Thursday, August 31, 2006

Material Possessions Suck

I don't mean just in the sense that they are not cool. I mean they actually provide suction. The suck you down, taking up your time, your money, your space, until you're crushed under the weight of falling newspapers one day when you're old.

Take, for instance, me. For the past 2 weeks, I've been moving my physical possessions from one locale to another. TWO WEEKS, 1 carload and 1 cartload at a time. That's 12 carloads and cartloads of stuff (I took a couple days off). In that time, all I've had time to do is move stuff from one locale to another.

In that time, I've had no time to consider the things I enjoy doing: Gnosticism. Hermeticism. Beer. Video games. Nothing. Just moving stuff, over and over and over.

And as I've started unpacking, I'm coming to realize that some of the stuff is a) not useful anymore, b) hasn't been used in over 3 years, or c) simply inappropriate for our new locale.

I'm beginning to understand why so many mystical/spiritual people regard wealth and possessions as evil. The attachment to them is a killer. I've joked with my wife we'd just put it all in a pile and light it on fire. Next time we move, I won't be joking.

So, here's my vow: I'm not buying anything durable (i.e., I will buy food and alcohol and toilet paper and toothpaste) without getting rid of two durable things. That includes books! I also have two older computers, and far too much furniture. I'm getting rid of as much of it as I can. I already got rid of a roto-tiller and an old armchair, and I hope they do someone else some good. Now, for all those old books.


Shawn™ said...

Namaste and welcome back hopefully,

A rototiller? LOL

I force my wife to purge every couple of years. We have a small space that we put aside for storage of useless things and when more useless things end up there and can't's time to go a-purging!

I don't buy stuff. My wife is the consumer. I claimed personal bankruptcy about 2 years ago and it changed my perception on material things forever. To be forced through such a painfully humbling and shaming experience all in the name of stuff was ludicrous. I spend money on clothes when necessary (I like to feel pretty) but only with what we have budgeted. I only have one credit card with a limit of $500 and a mortgage. If I can't pay for it then, I don't buy it. Makes life a lot easier and more guilt free.

Scott Rassbach said...

I hope to be there soon. I'm not buyin' anything else. Period. Especially not on credit.

Where I run into problems is I like a good meal and drinks. THAT'll run my debt up fast.

Light and Life said...


I know what you mean.

I moved here in 96 and everything I owned fit in a backpack.

I just finished moving in June and I kept thinking "Where did all this crap come from? Is this mine? Is this me?"

Shawn™ said...

It's all in the budget. Big mistake most people make is not budgeting the little things. Gifts, haircuts (not a problem for you though, eh?), entertainment, vet bills, clothes, shoes, etc...

If you take all of it and extrapolate it out over the year and save it every month then you will be ahead of the game. We budget ourselves allowances for entertainment and dining out, too, and take it out in cash rather than credit or debit.

Works for us. Takes some discipline though!