31 August 2007


Webster's Dictionary defines "possession" as "domination by something (as an evil spirit, a passion, or an idea)". I would add to that list, "or things".

The more "things" you own, the less your life is yours. You don't own "things"; "things" own you. Remember the last time you moved. Did you see a boxful of "things" that you hadn't opened since the last move and think, "Hmmm. Why do I still have these?" Then, did you go ahead and move that box anyway? Yep; everyone does it.

Why are houses so large? As George Carlin said, they are to hold all our "stuff". Look at the Mongolian nomads with their yurts. They are able to dismantle their house, pack up all their stuff on a small cart to be pulled by a horse, and can move on to somewhere else. The Gypsies are the same way: everything they need is in their vardo (the Gypsy word for "wagon", often pulled behind a horse or nowadays a truck). And ask these people if they are happy. You will be answered with a smile, an affirmative response, and often some sort of treat, dinner, or tea. These people have very little in the way of "things", and they have everything. They have love, happiness, the stars over their heads, and the ground under their feet. They eat well, raise their children well, see amazing places, and do amazing things. They are fulfilled, even with few possessions.

Maybe I've mis-spoken. I said, "even with", as if the normal state is to have big piles af "stuff". It's not! The normal state — the state from which we are born and into which we die — has nothing. We are born naked, and as people say, "you can't take it with you". We come into life empty-handed and leave the same way. Therefore, the "natural state of man" with regards to "things" is to have nothing whatsoever.

So, why do we all have so much shit? I'm not only talking about physical "things", either, but anything that can possess us, including ideas. Sometimes possession is acceptable or even desirable. Most of the time it isn't.