Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Simpler Way

From "TheWesternConfucian" blog

From Australia, a book that advocates a return to the above─Review: Renewable energy cannot sustain a consumer society. An except from the book:
…the essential factor in our global predicament is over-consumption… [so] we must move to far more materially simple lifestyles…We have to come to see as enjoyable living frugally, recycling, growing food, ‘husbanding’ resources, making rather than buying, composting, repairing, bottling fruit, giving surpluses and old things to others, making things last, and running a relatively self-sufficient household economy. The Buddhist goal is a life ‘simple in means and rich in ends’.I'm reminded of the most famous chapter of Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher, explained in this 1977 article by Charles Fager─Small Is Beautiful, and So Is Rome: Surprising Faith of E.F. Schumacher:
He readily owned up to being a Catholic, a certified convert as of five years ago. This item is not mentioned in his book; in fact, one of the most frequently cited chapters, “Buddhist Economics,” almost made it appear as if he were deeply involved in Eastern religions. But wasn’t this chapter, I inquired, really more informed by the Catholic writings and thinkers he mentioned so frequently elsewhere in the book -- the papal encyclicals, Newman, Gilson and, above all, Thomas Aquinas?Schumacher grinned. “Of course. But if I had called the chapter ‘Christian Economics,’ nobody would have paid any attention!” [emphasis mine]

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