I’ve been thinking. And although I can’t say that’s always a good thing, it is most definitely something that even ‘retirement’ cannot seem to banish from my day. The more I move into this freedom from what was, the more I am able to see through new eyes. It all just arrives: thoughts neatly packaged, as if I’m already reading that which has been written for me. All I need to do is be willing to receive. How awesome is that! Leaves me wondering who is transmitting…..
I’m aware of how so much of what I read/watch/hear (i.e. social media, podcasts, tv, youtube, etc) is a story of what’s happening ‘out there’. Donald Trump. (Gawd… so much Donald Trump!) MOAB. North Korea. Acidification. Floods, storms, volcanoes, mudslides, etc. GMO’s. Chemtrails. Nanotechnology. Morgellen’s. Transhumanism. Watery worlds, far beyond our own, and their capacity to sustain life. Wars. Acts of terror. Everywhere, it seems, innocent lives are lost, tortured and twisted beyond recognition of anything reflecting a sense of humanity.
Hard to resist the HD images that accompany much of this. Each story pulls me further and further outside myself. Each story designed to deepen the trench of belief in my own powerlessness to shape ’the world’; the increasing chaos and impending doom described in more and grittier detail.
Stories of the great ‘out there’, like the Siren’s call, pulling my attention away from the inner cues of my personal reality to the collective story – the collective consciousness. As the volume goes up and the pace accelerates, my own inner truth increasingly dims and fades into some silent place within.
We are like crows. Someone points and we seek – individually and collectively – to focus on that something shiny that is happening in the culture. Drawing our attention, our resourcefulness, our creativity, etc. to something that is NOT the I/me/we/us. The outcome? I/we are sinking faster and more deeply into a thick morass of our own powerlessness; embracing the story and becoming increasingly fearful about that over which we (seemingly) have no control.
As children, our inner curiosity propels us toward the expression of our unique interests. Unapologetic and impatient from the inner press to simply reach out and take what we are drawn to, we are not easily deterred from moving toward that which we desire.
As adults, the external pressure to conform and comply allows an external pull – that which is NOT us – to drag us toward what is deemed ‘acceptable’ and ‘appropriate’… willing to put aside and press down that which we intuitively know is the path we should be on (should we have any desire or will remaining), to be authentically our Selves.
I am at that wonderful place in my life where there are no alarms, bells or whistles to call me into my day. No schedule or agenda to guide, shape and determine the unfolding of my week. No obligations or expectations, beyond the press of my own desire to create and, in so doing, to shape how my life will unfold.
And yet, I am mindful of the great force that seeps into my moments that offer ’the pull’ for me to consume the story of the moment. The images and talking heads invite me – pull me – to consume the structures of an externally contrived ‘reality’, that my capacity for choice might be compromised and overtaken by the choices of some ‘other’ invisible and unknown ‘chooser’ of what will become my truth.
Consider that marketing is a directed process to ensure we are pulled to consume. Marketing creates ‘the pull’ for me… for us… to move in a direction (individually and as a collective) that becomes the pathway to an approved structure of reality. Marketing propels us to choose… from inside the box of a pre-determined and acceptable reality. What marketing never does is encourage me…. encourage us… to explore what might become possible were we to step outside the box and make up what else we might desire to choose.
Consumption is something we choose to do. Marketing is the compelling force that ensures our consumption is both accelerated, intensified and directed. Together, they are a potent dance for structuring reality and, most of the time, one that we never notice.
As a force for shaping reality, marketing is directed at Environment/Behaviour/Strategy levels, presupposing that the exiting higher-order thinking of collective Beliefs/Values/Attitudes will keep us in check…. seeking to be approved of, to be applauded, to be valued by others…. even though in that process, we lose our ability to value ourselves.
Marketing masquerades as a force that operates in our favour; one intended to make our lives ‘better’. And yet, the requirement for us to comply is essential to ensuring that our existing structures of reality are sustained. When we begin to notice the power of this dance of Marketing/Consumption, we become able to step back…. become still….observe… and once again, notice our own inner press for expression. In that moment, we can choose to change the dance or walk away.