Simplicity Is The True Spice Of Life

I was recently blessed with reading a post by one of my brother bloggers that goes into the topic of critical thinking versus creative thinking. There’s a lot to be said and described on this topic, but one of the important aspects that I took from that interaction was the importance of keeping things simple. This applies to all areas of life and can mean the difference between suffering and relative peace. Allow me to explain.

Critical thinking is an important aspect of life. Without it, we would likely not have a lot of the innovations and technology that modern society enjoy so freely. The ability to recognize, analyze and evaluate any given problem is how progress happens. We’re not quite “The Jetsons” yet, but we’re getting there. A hilarious side note on the Jetsons… I read a meme online that said that the Jetsons are set in the year 2062 and that George Jetson is about 41 years old, which means that somewhere in the world, he’s currently being conceived. That made me giggle a bit, especially since we’re nowhere near to living in the skies with flying cars. But I digress…

There are two basic perspectives to life and almost everyone without exception falls under one of these categories. I’m talking the scientific perspective and the non-scientific perspective. Even with science as a guide through navigating life, it’s important to recognize that the world is more than just what our six senses perceive and that at some point, if you go far enough backwards in the grand scheme of things, science fails to provide an answer. Perhaps it will, someday. But not all things can be compartmentalized and analyzed and there’s something to be said for running on faith.

Let’s take the Big Bang, as an example. No, I don’t mean the television sitcom, I mean the actual event that the title is based on. We know that at some point, billions and billions of years ago, an explosive release of energy resulted in the massive expansion of space that we recognize as our universe. So here’s the interesting question: what came before that? If one were to take the religious approach, then one would be inclined to believe that in the beginning, there was nothing until God said, “Let there be light!”

If one takes the scientific approach, we find ourselves at a loss. Some speculate that our universe is a piece of another, pre-existing universe and that something cataclysmic caused our universe to basically be tossed out and begin to expand on its own. There are a number of theories but I think we can agree that until proven, theory remains speculative. So, which perspective is the correct one? Is it so impossible to think that at some point, far enough back, a single individual or entity is responsible for all that we know? I don’t want to go off on a tangent and start getting into chaos theory, but if the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can cause tsunamis on the other side of the world, then…

Our self-awareness leads us to the belief that we’re at the top of the pyramid of life on our respective little blue marble, but the truth remains that we don’t know what’s out there. Or where it all came from. or even what’s to come, despite plenty of speculation on that, as well. One of my guilty pleasures is watching those YouTube simulations that show the progression of the universe until its end. How accurate those are will remain to be seen, just not by us in all likelihood. But I’m crawling FAR to the wayside of where I was going with this. Let’s see if I can get myself back on track…

When we talk about simplicity, we need to recognize that interaction is part of the human condition, and that we sometimes have to alter, improve or improvise how we perform those interactions. If I were to use employment as an example, when was the last time that you wrote a cover letter and JUST used plain language? When we want to make a certain impression, we have a tendency to “fancy” things up. I’m talking about something like describing oneself as a “master of the custodial arts” instead of just saying “janitor” or “cleaner.” Sure, it sounds fancier but it potentially leaves one open to misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

There is room in this world for both critical and creative thinking. In fact, in most instances they can used interchangeably. The key is keeping an open mind. Keeping things simple in all areas of life helps to guarantee that we reduce the amount of suffering in our own lives and frequently even in the lives of others. And it also ensures better communication in the overall grand scheme of things. Keep it simple. After all, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Food for thought… ☯

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

2 thoughts on “Simplicity Is The True Spice Of Life”

  1. The next time I light up a cigar, I will think upon your lovely memoir.

    Batchelor also emphasizes upon the importance of simplicity. You may appreciate his following sentiment as being the ribbon that seals your thought on the subject at hand.

    “To understand a worry is to know it calmly and clearly for what it is: transient, contingent, and devoid of intrinsic identity.” – Stephen Batchelor

    Realizing that there really is no need to sicken ourselves through endless conjecture makes the 8 fold path all that more noble and easy to traverse.


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