Have you ever dropped or bumped, say a toaster, or a lamp, or something, and said sorry to it? Like me, you probably have. You probably chalk it up to the fact that it's your thoughtless reaction because you were taught manners (I hope), and you would do the same thing when you accidentally bump into a person.
Yet... have you ever felt very connected to a thing? Like a stuffed animal, or an heirloom, or a sweater, pillow, car, tool, maybe even a pair of shoes.
When I was about 19 I was working in Southern Utah and went on a trip with a friend to the Grand Canyon. We parked my car away from the rim and hiked in to camp for the night. The view was rapturous, and I'll never forget how surreal it was spending the day there. The next morning we hiked back out and once my car was in view I ran to it, embracing what I could of the trunk, and said "I missed you Baby."
When I relayed this story to my Mom I explained that I knew it was just a big metal thing, but that I really loved it, and felt like my car loved me too. "Is that weird?" I said? She took a minute then said, "Well, all matter has intelligence."
In Doctrine and Covenants (a section added to our scriptures that is a compilation of revelations given during the restoration of Christ's Gospel in the 1800's) in section 131:7-8, we read about how all things were organized in their spirit matter first, then the physical matter was added (what we see with our physical eyes).
In many religions, such as Hinduism and others, prayers are offered to things such as a banana tree, or a locket with a picture of a saint or guru.
Another scripture Latter-day Saints (Mormon's) believe says that "all things testify of Christ." (Moses 6:63)
There's no time I feel more in God's presence than when I am out in nature, in the very essence of raw growth. Truly I can feel the leaves and trees telling me that God is real.
I strongly believe in all things having spirit. I don't completely understand it, but I know that I can feel it. So, when I am attached to a "thing" does it make me materialistic? No. Materialism is not loving a thing, it's loving to have things. There's a difference. When someone pours love into an object, I believe that it feels it and retains it on a spiritual level, with spiritual matter.
I have a small pillow that a youth leader gave to me when I was a teenager. It's a cute Christmas pillow that has a nativity embroidered on it. Well, in the throws of youth many tears were shed into that little pillow, and I felt that it loved me for sharing my sorrows with it, and that it was honored by it. Could it be all in my imagination? Sure. I won't deny the possibility, but I felt that it was true. If there's one thing that is hard to deny, or tell another person it's not true, it's feelings.
Did you read that book that was trending last year, The Magic of Tidying Up? I did, and loved it. I did vary from some of her instructions, as I think it needs customizing to each person/family. One thing I found interesting is how she mentions that you need to see what things you love, and keep those around you. That each "thing" has an energy and your body will react to that energy and tell you if it should stay or go.
Could that energy be it's spirit matter, or intelligence? Just like how we react differently to different kinds of people, we get along better with some than others, perhaps it's the same with the items around us? I have had some people in my life that were hard to get along with, roommates even, and we found common ground and ended up good friends. I've also had things be the same way. Clothing that annoyed me, until I found a way to wear it that made me happy. Or, a lamp that just didn't feel right, until I found a good place for it in the house where it felt better. I don't know, maybe.
Also, I believe that these things retain a lot of our memories, not just that they remind us of our memories, but that they themselves retain them like sponges. Sometimes it makes it hard to get rid of things when I think of it like that, but then, like in the book (The Magic of Tidying Up), I think of it as going to bless another person or family.
So, am I materialistic? I'm sure I am to a degree, but not because of the love I put into things, only because I love to shop.