Is an understanding of how less is more, the secret to a happier, more easeful way of being? Dan Peppiatt asks the question to inspire a powerful self-enquiry
There is a strong argument to be made that most of the crises that the modern world faces today can be traced back to a pervading drive that yearns for ‘more’. From our worsening environmental situation to plummeting mental health, it is this constant craving for both material and internal that is unfulfillable and ultimately damaging. What if we believed that ‘less is more’?
Out of Touch
As human animals, I’d argue that we feel totally out of touch with the modern world. For almost all of our history, we would have felt a strong connection to our natural environment. We would have known how to survive and how to deal with threats. Our world has changed so much, that we haven’t evolved with the change.
I can’t throw a spear at an email and run from the stress it is causing. Nor can I always trust that my sanctuary, my home will be there for me. If I can’t afford to pay for it, then the roof over my head is threatened. I can’t rely on my ‘tribe’ to build me another home by gathering the wood or sticks I need. We feel isolated and threatened by an invisible foe. In every way, up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
Looking for More
So, logically, in an unpredictable environment that we lack the skills and community power to cope with, we look for security outside. We look for savings, education, pay rises, better cars, bigger houses, every kind of insurance… we look for ‘more’
What if you could achieve an even better version of your life with less stress, less energy, less anxiety, less fear, less effort, by letting go instead of clinging and grasping?
I’ve spent 25 years trying spiritual practices, meditations, the funny breathing, odd pretzel like exercises. The conclusion I have come to is that they probably all have some element of exactly the same root truth. If they all seem to originate from a single, fundamental truth, then the conclusion can only be that the various interpretations have all come from the same origin, something shared by all of us, that we all have access to.
Logically then, if we already have access to some ‘inner’ truth or wisdom, most of us have simply overlooked or forgotten it. I’m not interested in offering more solutions – I would rather inspire a sense of ‘what if…?’ This is a powerful enquiry that you could then explore in depth from your own direct experience.
I am interested in exploring the question of how less might allow us to find a happier way of being, of suffering less and of simply being happier.
Chasing ‘more’ requires ever more energy, yet in the chase, we still sense that there is no power over the destination. In comparison it is impossible to pursue ‘less’. After all there is nothing to do, nothing to seek. You simply let go. Even the concept of ‘letting go’ is somehow a relief.
About Dan Peppiatt:
Dan Peppiatt believes that you can’t teach yoga, you can only facilitate other peoples’ journey to find a perfectly organic way of practicing for them, something that he calls ‘Yoga Like Water’. This article is an abridged excerpt from his book Less. To read further, you can download it here.