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B. de Corbin
03 Aug 2016, 03:09
I just read an interesting article about "possesions," in which it suggests that people accumulate "stuff" in order to define who they are:

For the love of stuff: I am my things and my things are me. I donít want to give them up: they are narrative prompts for the story of my life (https://aeon.co/essays/why-i-love-my-possessions-as-a-mirror-and-a-gallery-of-me)


...Much as I admire a clean surface, I have never been a minimalist. But arriving at middle age on the brink of my very own economic meltdown, Iím having to question my relationship to things, asking: why are they so important? What do they signify? Could I live without them, or make do with a cyber version Ė a clutch of Pinterest boards and a library of ebooks?

In many strains of spiritual thinking, accumulating possessions (i.e.: being materialistic) is a bad thing.

My question for you is "is it?" Is there something inherently wrong with accumulating stuff, or is accumulating stuff part of what defines you as a person? Or maybe there is another option?

anunitu
03 Aug 2016, 04:08
I can agree with the possessions idea,and some times those possessions possess you. I tend to only have things that are useful,that have a purpose,like tools. While I am not a minimalist,I am also not a hoarder of things just to have them.

SleepingCompass
03 Aug 2016, 04:58
I moved recently. My uncle, who has a pickup truck, came to help me. He asked me if I'd ever heard of a Kindle while we were loading up books :)

I really liked that article; I put up with a lot of teasing from family members about being a hoarder due mostly to my book collection, but whenever I've moved to smaller places and have had to store them with my parents, I constantly find myself missing them.



In many strains of spiritual thinking, accumulating possessions (i.e.: being materialistic) is a bad thing.

My question for you is "is it?" Is there something inherently wrong with accumulating stuff, or is accumulating stuff part of what defines you as a person? Or maybe there is another option?

I don't view owning possessions as a 'bad thing'. I like my things and they make me happy. They don't interfere with my connection to deity in anyway that I have noticed, and in fact, help facilitate that connection at times. I like digital things too; most of my photos are only in digital format and I actually do have a fairly sizable collection of digital books as well, but my personal preference is for real world objects. Eventually, I do want to have all my photos printed for photo albums and I want to buy all my faveorite digital books so I can add them to my real world book shelves as well.

I haven't found another option that makes me as happy as having all my 'objects' does.

MaskedOne
03 Aug 2016, 05:08
I just read an interesting article about "possesions," in which it suggests that people accumulate "stuff" in order to define who they are:

For the love of stuff: I am my things and my things are me. I don’t want to give them up: they are narrative prompts for the story of my life (https://aeon.co/essays/why-i-love-my-possessions-as-a-mirror-and-a-gallery-of-me)



In many strains of spiritual thinking, accumulating possessions (i.e.: being materialistic) is a bad thing.

My question for you is "is it?" Is there something inherently wrong with accumulating stuff, or is accumulating stuff part of what defines you as a person? Or maybe there is another option?

I'm fond of possesions...

As long as they are possessions and not possessors. I have thousands of MtG trading cards, I'll probably acquire more in years to come. If a day comes where the acquisition and care of said cards is seriously complicating my life then I've granted cards too much power over me and it's time to start selling them. Any object that is not food, water or shelter which moves from enhancing your life to controlling it is a problem that should be addressed. Otherwise, there are lots of cool things in the world. Have fun.

DanieMarie
03 Aug 2016, 06:55
I guess it depends. We have a lot of stuff, but neither me nor my fiance are huge on conspicuous consumption. We don't buy a lot of stuff, but we've managed to collect a lot of things over the years (mostly due to the fact that both of us have a LOT of hobbies).

I don't think there's anything wrong with having or acquiring possessions, as long as you actually need and use them.

ThePaganMafia
03 Aug 2016, 08:09
I am pretty anti-possession. Everything I own easily fits in the back of my car. My backpacking gear, a few changes of clothes, my laptop, and about 30 books.

I don't like being weighed down by stuff. The more possessions you lack the more free you are.

B. de Corbin
03 Aug 2016, 09:28
...The more possessions you lack the more free you are.

Yeah. You're free from having stuff :D

I think Anunitu put his finger on it when he pointed out the difference between having possesions, and being possesed by them.

If it's something you need, or use, or enjoy, why would there be a problem? But if you get stuff just to have stuff, or because you are told to want stuff, or becouse somebody down the road has that stuff, you have been possessed.

Hawkfeathers
03 Aug 2016, 09:57
I absolutely love my lifetime's worth of stuff. I look at my 45's and remember playing one (Anticipation, by Carly Simon) while getting ready for my first date in 1972. I'm not what you'd call a hoarder. My home is neat and organized. I do have lots of knick knacks and every one has a story. They were gifts from my parents or old bf's, my teddy bear from a great aunt when I was 5, a trunk full of yearbooks and diaries (paper books we wrote in before computers), recipes hand-written by my grandmother, etc.

I don't buy stuff because a certain color is in style, or because I got tired of older stuff. I like what I like, and that's that. I take good care of things and don't like change in the house much. Even my companion animal is 27 years old! LOL

ThePaganMafia
03 Aug 2016, 10:41
It's also a pretty amazing when moving to another apartment is a ten minute process.

Tylluan Penry
03 Aug 2016, 10:59
My clothes are second hand, my furniture is too. We eat frugally, don't have holidays, don't own a car... BUT I own thousands of books, and yes, Mr P and I are hoarders. Everything we have reminds us of a time, or a day... and we don't mind clutter.
I don't ask anyone else to clean it, pay for it or live with it.

Jembru
03 Aug 2016, 11:28
My question for you is "is it?" Is there something inherently wrong with accumulating stuff, or is accumulating stuff part of what defines you as a person? Or maybe there is another option?

I've touched on this a few times in other threads, but I used to have an issue with 'stuff'. When I shared this flat with a coworker, she only really had clothes. She owned about 4 books and 2 of those were Katie Price autobiographies. Her shoes took up the cloak cupboard and she had 3 wardrobes of clothes and a chest of makeup/cosmetics, but otherwise, she had very little 'stuff'.

She moved out and JP moved in. JP came with hundreds of books, much of which was manga, enough dvds to completely fill what used to be our towel cupboard and a few boxes of things from his childhood. Then my mum sent over all my witchy supplies (about 60% of which I threw out or rehomed), and my books adding another 50 or so to the already massive pile. The flat then had to fill up with book cases, I needed a wardrobe to house my pagan stuff, our christmas tree and decorations took up a lot of cupboard space and I have a box of diaries and notebooks from studying Japanese over the years. We also needed 2 work areas for our PC's and my textbooks take up quite a bit of space too. It all got pretty overwhelming. I knew we could get rid of our books, but it's not fair to force JP to do so, and mine are all so precious to me.

Then while moaning about this one time I pointed out that between us we have a lot, but every last thing has either a genuine use, or is sentimental. Then someone said, 'if it's all necessary, then it's not clutter' (I still can't shake the feeling it was someone here on PF who said this, but I don't remember).

Since then I have discovered that being respectful of and grateful for the things you own can in itself be a spiritual act. Around the start of every month as part of my routine spiritual house cleansing, I make a point of acknowledging the special role that each item of 'stuff' has in my life, and that does include how certain things tell my story.

Where problems seems to arise is when we buy into the consumerist egregore and believe that stuff will make us happy. When we start blaming our discontent on not having the latest fashion item, or gadget.. or cosmetic surgery. When we fail to realise that marketing only works by making you believe you have needs that you don't.. that you aren't adequate because you don't have the product their pushing.. Once you fall into that rabbit hole (and it's a very easy illusion to fall far because it looks so much like the 'real world') I think consumerism starts to consume you. That's when stripping down can really help people to reconnect with the spiritual.

As a land-based pagan I feel that the physical realm is as spiritual and magical as any of the unseen places. Nature has granted us the ability to feel joy and pleasure and in this world where suffering is ever present, I think that ignoring the good things in life isn't all that spiritual, or at the very least, it's a different route to spirituality than I feel a land-based pagan would usually take.

Or to paraphrase something I said in a recent post on this matter (http://www.paganforum.com/showthread.php?12256-Developing-a-Relationship-with-the-Home&p=224021#post224021); 'why would I wish empty cupboards on myself?'

Hawkfeathers
03 Aug 2016, 11:30
It's also a pretty amazing when moving to another apartment is a ten minute process.

I remember changing dorm rooms in college, and it was like that.

Medusa
03 Aug 2016, 13:27
My mother had severe bi polar. Growing up with her, her closet was full of clothes. Everything was full of everything. To the point of pushing me out. When she was off balance, the hoarding of stuff over ran her room. If you remember years ago I would go to her place and toss out bags and bags of her clothes and just assortment of crap she had. She would sit in the living room in her off balance anger and just pout. She wouldn't even notice what was thrown away she had duplicates of the same thing. Growing up with that really left a sour taste in my mouth.

I hate stuff. I went through a time of collecting toys and books and Marilyn Manson stuff. And I showcased it all on bookshelves. It was 'me'. But I grew out of that. I don't even buy souvenirs when I go places. I take pics instead. I realize now that I don't define me by my belongings. It clutters my mind. I don't even like outlandish people. I'm not a minimalist by any means. I'm just...frugal I guess. Get what I need and nothing more.

kalynraye
03 Aug 2016, 14:44
From the time I turned 18 until we bought our home a month ago I have moved on an average of once per year. I'll be 30 next month, which makes it difficult to hoard stuff because you have to move it so frequently but what I have managed to keep are things that I do love and enjoy. I don't have hobbies and I'm not crafty so that doesn't get in my way but I do love books and they are a form of therapy and escape. I do think there is in some people an unhealthy obsession with acquiring items and there are people who have had traumatic experiences where it causes them to become obsessive in their hoarding.

What I have is not much but it is mine and it does have sentimental value to me. I am an earth based pagan and feel this world has lots to offer and of those things some of them I would like to keep to remember my experience and adventures. I don't need a huge house to fill with clutter but I want whats mine.

Hawkfeathers
03 Aug 2016, 14:58
My father developed something like that in his last few years. He never threw anything away. Cereal boxes, bottles, junk mail, newspapers, etc. You could hardly walk through the house for the stacks of crap, just like you see on the tv shows about hoarders. That's a whole different thing than people who buy stuff for the prestige/fashion/keep up with the Joneses kind of thing.

One thing I have that no one realizes the meaning of is an Avon Sweet Honesty bottle. It's clear glass, shaped like a rabbit, with a gold head that unscrews. In the bottle is pinkish-tinted water. The water is the thing - it's tap water from the house we lived in when I was in high school. I remember finishing off the perfume and filling the bottle and putting food coloring in it. I said I'd never open it again for my whole life. So far, so good.

B. de Corbin
03 Aug 2016, 23:24
From the time I turned 18 until we bought our home a month ago I have moved on an average of once per year...

You're going to be reincarnated as a turtle.

SleepingCompass
04 Aug 2016, 00:55
I had the opposite family experiences as some of you guys; my mother hates clutter. She also loves to throw out old things and get new things. When I was a kid, friends would come over and tell me I lived in a mueseum because our house looked so unlived in. So now I like having a bit of clutter arround since I feel like it makes a home look more warm and inviting:)

thalassa
04 Aug 2016, 03:51
I'm fond of possesions...

As long as they are possessions and not possessors.

(snip) Any object that is not food, water or shelter which moves from enhancing your life to controlling it is a problem that should be addressed. Otherwise, there are lots of cool things in the world. Have fun.

This^

I'm a big believer in two things that are perhaps seemingly contradictory: 1) Everyone should cherish their own treasured belongings (in which, "treasure" is defined as "things of deep meaningfulness to them") and 2) Everyone should be able to throw it all away, they are just things.

I like simplicity, but simplicity is not minimalism. Simplicity is about selectivity--choosing, even affirming, those things that are necessary, that are purposeful, and that are quality. I'd rather do without while I save for something that will last, unless its something that I can't do without.

B. de Corbin
04 Aug 2016, 04:04
If it becomes necessary, a person needs to be able to eat the family dog, but to do it "just because" would be a mark of insanity.

I feel the same way about possessions - if you have to get rid of them, be able to do it, but doing it "just because" would be loopy.

anunitu
04 Aug 2016, 04:12
Any good recipes for grilled Mutt?
BTW if your Dog managed to figure out how to open the fridge,you might want to ponder if he is an alien in disguise(reminds me of the song "devil in disguise")

Does this describe your beagle?

https://youtu.be/emjLXdsj6xA

callmeclemens
04 Aug 2016, 04:22
I think in the age of social media anybody can say they are anything, and I think possessions provide the proof.

B. de Corbin
04 Aug 2016, 05:54
Any good recipes for grilled Mutt?

Didn't you go to Asia in the Navy? Isn't usually Mongolian BBQ?


BTW if your Dog managed to figure out how to open the fridge,you might want to ponder if he is an alien in disguise(reminds me of the song "devil in disguise")

Nah - he's just food obsessed, and crafty (he will also grab hotdogs out of your hand if it gets within grabbing distance).

anunitu
04 Aug 2016, 06:09
actually,I have eaten dog,as well as monkey and RAT(In Peru they eat Guinea pig as well as Capabera)

Site about this. (http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/03/12/174105739/from-pets-to-plates-why-more-people-are-eating-guinea-pigs)

From NPR BTW.

Briton
21 Aug 2016, 13:10
I take Rick Stein's approach to foreign food and culinary tourism: would I eat it if it were served in my house? No? Then I wouldn't eat it abroad. That means dog. I wouldn't knowingly eat dog or cat, or the majority of carnivores.

Anyway. I find it hard to say because I don't know how much stuff other people have. I am a bit of an ascetic, I like a spartan home, and I am quite utilitarian. No, sorry, I am very utilitarian. But that doesn't mean I won't tolerate ornamentation, I just won't do it because "that's what I should do" or "that's what a house of this interior style should have".

If an ornamentation provides a purpose, such as I actively look at it and it is relaxing or nostalgic, then it is utilitarian, but still ornament. As such, I have money possessions, but it would take me only a day to pack for moving. The one thing I collect and don't use is books. Like, I'll buy them and think "I'll get round to reading them one day!" - ten years later they're on Freecycle.

Possessions can be good. They are the salt of physical life. Don't let them turn your life sour.

DragonsFriend
24 Aug 2016, 12:43
I have all that I need and a lot of things that I want but could live without.
I believe we are supposed to have what we need and can use to make life better.
I have a young neighbor who borrows tools to fix his stuff. He is very respectful and I have no problem loaning them to him. He is in the process of accumulating the tools he needs and like most young men with young families he is a hard working guy. I have spent my life accumulating the tools I have for jobs that I worked and the businesses that I have had. I am sure that he will eventually be asked to loan his tools to someone. That is the way life goes.