The rich are possessed

By their nature, their quality, their perceived desirability, possessions reflect the character of their owner.

Possessions assert a degree of dependency upon them as well as impose obligations upon the possessor. Whilst a Thing can give pleasure it is also true that the weight of responsibility in owning a thing is often greater than any reward it brings. Anyone who has ever owned a Harley Davidson will attest to this veracity.

In any case, possessions make it impossible for an individual to simply Be.

Possessions extend the footprint of an individual beyond the boundaries of their existence. While some may regard this as meritorious, even attractive, the down side is that the owner can never have control of those parts of the possession which fall outside those boundaries. Equally, a paradox exists in that Things are unto themselves, they are their own entities, and as such no-one can entirely own them. Similarly, a possession that lives – a pet, a slave, an employee – although perhaps regarded as an asset of the employer, owner or nation state, can never truly be possessed outright because inevitably the spirit of the Thing remains of itself.

Possessing a Thing, makes a person visible to the world at large. And consequently is exposed to greater scrutiny. The greater the number of possessions for which a person is responsible, the larger is the impression that individual makes and the more that individual must expend to preserve any kind of privacy.

In general, wealthy people accumulate more, they consume more, it is impossible for them to hide or fade into the background and so certain people gravitate to them. They have more of everything including enemies to the extent that, at times, it must feel they are being subsumed by their possessions and by the responsibilities and obligations they bring. In this way, owning Things exposes and enfeebles them.

The wealthy are made weak by their possessions.

And, the weakest of them all are those who love an excess of possessions and develop covetous obsessions about those belonging to others.

It’s hard to feel sorry for them though.

© Rod McRiven 2017

Pictures: The Foundation for Deep Ecology
Websites: My favourite things   

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