The Human Truth Foundation

The Ironic Nature of Possessions

By Vexen Crabtree 2002

#christianity #self_development

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.

Book CoverConsumerism is today just as powerful a device for enslavement as was Christianity. Nothing has really changed.

"The Satanic Scriptures" by Peter Gilmore (2007)1

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.

Book CoverHe 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.

"Zen - The Religion of the Samurai" by Kaiten Nukariya (1913)2

Sloth and cowardice creep in with every dollar or guinea we have to guard.

"The Varieties of Religious Experience"
William James (1902)3

Acquisition for the sake of acquisition has never appealed to me.

"Satan Speaks!" by Anton LaVey (1998)4

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.