We are working our way through some of the complications that come with our possessions. Yesterday we heard about how attachments to both our ideas and our possessions take their toll. Today we will look at how the fear of losing our possessions can bring us to a standstill.
Fear of loss
On August 18 we looked at the idea of false self and possessions. In that post we linked to previous posts where we got a feel for how false self creates the original attachments. I would recommend that you go back and read those posts in order to understand today’s post more clearly.
Our previous discussions of the basic nature of false self told us that false self is primarily something that is overwhelmed by its fears. It develops attachments in order to quiet those fears. It views those fears and attachments as its identity and will forcefully defend those fears and that identity. It does the same with the possessions to which it is attached.
The false self views its possessions as part of its identity. The possessions become part of who it thinks it is. It thinks it is the clothes it wears, the car it drives, or the money it has. Any loss of these possessions it views as a loss of a part of itself. Therefore it feels very much wounded when there is even the slightest threat that it might lose any of these possessions.
The fear is the baggage
Think about this. For every possession that comes from a false self attachment we have at least three issues to work through:
- As we discussed yesterday we have the underlying attachment that causes us to acquire the object in the first place.
- Yesterday we also discussed the fact that we also create an attachment to the possession that is similar to the attachment caused by the underlying attachment.
- We also have a fear of loss of the possession because we view that as fear of loss of a part of false self.
The fear usually becomes the heaviest baggage. It is also the first thing that we see when we sense that we might lose a possession. False self wants to protect itself first. True, it does not want to let go of the attachments. However, when a possession is threatened with loss, that fear of loss overrides anything that has to do with the attachments. The fear of losing what it views as a part of itself is what causes extreme behavior.
The scratch in the car
We have used this analogy before, but it is quite appropriate. Why does someone get so crazy when they find a small scratch in their car? They view the car as a part of themselves and think that they were scratched along with their car.
Isn’t this senseless baggage? We know that we were not scratched, but we cannot stop feeling violated by the scratch in the car. We are attached to the car and therefore we think it is us. With this kind of logic we cannot help but carry this baggage of fear. If we feel this strongly about a scratch in the car, how will we feel if the car is stolen?
Look at your other large possessions
Our fear of loss extends to all of our other possessions. Many times it is the large ones that can cause the greatest fears. Things like our house and money can cause a great fear of loss. Once again we experience this fear because we think that the money or the house are a part of false self.
And your small possessions
We can get possessive about the silliest objects. Look at a young child who has become attached to a blanket or a stuffed animal. They get upset when the object becomes lost because they have started to view that object as part of themselves.
Unfortunately, many of us continue this type of behavior as we grow older. We can become attached to the silliest and smallest objects. Our fear of loss of these objects is the same as the fear experienced by the young child. For some strange reason we view the object as part of ourself and become fearful when we are threatened with losing it.
Simplify – let go of the baggage
Earlier in this post we saw that there are three basic issues surrounding our attachments to possessions. These were: the underlying attachment, the attachment to the object, and the fear of losing the object.
The primary baggage is the fear of loss of the object. This is the part we see first and most frequently. This is a good place to start to let go of the baggage.
When we see that we are fearful of the loss of a possession we remind ourself that the fear is baggage. We may not understand the underlying attachment or the attachment to the object, but we can see the fear. That is where we start.
It takes constant repetition. Every time we see that we are fearful of losing an object we remind ourself to let go of the fear. I have even gone as far as to visualize my hand grasping the object to illustrate the fear. Then I visualize my hand letting go of the object to symbolize that I have let go of the baggage.
Usually this took repeated visualizations, but over time I have trained myself to let go of many of my possessions. Have I let go of all my possessions yet? Probably not. The important thing is that I am carrying less baggage than I was yesterday, last month, or last year. The possessions cause fewer complications in my life.
I firmly believe that I am nothing special. If I can learn this and create a happier and less complicated life – so can you. The reason that I am writing this is in the hopes that you can learn to find your happiness as I have found mine. A great part of my happiness came as I learned to let go of the baggage of possessions and found a way to live a more simplified life.
Finally, I implore you to find your happiness sooner than I found mine. I wasted far too many years dragging my baggage around. Please do not waste your time like I wasted mine.
That’s all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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