August 13, 2020

Simple Math

Junk Food Subtraction - like many other things, the less the better.

A consumer life is a life of addition, always adding more and more and more to our lives. Sooner or later, we have no space left for living.

A simple life, on the other hand, is a life of subtraction. It is a lifelong process of subtracting those things that get in the way of living an authentic life. And there are an infinite number of those things that can get in the way.

The subtractive mindset whittles away at the infinity of distractions, and creates space to fulfill our personal potential as human beings. It allows us to expand into a wondrous and beautiful Universe, merging with the joy of Creation.

And how do you get there? Keep subtracting. 

I am working my way down to owning only two pairs of underwear, for example. Do I really need to own 20 pairs? Do they make my life better? I don't see how.

However, the most important item to subtract along the path to the simple and beautiful life is not underwear. It is that blindfold of consumerism that hides all that is real and true and precious in this world. 

Under an eyes open fair and sensible system, we could be living in a paradise right here on Earth. Now. All of us. We already have every single thing we need

Everything, that is, except the cooperation of those that want to keep us blind. They desperately want our eyes closed to the lies and corruption that keep humanity from the better world we all deserve.

Doing some take away, and removing the blinders is the first step toward freedom and change, both personal, and cultural. 

When we are able to see our life in a totally new way, one without the constraints and boundaries of conventional thinking, we can see the lies, illusions, and wishful thinking that have been hiding in plain sight all along.

A simple life remains a challenge. Just living is a full time job. Why add a bunch of extra complications that only make us unhappy in the end?

It is simple math. Perpetually adding to the misery with more, more, more is not the way to go.

Any time is a great time to subtract, subtract, subtract.


  1. Anonymous8/13/2020


  2. Good grief! Are you going to run the washing machine every day when you have two pair of underwear? Or, are you going to wash them in the sink every night. This argument/example really loses me and causes me to discount what you say. Oh, maybe you don't change your underwear every night? Maybe I just don't get it.

    1. I have to be joking. Only Gandhi could live with just 2 pairs of underwear.

      So simple was he, that he died leaving behind only a shoebox of possessions - everything he owned.

      Not many people could do that, either.

      But it is something to aspire to.

    2. My first response to reading this was exactly the same as Practical Parsimony's! I am an urban apartment dweller (not my choice but sometimes when you take a detour the bridge washes out behind you) feeling a little lately like I am playing Double Dutch on a tightrope. I am juggling voluntary simplicity, frugality, anti-consumerism and mindful living on a budget that would (and does) make most people blanch. Because I pay for laundry by the load there are some things - like underwear - that are more economical overall to purchase in larger quantities. Far better to do large loads and make those loonies count. Laundry hung in the winter actually dries very quickly and adds much appreciated humidity to the air. Same laundry hung indoors in the summer just moulders. Our climate here demands two full wardrobes: temperatures in the -30 to -40C (sometimes "feels like" -50C with a north wind) are not uncommon in the winter; daytime temperatures that soar to 35C with ridiculous humidity are what summer is all about here. So, one muddles through. Sharpen the pencil, haul out the calculator and do a lot of "on the other hand"-ing. You get a nice rhythm going up there on the tightrope then someone calls, "Pepper!"


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