Zero things

31 Mar

There are many fascinating funeral traditions and highly diverse burial customs to be observed around the world, and through many ages past. Aboriginal peoples in South America, especially inhabitants of the Amazon, follow the custom of burying or burning all the possessions of the deceased. That means a person’s things die when they do. They are not passed on to be of use or value to others, as is typical of, for example, European cultures, which accumulate things (maybe 10.000 things, as we saw here). Nor are they buried with the dead to serve them in the afterlife, as we believe ancient Egyptian cultures, amongst others, did, providing opportunity for grave robbers or later cultures (or Indiana Jones/Lara Croft) to claim these things. They just cease to exist, if they are buried, they may push up daisies… sort of like an Ultimate Recycling. If we leave aside the reasons for the moment and focus on the relationship between people and their things (and others’ things) thats a radically different model to live by. How would our relationship to our things change, if we were to adopt such a system?

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