The words we choose reflect how we view the world around us. It shows what is important and to what degree. Thoughts are constructed with strings of letters. Feeling are described by strings of letters. Reality is created and destroyed by strings of letters.
When we get up close to our language it reveals some interesting proclivities.
I have been visiting some stoic readings again as well as investigating mindfulness practices. A commonality running through each philosophy is that of attachment – how much we hold on to objects or push away from them. Each action keeping us connected to them.
There are some deep ideas about ownership as well. The wanting of possessions or the needing to possess. Questions like why I should be more upset about my cup breaking than someone else’s cup breaking are posed as thought experiments. And my westernized ownership bent mind screams because the cup is mine, that’s why.
But is the cup really mine? Sure I’ve made use of it. Even kept it in good condition, but is it really mine. If I have a receipt does that make it mine? Do I own the parts that make up the cup. If so then I still have those parts even after it breaks so what is lost.
The usability or function may be lost. But is that what I owned? Or was that something inherent of the cup?
What if we switch to something else we use the word my with? My dog. My doctor. My boss. It seems different when we put my next to a being. But we use language of possession with people all the time. My spouse. My child. But owning people is generally frowned upon.
So maybe in this sense, it isn’t ownership or possession but back to the idea of attachment. Yet attachment isn’t something to seek either. Attachment creates suffering. We either mourn for the loss of what we were attached to or worry about the future loss. And those two forces dictate all kinds of behavior, not necessarily to the benefit of others or the object.
Both grief and apprehension take us out of the experience of being alive, out of the present, out of the glorious now. How do we learn to detach and still remain here? How do we see the cup as a cup and not my cup?
For me part of the process is to be more aware of words implying possession and attachment. Another part is choosing to be appreciative rather than anxious. Choosing to reminisce instead of regress. Choosing to stay in the now.
And whenever I slip away, to refocus on what is happening – how I am being.
Thanks as always.
With civility ~ Brian