Is your attempt at Purity overly Restrictive?

Jennifer Main
2 min readJan 31, 2023


Last week, I wrote about Hedonism, without intending to get into the behavioural triangle of Hedonist-Purist-Conformist, but synchronicity in my life has sent me in that direction.

I am currently listening to Michael Pollan’s book, This is your Mind on Plants, specifically to the section on caffeine, its role in addiction and compulsive habits, and the ways it alters the mind. Interestingly, caffeine is so ingrained in society, in many ways it is the most difficult to abstain from, because so much centers around coffee and tea, socially and within the work world. Most of us don’t really know our base-line of consciousness, because our state is continually, daily (or more), altered by caffeine.

So the role of the Purist enters, potentially offering a solution: Cut It Out.

The philosophy of the Purist tends to lean on absolutes, all or nothing, requiring clarity of judgement, discipline, abstention, and often withdrawal from aspects of society. Another extreme.

But its easy to see some potential benefits within the way of the Purist. Clean diet, healthy body, clear mind. Whether through detoxing, exercising, conscious boundaries, there are clear and absolute YESes and NOs.

But again, whenever we lean too far to a side, we lose balance, perspective, and a way to commune with our peers and the world around us.

I’ve seen highly sensitive people cut out and cut out, detoxing, abstaining from certain foods, emotions, people, conversations, politics, anything that feels impure or ‘toxic’. They finally get to the point where they are unable to Tolerate anything outwith their realm of control.

And isn’t Tolerance a virtue?

So for today, it might be worth looking at the polarity of Pure and Toxic/Detrimental/Wrong. Identify areas where you could shift your habits and behaviours towards Healthy and Whole.

Remember that we are meant to experience all of life, and that running away or cutting out everything that might not be 100% pure means that you are cutting out most of life. We are all shades of grey, all working through the polarities to find alignment. And some of the most interesting times in life are when we allow ourselves to get a little dirty. Even for just a minute. ;)



Jennifer Main

I serve as a catalyst for change, initiating artists, healers, & entrepreneurs to expand into uncharted territory by integrating ritual, practice, & flow