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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