Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bigger - Better?

What would we do without it? and what is the true cost of acquiring this "stuff"? What is the emptiness inside that we are trying to fill? You can't take it with you. Why is this all so important? It is an addiction, an identity thing and it is slavery. Let's investigate who we really are.
In the United States and other areas of the world (don't think you are immune to this) we are still suffering from the beliefs of our Puritanical background. There is a problem to the belief that
God is Omnipotent, an all knowing God who knows the future. It leads to the idea of Predestination, that it is decided before birth if you will go to Heaven or Hell. It determines Real-estate prices. The house on the hill is closer to God. So with this idea we think there should be a sign, some kind of signal. Clearly if some of us are going to Heaven and others are not, He would let us know. We believe He does. We believe he bestows wonderful "things" to us,
and deep inside of us we believe that people with more "stuff", bigger houses, newer cars, more space are happier and more successful, closer, if you will. This is the base of our consumerism.
It is a belief that is fed by Industry and the driving force behind economic development all over the world. Oh, they are smarter than to say "buy this and you will go to Heaven" but they are always saying, "buy this and it will make you happy" and it should. We will have it and they won't and everyone will know that we are one of the lucky ones!
It is all a bunch of crap of course, yet we don't gush and awe over a rose or a poem like we might over a new car! It is an addiction and we can't get away from it. We don't teach poetry any more in school, nor drama, not much literature or art. We want wealth. We want a job. We want to know that we will be happy and we want to know that we are marked. We define success by wealth. More is a good thing. Everybody wants this. The richer you are the more you buy, the more taxes you pay, always getting closer in a predetermined kind of way.
For those of us that want all of this yet fall short in some way, we have credit cards. You may charge your way into Heaven and happiness. Something HORRIBLE happened between 1970 and now and as a builder I am partly to blame. We got tired of waiting. If wealth was this key to happiness (and we have been told that for three Centuries it was) then we wanted it now. We could charge our way to happiness and throw open the Gates to Heaven to all of us. The simple life of our parents, the little 1,000 square feet homes we grew up in, were not enough. New housing would be at least 2,000 square feet and if you were really successful, twice that! A mortgage went from 25% of one paycheck to 40% of TWO paychecks! but we did it. We made Heaven on Earth! "Like Earth as it is in Heaven"! Well, I hope not. We have created Hell here.
We have lost Time entirely. Our clock is divided into working and sleeping and allocated itself like a commodity. Tomorrow, if you are interested, I give you my thoughts about time.
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  1. Oh NO! Jerry ! Are you saying I shouldn't buy that Netbook? I'm not that CLOSE to heaven!

  2. No, Barbra, I am only saying that everything has its price and sometimes we don't know what that is! Go ahead and get it, it will make you happy!

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  4. We could be neighbors, Pam! I have lived in the same house for almost 40 years! And, I am not making this stuff up! These Puritanical beliefs
    are in our DNA! Makes no difference if one goes to church or not. Except for Love that requires no space, there is no way that more can be better! It all becomes millstones around our necks, we just can't admit it. It would destroy a belief system.

  5. No she should not buy it jerry you are so right. I hope you had a marvellous christmas and new year and I have to thnk you for your friendship this year and now we stand on a new one. I hope it is a good one for you I am sure it will be. If I ever get round to blogging again I hope you will still be around my friend you are indeed a precious person.

  6. Your perspective is right on. We have created hell here. We are slaves to our credit, and if you some how screw it up your indebted to a life of struggle just to try to live.

    Can't wait to hear your view on time.

  7. Jerry, if only I had 'met' you years ago. I enjoy your belief system; it makes good sense to me as I face my own mortality. To whom do I leave 'stuff?' My treasures are, in effect, trash to my family.
    Fortunately, I was blessed to live in SE Asia during the 70's. I saw the smile that the locals wore permanently. They often went home to public housing, high rise, literally crowded with too many tenants. The Malays often to Kampongs where the chickens roamed during the day. The dirt floors were swept at the end of the day, and they slept there. They understood the true meaning of 'community.' They were truly happy!
    I look forward to your perspective on time. Your writing is interesting, and entertaining.

  8. Ralph, I wouldn't be blogging if it weren't for your blog. You lit a fire and I hope you don't put it out. Keep blogging, I need the inspiration!
    Tiffany, there is a way out of this madness and together we will find it.
    My dear, dear Chez, we have met now! and it is wonderful and we know secrets and we shall share them! I want to know all about your adventures in S.E. Asia! Tell me everything!