The notion of ownership causes a great deal of suffering. “Those are my things, so don’t touch them or I’ll hit you.” “This is my property, so stay off it! Violators will be prosecuted!” “This is my family, so don’t bother them or you will experience my wrath!” “This is our country, so stay out of it or we’ll go to war with you.”
We suffer when we lose things and quite often, we seek revenge against those we feel are responsible for our loss. We cause others to suffer when we choose to violate or take their things. We hold onto things for dear life and we spend a lot of time worrying about our stuff.
It doesn’t need to be this way!
The native way of life has always been based on the belief that we belong to the land … not the other way around. We could learn and benefit from this philosophy. The challenge is, of course, that we have evolved into a capitalistic, ownership-oriented society. It is important, however, to put ownership into proper perspective because the reality is that all ownership is temporary, and therefore, illusory in a sense. As the saying goes, we brought nothing with us when we came into this world and we’re taking nothing with us when we leave.
Why then do we get so attached to things? It’s because of what they represent … hard work, success, achievement, stature and memories of good times. And this is okay as long as it doesn’t become a burden to us … and this is possible when we consider that the native viewpoint also applies to life itself. We belong, not just to the land and Mother Earth, but to the flow of life. That is to say, life is experienced through us … not by us. We had no control over when we came into this life, no control over when we’re leaving and little control in between. And herein lies one of the keys to ending suffering! When one truly understands that there is no real ownership and when we understand that we belong to both the land and the flow of life, suffering ceases to exist.
Have an awesomely carefree day!