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The Unnecessary Necessities

I have owned my own company for years now.
I have not suffered at all; if my wife suffers she hides her anxiety well.
If she were truly distraught I'd know as surely as I'd know the car engine has slipped a rod.
We've needed money, no doubt, but in the necessity of slicing through my delicacies I have found a great economy reminiscent of Thoreou in the days of his removal from the rail and church bell.
I am learning that what I once thought necessary to live in this world was only luxury unseen - luxuries that most constituents of our century would have presumed kingly, or even unimaginable.
These luxuries (three cars, 2 universities, four televisions, wireless internet, three game systems and myriad other conventional entertainment/reducers of labor for all mankind), because they are commonplace acquisitions, in their turn seem necessities, if only so that we might interact with our peers who have accumulated the same.
We possess most of these distractions because others possess them, and the others, having had their brains numbed like ours, need something to discuss at the local Starbucks.
So, I and my family possess all these unnecessary necessities.
Everyone can blow-up 1945 Berlin a thousand times over an infinitely pixilated game screen, but we can't write a cogent sentence (as I am now demonstrating) or batter around a complex theory.
In fact, complexity in thought is taboo these days; man has succumbed to the general will to find an easier way in everything his buffed nail touches or his once agile brain conjures.
The once great mind of man, which in the least could envision a small field head-high in flowing grains to feed his family, then make it happen, has been shut down - powered off - and now his agitated eye flails about the enclosed world he inhabits, allowing in any diversion and calling it thought.
Man has lowered the bar of his expectations, and achievements.
I'm beginning to lose this new mind (I was fortunate enough to know what thinking was before the onslaught of toys-as-lifestyle hit) as my household pulls the purse strings ever tighter.
We can readily live without all the accumulation.
My vice is collecting and devouring books, but at least they are interactive entertainment.
Interactive is the key; books allow you to scan the landscape of knowledge, but then you are forced to agree or dispute the theories somewhere in your mind.
In doing so you are Thinking, without the use of a video screen or headphones and such.
You, as a being with finite time to roam the grounds, are Producing something original, growing a concept like a farmer and his crops.
Moreover, you are contributing to the advancement of man as a truly intelligent species.
So your entertainment carries as much worth as any can; you are growing the common intellect.
Somewhere in modern history a parson sat quietly at his desk and thought, "How can I make things easier for myself?" One hundred years on we've made the world infinitely "easier", and we've certainly corrupted the collective conscious of America (we now find our bodies of little use).
"Ease" has become the pinnacle of expression in our age of Marketing.
We no longer need to act, even to open a can.
We have finally sold off our species into slavery to technology, and have adopted the model mindset that we should labor little (and by labor I mean something as simple as tossing a baseball) for our entertainment.
We've shut down our species precious asset (Mind), yet since our eyes remain open we allow anyone with a trinket to sell to slip quickly into our brain and restructure it.
They then disconnect the governor and flood the shell with anything they desire for us to think.
And we think we are thinking then, and somehow we feel we are not wasting our lives.
Today, after seven months without a strenuous work schedule, without stepping outside for days at a time, with all the worry and anxiety and shut-offs, I am still not suffering.
We really didn't need 200 channels on the television, nor hyper-speed connection to the infusion of other people's ideas and images (is it really necessary to find out what Lindsey Lohan is doing today?).
The wife and I are nervous, but content (we still pay the mortgage, gas and electricity on time).
We have an abundance of the basics, and found that all the so-called necessities were merely easy entertainment that killed time and blinded us from the stream of anxiety and natural thought that whispered over the blatant volume of Rosanne Barr or Madden '12.
Of course, in moderation someone else's thoughts could be fun, even educational.
But somewhere your deepest mind is screaming to be rescued.
Each time you raise the remote you have a choice to select the easiest way, or to drop the box and let your mind breathe for a while.
Like sugar, once you've exorcized the demon box from your system you will crave it no more.
And suddenly you will find an old friend crawling toward you from the dark cavern deep within your psyche.
The voice will be weak, long to be nourished.
You feed it a book, or a good conversation, and it grows robust.
Soon you can concentrate again; in time discover your vitality, maybe even a purpose for your existence.
Then, if you ever do venture into the ADD world again, you can observe it from afar, from deep behind your limited lenses, and what filters in will beckon Choice, sifted through your strong, discriminating brain.
In this newfound economy you create your world, and become an individual acting on your own choices.
Maybe then you'll make your cash with your own ideas and labor, and your world will be complete.

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