QTS-012 | Minimalism & desire

In her post titled Don't make simplicity complicated, Clare Devlin writes:

Anything taken to the extreme can be complicated. And simplicity is no exception.

Minimalism is, I think, about not being tormented by the insatiability of desire.

However, the desire to become more minimal can become as distracting and life-complicating as the desire that a minimal life works to be an antidote to.

Disclaimer: I’m not a minimalist, but I think minimalism is interesting, and reading about it often gives me things to think about, which I find interesting and valuable.

I’m going to attempt to put what I believe is the difference between helpful minimalism and problematic minimalism in Lacanian terms:

Helpful Minimalism — Is when people see the right mix of full/presence v. empty/absence as something that is always outside of what they have, as something that is an object cause of desire (i.e., an object a). Arriving at a perfect minimal lifestyle is not the aim; it is the cause of an ongoing project of rendering one’s life full-and-empty-enough.

Problematic Minimalism — Is when minimalism becomes a thing that a person needs to do or accomplish when being minimal becomes a frustrating and distracting demand from a master that can’t ever be entirely pleased.

Subscribe to [S][J][P]

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.