Sometimes, I forget why I’m doing this. This being living on a sailboat and attempting to live simply.
There have been countless and untold numbers of people that have done this before me: Thoreau, Moitessier, Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, St. Francis, etc.
When I forget, luckily there is always something that reminds me.
I had read The Long Way by Moitessier some months ago. I have little sticky papers on numerous pages to highlight something insightful that I wanted to be able to recall. Yesterday I was thumbing through the marked pages and in chapter 13 (in my version pages 116 to 117) he writes:
How long will it last, this peace I have found at sea? It is all of life that I contemplate—sun, clouds, time that passes and abides. Occasionally it is also that other world, foreign now, that I left centuries ago. The modern, artificial world where man has turned into a money-making machine to satisfy false needs, false joys.
At times, I center my thoughts on our destination. Where are we going and when? Then reading this passage, or something like it, redirects and refocuses my thoughts. Awareness of my misdirection comes stampeding into my mind. This is not first and foremost a means, but it is also an end unto itself. Living less a life ordinary and creating one more extraordinary. Not extraordinary in the material sense, because that would be more ordinary. But, extraordinary in the living sense.
I believe it’s easy to truly let go of this material world. Easy in that it’s not a complicated or secret process. It is an addiction and with any addiction, the addict feels they cannot survive without the drug. You only have to choose to let go. Once the choice is honestly made, the path becomes clear, though it is not in any sense easy.
I find the money-making machine nauseating. It is an excruciating task master. It forever demands more and more and when you have no more to give, it takes the last of you and expels you out, exhausted and wasted and depressed and wondering what it was all for.
And the only answer you can offer is . . . money.
Then you search out a new machine in which you can begin making money anew.
Money, material wealth and possessions, is not my purpose. I choose for it not to be.