Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Minimalism and Puritanism

image from: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/149/149syllabus5summary.html


I'm sure this is not an original thought, but it occurred to me how often we are looking for balance..and the tide often turns from one extreme to the other.

Today, there is a longing for minimalism, because our culture has become so opulent...

I think there is a parallel to the Puritan movement..  The Puritans began (I believe) as a rebellion also against the opulence of the Catholic church..They thought it had become too materialistic, grandiose...had lost its true purpose.  They wished to simplify..get back to the grassroots..

I say this not as a criticism, just as an observation... It is interesting that we do this back and forth..  But, I think it is important to note where Puritanism went wrong too..  And how our current desire for Minimalism could also go awry..

Caution for becoming too judgmental/superior (for ultra success in detachment) or feeling shameful..for not living up..  What virtue are we really ascribing to in simplifying our homes and lives?  One must not feel superior or inferior in the accomplishment or lack of accomplishment in this category..

It used to be Prideful to have "stuff"--And now, it is "prideful" to have less.. (Or actually, it seems it is still virtuous to have lots of stuff (as long as your home looks like you don't have stuff/clutter)..  Where does our true virtue rest?

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