"Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value
and the removal of anything that distracts us from it."
... Joshua Becker
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two
or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count
half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail."
... Henry David Thoreau
For me, "minimalistic" (both the adjective and the noun from which it
derives, "minimalism") pertains to more than
design, interior design, furnishing, style, or even lifestyle. To be
sure, all forms of minimalistic ways / minimalism, are attractive to
me. They all resonate with me. They designate the antithesis of excess,
the simplicity of functionality, the pragmatism of pure utility. So I'm
not about to decry minimalistic ways or (in totality) minimalism, nor
am I about to decry living minimalistically.
What I'm going to do instead is extend the idea of being minimalistic
as a genre of
and as a way of style and lifestyle, to include a way of
being - in other words, I assert minimalism includes the
possibility of being minimalistic. And I'm entering this
the Laurence Platt Dictionary
because others such as the
Cambridge International Dictionary
peg "minimalistic" to a genre of
style, and lifestyle without including in its definition a distinction
of the possibility of being minimalistic.
using the smallest range of materials and colors possible, and only
very simple shapes or forms
That's "minimalistic" pertaining to a genre of
and to a way of style and lifestyle. What then can be said to
distinguish "minimalistic" pertaining to a way of being?
To be minimalistic as a way of being, is to live the possibility of
simply being being enough (my doubled "being" is not a
typo). That's my first cut at this. Oh? Why only the first
cut? Because spoken that way, it's still dichotomous -
which means there are still two components: there's (one) being, and
there's (two) simply being being enough. Therefore I propose the second
(non-dichotomous) cut as: to be minimalistic as a way of being, is to
be. Period. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less.
"Wait!" you say, "What about what there is to do? What
I know this may be counter-intuitive, but
isn't separate from being. "Oh yes it is!" you avow. No,
"Just like the front and the
back of the hand, being and action are distinct yet inseparable.".
"OK I can get that" you concede after
"but what about doing what I want to do? Isn't that
separate from just being?". Try this on for size: you actually never do
what you want to do. All bravado aside ("I do whatever I want to
do ..."), when you're being minimalistic as a way of being,
you do what you do (whatever that is) and you don't do
what you don't do. That's the truth, yes? It's got nothing to do with
what you want to do. And if what you do happens to be what
you want to do, it's just a co-incidence.
style, lifestyle): using the smallest range of materials and colors
possible, and only very simple shapes or forms;
(pertaining to a way of being): living the possibility of simply
being being enough, without requiring distraction,
rather than solely
"using the smallest range of materials and colors
possible, and only very simple shapes or forms".