Today we will take a look at simplifying our life through a sensible approach towards possessions. Many of us become controlled by our possessions and do not even realize it. Today we will look at how to take back that control.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. It has been wet for the last three days in this part of the northeastern US. It has been a time for cleaning, laundry, cooking projecets, and catching up on some film history. I hope each of you had a safe and happy weekend regardless of where you are and what the weather was.
This week we will continue to look at some ideas for simplifying our lives. We will start with looking at possessions. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Possessions are tools
Our post on August 19 of this year discussed how true self uses possessions. The main points of that discussion were that true self views possessions as tools to use, true self does not care if it loses a possession, and that attachments to possessions are detrimental – not the possessions themselves. Please read that post to review these points.
Because true self views possessions as tools we can simplify our life based on that idea. For a variety of reasons many of us are driven to acquire possessions that cannot be considered tools. One of these reasons is that we see the item advertised and think that we want it. Sometimes we want to show how wealthy or intelligent we are. We may want to project our social status. We acquire objects that demonstrate these motives.
True self knows that these are false self based reasons and that these possessions are not tools. Now false self will have to deal with the complications of acquiring these objects. Let’s take a look at some of these complications.
Maintaining our possessions
All possessions require different types of energy to acquire and maintain. We will start with the energy to acquire the possession. Usually this is money. Some of the other energies used to acquire possessions would be outright theft, or personal influence.
Theft speaks for itself and needs no explanation. Influence would be convincing someone to give us something without having to pay for it. This might involve being nice to someone to get a gift or it might mean maintaining painful relationships with our family in order to receive an inheritance. Either way, we expend emotional energy to gain possessions.
However we have expended the energy to acquire our possessions, many times we do not realize the true cost of maintaining them. This cost involves both monetary and emotional energy. Frequently we understand the monetary cost of maintaining a possession but we rarely examine the emotional cost required to maintain that same possession. Let’s take a closer look at that emotional cost.
The cost of the attachment
Before we start the next part of the discussion let’s remind ourselves that when true self decides to acquire a possession there is a reason. There is no attachment to the possession so there is no emotional energy involved. This is not so with possessions acquired by false self.
False self acquires possessions because it is driven by its attachments. It is attached to having a big house. It buys a big house that is not appropriate for the situation. Now that it has the house it becomes attached to the house as well as the idea of having a big house.
False self increases the number of its attachments whenever it acquires a possession based on an attachment. In other words, the more possessions we acquire the harder it becomes to work through our attachments. We have to work through both the idea to which we are attached as well as the possessions that were acquired because of the idea. We are attached to those possessions almost as strongly as we are attached to the ideas that caused us to acquire them.
Sometimes it gets to the point that we will not even look at the ideas to which we are attached because we do not want to lose all the possessions that come from that attachment. This might be the case of someone who is very attached to money. They may not want to look at the attachment to their money because they are afraid of losing their money.
The attachment separates us
Simply put, the emotional cost of the possession can become quite high because of the underlying attachment. We are attached to a car that we think gives us a certain status. We are afraid that if we lose the car we lose that status. We understand the monetary cost of the car, but do we understand the emotional cost of the attachment that car represents?
Do we see that when we become attached to both the idea of our status and the car as a projection of that status that we are separating ourselves from listening to our true self? I think that most of us do not see this.
As we have stated before, it is not the possession itself that is the problem. The attachment is what causes the pain. We can rid ourselves of our possessions. If we do not resolve the underlying attachments that caused us to acquire those possessions we will still be in pain.
We may choose to refrain from acquiring possessions. However, that may cause another problem. That problem would be an unnecessary denial of necessary possessions. It would also cause us to fear possessions. Both of these are false self behaviors. The best approach is to understand the attachment that causes us to acquire the unnecessary possessions and resolve that.
That would be learning to simplify our life through a sensible approach to possessions.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow we will continue our look at simplifying our life through our approach to possessions.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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