Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Equilibrium Point

The other day, I read a post saying that all things are junk, that everything is worthless. In the eternal sense, I agree with that; we really can’t take it with us. But while we’re still here on earth, I think this stance misses something important: gratitude. We can’t avoid having to own and use things, however few or simple. We are forced to deal in the physical realm, despite our being at our core spiritual beings. To despise physical things as meaningless puts us in conflict with reality and creates needless guilt. The first goals of minimalism, especially as it relates to the spiritual life, are gratitude and contentment. Yes, it’s also vital to keep from developing an unnatural clinging to things, or putting an undue value on them, but it is in these qualities of gratitude and contentment that the balance is found. This is real freedom.


  1. Sigh. As much as I hate my MIL's hoard, and how she raised her only son to treat stuff with such irrational reverence, I value things. I even personify them sometimes. As a child I used to coax the TV to stop the static and wavy lines, bribing it with an ice cream cone, so I could watch cartoons. I still, more than sometimes, sleep with a stuffed animal with which I have a deep attachment.

    But, my home is neat and clean and healthy. Balance.

  2. Hmmm...I wonder if bribes would work on my printer. Yesterday I was ready to give it a Hawaiian punch! :-)

    I have my attachments too, such as my Beach Boys collection. And I admit, I sleep with my teddy bear (only when I'm unhappy).

    I don't claim to be a minimalist, but I've rid my house of the real excess and am striving to go farther.