One thing I have enjoyed being homeless the last couple years is having the perfect excuse to enjoy being the minimalist I’ve always been.
Las time I checked, life is a temporary condition and we don’t even take our bodies with us. Why is it we insist anyone needs to own anything from a what fucking good has it done our species perspective with the psychospirilosophic view as viewed by your friendly neighborhood Rock ‘N’ Roll Shaman.
I remember George Carlin did this bit on stuff.
Your stuff is stuff and other peoples stuff is shit.
My stuff and your shit.
Here’s the pretty lies about stuff.
I worked hard to have all this stuff.
I deserve this stuff because I earned it.
My stuff shows the value and worth of my life.
My stuff shows how successful I am.
If had no stuff I would have no life,
My dad watches this reality show where these guys drive around and buy junk and resell it as antiques.
Quick lesson in value and what it actually is.
A thing only has the value that you place on it and can convince other people that it has the same value to them. You lie and get other people to share in your delusion that this thing holds any value. You tell a story and use emotional triggers and talk about how you need this in order to do this or that and create a fable to justify your ownership of a thing and what it will take for you to let that thing go.
That’s what value is in application and execution as it applies to stuff.
The only reason to argue with me is because you just started feeling guilty about all the stuff around you and it’s easier to talk shit about the Shaman than to look honestly at yourself. Or to say if you feel the need to argue I already know your argument and the inspiration or intent behind it.
I have been working on a project that is the Psychospirilosophic view of Wicca often called witchcraft. Wicca has one major thing that they call “Do no harm.”
Take a look around at the stuff around you and take a few minutes to think about where the materials come to make it and who made it so all you had to do was buy it.
If it was made in China it was probably made under slave conditions.
If is has any plastic that means that untold amounts of pollution was released into the atmosphere to create that thing.
How much harm was done to have it shipped to the store where you bought it?
Any human being alive does harm just in being alive. however that is not a license to be gluttonous and greedy. A thinking human who cares about something other than themselves works at minimizing the harm their life causes by learning to live without so much stuff.
A selfish human will go on and on about having the right to do as they will and who am I to judge them for leading such an excessive life style that takes and takes and creates more and more harm to satisfy their desire to have more stuff.
I am not offering condemnation, I am offering observation based on results.
Let’s apply psychology to this issue of stuff and the mass acquiring of it.
One who defines themselves through their belongings sees no value in themselves.
If they did they would not need symbols of status known as stuff to impress themselves and others with their life. They idea that one needs to acquire stuff in order to have their life show value is operating from a lack state of mind. They lack stuff and only stuff will make their life whole and give it meaning.
It is insecurity based on the idea that if they do not have as much stuff or cooler stuff than others than their life has been wasted and they have no value as a human.
This is actually how we treat each other and the only goal of marketing and branding.
To shame one into keeping up with the Jones’. To use emotional triggers to convince one that if one does not have stuff or this particular stuff one has not done well as a human.
Success means you wear these clothes, drive this car, have this phone, have this house, have this and have that.
The only goal of marketing and branding is to create a perceived emotional result that the product or service is supposed to give you.
It is in being a minimalist that I study my own motivation behind every thing I buy to have as my stuff. One who understands why they do what they do understands why any human would do what they do.
I stop and think about why I want something.
What is the result I am looking for in having this thing?
If I get this thing will it really make my life better?
If I am using this thing as a reward to motivate myself, why am I not motivated to begin with?
From a spiritual point of view, I often find tales of those with much are cautionary tales of how having much does not bring joy into one’s life and one’s who care greatly about possessions will act in inhuman ways to acquire and keep what they say is theirs. Many of these tales are told to show the corruption of the soul when one becomes obsessed with acquiring material wealth and possessions to define one’s life.
For me personally the value in being a minimalist is this. I don’t worry or stress about anything happening to all my stuff.
My philosophical quote that I create to remind myself of these things is “The value of my life is the impact I make in the lives of others regardless of how much stuff I ever have.”
Life is a temporary condition.
There is no way around that absolute fact of actual truth.
Since life is temporary what makes us think we own anything if it will be here after we are gone?
The only reason psychologically speaking to acquire mass amounts of stuff is to show one’s superiority over other ones. The behavior is 100% driven by insecurity and fear of how one will be seen by other ones. Again this is an inescapable fact of actual truth.
The value of being a minimalist is being able to see the value in one without needing a bunch of stuff to validate one’s existence.
The stuff we think we own says more about us on a psychological level than most of us are comfortable with admitting to ourselves much less anyone else.
No one wants to admit they were taken in by the pretty lies when the ugly truth shows up.
Thankfully the truth doesn’t give a fuck and exists as truth anyway.