It is used as a measurement for how well we are doing, in other words, how much we are producing and consuming.
“Consumerism is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb” said a certain Avatar.
To keep up levels of production and consumption, it is necessary to keep our appetites for material goods at an optimum level. For this to work we must be kept constantly dissatisfied, our emotions abused and our minds controlled. Jim Keith calls it
“Mass Engineering of Human Consciousness.”
Emotional abuse and mental control takes many forms. It can be subtle and hidden or full on and in your face. Every time it is inferred that a person could do, be, feel or look better; will be more accepted and acceptable if they have, buy, use, eat, wear such and such; their minds and emotions are being manipulated. Successful marketing depends on vanity, low self-esteem, dissatisfaction and greed. Fashion editors and glossy magazines perpetuate this myth.
It was through being broke and without the resources to maintain myself according to the perceived reality of what is deemed normal, that forced me to scrutinise what is normal? This involved me wandering in and out of shops without spending any money. In many middle-sized towns and large cities in the UK, it appeared that multi-national chains sell mega quantities of clothes with different labels and slightly different style and/or trimming, most made in China, India, Sri Lanka or Turkey. Whilst it was mostly women’s fashion shops I visited, I also went into large super and hypermarkets. I pretended I was doing market research as I wandered around with pen and paper taking notes. The goods are not “choice” this is manipulation of one’s emptiness, greed, vanity and low self-esteem.
It seems that confusion reigns supreme in most of the establishments I visited. I am not referring to the goods or the displays, which was designed for optimum effect to persuade and encourage our consumption; but most shoppers looked confused and/or hyper.
How many clothes does one person need to feel comfortable and be presentable? How many choices does a person require to enjoy a coffee, biscuit or snack?
I concluded that I am part of a sick society. This was many years ago and the project alerted me to my own consumption habits, and I was not best pleased with what I discovered. I felt better though once I observed what some of my associates considered normal.
When I spend more than 3 months (3 weeks if it happens to be around December) in my own country, my own consumption levels rise, fortunately my small pension and my passion for travel ensures that as soon as need turns to greed I give myself a pep talk. Nevertheless it proves that despite all I have learned over the years I am as vulnerable as the next person, when it comes to falling into unconscious consumerism.
Can you believe the person sat here writing this once sold advertising space and was Director of a finance company brokering for Bank of America? That was before my own awakening.
When you experience multidimensional reality, you begin to perceive the real action hidden behind the veils. Getting re-wired helps to dispel the myth that we are on this Earth to consume as much as we can and to ensure we breed children who will continue said sad consumption.
Of course this is only half a story. Many will point out that the love that comes from family life is precious and priceless. When that love is there it is.
However there is a more unpalatable side to life on planet earth at this present time, and it is this side that is being addressed here, as it seems to be a minority perspective.
Perhaps I am underestimating this minority perspective. Perhaps there are many others like me who see what a totally messed up and sick consumerist society we are.
I guess everyone reading this has practised discernment so much that they already know this information. What may not have been grasped yet is how to bring the change that is so desperately and urgently needed?
Instead of standing stunned at the state of consumerism that controls our lives; instead of being mesmerised and confused by rules and regulations that ensure our continuing compliance and passivity, we say
How many more innocent lives will we waste, how much more blood will we spill because we are protecting our borders, our lives? Because we want to maintain our standard of living, our values, on which our consumerism depends? The consumerism which has landed us into trillions of debt.
The former UK labour government recently apologised for invading Iraq saying
“We got it wrong.”
That’s all right then is it? Over 100,000 innocent civilian lives have been lost, thousands more maimed and injured, grieving widows, fathers and mothers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children; whole nations brought to their knees – because we got it wrong!!
How does abject helplessness feel in the light of such facts?
To begin to live by need instead of greed, we may need to re-define what our “needs” really are before we attain a definition that sits comfortably with our integrity.
Before we do that, a recovery program may be necessary, much as an alcoholic needs to be weaned from his addiction, we may need to wean ourselves from our consumerism. We may also need time to adjust our new perspective in the light of the shock we have undergone. If we really are getting the message and it hits our emotional body instead of simply entertaining our need for mental stimulation, we can do no other than change, modify and adapt to our new understanding.
Anyone, who is questioning what consumerism has to do with wars and the spilling of innocent blood, has missed the point.
Time to “Wake Up” and clean out our physical and multidimensional cupboards!
By the way the title of this article was taken from a radio interview with a democratic congressman who was discussing his country’s foreign policy.
“The things you own end up owning you.” – Tyler Durden in Fight Club