In the beginning, there were minimalist……and……and…. Wait let’s try this again. In the beginning, there were Minimalist and……and….that’s it. We were living Modestly. People point to Minimalism as nothing more than a modern trend, and guess what? They might be right because it’s not a trend. It is the cry of our innermost ancient consciousness.
To pinpoint where all of this consumerism nonsense started, we have to go all the way back to the 1800s and the Industrial Revolution. Until this point in history mass consumption was just not possible. There have always been Kings, Aristocrats, Presidents, and the like who’ve had access to vast quantities of even scarce goods. Average people like you and I however never had access to the ever-increasing amounts of products until the advent of mass production.
Before advancements of the 1800s-1900s, most goods required high amounts of human labor to produce in large quantities. This caused the price of items to be far above what we pay today. Imagine if the least expensive T.V. cost $10,000 because they were all hand made. People would own less T.V’s if they were able to own one at all. The Industrial Revolution helped save our bodies from the destructive forces of manual labor. It also however ushered in an era of consumerism that is still a disruptive force in our lives today. Since the early 1900s and an extreme acceleration in the 1950s, our consumer-led society, and buying habits have been on a tear. Increasingly harmful to society and the environment. How did we travel from hunter-gatherers, someone who depended on family and tribe for survival; to a modern society that is stratified almost solely based on common consumption characteristics.
Nomadic. In the beginning, we were on foot. Could you carry everything that you own? Could you lay down at night, only to wake with the sunrise, gather every item that you own and set off? Of course not? Almost no modern human could do this. Natural disasters have burned, crushed, and washed away every possession that families owns. Yet, after miraculously escaping with their lives they speak only of what was lost.
We thrived back then with what we would call nothing. We didn’t want for more, there was nothing more. Life itself was a blessing, one that could be extinguished any day, at any moment. Some things never change. We accumulate stuff, useless stuff as though each day is promised, or as if we are preparing our tomb for the afterlife. But we already have everything that we need. We are no longer nomadic, but like a nomad, we really require very little. Luckily we don’t have to carry everything we own on our back. We get to choose what is important to us, and we decide how and what we consume. Sometimes I just think we need to be reminded that we don’t need all of this shit. We will touch on the subject in a later post, but do you value you, or do you value what you own?
200,000 years and we have spent less than less than 200 being stark raving mad consumers. It’s not natural. It is not who we are. At our core, we are survivalist, that’s what we do best. I could go on a very long rant about how everything that’s natural is better, but I won’t. Here is what I will say. We all have animalistic tendencies inside of us. Some of them we like to listen to, and other a little less. We all know when something does not feel right, or when we feel burdened or weight on our shoulders. I call that the unnatural feeling. A lot of us have that unnatural feeling about the pressure in our lives. Maybe sometimes that weight is not necessarily on us, but all around us.
We all want to be happy, we want to be free. No one wants to live with constant worry, and burden, and uncertainty. We don’t want to experience that nasty unnatural feeling. I want to feel clean, free, and light on my feet. I know that living Modestly is what we all need to help us find our way back to that state.
You may be living primarily in one city, state, or country, but you are a nomad. The natural state of your mind is that of a nomad. Clear, free of clutter. Ready to seize the day. We have become hoarders of objects, and these objects have attached themselves to our minds, bodies, and spirits. We must dig through the rubble of our cluttered lives and save the nomad that lies deep inside of us.