Preoccupation with materialism

Personally I do not feel that there is anything wrong – or not good – with having, owning, or possessing. In fact, much can be created in the process of acquisition and many dramas gone through. After all, as humans, we do enjoy from time to time drama in our lives. Life is – we are told – for living and material possessions can bring joy, warmth, fun, comfort and a lot of pleasure. It is all there to be used and enjoyed, but be prepared to let it all go if need be.

Life as you know can change in an instant, we can go from rags to riches and riches to rags, anything is possible. If you do loose it all, remember you acquired in the first place and you can acquire again. You may feel the victim of a situation but realize that you are not, we really do create our own realities. There might be a time in your life when you do not want the responsibility of materialism, feel like sitting on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. This is not as far fetched or as unlikely as it might sound, most of us do, at some point in our life, experience the “I want to get away from it all” mode and it can be a lot more than a feeling, a real need. Some are brave enough to live out their fantasy and fulfill that need, more hang on and don’t let go, perhaps finding a less dramatic way of expressing and experiencing that part of themselves. If we sat down and wrote a list of what we truly need on a material level, we would mostly be surprised at just how small and basic that list will be.

“I am a believer in having it all.”

To relook at your needs and to put what you want and feel might seem like a very simple and common sense step to take, but it is always surprising at the endless numbers of people who are trapped or believe themselves to be trapped in the universal preoccupation with materialism. If you are one of those people staying in a work situation or lifestyle that you despise, that only brings you the material, it might be time to reassess the situation. If you see now that you do not seem to have enough time, what will you do to change that? Will you do whatever it takes? How many of us put others first and keep staying stuck for them? For example we believe our family needs that standard of living, parents are proud of what we achieve, all our friends and others seem to be living to specific lifestyles. A good start is to regularly clear out your home, let go of all the things that are broken, no longer work and that you no longer need. This then will leave room for new ideas, situations and beginnings to come into your life.

Western society mainly conditions us to measure others and ourselves by what we have rather than who we are and what we are about. We judge ourselves and others on the abilities that we have to get things and then keep them . There are many symbols of status; we are a world of those who have and those who have not. Rich and poor people, rich and poor countries. Yet, rich is just a matter of perspective? If you give most of your time to whatever it takes to gain those symbols of success and materialism and then to keep them, what time do you have left for you to dream, to travel, to fly, to soar, to explore all of your endless selves and realities, all that you are and all that is?

To own your own house, your own piece of land is to a lot of people a basic requirement. It signifies freedom for themselves and even their future generation. But think again, what about that freedom that you already have, that your children have inside of yourself, that can never be taken away even were you to spend your life locked up in jail. There is some difference between owning a piece of land and knowing that the country, the planet and universes are also yours. You can travel to all of these places within yourself and faster than the speed of light, less than even a thought. It also seems that a part of our nature is to want to give our children what we did not have especially on a material level. It would seem normal that we wish to protect children from going without and feeling the pain associated with being without on a material level. We then decide in some way on their life experience and growth patterns. This might be what is accepted as right but it does not necessarily mean that it is right for all individuals or their life experience. From our own past painful experiences we seem to fear the worst and want to protect our children from any kind of poverty. Do we ever look at children and see just how rich they are already?

To have and enjoy the material is different from feeling held back or stuck with it. I am a believer in having it all. If you can no longer see the bigger picture beyond materialism you might then be for a moment stuck. Think about all that life is and all that it can be. The saying that life is what happens when you were busy making plans is a truth in itself.

The great news is that there is always a way, even if you do not see one right now, just put your thoughts in that direction. There is no need to get lost in the preoccupation with materialism which can bring fear of loosing and guilt of having. Rather enjoy life both with and without!

November 1997

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