Simplicity to Counter Complexity

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by Ethan Indigo Smith

The world is increasingly complicated. The increased complexity is in part due to more people being more unaware of simple principles and simple practices. Simple principles and practices are often overlooked amid the complexity of the world. Yet it is exactly simplicity that tends to be effortlessly helpful and near endlessly applicable in situations of complexity. Complexity normally has limited applicability, while simplicity normally has unlimited applicability.

Complex principles and practices are as difficult to stand on as clouds and complexity tends to result in clouded situations instead of clarity. Simple principles and practices provide a great base to develop on. Complexity is often pursued because in the design of the status quo complex practices and principles offer a quick means to ends, a way to win money.
The results of complex pursuits are complex problems. Simple pursuits do not result in complex problems. Simplicity does not blossom from complexity, only more complexity. Simplicity blossoms from simplicity as does potential for complex problem solving.

This unsustainable status quo of humanity is illustrated in the Islander who leaves home. The proverbial ‘go-getter’ islander leaves home in pursuit of gaining enough money to obtain an island home, only then the island has changed due to aggregate complexity. Simplicity is remaining on the island or going to an island to find work and a home there.

Frequently simplicity is overlooked because the most profitable pursuits are complicated. Simplicity is not necessarily the most rewarding means to ends. Simplicity is often a quality, whereas complexity yields mostly quantities. This distinction makes complexity an easier and preferable pursuit to win money sure, but also as a whole modality unto itself, to keep our minds busy with quantifying things and not qualifying ourselves and surroundings.

Sometimes complexity is preferred because complexity profits, and sometimes complexity is preferred because it is a distraction, a way to keep our attention on obtaining stuff rather than paying attention to our own stuff, rather than performing the difficult duty of performing the great work; the inner work. Many times, many sensible systems, ideas, truth and fairness, and even the ability to obtain clean water on whole continents are all being left behind for complex profitable means with complex and dire results.

All over the world truth and fairness have been altogether removed and shifted in order to uphold the profitability of various complexities. Sometimes we learn about these transgressions of truth and fairness, sometimes we can assume, we do not learn of their occurrence, even as we are living through their consequence.

Truth and fairness are generally overlooked in relation to gaining means towards ends. People will boldly exclaim that they are conducting their business for profit, hardly any proclaim their pursuit of truth and fairness. We, collectively, presume most all other institutional functions are formed in order to profit, truth and fairness be damned. In fact, we have allowed some of the most preposterous greedy pursuits to infiltrate our institutions of humanity, healing, and social systems all around the world.

The majority prefer complexity and artificiality due to training and bureaucratic interjection so that the perspective is suitable for institutions. We end up institutionalized, in one form of survival mode or another, where questioning beyond the status quo is outside our scope. Most prefer not to think much and certainly not to think much differently than the majority. The impulse to not think much and not think much differently are institutionally pushed from Beijing to London. Alternative and critical thinking has been continuously subtly punished, and is increasingly overtly punished.

Not questioning and not reasoning goes against our true nature. Asking ‘why’ repeatedly is perhaps distinct in human nature. It is our first impulse when we first are capable of communication. Following complexity and artificiality without question requires prompting and training immersion to the point we do not notice what is all around us.

In this increasingly complex world we are trained to not consider, to not reason, and to not seek truth to the point that the knowledge and wisdom found in the teachings related to The Tao and to The Tenets of Thoth are denied, and even ridiculed. We are further repetitively steered to think not as individuals, but as institutions, and perform all sorts of work which builds institutions, and not our own individuation, not other individuals.

There are many aspects to the steering of humanity to be inhumane and uncaring, but a large portion of it all can be categorized as obfuscation of simplicity. If we stand on simple principles we are not so easily steered off base. When we know a few simple practices we are not so easily tricked with proverbial carrots on strings. If we are immersed in complexity without principled rootedness and practices for development we easily topple to the winds of institutional and artificial influences.

The most blatant outcome of a complex world without a majority of reasoned individuals is obviously the planetary pollution saturation. The artificiality destroying the planet and transforming ecosystems into lifeless zones is due to humanity celebrating complexity. Humanity has collectively decided that the complexity of being wasteful at the cost of our environment is preferable to simplicity of secured and sustained existence. Humanity have altered the planet to the point that we are responsible for extinctions of species because of our illogical, unreasonable greed.

We collectively destroy and allow for the destruction of simplicity while enabling complexity. We collectively have obfuscated truth and authenticity for artificiality with dire results. Simple principles and practices result in the tendency to be less manipulatable. Complexity and the dire results of artificiality are less considered. Simplicity provides the ability to shake off artificiality in part because it provokes curiosity rather than culling it.