Interesting and thoughtful comments.
Clearly we agree that the symbolic meaning of the act of "simplicity" is equally if not more valuable than the practical. I thought Thomas' observation that that there is simply more personal steam to be had in, for example, planting a potato for a cause than merely planting a potato--very useful. As well, the magnitude of the cause is related to the magnitude of the psychic energy it engenders. So then, the progression--boating begets sailing, sailing begets sailing without engines and other aids, "real sailing" begets sailing with a purpose of rediscovering traditional lost skills, and this ultimately begets a realization of sailing to discover a lost ideal, a symbol, of a vehicle appropriate for seeking hope and freedom. Of course there's a lot of power to be found in this task.
So, trying to define "simplicity" in terms as well defined as one might with the sailboat, we may need to invent or discover terminology. Two observations: It is clearly fitting and noble to be a first order producer of one's self. This necessitates self-reliance. As well, self-reliance requires simplicity for success, and simplicity in many ways is simply a product of capability and efficiency in living--not so much an end in itself, but simplicity will certainly be indicative of capability, efficiency, and I might also say maturity and nobility--or as engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists might say, elegance.
I find this at the moment a very fruitful consideration. The main observation is that one cannot strive for simplicity--but one can strive for personal effectuality and elegance--and simplicity will be the inevitable result.
Concisely: You can't go live a "simple life." Rather, your life becomes "simple" because of the way you live.
Other thoughts? Agree?
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