life with nature and people"

- basic teaching of Shinto


Asceticism in Hinduism — restraint in consumption and simplicity in living — represents a pathway
toward moksha (liberation), which treats the earth with respect.

 “Take what you need for your sustenance without a sense of entitlement or ownership.”

- Tain tyakten bhunjitha


Aparigraha (non-acquisition): Keep your requirements and possessions to the minimal.

Jains follow a disciplined lifestyle meant to minimize harm. They eat a pure vegetarian diet, use  minimal resources, do not waste water, electricity, food etc, and give away surplus items they possess.

Whether one is religious or not, living simply is the only way to go on planet Earth. Everything we see and know backs up this claim, perhaps more now than ever before.

The way to peace, joy, and harmonious living is through simplicity.


  1. One does have to wonder why more adherents to these religions don't follow the basic teachings of simplicity. It baffles me the amount of christians I know who seem to live a life so far from the teachings of Jesus. Seems it's a sickness.

    1. Marla,

      I think if Jesus were to return today, he would be some angry. A lot of nefarious things are being done in his name.

      The Dalai Lama says that Kindness is his religion. What if we practiced kindness in all our dealings with others, and the planet? It would solve many problems.

    2. Anonymous4/22/2017

      The teachings of religion clash with the teachings of society and the corporate interest that permeates it. Jesus may have lived a humble life but that was because he didn't have a shopping centre down the road for advertisers to drive him toward! Unfortunately all sense of wellbeing and morality is tarnished by industry, consumerism and desire for wealth.

  2. I am a UK Christian, but I no longer go to church; if you turn up on a Sunday in a big juice guzzler wearing a Savile Row suit, you will be treated warmly otherwise you’re treated like muck. Unfortunately, hypocrisy is everywhere these days; I discovered that a ‘Resist’ movement organiser was promoting a ‘get rich quick through Amazon’ video on his Facebook page the other day. Something else I have now stopped attending!

  3. Anonymous4/20/2017

    Mainly inspired by Daoism, Chan, Zen and Jainism. These traditions have some useful insights into simple living and nature of the universe.

  4. Anonymous4/21/2017

    I don't believe in any Gods or in the supernatural, indeed I applaud your use of the word 'invented', however you are no doubt right about the Gods and simplicity. The Gods we have created would abhore our treatment of the world and its animals and yet here we are, hurtling maddeningly onwards towards environmental disaster.

  5. Anonymous4/22/2017

    Happy Earth Day to Gregg and NBA readers. The NBA provides some sense in all this. The UK went 24 hours without coal for the first time since the Industrial Revelolution.


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