Minimalism and Quality

There’s a theory that says the reason for which we haven’t had contact with alien life yet is because highly developed/intelligent civilizations are not expanding outwards but instead, are moving inwards. The urge to conquer new land and expand outwards is specific to civilizations that have not yet reached a highly intelligent state.

We also see this trend in our world. As time goes by, we tend to make things smaller. We started with computers that were the size of a building and now they fit in our pockets. We went from video tapes to nano memory cards and scientists are researching using crystals to store tremendous sets of data.

We make things smaller, more efficient, more practical, more integrated and more liberating.

You see, there may be entire civilizations that live on a single crystal. Even we may reach a similar state. With the development of virtual reality and artificial intelligence we may at some point shed our dying organic bodies and move toward a more virtual state, in which we are immortal and there’s no limitation to imagination.

I know that the implications of such theories are many, and there’s even the question of what makes us humans (could we still consider ourselves humans in that state?).

At the end of the day, it’s all about imagination. Even now, we imagine reality. Reality is just a matter of perception. There’s nothing there, if there’s no one to perceive it. This whole universe is real because we (collectively) see, hear and feel it. If there is no observer there is now reality. So, by bringing awareness on your Observer, you create reality.

The fact that we have an organic body may now hold and important part in how we perceive reality, but it’s not a given. This too is subject to evolution, and thousands of years from now having an organic body may be as obsolete as stone knifes.

Consciousness is ultimately about expansion and imagination. It’s about simulation and infinite possibility. Our human body is a grotesque limit to our consciousness. As we evolve we engage into more and more abstract things.

Our consciousness must not be a prisoner of our organic body. Only simple organic life is prisoner to such state. We instead are only just temporary prisoners of this organic state. Our bodies are now of secondary importance, will soon be obsolete and we’ll in time even free ourselves of them. We are consciousness and this means that we may transfer to other mediums that support it (and offer better platform of expansion). You see, there are many limitations to our human bodies, and in order to thrive and evolve we’ll improve and redesign it.

Minimalism comes from this exact need of shedding the unnecessary – upgrading and liberating oneself from the burden of stuff. Owning stuff, accumulating unnecessary items is a primitive need of sorts. Some even get attached to objects, yet they hold no real value. There’s even a disease that’s called hoarding.

But, most importantly minimalism is a strategy of freeing oneself from the hindrance that possession brings. The less stuff you have, the more you are free to direct your focus inwards.

While in this universe we’ll, sooner or later, meet the limits of owning, but there are no limitations to imagination. While the exterior is limited, the interior is unlimited. In the material world there is physical limitation, but in the mind there is no limitation (other than the auto imposed one of lesser developed awareness).

You see, evolution will take you to discover the self. You’ll learn more about consciousness and being, not about owning more stuff. Stuff only has worth in the earlier stages of development. Later on, we discover a need to move inside. There, we can live as many lives as we want.

So this is what technology ultimately brings – liberation. Imagine a virtual world in which you have no limitations to imagination.

Don’t try to make simulations based of the current development of such technology. This would mean ignoring context. It is irrelevant how developed is virtual reality at this point, what’s relevant is its potential. It’s like talking to a Neanderthal about the importance of rock. He’ll say rock may only become 10 tools, but we’ve now identified dozens upon dozens of types of rocks and hundreds of uses.

So, in order to be congruent with context, the simulations will have to take into consideration its future developments. But, you see, the potential of such technology is infinite. Virtual reality has the potential of simulating this reality and any imaginable reality.

You may want one day to live the life of a Martian, the next day that of a Human, then the life of an alien from Alpha Centauri – all of these with the full extent of complexity, that we now experience in our lives.

This is not only possible, but also very probable. If in doubt of such theory coming to fruition, simply take a look at the history of video games. We started with dots moving on a screen and now we’re able to simulate entire universes, complex personalities and intricate story lines.

What proof do we even have that we’re experiencing reality now? We may be in a simulation as we speak. If we are or aren’t, the probability of creating such technology is very high.

Now, to get back to quality and minimalism…

What is it that brings quality to your life?

While you design the answer to this question, please try to ignore the outside structure you may’ve been indoctrinated by.

Simply, identify what are the things that you really need and use in your daily life, not the things that society painted as mandatory or cool, not the things that a friend considers useful, but the exact things that you really need and find use in.

How many of your possessions brought the promised comfort and joy?

How long did the benefits last?

Can you identify stuff that is making you waste resources (time and money)?

What is the structure that’s creating the need of buying and owning more stuff?

Minimalism does not, by any chance, mean living frugal. It’s not about creating limitations, but breaking the barriers of limitation, breaking false structure that created the inertia of possession. Possession does not by itself means increased quality of life. Often times, owning more stuff will only make you their prisoner.

Let’s do an exercise now, let’s complete a table of all possession and uncover their true purpose.

Object Purpose Benefits Dis-advantages Use
frequency
Optimize
Second
car
Transport Comfort Big costs Once per
week
Sell it!
Watch
collection
Jewelry Social
status
Costs/
Plunging
value
Seldom Sell the ones
that you
don’t use,
maybe invest in
a smart- watch.
Old
Blender
Juice None Takes space
on the counter
Almost
never
Throw it
away!
Old
cloths
Variety Marginal Takes space
and builds up
Never Give it
away!

All stuff is losing value. All of the things you don’t use should be sold, now. Keeping them around will only take space, and will never regain value. If you don’t sell them now, then you’ll have to throw them away in a couple of years, while in the meantime bringing no benefits.

I engage in this activity every couple of months, because stuff builds up even if I don’t want it to. I go through all of my stuff, identify the ones that I don’t use, and then have 3 choices: sell it, give it away or throw it away. I call this method SiGiTi and it’s very efficient in getting rid of bulk.

I keep no stuff that I don’t use. When a new need arises I go and buy the most practical thing that covers the need. I never end up wasting space or time on things. I optimize all of my possessions. I always ensure I get the best value and quality.

If I buy a new smartphone, I sell the old one.

My perception of objects is not possession, but renting. So if I use a phone for 2 years and then sell it to buy the newest version, I can calculate how much it cost me to own the old one for the two years. I calculate the exact amount it cost to use the phone, and consider it rent. Most times this approach is the best optimization, as you end up spending the least amount of money and getting the most quality.

You see, stuff is stuff. It holds no real value. I never get attached to things and I always consider the practicality of each.

Optimizing my space, creating a minimalist living environment helps me direct most of my energy and focus on the more important things, like introspection and expanding my consciousness.

Make no mistake, environment has a big impact on us. We create the space and in return it creates us. We are in continuous interaction with our environment, so we have a responsibility in designing it (because it’s designing us back).

This is the renting table I use to make it clear on what’s the true value of stuff.

Object Buying price in USD Selling price in USD Time possessed Rent price per month Was it worth it?
Smartphone 1000 500 25 months 20 Yes
Laptop 1500 500 40 months 25 Yes

So, you see, it becomes very easy to calculate the exact sum it costs you to rent your stuff.

Another very important aspect we see in the table above is how much money we waste away, by keeping old stuff lying around in the storage room.

Only by not selling the old smartphone and laptop, you are losing $1000. This will increase a lot as you add more and more items to the list.

The thing is that we almost never end up using the old stuff (although we initially think: “Let me just keep this for a while, as I may needed it at some point). That rarely happens – and now you can clearly see how much it cost you.

If you’re making $1000 in 2 weeks, then wouldn’t you prefer spending that time doing something you enjoy, instead of working to keep stuff laying around and dying in the storage room?

You see how this all gets back to wasting time? I would sell the old items, and then spend 2 week learning, reading, being in nature than working like a madman for nothing, basically.

We each have a responsibility to understand the real worth of stuff and break the structure of blindly buying unnecessary things. Buying randomly, unnecessary things creates redundancy and waste of all resources.

Minimalism is a choice. It’s the choice of understanding the true worth of your stuff, and the choice of actively bringing quality to your life.

Minimalism is achieved by optimization. Optimization is applicable on virtually all areas of life.

One can optimize stuff and also structures/beliefs/mindsets.

Minimalism applies to our inner structures as well. When we make a choice of deleting negative memory (stop reliving negative events from the past that clearly influence us now) we are optimizing our mind.

Optimization at this level is done by:

  1. Self-Observing
  2. Identifying bulk structure
  3. Identifying the implications of such structures
  4. Uninstalling the obsolete structure
  5. Learning from this process
  6. Actively and perpetually running scheduled maintenance

Like a house, our mind is a space we live in. We need to optimize and clean it up in order to make it serve us, and become our most powerful tool.

Remember that everything we experience is first created in the mind. It’s absolutely critical to recenter, refocus, rebalance and bring awareness within. Optimization must start from within and expand outwards.

Creating a minimalist space in the mind is very powerful. This implies having a strong foundation of self-designed structures. While creating this environment, the most toxic, arbitrary and dogmatic outside structures are uninstalled, in the process.

The implications of possessing such a mind are immense. You become the editor of your reality and have the manuscript in hand. It’s written by you, in clear language. It will free you to expand indefinitely, by following only your rules while expressing integrity and oneness with the collective being. This is how a human evolves, this is how awareness is regained and this is how consciousness is empowered.

Become a minimalist self-design, self-sufficient free form of live that is forever context aware, patient and exponential!