We often want to own more and more things. While those things may sometimes be functional necessities, we desire them not so much for what they do as for what they represent – they are status symbols that announce our membership of particular groups. For example, our possessing an expensive phone may signify that we belong to an upwardly mobile group.
We seek belongings to gain belonging. This longing to belong is among our deepest longings. We want to be accepted, valued and respected; to love and to be loved – to belong.
However, our longing to belong can’t be fulfilled sustainably by belongings. Social circles that open their doors to us based on our belongings don’t value us – they value what we have. But what we have can go away at any time. By basing our belonging on our belongings, we sentence ourselves to anxiety.
When we lose our status symbols, we are often shattered. What hurts is not so much the loss of those things – they are usually luxuries that we can live without. What hurts much more is the loss of belonging: doors to elite circles that were earlier wide open now close in our faces.
Why should we long to belong to such fickle social circles? Instead, we can strive to belong to Krishna’s spiritual circle, where we are valued for who we are –eternal parts of Krishna. He loves us unconditionally, unfailingly, unflinchingly.
To enter his circle, we don’t need any outer acquisitions; we just need the inner realization of who we are. The Gita (04.35) declares that when spiritual knowledge frees us from illusion, we realize that we all belong to Krishna.
The easiest way to get this realization is by practicing bhakti-yoga. In loving him and being loved by him, our longing for belonging finds everlasting fulfillment.
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