The Things You Don’t Own End Up Owning You

| by Truth Seeker |


I remember the first time I watched Fight Club. It was on a summer day after I’d returned home from my first job as a teenager. (I worked as a spammer filling people’s mailboxes.)

I didn’t get the movie at the time. I was half asleep and thought that it was too loud. The woman looked unnaturally non-hygienic too. In fact, the entire movie felt non-hygienic.

As an adult, I re-watched the best parts again, and the famous quote “the things you own end up owning you” by Tyler Durden stayed with me.

Eventually, I had a revelation that the opposite is even truer:

The things that you don’t own end up owning you.


1. Home

In the movie, the apartment of the main character built on the basis of Ikea obsession burns to the ground. And while this makes for some nice symbolism (anti-materialism), in reality, being homeless is a very unpleasant experience that no one truly wants to go through.

Homeless people look like the opposite of free to me.

If tomorrow you find your home in ashes would you really feel free?

Or more importantly, will you actually be free?

I’d rather obsess over what Ikea furniture to buy than looking for the right bridge to sleep under.

2. Female Presence

You don’t have a girlfriend. You feel sad because “you’re lonely” and missing out. Your hormones are also complaining.

Sooner or later, your life starts to revolve around the mythical girlfriend that you don’t have.

You begin using dating apps, approaching women, exercising, clothes styling…etc.

You become a slave to the chase for “love”.

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t suggest that women are something that one can own (possess). It’s referring to having a female presence in your life. It’s clear that people shouldn’t be treated as property.

3. Money

Minimalism is trendy because it sells to the great number of first-world citizens who’ve hoarded a large number of useless items – two cars, five bikes, 20 TVs, 50 phones, 150 shoes…etc.

Those people think they’ve found the hack to life when they start selling the junk that has been sitting in their garage for decades.

But let me tell you something, I would rather be in that situation than be poor.

Minimalism a.k.a. faked/pretend poverty is fun only when you’re rich.

Real poverty isn’t fun. Ever.

When I was 12-13, both of my parents lost their jobs, and we lived on leftovers for a couple of years.

One time we were so out of money that I and my mother were super happy to find 2-3 bucks in the house. She told me to buy a sandwich with the money, and so I did.

When you don’t have money, you obsess over it because its absence depresses you.

You have to work jobs that you don’t like (if you can find one in the first place) and follow a super strict budget shook by a pack of bubble gums.

Sooner or later, your entire existence becomes a slave to the lack of money.

4. Children

Children dictate the life of their parents. If your kid is sick, you’re sick. If your kid needs help, you have to provide it. If your kid is crying, you’re crying.

But people who don’t have kids aren’t free either. Childless people, especially women, are very sad people because we haven’t experienced something fundamental that touches your soul like nothing else.

There’s a very rich dude on YT that I watch from time to time who has millions if not billions but when a conversation about kids is started, one can see that he’s hurting inside because he never had any.

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t suggest that children are something that one can own (possess). It’s clear that people shouldn’t be treated as property.

5. Muscles

When you’re a skinny bitch, your lack of thick fibers ends up controlling your life too.

The solution?

You start lifting weight, bulking, following the “best routines” for natties, bowing to Mark Rippetoe…etc.

Before you know it, your life is once again at the mercy of something you don’t have.

6. Sex

Where do I start?

Men deprived of sex (which is pretty much the majority) can do crazy things to get it or release the pressure:

The list is long:

  • masturbation
  • pornography
  • escorts
  • forcing yourself to have sexual intercourse with women you don’t like
  • going to venues you don’t want to go to
  • dressing to attract women
  • lifting weights
  • taking steroids
  • plastic surgeries
  • dick elongation procedures


“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we are free to do anything.”

This is the main message of the movie, but ironically, the people who really like this quote aren’t as uncomfortable as one might think. Most are first world citizens who happen to be tired of materialism.

Imagine that you suddenly lose everything. You don’t have anything to your name.

Would you really be free?

The answer is no. In fact, you will be more enslaved because people will have more leverage over you. When you don’t have anything, you often have to agree with bad terms.

Who do you think is freer? The guy who has to work a minimum wage job that he hates but returns to a minimalist-approved apartment consisting of an air mattress and a chair or the guy living in a mansion?

The people who romanticize similar philosophies never had nothing.

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  1. Patrick

    I guess the conclusion is no one is really free. If you’re rich, you’ll start to live for all the pleasure, power and people’s admiration money can give you. If you’re poor, you’ll live just for survival. Truly freedom is an illusion.

  2. Rafael

    Truly freedom exists only in Jesus Christ bro. In Jesus we can be content whatever the circumstances. For we focus on things above, not on things of this world. Riches are an illusion, they can never satisfy. If you live life seeking for happiness and satisfaction on the things of this world you’ll only live a life of constant anxiety, stress and struggle. It’s a restless life. And at the end you’ll not find what you have been looking for. At the end, you’ll just find yourself disappointed, frustrated and exhausted. Mark my words.

  3. Steve

    OK Mr. Seeker, since I’ve commented on some of your articles of late and may have been harsh on a couple, I’m going to go in a different direction and do you a solid right now and give you an instant solution to your problems once COVID settles down……

    – Move to Asia!
    – If you have no job skills, then teach English at a language school. It may not be the most glamourous profession, but plenty do it and if you do, you will be able to have an above average life earning far more than the locals and you’ll have a decent social life.
    – The local women will really appreciate you.., for you! (local guys quite often are terrible boyfriends by western standards), an average looking 50-year old westerner can have his pick of 20-somethings.
    – One-night stands will be easy, you will have an abundance of girlfriends – never be single again!
    – Western women too will be much easier to deal with as they are much more appreciative in Asia because they are generally not into the local men but are forced to competing for western men against young hungry lean attractive Asian women who will do anything to land a foreigner.
    – You will be reasonably well off (in relative terms).
    – You’ll have good window for fatherhood because women of breeding age seem happy to breed with foreigners who are above 60.
    – Muscles won’t matter because outside of the US, no one actually gives a fuck about bodybuilding. The steroid look is considered unattractive in most countries and Bodybuilders are not considered cool and are viewed as weird and insecure.
    – No need for a penis-pump – we’re talking about Asia, not Africa

    None of this may represent freedom, but all of this positively addresses the recurring themes of your posts.

    You’re welcome!

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I am not going to abandon my life and family to play honorary Chad in Asia.

      Stop seeing everything through “let’s fix TruthSeeker” lenses. Not everything is about me.

      1. Steve

        I’m not trying to be a dick here but everything you write IS about you and you seem a little low. There are recurring themes to your posts, the answers to which are either

        a) Do nothing, but the status quo seems to be a major source of unhappiness for you.
        b) Improve your value in your current marketplace via self-improvement, which will require a major change in mindset, approach, etc.., something which you seem to have ruled out.
        b) Change marketplace; ie. Move to a place where you will be seen for the great human you are.

        Is it wrong to try and nudge someone in the right direction?

        1. JD

          Never trust advice from a man who can’t list the alphabet from a to c.

    2. Joe

      You sound like a massive tool. I’ve lived in Asia and this is mostly bullshit.

      The western men don’t have the pick of any women, but rather just the leftovers of starry-eyed sluts who watched too many Hollywood movies. Maybe things were different decades ago, but now the streets of Tokyo are crowded with middle-aged losers who can’t get laid in their own countries competing with other middle-aged losers who can’t get laid in their own countries. In a globalized world, they’re a dime-a-dozen and the novelty factor of being foreign has long since worn off.

      I (thankfully) didn’t work as a teacher, but I knew plenty who did, and their lives were not spectacular. And their mediocre pay contributed to their lack of long-term success with local women, as there’s virtually no room for upward mobility in teaching English. The idea that a local girl over 6/10 would want anything to do with an below to average looking foreigner in his 60s with no career prospects other than teaching English is laughable.

      Even if you do manage to find a half-decent girl to settle down with, there’s still plenty of other problems. Language, for one. Either you have to put in enormous effort into learning their language, or you find a girl who speaks fluent English – and they’re few and far between. Then there’s the task of earning respect from the local community, most of who can see you for what you are – just another loser with yellow fever.

      There’s plenty of good reasons to visit Asia. It’s a cool place, and with the right skills it is possible to stand out, earn respect, and make a good life there despite all the barriers. But if you’re anything like the person described in this clown’s post, you’re going to find yourself very disillusioned.

      1. Steve

        The streets of Tokyo are hardly representative of the whole of Asia and if you actually knew Asia, you would appreciate that.

        There are plenty of places where Language school wages are still good relative to local cost of living and I have met plenty of people over the years who started as teachers, had a great time and then transitioned into something more meaningful.

        The negativity in your post suggests a success level in life and with women which is not dissimilar to that of the OP

  4. Emre

    This is why I meditate , society is cursed and I’m not a fan of it

  5. Ruan

    I have to confess I have a secret crush on asian girls. They’re soooo cute. Too bad that in my country they’re all gold diggers. Especially the Japanese ones. And who am I to date one. I no degree, no car, no house, no good job or good salary. My only hope is that Virtual Reality one day gets so good that I can at least pretend I have a nice girlfriend.

    1. LEE

      You already have virtual reality. It’s called an imagination. That and porn.

    2. L.Rae

      I have diversified my skills in designing and extended it to making 3d models of girls. I am currently learning to sculpt 3d girls for my amusement. Call me a beta for pathetically doing it, but that is just one of the few escapes I have in life even though it is considered a self-defeating cope.

      1. Clark

        I’m not a developer but I’ve gathered enough knowledge in order to work on my own simple vr game. In this game I’m a man who has the power of stopping, slowing down or even reverse time. I also have the power to undress and pose any girl in the game. How cool is that right? Who wouldn’t want to have such powers in real life?

        By the way I’m not the creative type of person. If anyone of you got any idea about what else I can implement in my game please let me know.

        It would be cool to implement some sort of Artificial Intelligence in the girls and make them talk and interact with the player. Unfortunately this sort of thing seem to only be possible to be accomplished by one of those big video game studios.

  6. Nauara

    Hi, English is not my first language but even then I’d like to try to express something about this life based on my experience so far.

    For I came to the conclusion that life is, in a sense, nothing but a matter of luck and chance to everyone of us.

    A person who’s been lucky enough to be born with natural gifts can choose to work in something he likes.

    A person who’s born as a slave in the 18th century has never had a chance. What a bad luck.

    Someone who’s born with an excellent health (very lucky), will never know what’s it to be born with terrible, severe limiting diseases (very unlucky).

    I know many of you might be thinking: “but it’s not everything dependent on luck and chance. We can change our lives if we put enough effort on it and never give up.”

    Yes I know that. But even that has to do with luck. What if you’ve been born with a tendency to depression? Or retarded? Or stupid, with very low IQ? Or blind? Or simply with no will to fight, etc?

    This is just a couple of examples on how life is essentially a matter of luck and chance to everybody. There are literally millions and millions of other examples that shows that.

    When we stop and think about that it becomes so obvious doesn’t it? Are you still alive? Just luck. You could’ve been one of those millions of people who’s been killed, victims of some abortion. Or war. Or disease. Or accident etc.

    Life is ultimately a matter of luck and chance. Bill Gates could’ve been you and you could’ve been be Bill Gates. It was only decided by luck and chance.

      1. Nauara

        Predestination, if such thing exists, still counts as luck. For example, suppose you’re predestined to be rich. So why was it you, and not somebody else, the person appointed for getting such destiny?

        You see, you just got lucky for being the chosen one instead of somebody else.

  7. Brett

    Check out this quote I came across recently:

    “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error sedduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master. Whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

    – Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd: A study of the popular mind.

    Good article. Both capitalism and communism are subversive. The fact that we are only presented with two main choices (socialism leads to communism) should be a red flag for most.

  8. LEE

    Great article. Truth Seeker has a way of seeing alternate view points.

    1. WolfLarsen

      Yes to some extent, but when that freedom that money provides dries up you end up depressed and unlucky, because you realise that money won’t fill all holes in your life, though it may fill many of them
      I personally know people who are wery well situated and live better than 90% of people in my country, but they are all full of complexes and esentially unhappy
      Have you ever wondered why so many movie stars sink in drugs, alcoholism, depression, series of bad marriages and relationships etc etc and they have millions of dollars?

  9. PetroKE

    There’s truth in that passage from Fight Club, if it’s interpreted practically and not about poverty vs materialism (which of course leaves materialism the clear cut winner), but more of a debate between excessive materialism vs what you need and truly want to survive and be happy. Yes this is still a first world problem, or even a second world problem, but a real one at that as many people chase fabled monetary unicorns and fairy dust their whole lives, stuff that they don’t need, and things that wouldn’t make them any happier in the first place. These are never a substitute for actual living.

    For instance I now have more in my life in the way of material things and money that I ever needed, and I am happy, but some of my happiest an most memorable times in this life have been when I had very, very little in the way of material things and money (I was obviously not destitute, of course, as that’s not the arguement). When I was in my early twenties for instance I had a jalopy of an auto (that ran reliably but did little else) and earned enough money to scrape by on a budget, but the freedom I had in pursuing and enjoying the things I was most passionate about created priceless moments and acquaintances, and these are forever engraved in my mind. At the time I thought I was one of the most fortunate people on earth, and though I strived for more (materially and otherwise) I felt extremely blessed for what I had. I think more than anything else that’s the difference maker and what is lacking for most today.

  10. Larry

    Fight Club: sensationalist and childish drivel which drives home themes that you’ve debunked.

    Fargo: Understated film that’s about re-examining preconceived notions with the aim of seeing people’s actions and motivations as they are, rather than as we’re told they should be.

  11. Ru.Ev

    I’ve seen the movie, most of it is rubbish trying to get shit into the human psyche. For example, the porn clips they send uncensored. Analyzing it well I have found only two sentences that work.

    1. Masturbation is self-destruction
    2. We are in a war, in a spiritual war

    The analysis of the first sentence is that we must control our carnal desires that the only thing that leads us is to slavery and self-destruction.

    And the second is that we must strengthen ourselves spiritually to fight the true battle that is spiritual, win eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, have faith in Him and keep the commandments of him that is the whole of man.

    The rest are pure illusions and wanting to catch the wind.

  12. JD

    One thing I’ve learned after 50 years of being on this earth is that life is infinitely more satisfying when we seek purpose ahead of pleasure. Note I didn’t say instead of. We should all desire pleasure in life, but purpose should be placed as a priority over pleasure.

  13. GreyWolf

    I just passed a buddy from high school while on an evening walk. He was holding his newborn son and walking back to his house with his wife. I don’t have a wife, child, or own a home. Yes I am ‘free’ from all these responsibilities, but I would rather be owned by them.

    When I apply critical thinking to Hollywood I realize the themes often make no sense. I try not to think during movies now because it ruins the experience for me. I just watched Black Widow this past week and was tempted to walk out and ask for a refund, but since I bought the ticket on bargain night I stuck it out and stuffed myself with popcorn.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      A man can only try

    2. LEE

      Just wait 5 years. There’s a very good chance your buddy will be divorced and separated from raising his child.

  14. Kevin

    hey truth seeker, make a post about learning to do muscle ups

  15. W

    I can see where you are coming at. I would say that it’s not the things that you don’t have that own you, but your desires end up owning you if they are not in check. It’s all so psychological. Take obsolescence as an example. Companies know that we crave new things all the time so they make our phones obsolete in a year or two through design obsolescence. But they also make us think our phones obsolete through perceived obsolescence.

    I too have watched Fight Club – and many times – when I was younger and numerous messages resonated with me. But as I grow older, I realized, like you, that many of them are targeted at first world people. I feel that it’s the fault of the progressive left that try to make problems out of everything. Like eating meat is bad and we should buy fair trade. And case in point, minimalism. It’s a neat and cute fantasy for the young until reality hits them (and hopefully sooner than later). They realize they have no job, no career, no family, no savings, no skills, getting older and becoming obsolete. Unfortunately, to get anything done, you need money.

    Like the last example you gave, if you want to change the world, do you think you can do it when you are rich or poor?

    1. Jonathan F.V.

      Regarding changing the world… You can do it by breaking away from the methods you do not desire, and implementing methods that you do desire in your daily life. Then, help and encourage others to do the same. As tired as I am of hearing it, “Be the change you want to see in the world” is sound advice. It’s not being either rich nor poor. The poor is usually too busy with survival to enact deep change. And the rich became rich in the very system they lived in, hence most of the time they either agree with the system and don’t want to change it, or think that the system only needs minor improvements, or becomes assimilated by the system because they live in a bubble.

      No, change comes from neither the rich or the poor. It comes from those who would have the ability to do well in the system, but don’t desire to be rich because they understand that there are more worthwhile pursuits. They don’t have to have too many balls in the game. They have the ability to work just enough to live, but not so much that they don’t have the time to think and act as they please. The rich could have that ability, yes. But clearly, they aren’t using it for good.

  16. Jonathan F.V.

    Actually, I think that you’re partly correct, and partly wrong.

    What you have, your possessions, are a responsibility and a liability. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t own anything, but it means that you have to be careful and choose what you really need from what you don’t.

    I lived a bit like in Fight Club, for a while. I come from a modest background, too. As much as minimalism can come from being sick of consumerism and of owning too much stuff, the value of having low liability can often be completely missed by people who grew up lacking in certain things. The truth, to me, is this: what is really valuable, what we really should try to get back, is our time. Time is what “work” steals away from us. Not having much liability gives us back out time. When I lived a bit like in Fight Club, I lived in the Downtown Eastside, a poor area of Vancouver, Canada. It was ten of us in a one bedroom apartment. None of us owned much of anything. Some clothing, sleeping bags or sheets, and that was it. Everyone slept on the floor. But know what? It felt great. What I didn’t have in material wealth, I had a bunch of friends to make up for it. I had no obligation to work much, because I had next to no expenditure. Yes, being extremely poor was difficult at times. There was a point where the only money I had was a $10 bill in my wallet, and I didn’t touch it for two months because I kept it for an emergency. I survived through cooperation with other people in the same situation, and some theft. Life always has some hardships in store for us. Take the same situation I was in, but make it so that I earned $500/month, barely working at all. Then, I would have had tons of time, a bunch of friends, adventures, and even money to spare since the liability of living was split between so many people. Back then, I only paid $80/month in rent. I often miss that time. Only reason why I don’t do that anymore is because I love my girlfriend so much, I’m willing to subject myself to some of the things I hate most about society to experience life by her side.

    Regarding kids, I think that you’re wrong. It depends. I don’t want to have kids. My girlfriend doesn’t want to have kids, either. I like (some) kids, and I coach them, but I don’t want to have the responsibility and obligation to care for them full time. I have other stuff that I’d much rather do and find more interesting, and I don’t care for perpetuating my genes. What I do care about is perpetuating ideas and contributing to caring for others and raising good human beings, which I do through coaching. It takes a village to raise a child. I think that this is a good saying, as a kid raised by a whole community would have access to a much richer experience.

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