early 13c., "humble, ignorant," from O.Fr. simple, from L. simplus "single," variant of simplex (see simplex). Sense evolved to "lowly, common" (late 13c.), then "mere, pure" (c.1300). As opposite of composite it dates from early 15c.; as opposite of complicated it dates from 1550s. Disparaging sense (mid-14c.) is from notion of "devoid of duplicity."
"characterized by a single part," 1590s, from L. simplex "single, simple," from PIE root *sem- "one, together" (cf. L. semper "always," lit. "once for all;" Skt. sam"together;" see same) + *plac- "-fold." The noun is attested from 1892.
“live simply so that others may simply live” was one of the catch phrases of the 1960s. for the beatniks and hippies it meant living as if on stage within the stage, acting out donning the attires of the poor and different cultures. acting is what one does to show to others; hence the wall sized mirrors in the practice hall for ballerinas and the set of mirrors placed in the theatre makeup room. also see who uses mirrors in the homes of people, usually the middle class and above. mirror’s use in all these places has been to make the onlooker appear as seen by another or other persons who held sways upon the well being of the person using the mirror.
“mirror, mirror, tell me in this land who is the fairest of all?” asked not just the queen of the story of the seven dwarfs; along with the growing of the gender equality, men of all ages also have acquired the use of mirror to look appealing to women. this is so, because in the era of the gender inequality, women were seen to be the weaker gender that depended upon man's strength. the stronger the man, stronger his sense of comparative worth compared to the more tender and graceful looking woman at his side. this inspired woman to somehow retain the eroding youthful image with the application of lotions and potions. men saw how the mirror creates a visual image, and conversely, the gender equality. what enabled women to not to have to depend upon man's earning bread for them robbed men of their role of the provider. when both women and men earn their living working side by side in office cubicles and factories, man’s bread earning biceps stopped being attractive, and began to be feeble, and in reaction, men began to seek means to improve their image.
look at yaasar arafat’s scruffy stubble face. in the modern day wars there is no chance for the one on one fight with the daggers as portrayed by the early hollywood movies. he had ample leisure time to clean shave or to have the cultivated beard like the saudi arab king. this was the carefully created mirror image of a revolutionary freedom fighter, which, in reality was not even good at fighting war of words with the isreli and american counterparts. but his scruffy face image inspired a trend in man's looks with a three day unshaven face made possible with the new kind of electric shaver that lets men have the stubs at desired length. like the men at the battle front, the intellectuals with pen in hand in place of dagger, or instead of pushing button of some remote weapon, pressing keys on computer keyboard create the imagery world and wars of words. this look supposedly creates an appealing image in their otherwise co-worker women.
narcissus happened to see his image reflected in water and like what he saw, but one u.s. commander in chief president’s image did not sit well in his subjects and fighting men: the new reflective surface of the tv screen and the print media showed the commander in chief fishing, when his men were killing and getting killed.
in the buddhist and brahmanical initiations novices are told not to possess mirror in order not to cultivate a self image. like mirror image, the self image not being a self existing entity cannot see or respond. living without the mirror means living without mirror image, and simply being what one is, as one is; plain and simple, unadorned and uncultured. renouncing the ways of the world does not mean giving up living, just not living unawares of what one is. it happens when not acting out as expected. take lying for instance; it is a poor try to deny what one did that was not acceptable to others.
actors have to step into an acquired image and rehearse to act like the persons they portray. living on stage is very exhausting, and vey futile. what actors give to and take from each other on stage being make believe serves no purpose, satisfies no need. this living on stage is a profession, and all professionals have their private life when they are not acting. off the pulpit, the servant of god is twice as miserable as are people he gives communion with god. the professional celibates satiate their sex drive as pedophiles. at one time in the city of rome there were said to be three thousand prostitutes supported by seven thousand monks. and to enable the monks to have sex without undressing “the monk's position” was developed. there was also a pocket watch called “the monk's watch”, which had on its back a secret lever that opened the back and showed a picture of nude woman. ( the picture of this watch is printed in an exhaustive book titled 'history of time', not the time that flaws, but the time clock, with pictures of the chinese water powered time clock as well.) mother teresa, who was serving god financed by the ungodly rich, seemed to be doing her job well enough to attract the likes of the princess diana and hillary clinton. but off the stage the humble servant of god expressed in her notes the doubts about the existence of her god.
when people see a play on stage or screen, they know it is acting. what is difficult for most people is to distinguish the dividing line between the stage and off the stage. when the dividing line disappears, the whole world becomes the stage, and everybody interacts with each other as scripted. thus beginning with the planned parenthood and ending with the last rites, the human person is living out an actorly life. the state judiciary and the church extol people to tell nothing but the truth. but the justices and the preachers themselves are only actors who read out the ruling according to the script.
to test to see if the person one interacts with is a reflection of one’s idea of that person or that person is real, first one must be out of the role playing. the role playing in the real world is doing the paid for job. one of gandhi's observations of the human interactions formed a question: “how many men rape their own wives; how many women prostitute themselves to their own husbands?”
while acting, even one minor actor's one miss-step disrupts the entire performance of everyone else. so to say that i am just an insignificant individual; i cannot change things still sounds like reading a line from the script for the role of a world savior. depression is the symptom of such thinking, for being accepted as a world savior or denied it are both the roles being played out on the world stage, some donning the attire of the holy see and others as the commander in chief.
not doing anything that is not as responsive and responding in nature as inhaling and exhaling is, must be suspect for its motive. there is difference between being told and knowing in firsthand. thus even expecting a smile from another person is nothing more than an eye shade applied to the actorly image of oneself as a kind, loving person deserving such a smile.
no selfless act is ever possible without first cognizing the state of existence that has no need for self as a permanent fixture. the self is the image in the mirror, and all worldly acts are made for and by this mirror image of the self. any act that is contrived to improve one's self image made up of ideas and ideals one thinks would be appealing in another person's eyes only begets an actorly response, which is as false as one's own acting.
living is signified by motion. motions of life are the myriad activities one is busy with. none of these acts, no matter how rewarding can be performed forever. no “mr. president” can preside over nation's chores even for all twelve hours within a day. the man wearing this image still has to eat and shit like others who, too, are wearing the image of “we the people.” it is practically impossible to name the doer with all these act oriented images, as mr. eater, mr. shiter, etc. besides, none of the biologically ecocentric motions can be eliminated even if they are not recognized to be necessary. a person can be impeached of his presidency, but not denied one's biological functions save killing him. so a selfless person is one who interacts with other things, beings, and motions without any concept of the doer. and it happens naturally, without anybody's enticing or threatening to make one do so.
ask yourself next time you are standing in front of the mirror: what do you not see in it that you are looking to see? what is it that you see in it that you do not want others to see? being plain and simple means being as nature made one, and we do appreciate the natural looks of all things and beings natural. creatures of nature have no mirrors to make them worry about how they appear in others' eyes.
does the turtle shop for a new shell
or bear for fur-spray to groom well?
do birds invite bids to build them the nest
or fish for an aquarium to swim and rest?
does the fox hunt fowls only to hold
in deep freeze for other foxes until sold;
ot the tiger going for the deer-round-up
to sell to other tigers the deer-meat ground-up?
do birds in a flock race
as commuters do to avoid the face
of the fellow worker, for the fear
that it extends the time of the image they wear?
do creatures seek god and pray
for a juicy prey or to make their rivals sway
or for a good hunting ground they never found,
offering a fish or fowl to the almighty hound?
the answer to all that, we do know, is: no.
what we don't, is where else may we go
to live as it comes, here and now,
without the plethora of guides telling us how.