I already have a good idea of how my obituary may read. - “He passed away peacefully in his sleep due to complications of an acute inability to go on living”.
But all my friends, family and neighbours will know different. “Death by chocolate it was. The poor fellow just couldn’t get enough of it. Not just chocolate itself, but chocolate ice cream in particular. Unfortunately the guy couldn’t control his craving and it finally killed him. But at least he died a happy man”.
Well some people, it would seem to me, live to eat. Food appears to be their largest expense and major obsession in life. Their world revolves around gourmet food, where to get it, how good it tastes, it’s cost, availability, preparation directions and on and on. But to me, food is just fuel for the machine. You choose which grade of octane to pump into your vehicle. You don’t trickle it in slowly with gasps of “Ah. Yummy”. Its just fuel to give your machine energy. But, to be honest, I must admit that I have a weakness for chocolate ice cream.
I suppose its the emotional sensation of the physical world that finally hooks you. Some select special material substance you start to crave pulls you in. The feeling of euphoria; a taste of joy experienced and greatly savored. You literally sell your soul to the material devil for promises of such future sensational bliss. Well “Welcome to my world”, says the spider to the fly!
Night and day we are bombarded with ads “Eat this. Drink that. Buy our product. It will bring you happiness and satisfaction. Our item is the solution to your quest in life. Things go better with Coca Cola”.
I’ve worked in sales on and off in the past. Its simple and easy really. Just find what indicates and appeals to your customer, then promise him the satisfaction and enjoyment of having it. Seal the deal, close the sale and collect your money!
So, to bait the hook, we have drugs, booze, fancy cars and painted women. And lets not forget lust for wealth and power. “Step right up folks. Don’t be shy. Take your pick. What you want?”
So how many more dollars will it take to make a millionair happy? How many more calories does an overweight person really need? What amount of liquor will satisfy an alcoholic? What quantity of drugs would prompt the addict to say “Enough”?
You could say we are pawns, marks and succers in a material bazarr! We work long and hard to purchase a few beads and baubles, but when we have them we still are not happy. Our life is not complete. Material possessions somehow do not fill the void, satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst.
Well what I’ve been looking at recently is that life could be divided into three sections.
There is the physical, emotional and the spiritual. Our material existence absorbs the majority of our attention and interest. Our emotional realm gets some measure of notice from time to time. But sadly our spiritual existence is ignored, neglected, ridiculed and denied by many.
We get stuck in the material glue of the world. Its like quicksand in a way. We sink into it and it swallows us up. And if we don’t get what we think we need of this substance, then we get quite emotional.
As for the spiritual part; well as most people view it - “Who knows about that and if it even exists? I guess we’ll find out when this game is over”.
I personally think it would be a good idea to know a bit about the environment of the water before you dive in blindly.
In this life, if you decide to be a monk or a nomad wanderer, then you are not being faithful to the religion of materialism. You will be ostracized and shunned by it’s devotees.
So in this world of ours we adapt to the status quo because everybody else does. We call our life style “normal” so as not to feel uncomfortable. But all in all we somehow muddle along slogging through the increasing weight, the pull of the gravitational force of this solid environment. Properly programed consumers always need more stuff!
But I contend, the only things you really need in life are a suitcase, mode of transport, a quest for adventure and a cheerful disposition. Well maybe also,just once in a while, a little chocolate ice cream!
Dan O’Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org