Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society Paperback – 1 Jan 2001
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In keeping with its title, this is a straightforward book, beautifully illustrated, well ordered, with clear directions and useful references. What is more, it is written without cant, and, most importantly, not by a zealot but by a practitioner. Only someone who has sought to practise the simple life would know its detail, the small matters that make it so. -- David Cadman Resurgence
About the Author
John Lane (1930 - 2012) was a painter, writer and educationalist. He was Chairman of the Dartington Hall Trust, founding direct of the Beaford Arts centre and instrumental in the creation of Schumacher College. His books include The Living Tree: Art and the Sacred, Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society, Timeless Beauty in the Arts and Everyday Life and The Spirit of Silence: Making Space for Creativity. He lived in Devon for over 40 years.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
My favourite chapter is 'The sacred arts of life' which has short sections on food, homemaking (how much more satisfying a term than housekeeping!), the garden and cooking. I'd like to read a whole book just on these alone!
The book is illustrated by woodcuts of simple living e.g. the cover's hands kneading bread and these provide images to meditate on while you read. Chapters are prefaced by suitable passages or quotes, and words from the masters are interspersed throughout. A rather short bibliography is compensated for by detailed chapter notes and bibliographies which provide a 'next step' in the simplification chain.
I have read the book several times and am now in the process of passing it on to help others to simplify.
There's not a lot of practical advice offered, so you'd want to look elsewhere for that, but there are some useful summaries of the spiritual traditions of simplicity - eastern and western, Christian and Zen. They have a lot in common at times, more than you might think. Simplicity and contentment seem to be very common values across the spiritual traditions. It's nothing new either. Perhaps being `restless children' is not so much a trait among modern individuals, as a characteristic of being human.
I'm giving this three stars for being a little bit long winded and rambling, but otherwise it's a useful book.
This book is not a cookbook of things to do but instead gets one thinking and lets us decide how we go about the finer points of simplifying our own lives.
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