The Toolbox Starter Kit: Tool Three
How do you determine if you should own something? There are some things that you can afford, but you shouldn't buy. Have you ever noticed that some people are owners of objects, and other people are owned by objects?
Tool #3: In order to have something, you must be willing to give it up.
You won't have it yourself unless you can freely give it away to others. This is a very important tool that I have been using for the last 37 years, and it can be used on many levels. I first heard it from a Scientologist friend of mine in the 1960s and it was called "Havingness." If you had good "Havingness," you could take it or leave it. With good "Havingness," you are never a victim of your own possessions. I don't think much of Scientologists, but this one was a good one, and I stole it for my very own. On a very personal level, I think about it every time I start to date someone. If the woman is very attractive, and as I look at her, I feel myself immediately swimming, I don't date her. I could never give her up, I would become addicted, and lose myself. (I don't take drugs, either.) What I look for in a woman is the maximum amount of give-and-take, the maximum bandwidth. I don't lose myself immediately, and she is strong enough to tell me what she really thinks.
Likewise, I don't like "Rolex" watches that cost $20,000, although my sister and her husband both have them. I like my $22 electronic "World Runner" that I can buy anywhere and easily replace if it gets broken. I am not dictating how you should live, and I believe my view is not universal. My brother-in-law wears his Rolex water-skiing, where I left mine in the boat. His "Havingness" about watches is much greater than mine. Don't be confused by the cost of the watch. He probably has his Rolex insured, where I don't have my "World Runner" watch insured. So I am worried about my water-proof watch, and falling off the skis and losing it; my brother-in-law is not, so his "Havingness" is greater than mine. (My "Havingness" would go up if I made more money.)
The ability to give something up in order to have it, sounds illogical, when you first hear it. A kind of catch 22, but the more you think about it, the more sense it makes. It works on many levels. Take freedom. In order to have freedom, when you are older, you may need to give it up as a young person. You may need to go to school and study. This is a giving up of your freedom to lie in the sun on some island shore. Through study and sacrifice, you then can get a good job, and spend your middle-age on some island shore soaking up the sun. Take physical strength. You must exercise, thereby becoming weak on the exercise day, to become strong in the following week.
In short, this tool is the Zen way to real ownership and enjoyment of all those many states of being life offers us. It works, in my opinion, because we really are non-physical beings! As you learn to separate yourself from objects, you get closer to your true nature, and that carries a great satisfaction with it. Of course, this is grand speculation on my part, since I have no real proof. Remember that I expect you to be skeptical. Speculation as to how things really are can be called an assumption. . The process of identifying assumptions, and looking at different systems of assumptions is very interesting, but unnecessary for our survival. Tools, on the other hand, are easier to understand and perhaps more useful to our survival.
There are many other possible tools and Lemmas than the few I have mentioned here. Everybody's mother has a few more. I asked my mother for any, and without more than one minute preparation, my 77-year-old mother gave me the following:
Of course, your family has provided you with similar words of wisdom, or keys to success, and I have only scratched the surface with the few I offer here. As an original thinker, you will need to take stock of the thought structures that you have used to build your thoughts and thinking processes on. It cannot be stressed enough but these concepts given here are just guidelines. They are not absolute. The bottom line is that life has no rules, and there is no trick that will allow you to become a bystander!
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