Lots of interesting things going on now in my life… and I shall post of these as soon as I can… needless to say, change is in the air. I am currently visiting Seattle, WA, for instance. Much more to come on these newest developments when I *can* discuss them publicly. For now, enjoy this trip into my past…I wrote it in a physics course that I was *thoroughly* enjoying. I later dropped this course, and I picked it up the next semester with a better professor. I saved the paper this was written on, and I eventually transcribed it for safekeeping. I came across it again while bored on a long flight.
[begin portal into lauren's past...]
“Sooner or later the things you own end up owning you.”
- Tyler Durden
Inevitably, much of a man’s stress can be attributed to some attachment to some entity he felt he needed to own as proof of his status—proof that his existence possesses value. Thoreau even ventured into this territory—especially with the words (paraphrased) “How many a man would retain his relative rank if he were divested of his clothes.” How pompous could we all be if we were still running around the garden– would we truly be wearing only smiles? But I digress…
Back to the threat of material gain. So often we presume that the acquisition of more money lends way to greater freedom. But we err in such aspirations… Money does not truly liberate. It gives the illusion of liberation whilst raping us of every essential freedom we’ve always clung to. Furthermore, an excess of cash has the tendency to draw more problems- socially, emotionally, even physically. The most dramatic risk is death—caused by murder or even suicide. Trust becomes an even less imaginable dream, as you’re constantly questioning each person’s allegiances to you. You can’t be sure if the one you love really cares for you because you’re too jaded to know if you’re even being your real self… or simply a product of all the things you own. You ask yourself, “Are my designer jeans a reflection of me or vice versa?” Would a boob job produce a truer reflection of my personality? Or would it merely show my lack of self-confidence and strict adherence to the vision society has created as the “ideal woman?” As I add more things to my physical appearance, do I become a freer person? Someone truer to herself? Or do the acquisitions pile up on top of me, suffocating that sacred purity that radiated around me as a child?
Am I really this lost? Must I lose it all to find me? Why does this scare us so very much? What do we really lose?
Compound this threat is the irony of owning things… insurance. A man can’t even destroy his own property without suffering eternal damnation from the great economic guru… the lawyer. Prices on our things… prices on our lives. Paying a company to “insure” our life? Placing a price tag on your partner and yourself via a prenuptial agreement… forsaking the spirit of true love in an attempt to insure your personality if your partner were to leave you… for without some price tag hanging from your ear, without a net worth comparable to gold, what are you? Who are you? Why do you matter? Why are you arguing with your supposed “soul mate” over which one of you has the greater intrinsic worth expressed in dollars? And how does the size or carat of a diamond express love? Does a larger engagement ring mean you’re more in love? Vice versa? Or is it irrelevant?
In a society bent on greater material gains…more things, better quality, “the Rachel” haircut… happiness somehow emerging as the by-product of your super-polished image. Spirituality becomes likened to Madonna—the Material Girl herself—promoting Yoga and chanting on her records. I seem to be the only one disturbed by this—-she made an album out of Eastern religion. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised… she did essentially the same with Catholicism. What it comes down to is that we want filtered Eastern thought—easy practices, relaxation techniques, and assured salvation—all served up by our favorite scandalous celebrity. Don’t get me wrong—Madonna may have grown spiritually, but I could honestly care less. What’s disturbing how we react to these things. How can portraying a pseudo-image of Eastern thought in our favorite pop-singing blonde bring us salvation? Are we this lost? Is there no help? As a race, are we just fucked??
[end portal into lauren's past...]