Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We are the Collectors

Humans are collectors.

There are very few things people won’t collect. We collect stamps and coins, video games and bugs and then we start clubs around our collections that bloom into TV shows or internet forums. Think The Antique Road Show, Pokemon or any show about people with two gazillion kids (Look I collected all 8, wow!).
When I was little I collected dust bunnies from under my bed and I put then in little cages with windows and air holes. I knew a guy who worked at the local dump who collected old baby carriages.
As we get older a lot of our collections become “practical” (If you consider 50 of the same thing practical), we collect clothing or books or if you work where I work you collect paper, “Oh this paper is important, oh can’t throw that out, look at all that useful information. Oh put it with all my other gazillion papers so I don’t lose it and it’s there whenever I need it…” We even developed systems around our collections. We call it the internet.
The interesting thing is these collections become part of our ego’s beliefs of who we are. Who are you? Oh come see all my stuff, I’ll show you who I am. I get upset if someone deletes my favorites list on the net. NOOO!!! That’s who I am. It took me forever to collect all those, now I’ll never find me again, and I was soooo close to figuring myself out.
And that’s the feeling that these collections give us. If you collect books the feeling is that the next one you buy will finally complete you. The next one will have all those answers you’ve been looking for. The next one will make me feel ‘enough’. And then you buy it and strangely it isn’t the last one. There never is a last one in collections, just the next one.

When you get into yoga or any enlightenment practice a funny thing happens. There’s this funny middle ground that most yogis enter and occasionally get stuck in. First they give away their attachment to their stuff collections. They are no longer their clothes; they are no longer their stamps or their video games. Instead they start collecting information and experiences. Instead of telling people about all the DVDs they have or all the bugs they’ve collected now they are telling people about all the information they have or all the experiences they’ve collected. And they go out looking for these information or experience pools to draw from and add to their collection. And that is where it gets tricky because it doesn’t really matter whether you collect stuff or experiences they are still collections and they are still not ‘you’.
I think there comes a day for everyone where you kind of wake up and realize that whether you sat in the same place and never moved or whether you travelled the world and collected stuff you would still be you, but then most people stumble across more stuff for their collection and their ego distracts them again.
It’s hard to get out of that trend and I don’t pretend I don’t collect. I do, although I got rid of the dust bunny collection because my house collects them for me with out the effort on my part. So maybe the important part is not to ‘not’ collect, but just to see it as that, a collection, but not a collection of ‘you’.

So I’m almost done with the approval process for my charity yoga. It looks like my one class will be from 5-6pm on Thursdays (Unfortunately the only time available) at the field behind the Adult High-school on Preston Ave. And I’m not sure about The Science and Tech Museum but I think that will still go through to be held on Wednesdays from 7-8pm. I’ll hopefully know by the end of the week and update you from there.
Take care and stay out of trouble.