The Simple Life. Bah, Humbug

Samain                               Moon of the Winter Solstice

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. I say let your affairs be as one, two, three and to a hundred or a thousand. We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.” – Henry David Thoreau

(Walden Pond, 2010)

When I bought my farm up near Nevis, Minnesota, Thoreau and I would have been on the same page.  The Peaceable Kingdom had its own well, a septic system and heat provided by the forest I owned.  Of course, that year the simple life saw a divorce, the temperature hit -50 and a heavier yet reliance on beer and scotch.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think simplicity is a beautiful thing.  Then again, so is complexity.  If my body simplified itself, there wouldn’t be much me left.  If my consciousness simplified itself, the rest would slip away.

There will always be, of course, the few who take the Taoist monk approach, a life lived close to nature.  There will be, too, those folks who just find wilderness better company than the rest of us and who’s to say they’re wrong?

Me, though, I love samsara, this whole roiling, boiling mess we have for a place to live.  I love computers and television and movies and books, philosophical and political thought and action.  I love relationships, messy and unwieldy and complicated as they can be.  I love art, often complex and difficult.

I suppose this means I’ll never have a Walden experience or the insight of wandering through the Tao.  I’m ok with that.  If you need simplicity, then seek it, make it so.

As for me, give me complexity or give me, well, what?  Greater complexity.


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