Throwing clutter as a practice to face our death

solomon's picture



Average: 4.6 (8 votes)

Throwing clutter is one of the hardest things to do.

Clutter is things we do not need but keep because of our emotional attachment to them. We know that we will not need them and if we happen to need them we will be able to easily obtain a substitute but still we feel unable to throw them.

Clutter can be physical things and also mental stuff.

We fill our house with all sorts of clutter: photos, letters, bills, furnitures, cloths (hardest to say goodbye). The biggest our basement and attic, the more clutter we accumulate.

And this clutter blocks also our psyche.

Our enormous difficulty to throw clutter lies in the fact that it reminds us of our past, a past we are attached to, a past we find so hard to kiss goodbye. Throwing away our past is the same in feeling like death, our annihilation. It is our fear of our death, of our extinction that makes it so hard for us to throw our stuff.

Oh clutter, it is so hard to throw you away.

I am checking all the stuff I accumulated and try to throw as much clutter as possible. I watch the clutter on the floor of my room and feel my energy in it. It is like killing myself. So hard.

I feel the great pain in throwing these articles I happened to regard as integral parts of me throughout the years. I see all the excuses my mind comes up with for not throwing these articles: "maybe I will need it someday?", "Isn't it pity to throw such an expensive things?", "Maybe this fashion will return one day?", and so on...

And the act of throwing itself in front of the garbage can is inhuman. I envy so much those who have no problem throwing stuff.

But the relief afterwards is enormous. You feel light, almost flying in the wind.

I will love to hear the accounts of others. I think it will have a great support for me in my effort.



happy together's picture

It's death

Throwing clutter does not feel like death, it's death.

The mind receives the same type of signals it receives when someone dear dies or when one is in the process of dieing himself. The signals are just softer.

happy together | Mon, 11/02/2009 - 20:15
kalgo's picture

True - hence the great difficulty

In addition to seeing the identification with the clutter object, note that when having the difficulty to throw the clutter there is an unconscious mental presumption deep there that you are going to live forever in this body and so whatever disk, cloth, arrangement, book, furniture you are keeping or renovating is going to be here with you forever.

This is a great opportunity to witness this tacit belief of us which is so strong that it doesn't let the apparent facts of life to disturb it at all.

kalgo | Tue, 11/10/2009 - 08:44
Jibanda's picture

Resisting change

One main reason for not being able to throw clutter away is our resistance to change (which by itself usually stems from fear of death).

We define our state and change based on our stock of mental and physical articles. In order to have the feeling that there is no change, we try desperately to cling to the same mental dramas including pains and habitual emotional reactions and to the same physical objects that we own.

Coping with our disability to throw away stuff is coping with our resistance to change and our horror of death.

Jibanda | Mon, 11/02/2009 - 21:06
atlantis's picture

Also to learn to live with clutter

I've come to realize that apart of working on the ability to throw clutter, it is important to work on the ability to live with clutter. I'm not wisecracking with opposite-of-the-opposite argument. We are familiar with this annoying restless feeling of clutter around us in the house (that ultimately forces us to throw and arrange the mess) - dealing with clutter means also that we are able to clean the mental reaction to clutter, otherwise the throwing of the current clutter does not solve the problem completely.

atlantis | Tue, 12/22/2009 - 23:35
silencio's picture

Throwing old stuff that we

Throwing old stuff that we don't need, especially cloths, is a great exercise for realizing in personal experience that the past does not exist. Not understanding it theoretically or analytically but having this clear unspoken insight that emerges when we throw things that we are attached to.

silencio | Mon, 05/28/2012 - 08:06