"Paradoxically, what keeps the so-called consumer society going is the fact that trying to find yourself through things doesn’t work: The ego satisfaction is short-lived and so you keep looking for more, keep buying, keep consuming." ~ Eckhart Tolle
There was a time in history when humans only consumed what they needed to survive and reproduce. However, humans have "evolved" to mindlessly consume much more than is needed. In nature, at least as it is explained by humans (science), living things can be either a producer (makes its own food), consumer (gets food from other living things), or a decomposer (breaks down other living things to get nutrients). Human beings are consumers.
But what consumes the consumers? Assuming humans are at the top of the "food chain," the only thing that can consume us is ourselves. And this occurs as a direct result of unconsciousness--the lack of awareness (ignorance). This consumption is not just a physical one; it is also mental, emotional and spiritual.
This post will serve as the first in a series of three or four posts that philosophically observes the decline of Western Civilization, especially in America. Here are some initial points to provoke and prepare your and my thoughts:
- Humans consume information but information consumes attention. The wealth of information that exists today equals a poverty of attention. The mind is the gateway to authenticity, productivity, spirituality and thus the mind is the enabler of the overall well-being of individuals. But without attention, the mind is not awake. Therefore the decline of attention translates into an increase in entropy--an increase in useless energy--and thus the figuritive light of the individuals that make up the society fades... and thus the society fades...
- The term consumer is not just a scientific one. It is most commonly known today as an economic one that refers to the end users of products and services in economic and social systems. These consumers and their collective economic activity make up the vast majority of the economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Therefore the vast majority of economic energy is spent keeping the consumers well-fed with food, money, and media messages to continue their growth and thus the growth of the economy. However, this effort translates into the interior deterioration of the economy itself over time, much like the body, mind and spirit of the consumers (individuals in society) deteriorates..
- The increase in the capacity to connect people together has paradoxically divided the world into tiny cultural segments. Connectivity is diminishing into segmentation.
- The increase in the availability and accessibility of luxury and convenience makes bodies and minds lazy. Therefore we grow physically overweight, mentally weak and spiritually dim.
- When people grow accustomed to illusion, they require greater illusions to be satisfied. Therefore only a "better illusionist" will succeed in this environment. This partially explains why politicians have evolved to be more magician and less leader in recent decades.
- The need to be satisfied cannot be fulfilled if the appetite for satisfaction can grow without limit. Consumption increases the appetite and thus there is no means of "satisfaction" in absence of consciousness.
These are just some of the themes that will be addressed in this series of posts that I currently foresee as my next book project (the current one is near completion, which provides excuse for my light posting lately).
I hope you'll join the conversation as we work to awaken ourselves, our friends, our families, our nations and the world. This may sound a bit grandiose in nature but such is the nature of a "crisis in consciousness," as Jiddu Krishnamurti so aptly labeled the modern sickness of society.
Related: The American Awakening