My belongings are held tenuously in the back of a friend's truck by bungee cords. I moved almost everything I own from my old apartment to my new place in one trip. It took just under an hour to get everything on and back off again. I don't own much and I don't intend to. By typical standards, you wouldn't consider me a materialist; I don't own a lot of things, very little of it would be considered 'nice' and even then a great deal of it was given to me. Most of it is pretty utilitarian; notebooks, art supplies, tools of my trades.
We talk about materialism as an obsession with the physical world, our physical comfort and belongings, and it tends to coincide with a distaste for spirituality and the ethereal. Being a materialist means you're concerned with things that are within the realm of your senses. In a way, this makes it ideal for the scientifically oriented in that it disparages faith or any noumenon that doesn't fall concretely into the world perception we build for ourselves out of the socially agreed upon senses.
Despite my lack of stuff, I struggle greatly as a carrier of that idea of materialism. The reason why has a lot to do with the fact that I live in an altered version of reality. By creating a place for myself with strict guidelines as to what is and isn't real, I had a sense of what is and isn't important. Reality is important. Seeing shit was just a weird quirk that I could get fixed like crooked teeth.
Materialism disposes of meaning, which made it pair well with the existential view I've trended towards most of my life. Things may or may not happen for a reason, but ultimately the meaning is self-assigned, and if it were part of something larger, it's not something you could conceivably know. I've held this view for awhile because it helped me deal with bullshit. Any time something terrible happened I could take some solace in the idea that its meaning was mine to declare, and there is something comforting in that when circumstances are beyond your control. In that sense, being a materialist means you're free to accumulate a world view based on tangible reality and not some chaotic and predetermined set of 'meanings'. That doesn't sound so insidious, does it?
But the things you own possess you, and that's not limited to your tangible items stacked on bookshelves or tucked into closets; it's equally true for the relationships you have with people and the ideas you hold to be true.
Ownership is a tricky concept to apply to a relationship or belief system; you don't own another person (hopefully) but you do own a connection with them. You have it with you, even when they're not around.
I have felt like I was possessed by this idea that I wasn't any different from anyone else, I just had this kind of handicap. Rereading what I wrote before kind of blows my mind; that I had to learn how to deal with being crazy, and deal with being normal; I kept both sides of myself completely compartmentalized.
I've since developed the idea that maybe I am different, but not in a way that isn't attainable for anyone else. I'm not special in the sense that I have some magic power like the people that made me recoil in my youth insisted they or I had. It's not a disease that I have to moderate; not exactly. It is something I have to take care of, but more in the sense of owning a guinea pig and less in the sense of a medical condition. The same goes for the people in my life though I'm admittedly a lot fuzzier on how to explain that.
Spirituality bothers me. It's been a relatively recent development that I've met people who consider themselves spiritual that I don't also consider completely full of horse shit. I am still very wary of the idea; it's hard not to hear people speak about energy and connectedness and not feel like it's something in their heads, that they're actually so far removed from connection because they're disregarding the clearly tangible world. You can't claim to be spiritual while completely disregarding the physical experience you were born into, not honestly.
I have moments where I go traveling, and I don't know if I can explain what that means, but in some ways I leave my body. My body reacts a bit like a dog whose owner left; it would much rather I be there, but usually it's going to take a nap or go get into things. I feel a bit like I live with my body right now; it's both a separate and same living thing to me.
I like the idea, at least metaphorically, that our bodies are just fleshy smart phones for our consciousness. We used to be up there in some big crazy space, and eventually we stuck our fingers in something corporeal and got distracted. We stopped lifting our heads up from these crazy meat sacks that could touch things and eat and have sex and experience things in such a visceral way. The sense of being spiritual was lost in very much the same way that being human is starting to. It isn't good or bad, it's a progression. Progressions shouldn't be considered strictly linear or forward; it's a development, the way water bubbles over from a fountain, going up and down at the same time. I don't really know if that's an example of the fractal nature of things, or if it will become some sort of Ouroboros in which we use our technology to reconnect with our original sense of spirituality. It's just a thought.
Maybe I am losing my mind. Maybe flying out here is dangerous and I'd be safer in the material world with rules of behavior I could follow. I am pretty raw right now, and I have a lot of growing up to do. I don't know if this is just another thing that I will toy with or if it's an addition to my perspective. You really don't know unless you play with it for awhile.
I don't really know if I understand what spirituality means. It's not what I identified it as when I was younger, or if it is it was held in a way I couldn't understand. There is some air of detachment that comes with it, when you pull up from your body and look around this immense amount of space you occupy. This is a new place for me to be in and I don't have much to guide me through it except questions and reactions, but it's starting to feel like a good thing.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.