Is cleanliness a virtue?

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posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 03:47 PM
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When I clean I feel like I am just rearranging matter. Dust goes back into the air, as I dust off my furniture. The dirt on the floor goes to mop, down the drain, or thrown away into the garbage which eventually makes it to the landfill.
I have known lots, and I mean LOTS, of people who are obsessed with cleanliness. Their houses are orderly and clean, but uncomfortable. They seem to also be people who have to keep everything under control, even others. Yet they like going to farm houses that are most likely relaxed and well, dirty. They say "they can relax" when they are in messy dirty homes because it is not "theirs". They are big on anti-bacterial soap too, which only works if you leave it on for several minutes.
Then I have met people who are complete slobs. Who don't care at all that they live in filth. They are often times lazy people. They collect lots of junk around their houses. Leaving cars to grow plants in them in the back yard. They don't bother with garbage service and if you move their refrigerator you might just pass out.
I have noticed these extremes a lot in my travels. I tend to admire the clean people over the slobs.
I don't know how many times I have heard someone say "please, excuse my house, it's a mess". I have to then look to see if it really is. Usually it is just "lived in". Why are we embarrassed to have a life? To have dog hair on the floor, or dirty dishes in the sink? Are we trying for some strange ideal I am not aware of? We don't want to appear human? Are we really better people if we are clean?
I have thought about this a lot and I would like other peoples opinions.




posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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Great subject Seagrass! Thank you...!

I'm a self confessed clean queen...and I find it a really relaxing process, spiritually and physically. Our environments are created by us, and are a direct reflection of who we are....our spaces and houses speak of who we are and how we operate. We are not trying to be less human, but more human when we clean up our spaces....making somewhere that can be as open as possible for new experiences and new thoughts. Cleansing is an important part of many spiritual beliefs...in my own, I know that if I don't put the garbage out last thing at night, the fae don't visit when I sleep...in any magical working a ritual cleansing bath is part of the working.

And there are the obvious physical, hygiene and sensual factors to consider. The way my house smells and feels is as important as how it looks. I have a very sensitive nose that can detect dirty socks and towels, unwashed dishes, closed up spaces....it bothers me. The first thing I do every morning is open all the windows...even in winter....I have to have fresh air.

Perhaps a lot of it is about our background...my own Ma is the most Ulster woman I have ever met...! And I look like a complete slob next to her...but then I have a big hairy dog that I love with all my heart, and I would rather have a little dog fur on the floor than to live without him....Ma wouldn't even let him in the house!

As for the environmental issue regarding landfill...nothing given naturally to the earth is wasted ever. Even cow poo makes plants grow. As long as your cleaning is environmentally friendly, don't worry about where it goes.

Cait

[edit on 14-8-2008 by caitlinfae]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:23 PM
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It is enough for me to remember what happened during the Black Death (the plague) of the middle ages. One quarter of the world's population was decimated by this disease. One group however suffered relatively no deaths - the Jews.

At the time the Jews were vilified and accused of witchcraft because they were not dying.

The fact of the matter is, that it was their imposed religious practices that were the reason. You see, the Jews were required to ritually bath several times a day.

In a time before people knew what germs were, this was a good practice to maintain.

So in short, washing your hands and keeping your place clean can go a long way!



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by WatchNLearn
It is enough for me to remember what happened during the Black Death (the plague) of the middle ages. One quarter of the world's population was decimated by this disease. One group however suffered relatively no deaths - the Jews.

At the time the Jews were vilified and accused of witchcraft because they were not dying.

The fact of the matter is, that it was their imposed religious practices that were the reason. You see, the Jews were required to ritually bath several times a day.

In a time before people knew what germs were, this was a good practice to maintain.

So in short, washing your hands and keeping your place clean can go a long way!
I doubt, though, that I will get the plague in some of the houses I have been in where the people are very uncomfortable letting you in because of how "messy" it is. I agree that feces all over the toilet, and things growing on the floor is a bad thing. But so many people who are clean, imo, are paranoid to a degree that it makes me wonder if we aren't guilted into believing we need to be cleaner than necessary. I wonder why the obsession to be magazine perfect has taken over so many.
Growing up, there were hardly any "super clean freaks" that I remember. Once in a while I would go to an older couples home that was "doily and tea service" clean, but it was rare.
I grew up on a farm, complete with barn mud on everything below 12 inches. My father (who I did not live with) was a"white carpet, don't touch the art" kinda guy.
It seems to be quite a theme in my life. You see I actually get paid to go to people's homes and organize. I have been in "secret hoarders" homes as well as people who are "clean freaks" who want their houses MORE organized than it really needs to be. (think label makers and organizer boxes for organizer boxes!)



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by seagrass
 


When I read your subject, there were already coming a lot of thoughts to my mind and I could surely write a bit about that ... I prefer more the area of mental purification (meaning clearing out old habits, thought patterns, subconscious mess, belief systems, daily information flood, stuff that blocks you from reaching your goals and real happiness, etc.).
So when someone has Inner Clarity and a Sense of Esthetic it does surely reflect in the outside world.
A lot of examples you've written about are your observations (which are simular to mine, but I will not dare to judge people how they decide to life, bc mine isn't perfect too) and I see the world also becoming more and more some kind of 'Mess-Age' *lol* with every message added ...

It's also a subject depending on personal attachements and on style and culture I would say ... Anyway.

The first thought I had ... reading your subject ... was very close to what is said here:

Madonna - Cleanliness is next 2 ...


PS: Being 'pure hearted' is a virtue in my mind ... and as someone very wise once said: Remember, you came to this earth with nothing and when you take off (leave) you go with nothing ... your actions are what does count. How much you cared for others, etc.


[edit on 14/8/2008 by guard]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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A virtue? Maybe. A state of mind? Certainly.

One could find a good mix between letting things slide and also being clean ocassionally. Thats something different than becoming a desperate control-freak who always needs stuff to be clean and orderly. Outside is a reflection of inside. Cleanliness is a telltale sign of a clear-minded society that has progressed beyond animal-ism. I myself am not much into cleaning though, so I pay someone to do it for me.

I´ll be interested to read what others think about it.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:53 PM
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This really is interesting.
Never thought about it that way.
I hate cleaning, dishwashing etc. But unfortunately it has to be done

My house is rather clean and organized and after cleaning I feel great and enjoy the result, by sitting down and drinking my well earned coffee


But is this different than cooking......gardening etc???

Before it's hell....afterwards a good feeling.....



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:05 PM
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a good feeling.....
Why don't the "slobs" feel this way?
I agree, I love clean, but nature isn't clean and I love that too. I like manicured gardens, but I don't have the ambition for that. It takes some passion to devote to it. Some skill. Some creativity.
Hiring someone to clean would also give some one that feeling of "AHHH". The act of cleaning could be theraputic. I know sometimes I enjoy it.

Needing it for social acceptance is something different though. Needing it in order to function like the "freaks".



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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what's a slob???

Someone living in a complete mess?
When do windows have to be cleaned?
What's the problem with doghair on the bathroom floor?
Does a shirt have to be ironed?

When is your garden manicured.

I guess what's ok in my opinion isn't the same in my neighbours opinion?



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by milkyway
what's a slob???

Someone living in a complete mess?
When do windows have to be cleaned?
What's the problem with doghair on the bathroom floor?
Does a shirt have to be ironed?

When is your garden manicured.

I guess what's ok in my opinion isn't the same in my neighbours opinion?
Exactly! Where is the line? Who draws it? How dirty is dirty? Do we know? Has society not TOLD us what is acceptable? What is? Is is shameful? does it "reflect" on us?



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:40 PM
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You can clean just about everything except a word, a dirty word.

Words you can't say here, words that no one wants a child to say or hear, some people believe that you can actually wash a dirty word out of a child's mouth by making them eat soap, sadly it fails, because we all grow up and say dirty words, and dirty things, no matter how hard we try we can never clean them up.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:45 PM
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Ever thought into the directions that what you perceive as 'clean' is also quite a 'luxury to have' ... many people simply don't have the mind to care about cleanliness bc they for example have other stuff/problems in their minds going on, or even worse they do not have the water to wash ... not talking about to drink ...

I remember very well when I once saw the movie "Lend of Plenty" from Wim Wenders ... it's amazing and also shocking to see two so different sides of existance in one place/city/Los Angeles
On one side Hollywood, the dream factory and the super rich (in money) people ... on the other side the capitol of hunger in America ... and this co-existing so close to each other.

Anyway. Good Night/Day all & Pure/Sweet Dreams! ermm, sorry Words!



[edit on 14/8/2008 by guard]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
You can clean just about everything except a word, a dirty word.

Words you can't say here, words that no one wants a child to say or hear, some people believe that you can actually wash a dirty word out of a child's mouth by making them eat soap, sadly it fails, because we all grow up and say dirty words, and dirty things, no matter how hard we try we can never clean them up.
I have been known to say.."I don't trust anyone who won't use the F word". It is such a useful word. There is no other word like it.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:59 PM
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Eh. I think I am a "clean freak", but maybe not. However, im not OCD about it. Wait. Some things I might be OCD about, but I am much better now then I used to be.


I like my home in order. I am very organized and generally everything has its place. However, I now have a 4 year old who can destroy the house in a matter of minutes. I have learned to accept this. But with that said, I cant go to sleep or relax at the end of the day, until everything is picked up and put in its place. My house looks its best during the night when everyone is asleep


I do not mind mess: IE, toys, books, clothes (etc) everywhere....as this is a normal state of my house thruout the day. This I now tollerate.

What I do not like is filth (dirt, grime, growth in the fridge, pet odor,etc). And I have been in some people's homes where I felt gross just standing there. I never would have used their bathroom and I never would have eaten in their kitchen. My house will never be that bad where people are afraid to enter. However, I can be rather lax and lazy these days...and let dusting and dishes wait awhile. But my kitchen is always sanitary
even if the dishes are piled up in the sink.

Laundry? Blech. I hate it. And I can live out of clothes baskets for days before I put things away.
But hey, nobody is ever in my bedroom


Floors must always be clean though, as I walk barefoot and sit on the floor a lot. Bathrooms. Um, they must be clean at all times too. I think these 2 things are where my OCD kicks in.


I think my analness of "clean" comes from my parents. Both are not as organized and clean as I prefer...in fact there are certain memories I have that make me go the opposite direction of them.

I do think that how we keep our surroundings is a reflection of our mind. But I would be interested in what "experts" say on this matter.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:41 PM
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I think my analness of "clean" comes from my parents. Both are not as organized and clean as I prefer...in fact there are certain memories I have that make me go the opposite direction of them.
Could you explain? I have a friend who grew up in filth. she termed it "trailer trash". She is presently the second worse case of OCD cleanliness I have found yet. I have asked her many questions. I would like to hear how your childhood may have started it.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass



I think my analness of "clean" comes from my parents. Both are not as organized and clean as I prefer...in fact there are certain memories I have that make me go the opposite direction of them.
Could you explain? I have a friend who grew up in filth. she termed it "trailer trash". She is presently the second worse case of OCD cleanliness I have found yet. I have asked her many questions. I would like to hear how your childhood may have started it.


Well, I didnt grow up in filth (like i explained in my previous post) and grew up in rather middle/upper class area/family.

But my parents are complete opposite of organized and my mother hates cleaning. In fact, now my father is the one who cleans their house
So things in our house were always in disaray and finding things were impossile: IE a desk would have literally piles of stuff, drawers overflowing with crap. That is just one example. But never filthy maybe because I had to do most of the cleaning.

My grandmother was a hoarder. I think as a result of the depression era. So even her house was piled high with crap. However, she had a daily maid and things were never "filthy".

Im not sure if this answers your question.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by greeneyedleo

Originally posted by seagrass



I think my analness of "clean" comes from my parents. Both are not as organized and clean as I prefer...in fact there are certain memories I have that make me go the opposite direction of them.
Could you explain? I have a friend who grew up in filth. she termed it "trailer trash". She is presently the second worse case of OCD cleanliness I have found yet. I have asked her many questions. I would like to hear how your childhood may have started it.


Well, I didnt grow up in filth (like i explained in my previous post) and grew up in rather middle/upper class area/family.

But my parents are complete opposite of organized and my mother hates cleaning. In fact, now my father is the one who cleans their house
So things in our house were always in disaray and finding things were impossile: IE a desk would have literally piles of stuff, drawers overflowing with crap. That is just one example. But never filthy maybe because I had to do most of the cleaning.

My grandmother was a hoarder. I think as a result of the depression era. So even her house was piled high with crap. However, she had a daily maid and things were never "filthy".

Im not sure if this answers your question.
yes it helps, thanks. Especially the drawers. You couldn't find things, so are your drawers organized? Do you throw out "perfectly good" stuff, so you don't have "crap" around? Do you garage sale unneeded things? Do you admire people who live with less stuff than the average person. Quality over quantity?



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by seagrass
 


I am VERY organized. Seriously. Everything has its place. I buy storage containers for everything.
My desk - exceptionally organized. Im this way at home and when I work.

I do not keep extra stuff. Meaning, I hate clutter and I go thru my entire house all the time and get rid of things. I keep things that I use and things that have special meaning to me (gifts, etc).

I have moved often in my life...and I always purge before I do. And I purge a lot
I throw things out (trash) and give most stuff to charities (good will, etc).

My house is NOT baren, but it is clutter free, minus all the toys, etc that my daughter has. It does look lived in...I guess that is a plus



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:13 PM
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I wait by the dryer like a hungry dog waiting to hang up my clothers so I don't have to iron. I see that as the worst drudgery in life. If you watch 'cops' you see some of the absolute squalor some people live in. Abhorrent. But I'm afraid to sneeze in some of the most tidiest homes that smell of cinnnamon glade candles.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by jpm1602
I wait by the dryer like a hungry dog waiting to hang up my clothers so I don't have to iron. I see that as the worst drudgery in life. If you watch 'cops' you see some of the absolute squalor some people live in. Abhorrent. But I'm afraid to sneeze in some of the most tidiest homes that smell of cinnnamon glade candles.
Did you know that if you use a fine mist spray bottle of water on your clothes while they are hanging on a hanger and let them dry, that they sort of iron themselves? Hey J!
I hate ironing too. My ex had to iron his own clothes because I didn't do it good enough. Fine by me.. I don't buy clothes that need ironing.





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