Impermanent are all created things; Strive on with awareness
In our society today, is it possible to rid yourself of material possessions? Is it having material possessions or is it our "needs" and desires for them that causes us problems?
I realize I’m pretty hypocritical when it comes to this, I try to tell myself I don’t need "things" and that knowledge, understanding, connections with people, and experiences are more important. But as I type this I’m sitting in my room, on my laptop, surrounded by my big screen TV, my imac, my Xbox and PS3.
Do you believe it’s possible to have these things without having an unhealthy attachment to them? Without having a desire for newer, bigger, and better things? Or is ridding yourself of all these the only way to go?
I think that many people are capable of being happy equally with or without all the gadgets of life, and the material possessions. But I also think that there are some that use them as escapes from their issues.
I know for a fact it is possible to live without much at all, except for basics. I think, however, that it means living outside of our fat, spoiled comfort zones, and learning a LOT about ourselves and who we really are, and facing the sometimes painful and unpleasant truths.
‘He that is rich but is not contented endures the pain of poverty.’ – Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King
You must separate yourself from the ever-turning machine known as our market system. We can have material things, but we have to understand that we do not need the best, latest, most updated versions of products to get the best ‘satisfaction’ from it.
Grateful for what we do have, we will not long for what we don’t.
Allie, I had to give up everything when I went to Afghanistan. 7 months without anything, even running water. As easy as it was to keep my mind off of the material world over there, I always had it in the back of my head that those things were still back here, and that if I was lucky enough I would get to come back to them. I must say that there was a very freeing feeling to not have to worry about checking my email, or who said what on Facebook, missed calls and text messages. But once I got back I fell right back into it. Perhaps it’s just weakness, but I’ll work on it everyday.
Thanks Paul, that’s a great quote.
Mike, I think some of the things you have mentioned…Facebook, texts, emails etc….they are forms of connections. I personally have a need to reach out and connect with others. So could I live without those things? Yes. But I also wouldn’t be nearly as happy as I am now, because I would be losing that connection.
Stephen – Do you have anything positive to add or just feel like trying to bring people down?
I was thinking about this while reading the satisfaction thread . . . if we can enjoy our current moment of existence as it is, then any “stuff” that’s around would be part of, or better yet add to that experience. At one point, I had very little stuff. each item was important, no clutter.
it’s hard to keep that connection when filling a house with a family. I hope I can teach my children to value experiences over objects. If so I will be better off and all the “stuff” won’t be an issue. but when I let the stuff distract me and the stuff *becomes* the experience, that’s the unhealthy side of all this stuff.
it’s very easy to imagine that life is impossible without all the material possessions which surround us in modern society, but if you take into account the fact that there are billions of people the world over who have never experienced running water or the sound of an ipod, you begin to realize that people can survive and be happy without all the material trappings of life. I am definitely not against the idea of material possession, i’d rather still have my mac than not, but then again I have come to realize that it is not my material possessions which define me, but rather my nature as a person. you can have material possessions, and form an attachment to them if you will, but if you let them define who you are,then losing them could mean losing yourself as well.
Rain, that’s an excellent point, I hadn’t really thought about that. I definitely have that need to reach out, being in the military and forced to be so far away from the ones I love makes me rely on those sources to achieve those connections. Hopefully once I’m out I can wean myself from that dependence and get back to in person connections and won’t have to rely so heavily on these electronics. Not just from a materialistic view, but just because it’s so much less personal online.
Mike, I echo Allie’s sentiments of thanks. I was born at Camp LeJune, and your service matters, I know what it requires of you, and the risks you take to do so. (I didn’t know you were a Marine til she commented, and had to say that, I’ll totally stop hijacking your post now.)
Allie, I would love to give it all up again, by choice this time. I’ve definitely reassessed my priorities over the last few years and I think I have a good handle on what is truly important. We will see what happens in the coming months.
No worries Rain. Thank you both, your thanks are much appreciated.