Like everything, minimalism has its history. Many of us know the origins of minimalism around the 1960s in the United States, where it was born as a current of movement that emerged in opposition to other artistic currents.
However, this origin is not the main one, since minimalism was already known for many years ago. Clearly not under the term “minimalism” , but its practices and principles of less is more and of trying to leave behind excesses and unnecessary material goods to find happiness.
In order to carry out minimalism in our lives, it is necessary to know how it arises and why. This, since it will allow us to understand the true essence of minimalism as a trend and thus be able to apply it correctly.
Everything in this world has a history, a before and an origin. In the case of minimalism it is also like that. Although its definition has changed over time, its principles are always based on the same: to reduce any type of excess and focus on what is truly important, "less is more".
That is why this time I will tell you a little about what minimalism is, but I will focus on its history, how it arose and why this movement occurs, based on his background.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is a current or lifestyle based on the concept of “less is more”.
It is a lifestyle that seeks to focus on happiness and on looking for what is truly essential, leaving behind all those material goods or excesses that do nothing more than “occupy space” in our lives.
The idea of minimalism is not to stop buying, the idea is to live with the essentials and leave space for the truly important things to take place in your spaces, in your mind and thoughts.
Excesses often cause problems, take up time and don't really make you happy. When you lead a minimalist life, you focus on what is truly important to you, on your passions, on enjoying life and simply being happy.
History of minimalism
When we dedicate ourselves to exploring the history of minimalism, we will surely come to the conclusion that it originated in the year 1960 in the United States. However, despite the fact that this is the case to a certain extent, you should know that for many years there were cultures that practiced minimalism as a doctrine of life.
So to understand the history and origin of minimalism we must explore a little further.
Asceticism and the origin of minimalism
Probably the true origin of minimalism goes back to asceticism. It is a philosophical doctrine that is based on reaching high levels of spirituality, development and wisdom, leaving material pleasures behind.
The history of asceticism dates back to very archaic times, in fact, many ancient religions such as Christianity, Buddhism or Islam, have taken part in these doctrines.
Asceticism was closely related to religions, since it was said to be one of the best and fastest ways to connect with God, with the universe or with yourself, since we renounce material things and we you focus on your spirituality. So we could say that minimalism owes its essence to asceticism.
It should be noted that in Ancient Greece practices of asceticism were carried out, since the Spartans tried to live a life free of excesses, basically carrying out a war economy.
We have already said that asceticism was a philosophy that based its beliefs on the dispossession of material goods to obtain greater spirituality
This practice was acquired by many religions, one of them being Buddhism. Buddhism basically originated in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. C and from there spread to East Asia.
Since then, many ramifications or traditions have emerged that contemplate as a basis the overcoming of suffering, known as dukkha, and the cycle of death and rebirth, known as samsara.
An example of this is Zen Buddhism, originating in China during the Tang dynasty. However, it was extremely popular in Japan where it is widely practiced.
Zen Buddhism is based on meditation and how to “perceive the true nature”, focuses on spiritual practice. However, among the many teachings that Buddhism provides, one of them is to leave behind the need for material possessions in order to achieve full happiness. Thus, one of the basic concepts of minimalism.
Minimalism and Stoicism
Stoicism is a philosophy that was created by Zeno of Citium in 301 BC. C. Basically this doctrine was based on achieving happiness and wisdom regardless of material goods, using the dominion and control of thoughts.
This movement was very popular in the Greco-Roman era, where it was widely practiced. Basically the beginnings of minimalism are also attributed to Stoicism, thanks to the fact that among its principles was the fact that material goods did not produce happiness.
Many of the philosophers of that time lived a minimalist life, such is the case of Diogenes of Sinope, who said that he would not be a slave to material goods.
The current history of minimalism
Once it is clear that minimalism already existed for many years ago, as with Buddhism, in the Greco-Roman era and in various philosophies, we can start talking about the current origin (the one we know) of minimalism.
So long before this lifestyle was known, not under the name of minimalism, but with the principles that material goods do not bring happiness; but happiness goes further.
Basically, emerged in 1960 in the United States, as a movement against various artistic movements.
Let us understand that in the 40s or 50s, art was strongly marked by the aftermath of the Second World War. In many cases, through art, collective feelings were reflected that were very marked in the youth society of that time, such as: fears, paranoia, injustice, suicide, melancholy, among others. We could see all of this through art.
Faced with this environment, what is known as abstract expressionism was born as an artistic current that was characterized by having a lot of strength, colors and could even be transferred to aggressiveness in the paintings. It was quite a loaded art, or overloaded in lines, colors and expressions.
Then what is known as pop art arose, this being an artistic movement that sought to simplify art and take it to images that were part of everyday life of people. Thus being one of the most popular: comics.
Pop art was born with the aim of leaving behind the depressing art with which abstract expressionism was known, and giving life to a new art revolution that is much more casual, more cheerful, natural and for everyone.
However, it was so successful that it began not only to be an art, but it became so commercial that many of the works were printed on T-shirts, glasses, mugs and practically everywhere.
This turned art into a product to be sold, increasing consumerism and leaving behind old perceptions that art was an artist's expression.
Given this, minimalism was born as a movement against pop art, since they considered this movement very pretentious and that it led to excessive consumerism.
Frank Stella is one of the artists who is said to have given minimalism “shape” thanks to his art. Then in 1959 minimal art is considered a movement formed by several artists with a new style.
Since then, minimalism has been applied not only to art, but also to architecture, design, and even to lifestyle.
Celebrities who have applied minimalism to their lives
There are many celebrities who have applied minimalism in their lives. So fame is not an excuse to lead a life based on consumerism. Many of them have been quite successful and lived fully.
In fact, not only has it helped them to live fully, but they have also been great influencers in this trend or lifestyle.
Next, I mention some famous people who carry out minimalism in their lives.
Steve Jobs was a minimalist
Believe it or not Apple founder Steve Jobs was a minimalist. Basically in the 70's he studied at the Los Altos Zen Center in California. There, he was the great start of his adopting this style in all areas of his life.
Despite being one of the richest men in the world historically, his life was minimalist. Not only in his personal life, his businesses and his house were too.
His home was extremely minimalist, it didn't have big furniture or much decoration, it just had a chair, a bed, a lamp and a few other things that he carefully selected
On the other hand, his clothing was also minimalist, his clothes were almost always the same, a black shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes. According to him, he hated thinking about what to wear every morning, as he considered it an unnecessary waste of energy.
His eating is said to have also been a minimalist, as well as other aspects of his life.
In fact, Apple's design itself is minimalist, very clean designs, white and without many buttons, make their product the representation of the minimalism.
Keanu Reeves is a minimalist
Keanu Reeves, the famous John Wick actor, is said to lead a minimalist lifestyle.
It is very common to see famous actors like him, full of luxuries, Hollywood mansions, latest model cars, expensive clothes and a life of many excesses. However, the case of Keanu Reeves is different.
Beyond the way he acts is minimalist, his lifestyle is too. This actor is not known for having mansions or private islands; in fact, he has been photographed many times living a "normal life", having a coffee, riding the subway or shopping.
In fact, according to his own words, the actor indicates that he likes to lead a simple lifestyle.
His time is dedicated to his family and his passions, including his motorcycle collection Although this may be contradictory to you, you must understand that minimalism is not about not spending money or not buying things goes much further.
He himself has indicated in interviews that money is nothing to him and does not mean happiness. Happiness for him is sleeping with those he loves, spending time with friends and enjoy traveling by motorcycle.
His sincerity and simplicity of his have made him very popular and known for carrying out this lifestyle.
There are many actors, singers or celebrities who lead a minimalist life. I name these because they are influential people who show that money or fame is everything in life. life, and that, in fact, there is nothing further from happiness.
Happiness goes far beyond grand mansions, luxurious cars, and excesses that don't fill you up. Happiness is enjoying the little things in life, enjoying nature, your family, a coffee with your friends, laughter, enjoying being with yourself, knowing that you do what you love and dedicate yourself to what you you are passionate
Happiness is in reading a book, in cooking that delicious food that you like, in feeling how the gentle breeze brushes your face, in seeing the leaves of the trees fall, in the hug of that special someone... Happiness is when you learn that "less is more"..