Monday, September 27, 2010

Less is More

I remember being able to move my entire belongings in one car. I remember having 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 forks, 1 spoon, and 1 pot and pan. I remember mixing my spaghetti in a water pitcher and with a knife because I didn't own a big bowl or a large spoon. I remember using a milk crate as a dining table... (pics below)

My apartment of yesteryear.

Those were happier times. *sigh*

But then something happened. A movement swept through my humble beginnings, mo' money brought mo' problems; The Great Accumulation began. It wasn't long before I had a roommate. It wasn't long at all before Stuff moved into my apartment. And yes, Stuff is in fact a breathing entity! Stuff is like an annoying affectionate pet, a needy child, NO, Stuff is like an excessively needy and clingy adult! How you ask? Well Stuff requires constant attention, we have to make room in our lives and residences for Stuff, we have to clean our Stuff, we worry about Stuff, fret over other people taking our Stuff, Stuff takes our money and gives what back? Nothing! It just leaves the door open for more Stuff to clutter our lives.

So much Stuff! Curse you, Great Accumulation!

Ah, but there's hope. A clear white light shines before me. The Great Accumulation has finally come to a close. I finally see what I've been doing to myself. It's now time for the Great Reduction! My belongings are spilling out and finding hiding places all over my apartment. Unacceptable! I just need to listen to the words of people much wiser than I am.

Buddha said, "The world, indeed, is like a dream and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!"

Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (a Hindu sacred text), " should be...established in eternal truth, self-controlled, without any sense of duality or the desire to acquire and hoard." [2:45]

Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [Matthew 19:21]

The proof is in the pudding! If Buddha, Sri Krishna, and Jesus are speaking the same truths, how foolish would I be to not heed their words? There is something to be said for a truth that is echoed in cultures and spiritual traditions around the world. Not dogma about this or that, but a simple idea to help someone live a better, simpler, and more fulfilling life. I want a better and more fulfilling life and I want to evict Stuff! This isn't a situation where I empty out my apartment, eat only with my hands, and return to my milk crate days (I've come to really appreciate my table) but rather one where Stuff realizes that our relationship has changed and I with it. I want Stuff to know, that..., that its nothing that she did but that its me that has changed. I want Stuff to know that the times we had together were great, but her time in my life is closing. *sniff*

Good Bye, Stuff... We'll always have Paris




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