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Paperback Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich Book

ISBN: 0061779261

ISBN13: 9780061779268

Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich

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Book Overview

When Voluntary Simplicity was first published in 1981, it quickly became recognized as a powerful and visionary work in the emerging dialogue over sustainable ways of living. Now, more than ten years... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Vital reading for simple, sustainable and fulfilling living

Have you ever questioned whether we're living at a time when our consumerism has exceeded the earth's capacity to sustain us? Or have you wondered whether our industrial production has contributed to a warming earth that might activate tipping points we can't fully imagine and bring about climate change, including potential flooding, freezing, famine, and species extinction ... maybe our own?! If so, give a sigh of relief. Yes, there's something each individual, no matter how "small", can do to awaken fully to what is happening and what we can do to make a change now, right where we are, to a simpler, saner, sustainable life style, culture, and planet. With elegant competence, Duane Elgin shows us the way with this completely rewritten second edition of his classic, Voluntary Simplicity. I felt inspired from Edgar Mitchell's uplifting introduction through the 1981 forward written by Ram Das, which explores in detail the needed integration of "West" and "East" (outer and inner), through the introduction, "How the Times Have Changed", where Elgin clarifies six dramatic changes of perspective and values, which create enormous hope for our future. In Chapter One, "Cool Lifestyle for a Hot Planet" through seven chapters concluding with "Living in a Green World", we are guided and awakened to our potential to live conscious, fulfilling lives now that will also secure our future for generations to come. Voluntary Simplicity is short (200 pages), insightful, loaded with resources and highly readable. I particularly liked the "Pioneers of Green Living", where Elgin reports on the articulate responses gleaned from a 1970's survey of people of all ages and backgrounds who chose a simple lifestyle. Their insights are just as alive today as they were thirty years ago and now even more relevant. Another favorite for me was "The World at the Tipping Point" where Elgin reviews the key "Global Adversity Trends", as well as two possible scenarios that might play out if there is a breakdown. He also defines the strategies people may use to psychologically protect themselves from the impact of these trends combining to deliver a possible Perfect Storm. There's lots of hope though. Elgin shows our potential as he reviews humanity's evolutionary journey to awakening. This is a very positive and enlightening section of the book. He shares with us inspiring archetypes for understanding our journey and leaves us with a feeling that we can make the needed changes and together create a sustainable, simple, fulfilling future if we can just align our vision together as we transform our global communications network. I remember when Buckmeister Fuller introduced me to the metaphor of "Space Ship Earth". With this simple image, I began to see myself on a journey through space with a planet of other crew members and the resources we needed for our flight. With earth seen as a spaceship, efficient use of resources made obvious sense. Fighting across the isles didn't. I bega

a welcome new edition

A welcome new edition of Duane Elgin's classic, first published in 1981. This book opened the public debate about simpler living and the joys of enough. We are proud that Duane Elgin is on our Advisory Board at Ethical Markets.

Most important book I've read in years

Please read this book. Elgin's discussion of simplicity touches on every facet of life from personal growth, the environment, politics, work, money, to the survival of the human race. If you have a mind of your own you will not agree 100% with everything in the book, but almost. Reading this book will make your life better. You will find yourself changing small things about the way you live with hardly any effort and you will feel good about it. Just read it. Check it out from the library if you don't want to buy it.

Soulful and Important

This revised edition reads as fresh as a morning flower, and its subject matter is even more timely and relevant today. Author Duane Elgin provides a wonderful exploration of the practical and philosophical meaning of simplicity, as well as a very comprehensive overview of our ecological predicament. He does not suggest we live like Thoreau or throw out notions of progress. In place of thoughtless grow or "no growth" Elgin prefers a path of "new growth," where inner and outer, spiritual and material, technological and ecological demands are harmonized and balanced. From beginning to end, I could not put this book down. After reading it, I feel like a changed person. To quote Elgin, "In an era dominated by hideously complex problems of global dimension, the ability to see the world more clearly is essential to the survival and well-being of the human family." And indeed, helping us see better is exactly what Elgin accomplishes. If this book moves you, you might also want to check out RADICAL SIMPLICITY, by Jim Merkel. A VERY IMPORTANT BOOK

Classic on voluntary simplicity

In this groundbreaking book, social scientist Duane Elgin interweaves his personal philosophy of choosing to live simply with the thoughts and experiences of many people who followed the same path. He makes a compelling case -- survival of the planet -- for adopting the principles he espouses. Whether voluntary simplicity is the foundation of your life or a concept you're just beginning to explore, you'll find much to ponder in this classic work.
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