Should I let go of my stuff?
Should I have a metaphysical yard sale, in which I sell my Cunningham books, my surplus of pewter jewelry, and my…
Should I rid my closet of the long, green, hooded robe I’ve worn twice, my Guatemalan patchwork jacket I scored for $7 bucks, or my black ceremonial duds? How about my malas, my God and Goddess candle holders (don’t you just love P. Borda?), or my copper OM chalice?
When I look at the shelf above my desk, I read the titles:
- A Book of Pagan Prayer
- A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book
- The Book of Common Prayer (i.e. Episcopal Church)
- A Canticle For Leibowitz (thank you, Themon, for the recommendation)
- Sacred Fire, Holy Well
- Creation Spirituality
- The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life
- Pagans & Christians
Is that too diverse?
What about my entire shelf of Bibles? I’ve got the Green, the NIV, the Aramaic translation, the King James, the Revised Standard, the Edicion Pastoral, the Good News Bible, and the New International Version.
I also have a Humanist Bible, which is a whole ‘nother story.
I like stuff. Most of us do, to some degree. But I wonder if this surplus of metaphysical stuff I’ve accumulated throughout the years gets in my way.
How much of this stuff do I actually use?
These thoughts occur to me as I continue with my ADF Dedicant Path studies. I feel like I’m studying to be one thing, but the stuff around me suggests that I’m something quite different. I’m studying to be an ADF Druid working within a Pan-Celtic hearth, as it were, but my stuff indicates that I’m really quite eclectic.
This isn’t a crisis by any means, but it is something to consider. What does our stuff say about us? And, how much stuff do we need in order to do our religion?
Is an excess of spiritual stuff an indication that you don’t have enough religion?
Should religion curb your consumption? And when it doesn’t — when your spiritual/religious work winds you up with tupperwares full of serapes, tapestries, and unused statuary — is it really nature spirituality that you’re practicing, or stuff spirituality?
It may sound like I’m romanticizing asceticism, but I’m not. Like I said, I like stuff.
I’m just beginning to question why I have so much of it.
This post is not designed to preach what is the right relationship to stuff. I’m just hoping to inspire some classic Bishop In The Grove dialogue about stuff.
I want to know about your stuff.
Take a look around you. Look at the stuff on your shelves, on your windowsills, and in your dresser drawers, paying close attention to all of the stuff that’s connected to your spiritual path or religious work (whichever term you prefer).
What’s there? How much of us it being used on a daily basis? Any? All? Some?
Do you save your stuff for the High Holidays? Do you haul out the cooler of candle holders for your coven’s rituals, or has it been collected cobwebs in the corner?
Let’s all take a minute and talk about our stuff.