There is a disposition that appears to come naturally to civilized people.
Many of us gather together the things we need for our daily grind, but beyond that we have lots of things that don't serve any visibly useful function. In order to make sense of having objects that don't readily serve a utensil purpose those things are assigned a value, sentimental perhaps; often artistic.
From the anthropological histories I've read we once lived in hunter gather tribes. Is it possible that civilization began because we simply couldn't haul around all the stuff we'd gathered, therefore having to stay put to guard our hoard?
I've read a fascinating account of the voyages of Captain Cooke. The Hawaiian people lived in villages, as well as the First Nation tribes of the Pacific NorthWest, and they would trade with the crew. The Australian Aboriginals were nomadic and would not, since all they carried was all the needed.
Do you ever look around the place you live and wonder what you need all the stuff for?
How much, and what; would you take with you if all you could keep was what you could carry?
Are we all hoarders by nature, or are we brushed by the culture we're in?
I've read accounts of the growing popularity of the minimalist movement. No bric-a-brac, Spartan furnishings, nothing that doesn't serve a function in bath or kitchen. I kind of like this idea, but there's a paradox for me, because I am a hoarder held in check by my wife's better judgment and restraint.
Does a minimalist life style sound appealing to you?
Are we defined by our possessions, or do they accent who we are?
We are surrounded by stuff!
I'm a fan and supporter of the tiny house movement.Tiny house design.I've also lived for 18 months in a place where all you could have is what a 3x2 locker could hold.So yes I can and could minimalize my life very easily.
As to your idea that we got stuck because all our stuff hindered us at being mobile: no, lol.
I think it is partly non nomadic (agriculture focused) culture, partly the "fact" that as individuals we seem to exist as long as we consume, or own something. otherwise, we do not find ourselves addressed by the public, except in election campaigns, perhaps.
Also, it might have more to do with us liking to create and modify, and decorate our environment the way we like it to be. I used to spend a lot of time at boarding schools, not much different to a prison if you look at the things you are or are not allowed to own, so it's awesome if you are allowed to drill a hole in the wall by yourself, decide which paint and which lamp, and which kind of furniture you want to look at every day.
I used to have some ~3500 books, which is a lot if you are a person who moves at least once a year and prefers 1 to max 2 room apartments. Now I have around a paltry 1500, and I wish to reduce them to two shelves because SERIOUSLY bookdust. I can not recommend hoarding books as long as you have any well stocked library near by. I am trying to sell these things but it is not easy at all to get rid off them, even collectors stuff. Not a good investment, at all, especially if you buy them for yourself first (and remove them from the packaging).
I want to invest in either my body (health, not decoration), and objects that don't sabotage mobility, at least too badly. Nowadays if I want to look at beauty in any form, I go and visit a museum, or one of our public prestige gardens, or the Victorian glass- and butterfly houses, one of our palaces, or go outdoors and look at the fauna and flora. If I lived in an industrial town with no such options, my walls would perhaps be covered with art, and the place itself would be stuffed with plants.
If I could only take a few things, it would be the guitar, as much as I can carry of my favourite books, and my favourite clothes (Yes I know stupid).
There is very little I actually need but there are many things in my home that bring me comfort.
I have a lot of stuff. Giving away or discarding much of it would certainly improve my life. Because of this discussion, I'm going to clear out a lot of it this weekend. However, I view my stuff as the defining evidence of my identity. My soul is expressed in this reality through the stuff that I keep.
To use the word "hoard" seems defensive and exclusive to me. I also live in a hurricane zone. When Hurricane Rita threatened us, I was sure that I would lose it all. I went through the feelings of imminent loss, expecting to have nothing left. Since then, I no longer hold such attachment to stuff, and I feel more freedom though I actually lost nothing. Still, I like how my stuff holds my place in the world.
I am immortal so long as my identity is expressed.
We call a dragon's lair, with treasury, a "hoard". It is a rather poetic term for gathering stuff. Nowadays we also call a daycare a "hoarding of children".
^Smaug, obviously enjoying his home's decoration, which also serves as furnishing.
It is a strong term, but I have heard people referring to themselves as "hoarding" something specific, with genuine pride, in a very unapologetic way.
You're right of course, about being defined by our words and deeds. This is why I value Pagan Space as a repository for my thoughts and a source of inspiration. To be inspired is to breathe in fresh life. I appreciate your part.
Books are stuff, I have lots of em, reading helps fill my brain with even more "stuff"......
What about antiques and collectibles, I love finding old things that onced belonged to someone else..those finds keep my mind busy thinking about where it originally came from, who owned it, was it loved and cared for and can I help to continue its life span by giving it a new home...
Things like my dried herbs and crafts made from something I grew with my own little hands, thats all stuff (dusty stuff sometimes!) The things I create are nice to keep around, it inspires me to do and create other stuff...
Stuff doesnt keep me down, its what keeps me going...Yup, Stuff is the Stuff I'm made of...
I hear that....some stuff (especially the dried stuff), will come and go...and even some of the other things have their time limited (thank heavens for yard sales!)....The things I keep around for the longest amount of time are the ones that educate, awaken my imagination and inspire....collecting stuff just might be another one of those things that sets humans apart from many other creatures on this planet lol!
so true! ...I'm constantly finding "nuts" that the squirrels have buried all over my yard, some look like they've been there for years...I suppose there's lots of animals that collect things, mostly for need, but some, like a crow, might pick up something shiney because it catches their eye...very similiar to going to the flea market..
WE"save" things that wethink we might use someday....lol .we did clean out the garage to get the pop up camper in and recycled and threwout "stuff"
I'm living the minimalist lifestyle now.. living out of boxes in someone else's home.. all the while thinking since the house won't sell perhaps a match would alleviate me of this problem.. good thing I managed to keep my primitive camping gear as I am one step away from using my canvas text as a permanent home...:) It would be easy to furnish and at least it's warmer in the South than some other places..
At least I still have my sense of humor but I do wish i could find Saul Goodman, I could use an attorney like him ^_^
Thanks Dream .. I do like Missouri and I AM up for adoption :)
FM hind sight they say is 20-20 .. I knew I had better call Saul when I had the chance.. I'm working on the living situation and thank you..eh stuff is just stuff, I'd rather collect people, that is what's important to me..