I have just listened to Kim’s vlog on the desire for self-confidence where she relates to a pattern I am seeing within myself.
The system we have accepted as our economic basis for interaction and for survival is a system that commodifies absolutely everything. The past eras have shown this clearly as we have sped up our cycles of production and consumption through applied technological tools that have facilitated ever faster and global production methods. In conjunction with this, we have been propelled to find ever new venues to sell and consume. From the perspective of the system this is not difficult to do. The mind provides a fertile ground to dream up needs and desires, and the marketing of these, so that those with money will respond.
There is no limitation from the mind’s end, the limitation is within the resources that are needed in bridging the mind and in the corresponding material implementation which is dependent on physical resources. This is where the limitation lies because the available resources cannot be controlled by the mind (such as peak oil) and thus, eventually, the system will consume itself.
We must realise that this pattern is applied to absolutely anything we, as the mind, can conjure up. Therefore, this cycle of production and consumption is applied to conceptual items as a gateway to the material consumption. It is through ideas and concepts where we reinvent ourselves continuously that we keep this cyclic mechanism alive.
The conceptual aspect of consumption is, for example, the selling of ‘great qualities’. “Being self-confident” is such a quality for sale, it can be had through the reading of self-help books, or by taking courses, or by going to therapy. It may take many years and much consumption of ‘support’ material – and by the end of this process one has become a walking financial investment, like having stock on the stock market which now fetches a high share price, or also known as personality pattern – namely to be self-confident.
However as Kim says, what happens then is that we reach a plateau, the end of the line, when we have gotten to be that ‘great quality’, it is like sitting in front of an empty plate of chocolate mousse. This then signals to us that we can begin the cycle anew of wanting to consume the next best thing that we happen to see as desirable, because the world tells us so, and because neither the world nor ourselves have ever existent in self-trust.
But how can we trust ourselves when we do not understand the precise mechanism why we get angry or feel happy, when all of this has been left up to human nature which we so conveniently accept as the all-around answer to our questions about who we are. It is interesting to see that we will want to acquire ‘great qualities’ without knowing what actually makes us operate and function in the way we are doing in this moment.
To illustrate this in physical terms, I will draw on archeology, because here in the physical world we have an example where we make the attempt to walk backwards. Unfortunately, we are doing this effort with artefacts which is not useful because we are missing the core elements, the understanding of our mental dispositions that have led to the production of artefacts. The source has always been our mind, and by transposing it to the material world, this investigation becomes futile – at best it is the mind confirming itself through what it finds in the ground.
Yet with this example, it becomes clear that in order to understand what we have created as ourselves – as we have just seen with the example of wanting to become self-confident – we must stop the consumption of cycles and start moving backwards, unraveling step by step what these desires are and why each and everyone of us works towards piling on as much stuff as possible, whether that is conceptually speaking or materialistically speaking.
To stop this cycle, we have only got to do one thing that is to stop the mind – though before we can do that we have to stop believing our mind, that we are the mind.
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