Temporal Materialism

Who knows why I’m so morbid.

I look around me and I see people. My reaction is bizarre. As much as I am moved with empathy and love for my fellow (wo)man, I am simultaneously repulsed. Not just repulsed, I am abhorred. I see little these little mice scampering here and there, decked out in fanciful costumes, pasquinading for all to see. They are in college. The illusion of life is at its precipice. They maintain their chic wardrobes, their piquant purses, meticulous manicures and shimmering shoes. You name it. They are accessorized. They trot around wrapped in black stockings conveniently outlining their trim and prim curves honed by hours of ellipticizing at the gym. They have their hair: high lighted, dyed, extended, crimped, and blown. A fine layer of foundation yields an angelic visage that glows with gloss. Here they apply strokes of paint that form lips and eye brows. They blush their pallid cheeks with passionate powder,  elongate and darken their pale stubby lashes, and accentuate the shadow of their starving eyes.

I see these people, sporting these signs, and I think to myself: one day, you will die. But before that, I think to myself: one day you will find that no amount of work will save you from the grips of age. Everything you desperately save to maintain will rot eventually. You will either coalesce into a single curve, plump and bulbous, or be reduced to a frail rail. Depending on whether or not you fill it out, paper thin skin will hang off your bones. You will grow increasingly translucent, veiny and purple. Your breasts will drop.You face will sag. Your butt will mush. You will piss and shit yourself.

The endless hours of attending and maintaining this fabricated facade, and for what? Such temporal investments. Have we forgotten the eternal life? Wait. What is this eternal life you speak? Ah. The spirit. The mind, the imagination, the character. Should we invest wisely, these things endure. If only people sought to invest a fraction of their time into such pursuits. Personal development. Character growth.  We need to multiply experience, heighten awareness, spread the profusion of passion and penetrate appearances with vision.

There is a trend though. Materialism is on its way out and post-materialism is on its way in. It’s hopeful to see that the standard of life is no longer measured by the things we possess, or rather the things that possess us. The post-materialist is concerned with meaning that extends beyond the manipulation of physicalities and into a relational world where the subjective mind and spirit juxtapose with a natural environment. This is the world of ideas, or information. It has subtly sewn its way into our life as technology has lead to growing advances in communication, transportation, and social networking. We learn from such encounters: literature, art, discourse, adventure. Blogs, flickr, twitter, facebook. The quantitative method has shown its failings and the qualitative has risen to meet the challenge. Ethics has gained traction once again as aesthetics steps in to answer questions of meaning and fulfillment.

Experience is the essence of life. It is the filament of human existence. It allows us to burn brightly.

Anyway. Duplicity, blind duplicity, is what really bothers me. I understand we can’t all be individuals, but the less individuals there are, the less tolerant people are to change and difference. Adaptation rests an change. It relies on difference. On positive difference.

I succumb to these delusions just as anyone else. But I buy in so that I may buy out. So that I can manipulate the system from the inside, like a mutation, but deliberate and viral.  Change must occur from within.

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I reread this and felt the need to amend this post for clarity: I want to emphasize that I do appreciate appearances. Beauty enhances life. I desire to live in a beautiful world marked by beautiful people and an aesthetically pleasing environment. What troubles me is the lack of attention to dimension, that is all. We are body, mind and spirit (I would say the heart is in there, but I feel like it’s integral with the body and/or spirit). It is important to spend time being a quality person of depth and substance. And I’m not talking knowledge and reason, I’m talking wisdom and character. End.