By Celia Coates
I was surprised to find advice on de-cluttering in a book about angels:
“The first and most important step in making a strong connection with the angelic realm is to purify yourself and your environment.”
The author, Hazel Raven, went on to write,
“This is because angels live in the world of spirit (subtle energy) and humans exist in the physical world of the five senses. Angels are naturally attracted to people who have a harmonious higher state of consciousness.”
“To make room in your life for angels you need to clear your home of all clutter. … Clean and freshen your home on all levels.” *
I don’t have any knowledge myself about what attracts angels, but I do know that the material world provides a bounty that distracts us from the realm of subtle energies. I’m very aware that my home holds much more than I need and living with it all demands a lot of time and constant effort.
Like many people, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by stuff for a number of years. I’d mention to a friend that I was experiencing a drive to simplify my life and empty out the clutter only to find that they were experiencing the same thing. We live at a time when it’s easy to get buried in our possessions:
“After generations of relative scarcity and thrift from the 1950s onward, the nation has experienced booming consumerism. A ready, steady supply of inexpensive household goods has filled homes – closets and cupboards, garages and sheds, attics and basements – to bursting.”
Many in the older generation can remember a time when the family owned one radio that everyone gathered around in the evenings. Now many people have a TV in every bedroom and a giant screen in the family room. People who knew lack and deprivation first hand during the Depression learned to stock and store, but the young generations now seem more interested in experiences than possessions. Once upon a time parents could count on handing down their treasures to their kids, but not now.
“Everyday goods that once were hard to come by – clothing, lines, dishes, tools – are now easy to get but still, for many hard to let go of.” **
My favorite cartoonist, George Booth, has published his quirky drawings in THE NEW YORKER since 1969. In the issue for February 18 and 25 there was a new one with the caption, “I bond with stuff.” (https://cartoonbank.com) It was not only delightful to see yet another of his cartoons, his humor hit home.
Gladys Gardner, Elmer Green’s high school sweetheart and partner in later life, used to say, “There are no bureau drawers in coffins.” We really can’t take it with us. And now we are learning that the people we will leave behind don’t want much of it either. So, that’s another reason to de-clutter. It can be a rite of passage for us – facing our mortality and un-bonding from our possessions can become a spiritual task.
Marie Kondo came along at the right time in our possession-bound century! I turned to Wikipedia to check on the American publication date for her best seller, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP (that was in 2014) and then learned that she had been an organizer even in her childhood. She is quoted as having said,
“I was obsessed with what I could throw away. One day I had a kind of nervous breakdown and fainted. I was unconscious for two hours. When I came to, I heard a mysterious voice, like some god of tidying, telling me to look at my things more closely. And I realized my mistake: I was only looking for things to throw out. What I should be doing is finding the things I want to keep. Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying.”
The Shinto religion is important to Marie Kondo. Wikipedia also noted that,
“Cleaning and organizing things properly can be a spiritual practice in Shintoism which is concerned with the energy or divine spirit of things (kami) and the right way to live (kannagara).”
For this post I had planned to contrast a spiritual reason for de-cluttering with a simply practical one, but I found out that when we get right down to it, they can be based on the same need – to open up our lives and clear our minds so we can be aware of the non-material dimensions.
* THE ANGEL BIBLE: The Definitive Guide To Angel Wisdom, by Hazel Raven, Sterling, New York, no publication date. (This book is useful but the information can, at times, be inaccurate and seem glib. I wouldn’t call it the “definitive” guide.)
** DOWNSIZING THE FAMILY HOME, by Marni Jameson, AARP Real Possibilities, Sterling, New York, 2015.
*** The companion book to Marie Kondo’s original bestseller is:
SPARK JOY, An Illustrated Master Class On The Art Of Organizing And Tidying Up, Ten Speed Press, No publication date.
The image that accompanies this post is by “MrsBrown” from Pixabay.