This is explained so much better in that classic book, the I Ching. When I first read the commentary of the 41st hexagram ‘Decrease’, I had a profound ‘aha’ experience combined with something like relief. I hope you will find it equally revealing (from the Wilhelm/Baynes I Ching):
Decrease does not under all circumstances mean something bad. Increase and decrease come in their own time. What matters here is to understand the time and not to try to cover up poverty with empty pretense. If a time of scanty resources brings out an inner truth, one must not feel ashamed of simplicity. For simplicity is then the very thing needed to provide inner strength for further undertakings. Indeed, there need be no concern if the outward beauty of the civilization, even the elaboration of religious forms, should have to suffer because of simplicity. One must draw on the strength of the inner attitude to compensate for what is lacking in externals; then the power of content makes up for the simplicity of form. There is no need of presenting false appearances to God. Even with slender means, the sentiment of the heart can be expressed.
Photo by Marco Michelini