“If children regularly use objects for comfort during times of need, why doesn’t everyone have a hoarding problem? We think it is because some people are more prone to anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism is when an object is perceived to have human-like qualities.”
When possessions are poor substitutes for people: hoarding disorder and loneliness
Abstracted somewhat above (but not necessarily beyond) this – we all quite probably do at least notionally possess hoarding problems. Buddhist psychology almost exclusively locates the preponderance of human misery in this world to the many and diverse methods by which we attach ourselves to things in the world, to objects, possessions, people and ideas. The psychological (perhaps – constitutively cognitive) aggregation of entities, objects, properties, ratios, references and the relationships between all of these things is perhaps also a form of hoarding.
Consider the contemporary information-rich environments in which so many of us live and through which we are compelled to communicate and participate, extracting personal meaning and cultivating participatory self-identity. There exists a certain self-inflating conceptual volume and internally expanding negentropic space, an endlessly extensible immaterial logical and symbolic matrix within which our mental processes and affectations dwell.
It might be said that no one will ever be discovered years later (as was the lonely soul referenced in the article found inside their hoarder’s cornucopia) within an over-abundance of concepts, deceased and dishevelled – forgotten and lonely. This, of course, would be eminently untrue as we are all to some extent guilty of retaining unnecessary excess notions, and further, of embellishing these with diverse and irrational (self-) justifications and clouded logical ambiguities. The extremities of pathology are always also all around us in that non-trivial step beyond everyday compulsion or obsession invariably instantiated in institutional and organisational contexts of diverse form and kind.
One generally need not look far beyond an average bureaucracy or administrative hierarchy to discover those bedraggled curmudgeons for whom, in lieu of authentic and meaningful human contact, the retention and unhealthy attachment to anachronistic ideas and frameworks of thinking long ago replaced sanity or intellect. These lost souls percolate up through our global corporations and administrations much like dead fish in a pond, rising to the surface not so much through any particular skill as by the dynamical material or systemic and logical necessity of their presence within systems that find a reason for existence and purposive direction in blind repetition and the accumulation of worthless complexity.
I think I may have digressed a little… perhaps I am hoarding and gathering my own words and thoughts as though little keeps and castles of objects and thought within which, labyrinth-like, I might also hope to be discovered some day, at very least, as some lost and lonely weaver of narrative emptiness, suffocated under the weight of my own collected thoughts…