The True Purpose of Simplicity

August 16th, 2010 § 0 comments

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

We sometimes forget why we’re here, we aren’t looking where we’re going, or even where we’ve been.

We get all caught up in an idea about what we should be doing, and forget about what we really want to do.

I think what we want to do is to be free.

Instead we’re told by society that we’re supposed to buy a new car. We’re supposed to get our hair done a specific way. We’re supposed to go to college. We’re supposed to work all day and still somehow we’re in outrageous debt, and we wonder why.

There’s a weird misunderstanding about what simplicity actually is.

I get a lot of emails from people saying that they would never want to live this life.

For example, recently someone told me that the only reason they’d ever stop driving is if there was a mass extinction of the human race. I asked her why she was reading my blog if she was so opposed to everything it stands for.

The problem is, that I haven’t really defined what this blog is about, so it’s understandable that some people would be confused.

Far Beyond The Stars is about one very specific thing:

1. How to achieve freedom.

It’s not about skipping your coffee in the morning, it’s not about getting out of debt, it’s not about growing your food in your backyard, it’s not about checking yourself into the monastery on the corner and meditating 17 hours a day.

The origins of my simplification, and how it helps you.

I never intended to follow the set career path that society laid out for us. I didn’t go to high school, instead I took ballet and modern dance classes every day. I went to college to become an artist, and then hopefully at the end I secretly hoped that I would be inducted into the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

But it didn’t happen.

Instead I watched in horror as society crushed the dreams of every single artist friend I had. One by one every single one of them settled in some way for an outcome that wasn’t what they intended.

Slowly, one by one we didn’t make the audition for the dream that we’d always had.

Instead, we went out and got jobs at restaurants, we stayed in the basement of the university library, we did a good interview at a corporate job and got fat and lazy sitting at a desk all day.

Maybe in our spare time we kept working on our art, secretly hoping that we’d get a record deal or a publisher would pull us up by our bootstraps.

Seldom does Deux Ex Machina happen in real life though — the only person who can save you is you.

I believe this is actually everyone’s story. Some of us made it farther along the road than others, like we actually got into dance school or we had one show at CBGB’s on the Bowery with a packed house before it closed.

Eventually I gave up and settled for a job, because everyone else did.

Four years later I woke up and realized that I was missing the point, that somewhere along the way we all did, and this is why we failed.

The reality that was broken.

So every morning I woke up and took the subway into work. I sat at a desk and made other people’s stories look nice (meanwhile being told every time I pitched an idea that I’d never be a writer- HA, now who’s the more successful writer?) It was fun, we thought we were doing good work. I was paid just enough to survive, but it was never enough. My student loans just sat there accumulating interest.

But slowly on the fringes of my social radar, I noticed as one by one people started to drop off the radar. They said ‘fuck you’ to the corporations and started wandering the streets of America searching for the answer — what the tiny little voice in their back of their heads said.

“There must be a better way.”

What these people did, and what I did, was to radically refine our meaning of success.

We start to realize that the success that we thought we needed was implanted in our heads by the advertisers.

  • Coca Cola wanted us to think success was sitting at the movies chugging cokes watching Tom Cruise dodge explosions.
  • American Airlines wanted us to think of success as once a year taking an expensive flight to the caribbean.
  • Nikon and Canon want you to believe that you’ll be a famous photographer if you just buy one more camera lens.
  • The Bush administration wanted us to think success was not getting blown to bits by terrorists (which statistically is much lower than the fact that you have a 1 in 100 chance of being crushed by a car or flying through your Subaru’s windshield) while getting our permission to bomb the crap out of a foreign country in order to keep oil prices low.
  • American Idol wanted us to think success was texting 1 to their magic number while we sat in our chairs and munched on Lean Cuisine.

You get the idea.

Meanwhile I saw one by one my friends wake up and realize it was all a big fake magic reality that we’d have if we just bought one more Budweiser in the Meatpacking District.

We were in The Matrix, and the only freedom was truly to opt out.

So I did, I destroyed all of my stuff, quit my job, and got off the grid permanently.

Far Beyond The Stars is about waking you up.

It’s about telling you that your reality is broken, and there is another option.

You didn’t make the choices you made because you wanted to, you did it because The Man Behind The Television told you (because he wants your money.)

The Internet gave us the tools to create this revolution in the way that we think. We no longer live in the illusion that buying one more video game will make us happier. We no longer believe that a fancy handbag will make us find love.

We no longer believe that success = Donald Trump.

Instead we’re slowing redefining freedom as a reality you can have right now, if you just stop consuming.

Destroy all of that crap the television told you to buy and never go to the mall again.

Because buying more isn’t the answer. Freedom is.

And that my friends, is what Far Beyond The Stars is about.


Oh! And retweet this, because I can’t change reality by myself, I need you to join us in this movement, because we can make a difference.

P.S. I’m still on a digital sabbatical. That’s why commenting is off. I can’t answer your emails until I get back from the forest on August 23rd.

But don’t worry, I’m still posting work while I’m gone. That’s the magic of automation. Don’t miss out, sign up for free updates via EMAIL or RSS.

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