Personal reflections · Reminders to self · Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

Beads that Matter

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A new post in the series – Reminders to self

I discovered a beautiful article yesterday on my daily digest from 

Something about the piece stayed with me for a long time, including the title itself, Beauty and The Dumpster. I share below the last two paragraphs from the article, the essence of the piece in my opinion. Or at least the essence that spoke to me. So very directly. So very quietly and strongly.

My ancestors also were first-generation immigrants, who arrived in this country with only what they could carry. The little they came to own was theirs for a lifetime. Anything that broke was repaired; chairs and sofas re-covered, tables refinished. Objects did not come and go but remained stable, adding to the stability of the world. What I have of theirs contributes to the weight of my being.

It is common these days to lament how materialistic we have become, but I do not believe this is accurate. It seems to me that we have not yet begun to value matter. Much that is made today is not intended to last and cannot be repaired. Mana is unable to fill our possessions. Lacking substance, they cannot become proper vessels for spirit. We may ask where objects come from, but they no longer have stories to tell. They too have lost their roots. How, then, are we to leave tangible mementoes of ourselves when we go? What will be left to caress?

As I kept mulling over what I had read in this piece, particularly the last paragraph, I was reminded of those days last year when my sisters and I were trying to sort through some of the possessions of our mother after her departure from this world. I found myself looking carefully, really seeing and feeling through some of my mother’s personal objects that have made their way into my home.

Like her sphatik mala that she used for her japa practice, which now adorns the frame housing an old B&W picture of her and my father taken a day after their wedding. The picture rests comfortably on a cupboard which serves as my dressing table, and every time I gaze at the sphatik mala I hope that something of the magical healing power of those beads will rub over me. Every time I wrap that mala over my wrist I hope and pray that something of the energy and force added to those beads by my mother’s constant japa practice over many years will rub on to me.

It seems to me that we have not yet begun to value matter. Much that is made today is not intended to last and cannot be repaired. Mana is unable to fill our possessions. Lacking substance, they cannot become proper vessels for spirit. 

This reminder was needed. This reiteration is needed. For me. For all, I suppose.

Meditating on this thought also reminded me of two posts I had written during the time I was engrossed fully with the task of organizing and sorting my mother’s personal possessions.

In “The Stuff of Our Lives” I wrote:

And ultimately at some point in time, that definitive moment comes when all our possessions, all the objects, all the stuff we so meticulously collected over our lives stays here in this physical realm, as our last journey out of this realm commences. What happens to all that stuff – the stuff of our temporary lives? Do we ever wonder about this all the while we are busy collecting, possessing, accumulating? Do we ever imagine, even for a split second, how will our loved ones handle all that stuff we so carefully kept in our closets, cupboards, and drawers?

In “Material Life” I reminded myself of the eternal advice from the Mother:

The Divine is in things also and that is why they must be treated with care.

Today I remind myself again of this reminder. Today all I can write is this:

If only we can learn how to feel and value the spirit in the matter. If only we can learn how to transform our material possessions as vessels for the spirit.

To read the full article “Beauty and the Dumpster” by Meredit Sabini, click here.
To read my post “The Stuff of Our Lives”, click here.
To read my post “Material Life”, click here
To read all the posts in the series “Reminders to self”, click here.

Photo: mine

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