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Author Topic: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it  (Read 555 times)

Sefiru

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Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« on: February 20, 2019, 06:57:49 pm »
Of course, this depends a lot on the definition of 'minimalism'. I didn't think of myself as one because I don't live like an ascetic monk or in a bare white-and-chrome box of an apartment. But lately I wandered into the corner of YouTube full of decluttering and minimalist-lifestyle channels, and according to some of their definitions, I've been a minimalist most of my life. Some descriptions that came up include "Living with the minimum you need to be happy, not the minimum you need to survive" and "Have only things that are meaningful to you."

Relevant video:


So, how do you define 'minimalism'?
Do you think it's useful to distinguish between minimalism and asceticism?
Does anyone here practice either one? (I haven't yet decided if I count.)
Does your religion have anything to say about minimalism and/or asceticism, either for or against?

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 01:10:35 pm »
  • So, how do you define 'minimalism'?
  • Do you think it's useful to distinguish between minimalism and asceticism?
  • Does anyone here practice either one? (I haven't yet decided if I count.)
  • Does your religion have anything to say about minimalism and/or asceticism, either for or against?
Currently, hubby and I are doing the KonMari method of decluttering, and we're finding that it's working so much better than previous attempts to declutter. Instead of focusing on utility, we're focusing on the Joy of things, and it's surprised me how much stuff - both bought by me and given to me as gifts - that I have kept with me simply because I felt that I had to use them. For example, we went through our socks last night, and I felt so bad about getting rid of perfectly good socks... that I hardly wore. And we found a pattern: the socks we loved are the colorful, patterned ones - like my Kingdom Hearts socks, or his Pokemon socks. After that, I've been a lot better at just saying thanks and moving on.

How does this connect with minimalism? Easy - Minimalism (IMHO) is simply what I need to lead a happy life. A lot of the clutter that has left our apartment yesterday did not help with that goal. And to me that is the clear distinction from asceticism - wherein one practices severe self-discipline and avoids all indulgences in life - because I honestly think that one should be have some joy in one's life. Asceticism, to me, would be appropriate for a later stage in my life (such as my end years) or if I was a traveling monk/priest (which... thankfully, I didn't do that despite what my grandmother wanted).

Regarding my spiritual practices... I'm still developing the framework, because said spirituality is very Hellenic polytheistic, but isn't Recon. Maybe it's more of the Modern Hellenic Polytheism? Who knows - what I do know is that I live in NYC, and space is a rare and expensive commodity that I need to be mindful of. Thus why I make sure to only purchase things for my practice that I know I'll actually use (then again, there is that big bag of candles and herbs in the bookcase that I haven't used in about a year or so...).
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

Sefiru

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2019, 06:59:53 pm »
Currently, hubby and I are doing the KonMari method of decluttering, and we're finding that it's working so much better than previous attempts to declutter.

Konmari was one of the main things that got me into this topic. Her method appeals to me because of the touch of animism in it - thanking your belongings, greeting the houses where she does consultations, that sort of thing. That must be some Shinto traditions coming through.

arete

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 02:34:49 pm »
Of course, this depends a lot on the definition of 'minimalism'. I didn't think of myself as one because I don't live like an ascetic monk or in a bare white-and-chrome box of an apartment. But lately I wandered into the corner of YouTube full of decluttering and minimalist-lifestyle channels, and according to some of their definitions, I've been a minimalist most of my life. Some descriptions that came up include "Living with the minimum you need to be happy, not the minimum you need to survive" and "Have only things that are meaningful to you."

So, how do you define 'minimalism'?
Do you think it's useful to distinguish between minimalism and asceticism?
Does anyone here practice either one? (I haven't yet decided if I count.)
Does your religion have anything to say about minimalism and/or asceticism, either for or against?
Meaningful objects are fine. The unmeaningful ones are a burden, in my opinion.

Aetherwinds

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 10:21:34 pm »

Beh! I'm like a magpie, I'll never be a minimalist! Victorian/Gothic revival architecture over modern. No I don't have a lot of clutter but I like to be surrounded by beauty and knowledge, not to show off, but for my own pleasure. I am someone that pays attention to little details so almost bare walls or shelves would make me so bored! White walls depress me, plain textures too. And I need my books because they don't gather dust, they are used and re-read.

Even in my meditations, to get to tetha waves I like to do a countdown and the numbers I write in my mind's easel always morph into amazing things! The blank mind is not working with me and concentrating on a single thing either so I let my focus morph over and over with no intention on forcing or restraining it, still works! Can't fight an Aquarian/Piscean mind, it's a lost battle.

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 10:16:56 am »
That must be some Shinto traditions coming through.

She is, or at least was at one time, a shrine priestess, so yes.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Sefiru

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 06:32:57 pm »
She is, or at least was at one time, a shrine priestess, so yes.

Huh, I did not know that, but it doesn't surprise me.

Sefiru

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 06:44:00 pm »
I am someone that pays attention to little details so almost bare walls or shelves would make me so bored! White walls depress me, plain textures too.

The blank mind is not working with me and concentrating on a single thing either so I let my focus morph over and over with no intention on forcing or restraining it, still works!

So, do you believe that minimalism and asceticism are the same thing?

I'm certainly no ascetic, but I don't consider my lifestyle to be lavish, either, and I think it's useful to have a term for that. (Though I admit my walls are white, but that's because I'm not allowed to paint them :P)

Sefiru

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 06:45:16 pm »
Meaningful objects are fine. The unmeaningful ones are a burden, in my opinion.

Do you have a method of determining which objects are meaningful to you? Or do you just go by gut feeling?

arete

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Re: Apparently I'm a minimalist and didn't know it
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 04:11:25 pm »
Do you have a method of determining which objects are meaningful to you? Or do you just go by gut feeling?
Gut feeling  :) And I treat every object like it has a soul. I believe everything has a soul.
I hope that in a consuming society at least some kind of moderation will come.

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