The material clutter of contemporary living is mainly due to the rise of consumerism in the 20th century. It lead many people in the world over to question this way of life and opt for a more simple means of living. This could mean letting go of excess and pursuing goals based on moral and ethical as opposed to monetary or material considerations.
Simplicity as a spiritual practice, however, has long been practiced and is present in the doctrines of most religions. In the Christian religion believers observe lent, a period in which they release themselves from cherished possessions. This is done in order to strengthen their faith. Judaism identifies seven values of spiritual simplicity. These are: humility, gratitude, avoiding waste, preserving nature, not wasting time, justice, and repairing the world.
One of the most important aspects of voluntary spiritual simplicity as outlined in the teachings of Gandhi is that it is an inner- as well as an outer- condition. It involves more than simply the shedding of material excess and the surrendering of yourself to a higher power. On the other side, it revolves around a singleness of purpose and the avoidance of anything that is not necessary to achieve this purpose.
Top 10 Engrossing Quotes about Valuing Simplicity
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
“There’s something really appealing about the simplicity of black-and-white images.”
— Joseph Gordon-Levitt
“When you’re dressing on a budget, simplicity is key.”
“Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
— Frederic Chopin
“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art. Frank”
— Lloyd Wright
“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
— Charles Dudley Warner
“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
— Isaac Newton
“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts are nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.”
— Bruce Lee
“Things that I grew up with stay with me. You start a certain way, and then you spend your whole life trying to find a certain simplicity that you had. It’s less about staying in childhood than keeping a certain spirit of seeing things in a different way.”
— Tim Burton
Importance of Spiritual Simplicity
Our lives are disarranged with material excess and clutter because this is what we value. In order to observe voluntary spiritual simplicity it therefore necessary to shift what we value most away from material gains and towards the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.
Making this shift in principles is what ultimately gives birth to your sense of purpose and will enable you to rid yourself of the unnecessary purpose. Not because you feel that this is something that you want to do, but this is what is required of you to reach your full potential as a human being.