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Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it's necessary - Emrys Westacott | Aeon Ideas

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Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it's necessary - Emrys Westacott | Aeon Ideas
The good life is the simple life. Among philosophical ideas about how we should live, this one is a hardy perennial; from Socrates to Thoreau, from the Buddha to Wendell Berry, thinkers have been peddling it for more than two millennia. And it still has plenty of adherents.

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Back to The Simple Life

Back to The Simple Life

Due to an increasingly complicated and hyper-connected world, a lot of people are revisiting and paying attention to the concept of a simple life.

From Buddha to Socrates and contemporaries l...

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Simple Was Boring

In many prosperous, capitalist societies where consumerism, big pharma and supermarket culture is rampant, leading a quiet, simple life is considered boring.

Big Brands continue to persuade e...

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Benefits of Simple Living

  • Millennials are showing interest in simple living, in pre-consumerist and pre-industrial ways.
  • It seems like a moral way to live and it makes you into a better person.
  • The stru...

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Our Last Hope

A simple, frugal living in nature might be our last hope to reverse the effects of industrialization, population growth, polluted oceans, deforestation, plastic waste and extinction of plants and a...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Why be a minimalist

Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.

It’s a way to escape the exce...

Minimalist living

It’s about getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. 

It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.

The benefits of minimalism

  • It’s more sustainable.
  • It’s easier to organize.
  • It’s lower in stress.
  • It’s less expensive and less debt.
  • It’s less cleaning and maintaining.
  • There’s more room for creating, for loved ones, for peace, for doing the things that give you joy.
  • There’s more time for getting healthy.

The Zen View Of Morals

Evil cannot be destroyed, any more than good can, because they are polar opposites of the same thing. Destruction and creation, chaos and order; opposite aspects of reality, in tension with one ano...

The Zen View Of Life

For Zen practitioners, life is transitory and insubstantial. There is no security and thinking otherwise is a waste of time. 

They also don’t believe in an afterlife. Reincarnation can be more accurately thought of as a constant rebirth, of death throughout life, and the continual coming and going of universal energy before and after death.

The Zen View Of The World

The word 'Zen' means emptiness or void. This is the basis of Zen — that all that exists is based on a dynamic emptiness. Which is also what quantum science says.

In this view, there is no difference between matter and energy. Look at anything closely enough and you will see that it is an event, not a thing. Furthermore, there is not a ‘multiplicity of events’. There is just one event, with multiple aspects, unfolding. 

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Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
  • Metaphysical nihilism ar...

Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

  • What is the point of living if life has no inherent purpose? 
  • How do we face the knowledge of our inevitable demise?

Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

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