Excerpt About Possessions

Havingness is a Psychological Attitude
In any case, this is not the meaning of being poor in spirit. Being physically poor does not necessarily lead to spiritual poverty; otherwise, all the poor people in the world would be saints. Havingness is not only about physical possessions. It is a psychological attitude, and the nature of the object is not what matters. We can have literary or artistic accomplishments, opinions, judgments, ideas, preferences, feelings, states, experiences, also family, friends, acquaintances, activities, interests, hobbies, and so on. All these can and do become objects of havingness. We are all rich with these things, even the materially poor among us. It is true that abundance of physical possessions tends to predispose us to an extreme attitude of havingness, but the tendency towards havingness is not fundamentally connected to the physical. Thus, the way of poverty includes nonattachment to all levels of inner possessions too. We can experience all the rich phenomena of our human, essential, and spiritual lives, and we can learn not to be attached to them, not to need them for our sense of self and value.

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