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The rental mindset and path to freedom

Nothing is ours, not even our bodies. We always rent never own. This is liberating. I have written about this before in the context of products and commerce: The end of ownership and the rise of usership. But I am referring in this post to a mindset, a way of seeing things that can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Liberation from attachment

Liberation comes when you realise that nothing you have gained in this life can be taken with you, nothing materially a least. And that most of our concepts of ownership come from an attachment to things.

We think that the more we own of something, the more it makes of us and also the more control we have.

Ownership is like a proxy for control. We feel if we own it, we can control it and have more rights than when we are just a custodian, a mere borrower. Okay this does not apply to everyone (think of those that trash an Airbnb property) but at least to everyone with a moral compass.

Yes some things can be passed on, like a house that falls to your dependents. But you cannot take your house with you. And while you can enjoy it, we sometimes invest far too much of ourselves into our homes than is warranted. It ends up owning us in some cases – think of overly burdensome mortgages.

The ephemeral truth that sets you free

I don’t know why we long so for permanence, why the fleeting nature of things so disturbs. In every nook and cranny, nature screams at the top of her lungs that nothing lasts, that it is all passing away.

When, as nature does, you accept that all is ephemeral, transient and passing away, then you can let go control and be truly free.

Then you can ride the wave and enjoy the thing and the moment. You have no commitment to anything.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have any obligations, as mentioned you do. You have a duty to look after and be responsible in your use and not just to enjoy.

When you can see things as just a renter, not an owner, and do this beyond just material things, then you are free.

Be free.

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