“Do the one thing that can render you really happy: cast aside and trample under foot all the things that glitter outwardly and are held out to you by another or as obtainable from another.” – Seneca
No matter what type of philosophy we embrace, no matter what part of the world we travel to, even if we could travel through time we still could not find a place where this message was not considered a part of enlightenment. The removal of the desire for material things is center in all of the major philosophies.
The removal of the desire for material things is not the same as not having any material things. It means that we are not moved by our need to own things, we do not allow our desire to have nice things or luxuries to make our decisions about how we work, how we make money in other ways, or how much time we spend – or don’t spend – with our families.
For some of us that might very well mean getting rid of all of our possessions and spending some time with nothing. But for most of us it is a simple shift in mindset that makes us look at the things we own as traps and this shift in perspective sets on a path to avoid being trapped by the things we own.
We can keep the things we own from owning us by removing our desire to add to their numbers.
virtus fortis vocat