Architects of a New Dawn

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Duane Elgin's Blog (10)

4 Misconceptions About the Simple Life

It is important to recognize inaccurate stereotypes about the simple life because they make it seem impractical and ill suited for responding to increasingly critical breakdowns in world systems. Four misconceptions about the simple life are so common they deserve special attention. These are equating simplicity with: poverty, moving back to the land, living without beauty and economic stagnation.


  1. Simplicity Means Poverty Although some spiritual…

Added by Duane Elgin on August 28, 2011 at 9:31am — No Comments

8 Expressions of Simplicity for Healthy Living

To portray the richness of simplicity as a theme for healthy living, here are eight different flowerings that I see growing consciously in the “garden of simplicity.” Although there is overlap among them, each expression of simplicity seems sufficiently distinct to warrant a separate category. These are presented in no particular order, as all are important.

  1. Uncluttered Simplicity. Simplicity means taking charge of lives that are too busy, too stressed and too…

Added by Duane Elgin on August 15, 2011 at 2:58pm — No Comments

Take Back the Airwaves!

Although many recognize that individuals can be conscious of themselves, we seldom consider whether a whole society can be conscious of itself. Certainly at moments of great tragedy or great triumph there seems to be a capacity for millions of autonomous individuals to awaken to a collective consciousness. For example, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, an entire nation went into mourning and for several days, collectively acknowledged the passing of their leader. Another moment of…


Added by Duane Elgin on July 29, 2011 at 4:16pm — No Comments

Can Television Help Awaken a Healthy World?

Many people are aware of a mind-body connection when it comes to their personal health, but few apply this important wisdom to our mind-body health as a society. Just as mental habits impact the physical health of individuals, our collective mental habits -- manifested through the mass media -- impact every aspect of our social health.


The mass media -- particularly television -- offers the most direct and visible expression of our social mind or collective mental…


Added by Duane Elgin on July 22, 2011 at 6:24pm — No Comments

How Spiritual Wisdom Encourages Us to Be Simple

The wisdom of simplicity is a theme with deep roots. The great value and benefits of living simply are found in all the world's major wisdom traditions.


Christian Views

Jesus embodied a life of compassionate simplicity. He taught by word and example that we should not make the acquisition of material possessions our primary aim; instead, we should develop our capacity for loving participation in life. The Bible speaks frequently about the need to find…


Added by Duane Elgin on July 13, 2011 at 12:16pm — No Comments

Can Death Become Your Ally?

Death is an important ally for appreciating life. I am not referring to a morbid preoccupation with death. Rather, I mean the felt awareness of our finitude as physical beings -- an honest recognition of the short time we have to love and to learn on this earth. The knowledge that our bodies will inevitably die burns through our attachments to the dignified madness of our socially constructed existence. Death is a friend that helps us to release our clinging to social position and material…


Added by Duane Elgin on July 6, 2011 at 8:09pm — 1 Comment

Three Media Views of Green Living

It is ironic that green ways of living that emphasize voluntary simplicity -- a life-way that can take us into an opportunity-filled future -- are often portrayed in the mass media as regressive ways of life that turn away from progress. Here are three portrayals of green lifestyles and simplicity common in today's popular media:

1. Crude or Regressive Simplicity. The mainstream media often shows simplicity as a path of regress instead of progress. Simplicity is…


Added by Duane Elgin on June 28, 2011 at 11:02am — No Comments

Consciously Recognizing Ourselves Before We Die

When our physical body dies, will we recognize ourselves as a subtle body of light, love, music, and knowing? Will we recognize the unique orchestration of our being, the distinct way we light up the world? If we fail to recognize ourselves in this way -- if we require the assistance of a physical body to anchor our self-recognition -- then we are profoundly limiting ourselves. The afterlife is unknown; however, our invisible body of music, light and love that lives in eternity is knowable.…


Added by Duane Elgin on June 23, 2011 at 1:38pm — No Comments

Humanity's Second Spiritual Age

The phrase "axial age" has been used to describe the relatively brief period of time -- roughly 700 years -- when the great religions of the world arose: Hinduism and Buddhism in India; Confucianism and Taoism in China; and monotheism in the Middle East. The period from roughly 900 BC to 200 BC is referred to as an "axial age" because it set the orientation or direction for spirituality for more than two thousand years into the future.


Around the world, the axial age was…


Added by Duane Elgin on June 23, 2011 at 1:34pm — No Comments

We Live In a Living Universe

A common assumption of the modern world is that we live in a universe comprised almost entirely of inert matter and empty space. Regarding the universe as dead at its foundations is basic to the industrial revolution: It makes sense to exploit what appears dead for the benefit of what seems most alive -- ourselves. This assumption is now being questioned as a more ancient view is reconsidered. Plato put it this way: "The universe is a single living creature that encompasses all living…


Added by Duane Elgin on June 23, 2011 at 1:31pm — No Comments


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