I live in Bondi Beach. It’s an affluent beachside suburb of Sydney, Australia for those that don’t know it. When I say affluent, I mean pretty much everyone here has nice accommodation, good jobs, nice cars, overseas holidays, smartphones, we get to eat out in cafes and restaurants every week and we have a very comfortable lifestyle. To be honest, it’s not dissimilar from most suburbs across Australia right now.
I’ve been watching the refugee situation in Europe unfold and notice how many of those people literally walked out of their homes, cities and country with nothing but some water and clothes on their back.
It makes you want to say one ‘F’ word, but the one that I’m talking about is another ‘F’ word.
Frugality is a word we rarely hear in today’s western world. If you’re not entirely sure of what this word means, just to clarify it’s not an Italian pasta. It means to be economical, thrifty and not wasteful.
Personally I feel the hugely affluent lifestyles we have created in the last 30 years is a result of a massive debt bubble that at some point in time will come undone. (Just look at the chart on the US stock market…Uh Oh!) What will this de-leveraging of lifestyle look like when it does?
Well if we look at societies or times throughout history where they HAVEN’T been able to borrow huge sums of money, you will notice that they lived quite ‘frugally’. They were very conscious of how they used their existing resources so they could maximise what they had. Simple things like capturing rainwater and storing it, eating parts of plants or animals that we consider waste, using clothing as a means to warmth and protection rather than fashion statements and spending money they had earnt, rather than borrowed.
Ok, I’m a long way from being there, but the concept of frugality does fascinate me. It makes me wonder what would the planet look like if we consciously embraced a more frugal existence. What if we re-allocated our huge resources that go into the 80% of the food in the supermarket that has no nutritional value, (you think I’m joking…walk down the aisles of chips, ice-creams, cookies, lollies and soft drinks) to food that was improving our health? What if we re-allocated the huge sums of money that go into clothes that we wear 5 or 6 times before they are out of fashion, to something like sustainable energy sources? What if we re-allocated the billions of dollar spent on alcohol every day into global health initiatives?
By now you’re probably thinking being frugal sounds very boring. Well when I was studying in India I met a beautiful man called Swami Narayana. He lived in a tiny cave carved out of the side of a mountain by the edge of The Ganges. In his cave he had a few Vedic texts, a brass bowl for eating, a brass jug for water, a mat that he slept on and a little wooden box for things like a toothbrush. This was frugality to the max! Yet he was the happiest person I have ever met. He wasn’t bored because he experienced so much inner bliss. Is this the solution to the world’s environmental and economic issues?
If we became more conscious and happier inside would we still be allocating large sums of our money on food that deteriorates our health, clothes we rarely wear, and alcohol that depletes our brain functioning?
Does the solution to the planet’s environmental issues lie in a consciousness revolution?
Frugality might be something we can make a choice over today, or possibly it might be something we are forced into in the future. Either way, I might start the process now and prepare for it if it comes.
Are you in with me?
What would you do to live a more frugal existence?
In my book Spirit and Soul I reveal the 7 states of consciousness according to the Vedic World View. Understanding these advanced states of consciousness is the key to the your journey to enlightenment and dissolving the neediness we have become accustomed to. To get my book straight to your email click here.