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Day 338: Have You Become A Stuff Protector?

“A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”

George Carlin

Stuff, things, pretty things, expensive things, nice things, old things, entertaining things, desirable things, unnecessary things, all these are part of the average lifestyle of the first world country human being, from beginning of life till the end, we are overwhelmed with stuff. We value the concept of ownership tenaciously, and most of us strive to expand our sphere of ownership in various ways – mostly through career and money – but also through experiential ownership in the form of memories, spiritual, religious or adventurous experiences, thoughts, education, and more. Objectively speaking, ownership is a not a problematic or consequential concept what-so-ever. To own is simply a verb that defines the action of having physical or mental control/possession over something. However, when ownership becomes feeling/emotional-based – and when we start to define OURSELVES – WHO WE ARE – according to our possessions, that is when this lifestyle must be put into question.

I recently read an article about a wealthy person that had been part of a long and tumultuous divorce process stretching over several years – and in the process – he had lost most of his belongings to his former spouse. What I found fascinating was how this individual, even though years had passed, was still investing time, effort and energy, in pursuing more court procedures, attempting to get back the things that he had once owned. In this person, I could clearly see the disturbingly  addictive quality that money and ownership can have, where without us being really aware of it, what we value and pay attention to slowly changes from ourselves HERE – to what we own, to our things, and what we want to have, and what we already have. What takes a back seat is LIVING – and what becomes the primary focus is MONEY and expanding our sphere of OWNERSHIP.

As I read this article, I could not help but reflecting on my own life, and how I have changed in many ways similar to this person since I was young. Because, when I was younger, from my years as a baby to my later teenage years, the focus within me was more on PHYSICAL living – and as I aged – this focus slowly started to change into money and ownership. I could see this pattern playing out even clearer as my partner and I built a house together. When the house stood finished, I started to have experiences and thoughts that were previously unknown to me. For example, a mistake that had been made in the building process, the shower was not placed correctly and as I had imagined it, that started to gnaw on me, and emotions came up of regret, judgment, fears and anxieties, all because my greatest and most valuable possession (the house I live in) was not built as perfectly as I desired, and thus, was not worth as much money as I had expected.

I took a while for me to realize what was going on, and how, instead of me using and owning my possessions as a practical part of my daily life, my possessions were internally owning and possessing me through constantly being in the back of my mind.

“He who looks after, takes care of things; forgets by and by that things were meant to serve him, and it does not strike him now when he started to serve them.”

Osho

Osho made some interesting observations about ownership. One of these is how we make ourselves a slave to our things when we relate to them using emotions or feelings, and thus make them part of WHO WE ARE – and by implication – making ourselves dependent on our things to be WHO WE ARE. For example, a master can only be a master if he has a slave, if the slave disappears, the master looses the thing he used to create his self-definition – thus causing inner conflict.

What can be learned from all of this? The way I see it, the point to understand is that possessions, things, stuff, are not part of WHO WE ARE – we were not born with them and we will not be able to take them with us when we die. The house that I built, and that I now live in, the various physical parts that constitutes the house were here before I was born, and they will continue to be here when I have died, maybe in the form of a house, maybe in some different shape – in any case – the house does not define me. Sure, I use the house, I live in it, and I can appreciate the various creature comforts it provides, but it does not define me. And that is the key to joyful living – to be IN this world – YET – not OF this world. To keep our jobs, care for our possessions, tend to our bodies, yet never forget that these things does not make us.

Children are inspirational examples that show what it means to be in this world yet not of this world. Children, they are not yet defined, limited, and confined within a certain lifestyle, position, or career – they are free to express themselves regardless of where they happen to be at the moment – and that is something we should all strive to create within ourselves – the FREEDOM to express even though we happen to live in a limited system that seldom allows us to bring that point of expression into full application.

I would like to end of with sharing one important point of consideration that I have come to realize with stuff. Many seem to believe that it is the stuff we own that ties us down, makes us materialistic, egoistic, possessive, and self-interested – that makes us forget the unconditional joy we could access as children – however – this is not the case. We must not accept and allow ourselves to blame our stuff, or believe that we through getting rid of stuff can erase and change our relationship with this reality and the stuff that populates it. Because the problem is and has always been ourselves, and our relationship with ourselves. Most stuff that we desire and want are but projections of our own inner state of lack, only there because we have not created ourselves to live according to our utmost potential – and thus – our desire to consume and acquire more things is in actuality a misdirected attempt to fulfill ourselves. It is the same process that occurs when people start to mold and shape their bodies to resemble images portrayed in media, believing that by attaining such a picture perfect body image they will feel whole and fulfilled – that is not the case – it is an illusion.

Hence, if you notice movements within yourself in relation to the things you own, it is a cool cross-reference point, because then you know that there are still points to work with. A feeling of desire towards owning more entertainment gadgets could imply that you are not yet sufficiently capable of entertaining yourself, or creating an entertaining life for yourself. The correction is thus not to sell your television, but rather to look at the underlying issue that creates the experience of desire.


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Day 5: Slow Down Man

For some weeks now I’ve been practicing some pieces on the guitar that are particularly difficult – for example: one song that I am practicing is made by Jimi Hendrix – and as most know – he was a very technically distinguished guitar-player – and as such it’s been hard for me to imitate and learn the particular playing techniques.

Though, in walking this process of learning some difficult songs I’ve realized one important point – that I’ve seen is a key in terms of really being able to learn a difficult song – and play it without mistakes and with the same technical mastery as it’s original creator – and this one point is – take it slow.

So – when I am learning a song I am pushing myself to practice, and rehearse the particular section of the song, the particular notes that I am to play – very slow – and in this I am allowing my fingers to become comfortable with the particular technique, and way of playing – and then slowly I am increasing the speed – and putting more effort into practicing the parts that I find especially difficult – slowly but surely building a physical comfortableness towards being able to play the song – fast – and accurate – and at the same time effortless.

Within doing this I’ve made some interesting observations about myself, and about how process functions – and is to be walked. What I’ve seen in terms of myself is that – I’ve had a tendency through out my life to walk points FAST – walk them NOW – get them DONE – here – okay done! Next point! And within this I’ve not allowed myself to learn a particular skill solidly – in really cementing that particular skill in the very cells of my physical body – I’ve not allowed myself to build a steady foundation before I move unto the more advanced stuff.

For example – I could see that how I’ve not done this in relation to my guitar-playing – and accordingly my guitar-playing is generally filled with many small technical mistakes – when I play fast on the guitar I tend to miss notes, and I miss strings with my plectrum – or I hit a wrong note – and that is because I’ve not slowly, but surely practiced my speed – and made sure that I have a solid foundation of having a effective technique on the guitar – before I move on to play faster on the guitar.

Now – in terms of process – I can see how the exact same principle applies here as with the guitar playing – and how I’ve done the exact same thing in relation to process that I’ve done in relation to my guitar playing. Process is best walked SLOWLY wherein – I allow myself to build a foundation, and slowly but surely accumulate knowledge – understanding insight – and how I then form a foundation – and I begin to practice this knowledge in practical living – doing it slowly – being specific – noticing where my technique is not perfect – and then going back to re-establish my foundation – and then slowly but surely perfect my technique.

As a practical example – I notice that I react in fear when I meet a certain individual in my world – I mean – then the slow approach would be to first sit down and write about the point – not react in judgment towards the point – not feel that I “have the correct the point now!” – but instead taking my time in accumulating my understanding, and insight in relation to the point – then – when I have all the information – I apply self-forgiveness – and commitments – and then I walk the correction – and I observe my application – and if there are still reactions – I go back to the drawing board – and I yet again sit down to investigate how it is that I am still holding unto some part of the mind – the key here being to let the process of stopping a particular pattern take the time it requires – to not try to force it – but to walk it through from the foundation – to perfecting my application – and doing that in such a way that I really do get to a state of being perfect in my application.

So – looking at it like this – the process of learning to play guitar – and becoming a excellent guitar player – is the same process as learning to live – and becoming a living expression – as a living and breathing human-being here – what’s important is to walk it slowly – and get the foundation built meticulously and with specificity – and then when the basics are settled – to then start to move myself into the more advanced stuff.

This entire point of taking it slow – and taking my time – and being patient – and walking every moment – this is something that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to give to myself in my process – or in my life in general – instead my life has been like a fucking race to try to get somewhere – and within this I’ve compromised myself – because I’ve not allowed myself to develop a effective foundation – and get to perfect the basics – before I set myself to perfect the advanced.

In looking at where this comes from – I can see that I’ve through-out my life always strived to be the best – and feel like I am the best – and as such I’ve never wanted to settle with only knowing the basics – because I’ve wanted to immediately become more – and get to that place – get ahead – and become more advanced – what I didn’t see was how this type of mentality and attitude really in-fact backfires – because sure – you’ll be able to do the advanced stuff – yet it won’t be particularly good – it won’t be particularly effective – and there will really be more mistakes done – than things being done correctly.

Thus – what I am going to practice giving to myself – and living in my life is – to take things slow – and to walk the basics – and to not stress – force points – and this applies not only to my process – but to everything in my life – from my studies – my guitar playing – in essence any form of process that I am walking wherein I am building a skill – this is where I must take into consideration the fact that I can only go to the advanced – when I’ve a effective understanding of the basics – of the very plain and rudimentary points within the skill that I’ve set myself to learn.

Self-forgiveness
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to stress, and attempt, and try to force myself to get ahead – and to develop new skills – and to move faster – instead of accepting and allowing myself to see, realize and understand – that I will move faster – in moving slower – that I will learn and become more effective – when I accept and allow myself to take my time and develop the basics – the very foundation upon which I am going to stand in terms of developing the more advanced aspects of the point that I am walking

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to achieve, to learn fast, and to become the best – and the ultimate – as fast as possible – instead of accepting and allowing myself to see, realize and understand how this type of desire, and want is really ego – and how it’s not resulting in my actually moving myself forward – and expanding myself – but is more resulting in my time-looping – and developing a seemingly advanced expression – but it’s really just a paper-tiger – that can be washed away in one moment – because I haven’t established a effective and sound foundation in terms of what it is that I am doing

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not practice walking slowly – walking with patience – being specific and precise – and developing the basics and the foundation with meticulous attention to the details – in accepting allowing myself – to take each point that I am walking to perfection – taking it slowly but surely to perfection – seeing that there is no reason to stress – or try to force a faster movement – because it won’t result in me becoming better anyway – it will only result in me accumulating my own fall at a later stage – wherein I will fall down and crumble because I didn’t effectively establish a sound foundation – and get to develop the basics effectively

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that one of the reasons as to why this world is fucked up – and why there are so many accidents – why there are so many failed human-beings – is because the education system – and the labor system – is set up around money – wherein money demands that the human being moves pressured by time – to produce a particular result during this time – not taking into consideration that a skill can’t develop by a expectation in relation to time – but must develop organically – and in relation to my movement with and as my human physical body – which is not something that can be determined in hours, or minutes – but is something that develops HERE – in the time it takes – which might be a year – or simply some days

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not move myself on a breath, by breath basis – in accepting and allowing myself to not move – and force myself according to time – but to instead move myself with and as my human physical body – in taking into consideration where my human physical is in this breath – and where I am within this breath – and looking at the actuality of what is here – not looking at where I apparently should be – as a expectation formulated by the idea that I should move a particular distance in a particular amount of time – and then trying to enforce this idea through moving myself in hastiness and stress – instead of taking my time – being patient – and moving myself with and as my human physical body here

Self-commitments
When and as I see that am forcing movement – that I am trying to move myself beyond my capabilities without first establish a effective foundation, and learning – mastering the basics – I immediately stop myself, I take a breath, and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that – I require to master – and get effective within the basics – the elementary – before I move unto more advanced stuff – else the advanced stuff will be crap – because I can’t handle the point; as such I commit myself to be patient with myself – to move myself in equilibrium with and as my capacity in seeing what I am able to handle – and then pushing myself gently forward – in making sure that I get all the points effectively down – before I move to the next point

When and as I seeing that I am forcing myself from a starting point of thinking that “I want to get there! I want to be the best and not only average!” – I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand – that I will only ever be able to truly master a point when I allow myself to take it slow – and to walk and perfect the basics – and the naturally develop the advanced stuff – and within this I also see that there is nothing to gain in being the “best” – it’s only an idea that I’ve accumulated and defined myself in relation to – and not something that is actually real; as such I commit myself to slow down – and to see that when I walk it slow – I really in-fact walk it fast – because I won’t have to back when I am at the advanced stuff – and re-build my foundation – because I got the points down during the time I walked through them – because I gave myself the necessary time

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