Contentedness with little and the fetishisation of possession

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

Photography: Jorge Royan, Argentina

Writing as an inhabitant of an island which, whilst sinking in debt, is superficially moneyed, I’m conscious that the title of this piece is a little facile. I have no clever way with finances, and am still to luck-out on the lottery, yet hold few concerns over meeting my future needs, and none over my present. And I write having made what is I think a fair guess: that most readers too are similarly comfortable. But if like the good lady in our picture, your living is scraped selling wildfowl on the streets of Havana, these musings could but only appear both facile and irrelevant.

So the expression in the title ‘with little’ is relative. Contextually, it means the provision of one’s modest needs and comforts only, relative to societal norms. And the argument I put forward invites you to ponder a way of living contentedly which discounts unreasoned desire and aspiration. Now of course, we can dwell contentedly with any amount of excess or luxury, though these surfeits add naught to our emotional well-being. Once satiated psychologically, their indulgence produces nothing further in our subjective sense of ease – rien du tout, zip, nada.

So why argue the case for moderation; what’s the point in spoiling all the fun? From any ethical or environmental perspective, the case can be readily, if a little tediously, made; such positions need no reworking here. This is about contentedness; we’re juggling with ideas of personal passivity and (dare I say it?) acceptance. It’s about how these dynamics play out subjectively in the warp and weft of life. The case to argue here surrounds our compulsive possessiveness, our overstated claims, our overreaching desires, and how these blind us to our emotional needs. And what does any such lack of balance produce? For many it conduces only to ill health or the despoiling of relationships and family life. We pursue this myth of well-being through accumulation whilst neglecting ourselves and those closest to us. Not only this, but we miss the mark of contentedness itself; because by definition, to be content is to be satisfied and remain psychologically at rest with what one has. We need to re-examine what motivates this acquisitiveness and look at its effects – did it produce the sense of fulfilment we rashly assumed that it would?

Indeed, so blinded are we as to what motivates our accumulative nature that we’ve lost sight of its very purpose. We’re often only barely aware, if at all, of what drives our compulsive desires; whilst the vision we have of the objects of those desires retains an almost hallucinogenic vibrancy. We unthinkingly hunt down what occupies our attentions whilst losing sight of the primary reason for their pursuit. What drove the process was a matter of the psyche: a deeper need for emotional fulfilment. We confuse the means with the end, and are left dissatisfied time and again.

Much of this behaviour is rewarded with short-term gratifications. We momentarily or, perhaps for a day or two, feel satisfied with our successful acquisition. This fleeting sense of gratification acts as an endorsement of the process and so we fail to question whether our more fundamental psychological needs were met. We set out in our pursuit so as to feel happier or more contented; and this again, is what drove the whole process – the need for emotional fulfilment. In a sense we’re bought off by the fleeting gratification; we’re sold short, short-changed. And of course, because of this, the psychological needs remain in place. We still, albeit perhaps only at a barely conscious level, have a sense of lack or dissatisfaction. So accustomed are we to this vague feeling that we never question its existence; we accept it as part of the emotional wallpaper. And yet it’s this that triggers the next round of acquisitiveness, the repetition of compulsive desire. It’s no wonder that after a few years of this cycle, we become stressed and anxious; our health begins to fail; our relationships disintegrate; things fall apart.

So, moderation and a sense of balance are called for. In reappraising what it is that we want from life, we discover the fundament is simply contentedness. We now have a clear reference point from which we can navigate our way towards balance. For many of us, this reorientation will involve moderating desires and aspirations. Actually, it entails clarifying the hierarchy of our desires themselves. This means indulging only those reasoned conducive to emotional fulfilment, and bringing balance to any habituated tendency to acquire, accumulate and possess.

It’s not about asceticism and depriving ourselves of pleasure per se. Material acquisitiveness is hardly an assurance of delight and pleasure in any case. If we can calm this fetishisation of possession, of accumulation, we lend ourselves to a pleasing sense of ease amidst even the mundane, finding repose in our simple presence of being. So the moderation balances the overreaching fixation with goods, with what is truly good. Absenting this, we remain trapped in a cycle of desire and gratification, never free to realise any enduring emotional well-being.

In contentedness, we relinquish desire itself, and the need to moderate expires along with it. Desire on its own isn’t pleasant, no more than thirst and hunger are. It’s often accompanied with excitement, and we conflate and confuse the two. Clarifying this conceptual mess involves living contemplatively, and in so doing we disentangle ourselves from the whole sorry state. The idea of contentedness with little isn’t viewed as some trite and precious New-Age trope; it’s lived and is real. In using desire to overcome desire, we at last find what we’ve been looking for.

31 thoughts on “Contentedness with little and the fetishisation of possession

  1. This comes at a time when I realize my acquisitiveness is out of hand, though modest by some standards. I am struggling to fight the endless desires, and am determined to do so. Thanks for a great post which I am going to read again.

    • Thank you for your open-hearted honesty Ellen, for which I applaud you.

      It’s all too easy for us to be seduced by life’s little gratifications; and in so doing we deny ourselves the greater reward of a simple contentedness. This, I suppose, is the double-edged sword that is life in a plentiful consumer society.

      More than half the battle is in having an awareness of our situation of course, and you clearly demonstrate you’re on the home straight in this regard. If I may, I will keep tabs on your progress via your delightful and inspiring website.

      With gratitude and great respect to you Ellen, Hariod.

  2. Hello Hariod,

    As a pre-script, I am really enjoying the artwork and photography on your site. It is beautiful and lends a very human dimension to the proceedings. It is a joy to click over here and find such a sea of smiling faces and colored textures.

    I wonder if you might offer your thoughts on the manner in which contentedness addresses the projected sensation of lack itself. For instance, while the desire to accumulate may be moderated, and one can find ways to be at peace in any situation, and to achieve and maintain a sense of well-being on any budget, I think there is an under-riding fear of being without – not only now, but at some future point – that can still stalk us within the present moment. This is kind of the ego’s last argument perhaps . . . yes, you’re happy now, but look at that storm brewing. You are one hospitalization away from losing whatever perch you have accepted. It is all too easy to succumb to the realization that one is only a single unexpected calamity away from an altogether different sort of experience.

    I am wondering ultimately, I suppose, about the notion of creativity as it relates to contentedness. Can the contentedness you describe lead to an active, creative outpouring? Or is it more passive in nature, suggesting that by resting in contentment one can remain so despite whatever comes?

    Obviously thoughts of the future in general, correctly identified as movement away from the present, can be dismissed as the “problem” itself. And maybe that answers the question . . . Though not so very well for the mind that has yet to experience the underlying field of contentedness, and maybe this is why you mentioned elsewhere about the issue of evidence? The mind seeks that bit of evidence that it might relinquish its control. I am thinking, in general terms, about two approaches:

    First, if you look at personal belief systems in general, there is one approach of putting one’s faith in the providence of an outside, benign system. This is, I think, problematic in that it maintains a distance between oneself and “It”, between oneself and Providence, which could be perhaps taken as a proxy for the field of authenticity that lies beyond the stream of mentation. And although this may be problematic from the perspective of maintaining a self and other, the answer to my question in this scenario would be that faith and trust are placed (whether “correctly” or not is for each to decide, perhaps) in an outside agency. A mind that can accept this may elect to release the fear of the future, and replace it (perhaps) with concern about its relation to the outside agency in which the faith and trust have been placed. Cracks in that relationship undermine the certainty derived from it. When the relationship is couched within a dogmatic faith, and defined by shall(s) and shall not’s, I think it can become closed or stale. This approach can be, in my mind, problematic in the sense that it results in a rigidity of thought, and a close-mindedness to accepting all that one comes into contact with, thus maintaining a distance (intentionally or not) with the stream of one’s life. And just as with my questions above about contentedness, we can find adherents to a faith such as this that find in that faith a foundation for creative action, as well as those who find a means of “accepting what comes”.

    Maybe that is ultimately the paradox I’m trying to put my finger on in all this . . . 🙂

    Second, there is the approach in which one dis-identifies with the stream of mentation, and discovers that the contentedness awaiting them is a vibrant, intimate, familiar, sustaining “place”, the nature of which itself dissolves concerns such as I have asked about. The experience one has is evidence itself, and concerns simply such as I have described simply become non sequiturs.

    I could accept this premise, but am curious to know your thoughts on this, and also on the paradox of creating versus accepting, or receiving.

    Thanks for tolerating the long-winded wind-up!

    With much appreciation for the work you are doing here –

    Michael.

    • Thank you for expressing your appreciation of the artwork and photography displayed alongside the articles Michael. As this site is essentially a place for one to read, and contains no videos and few other distractions, I try to be careful in selecting just a little visual stimulus so as to set the tone and lend a touch of human feeling to proceedings that might compensate for any lack in my rather dry writing.

      I will now attempt to respond to your points, each in turn, though please bear in mind that, due to space considerations only, these responses may sound a little abrupt – this in no way conveys any disapproval of your detailed comment and which I very much warm to:

      You ask of the manner in which ‘contentedness addresses the projected sensation of lack itself.’ In the strictest sense, then the two are mutually exclusive, as by definition, to be content is not to experience lack. If there is ‘an under-riding fear of being without’, and assuming that fear is not latent but actual, then one is by default discontent in some degree. When you posit that such a fear can ‘stalk us within the present moment’, then it suggests a following shadow or some such, a barely conscious sensation of concern as to our predicament, whether current or projected into the future. For me this would be an extant presentation of the superimposition that the mind makes as regards our current attitude or intentional stance of the sentient system as a whole – it would not be latent, it would be an actuality, and its existence would disqualify any state of contentedness as conventionally conceived i.e. a state of mind.

      You go on to suggest that one’s sense of psychological balance and well-being is but one negative event away from dissolving. And yes, for the most part this is so; and by that I mean that for just so long as one identifies with one’s own narrative formations, then so it is that they harbour a certain pernicious power that exerts prior to and beyond the later actuality of the event itself. For example, you say ‘It is all too easy to succumb to the realization that one is only a single unexpected calamity away from an altogether different sort of experience.’ This is a movement in thought, and which evokes, and so attends with, unpleasant feelings. Now typically, this succumbing is a transient and intermittent event – it flashes in and out of awareness; it is not any constant. If we imagine ourselves as somehow retaining this narrative snippet through identifying with it, meaning fictionalising a self-entity which is assumed to both own and be affected by it, then our balance dissolves accordingly as we incorrectly assume a continuity which simply isn’t there. In this instance, the self-entity regards itself as the subject of experience, the homunculus within or experiencer of experience, and so it is just this that causes apparent shadows to follow an imagined continuum of ‘me’.

      You ask: ‘Can the contentedness you describe lead to an active, creative outpouring? Or is it more passive in nature, suggesting that by resting in contentment one can remain so despite whatever comes?’ Here, you are suggesting contentedness is more than merely the representation of a mental state – quite so. Whilst it endures fully as awareness (not as a mental state, which is a partial representation), it exhibits qualities of passivity and equanimity. At the same time, awareness ‘creates’ in the greater or lesser amount of diverse appearances within; this, if you will, could be described as the play of subjectivity/objectivity in which each sublate the other in the overarching condition. Doing is done with varying degrees of vitality though absenting any agency of doer-ship, authorship, or, as regards creativity, muse or divine intervention of otherness. The drift of your questioning also perhaps suggests you are here envisioning (hypothesising?), some permanent psychical condition Michael, such that precludes any reappearance of say, anxiety, distress, and heated forms of striving – I am not. Having recently lost my grandson to a stillbirth and witnessed first-hand birth and death simultaneously in the delivery room, I can attest that appearances of grief and intense emotional sensations are never transcended in the human. Nonetheless, one remains aware of a narrative stream which has gathered force and which must play out in accord with its own nature, even whilst absenting self-reference.

      Next, you ask about ‘thoughts of the future’ and describe these as a ‘movement away from the present’. It’s just a personal thing, but I don’t like such descriptions Michael. We can never exist outside of the ‘now’ of ‘clock time’, though ‘psychological time’ is of course less rigid and linear. Any movement in thought occurs in the present; it is of course merely a projection of the self that is the envisioning of being ‘away from the present’ in some putative future, and as a result of which anxieties may form in the present.

      From here, you quite logically take the discussion into the arena of belief systems and their supposed providence. You are right, this is ‘problematic’! Still, faith is a tremendously powerful faculty and can almost, though not quite, move a mountain. [Actually, in the representations of the mind, it certainly does possess this power] It can also be very beautiful to witness and I am often drawn to nearby Wells Cathedral to drink in this beauty at Evensong. Huge emotional solace may be granted as a result of one’s faith, and I feel uncomfortable with the anti-theism that of late abounds and which fails to acknowledge this. For a great many years, I had faith in something I conceived as ‘Enlightenment’, and which supposedly finds its extrinsic finality as a result of both faith and certain practices. The term ‘enlightenment’ implies a subject/object relationship in which the self or subject merges into or acquires an object of knowledge, or vice versa. The evidence must come that this conception rests on a false dichotomy, though what is seen remains paradoxical to the thinking mind which of necessity retains the categories of subject and object. [I cover this in a little more detail here: http://wp.me/P4wkZJ-1X ]

      I feel sure I have missed something in this response Michael, so do please alert me to it if that is so, or if you are able to add to my understanding in any way.

      In friendship, gratitude and respect as ever,

      Hariod.

      • Thanks, Hariod. Much to ponder here and I much appreciate your responding so generously on your end, by taking the time to write and reflect upon what I offered. I think if I respond too quickly I will find myself running on about something I may seem to know, but do not! 🙂

        The beauty of dialogue is its natural ability to plumb the depths of our own thinking and feeling natures, and to shine a light upon our current stance. In this regard, this exchange is a real gift.

        I think I may have feelings and inklings that carry me in the direction of slightly different conclusions and suppositions, but I don’t really know or not. They could be yearnings that dissolve in the light of deepening awareness. They could be the threads on which I can’t help but pulling, and even if they lead to thin air, it is in pulling the thread that I will reach that conclusion.

        I love your description of enlightenment, as a term embodying yet a subject-object duality. The one who speaks of not having it is as illusory as the state spoken of, yet is simultaneously an enlightened being. I feel at present neither enlightened nor un-enlightened, like grace on the verge, where confusion is the antidote to incomplete understanding.

        Gratefully –

        Michael.

  3. I’ve been looking for a balance in this regard. I’d like to live with fewer ‘anchors’, but the more I try, the more I get. It’s a matter of not trying so hard, yet keeping the eye on the reason for doing so. I’ve got a ways to go.

    • You appear to have an excellent perspective on this if I may say so, and certainly are not one subject to any fetishisation from what you say here. Indeed, seeing the potential for the phenomenon to impinge negatively in our life, as clearly you do, is the curative itself to a very great extent.

      It’s largely a case of attitude and effect of course. For example, I collect mid-20th.c. studio ceramics and contemporary abstract oil paintings (finances permitting!), none of which are needs for me in the least, yet certainly they collectively conduce to positive and tranquil mental states or moods.

      As I suggest in the article, it’s the ‘unreasoned desire and aspiration’ which are both pernicious and unintelligent responses to the sense of discontent that is felt so widely in Western society. It seems obvious that for yourself, there is little or nothing ‘unreasoned’, and perhaps your ‘anchors’ retain you in calm waters?

      Very many thanks for reading this article and for responding so graciously with a comment.

      Hariod.

  4. This is another excellent post Hariod.

    We each access our own contentedness as we balance what is needed and what is no longer required. Since taking the decision to retire, I have had to balance that which I want, with that which I need. And when I look around at the many items of trinkets we have purchased – as adornments or as ornaments – I smile inwardly at my own past extravagances and see they hold little meaning in the scheme of things. They are far less important than the treasures we hold within our hearts, or the piece of cardboard with glitter upon it that my 4 year-old granddaughter gave me for Christmas.

    I am never more content than when in the garden – digging, weeding – and also when walking in the woods. Or, when enjoying watching the birds feed from the feeders as the snow lays deep around them. I smile for the gift of my health as I took a chill and got ill with a virus over Christmas; and I am ever grateful as I consider those who lay on beds of sickness in hospitals and those who cannot afford any hospital treatments around the world.

    I love coming by here Hariod and exploring yet more of your thoughts.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed New Year. May it continue to bring you contentment.

    Love and Blessings. Sue. xox

    • Thank you very much Sue, for reading and for adding such a generous comment; I truly appreciate both. And your words strike a chord within me too, as I am also a retiree. It is odd how the amount of money we have seems so readily to find an escape; whether it may initially arrive in the form of a healthy earned income, or as an altogether more meagre pension, it seems to disappear without effort I find.

      When I think back to what I was earning say, 35 years ago, it seems a ludicrously large amount, and still would seem at least a healthy sum today without adjusting for inflation. And yet it all disappeared, and did so without any great extravagances or indulgences. The same seems to apply to time, and whereas many wonder quite how they might fill their days in retirement, when the time comes there hardly seem enough hours in the day!

      In both sets of circumstances, it seems wise to rest content with little I feel. As time ebbs away, never to be replenished, better that it be spent in the ways you describe so endearingly, for who knows the extent of their remaining days, and who needs a surfeit of material goods when one has nature, one’s health, and if truly blessed, then a grandchild or two? No wonder you seem always to be such a contented soul Sue.

      With love, gratitude and best wishes.

      Hariod. ❤

      • Yes, we are blessed. Happy New Year to you Hariod; and may 2015 hold all that you wish for and more besides, in continued good health and happiness, joy and abundance in all you do.

        ❤ Sue. xx

  5. Extending our consumption beyond our needs; working jobs we don’t enjoy so as to fulfill those perceived needs; living exposed to flashing commercials that inflate desire and promise a happily-ever-after state of being if only we had [fill in what you may here] seems to have become the norm Hariod.

    I couldn’t agree more as to the fleeting and empty nature of the momentary happiness that things can seemingly bring. What saddens is that this seems to permeate even our childhood years evermore – a culture of never having enough is depleting the well-being of all. I remember when the kids were younger, they would come back from school after the winter break proclaiming who got what for Christmas. I was amazed at the stuff that their little hearts were stuffed with: TVs, cameras, iPods, big ticket items that I could never agree to. I remember my daughter asking once “Mommy, why are we so different? We’re not a normal family”. I asked her what a “normal family” was and was told that “A normal family goes to the mall more often; they eat out every Friday; they have TVs in all rooms. [etc.]”

    That triggered many discussions and we worked some at redefining ‘normal’; I think she understands where our ‘normal’ is coming from, and I hope she continues to grow with a healthy sense of what is our ‘normal’!

    How many clothes, shoes, books, TVs or whatever do we really need anyway? Moderation, not keeping up with the Jones’s, as they say in this part of the world, is the key! I hope your message reaches many.

    With much love and gratitude. PR

    • Thank you so much Precious Rhymes both for reading this offering and for standing with me on this perspective. I like to think that it is increasingly so that Western societies are beginning to tire of the consumerist treadmill, and the vacuous nature of it all. Early signs of the same are perhaps the growing disenchantment with our political systems, for they are the emblems of what it is that we as a collective are meant to represent and uphold in our values. And yet increasingly there is a rejection of those notions as to what is our putative role and purpose.

      The younger generation of adults, in increasingly sensing their own disenfranchisement, are beginning to reject what was formerly the assumed course of life – the trajectory you enumerate of endless aspiration and cupidity. This movement, if I sense it correctly, is not echoed in the developing nations wherein consumerism is still in its incipient state. Quite how the whole will unfold is anybody’s guess I think; though as I look to Europe in particular, I suspect we will be in for much turmoil before any new paradigm sets in for good – the birthing pains have begun though.

      Thank you so much for your kind and generous comment, and for your very welcome love and gratitude.

      Hariod. ❤

  6. Love reading your responses as much as the initial offering Hariod. Both help to inspire and clarify.I too sense a shift like you have stated. Development comes at a cost if not carefully considered, and much like you state that “we will be in for much turmoil before any new paradigm sets in for good”, my experience has been that we sometimes have to reach a peak of being totally fed up of that so called progression (of suffering usually) before any real change is triggered. Eventually we all must learn. 🙂

  7. Desire for things runs deep. It must be connected to the most primitive parts of our minds, the early parts that developed before speech, because it feels stronger than words. It is a ‘Superfecta’ [a type of gamble] – reflecting the desire for safety, for comfort, for strength, or the appearance of it through prestige, and for belonging. When those around you have many things, it seems normal, even correct, to have many things as well. As you say, it’s an impulse we are barely conscious of. What a challenge for each of us you raise.

    • Thank you for taking a look at this piece, and also for offering such an eloquent and considered reflection; I appreciate both very much. I had to look up what a ‘Superfecta’ is, as the term is not in use here in England, and think your observation is acute as we never quite feel certain that the payoff will be forthcoming in ways which we hope it will. And it must also be true that the motivation to survive, and to do so in some comfort, necessarily predates our acquisition of language. What seems a little daft of we ape high-rollers though, is that no matter how many bets we place – the frequency of which precisely seeming to match the number of times we have to tear up our ticket – still we keep challenging both the odds and the evidence weighing against our naïve punting.

      With very best wishes,

      Hariod.

  8. We confuse the means with the end…”

    This is purely elegant in its simplicity. It condenses the entire matter into a few concise words.

    In a sense we’re bought off by the fleeting gratification;…”

    Indeed, and this is the very purpose of capitalism. To create a great mass of junkies addicted to the consumption of unnecessary material possessions. Instant gratification is the basis for any addiction. With each fix the user achieves a temporary state of bliss. But, since this effect is the fulfillment of a conditioned desire, it cannot produce contentment and only results in a heightened desire for another, more potent, fix – consumer delirium madness.

    It’s no wonder that after a few years of this cycle, we become stressed and anxious; our health begins to fail; our relationships disintegrate; things fall apart.”

    All of which creates an endless revenue stream, more like an Amazon river, flowing to various subdivisions of the capitalist profit machine. Ill health, both physical and mental, bleeds billions, perhaps trillions, each year into the bottom line of the ostensible ‘healthcare’ industry: insurance, pharmaceutical and medical supply corporations, hospitals, emergency response providers, practitioners and even the makers of non-medical health supplements.

    Broken relationships pump profit from the pain of the disillusioned into the coffers of a highly litigious civil legal system. Lawsuits of every imaginable kind drain billions each year from the pockets of people who can ill afford such losses. It is a very well designed and executed system of exploitation.

    If we can calm this fetishisation of possession, of accumulation…”

    In the advanced or Westernised countries, this is a daunting proposition. There is an ocean of thoroughly indoctrinated consumers, the result of many generations of Pavlovian conditioning for whom shopping comes as naturally as breathing. At the Earth Summit in 1992, George H.W. Bush forcefully declared, “The American way of life is not negotiable.” Sadly, most of the American people agree.

    Clarifying this conceptual mess involves living contemplatively, and in so doing we disentangle ourselves from the whole sorry state.”

    For the members of modern civilisation, any serious attempt to ‘disentangle’ is viewed as deviant at best. If the effort should draw too much attention and, even worse, show signs of success, those involved in the disentanglement might find themselves subjected to censure and even legal action.

    Modern civilisation is a dominator culture and those who object to being dominated are not well tolerated.

  9. Of course, one part of the reason for material acquisitiveness is that most of us now live in societies whose economies have been built around massive levels of consumption. We are therefore encouraged from cradle to grave to go out and spend.

    • Very true, Bun, and more than that, we are even sold the money with which to do the spending. They call it ‘lending’ and ‘borrowing’, but the interest dimension turns those into sales of loans and sales of the granting of any permissions to borrow. I personally regard money as a public good, and its supply should not be privatised to corporations who can create virtually unlimited amounts of it in the form of debt issuance. This is the game we play, and it is a dangerous one I feel sure.

  10. Hello Hariod,

    I hadn’t seen this post, and as someone recently commented on it, it showed up in my box. What an excellent post. Everything rings true. I find I am mostly content, but am attached to how much water is in the creek and if we have a beaver to maintain their dams to keep the wetland intact. We don’t right now, but so far the dams are intact. It is sort of the same in a way. It puts me in a state of desire instead of the contentment of acceptance of what is.

    It is a crazy system which this world seems to thrive on. That psychological addiction to the acquisition of things, and the big corporations just loving this game, always finding ways to up the ante in huge ways. All we really need is love inside ourselves, and they advertise like – “if you buy this you will have love”. So weird. Such an illusion. Thanks Hariod, this is great.

    Peace,

    Mary.

    • Hello there dear Mary, and may I first thankyou so much for your kind and generous words of encouragement, and also apologise for my tardy response to you. This week is rather a busy one for me, as was last, and I am somewhat behind on several matters. Anyway, thankyou!

      You bring up the matter of ‘attachment’, which is one to grapple with. It seems to be that your concerns over your immediate environment are entirely well-founded and practical, yet they can be so without attachment, surely? The only ‘attachments’ that are pernicious are the self-centric ones, I think, and wonder if you would perhaps agree? One could say all supposed ‘attachments’ to worldly conditions can only be so due to a referencing back to a self which attaches to them; so the self-entity is the source of all emotionally damaging ‘attachments’ – realising the self (small ‘s’) is illusory, then no would-be attachment can adhere to anything.

      Caring for our fellow creatures and the environment is a very noble deed and stance, of course, showing empathy, perceptual acuity and a deep generosity of spirit. Still, only you can tell if your motivations are self-centric or not, though I doubt very much that they are. From what I read of you, your care is purely altruistic, empathic, and very beautiful too, if I may say so. If only the world were populated by more of your kind, it would be a better place by far.

      Sending all best wishes and love your way, Mary.

      Hariod

  11. Thank you, Hariod. You are most kind. In all honesty, I can’t say I am free from little-self attachments by any means. Before I left home yesterday (won’t be back until Thursday), I noticed that the geese pair were together in the field in the snow. She would never have left her nest in the snow. Then they flew off down canyon, so I’m sure they lost their nest. If it was a wild predator, I would understand, but I think it was a pack of domestic dogs from down canyon. Their owners don’t keep them at home, so they roam, and may have also been the ones who got the beaver, although I imagine that was a mountain lion. Anyway, I was – angry. Because it disturbs my peace, I imagine the little-self is hurt. I will just love her through it from the place of my Higher Self, but – poor geese.

    I hope you have a wonderful day, dear Hariod.

    Much love,

    Mary.

    • Thankyou so much for your candour, Mary, and for recounting this tale from your home. Nature is beautiful, of course, but there is a savagery to it also, which I think is hard to deny. A blogger last week published a photograph of a dead heron floating on the surface of a lake, one which had been attacked by some more powerful bird of prey, or so the blogger suspected – if I recall correctly. Still, there was great beauty in the heron’s corpse, as her lifeless wingspan spread itself across the water’s surface sending angel-like imagery to my mind – a parting gift to the world, perhaps?

      I send you much love in return, Mary, and also my gratitude and respect for your sensitive, giving nature.

      Hariod

      • Nature stays in balance. It is senseless death that bothers me. The neighbor’s dogs are well fed. They don’t kill because they need to eat. They do it because it is fun, and their owners are clueless. I have judgements about that. I’m not rid of those foolish things yet – judgements.

        Take care Hariod. I appreciate you.

        Mary

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