Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Heaviness of "Stuff"

I'm moving more "stuff" around. Not sure why I'm calling it "stuff" rather than "shit", which is more appropriate at this point in my life. I think it's because this is a public forum and I really shouldn't use words like shit, fuck... not even crap. Some people will take it the wrong way, so I'll just use the word "stuff".

It actually lets me off the hook in a way - as if I made a good decision about its acquisition. It was for a good cause... it was a gift... because it was cute... because it was cheap. Scratch that... it was affordable. What a load.

Lately I have been looking at my stuff. As Mike alluded to in it a post months ago - we are responsible for everything we touch. Holy crap!
That's stupid unless you look deeper and realize that it's absolutely true when practiced absolutely.

You see, I've come to notice that much of our ego is about making us "feel better". A safety mechanism. A defense system that runs on a program. A program we allow to grow and manifest as reality - every impulse, every thought, every command to action, every excuse we make to show that we are reasonable in our choices. Or we had no choice... Or better yet - I meant to do that.

That last one's fun, ain't it? Slow down for one second and feel that impulse. Watch that thought become something real. Even if it's just an emotion. When we look at our own patterns we find the truth of our nature, but with that also, the control panel for how it works.

I'm not a meditator yet, but I'm trying something very different in my mind. I'm trying to "manage my stuff". How entangled all that stuff is, especially the mental stuff that I carry around like luggage. It's an ego trip to be able to control all that stuff floating around my senses. I mean, it's everywhere even when you don't want it. I feel like I mastered all that around 25 or so, didn't like what I felt, and decided to start allowing more intuition to dominate the field.

What a difference. It's kinda scary still when I feel how much power I have in making decisions. I tend to use my powers masochistically, on occasion. But I digress, right Mike?

This is about "stuff". Physical and Metaphysical. My responsibility to myself (mind, body and soul), my family, the Earth, the Field, and everything I "own" has increased significantly over the past 7 years since I've been in New Hampshire. Every step we've taken the past 12 years has been giant compared to most people. Always conscious of how much "stuff" we had, we cut down and so, holiday gorgfests became more taboo and less forced. A vital paradigm shift, I must say.

Now I am trying to find good homes for all my stuff, and it's hard. Not because people aren't worthy of my stuff, nor that I am "attached" to it so deeply I have to "keep" it somewhere. I just don't want it wasted. If it's one thing I have grown to despise, it's waste. Disposable this, over-indulge that. It's everywhere because our egos tell us that affluence = waster. We are programmed to shop for all kinds of reasons and dispose if it for even less... because we CAN. Wow.

I can't do it any more. Camping has taught me more about how we live than living in my last house has. But both have something in common. I can pick up and leave it without remorse and attachment. On to the next beautiful place... the next unadulterated experience... what so I want my next home to be like?

So simple a question, "What do I really need?"
The stress on "really" to bring out the God-awful, but truthful worse case scenario.

So many levels of an answer wiggle back and forth on a sliding scale of ego and consciousness.

Where's your balance?

1 comment:

  1. One of the most important and enjoyable times in my life was during my college summers. I had the great opportunity to lead groups of kids on a number of canoe and backpacking trips in the Adirondacks, NY and Canada. Trips typically ran for 2 to 3 weeks at a time with 2 leaders and about 8-10 kids.

    After several days on the trail (or water) we found ourselves in the wonderful daily pattern of reviewing the day's route, doing the route, eating creatively prepared meals, deep conversations, mid day swims, occasional run-in with drunk locals and stories around the campfire.

    Besides bringing with us only what we needed and could carry - even with the canoe trips as they often required significant portaging, each night brought us to an even more refined or sparse level of stuff. If we used a tent which on many nights we did not we'd bring the following items in and usually nothing more.
    * Sleeping bag
    * Sleeping pad
    * Jacket for a pillow
    * Water bottle
    * Book
    * Sometimes a flashlight
    The rest of the stuff stayed outside in the backpack. It was the ultimate in summer living. We had everything we needed, the tent stayed roomy and uncluttered and we could break camp and be back on the water within no time.

    Nani, your and Mike's plan in motion is urging me to consider my own footprint and my level of stuff. Once there was a time when all I valued fit in my '74 VW bug. Now it's increasingly easy to acquire stuff and lot's of it. Among the abundant is credit card spending and seemingly impossibly low prices via the Walmarts of the world and cheap labor in far away places. It's pathetically ironic that we struggle to not over-consume, over-eat and under-excercise. That's it, I'm going for a run as soon as I can find where I put my jogging suit...



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