People feel more and more insignificant, cut-off and powerless than ever before. We are buried in a mountain of information, technology, gadgets, goods, and manufactured complexities. We are lost and rendered nearly invisible in a digital snowstorm of super-connectivity. It is a form of anonymity through mass-connection. True community has been nearly eviscerated, and a tactile-less mockery of community, in the form of social media, has been put in its place. Houses and apartments have become cubicle prison-tombs, where millions of screen-irradiated mummies hide from the sunlight, nature, and genuine social interaction. People have social anxiety because of their lack of experience relating to humans in person. At airports and restaurants, people eat alone, and strangers seldom talk. Everyone is texting, emailing, rushing, surfing and being connection-entertained with social media, and yet somehow, we are tragically ALONE.
Absent the vital lessons attained through simple face-to-face community interactions people soon become observers of life rather than participants. They begin seeing the “good life” as something to attain through goods, services, and external providers, and forget that the so-called Kingdom of Heaven is within. Through consumer-life, a sort of consumer based identity crisis envelopes us. Consumer life is an alternate reality. People addicted to consumerism have no meaningful relationships — except with need providers. Through consumer-life, even our life partners can become just another external need provider. Modern consumer life is like a mass dissociative disorder that prevents people from experiencing essential truth, real-life community, universal rites of passage and even an acceptable and reasonable death. Consumer life is essentially a social psychology framework, which seeks to keep your consciousness plugged into a head-end of created needs for profit. The result of this created dependence is a growing culture of empty, addicted, needy, fear-subdued, disconnected, isolated and mass-distracted people who feel powerless.
People have moments of consciousness and epiphanies throughout their lives, but then suppress the realization. This is because the culture has already anticipated the freedom seeking mechanism in humans, and a micro control-coup takes place almost instantly because of deeply implanted economic and social fear factors. This is because you are a part of a culture, and the culture requires assimilation over individuation for its survival. But, you are so much more than what your culture has asked of you to be. We must become reacquainted with our true human selves, and not the modern avatar of a “person”: a commoditized, corporatized, homogenized, zombified, denatured, worker-consumer drone. Humans have become speculative commodities incarnate, with their life force as a gross product traded on the open markets. And like monetary cyborgs, our human resource currency is mixed and bundled with exotic financial instruments to the extent that no one really knows where the product ends and the human begins. We have lost our humanity to the decimal point. Through this financial coup d'etat over the human soul, we have lost our purpose, and many people see no way to escape the endless manipulation and coercion of modern life, which controls us through the fear of “losing everything”; most of which are all created and fabricated false needs. The total commoditization of the natural world has placed a veritable lien against the spirit of nature.
We fiber-optically connect our egos until each person is the center of his own universe; an aspiring god-brand. We build cathedrals of worship on Wall Street to glorify our money masters. The fiscal priesthood shows us how to purify our souls in a baptism of material goods. We dutifully pay our retail-tithe. We seek for gadget-enlightenment through purchases of glitzy techno-litter. The meaning of life; one endless shopping spree. There is no beauty, virtue, or truth left unexploited, unmolested, or unaltered for our explicit pleasure and total consumption. We sell ourselves for a quick taste of the ‘good life' through products meant for the landfill. Planned obsolescence; the purest definition of our lives as both the consumer and the consumed. The garbage will pile-up so high that it will swallow you — if you allow it. Don't allow it. Quality people make a quality world. Seek quality. Be quality. Give quality. Put your mark of craftsmanship in every relationship, in every deed, and every thought.
For those who have awakened to freedom from the modern nightmare, it is painful to watch their fellow human beings be used and destroyed by the very institutions and ideologies they entrusted for their protection. It is a natural response to be repulsed when we see the treasure of joy in each person looted and plundered by predatory institutions and systems. Many of these systems — organisms really, exist solely as social and economic functions that literally devour people. These processes feed on people's hopes and energy, and then excrete poison and toxicity — environmentally and philosophically, in the pursuit of what is called progress, growth, and success. The destruction of the miracle of life is only made possible by our value systems. Many of our so-called value systems are really suicide engines running inside of each of us. But, because we have been constructed to a large degree from the cultural values passed down to us as children, it is hard to even imagine ourselves in any other possible structure or arrangement of life. In some places, it is just normal that some people die at a young age — killed in senseless wars or by disease. In other cultures, the economic war they die in, is so slow moving it looks like living. One day you just wake up after many years of being used — old, spent, and robbed of your best years, with nothing left of value to the system, and then you are discarded. Few things are so heartbreaking as seeing people in various forms of bondage.
We need to be constantly reevaluating what success means. Most so-called success in the world is slavery. The trappings of success often bring the opposite of success, at least in the ways most meaningful to people's lives. Beware! Success is not what you think it is. It's often a trap. You have been programmed from birth into a sick construct of competitive violence. Most success by your likely definition will lead to the destruction of your individuality and your inner-beings grand potential. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being successful and we should have abundance and success in our lives. But, we must possess the inner maturity to handle success; individually and as a culture. Every degree of success must be paired with a degree of integrity and compassion. Success without integrity is always fleeting, or monstrous. Real success sometimes involves saying no to growth, expansion and gain. Real success often involves absorbing tremendous loss on a personal level. Real success often involves sacrifice. Real success always involves virtues such as humility, compassion, and an abiding reverence and respect for life.
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
— Bob Dylan
What we wish to change external to ourselves we must first change within ourselves, and this is why the ascent to higher consciousness and compassion is paramount, and also why the embedded power structures are hard at work to distract you from attaining enlightenment. This is of course a grave injustice. All injustice cries out for recompense, and the battle for freedom is fought on a thousand thought-fronts, by each person, every day. Sometimes the call for freedom whispers to us, and sometimes it screams, but it never shrinks for long, because the longing for freedom is in our blood; it is immutable. If there is ever going to be a kinder and more respectful world, it is only likely to come from individuals themselves taking an active role in their own self-actualization. Your ascent to your grand destination as a person of peace, calm, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness is in your hands. The journey is an inner journey that begins by questioning. The starting point to freedom is to begin questioning the cultural narrative you have been sold. Question everything, including yourself. Have the courage to question yourself. We've been distracted from our power, but we can take that power back and create a beautiful world. We can decide to take a radical departure from what we accept as reality. There is a place inside each of us that cannot be coerced to think a certain way or behave a certain way. Just beyond the horizon of the so-called impossible is infinite possibility. Anyone can find it if they choose to wake-up. Wake-up to the transcendental now. You are powerful, and there is beauty all around you. Become a beauty seeker.
“Pause and remember– At any moment you have the power to say ‘this is enough' and radically change the course of your destiny. Have the faith and courage to follow your hearts calling.”
— Jenni Young McGill