Mental minimalism


It is nice to work in other people’s spaces relative to mine, because I am not supposed to interact with their stuff. Having fewer affordances reduces mental noise, in the same way that minimalism does. You can have something like the mental effects of minimalism even in a pigsty, just by firmly refusing to believe that pigs can be interacted with. Objects become scenery.

This suggests that instead of picking up my things, I could just make a solemn promise that I will not pick up my things. I am yet to run the experiments.

If this hypothesis is true, it might have implications beyond optimal tidying schedules. For many things in the world, I wish I felt more affordances. I wish they didn’t feel like wallpaper. Also, the world seems extremely noisy and cluttered. Maybe these things are related. Maybe if you can only cope with so much noise and clutter, then you have to demote affordances, to make the world livable. In that case, maybe there are other ways to increase clutter-tolerance, that would allow more affordances.

2 responses to “Mental minimalism


  2. This is of importance to OCD: Only areas that are felt as belonging to yourself — in the sense of extended protheses, property, a feeling of my space/den, and/or personal responsibility (also of the abstract, such as a sentence) — trigger symptoms such as cleaning, orderliness and perfectionism. And this is precicely why most people with OCD have no problem whatsoever when they place themselves into surroundings they are not responsible for/that do not belong to them. Being in surroundings that are *not* property, sets them free, when one should believe that being in control by owning everything will set you free (cf. being a slave to your property). The problem cannot be solved because there always is a dynamic of slowling appropriating your surroundings, and of course, certain domains are hard not to own as property; at the very core your body and identity, which quickly extends. To prevent this, you can may try to keep moving (physically and mentally), if you can. Most with OCD can’t.


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