A journey into zen - a year after I returned from Japan I left my six figures job and the beautiful apartment by Golden Gate bridge, donated my car & sold my possessions and moved to New York. It is not that I decided, upon returning to America, to throw away everything out of the windows, instead the ideas and images of zen reverberated and made me ask questions. I started asking what it is to have? Which became part of the I have everything project and questions. You are not going to find Nirvana if you get rid of your possessions. But you are going to find out everything about yourself and the people around you. Guaranteed. I personally did not want to find Nirvana, the best things can’t be said, can’t be had - but I sure didn’t want to spend the precious moments given to me by whatever process is responsible for self-awareness, I didn’t want to spend these moments worrying about particle board.
So here's me getting rid of the rest of the particle board I own, in the dumpsters somewhere in central Florida.
…………… I have been working on my Japanese Garden book on the train and someone asked me if I am into horticulture. I am not into horticulture, I have had plants in the past but never really invested my time into the care and observation of plants. I like people, and that area I find extremely interesting. I realized that in Japanese gardens there is the absence of horticulture, there all seems to have been carefully arranged to invoke a natural feeling. …………. You are not going to discover yourself if you sell your couch, but you will discover yourself if everything you have is yourself. It all ties back to Thoreau and goes all the way back to ancient times. You don’t sit on the couch for Nirvana, it is human nature to seek comfort from the unknown in possessions.
This is not a recipe for happiness and often is the recipe for all kinds of disasters, but is the recipe for truth. ……………..
I have always been fascinated with objects, they are to me artifacts and I study them like an archaeologist would. Objects are like little octopus, it holds strings that reach back to the very moment it was made. The strings wrap around various objects and spaces and hold tightly onto the owner. Then they create memories and experiences for the owner and grow more attachment strings. The octopus can move between owners and spaces and its filaments reach further and wide. Until discarded. The lives of objects are fascinating to me, I imagine that in the grand scheme of things in the universe each object we humans create is quite special. An artifact of a civilized existence. I realized that my I have everything project is not really about getting rid of objects per se but rather about the fascinating lives of objects and their termination and conversion into other matter. ……………… I highly recommend poverty for a little while. …………… You have to remember that there are very few people that would understand, there is one thing you need to know and that is that you will need to take the journey alone, very few people would be willing to willingly come along. Don't force them.
My dad never really forgave me, leaving behind everything anyone ever really wanted, six figure salary, beautiful home, great job, beautiful area to live in. All this on the surface sounded great but
I was oppressed by possessions and the bourgeois way of life.
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