Simplify Our Life – Possessional Baggage

September 30, 2008

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:

 

  1. As we discussed yesterday we have the underlying attachment that causes us to acquire the object in the first place.
  1. 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.
  1. 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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Simplify Our Life – Complications from Possessions

September 29, 2008

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.

 

Welcome back

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.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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Don’t Dwell on What You Don’t Have

September 17, 2008

Today I will explain a very valuable technique that I use to clarify my thinking.  When I need to attain something it is easy to say “if I only had…” as a means of resolving the issue.  Today we will look at a positive way to use the perspective of our true self to attain an objective.

 

Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

Taking inventory

Have you ever noticed that when you want to achieve or attain something you get discouraged?  There are many reasons that cause this discouragement.  Today we will look at one, and hopefully start to learn to overcome it.

 

Watch your thinking process the next time you decide to do something difficult.  See if this happens to you.

 

Let’s say we deicide to buy a car.  For some of us this may be a simple process.  For others this can be a daunting task.  False self may immediately start taking inventory.  However, watch the inventory that false self discovers.

 

It will come up with things like you don’t have enough money for the down payment, you don’t have enough money for the monthly payment, and you don’t have enough money for the insurance.  The problem is that you haven’t even decided on which car you want.  False self has already given you a bunch of “problems” that you have to overcome.  You don’t want this inventory.

 

False self gives us more unwanted inventory as we proceed down the path of getting a car.  How long will we have to wait for the car?  Do they have it in our favorite color?

 

Those are borderline negatives.  However, one of the ones false self is sure of is that we have to buy a used car.  False self cannot stand the loss through depreciation that happens to a new car.

 

True self looks for ways to accomplish

When we take a look at the false self inventory described in the previous section we find that the items are mostly ways to keep from accomplishing our goal of buying a car.  For some reason that I do not understand, false self is always looking for the ways that we “can’t” get something done.

 

We can’t buy a car because we don’t have the money.  We can’t buy a car because they do not have it in our favorite color.  We can’t buy a new car because we will lose “a lot of money” through depreciation.

True self is not interested in the ways that something “can’t” be done.  We know that there are infinitely more ways that something “can’t” be done then there are ways to do something.  True self concentrates only on the ways to do something.  There is no need to waste our time convincing ourselves with reasons that do not lead towards our goal.

 

Let’s apply that idea to the false self inventory we created about buying a car.  Before we have even chosen a car false self thinks it does not have enough money.  It uses three ways to convince itself – money for the monthly payment, the down payment, and the insurance.

 

True self lumps all the money issues together and looks at them as one issue with three separate parts.  True self waits until after we have chosen and negotiated for the car to look at the money because the specifics are not available until that point.

 

False self is worried about the availability and the color of the car.  True self does not care that much about these “problems”.  True self knows that if there is one car that is the best solution, then waiting for that car to be available is appropriate.  True self may be able to live with a less than optimal color.  However, if the only color choices are absolutely hideous, then true self realizes that this just was not the appropriate car and continues the search process.

 

Finally, true self is not that concerned about losing money by the depreciation that happens when we drive a new car off the lot.  True self may prefer to pay the extra in advance so we can control the mechanical condition of the car. 

 

True self knows that the expensive things like engine, brake, and transmission repairs can be controlled through careful driving.  True self may prefer to control the way the car is operated than to take a chance on the unknown history of a used car.  True self may look at the big picture and decide that we will save on repairs later if we buy a new car now and then maintain it properly.

 

Use this skill

Remember to look at what you do have, not what you don’t have.  I cannot stress to you how important it is to learn this skill and use it in your daily life.  This could be one of the easiest ways to learn to have true self influence many aspects of your life.  As a project manager in the corporate world I used this concept to simplify my tasks.

 

I could accomplish a lot more than my fellow managers because I spent very little time on ideas that did not lead to our goals.  When I ran meetings I would not let the conversation turn to how we “can’t do it” or what we “didn’t have.”  I would turn the discussion towards what we did have and what we could do.

 

Try this technique for a few months.  I think you will see that it can make a difference in your attitude.  For an in depth discussion about how false self views possessions and how true self uses possessions please read the blog entries for August 18 and August 19 of 2008.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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Email

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Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Summarizing the False Self

August 22, 2008

Thankful Friday

As always, we will take a moment and thank those around us for their work and assistance.  Our first thank you goes out to the imsezha who have provided such wonderful weather for the last two weeks.  The weather this month in this area of the northeast US has been close to perfect.  (If you want to know who the imsezha are post a comment asking the question.)

 

Our second thanks goes to our readers.  Thank you for taking the time to read this site on a regular basis.  Our final thanks goes to WordPress and FeedBurner for providing the free tools that make this site possible.  Thanks!

 

What is the false self?

For the past few weeks we have taken a very detailed look at the concepts of true self and false self.  Today we are going to summarize the major characteristic of the false self and how it functions.  Our hope is that the more we recognize false self the more we will recognize the pain that comes from living in the false self identity.

 

We have learned that false self begins to be created as soon as we are born.  It knows it is supposed to be trained by true self.  True self is our nonphysical self that is the repository for everything we have ever learned.  At the beginning of each lifetime it is supposed to take charge and train false self to be the eyes and ears for true self during the lifetime.  True self is supposed to make all the decisions, not false self.

 

On this planet we do not do this with our infants.  The parents do not understand what true self is, so they allow the false self to take charge.  False self knows that it is not supposed to be in charge and begins to form its identity based on this fear of being alone and being in charge.

 

False Self Forms Attachments

False self in an infant is supposed to look to true self for guidance and its identity.  Because we do not train our infants to listen to true self our infants begin to take their false self identity from the physical objects around them.

 

The initial attachments that an infant forms are to their body and to those people around it.  Gradually the infant begins to form attachments to their thoughts and ideas.

 

By the time the child is about seven years old these initial attachments are set strongly enough that they will govern the child’s behavior for the rest of their life – or until they learn to retrain the false self.  There are times when true self steps in and says that we can rid ourselves of an attachment or a fear, and we do so.  However these times are relatively few and far between.

 

A Tangled Web of Fears and Attachments

As we have just seen, false self begins to form its identity from the fear that it knows that it is not supposed to be in charge of the lifetime.  It has not understood that true self is supposed to make the decisions.  It has also not been trained to listen to true self for guidance.  It becomes very fearful when it comes to the conclusion that it will have to operate alone for the lifetime.

 

In order to quell that base fear false self begins to create an identity based on attachments to the things around it.  As the child gets older these attachments become the source of the false self identity.

 

The false self identity is now made of such attachments as its clothing, its automobile, its body, its nationality, its religion, and many more.  Because the false self has yet to understand that true self is always available it believes that it is actually all these attachments.

 

The additional fears come from the perceived questioning or injuring of any of the attachments.  False self identifies with its automobile.  If someone scratches that automobile, then false self perceives that it has been scratched.  False self identifies with its religious beliefs.  If someone appears to question those religious beliefs, false self views this as its identity being questioned.

 

Frequently when the false self identity is injured or questioned false self thinks it has to defend or attack in order to protect that identity.  If someone questions its political views, false self thinks it has to lash out at that someone to defend its identity.  If false self thinks someone is going to take its possessions, it attacks in order to protect those possessions and therefore its identity.

 

The Difficulty of Retraining False Self

Ok – so we are starting to see where our unhappiness comes from.  Our false self is attached to all kinds of objects, people, and thoughts that it thinks create its identity.  We spend most of our lives acting out the fears that false self experiences because it is protecting its false self identity.  We know we are unhappy.  Why can’t we learn to become happy?

 

The reason why it takes awhile to learn to be happy is that false self is resisting us at every turn.  As we start to listen to and understand our true self we also start to question the false self identity.  We start to see the fears and attachments for what they are – our source of unhappiness.

 

Initially false self does not know whether or not it can trust true self.  False self has been running things for many years and has become quite afraid of anyone or anything questioning its fears and attachments.  It has spent the entire lifetime defending those fears and attachments.  It does not like true self questioning its identity.

 

We retrain false self by continuously facing its fears and attachments.  We learn to listen to true self and the quiet little voice that will not submit to those fears and attachments.  That quiet little voice eventually convinces false self that true self understands what is going on and can be trusted.

 

Although we can have great insights and make large advancements in a single step, the typical path is one of small but frequent steps.  We see a small fear and conquer it.  We see a small attachment and let it go.  We make the small steps as we see them, but do not wait for the big steps.  Those will happen, but they will happen in their own time when we least expect them.  The gradual daily progress is what will bring us closer to our true happiness.

 

That is all for today.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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Email

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Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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How True Self Uses Possessions

August 19, 2008

How True Self Uses Possessions

 

Recap

Yesterday we looked at how false self attaches itself to possessions.  We heard about the way false self feels hurt when one of our possessions is damaged.  We also started to get a feeling for the idea that we should view possessions as tools that we use while we are learning and growing.

 

Today we will take a closer look at how true self uses possessions.  Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

True Self for Our Learning

We have seen how false self wants to attach to many things, especially possessions.  True self is happy and self contained.  When we are being our true self we realize that objects and possessions are temporary.  They come into our lives when we need them and we should not get upset when they leave our lives.

 

True self views all objects as tools which it needs to do its job.  What is that job?  As we have stated many times on this site – we exist to learn and grow and share that learning and growth with each other.  So the job of our true self is to continue to learn and grow.

 

True self evaluates all objects and possessions in the light of what it needs to learn and grow.  When an object is no longer needed for our learning true self does not care if it leaves our life – true self just allows that object to leave.  We will not hang on to the object because of attachment.  We will maintain possession only if we anticipate needing that object.

 

True self does not care if an unneeded object leaves our possession.  True self views this as one less thing we have to look after.  True self also knows that if an object leaves our possession and we need it again – then we will acquire it again.

 

At first this might seem like a lot of work.  First we acquire something and then we let it go.  Then we acquire it again.  However, once the object has ceased to be useful, how can we know if we are going to ever need it again?  I view that the work required to maintain the object “just in case” is usually far more work than letting it go and then getting it back again.  If we let it go and then get it back we might get a better one back or one that is more suited for the task.

 

Also, the fewer possessions we have the more simple our life becomes.  The more simple our life becomes the more time we have to concentrate on our real job of learning and sharing that learning.

 

True Self and Status Symbols

Status symbols are just another way to describe attachments.  A status symbol is supposed to convey a certain image about the person who possesses the status symbol.  False self is concerned about identity so it seeks status symbols and other methods of conspicuous consumption.  We will discuss false self and identity later this week.  For now, let’s just accept that anytime we seek to purchase a status symbol we are acting from false self.

 

True self can purchase a status symbol and not do so from an attachment.  Let’s take a look at the example of buying a watch.  True self realizes that we need a watch in order to keep track of time.  It is important that when we make a commitment to be somewhere on time that we honor that commitment.

 

So we need a watch – which one should we buy?  If we look at simple functionality an inexpensive watch could be all that we need.  However, an inexpensive watch may not be durable enough.  True self recognizes that we will need to keep track of time for the rest of our lifetime.  Now we consider a more expensive and more durable watch.

 

Next, true self looks at the social situations that it will be in while wearing the watch.  If we will be in very formal situations then we will need a watch that is appropriate for those situations.  That would mean we now need a durable and handsomely decorated watch.

 

True self is also able to afford an upscale watch without financial hardship.  We have now worked ourselves into the territory of some watches that many people would consider as status symbols.  However, true self is viewing this in a pragmatic manner.  We need a watch.  The correct watch for our needs is considered a status symbol.  True self does not care about status symbols – it only cares about acquiring the correct watch.  If the correct watch had been a $10 throw away watch, that is what true self would have acquired, even if we could have afforded a $100 watch.

 

It is all about acquiring the correct tool for the job.  That is all true self cares about.  It has much more important things to be doing than caring about a bunch of attachments to physical objects.

 

We Do Not Have to Renounce Possessions

Many spiritual and religious disciplines teach that we should renounce or severely limit our physical possessions.  I do not see it that way.

 

My viewpoint is that we need to renounce our attachments to physical possessions and material things.  There is a big difference between renouncing having the objects and renouncing the attachments to the objects.

 

When we renounce possessing physical objects we do not address the underlying attachments.  We may renounce possessions except for just those few things we perceive that we need to live our life.  Two things happen because of this.

 

First, we may pass up some very important learning opportunities because we have renounced possessions.  If those learning opportunities require us to acquire some possessions then we will not be able to learn those lessons.

 

Second, we can still become very attached to the few objects remaining in our life.  Renouncing possessions has not worked because we still have false self attachments.

 

To me, the better approach is to learn to approach possessions and physical objects as true self.  We renounce our attachments, but recognize the importance that possessions and objects can have on the lessons we choose to learn.

 

Because we are not attached to the objects we do not care as the objects enter and leave our lives.  We are concentrating on our learning and the appropriate objects are always there.  Part of that learning is to know when and how to acquire the appropriate objects.

 

Well, that is all for today.  We will see you again tomorrow when we will start to take a look at some of the facets of false self identity.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by Feedburner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com


Possessions vs. False Self

August 18, 2008

Welcome Back

Welcome back to our daily post.  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  The weather in this part of the world was fantastic this weekend.  On Saturday I helped a friend setup a couple of computers.  This allowed me to travel the back roads through some absolutely beautiful farmland that is just coming into a bountiful harvest season.

 

Are you ready to learn about a sensible approach to our possessions?  Let’s go!

 

False Self Attaches to Possessions

In an earlier post we looked at the idea that false self creates attachments to possessions.  Later we looked at how true self lets go of attachments to everything.  That post specifically looked at attachments to people, but all attachments are painful and true self avoids all attachments.

 

So, false self can be recognized when we notice an attachment to possessions or physical objects in general.  True self is happy all by itself and needs no attachments to possessions.  This begs the question “What is the best attitude towards possessions?”

 

What is the best way to view possessions?

In order to properly answer that question we need to look at the reason that we exist.  We have heard this several times on this site, but it always bears repeating:

 

The reason that we exist is to learn and grow and to share that learning and growth with each other.

 

That is all there is to life.  Our Creator gives us existence so that we can learn and then share that learning with each other.  As we learn and grow we use objects that our brothers and sisters have created while they were doing their own learning and growth.

 

Let’s take a closer look at how we bring objects into our lives.  How do we acquire stuff?  Let’s start with money.  We usually acquire money by trading our time and skills to someone.  They have a job that needs to be done and we have the time and skills to perform that job.  Some of us actually get money when we sell a product that we produce.  Some of us own a company that sells products and we get money from that company.  Some of us have invested money in items that give us money back for the money we have invested.

 

One way or another, the usual first step to acquiring possessions is to use money.  Now that we have some money what do we buy?  That is an interesting question.  To answer that we need to look at why we buy things.

 

We will address attachments to jobs and money at a later time.  For now please recognize that we create many attachments to both jobs and money.  Money should be viewed strictly as any other possession.  Attachments to jobs are part of our attachments to our identity.  We will discuss this later this week.

 

Why do we buy things?

Many of us spend a lot of our money to buy things because we are driven by our attachments.  We all know people who are driven to purchase things because of attachments.  This can be anything they buy from a house, to clothing, to a car.  They buy something in order to make themselves happy yet they remain unhappy.  Haven’t all of us done the same thing?

 

Yes – we need housing, clothing, and transportation.  Attachments cause us to buy the wrong house or pay the wrong price.  Attachments cause us to buy thirty pairs of shoes when we may only need eight or ten pair.  Attachments cause us to but the expensive sports car when the standard mass produced two door coupe is all we really need and can afford.

 

Hopefully we are getting a feel for the difference between buying something that we need and buying something that we want.  We need shoes.  We want thirty pairs, so we buy them.  We need a car.  We want the expensive sports car, so we buy it.

 

Possessions are tools

The best way to look at possessions and material stuff is to see them as tools.  We need a car.  We ask ourselves how we plan to use that car.  If we are in construction and need to transport materials we will need a pickup truck.  If we have a family then we may need a van or a sedan.  The best way to buy something is to look at how we will use that object and then we buy the best tool for the anticipated use.

 

And – we do not create attachments.  When we create an attachment to a possession or any other material thing we cease viewing it as a tool and start to see it as part of our self.  It is actually a part of false self because we know that true self needs no attachments.

 

Once we create the attachment then anything that happens to the possession happens to false self.  We come out of a store and find that someone scratched our car.  We take it personally as if someone had scratched us.  We get upset and have to tell everyone we meet during the rest of the day how much we were wronged because someone scratched our car.

 

If we had no attachment to the car, we would calmly realize that this is only a minor scratch and would not let it ruin our day.  After all, shouldn’t we have more important things to be doing than complaining to everyone we meet about a scratch in our car?

 

Let go of possessions

As we heard earlier, money is simply another possession.  Therefore we need to view it as another tool that we use for our learning and growth.  Because money as at the root of so much of our thinking we tend to create many attachments to it.  The more we can let go of those attachments the more clearly we will be able to see the proper role of money in our life.

 

A much happier way to deal with possessions and material things is to view them as tools.  We pick them up when we need them and we put them down when we are finished.  They have nothing to do with our true self.  Possessions and material objects are things that true self uses as it learns and grows.

 

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow we will take a closer look at how true self views possessions and material objects.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

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