Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Illusion of Possession

We all heard the story of how Manhattan Island was purchased from the Native American tribes by Dutch settlers for a handful of colored glass beads, the moral of the story being how clever the white people were and how naïve and ignorant the indigenous people were.
Besides being factually incorrect, the story doesn’t mention a lot of other things that were very pertinent in the making of the deal.

The notion and concept of possession is not as universal as we think.
This is mainly because property and possession are manmade concepts and build as such, to serve their purpose and not as universal and natural laws as many like to believe.

The Native Americans did not have the concept of ownership the colonist have.
To the native people owning land was as absurd as owning the air in the sky or the water in the rivers.
We do not own the land and the land does not belong to us. It is the opposite way; we belong to the land.
This concept of no possession it is the more intuitive, natural one since possession is an illusion.

What we really mean by possession is actually a form of use interdiction.
When we purchased the land from the Native Americans we did not say:  We are giving you these goods but in exchange, you are forbidden the use of the land. You cannot hunt, raise your cattle, build your house or walk on this land anymore.
If we have explained the deal like that I’m sure the deal would have never been made.

Another classical example of how and why property and possession are manmade artificial concepts is the Communist system.
In 1917 under Lenin’s leadership, the great Bolshevik revolution took place in Russia.
For the first time, the “people” took control of a country and personal property was abolished.
In Russia, the land belonged to the Russian people now. At least that’s what they said.

I grew up in a communist country and I’m very familiar with this concept.
I remember distinctively being in High school at the age where individuality pops up.
I saw the son of the Party secretary coming to school in a personal car with a personal driver so I asked: “How come he has a car and a personal driver?”
“Comrade! That is our car, the people’s car. The comrade Secretary is only using it because his job is more important than anybody else.”

Personal property or collective property is the same concept: The concept of use interdiction.
The peasants working in the farm Collectives did not own the land, the government did.
Pretty much the same as here in the US. There is no public, land, public road or public park as you are lead to believe.
Try to use it for your own purpose like building something on public land and you will soon discover that is not “our” land, it is in fact, Government land.

Of course, you’d say; “Maybe, but my house is MY kingdom I can do whatever I want on MY land”
Not so fast. It is Government land and you need a permit to build anything on the Government land.
Ask anybody that “owns” a house or any other piece of real-estate for that matter.
You don’t own anything. Possession is an illusion.
Possession is only the ability to forbid somebody else from using whatever you think is yours.
But nothing besides your life experience is actually yours because anybody at any time can have that use restricted or removed, like it or not.
So be rich in life experiences. Be rich in love, nobody can take that from you.

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