I got ripped off recently, and I realized that I don’t own anything. And let me tell you, it’s a relief. I used to own lots of stuff. I was totally bought into the idea that there was “mine” and “somebody else’s.” And then I bought into a couple other ideas. One was that I can’t own a galaxy, and I can’t own an atom, and that since everything I encounter is somewhere between galaxies and atoms, I can’t own it, whatever it is. Another idea that made me an ex-owner is when I realized that my stuff has many times made me unhappy when it either became less good, or damaged, or no longer mine. So if I lay claim to nothing, then I literally have nothing to lose, which leaves me permanently protected from ever being upset over losing anything or having it break or wear out.
This is not to say that I forget what ownership is all about, or that it’s really important to lots of people, or that there is an ethical code of behaviors and attitudes in our society based on ownership that serves the purpose of keeping the peace and keeping track of what goes where. And I’m fine with all that. I plan to play along until the end, getting all the benefits that ownership has on society, but risk free. For example, when someone “steals” something of “mine,” I experience no sense of injustice. Nothing bad or wrong happened. The effect on me is the same as if someone stole the Milky Way galaxy or an atom from my foot.