When we transcend ourselves and become in our ascent towards God so simple that the bare supreme Love can lay hold of us, then we cease, and we and all our selfhood die in God. And in this death we become the hidden children of God, and find a new life within us.
Jan van Ruysbroeck
The Sparkling Stone
To transcend one's self. To rise above the bad habits that have been ingrained in us since we started earning money and our choices were much more independently made. I can look back and see when we lived a more frugal life. I remember when we used card tables pushed together for a dining room table. I remember making most of my own clothes. I remember when eating out was a special occasion, not a last-minute decision. I remember life with one TV and - gasp - even one phone!
The difference in then and now is that those times represented involuntary simplicity as opposed to voluntary simplicity. We didn't have much back then because we just didn't have much - not because we chose to be frugal. We had to.
Now we are trying to change our mindset to voluntarily live a life of simplicity. It's easy to pass up a purchase when you can't afford it. It's much more difficult to pass up the same purchase when your wallet has enough money, but your mind realizes you don't really need the item.
The journey to simplicity is one we take as a chosen decision and goal, not because circumstances force us to. And part of that journey is "death to the old self" in order to find a new life within us.