content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: Attachments

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I read something this morning that struck me and made me think, particularly at this time of the year when we’re all scurrying around looking for that perfect gift.

Amy Blackmarr in her book, Going to Ground talks about working hard on dropping her attachments, material things. To her, it comes in reflection to something Thomas Merton said. I quote from Amy, “Thomas Merton wrote that everything you love for its own sake blinds your intellect and keeps you from knowing the way things really are….” Now in this passage, Merton does not specifically target material possessions; he says everything you love. But I, like Amy, wondered if we do lose touch with reality – the way things really are - when we have a lot of material possessions. Are we so attached to these things that it becomes our identity? It seems easier to attach to an inanimate object that requires nothing from us in return than with our relationships. Our attachments to people, family and friends, appear more difficult, as it requires work and looking at things from another’s point of view. We really love our stuff even though it’s not capable of giving love in return and yet maybe that is what we want – no responsibility or accountability. We give names to ships, cars and I remember my father lived in a house named Bluebird. Just recently, we sold a tractor and I was sad, like I was losing a member of the family. It served us well and I was going to miss it. You work so hard to get the things you want that you’re invested in it even though it has no investment in you, albeit the bank would come looking for you if you didn’t pay.

Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “You’re not what you have. You’re not what you do. And, you’re not what people think of you.” I’m thinking the less we’re attached to our material possessions the more we are free to know ourselves and others. We’re able to know the way things really are. We need to become more invested in our loved ones, friends and neighbors, co-workers and pets. I think this is what this holiday season reminds us and why it feels so good. It’s because this is truly what we were created to be: one with our Source and each other. Something to think about, huh?

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Michael Krahn said...


I just put up a series of posts about Thomas Merton that I think you’d enjoy at:

Pat said...

Michael - thank you for your comment. I viewed your site and was impressed with all the information you have packed in there on Thomas Merton. Good job. I know where to go now as a resource.

Michael Krahn said...

Yes, I too learned a lot about Merton while researching it.

Thanks for reading.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CG Walters said...

I am inclined to say possessing things is not the problem, but being possessed by things is...
Thank you, Pat.
Blessings to you and all you hold dear,

Pat said...

CG - I agree and sometimes we lose touch as to which it is. Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Singleton said...

Each time that I have experienced a major shift in consciousness, I go on a spree where I get rid of stuff that is no longer of benefit or necessary to my happiness. Thanks for your great article.

Pat said...

Patricia - thank you for your comment. I'm basically a pack rat so this is something I haven't been very comfortable with but I am learning the process of letting go and how freeing it is. Also, once all the needless stuff is released I learn to discover more about myself. Happy New Year!