April 27, 2010

Spiritual Minimalism

First, I have to tell you where this Weblog is going overall.

I do not know.

The primary purpose is to be multi-faceted with an occasional emphasis on political matters. I will not specialize in those (or in other things) because I believe that it would get boring to both you and to me.

Regular readers may have noticed that there have been some changes in my subject matter and writing style. That is because there have been changes in my life, and I am returning to my Christian roots. A renewal, so to speak. Some things must be changed, others given up, still others need to be brought into my life, or at least, given more priority. Nobody should expect me to be a shining example of saintliness because I still have a long, long way to go.

Also, I am making up for some lost time, getting good Bible teaching and letting the political input wait for a while. It won't be forever, but I do not feel that I should be making time for that. People who read my articles for political content, do not despair because it will return. I just do not know when, capice?

What does that have to do with "Spiritual Minimalism", Cowboy Bob?

It is a very natural tie-in. I've been exploring Minimalism as a philosophy, but will not be able to become a real Minimalist in the traditional sense. Instead, I am reducing the clutter and the unnecessary things that I have accumulated over the years in what feels like lifetimes; I was a different man when I owned this, another man when I studied that, yet another when I was into...

Opening up boxes or seriously looking at things on shelves naturally brings back memories and some of the desires that I had. I had to "get real" with myself and admit that things are doing me no good being in boxes, and I will not live long enough to read all of the books that I accumulated. Much of this was the desire for knowledge that will always be with me. Nevertheless, I managed to give several boxes of books away to the local library.

I will have to find homes for other things as well.

Some people caution me about getting rid of things, that they "might be valuable". That is part of the reason I have had problems, because of "potential resale value". Too much trouble, especially if something is questionable. Hanging on to sentimental things? They have been in boxes for years, so obviously, they are not that important to me (thank you Peter Walsh for that insight).

This is all a part of reducing the clutter for both me and for a Minimalist. It takes honesty and introspection. The essence of Minimalism is to cut down on the clutter because it takes away from y0ur time, costs you money, takes up space, draws your affection so that you love stuff instead of people and relationships. In and of itself, this process is somewhat spiritual.

It becomes more spiritual when you make a commitment to Jesus. Yes, I did use the "J" word! People are afraid that if they become serious Christians, that they will have to "give up" the things that they like. Perhaps that is so, but also, some of the things that are given up are done out of habit and not because they honestly give pleasure. Giving up things, cutting away the nonsense that is unnecessary or even harmful, will make room in your spirit for better things to take up "space".

Let me give you some more from my own experiences. Books that I gave away were from failed attempts at expertise, and that just makes sense. Other books were occult, and I am destroying those because I do not want other people to be diverted from the truth. For this reason, I also destroyed my Tarot cards.

Getting rid of the spiritual "clutter" that distracts you from spiritual truth and things that you should be doing gives clarity of mind and peace in the spirit. At least, that is what is happening with me lately. Physical Minimalism is a great illustration for spiritual Minimalism. I recommend cutting away the things that weigh you down and getting in line with where God wants you to be.

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