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Author Topic: Anti-Material Possessions?  (Read 4730 times)
meown
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« Topic Start: September 24, 2010, 06:36:51 am »

I know some religions or spiritual structures (I think Buddhism does), claim you should loosen the connection with earthly things, like possessions, to be able to have a spiritual life. Me personally, I'm a material girl. I love my stuff, and I respect mine and other peoples stuff and threat them with care. Is that so bad? I also was thinking that this might be destructive? If nothing is keeping you here on earth, then it would be easy to commit suicide, I guess, which is not so good.

It is right to enjoy life, isn't it? I think my goal (not really a goal, rather a pathway) is being happy in life. Making others happy, is also part of it, because it gives great satisfaction. I feel my feelings, but I can't without other people, so in theory I might be the most important, but in real life, the others are equally important to me, like family and friends, some are less because we don't share the same opinion, or people who have hurt me,... I do care about world peace, but I wouldn't travel the world to solve it. But sometimes I'm unhappy (I just hate school, but I'm doing the best I can), because I feel I need to do this to become it. Now I need to study and work really hard, that sometimes my head feels like it's going to explode, but I'll be a much happier woman when I graduate at college Smiley. Maybe you can compare it, by walking through the dessert to find an oasis, the question just is, was it worth all the suffering? I hope it is. Anyway, I've heard once, that a road without obstacles leads to nowhere.

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why? Who or what is central (your goal/pathway) in you life? Do you think you are the most important person, or you are less or equally to others? Do you handle in function of a God, some spiritual rules, or anything to guide you with the decisions?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 08:15:26 am by RandallS, Reason: Subject changed » Logged

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« Reply #1: September 24, 2010, 06:43:03 am »


I believe the material life is just as important as the spiritual life, and in some ways more so. The way I see it, lofty spiritual goals are fine and all, but are they putting food in my belly? Are they going to get me a job or entry into grad school? Will they make me happy, in the long run?

I like this world. It's a pretty neat place, with all its flaws. I think we should enjoy life as best we can while we're here (especially since I don't particularly believe in an afterlife that I can in any way appreciate). Life, the material world, our bodies aren't evil... and immaterial things aren't always good.
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« Reply #2: September 24, 2010, 08:15:48 am »


It is not bad or unspiritual to have and to want nice things.
Problems only start, if the things have you.
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« Reply #3: September 24, 2010, 08:20:44 am »

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why? Who or what is central (your goal/pathway) in you life? Do you think you are the most important person, or you are less or equally to others? Do you handle in function of a God, some spiritual rules, or anything to guide you with the decisions?

I don't think ones material life and one's spiritual life should be separate nor do I think that one has to deny one to have the other. However, stressing one too much is probably not a great idea. Balance in all things.

I believe all people are equally important -- myself included. That said, when push comes to shove the people I know and like will get more personal attention than people I don't know at all.
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« Reply #4: September 24, 2010, 08:36:59 am »

It is not bad or unspiritual to have and to want nice things.
Problems only start, if the things have you.

Yeah, your right, egoism and selfishness can hurt other people and make you unhappy, that's when the things have you. I think the most healthiest situation is one where we give and take equally? Thanks for the new perspective you gave me Smiley
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« Reply #5: September 24, 2010, 08:40:01 am »

I believe the material life is just as important as the spiritual life, and in some ways more so. The way I see it, lofty spiritual goals are fine and all, but are they putting food in my belly? Are they going to get me a job or entry into grad school? Will they make me happy, in the long run?

I like this world. It's a pretty neat place, with all its flaws. I think we should enjoy life as best we can while we're here (especially since I don't particularly believe in an afterlife that I can in any way appreciate). Life, the material world, our bodies aren't evil... and immaterial things aren't always good.

Well I do believe in afterlife, more as a similar way we live now. If you don't get along with other people in this life you won't get along with them in the next. So in some way there is a hell or a heaven, but it's just what you make of it yourself. By the way ,I imaging the afterlife more as an astral level of this world, or something like that...
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« Reply #6: September 24, 2010, 08:47:33 am »

I don't think ones material life and one's spiritual life should be separate nor do I think that one has to deny one to have the other. However, stressing one too much is probably not a great idea. Balance in all things.

I believe all people are equally important -- myself included. That said, when push comes to shove the people I know and like will get more personal attention than people I don't know at all.
I don't think I'm superior to other people. I believe all people should have the same human rights. But I won't deny myself in service of others, certainly not the ones I don't know. I won't travel to areas of disaster to help, because I know I wouldn't be able to handle it. Some way I'm a little egocentric I guess, but isn't everyone sometimes? I however do have more attention for friends and family in need, and I do what I can to cheer them up. Somehow you see the world from your point of view, so you handle equally with your personal feeling to make yourself happy? But I wouldn't be feeling happy if my family or friends are sad or in need, so in the end by helping them I'm helping me, because I'll get love in return.  And I haven't met any person who can live without love, whether it is love from family, friends, pets or a lover. Love can appear in different forms, but it is always around.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 08:52:11 am by meown » Logged
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« Reply #7: September 24, 2010, 10:21:20 am »

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why? Who or what is central (your goal/pathway) in you life? Do you think you are the most important person, or you are less or equally to others? Do you handle in function of a God, some spiritual rules, or anything to guide you with the decisions?

This life is meant to be lived, with all it's toys and amusements.  I don't believe in denying yourself the pleasures of this life just to enjoy the pleasures of the afterlife.  Besides, while I believe in an afterlife that will be quite pleasant, I can't know for sure.  So why deny me the pleasures of this life on the off chance that it pays off after death?

I'm central in my life, but not in a purely selfish way.  It's important to me to be able to help people, so I need to take care of myself first or else I'll be of no use to anyone else.  If I'm giving all my free time to charity, I'm not giving myself a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy life.  I'm going to be exhausted and therefore not be able to put my all into work or charity.  What if that means I end up losing my job?  Instead of doing charitable acts, I become a charity case.  Who then does that serve?  I always have to think of myself first, then give when and what I can, all in moderation.
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« Reply #8: September 29, 2010, 08:51:59 pm »

This life is meant to be lived, with all it's toys and amusements.  I don't believe in denying yourself the pleasures of this life just to enjoy the pleasures of the afterlife.  Besides, while I believe in an afterlife that will be quite pleasant, I can't know for sure.  So why deny me the pleasures of this life on the off chance that it pays off after death?

I'm central in my life, but not in a purely selfish way.  It's important to me to be able to help people, so I need to take care of myself first or else I'll be of no use to anyone else.  If I'm giving all my free time to charity, I'm not giving myself a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy life.  I'm going to be exhausted and therefore not be able to put my all into work or charity.  What if that means I end up losing my job?  Instead of doing charitable acts, I become a charity case.  Who then does that serve?  I always have to think of myself first, then give when and what I can, all in moderation.

Well, I think it's more of a question of who owns who.  If you're owned by your stuff, it holds you back from doing what you need to do or make you dispondant when you lose your stuff, it's a bad thing.  But I think the reverse can be true as well -- if you take too much pride in being "poor" then you're attached to that as a social status and an identity. 

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« Reply #9: September 29, 2010, 09:51:10 pm »

I know some religions or spiritual structures (I think Buddhism does), claim you should loosen the connection with earthly things, like possessions, to be able to have a spiritual life. Me personally, I'm a material girl. I love my stuff, and I respect mine and other peoples stuff and threat them with care. Is that so bad? I also was thinking that this might be destructive? If nothing is keeping you here on earth, then it would be easy to commit suicide, I guess, which is not so good.

It is right to enjoy life, isn't it? I think my goal (not really a goal, rather a pathway) is being happy in life. Making others happy, is also part of it, because it gives great satisfaction. I feel my feelings, but I can't without other people, so in theory I might be the most important, but in real life, the others are equally important to me, like family and friends, some are less because we don't share the same opinion, or people who have hurt me,... I do care about world peace, but I wouldn't travel the world to solve it. But sometimes I'm unhappy (I just hate school, but I'm doing the best I can), because I feel I need to do this to become it. Now I need to study and work really hard, that sometimes my head feels like it's going to explode, but I'll be a much happier woman when I graduate at college Smiley. Maybe you can compare it, by walking through the dessert to find an oasis, the question just is, was it worth all the suffering? I hope it is. Anyway, I've heard once, that a road without obstacles leads to nowhere.

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why? Who or what is central (your goal/pathway) in you life? Do you think you are the most important person, or you are less or equally to others? Do you handle in function of a God, some spiritual rules, or anything to guide you with the decisions?

I suppose I can understand the Buddhist perspective of "attachments" being the cause of suffering, but I do not agree with it. I could survive with the bare minimum, but surviving is not the same as thriving. The concept of Fír is central to my life, as is Dírgas. Fír is the way in which the cosmos is ordered, and the goal is to live in harmony with it. Likewise, Dírgas are the virtues I strive to embody, and by doing so can flourish. I certainly value my life, though I'd not hesitate to step between a loved one and what ever threat there was. I do not think I am weakned or reduced because of the attatchments I have, I am strengthened and enriched by them. Then again, my goal in life is not to escape from the world or achieve "enlightenment", my goal is to live the best life I can.

I'm  actually rather fond of the world. Imperfect as it is, I recognize that some universal state of paradisaical existence is never going to happen; utopia after all means "nowhere".
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« Reply #10: October 06, 2010, 12:52:11 pm »

Stuff is neat.
 I don't live in a place where whole families have to share one bed or you have to walk miles to get to a clean water source. Does that hinder me from being able to connect to myself and the universe? No, I don't think so. No matter how many tvs you have in your house you are still a part of "all this". It just may be hard to tap into a spiritual state when you have your head full of thoughts about clothes, car payments, the new iphone, etc... I do think you can lose sight of yourself and what is important when you start trying to fill the holes in your life with stuff. Conversely, I think material things can help you to get in touch with life, the universe and everything. Just the other day I found an old snow globe when I was cleaning and suddenly I was reeling back in time to when my mother gave it to me and the sweet sensations of nostalgia kept me giddy all day. I'm an artist and I use material things to both inspire and make art and without it my life would really not be complete.
 
However, there was a time when I learned my lesson the hard way when it came to spending money wisely. But that is another story  Tongue

It's like you guys said, balance!
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« Reply #11: October 06, 2010, 01:28:18 pm »

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why? Who or what is central (your goal/pathway) in you life? Do you think you are the most important person, or you are less or equally to others? Do you handle in function of a God, some spiritual rules, or anything to guide you with the decisions?

There's nothing wrong with enjoying the things you have.  I do find a certain joy in simplifying my life (which means getting rid of a lot of "stuff") and being more mindful about accumulating more things, however.

Brina
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« Reply #12: October 06, 2010, 03:08:28 pm »

I know some religions or spiritual structures (I think Buddhism does), claim you should loosen the connection with earthly things, like possessions, to be able to have a spiritual life.

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why?

I don't think material goods hamper your ability to connect with the spirit. I do agree with others here that the pursuit of material goods above all others might do so.

I am more of an anti-material girl in two ways.  One:  like Brina, I tend to want to remove clutter from my home and life when ever possible. I am the anti-hoarder, and things will not be allowed to linger if they are no longer useful, or no longer bring me joy.   Two: I am all about the concept of "enough"

Much of the world is tainted by the pursuit of material goods by those with no concept of what is enough. Everyone needs food, shelter and clean water. But we don't all need excesses of those things, and the pursuit of excess, not wealth, is often the root of all evil.
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« Reply #13: October 06, 2010, 09:34:29 pm »

Hi, Cathouse - please don't forget to quote, even when you're replying to the first post in a thread.  Thanks!

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« Reply #14: October 08, 2010, 01:25:26 am »

I am more of an anti-material girl in two ways.  One:  like Brina, I tend to want to remove clutter from my home and life when ever possible. I am the anti-hoarder, and things will not be allowed to linger if they are no longer useful, or no longer bring me joy.   Two: I am all about the concept of "enough"

I get this.  I think I'm similar, in a way.  I have many things that I probably don't actually need, as such, but my plan in life is to essentially find a job that needn't give me more money than is enough for a small flat with food, water and sufficient books/movies/Internet to keep me comfortable.  I would prefer to live a more...material-less life in some ways.  I'll always have hobbies and food preferences that perhaps cost more than I need to spend, but I can do that better with a small apartment that I rent or own, rather than a McMansion whose loan I'll be paying off until I'm fifty.

I think it's a matter of finding the lifestyle that you like, and then going from there.  I know people who'd prefer to have the McMansion, because they like big houses.  Personally, I think it's a bit much cleaning, but they wouldn't mind that.  Does that make them less spiritual?  Not really.  I see the idea behind the "give up worldly possessions" thing, but I prefer to think of it more as a balance.  Sure, try for material things, because material things are fun.  But don't forget to stock up on the other things, too, because they can be fun as well, and rewarding and all of that.

Also, remember that a lot of ancient peoples used to bury things with their dead, for the dead to use in the afterlife.  Most of them were probably very spiritual/devout people, but that didn't stop them from placing importance on material things.  So in the greater scheme of things, material or anti-material is very much up to you.
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