January 5, 2020

Life Simply, Flows

Success, attainment, and clinging to what we feel we have fought hard for can be harmful and counterproductive. 

We have aspirational products and lifestyles, but none of them offer any kind of peace or rest. If one has attained the perfect lifestyle with the right stuff through hard work, that must be maintained by hard work.

You have to defend it, secure it, protect it, lest someone take it away from you. And in a consumer eat consumer world, there is always another aspirational being that wants to take it away.

It would be better to have nothing, do nothing, aspire to nothing. Just let it all go.

Then life simply, flows. Just like the entirety of the Cosmos. 

Anyone that sits quietly as a discipline knows this, and avoids the artificial rush, bother, and struggle of conventional lifestyles. 

"Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not.” 
- Jean Webster

It is so simple that it sounds stupid to consumer-trained ears - a simple life of living intentionally with less stress, struggle and stuff offers a better quality of life than the more culturally approved, but less healthy forms.

Consumers have been conditioned to think that the answers always involve "more stuff", always involve "out there" (and always somewhere other than where you are), and always involve a "win at all costs" competition.

The reality is the opposite. Liberation is not getting more, or beating everyone to become a billionaire. It is letting all that go, and surrendering to the bliss found in joining the unregulated free flow of life.

“Hurry, and all that it involves", said Alan Watts, "is fatal". 

That is no exaggeration, nor is it fake news. It is deadly truthful and accurate.

According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death. And those leading causes of death are linked to the battle for supremacy in The Rat Race.

"In a universe whose fundamental principle is relativity rather than warfare", Watts continues, "there is no purpose because there is no victory to be won, no end to be attained". 

"For every end, as the world itself shows, is an extreme, an opposite, and exists only in relation to its other end. 
Because the world is not going anywhere, there is no hurry. 
One may as well "take it easy" like nature itself.” 

For a New Years resolution, one could do worse than, 

"This year I will take it easy, and let life flow."

It is something I will be channelling during my next unhurried 940 million kilometre voyage around the Sun. 


  1. Anonymous1/05/2020

    The perfect New Years resolution.

  2. Anonymous1/05/2020

    Sounds very excellent to me, go with the flow, of nature, of life and let go of all the rest! Nancy

  3. Anonymous1/05/2020

    Mmmm, perfect resolution.


    PS it's the anniversary of Alan Watts birth today (6th)!

    1. That is a bit of joyful synchronicity. Thank you so much for pointing that out, because I did not know that at the time of writing.

  4. Anonymous1/05/2020

    Thank you for your great post.

    I will copy your New Year's resolution if you don't mind.


    1. You are welcome, and not only do I not mind, I recommend you do. Hope it helps you have a great 2020.

  5. Elaine England1/06/2020

    I have felt so guilty that it is me sitting in the deck chair. I began the simple life five years ago. Your blog has helped me so much. I now can read what I thought. There are others the same, I am not alone. I was caught in the consumer trap for 40 years. I managed to escape then get labelled “ lazy “. People asking what am I doing today. I now have my answer. I am taking life easy and letting it flow. They will be disgusted. But who cares? Part of me does have some sympathy for the high street shops that are closing down in England but this is not my fault.
    Thank you for this life saving blog.

    1. First of all, congratulations on starting your life of simplicity. It is a bold move.

      Next, I feel your guilt. When Linda and I first began the more committed part of our simple lives together, we both quit our jobs/careers. I experienced years of low level guilt because I couldn't get over the feeling that "I should be working and making money. Like everyone else."

      But I have never been one to want to do what everyone else is doing, and gradually, with Linda's help, I got over my cultural programming.

      It is bad enough when the capitalists exert pressure on us so they can exploit our labour. But when friends and family are in on it, too, what hope does anyone have of ever escaping the clutches of the work a day lifestyle? It is hard.

      I am taking care of myself. I am not hurting anyone. And since when is life just one big forced labour camp?

      Congratulations again on resisting the pressure to do something you are not comfortable with, and going your own way. Integrity is priceless. And if this blog has played some part in your progress, well that is just fantastic. Thank you for being here with us, and sharing your experience.

  6. Slow down my mantra....

    1. If things don't slow down generally in this crazy speedy world, the centre won't hold. Slow living is right living.

  7. I took early retirement last September and have every intention to take day slowly, applying thought and consideration where necessary but ensuring that each moment is unhurried.

    1. Yipee! Early retirement is SUCH A GOOD IDEA. Congratulations. I love hearing stories like these. It gives me hope.


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