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Posts Tagged ‘I Am’

Materialism

More and more, I am seeing that detaching from materialism is vital to humanity’s evolution. Materialism is a symptom of our disconnect from ourselves and from nature, and it defines the world through limitation – that things must be proven in order to be believed. We are taught to rely on the five senses which perceive only 1% of the greater spiritual reality. We are made to feel foolish if we believe otherwise.

Materialism gives our power away by putting tremendous worth into objects that are outside of ourselves, instead of the truth within each of us. Our rules and possessions sneakily become our identity, and we use them to feed the ego.

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene advises, “Attachment to matter gives rise to passion against nature. Thus trouble arises in the whole body,” and this seems to sum up exactly what humanity is experiencing. In modern society, those of us at the “top” acquire far more than is needed. This creates disastrous imbalance.

Director Tom Shadyac illuminates this concept in his film “I Am.” He tells the story of a healthy tribe of people who take care of each other and live harmoniously. In this tribe, everyone’s needs are met. Suddenly, one of the strongest hunters starts hoarding his kill, and this spirals as more hunters do the same. Balance becomes lost and the “weak” are no longer cared for. Life becomes a contest of winning and acquiring in perpetual, frantic cycle, while others suffer in neglect. We are that tribe.

With hoarding comes a lack of concern for all else. We need only look at how we’ve treated our earth and each other for proof. We have gone against our home, our neighbors, and ourselves, and called it progress.

Greed has been taught to us by those at the absolute top because it feeds them. It has been sold to look glamorous, successful, and desirable. We have become distracted and imbalanced by money in this rat race that runs up and down the ladder.

But I don’t want to blame any more. I want to face this disease that I too am a part of and heal. And of course, I don’t want to overlook the unhappiness that comes from a lack of necessities. With gratitude, I recognize the incredible comforts and freeing abundance I have been blessed to experience in this life. But what my soul seeks more and more is healthy material detachment coupled with conscientious behavior. I believe that things are meant to be enjoyed and are part of fully experiencing life, but not at the expense of others. We each deserve generosity, beauty, and even luxury, but not of an elitist nature.

Elitism is born out of fear ,and it keeps us in materialism. We are afraid that we’re not worthy, successful or good enough – that we are¬†nothing without our stuff and that can’t live without it. And so, we overcompensate through exclusivity. Our things then feed us like a numbing medicine or a fleeting buzz, and they become addictive.

Although material attachment can bring a sense of safety, in the words of the poet Tagore, all that we really accomplish is “my little hoard gleaned through the years.” It is time to put the stuff down and get reconnected to who we really are. Within the problem lies the solution, for when we let go of our physical attachments, we heal and see our true selves. When we shed our cocoons of baggage, we find that we were in fact born to fly.

Humanity is at a crossroads. Will we choose harmony or trinkets? The more liberating choice comes naturally when we reconnect with our spiritual selves and with nature.

The Mayan Elders implore us to restore balance to our world, and I think that we can start by not buying things that harm and choosing alternatives that help. But we must push ourselves to do far more than this. We must strive to take care of all human beings. We must recreate balanced systems to live by and seek creative innovations. It is time to detach from the materialism that has bound us so tightly. This giant step will help us to welcome our spiritual metamorphosis.

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