Hi All

I still notice a bit of traffic, mostly from that nice reddit FAQ in r/minimalism that I wrote a draft of. It's a pretty great FAQ I think, and not just because I'm linked in it.

First, my tumblr is where I post about minimalism now. If you want my recent thoughts on life, plus pictures of snow and books, go check it out.

Second, this blog is a nice backlog. There's some good content in here. I smile when I walk through the halls of my own writing. I'm not the same person I was when I wrote most of this blog, so it's almost like I'm curating it for someone who passed away. Please enjoy it. Please talk about it. Please share it and post it and think about it.

Third, I deleted my reddit account, but if you want to say anything to me or ask me a question, please don't hesitate to do it through tumblr or my email address which is aberinkulas mails, at the gmail server. Dot com. I answer all of my email, unless it's spam or abusive.

Thank you for reading this blog, and I hope that my words were and continue to be useful to you.

Sanding

My path in minimalism has been like working with wood. I chopped away at the bigger stuff at first. But eventually I had to start sanding, with a fine grit and patience.

Instead of making time consuming purges, I just performed small but frequent passes. Eventually a result started taking shape. The feeling of having something to aim for is incredibly fulfilling and empowering. Eventually I started living that potential result, and then the rest fell away.

So don’t feel like you have to be down to a very specific place right now. It took me years and I’m still sanding away, even finer, slowly finding the right contours to fit my life. Maybe my block of wood is still far too big, or maybe I sanded off too much somewhere. But I’ll get there, and so will you.

How strong would you like your minimalism, sir?

Minimalism is like coffee. You can make it any way you want.

You can make it strong, and remove everything in your life except for only the essential. You can pare down to a few boxes or remove your bed or get rid of everything entirely. You can clear your mind of all thoughts unrelated to your focus.

You can make it weak, and remove only a little bit, just tweaking your life into different shapes and positive arrangements. You can consider a few items, move slowly, and try to find some peace in your mind. Tiny changes for a theoretically huge benefit.

Both of these approaches are valid. Just like there is middle ground, there is the highest and lowest setting. They are equal and perfectly acceptable. They all coexist.

At the core, minimalism is about less. How much less is up to you.

Might migrate to Tumblr

I'm considering curbing my average word count and simply aggregating all of my minimalism links, photos, quotes and ideas into a single feed on Tumblr.

Is there any comments on this?

EDIT: So the blogspot side of things seems pretty dead overall, so I'm using my tumblr now. Amongst the quotes and pictures, you will find blogs - smaller, more condensed trains of thought that I planned for here but decided to pare down and post there instead.

Here and now, boys.

In Aldous Huxley's masterpiece philosophical novel Island, the birds have been trained to say things to the villagers constantly. The two that we hear in the book on a regular basis is "Here and now boys," and even more often, "Attention."

We get caught up in our minds and forget to be in the present moment. When we're focused on the "here and now," that's when we truly appreciate the world.

Many mediators will say that as you practice, everything you do can be meditation. Just focus on what you are doing. Be patient and look at yourself, feel yourself, hear yourself. Be mindful of your body and your mind.

Attention; here and now, boys.

9 More Treatises on Minimalism

11. Minimalism is distilling life.

12. Minimalism is an enhancer, not a finder.

13. Focus creates beauty or abhorrence. You decide which.

14. Upkeep is all of the battle.

15. You can't eliminate mistakes.

16. Minimalism is respected.

17. Portability.

18. Necessity is fluid.

19. Memento mori.

What Minimalism is Compatible With But Doesn't Imply

This blog veers into other territory sometimes and I want to establish what is and what can be minimalism.

Anti-consumerism

It's easy to become jaded with the system after you've started to unhook yourself from having so much stuff. However, that's not necessarily a direct connection. You can be minimalist without being anti-consumerist. The latter is more of a political, social way of looking at ownership minimalism. If getting more stuff is so empty, then why do we do it? It makes sense. However, what personally works for you doesn't have to be reflected on what you think the world could use.

Simple living

Simple living is becoming harder to define. Like "hipster," it's become a cultural mirage which we attempt to grasp onto but never quite nab, due to the many voices talking at once. So I'll do my best here.

Simple living takes minimalism and skews it even harder into old fashioned, vaguely Walden territory. Live in a small house if possible. Live with as few pieces of technology as possible. Consider the environment. Be self-sustaining. Live frugally and forgo work if you can. Repair your stuff and avoid new purchases at all costs.

I see simple living as encompassing minimalism, but expanding it to a much greater definition. It defines the difference between what can be perceived as a more modern minimalism (aesthetically very blank, lifestyle very open) with a aged, nature-focused minimalism from the past.

This blog is occasionally simple living themed.

Frugality

I see two sides to this coin.

Common ground: I should spend as little as possible on stuff, avoiding it as much as possible and only buying what little I need.

Option one: I should spend a lot of my stuff that I do buy so that it lasts me a long time.

Option two: I should penny pinch so I can not have to deal with buying stuff, save up money and possibly avoid working entirely.

This just illustrates that there can be different tactics, and all of them are common.

Aesthetic minimalism

The artistic method. A suitable end-goal for anyone, certainly, but not necessarily useful or utilitarian in a lot of cases.