May 3, 2017

Protest Art/Zen MashUp

"Your perspective is not the truth."

This post is a mashup of two simple living related threads that have been weaving through my life for a few years. I think they are a natural fit, so I sewed them together here for your enjoyment in the fabric of your mind.

The first is protest art, this time from The Dark Cellars Project. NBA reader, William, made me aware of TDCP, so a shout out to him for turning my attention in this direction.

I am sharing a few of my favourite pieces, but check out the link below to see many more simplicity-provoking artworks by the artists involved.

The project can be found at the most excellent website The Simplicity Collective, co-directed by Dr. Samuel Alexander, an advocate of degrowth, permaculture, and voluntary simplicity.

"I made a call out for artists and graphic designers to be in touch if they wanted to explore ways to use art and image to unsettle the normality of consumer capitalism and provoke thought about alternative ways to live and be. 
The Dark Cellars are an expanding network of oppositional artists, graphic agitators, renegade marketers, and culture jammers more generally who are using art, design, and image to creatively subvert the structures of meaning which entrench consumer culture and carbon capitalism. 
By exploring a new aesthetics of existence, our defining objective is to open up imaginative and cultural space for new ways to live and be – for ourselves, for others, and for the sake of our fragile planet."

- Dr. Samuel Alexander, The Dark Cellars Project

"What you chase consumes you."

The other part of today's simple living/anti-consumer culture/anti-carbon capitalist mashup are Zen related quotes from the Daily Zen, which can be found on Twitter. I do use Twitter occasionally, and when I do, DZ is a big reason why I check in.

All quotes in this post were sourced at DZ.

"I started Daily Zen in 2008 to share quotes pertaining to my meditation practice and self-directed studies of Eastern philosophy. Twitter had just started and it seemed like a clever outlet for the aphoristic wisdom I found in various spiritual texts.  
The goal of these writings is simply to share my reflections with others.  
Remember— the good life is as simple as paying attention."
- Charlie Ambler, @dailyzen

"When people do not ignore what they should ignore, but ignore what they should not ignore, this is ignorance." 
- Chuang-tzu

"May all beings everywhere be happy and free."

- Mangala Mantra

"We're scared of slowing down because we can't admit to ourselves that many of our activities are silly and unnecessary."

"The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in."

- Rumi

"Compassion requires letting go of our own ego."

"Each moment you have a choice— to be grateful or to want something else. Choose gratitude."


  1. Anonymous5/04/2017

    Agree with Annie nice post. It feels so good to let go of attachment and craving. Just live simply is best, the strange thing is that once you are no longer attached the world we have created, it is clearly an illusion. Of course the feelings are real, but the structure is an illusion. Most peoples reality is a small contained island of consciousness surrounded by a vast ocean. This world is like a noisy busy office unaware of anything outside of it`s self. There is much more to this world, but it only becomes clear through none attachment.
    Our current system works by enslavement through desire and craving. I've just noticed that betting is getting very big here in the UK. Last year £300 was lost for every citizen. This is replacing the lost cigarette advertising money, so sad to see.
    Great post, thanks,

    1. Alex,

      Humanity wastes a great deal of money on frivolous things like gambling, war, and recreational shopping. It makes me think we would be better off with less money. We just waste it anyway.

  2. Do you now what news are today in Australia?All about Princ Phillips retirement.Retire from what?Never did anything to retire from.Retire from holidays and visiting!!!!Republic please!!!I only watch news or read twice a week but that will stop.Alex here in Australia we gamble average 1500 dollars.Mostly on poker machines I think.Great post Gregg and Linda.Planting white radishes today .

    1. Saffron,

      Maybe retiring from smiling and waving? Or spending other people's money. Or selling uranium. The "news" will rot your brain. It is lovely, but rare to find a positive, life-affirming article these days, although it does happen occasionally. More chaff than wheat.

  3. I really liked the art in this post. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  4. Anonymous5/05/2017

    Holy moly, I love this post!! Erin

  5. Some lovely stuff here, thanks. Hadn't come across The Simplicity Collective before either - another one to investigate. Peace.

  6. Anonymous5/06/2017

    Interesting article in The Guardian:
    It mentions that cultured thinkers and leaders have nothing to say about ecology. This clearly demonstrates the limits of our culture and understanding. I think the expansion of consciousness and understanding is going to be very difficult for the mainstream.

    1. Alex,

      Thanks for the link. It inspired me to write the next post. Many years ago Linda and I decided to voluntarily change our lifestyle, and consciousness, rather than have something forced upon us by deteriorating conditions. Perhaps we (the simple living community) can help the mainstream adopt new ways of thinking and living.


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