Customer Review

85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Voluntary Simplicity:Toward A Way of Life..., September 14, 2002
This review is from: Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich (Revised edition) (Paperback)
Elgin has been hailed, by some, as a guru of the simplicity movement, yet I was disappointed with the content of this book. He attempted to give a philosophical framework for the movement and did a good job exploring the possibilities of this type of lifestyle.
Yet, I found his philosophical examination of "religions" and the human condition to be lacking. He did a poor job of relaying the true messages of different spiritual pathways, and instead twisted them to match the simplicity movement. Furthermore, his attempts at showing what the simplicity movement will result in are at times accurate, yet often they are mere speculation. Elgin assumes that simplicity provides that satisfaction that the soul longs for, which simply isn't true. Simplicity can relieve stress, help our ecology, and help us live a more conscious and fruitful life. But ultimately, the soul longs for more than simplicity, decluttering, developing community and having more time.
I think this book would have hit the mark if the author would have spent less time trying to oversimply the spiritual pathways of the world, and instead given us more practical examples of the voluntary simplicity movement. More "how-to's" and less philosophy.
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