Minimalism: Excerpt from “Everything That Remains.”


I’m currently reading the excellent Everything That Remains by The Minimalists. In it, Joshua Fields Millburn describes his journey to the minimalist lifestyle with occasional acerbic interruptions by Ryan Nicodemus, JFM’s partner in pared-back living. Below is an excerpt from the memoir in which JFM describes his relationship to consumerism and his growing awareness that minimalism is more than just spring cleaning, it’s life cleansing.

"Understand, every moth is drawn to light, even when that light is a flame, hot and burning, flickering, the fire tantalising the drab creature with it's blueish-white illumination. But when the moth flies too close to the flame, we all know what happens: it gets burned, incinerated by the very thing that drew it near. For decades now, I have played the role of the moth, lured by the flame of consumerism, pop culture's beautiful conflagration, a firestorm of lust and greed and wanting, a haunting desire to consume that which cannot be consumed, to be fulfilled by that which can never be fulfilling. A vacant proposition, leaving me empty inside, which further fuels my desire to consume. Accepting the flame for what it is, then, is important: it is necessary and beautiful and, most of all, dangerous. Realising this, becoming aware of the danger, is difficult to do. But this is how we wake up."

Hard to disagree with right? We are all drawn to various consumerist flames, some of which are more fulfilling than others. For JFM the key question is this: “Does this thing add value to my life?.” He asks that question of everything in his life, not just the contents of his garage.

Needless to say I’m chasing JFM for an interview. I’ll hopefully get him in the Spring when The Minimalists movie comes out. Dave.

Check out The Minimalists site here. Their twitter accounts are here and here. You can buy the book here.

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