Simplicity Security Self
Our lives are contradictory. Each element appears at odds with every other element. This is nothing new and is simply a characteristic of our fallibility. Corruptions have plagued those who preach. Human desires have overtaken surface level obedience. Quests for public action have led to separation, isolation and ostracism for those once idealistic; entering the public eye for a just cause, yet soon to be as rotten as those around them.
I contradict my own self on a daily basis. No more than my fellow person, but, nonetheless, it does gnaw on the many loose stitching of the soul; waiting for a pull too far in one direction, or a raised nail of life to snag and start to unwind.
I'm part of a system my heart screams at me to reject. Even now, I move to contradict myself, as I am drawn to lean on the poetry of the Bible, despite my disregard for any form of spiritualism:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
This brings me aptly to the focus of this short essay.
Emptology's Dichotomy of Money.
Money is a necessity, yet it is not in itself a worthy pursuit. Money is important, yet it gives no joy without additional purpose. Money is a tool, but a tool creates nothing without a craftsman. It is, then a contradiction. One that regardless of the purest pursuits, must be acquired in order to eat. This can be seen to corrupt any pursuit, however, it is a dichotomy that must given a bed in our home.
Without purpose, we tend to let others fill our minds. Our minds have a great hunger for meaning. Our minds unconsciously absorb that which is around us like tree roots drawing on water from the soil. Capitalism is the acid rain which has fallen to ground in the storm of the post war West. It seeps into the soil. It sinks into the water table we so desperately need to draw on. It surrounds the mind in our contemporary society like it permeates the ground our tree requires for life. If our mind tree is unable to draw enough pure water before entering adulthood we may, through no fault of our own, start absorbing the toxic acid rain; our goals begin to be shaped, our wants are formulated by men in towers, and a yardstick for success is handed to us with our high school diploma; for use on each and every individual we meet, including, and especially, ourselves.
Just as I lend myself in a secular manner to the poetry of the Bible, I am in debt by truth due to the words of the late, great, J Krishnamurti:
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Think on that. Do not simply read it. Go away and think on it. Let it fill your mind. Explore each facet. Each tree branch. Each leaf of your life. Water your tree. Apply the truth and feel the weight. Wash the acid rain from the leaves and ground.
Money is required and it is a tool. We should treat it as such. This is the deep dichotomy of money: it unlocks two doors.
One door opens onto a slide to the basement, with shiny desire, an endless buffet, the latest electronics and a comfortable hamster wheel to call your own. In the shadows hide the slave masters whom you can only see by the grin of their teeth.
The other door leads a grey, dull stairwell. It is hard to climb. There is little to see on the way up. There are many exit doors on almost each floor all leading to the basement. But the door at the top leads to the roof. It leads outside. It sets you free.
It is your choice which path you choose. We're all predisposed to taking the fun slide to the basement. In fact, we've all been to the basement. I was never inspired to take the stairs until I saw the basement for myself. Humans are suborn like that. We're all conditioned to accept mountains of debt, our rat wheel, and a new smart phone once a year. But what does this path really bring? Happiness? Joy? Freedom? Hardly. It provides tiered slavery, and you're in the top 10%. The other 90% are making your smartphone, and they know they're slaves. Sure, you're in a big house owned mostly by the bank. You're signed on for 30 years. You're working 10 hour days. But is that freedom? Is that comfort? Not to me.
The longer you're in the basement, the harder it is to climb the stairs.
If you're in a world of debt. A world of luxury. A world beyond your means, paycheck to paycheck, lifestyle inflation with every annual 2.5% pay rise, you may be surrounded with nice stuff. You might lease a brand new car. You may have the latest electronics. The glow from your TV might be the brightest. But this is all as a result of a mind left to soak up acid rain. It serves to ensure you spend what you earn, paycheck to paycheck, and measure yourself against others accordingly.
What kind of a measurement, achievement, or comparison is that?
'A large house is harder to clean.'
It may sound like a simple saying; narrow in its application. But think beyond. Figuratively replace house with anything. Replace 'clean' with 'maintain'.
Needless complication is the crux of my point. This essay applies Simplicity to our desire for monetary Security, which in turn creates a better Self. The 'bigger is better' mentality is an obscene construct of the ad men from last century. It is as outdated to us as colonial wigs. More debt is not better. More stuff is not necessary. Bigger is not always better. A large house genuinely is harder to clean, just as it is difficult to manage. We don't want a complex debt system, endless slavery and a archaic yardstick.To what end? The twinkle in the eye of the old is not based on the size of their house. Time is the commodity. And the earlier we realise the better.
We should take only what we need, use it to meet our ends, and take nothing more. Money is but a tool. To work five days a week, 10 hours a day is no feat of allegiance to the boss who sends a newsletter once a month, written by his or her assistants. It is no mark of honour or impression on your true worth. The days of corporate employee share programs are over. These are the days of independent contractors; a flagrant relinquishing of liability, not an added stake in the business.
What would you rather do? Play sport? Draw? Lie on the sand at a beach and read? Write? Make music? Good. Keep that in your mind. Now, with your end deep inside your mind, at the trunk of your tree, as yourself what means will it take to help you reach more time with that pursuit? What time will it cost?
Comfort is my goal.
It is seemingly simple. But scratch below the surface and it is as beautiful, complex, and bold in its intricacy as Tchaikovsky's sixth.
I seek comfort by continuously turning down the, at times, tempting shackles of debt.
I seek comfort, by surrounding myself in, respectively and selfishly (in comparison against the rest of the human race), luxury (running water, solid ground beneath my feat, sleep without fear of sexual abuse).
I seek comfort by owning less, managing less and removing needless decisions from my life.
I seek comfort in keeping my data secure, locking down my digital life, and sleeping easy behind a locked door and cryptography.
My constrictions are not lost on me. But I'm human and I accept them. The need for money, and the quest to fulfil my Self are somewhat at odds. A balance simply must be struct as I walk my path. You, too, must strike a balance in order to find truth and happiness.
Yes, luxury holds different meanings based, I believe, on context and respective wealth. Luxury to me is in fact a continuation of the aforementioned. To be without fear of thirst, or without fear of violence; to me, this is true luxury. Never forget how respectively lucky you are. The way we live; up here in the top percentiles, it is not normal. We yell about the 1%, but what are we doing about the below 90%? ↩︎