Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.
Western economies, particularly that of the United States, have been built in a very calculated manner on gratification, addiction, and unnecessary spending. We spend to cheer ourselves up, to reward ourselves, to celebrate, to fix problems, to elevate our status, and to alleviate boredom.
David Cain, Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
“But then the second thing he said was, ‘You are interconnected to everyone, because the world doesn’t work without everyone.’ You may think that you’re alone, but you’re never actually alone. This was really important because at a very young age that made me understand the importance of collectivity, and that we can’t do anything alone that’s worth it. Everything worthwhile is done with other people. So that became the soundtrack in my head.”
But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able to truly care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.
Toni Morrison writes, 'All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Back to the body of earth, of flesh, back to the mouth, the throat, back to the womb, back to the heart, to its blood, back to our grief, back back back.
∆ Natalie Diaz, from Postcolonial Love Poem; “The First Water Is the Body”
When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it.
The demand of the individual to the artist is, in effect, the cry, “Take me out of myself!” meaning really, out of my perishable activity into the light of imperishable consciousness.
| Joseph Conrad