Essentially luxurious

“Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world” 
Cesare Pavese

There are so many luxuries that we don’t consider luxurious anymore. They are just the basics that we need to make our life work.

In a passage in Walden titled Baker Farm Thoreau discusses his advice to the Baker family.

“I tried to help him with my experience, telling him that he was one of my nearest neighbors, and that I too, who came a-fishing here, and looked like a loafer, was getting my living like himself; that I lived in a tight, light, and clean house, which hardly cost more than the annual rent of such a ruin as his commonly amounts to; and how, if he chose, he might in a month or two build himself a palace of his own; that I did not use tea, nor coffee, nor butter, nor milk, nor fresh meat, and so did not have to work to get them; again, as I did not work hard, I did not have to eat hard, and it cost me but a trifle for my food; but as he began with tea, and coffee, and butter, and milk, and beef, he had to work hard to pay for them, and when he had worked hard he had to eat hard again to repair the waste of his system- and so it was as broad as it was long, indeed it was broader than it was long, for he was discontented and wasted his life into the bargain; and yet he had rated it as a gain in coming to America, that here you could get tea, and coffee, and meat every day.”

We see coffee as a necessity in our household, but it is really a luxury and there are many other luxuries consumed in such an everyday manner. If we were to correctly view consumables (that would be incredibly impossible or ridiculously expensive to produce ourselves) as luxuries and if we were to go further and treat them as such then we would use them sparingly or not at all. In doing so we may simplify our life again. Saving even more money, effort and time in the bargain.

Our thinking is along the lines that if we can make it we should, but if we can’t then it falls into the category – luxury. Where before we treated these things as consumable commodities in future we shall savour, use sparingly and generally reduce our use to the point where we regain pleasure and gratitude from the experience. If by way of example you were to drink coffee everyday it quickly loses it’s pleasure. However, if you only drink it on Sunday morning or only on your birthday you may enjoy the experience immensely more than your regular coffee fix.

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