Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How Simplicity and Wisdom Are Related

Some people think that being wise involves having to think in a complicated manner. This need not be true. A simple state of mind can easily lead to enlightenment, opening you up to wise thoughts you would never even have dreamed of before. Simplicity elevates you from complicated thought processes, helping you peer directly at the source of what you are examining. In fact, this is the reason why many wise sages and monks in the past have advised people to lead a simple life if they wish to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Wisdom and simplicity

Achieving simplicity in wisdom is not an immediate process. It can take a long time for a person to achieve a state of mind that is capable of perceiving the simple truths of life. To an outsider, it might seem that the person is talking about things that should be easy to do. However, what the outsider will not realize is that the person will have spent much of his life hard at work in achieving the kind of wisdom that makes everything very clearly understandable in the simplest manner. A story of an artist and his painting of a horse comes to mind.

An artist was once asked by a person to paint a horse from a picture. The artist told the person that it would take 10 years for him to complete the painting. When 10 years had passed, the person once again approached the artist to get his painting. The artist took a piece of paper and quickly painted the image of a horse. The person was shocked. He asked the painter why he was made to wait for 10 years if the artist was capable of painting the horse so quickly. The artist took the person to another room which was full of horse paintings and said to the person that he had spent 10 years of his life learning how to paint the horse so as to reach a level that he could complete such a painting in a short time. The moral of the story is that simplicity is a state of mind that you can only attain after hard practice.

A painting of four white horses running along the beach at sunset.
The artist had spent ten years of his life learning how to paint the horse so as to reach a level that he could complete such a painting in a short time. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A simple person tends to live in a higher level of consciousness when compared to people who live a complicated life, caught up in the pressure of modernity and the incessant pursuit of desires. American thinker Henry David Thoreau notes in his writings that a man should live as simple a life as possible such that if an enemy were to attack his town, he could walk away empty-handed and without any feelings of anxiety.

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” says Thoreau in one of his works, according to Excellence Reporter.

Tips for simplifying your life

So if you are considering getting rid of all the complexity in your life and pursuing a simple lifestyle, what should you do? First, reduce all the things that you own to just the basics. Owning too many things just physically clutters your place and also influences the mind negatively. Living in a place that has lots of free space around will help your mind become calmer.

Home office area with desk near a picture window.
Living in a place that has lots of free space around will help your mind become calmer. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

You should look at the people in your life, identify those with whom you have toxic relationships, and cut your ties with them. Most people suffer emotional stress due to relationship issues. Instead, become closer to people who fill you with positivity. Having five good friends you can rely on is better than having 100 friends who are only close to you because of your wealth or status. Focus on high-quality relationships rather than the number of relationships. Having a good social life with people who are as open and simple as you are will ease your transition into a minimalist, simplistic lifestyle.

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Nspirement Staff
Nspirement (or Inspirement) is the act of becoming motivated, encouraged, and enthused to the point of making a significant difference or change. Our aim is to offer articles that will inspire, uplift, and educate our readers, as well as insights into all things China and China’s impact on the world today.
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