[The following snippet is from Original Sin: A Creative Guide to Living and Dying. Message me to buy a copy. Fuck Kindle and fuck Amazon]
Let’s look at our reality from a slightly different perspective.
We’re fixated on the physical world. That’s a given. The game is always about making money, acquiring possessions, maintaining our bodies, eating food, banging whores, and on and on. We develop our externally-oriented obsessions because that’s how our culture conditioned us from birth. We fall into lifelong funks because we prioritize “doing the right thing” before acknowledging the turmoil in our guts — that queasy inner voice crying out to us, “I have no desire to follow through with this shit!” before our egos respond with, “but I guess I have to, because those are the behaviours of a responsible adult.”
The mind is every bit an integral part of this physical universe as a house, car, or fancy new snowblower. So are our emotions. Though thoughts may seem intangible compared to big tits and bottles of wine, they’re every bit as important to survival as wearing warm clothes in the winter.
We give our thoughts and emotions low priority in situations that matter most, and let them run-wild over us when the price of a Tim Horton’s coffee goes up 15 cents. Thoughts and emotions are the building blocks of every decision we make in life, yet we wield these tools like oxygen-deprived chimps playing with Charlton Heston’s shotgun collection.
Perhaps the problem starts when we begin adopting ideas that aren’t ours, or building lives according to the suggestions of corporate entities who will never have our best interests at heart.
I remember a Stuart Wilde talk that used airline companies as an example of this “humans-come-last” business philosophy. The gravity-defying machines, and accompanying services we’ve come to rely on to facilitate rapid transit anywhere in the world, have evolved with only one thing in mind — maximizing profit. Catering to human comfort is an afterthought. The seats are too small (unless you’re a stunted 4-year-old Asian girl)… the food is processed, microwaved shit, not fit for wild dogs… a lowered tray table will crush you if the person in front attempts to recline… and the toilets are nowhere near big enough to fuck in anymore.
If you can’t pony up enough dough for a VIP spot at the front of the plane, you’re relegated to conditions that worsen each year, to the point oxygen-masks and life-vests will probably get removed from the “coach” sections to save billionaires an extra few cents per flight on fuel costs. And I haven’t even begun to comment on the insanity of not being allowed to carry a bottle of water or toothpaste past an x-ray machine, while Bic lighters, scissors, and electronic devices that “may interfere with control frequencies of the cockpit unless turned off prior to flight,” seem to be just fine. Are you fucking kidding me?
We continue using and supporting services that treat us like shit, and accept these practices as normal, knowing full well that share-holders and golden parachutes of CEO’s trump the priorities of Joe Average — despite the fact that without him, the business would never exist.
While on the topic of flying, I noticed another interesting quirk about the biz on my last trip — people are not boarded onto a plane with common sense in mind. They’re herded aboard with priorities based on how much money they’ve spent, or how early they booked their ticket.
Let’s say you want to fill a plane as efficiently as possible — how would you go about doing it?
You would start with everyone at the very back, and fill the rows from there, one by one, which would eliminate the problem of assholes standing retardedly in an aisle — made for anorexic super-models — trying to stuff baggage (which they have absolutely no need for on the flight) into overhead compartments, while the rest of the passengers stand stupidly inside an enclosed mobile bridge, wondering if someone may have had an untimely epileptic seizure up ahead.
That method of loading does not happen though. Big business dictates you obviously start with first-class — all the people sitting at the front of the plane, which of course gets the gridlock underway right off the hop. But that’s the only fair reward to the superior travel humans who have deeper pockets than the scum at the back.
Next, they funnel cripples and parents with snot-nosed punks into the metal tube, creating another clusterfuck of chaos, which sends a subtle message that being debilitated, or an active breeder, somehow puts you in a more important category of human than a single, able-bodied traveller who has the ability to walk onto an airplane and sit down without fuss in under 12 seconds — which would easily free up the aisles for the retards and gimps to fumble about.
And, even more bizarre, they hand out boarding numbers based upon when a ticket was purchased. It doesn’t matter that you’re sitting one row behind first-class in a window seat. The punishment for buying a last minute fare — diminishing interest accruement in the savvy, airway pioneers’ bank accounts — is to get lumped in with the “last-boarding-call” group — an unspoken and subtle statement to suggest you’re among the least important humans to be transported — the very opposite of first-class.
Filling window seats first would be far too logical — much better to have 3-deep seating where the aisle passengers need stand up two more times to add more traffic to an aisle too narrow for Jack Skellington to pass freely through without kneeing people in the face.
Now I personally don’t give a fuck about being last on any vehicle, and I’ve learned an infinitude of patience by standing behind old people in supermarket check-out lines, but it’s fascinating to note the system has been designed for the sole purpose of glorifying the almighty dollar, not to pamper the users supporting it.
Business first, people second.
As humanity gets squeezed out of the equation, no one seems to notice. Services get shittier, less effective, and more expensive on a daily basis, yet we keep going back to the trough for more.
Because were fucking idiots, and no one believes there’s a damn thing we can do to change our construct of dependence.
Let me share with you another story. Because I decided one day to cast off the usual routines of society, and begin a life of travel, I made the decision to give up my road vehicle. When I did that, I also gave up paying car insurance, renewing licence plates, worrying about maintenance fees, and buying gas.
You know the funny thing about no longer needing to buy gas? You stop caring about what price-gouging plots the crude oil barons are cooking up to fuck with the world. You stop the unconscious, mental note-taking of the most recent cost-per-litre every time you pass a petrol station, and you stop investing wasted energy into bitching about unfair prices — a game designed to keep you in perpetual emotional bondage.
[Side note: Even funnier to consider the outrage knowing that “dead dinosaur guts” were pumped out of the Earth, refined, put on massive tankers, and shipped all over the world for you to purchase at less than the price of a bottle of “spring” water]
It becomes highly entertaining to witness people in heated discussions about the fluctuations at the pumps (much like I used to do). Stuff like:
“Gas is up 10 cents today, what fucking bullshit!”
“Haha, I was smart, I filled up cheap yesterday on my way home, I knew it was gonna go up!”
If we added up the amount of time we spent thinking about filling our cars with fuel, we’d probably be shocked at how much energy we’ve squandered stewing over a problem we have no desire to rectify.
People will happily show up late for work to line up for an unplanned stop at the local fucking Esso if the price looks tempting enough, waiting in a car line for 20 minutes to save themselves a whopping 50 cents to top up a tank that was 10 litres shy of being full.
It’s nutty to consider that fluctuations in gas prices can slip people into foul and crusty moods just as easily as they can make it seem a lottery has just been won. It’s not until you emotionally divorce yourself from a specific situation that you’re able to glean any kind of unbiased insight.
So now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of this chapter.
Why exactly does money control us the way it does? Is it just about necessity and physical survival, or have we missed something so completely obvious that, once learned, might just break us free of the endless grief and stress we fill our days with?
The answer lies in the same reason for quitting watching TV and following the news. Money is not just a facilitator for convenient trade, it’s an emotional mind-fucker we’re manipulated with on a daily basis — a control system we can break free from once becoming aware how it’s used against us.
Think of it this way. When you spend money on the latest electronic gadget, a car, house, new clothes, whatever, you’re not just trading paper dollars acquired through the physical labours of your job or career, you’re engaging in an emotional investment of happiness and self-worth. The more you spend, the greater your entanglement.
Money is more than a symbol of trade and wealth — it’s a form of emotional energy.
Television only exists for one basic purpose now — to control your mind, manipulate your emotions, and keep you in a dysfunctional marriage with the almighty dollar. It’s not a system to uncover solutions to life’s problems by sharing information to help our species evolve, and it’s not a means to provide comfort after a hard day’s work. It’s a tool to keep your true energies — the ones scientists call hokey, intangible, and not worthy of study — soaked up in an ocean of water-logged garbage.
Instead of paying attention to our simplest of feelings and intuitions — telling us what’s right or wrong, what decisions will serve or torment us, which humans we should or shouldn’t be spending time with — we choose to allow the outside world to mold and manipulate our desires, as we blow our loads on movies, TV shows, the tragedy-porn we call news, and the almighty dollar, leaving us too drained and exhausted to emotionally service ourselves.
Have people stopped driving or buying gas since I got rid of my car? Of course not. Has the world gotten any worse or better since I stopped following politics or watching the news? Nope, it’s all the same shit it’s always been. But one major change has occurred — I’m no longer emotionally invested in it. And that gives me the opportunity to constantly go deeper into myself, learning to trust and listen to the inner voice that’s always been there, the one drowned out by the manipulations of a world obsessed with material shit and ridiculous, contrived dramas.
You know what I’ve found? That voice is far more important to my physical health and well-being than any item I could ever purchase, or any advice suggested by corporations, religious institutions, or fancy government studies.
You don’t kick your woman to the curb when a relationship’s healthy, you do it to be rid of emotional insanity destroying your life.
Society has become our new psycho-bitch. If you’re looking to find some inner peace and tranquillity in your life, consider putting on your arse-kicking boots again.
The physical world is supposed to be our playland. But, as of late, it seems we’ve somehow given the swings and teeter-totters the power to control us. We used to ride, but now we’re ridden. We used to play, but now we’re played. We used to run, but now we’re being run over.
We’ve skewed our focus much too far away from where our true power lies — within. If you have the nerve to put your explorer’s hat on one more time, that might be the place you consider heading next.
The physical world will always be in bloom, but the true adventure into the unknown lies within.