(Im)material, (in)valuable, (ir)replaceable


When the few possessions that have certain value to us go missing (are stolen, lost, damaged) – the problem lies not in replacing them or recovering their financial value. It is emotional value – and especially their worth in terms of memory or intellectual property (artworks, music, photography, writings, etc) that can be irretrievable.

We need to learn how to let go of materialistic things and not let them define us. I don’t like thinking that an iPod or a Canon define me. They don’t, but their contents instil some qualities.

Belongings invariably complicate life. Simplicity is key. In fact, when you purchases a product, that product has no significance to you at the moment of purchase.

More assets and more ownership make people dependent on them.

World wars have started over possessions – over territory, authority, power, wealth, love..

Most of our possessions and purchases are ephemeral and useless. A person can live with an astoundingly minimal number of belongings and still be rich and cultured.

Bosman in Collaborative Consumption argues that it is not the iPod or the camera or the computer that we must cherish but their contents: the music, the photos, the writing, the artworks – those very elements that have a deeper significance or meaning.

Materialism is a temporary state of existence. It can be achieved, spent, lost, exploited.. But never should it reflect on our self-worth.

6 thoughts on “(Im)material, (in)valuable, (ir)replaceable

  1. This lesson is very timely. I happen to be reading about “compelling vision” and have been think a lot about it: significant purpose, clear picture of the future and clear values. Today I see this. I beleive a powerful vision acts like a form of strong prayer. When it is heard by the par of our unconscious mind that affects external realities, then it becomes manifest. The more powerful and vivid the visualization, the more rapidly it manifests.
    Thank you for the lesson.

  2. Developing world is indeed different in these terms, and on a very, very different level of awareness. On the other side, there are levels among the industrial world as well that go beyond simple accumulation of experiences and acquisition of commodities that contribute to a higher echelon of our intellectual development. The truth is that sometimes we, (or some of us), simply love to have nice and sophisticated things.

  3. jeste, grozno je.. ali nije tesko otskrinuti vrata kaveza i pobeci.. samo treba naci vrata, a i biti spreman na slobodu te vrste

  4. thanks Peter! hopefully your umbrella kept travelling (:
    hey, you were on that Monaco photo roll .. which dispersed into the ether

  5. There are many, many things you want , but few things you really need.

    Zar nije grozno zivjeti u kavezu, koji si sam na sebi napravio.

  6. Hey Deja,

    Great article. I’d like to think that I’m not too materialistic, but I do have a soft spot for gadgets and other tools which help me get things done.

    As far as attachment to possessions goes, I find that those things that have traveled around the world with me on my various wanderings do accrue a good deal of sentimental value. I deeply miss an old umbrella of mine which came with me several times around the globe. It was nothing special but it was reliable. I comfort myself with the hope that it is keeping some lucky person dry somewhere in the world!

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