Attachment to things drops away when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. -Eckhart Tolle-
I’m recycling quotes! The one above appeared a few weeks ago in my article Craving. In that post, I talked about how advertisers use branding to get the consumer to identify with their company, their products. I’m compelled by Eckhart Tolle’s words and I’m really trying to wrap my head around them and how they apply to me. I avoid buying name brands because I don’t want to feel like I’m being manipulated by industry. As for the rest of my purchases, especially things that I can easily go without, am I seeking to find myself in them? Is that what motivates me?
I’m starting to understand that a lot of my possessions serve to prop up the identity that I have built for myself over the years. For example, buying an electric car would reinforce an idea of myself as someone who cares for the planet. There’s nothing essentially wrong with this type of purchase, I suppose. I think that we can do what feels right without letting the ego grab hold of it and make us feel distinct, or better for it.
I’ve been watching a lot of Mooji videos lately, and the theme of identity is central to his teachings. In wanting to help others awaken spiritually, he encourages us to inquire within as to who is the “I am” behind our bodies, beyond the firm sense of identity that most of us feel. He explains how the mind can latch on to a limited sense of self, preoccupied with scenarios, suppositions and the like. You are probably very familiar with all the chatter created within the mind. According to Mooji, this inhibits joy. He says that in connecting to our real selves, i.e. consciousness, we are in a state of incredible space.
What I get from these teachings is that even if we do not aspire to attain enlightenment in this lifetime, we can move toward a more fluid sense of identity. Maybe we are more than just this body, these feelings, this overly preoccupied mind. If we inject some awareness around this constant chatter, we will make space for joy. And perhaps, in our joy, we will be less needy. Less attached to things, and hopefully, more in tune with Life.