“You can only lose what you cling to.”~ Buddha.
I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately. With so much shifting and changing, moving and morphing into paradigms both confusing and somewhat startling, the ‘norm’ is being redefined on multiple levels.
I’m not speaking to the “back in my day” laments ….. or maybe I am. What makes each person ‘who’ they perceive themselves to be is predicated on the views of a remembered past, and visions (based on that past) of what they wish to see, be, get, give, and do in the Now. (Of course, that ‘now’ has gossamer wisps of hope – or despair – that are projected to continue into the future.) Their history. Their identity, as it were.
There are those right now who are “hell bent” on destroying or deleting ‘the past.’ There are those who are just as “hell bent” on memorializing what was. Both are fighting the exact same thing ~ simply from opposite sides. Same coin though.
There are those who envision a dystopia vs those who envision a utopia. Based on the same conditions ~ simply from opposite sides. Each ‘clinging to’ a resentment or a prayer as fodder for the vision they see. Same coin.
How does all of that reduce to the you-and-me individual human aspect? Let’s play a game.
What do you see?
Look around. Where do you live? What country, state, county, prefecture or principality? What community and neighborhood? What style abode? Hmmm. What style clothing and shoes are you wearing? What brand foods do you purchase? (Do you eschew the things and the ‘them’ that live, dress and eat differently?)
Deep within all living creatures lies an atavistic desire to survive …. then to be safe. Especially utilizing familiar. That stream or pool is my water source. That outcropping of trees is my shelter. That lizard darting across the desert is my food. (Four-legged, two-legged, or no-legged (ha!), each focuses primarily and primordially on this.) Instinct, familial training, habit. That includes the you-and-me individual aspect. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The bag lady’s bag is crucial to her. The cardboard box for sleeping is desperately essential to him. The items in the bag or the contents within the cardboard box further define their identity. The pieces and parts that tell a story that is uniquely their’s.
So now, back to Buddha. I have a storage unit which holds most of my “worldly possessions.” What that really equates to is it holds my past, soooo many memories, thus my “identity.” Having downsized 3 times (once thanks to mother nature, once in choosing to have a smaller ‘footprint’ in multiple realms, and last to making a choice to be of service), I originally thought those items in the mondo storage unit were ‘necessities’ as well as likes and joys. Am I clinging to those things? Yes. Is it the ‘things’ themselves or the memories, likes and joys? Yes ~ predominantly that. Do those items “tell the history (body, Mind,and spirituality) of Lin?” Most assuredly ~ to and for me.
If I were abducted by aliens from the planet Igmoo, would those items mean diddly-squat to those who knew me, remembered me, shared pieces-and-parts of a past history? Most likely (read: ‘most assuredly‘) not.
So why do I ‘cling to’ them? Instinct, familial training, habit. “Survival” and safety. (Or the illusions thereof.) Mostly, because of the emotional connection of history and identity. Without them, who am I?