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the restless children of a restless civilization
on 18 April 2008
That's how John Lane describes us in his book `Timeless Simplicity: Creative living in a consumer society`. I finished it on the train today while being held outside Waterloo station on full security alert. It's a short book, kind of an introduction to the idea of voluntary simplicity - the cutting out of unnecessary modern clutter to make way for the more meaningful things of life.
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.