Why Less Seems More
"Less is more." - Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) was a German-American architect who is regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture. His style was marked by great clarity and simplicity. He used the paradoxical aphorism "Less is more" to state he treasured minimalistic architecture, and thus simplicity to look at. How far it makes sense, depends a lot on interpretation.
How far does the Mies aphorism sum up how less of a substance gives more of a homeopathic remedy? It can be explained in at least two ways:
The "skin and bones" architecture of Mies is called "the rational approach." The practical results matter much. There has been many theories about how homeopathic remedies may work, even though they do not contain substance (except sugar or alcohol). If theories fail and practice survives, it could mean something works there. And try to find and stick to hard facts or basics if you find any.
Adjust your hopes or faith to this: homeopathy is "a shady business" in some ways that matter, because the effects seldom are documented in standardised ways that rigid statistical approaches use. That does not mean there are no effects: there is room in the middle between yes and no. In that room research thrives.
On our walks through life, the guidance of Buddha tenets concerning beliefs and traditions may give extra help here.
Buddha against blind believing
Ma anussavena. Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations.
Ma paramparaya. Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice.
Ma itikiraya. Do not believe something simply because it is common opinion.
Ma Pitakasampadanena. Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text.
Ma takkahetu. Do not be [mis]led by [insensible] logic.
Ma nayahetu. Do not believe something merely because it accords with your [id-grounded, cherished] views.
Ma akaraparivitakkena. Do not believe something by considering only outward appearance.
Ma ditthinijjhanakkhantiya. Do not believe something just because you like the idea, led by preconceived notions (and the theory thereby reflected as an approval)
Ma bhabbarupataya. Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy, or what seems acceptable; do not be led by what some seeming believable one says.
Ma samano no garu ti. Do not believe something thinking, "This is what our teacher says". [Do not be led (blindly) by what your teacher tells you is so.]
Buddha finally says that what to go for is well tested, wholesome, praised by the wise and lead to well-being, prosperity and happiness. A result of such a long-range endeavour is "good, sane and sensible conformity", by the way. [More]
Buddha' teachings are fit for science-minded persons, and in harmony with the proverb "Seeing is believing". By less blind, unverified belief, and fewer such beliefs, we may arrive at something better - which is "more" - more fit for living. It is to be hoped. A little bit of hope may not harm you, especially if it shows up to have been well founded . . . And if the good hope and good faith amounts to help you in themselves (placebo effects are about it), it might be good if long-lasting. At any rate, Buddha advocates a provisional faith in his set-up way of life. The sensible "try and see" approach is somehow fit for homeopathic treatment too, as long as clear evidence this way or that way is largely missing, which is the case today.
It is good to learn main skills for making a living and get accepted too.
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, et al. Architect as Educator. Mies van der Rohe Centennial Project. Chicago: Illinois Institute of Technology, 1986.
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