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Simplicity Institute -Some Simplicity Just Added

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Something from the Simplicity Institute, not me!


Over the last few months I have been working with my co-director of the Simplicity Institute, Simon Ussher, collecting together provocative and inspiring quotes and excerpts from our favourite thinkers and writers, related to the themes of simple living, frugal abundance, money and wealth, crisis, mindfulness, nature mysticism and sacred activism. In our new book, Words for Awakening: Voices of Inspired Revolt, each of these quotes have been placed over beautiful photos taken by Jordan Osmond of Happen Films (co-producer of A Simpler Way). We have posted the brief preface to the book below and the book is available here. It would make for a great gift, one that could subtly expose people to new ways of thinking and being. All proceeds go toward supporting Simplicity Institute projects. Thanks for your support.

“In quoting others, we cite ourselves.” – Julio Cortázar

In any moment, there exists a discrepancy between what we believe and what we can articulate; a discrepancy composed of intuitions and incoherent fragments of thought, swirling in some semiconscious recess of the mind. It is into this space that an apt quote may step, or as the case may be, stomp.

The quote may find in us an immediate recognition; a sense that we have somehow felt and believed this thing for ourselves already; a salience of concept or sentiment so compelling it feels as if we wrote it ourselves. Indeed, we may find the quote so immediately agreeable that we subsequently repeat it, naturally forgetting that it had not always been ours alone.

The quote may come as a spark to the tinder of fertile minds, lighting a flame that spreads from one to another, just as a crowd may light their candles by sharing but one. The seemingly sudden eruption, born in truth, of simply bringing clarity of thought to a long simmering sentiment, reveals just how much power there can be in words.

The quote may provide an emblem, linking minds in communion around common beliefs, and drawing into community others who recognise their value. These powerful words provide a pithy embodiment of more complex ideas and thus become symbolic of concepts much greater than those contained immediately therein.

In these ways and more, we hope this book may serve you and those around you. Ponder these quotes, discuss them, share them and above all, let them move you to live the life you have imagined.

The book is available here.


The short preface can be read here: [which is the same as above]


This book would make for a great gift, one that could subtly expose people to new ways of thinking and being and perhaps send ripples through culture further than one might first think. All proceeds go toward supporting Simplicity Institute projects, so this is a great way to assist our work too. Please share with friends and family. Thanks for your support.

Dear friends and colleagues, 

Jordan Osmond of Happen Films has recently released two short films, produced in association with the Simplicity Institute. Links provided below, the first is called 'The Future of Food':


The second is on the topic of composting loos:


They are both wonderful, progressive films - thanks Jordan for your amazing work. 

Simplicity Institute Fellow, Johnny Rutherford, also published a recent piece on the Resilience website, concerning the challenge of how to 'degrow' the economy without inducing chaos: 

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-05-15/how-do-you-degrow-an-economy-without-causing-chaos/ ;

warm regards

 Samuel Alexander and Simon Ussher

Co-directors of the Simplicity Institute 


Discussion 10 Comments

  • reader 21st Jun 2017

    Stateside, tiny houses had gained and then waned in popularity over the last decade or so. But one of the customizable features was the composting loo. What a great idea. The only thing is the cost is so prohibitive, and zoning codes usually frown on the tiny house domicile which is too similar to the sort of caravan or "trailer" park domicile to be acceptable. given that the meaning of one's life is tied into the exchange value of one's home.

    I wish they had secure public toilets and showers and nap stations, one on every street corner, for a penny or a few lines of poetry. Even if people don't have anywhere to go, they can at least take care of some basic needs.
    The big fast food conglominates would, per David Harvey, have the revenue to throw around and the capacity to orchestrate production on that kind of huge scale. If they could convert their value menu to a value menu with quinoa, chia, couscous, avocados, brown rice, broccoli, blueberries, all as locally sourced as possible, and just be open to the public for free. or some symbolic payment like a penny or a few lines of poetry.
    That was the gist of a short story I didn't finished, "The People's Cafeterias"

    • Bat Chainpuller 22nd Jun 2017

      As long as they still sold hot chips! I like the idea of some poetry for a piss!

      Shit Perry, your comment here goes against the grain of a seemingly preferred silence. Don't worry anout the typos, makes me feel better...I'm the king of typos!

    • Bat Chainpuller 22nd Jun 2017

      Or is that a piss for poetry?

    • reader 22nd Jun 2017

      Don't know that it would pass muster with the People's Sanitation Regs.

    • reader 22nd Jun 2017

      Sorry I shouldn't hydrate on your parade. Why not. After all this is an unfinished short story. Maybe it is a science fiction dystopia where people lost the ability to express themselves through poetry, so verse is extremely scarce. Like the Arrakeen spices from Dune. And water has to be reclaimed and made potable and is traded for the poetry.

    • Bat Chainpuller 23rd Jun 2017

      I like it.

  • reader 21st Jun 2017

    ah fuck. so many typos

  • reader 22nd Jun 2017

    Thanks Bat! Though your posts have very few if any typos I always thought. Maybe people are taking a moment or several of silence which is understandable too...Or maybe there is another discussion forum organized by Z which is like IOPS... but even more better!

    • Bat Chainpuller 23rd Jun 2017

      Even more better! I like that even betterer?

  • reader 23rd Jun 2017

    Thanks Bat, sounds good to me. Have a good weekend all