He who knows he has enough is rich
Tao Te Ching (260 BC)
After enjoying reading this months virtual book group book - Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, I was left feeling that I wanted to give my thought processes a bit of a prod.
I did have, BC, (before children) proper thought processes - but they flew out with the placenta, and now the feeble remaining grey cells struggle on - flailing around inadequately.
So, after finishing EPL , and not having the time to follow Gilbert’s globetrotting footsteps, I skipped off to Mr B’s to find further enlightenment - Bath is closer than Bali!
I must confess here and now - I don’t ‘do’ self help books, so I was looking for something to challenge me...and of course, they had just the thing - John Naish’s book “Enough”.
I was looking for a prod - I got a kick up the backside!
His first page starts -
“If alien spacecraft were orbiting the blackened husk of Earth in centuries’ time, it’s pilots might be appalled to learn how the human inhabitants had been wired to get such kicks from producing and consuming more and more of everything, that they had ultimately burnt the whole planet out. ‘Daft buggars,’ our aliens would say, shaking their silvery heads. If those visitors had also learnt how we had only got grumpier, sicker and more exhausted as our pursuit of more reached it’s climax, they would scratch their scalps and ask: “What were they thinking?” One of the wiser ones might wonder, “How on Earth did they fail to evolve?.”
Ok - I can hear you - this doesn’t sound like a cheery read - well dear reader, you’d be wrong - Naish is in fact very positive, making practical suggestions about how we might rein in our constant desire for more.
Whether it be advertising, eating, technology, things, work - he doesn’t recommend abstinence - just to question how much we really need these things - and make some adjustments.
The most interesting thing about this book (and it isn’t a hand knitted, hair shirt affair) is it that it’s scientific - explaining and giving the evidence for his reasoning.
For instance did you know that all our problems are down to our wiring? Apparently it’s massively outdated, dangerous - it’s equivalent to an ancient Amstrad computer - it can’t cope with the demands of modern life!
It is somehow comforting to know that my fetish for ‘things’ is a result of dodgy wiring and chemical leaks in my brain!
Will I be giving up my worldly possessions? No, that’s not recommended - but I will probably buy fewer 'things' in future and re-use and recycle more than we do already.
Will I be turning my back on technology? No, I love the blogs I read, and being sent emails showing photos of smiling loved ones in unknown lands, and having a mobile phone is jolly useful when the car brakes down. It just requires time management.
Will I be eating less, sleeping more and quizzing myself about future decisions - you bet, because what I really WANT is
...and that comes from having enough love, enough friendship and enough personal growth.
So, thanks Elizabeth Gilbert, and thank you Jo for choosing to challenge these dusty old grey cells into realising this - this is the start of a journey of my own!
‘Enough - breaking free from the world of more’ is written by John Naish and is published by Hodder & Stroughton
Eat Pray Love is written by Elizabeth Gilbert and is published by Bloomsbury
9 years ago