Category Archives: materialism

Time

my snowman from Berry Tales 🙂

I try to recall the details of early December of last year – what I was doing, what worries I had – funny, but I can’t remember much negativity. I know something was there annoying me, concerning me, but, I obviously got through it. This lack of recollection makes me think about time and its magical effect, its purpose, really. I think of the figurative concept of moving through time – it carrying you forward as it washes away the troubles and concerns, leaving behind the good stuff – like little pebbles on the beach after the tide rolls out – smooth and shiny and brilliant from a cleansing; that’s what’s left of December 2011. I think of the early days of last December and I feel happiness. The twins were about to embark on a wonderful journey then and I know I was filled with apprehension and worry, but now, I just naturally go to that place of happiness, omitting any negativity that was running parallel to the good stuff that went on and I attach myself to that state where I felt happy. Hmmm, those pockets of peace restore us and time protects us, perhaps time is Nature’s Prozac.

 

It seems time is a gift in many ways. It heals, we all know that – and it sometimes washes away the things that are not so pleasant, leaving behind those that are – those memories that we need to keep, the ones that allow us to go on in gladness, for we must go on. It’s built in, this spirit we have to move ahead, to get better and to look forward. Like I posted before, we all need something to look forward to, whether it is a big event like a graduation, a big move or just a simple moment like the green beans sprouting in the garden – something good to anticipate – that keeps us healthy and  makes us happy.

 

I suppose time tweaks our memories a little – those days of childhood were probably not as gleeful as we “remember” but those “photo shopped “memories give us happiness now and what could be wrong with that? The bumps and bruises will all heal and fade away and , hopefully, we will all be left with a rich golden resin that was our childhood, one that we somewhat mimic for our children. Time is our friend.

 

I write this because it is nearly Christmas; it is the Christmas that you will reflect on next year and in the years to come. These moments are so fragile and so over anticipated and in 2012, so over done – Christmas has become the biggest retail extravaganza in the world. We have come a long way since the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh; now it’s diamonds, Apple, and Mercedes. I hope we can all disregard most of that hype and understand that those things will most likely be forgotten; time will not keep a list of material things. It will, however, help you to remember the warm wishes, the still and cold night when you look up at the vastness of the Christmas sky, the afternoon spent in the kitchen with a child, the smell of cinnamon and evergreens, the macaroni ornament from someone’s first grade year, and the fleeting moments with the people you love. Time will only leave behind that golden resin that was this Christmas.
 

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purpose

The day begins and I find myself so satisfied. I have continued on this journey I have written of recently – this journey that does not place value in surface glamour and fleeting occurrences and materialism – it places value in the internal me – focus on spirit. I have never felt as free as I do now – it’s like finding the answers in the back of the book. I will say, it is a constant conscious effort, at least at this point in my journey. I do find myself getting caught up in the smallness of things – but I now seem to have the commitment to pull myself away and “get in spirit”. I am not posting this to boast about myself – how worldly is that! – I am posting it to offer it to you and at the same time, reassure myself. There exists so much worldly trauma and stress that it is so easy to fall prey to it. There is so much hype and propaganda and smoke and mirrors and judgementalism and intimidation out there – it’s a wonder we are not all “Prozaced” out. Well, just as I believe Nature has many cures, I believe Spirit can give you peace. I can find it here on this autumn morning, I can cast aside the little worries I may have by holding them up against “the big picture” and understanding that it is not my purpose in life to accumulate things and to raise a star athlete or a corporate mogul or a homecoming queen  – it is my purpose to provide a secure platform to nurture my children to realize their unique and intended purpose and to encourage them to go with it and not just “my” children but anyone I can help. It may be that someone needs to be a star athlete, for instance, but not for reasons of ego, but for a stage to fulfill their true purpose.  Okay I’m getting soppy here, but I just wanted to share this feeling. I’m not sure I did a great job of it, but I will continue to try. It is just so freeing to devalue the materialistic world, to put it in its place. And it does have a place – my relatively new car is great – it starts up immediately and takes me to the grocery store to buy good food for my family and my solidly built house keeps the cold out and offers creature comforts to my family – I am very aware of the comfort the materialistic world can provide, but it needs to be only a tool to achieve my real purpose, not a “trophy” of my efforts.
Now, I do know I have not been challenged with a shattering tragedy – I doubt myself in extreme circumstances – I don’t know if I have that kind of colossal strength. I hope I never find out. I do hope, however,  to be able to navigate the trials and challenges of each day by staying in spirit – always.
My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
Albert Einstein



photo by Glenda Sanders Fleshman



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growing

I am reading a new book, one recommended by a wonderful artist friend of mine – hmmmm – it is unlike anything I’ve ever read and having an impact on me – something a good book should do. To kinda get off the track here, once, I wrote something in my newspaper column that was “different” from the things I had written before and I was hesitant to go with it here in this small town, so I asked the editor to read and approve it – he went with it and told me that it’s a good thing to put controversy out there – tactfully – it rattles people a bit and causes them to evaluate their own opinions. Well, this book would follow that thinking, for me anyway.
 I have just read the first 2 chapters but I’m captured with the out of the box thinking. I am not making a recommendation until I finish it, but I will say, just the first few pages have given me a healthy perspective on my life and the things that matter. The jest of it is that this material world is quiet incidental and certainly temporal, what matters is the spiritual world. Funny, but just this week end at my aunt’s funeral I had a conversation with someone, much older, who had those same words to speak – explaining his effort to be more spiritual (not making reference to religious) and far less material. I think about the pharaohs and their elaborate efforts to hoard all of their stuff to bring with them in the afterlife – the lives lost, the time spent to satisfy ego – hopefully we’re smarter today.
I find it so freeing to discount the physical world and focus more on spirit. I have little or no control over one and total control over the other. When I reference the material/physical world I don’t mean just materialism, for me, it also encompasses happenings, not just things. It all goes under that umbrella of “what was I worrying about or upset about last month”? Who knows – who cares – it’s temporal and gone. I find more sense in assessing my spiritual growth from last month to this month – how have I contributed, how have I grown more tolerant of others, and patient with myself. Anyway, I hope to make a recommendation of this “mystery” book later, but so far, it’s got my attention.

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Enough

“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch – 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have…enough.” (From John Bogel’s Enough).
Just more quotes from this book William is reading. I loved this one because it seems that we, people, always want more, especially when it involves money and possessions.  Why can’t we crave more kindness, more spiritualism, more education, more silence, more creativity, more personal development?
 “Materialism can refer either to the simple preoccupation with the material world, as opposed to intellectual or spiritual concepts, or to the theory that physical matter is all there is. This theory is far more than a simple focus on material possessions. It states that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence. Materialism can also refer to a doctrine that material success and progress are the highest values in life. This doctrine appears to be prevalent in western society today.”(Philosophy)
I think I would, we would, feel happiness if we declared, enough.
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