In a life devoid of meaning, many of us we seek satisfaction through the possession of desirable commodities and the attainment of luxury lifestyles. Divorced from what really matters we spend our energies working towards these products or ways of life (these ideas that we have fixed in our minds), only to find our anticipated sense of fulfilment to be transitory, illusionary and false. Ideas of status, worth or trend for example are nothing more than fabrications of human thought; mystifications of fulfilment purported by the omnipresent advertising industry. Such delusion is the basis upon which much of Western culture operates. We are completely oblivious to the true nature of our consumerism; a nature that preys upon our most basic fears and consumes us as individuals. Materialism is a distraction from the greatest gift of life, the gift of being and being free of craving and attachment. This is clearly visible in any shopping mall as we witness the psychological impact of our ‘affluenza’; specifically, the dissatisfaction and boredom many of us feel inside. The more we strive the more elusive happiness becomes.
Because we have little understanding of who we really are, we have abdicated our will to those who know our desires and fears better than we do. The corporate media houses across the world employ teams of psychologists analysing our basic desires, fears, and identifications and they then work with corporations to place products – in a system of planned obsolescence – to meet our ‘apparently’ freely determined conscious and subconscious drives. New products are manufactured and marketed to us as indispensible, like computers, tablets, iphones, cell phones or other electronics of our time. As any psychologist will tell you, our drives are as much manipulated as they are truly our own. So powerful is today’s marketing that even grandparents are convinced they must have the latest gadgets. We are manipulated because our basic state is that of fear, a fear which derives from self-ignorance and a fear which goes on to determine our reactions. Influential elements in corporations, government and the media know how deeply impressionable the human mind is when in a state of fear (or shock ), and from this knowledge they manipulate our purchases, opinions and feelings. The movie industry projects distorted images of fantasy and glamour, packaged as entertainment when in reality they are designed only to distract us from the sorrow of our daily grind. These images elicit the emotions of adventure, glory and risk which we no longer experience in our personal lives. The more disconnected we become, glued to the television set or hypnotised by the movie screen, the greater the power these images have on the human brain. Aversion therapy tactics are often used to create negative or positive associations in line with unifying propaganda; the image bypasses the brain’s critical thought filters and appeals directly to the limbic system (our basic emotions and drives). Ideological messages are nearly always hidden inside our entertainment and to see them requires an astute alertness of mind . Displayed and portrayed as art many images are unfailingly diabolical in content, needless violence and greed created only to pacify and stupefy the masses. These are principally designed to provide a temporary escape from the despair, desolation and squalid actuality of our servile lives. They act such that we can vicariously feel the highs and lows that we no longer experience in the real world.
The sports media is a similar story. In the support of your football team or your favourite sports star there is the surrogate experience of success and failure. The fashion media say we should dress this way but not that, and of course many follow thinking that they are independent when really they are not at all; really they are all conforming. An anti-establishment mod, punk or rocker is no less obedient than an office worker; he is still wearing his uniform. The news media say we should think this and not that, and so we follow merely repeating the opinion of some spin-journalist when discussing topics around a dinner table. Our opinions may be quickened, sharpened and perhaps more erudite in a discussion, but they will still be conditioned responses lacking earnest sensitivity – a characteristic common of many middle class attitudes. The language we use and the meaning we give to certain words condemn us to impotence and accordingly, the acceptance of things as they are. Dissent is channelled into fruitless energy sapping mechanisms, like the illusory idea of representative democracy actually being democratic. Psychological manipulation has been going on for centuries, the elites of the world have always been the masters of communication and language. Our religions have said we should believe this but not that and of course many have followed for the alternative is an eternity of doom. Until we understand the nature of the thought manipulation process and can see that we, like others, will generally deny its existence because we are the ones who are still under it, we will inevitably operate within distorted beliefs, views and judgements and fall victim to those beliefs, views and judgements.
The result is servitude; where the consumer is not king but is consumed by his own desire and fear. Trapped in a vicious cycle of consumption, spending and repaying, we prostitute ourselves in repetitive and often humiliating jobs that do nothing to feed our inner joy. Our paid time serves the dominant few and it is seen as mere resource. The term human resource is deeply repugnant, it is a little different from saying slave resource – worker slaves who are incidentally eternally grateful for their employment, for always the threat of unemployment lies in wait. Time on the factory floor or on the office clock is precious time with your family and friends that will never be recovered . We give up the best part of our lives, our vital energy and strength to earn money to pay for a plot of land that belongs to nobody but Mother Nature. We strive for items that are in reality little more than constructions of thought, like designer clothes or electronic objects of trend. When we go shopping we willingly sacrifice our freedoms to the god of ‘Instant Gratification’; yet the pleasure we receive from this god is at best transitory. This is something which deep down we all recognise as true.
Many of us have lost of sight of what our priorities really are; we merely subsist in the ‘rat race’ in which we are stuck. We never question social norms like private property or land ownership – the all pervasive divide of walls, barriers or fences which, like a virus, infects everything; or the unification of land for commercial needs where all land, including rainforest, is financially valued. Look at how we value? In dollars! What does that say about our society? We do not question who or what we are really paying our mortgages to, or how these institutions are the product of an economic system where politics and international banking are not separate but one and the same. Our national debt is to whom exactly? Who really owns the Federal Reserve? Why are these institutions never challenged or disbanded? And when they were challenged, the media -which determines what can and cannot be seen – denies exposure. There have been so many mergers in the last fifty years there really is no freedom press away from the influence of big money. Our idea of democracy is complete illusion; power does not stop at the level of President or Prime Minister, it rests with whoever controls the nation’s money supply.
The US Federal Reserve, despite its public face, is a private cartel and, when you see the true nature of our economic system with eyes that can see, you will realise that we spend much of our working lives serving this cartel, or others like it. Understand that it is the international bankers of the world, not the politicians, who truly run the show. More money was made available to bailout Western banks than has ever been pledged to reduce Third World poverty. Trillions of printed US dollars are still completely unaccounted for; nor are they ever likely to be.
In Western society the majority of us sub-exist to pay our bills and many of us suffer from a lack of time for ourselves and our families. Constantly under this strain, it is now normal to park our children in front of a gaming console, computer or TV. The products we buy our children transmit the messages and propaganda of the system, providing hypnotising images which appeal directly to a child’s limbic system. These stimulations estrange children from their true nature and they serve to isolate them from one another. The gravitas of the moving image multiplies over time as children become increasingly isolated from what is real and actual, a vicious cycle of addiction then begins. The communication networks of the large media conglomerates are today the parents of our youth and all of this is done with the complicity of parents who really should know better. Lacking appropriate parental guidance, children are brainwashed by the constant supply of images which these media expose them to. Their creativity remains underdeveloped and their imaginations dormant. Fantasy is the pearl of reality and to lose touch with this creative ability is a tragedy. Imagination is one of the most wonderful and useful tools available to a human being. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised frequently or it atrophies. Bombarded with ready-made TV and music videos, our children have become desensitised to reality; attention spans drop, critical thought capacity is reduced, imaginations are rarely utilised, basic human-to-human communication skills are not developed nor are there true natural expressions of youth. Today’s children are detached from their emotions; very little to them actually feels real and as a result (as society is now finding), they seek bigger thrills that actually might make them feel something. Lacking empathy, this inevitably leads to social and behavioural problems.