By Vexen Crabtree 2002
People have too many possessions... they end up limiting our lives. We end up unable to do things because we have too many possessions. It makes moving house difficult and ties us down. We end up living in houses that are bigger than we actually need so we can accommodate all our "useful" stuff. We spend time making things look nice. We spend energy cleaning and maintaining them, storing them, trying to find things amongst other things. We present them as part of ourselves and our identity is tied to the objects we own. We become as attached and dependent on this part of our identity as we do to our own actions, morals and productivity.
“Consumerism is today just as powerful a device for enslavement as was Christianity. Nothing has really changed.”
It is liberating to minimize your possessions, and you will easily find that if you reduce the load you place on your place of residence, then you can do more with what you've already got.
People become attached to stuff, naturally, but we need to keep it in check. The more you keep it in check, the more you realize how much unnecessary stuff you have. Possessions limit a person's focus on their future, use up their time and money, and make a person less practical. It makes us less natural people to rely on the gimmicks we possess -- it's an illusion of identity that does us harm.
“He who is addicted to worldly pleasures, however learned or ignorant he may be, however high or low his social position may be, is a servant to mere things. He cannot adapt the external world to his own end, but he adapts himself to it. He is constantly employed, ordered, driven by sensual objects. Instead of taking possession of wealth, he is possessed by wealth. Instead of drinking liquors, he is swallowed up by his liquors.”
“Sloth and cowardice creep in with every dollar or guinea we have to guard.”
“Acquisition for the sake of acquisition has never appealed to me.”
The way we live our lives has practical and psychological consequences, which can slowly burden us more and more over time without realizing just how much time and effort we waste on collecting, organizing, storing and worrying about stuff that doesn't matter.
Current edition: 2002 Jun 03
Last Modified: 2016 Jun 15
Parent page: Self Mastery, Self Development and Lifestyle Improvement
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