Simplicity in a Complex World
Lao Tzu offers us the following recipe for living a satisfying and successful life: “ Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, and have few desires.” Regrettably, our lives, our societies, and our world are much more complex than this, and generally operate in the completely opposite manner.
You may say, 'That's just the way it is' or 'That's the way the world functions'. I would then respond by explaining that it doesn't have to be this way; we can choose to embrace the beauty and richness of simplicity, and live more serene and satisfying lives. Has the complex and gluttonous nature of society added to the contentment and peace of mind of the individuals living in it? If we are honest with ourselves the answer is a resounding 'no', and in fact, it appears that the more complex, high tech, and externally based society becomes, the more frequently problems arise. Whats the answer then? Well, I believe simplicity offers an effective solution to our dilemma.
Simplicity is the essence of any spiritual practice. To over complicate, over accumulate, and over analyze, leaves us with an underlying feeling of consistently being overwhelmed. This anxious and frantic state of mind is made up of ruinous delusions that will subtly lead you away from anything spiritual. To simply be, living without all the chaos, caused by external demands, is the path to ultimate liberation and pure joy.
This simplicity dwells within the core of your being. Its the simplicity that we once experienced as innocent and inquisitive children, first appreciating the simple beauty and wonder of all our surroundings. It is living in the moment, feeling all of the bliss and ecstasy that the universe has to offer as. Exploring the world with complete faith, without debilitating worry, regret, anxiety, self consciousness, and all other conditioned states we have adopted from society, Simplicity is savoring the essence of a beautiful object and feeling the 'specialness' within it, without having to amass a pile of all the top-grade objects in the world in order to feel worthy. To become a simple and innocent child again, is to become a spiritual being. This spiritual being is under all the other 'stuff' we carry around.
Simplicity is not easy to apply in our overly intricate and intellectual world, but it is indeed feasible. We must gently slip away from all the ego's desires and demands , and begin to recognize that life is not how sizable our salary is, how much knowledge we accumulate, how big and exquisite our home is, or how many, and what type of, cars we drive. Life is simply being present; it is being in the here and now completely, accepting who we are, what we have, and believing that this is all we require for genuine tranquility and happiness. Simplicity is a potent tool that rewards you abundantly right from the start.
Thich Nhat Hanh offers a suggestion that will help apply simplicity in your own life: “Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry.... Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those in need.”
Richard Singer is first of all a real human being who is quite faulty and still struggles with life on a daily basis, however on a worldly basis he is an award winning author, trained psychotherapist, adjunct professor, and most importantly a seeker of truth. He continuously searches for wisdom to use in his life, as well as helping other human beings in their precious journey. He has studied Eastern Psychology, Buddhist Healing, and Non-Violence at the Doctoral Level; in addition, he has spent years devoted to the study of wisdom recorded throughout history. He seeks to impart this knowledge to the world through his writing. Richard is releasing his new book Eastern Wisdom Western Soul in August of 2016. More info at www.RickSingerBooks.com