The self isn’t seeking physical indulgence. Your mind doesn’t want a more expensive vehicle, a larger residence or even more shoes. You’re seeking for something much deeper but you’ve been sidetracked from that search by superficial pleasures. Joy isn’t to be discovered in decadent products, fast vehicles or the ego. The ego distracts us from peaceful reflection and simplicity.

ego quote

True joy originates from flexibility from self. Every time we reward ourselves with product things we reinforce our bond to the ego. “I” deserve this, “I” need this, “I” earned this, and “I” have been acknowledged. Each time we reinforce the “I” our bondage intensifies, our self-absorption is validated, and we move papa far from liberty.

Simplicity and self-denial are actually “I” rejection, rejection of the ego. According to Gandhi, “the less you have, the less you desire, the better you are,” (Gandhi, 2012). According to Gandhi, the best place to begin is by doing as much as you can for yourself. For Gandhi, this suggested cooking his own food, weaving his own fabric, sewing his own clothing, and cleaning his own toilet. Having actually attempted some of this, I immediately uncovered how enhanced self-sufficiency both reduced my work and enhanced my mind.

For example, making the decision not to use any clothes I can not launder myself implied fewer clothing in my closet, fewer trips to the drycleaner and less cash invested on pricey clothing. Basically I saved cash and had one less errand to do. For me, one less errand to do is a stunning thing and means more time to do things I delight in, like writing for this blog site.

Total self-sufficiency, the way Gandhi explains it, is beyond me and probably beyond most people with a job and/or a family. Nonetheless, each of us can take steps to lighten our own problem by not buying things we don’t require, by giving away or discarding clutter, and not utilizing services we do not need.

If you actually enjoy your biweekly nail consultation, then by all means keep it but if you’re having your eyebrows waxed monthly, nails done bi-weekly, hair done monthly, pool cleaned weekly, dry-cleaning got weekly, housemaid service bi-weekly, yard service weekly, personal trainer three times a week, canine trainer monthly, and so on, and so on, then essentially you’ve no life. To complimentary yourself from the ego needs nonstop time to reflect, which you can not have if all your time is committed to preserving your things or to getting more things. Things are not exactly what you want, exactly what you want is peace of mind which is the antithesis of things.

I read once of a monk who limited himself to no even more than 500 things consisting of flatware, pens, notepads, and food. The report was that he quickly achieved enlightenment and no longer had any need of the 500 things he gathered in life.