According to Duane Elgin, "we can describe voluntary simplicity as a manner of living that is outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich, a way of being in which our most authentic and alive self is brought into direct and conscious contact with living."
In voluntary simplicity, our most “authentic and alive self” is brought into direct and conscious contact with living. This implies that in extravagant living, our authentic self is indirectly brought into contact with living. In other words, something is interfering with the alive self being able to live. Thus, the non-essential extravagance blocks the authentic self from fully involving itself with actual lived life.