“When a nation values wealth and status, its citizens are easily controlled by their desires and their fears. When we learn to value simple things and are not enticed by power, we can open the hearts of people to the joy of ordinary life.

We will not be fooled by clever words designed to keep us captive, promising us a better day – someday. When we no longer believe these empty promises, already better days are on their way.” – from The Activist’s Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3

 

The air is filled with clever words: “Financial security!” “Independence!” “Freedom!” “Overnight Delivery!” “Look over here!” “Look over there!”

emptywordsJustice can no longer mean that everyone gets to share the trinkets of a consumer culture. It must mean that trinkets have lost their value and the true and actual bounty of the Earth – sunshine, water, food, love, and connection – now belong to every single life.

Think about the phrase, “financial independence.” Notice that what it actually means is that the goal of becoming totally separate from life has been achieved. I am no longer dependent on any of the connections that have sustained life for billions of years. The wall is complete. No one else is needed. Nothing outside can disturb. I have become the quintessential Superman. This, of course, is the epitome of insanity. Yet it is the stated and unstated goal of my culture.

Transformation of our society will have its beginnings, in fact already has its beginnings, in simplicity. Endless acquisition that has been our strategy against fear for millennia will fade away and the ordinary bounty of life will reappear, available to all. But it will require that we unlearn many mental beliefs; beliefs that have been reinforced hundreds of times a day, each and every day of our lives. Perhaps this is one more unlearning opportunity these days of crisis will bring us. We will no longer be fooled by the language of empty words.

Blessings to everyone. Go outside. Stretch to the sky. Enjoy!

 

One thought on “Not Fooled

  1. As I watch myself during this time I see that I, like others, am driven by indulging my impulses. Not any real need but merely an impulse. This is encouraged and reinforced by our current capitalist system of course. I play a mental game with myself on and off during day saying to myself “I am going to go out and get a burrito for dinner from my favorite little restaurant. I can do this because I am following the sequestering rules and I deserve this treat. Then dinner time comes and I realize that my fantasy impulse is really just that I am hungry and and need to eat something (doesn’t have to be my fav burrito) so I slice up and eat a crisp green apple with a bit of peanut butter on the side and a side of rice. I am immediately satiated and happy with my delightful meal and no longer harbor this impulse. Will I one day go out and get a burrito? Possibly but so far it has been several weeks at home for me and I have yet to indulge. It’s a small thing but I enjoy learning about myself. thank you for another great reading.

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