Saturday, December 20, 2008

You never know

One of the great problems of Capitalism is its periods of correction. The flow of Capitalism goes like this:
1) Economy is growing - times are good
2) Economy grows too far (things become worth more than they are worth truly)
3) Economy corrects itself (this is called Depression/and or Recession)

I guess we are on the brink of another correction - one that conjures up thoughts of the last official Depression. I was not alive then but my early childhood was chock full of my aunts, uncles and parents telling me stories about it.
One particular outcome of having lived through a time of very little was the habit of hoarding and no one was a better at it than my Dad.
My father filled his basement workroom shelves and also shelves in the garage with jars of . . . anything and everything (screws of all sizes, nails of all sizes, strange metal pieces that were once part of some contraption, springs, strings, spark plugs (used), rubber things (I am not sure what they were), . . if it came from a machine or could be bought at a hardware store - it was stored in a jar .
"You never know," my Dad would say, "you might need that someday."
Most of the stuff rusted and was never used and got in the way of finding something that would get used. (I forgot to mention that this stuff was not organized - just in jars of various sizes ranging from large canning jars to baby food jars. If it was glass - it got filled with various hunks of metal. He even saved dead batteries. "You never now."
I used to wonder why my Dad saved such obviously useless junk - he was not a mechanical man, he did not build things (not even a bird house) - he much better at destroying mechanical things and saving their parts in jars. (TV broke - so lets save those tubes and the wires - in jars) [He also had drawers that were stuffed beyond max and no one this side of the Hulk could open them. I never found out what was in them.]
But in the strange twists that the Karma path takes us, I think I found a use for his Hoard.
It is something I visualize inside of me when I am trying to deal with a persistent habit or trait that I no longer want as part of me. (Excessive bitching is a good example.) I think of it as a jar of rusty nails sitting on a shelf inside of me.
I ask myself: 'why am I holding onto this habit ? - why am I hoarding this crap ?
I then visualize doing the unthinkable (for my dad): throwing the jar away. A deep breath, inhale and visualize, exhale and throw the jar away. Strangely enough I find that this works.
Now I have to deal with recurring dream of my Dad rummaging through the garbage and exclaiming: "Look what I have found. Did you really want to throw this out ?"

I think that is enough for today.
Hope your correction goes well,


Richard said...

I have a habit of hoarding stuff, I inherited that from my own Dad. Only in the last couple of years through the changes wrought by meditation have I started to throw out the junk, not just physically but mentally.

It's a liberating thing to be able to do that, but I've learned that we need to have a care of what we do throw out, not just throw things out for the sake of it.

Soulsearcher said...

I sometimes hoard things but then I get anxious about all the clutter around me and need to purge. I do find myself stocking up on food during these days of doubt, but other than that I have not been buying much. I like your image of throwing away the jars.

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