The author of this book, Janet Luhrs, has edited and published a journal titled Simple Living since 1992. In the Introduction to this book (called Living Deeply) she starts with a quote from Thoreau where he says he went to the woods because he wished to live deliberately. She then proceeds to define "living deliberately", and in doing so really sums up the whole philosophy of her book. She says it's not about how much income you have, or giving up your car, or never traveling. She says it's all about choosing your existence rather than sailing through life on automatic pilot. You choose things consciously, they don't just happen. You live consciously...deliberately...and thoughtfully, being fully present and fully aware. You live intimately...closely tied to the people, places, and things in your life. When you simplify, you'll have space and time to know and love people in a deeper way. This book is about the different paths people have taken in order to slow down and live more fully. Simplicity is not just one thing, one path. The author asks many really excellent questions: When did we decide that more and bigger stuff would give us a better life? When was the last time a busy calendar gave anyone more serenity? Do we really get more joy from worrying about, rearranging, and dusting our things than we do from visiting with a friend in an intimate way? A certain level of material comfort is necessary. We all need our own nests, food, and clothing in order to survive. We need some kind of work to do, paid or unpaid. And as human beings, we need more than the bare minimum; we need a certain level of aesthetics. The trouble is, says this author, most of us don't know when to stop. We get to a certain level of comfort and then think, "This feels nice, I'd better strive for more." The next thing you know we are buried in debt, stress, and complication. We've lost our fire, our passion for life. This book will help you get it back.
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