Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Consumer Solution.

I've picked up a way of thinking from politics that makes life unusually simple sometimes. It comes from the idea of the single issue candidate. Julianne once said that he was a single issue candidate focused on national security.

In reality we're all quite diverse with opinions on a wide range of things, but I think it's also true that when you get at the heart of our interests and the things we advocate we each tend to have our own narrow focus. It's rarely just one, but I would bet that the average person has about three. Two of mine just met in an interesting way.

Whenever I'm unable to sleep I spend the time between whenever I can't lay in the dark anymore until around 3 a.m. doing whatever recreational thing I'm going to do. From 3 a.m. until dawn it's either false sleep, or contemplation in the dark. This is why at 4:30 a.m. I was sitting in the chair that no longer has any place in my room, looking at the shadows of my room, and thinking about Mind-Body health, which is the one of my core issues.

I sit in the dark and I think about my life and its clear that I'm not practicing mind-body health. I was looking at my room, and I didn't like the lay out. The pseudo-monastic lifestyle I fantasize about should have a smaller bed set lower to the ground so that I have a more open space. Maybe I should buy some books about Fung-Shei and see if that helps. In the long run of course I'll need to live somewhere else with more open room, more access to sunlight and space to have my own garden so I can live in greater harmony with nature.

And this is where my second core issue came into play. If I have one issue it's the whole Mind-Body thing. If I have two then I'm also mad at consumerism and capitalism and perhaps just money in general. Part of the reason I'm so bothered by it is that it's insidious. It works on you in tiny ways because the entire culture in which we live has been selectively pressured to encourage and reward a consumer attitude. And boy is it effective.

I realized, with a bit of horror, that my thoughts about how to aid my development all involved buying something. For all the philosophy I read about detachment from material goods I've still got the deeply wired instinct to solve problems with money. When I stop and question myself inside of this new framework, how much am I trying to buy spirituality, the vast majority of the things I thought I needed to do change. There's no need for more or different furniture. I need to take better care of them, and clean up enough so that I don't have clutter. Speaking of clutter I should probably get rid of a few things. Nothing is wrong with my bed it just looks bad because the sheet is perpetually lose and it was recently slept in by someone who was tossing and turning. I could probably grow things on my back porch, although the lighting is terrible. The books might still be a good idea, but they shouldn't be thought of as a solution to the sleep issue. I already know an excellent way to solve a sleep problem, and the fact that I'm not exercising enough is no ones fault but my own.

Let me end this with one thought that I'm still considering. I'm not willing to say it outright just yet, but I'm contemplating the idea that living by the philosophies you advocate may be enlightenment. It may even be the most difficult part of enlightenment.


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