(The Broadness of It)
"...The nature, manner, and degree of simplification [is] something that each person should decide for himself or herself...."
Voluntary simplicity, then, is not a path of 'go growth' but a path of 'new growth' (growth that includes a material and spiritual, or interior, dimension.) Furthermore, simplicity of living has immediate relevance for the aging industrial economies such as that of the US: In consuming fewer nonessentials, we release the investment capital necessary to rebuild our faltering economies in ways that are more appropriate to our radically changing circomstances." (p37)
(Is this 'simplicity' business just another name for poverty?)
"...The intention of this way of life is not to dogmatically live with less. It is a more demanding intention of living with balance.... Simplicity, then should not be equated poverty.
Poverty is involuntary whereas simplicity is consciously chosen... Poverty generates a sense of helplessness, passivity, and despair; simplicity fosters personal empowerment, creativity, and a sense of ever-present opportunity. Poverty is mean and degrading to the human spirit; simplicity has both beauty and a functional integrity that elevates our lives..." (p33-34)
"Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer conditions. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity
and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief
purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions inorder to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose."
-- p31, quoting Richard Gregg, in the Visva-Bharati Quarterly, 1936, and reprinted in the Summer 1977 issue of Co-Evolution Quarterly.
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