Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coming to my senses.

I think maybe my version of simplicity is somewhat complex but not necessarily in a bad way. When I was out there working like a madman in the normal pursuits western culture finds so important, I always had to take things to the extreme. Every day had to be fully involved with pushing toward whatever goals where in my mind at the time. Work hard, play hard, sleep little, accumulate, press on. If the thought of simplicity entered my mind, it was quickly drowned out by a chorus of little voices crying out "BORING!".

Wow! What a shift in perspective the last few years has entailed. The goals have all changed as well as the methods and for the most part, they resemble the path of many looking for a simple and more independent life. I know now what boring is and it isn't the current life I live, it was the old. Hindsight truly is 20/20. Simple doesn't equate to dull. As my opening sentence suggests, the complexity is still there and maybe more so, it is just now in areas of my choosing and to my satisfaction. As my welcome post of this blog proclaimed, I am working to become, not to acquire.

To avoid any confusion, I realize that simplicity and complexity are polar opposites but I know now that you can have both. Life is so much bigger than the limits we often impose on ourselves. In my case simplicity and complexity are very intertwined, working very well together to bring about fulfillment. Living a very simple life in the physical sense allows me the freedom and time to pursue a wide range of interests which is where the complexity is more than welcome and entirely by choice.

Words only can accomplish so much. I could never adequately describe the effects of what moving to a simple life has done. From laughing like a child at the smallest things, to having the time to finally build a foundation of understanding in my spiritual life with which I stand on with confidence, the attempted explanations would only be understated. On that note, my goal has merely been to say: If you are on the fence, make a choice. If you realize your life is chaotic and out of balance, do something to change it. Sitting in the passenger seat isn't a good place to be if the world is driving.

As for the complex interests, they are all future blog entries so stay tuned...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Labels and definitions

The question is: Why the need? In simple terms, I believe defining someone in a specific way is a basic method of packaging, summing everything up into one easily handled form. It may be the first logical step to determining how to deal with a new person, but it is full of danger in the form of assumptions. Again I ask, why the need? Why not just realize that people are complex and even those that share specific traits may be polar opposites. Why try and fit everyone into neat little boxes?

What about the labels we put on ourselves? Democrat, Republican, Atheist, Christian, Environmentalist, Scientist, and on and on. Claim one as a title and you will find yourself viewed in a specific way based on not necessarily your actions, but the actions of many others who share your designation. So why label ourselves? Isn't our action enough to speak for us? If it isn't, shouldn't it be?

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. --Emerson"

That quote brings to light a very important aspect of self imposed labels, it doesn't really matter what we claim to be if we don't back it up with action. I know none of this is original or earth-shattering, but it is one of those things I believe very strongly in.