My Body My Stuff

January 24, 2008

Sometimes I worry that discarding lots of my stuff is an exercise in self-destruction. One way of looking at it is: my real self is in my mind and body, not in the possessions I’ve collected over my lifetime. So when I reduce the volume of my junk pile, my body is not being reduced or destroyed.

The resistance I feel to letting things go is my identification with stuff as being a part of my Self. If someone treats a thing I own with disrespect, I feel as though they treated me that way! Theft used to be the worst possible crime I could imagine (short of murder). Can you imagine? Having something stolen would be like having part of you ripped away. Why is it that packrats feel their possessions are the same as their personal identity?

Is minimalism a desire to become nothing? Like a slow suicide? Perhaps, if the perceived connection between owner and owned is a real/physical one.

I seek freedom. Not just from clutter or junk so much as freedom from this strange identification with things. A breaking of the psychological bond with inanimate objects.

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