If your only nourishment comes from the Caldron of Culture, you will always have a soup stain on your shirt - Grasshopper
It looks like a fancy restaurant, but it's only a soup kitchen. That's culture. Culture never invents anything; it reflects the mostly superficial wants and desires of its club members. We all have membership in culture – even hermits.
When you dip into this tureen, (rhymes with latrine) you only get a tiny taste of what you are truly after. It's the universal bait and switch. Reminds me of a story . . .
There was this scheming nightclub owner who figured out that after his patrons had two alcoholic mixed drinks, they would never be able to tell if the following ones were watered down. He instructed his bartenders to "top" any drink after the second. Topping is putting the chaser (water, club soda, ginger ale) in first and then to top the drink with the alcohol – not even half the amount of an ordinary drink.
They served it without a stirrer. The patron's first sip delivered a strong concentration of alcohol that was floating on the top. That powerful impression lasted for the entire drink and for subsequent rounds.
When you chase the trappings of culture, you believe they will deliver the contentment you are looking for. It's short-lived. You're expecting something powerful when, in fact, it's diluted. Notice how the satisfaction that culture promises disappears quicker than candy bars at an AA meeting. Culture delivers a temporary high like you get from drugs or alcohol. You quickly want more.
So, what do you want more of? Prestige? Power? Recognition? Satisfaction? Happiness? You seek these things to chase away what you don't want – the nagging feeling that you are a fearful, incomplete loser.
Advertising, culture's mouthpiece, preys upon that fear. Advertisers know about what you don't want and they promise to rid you of it. All you have to do is buy their products or services. The high can't last. They know that. So just about the time you catch on, out comes the new and improved version and a new carrot is dangled. How much of your life have you been chasing that carrot?
Want to really improve your eye sight? Start noticing that you are on the cultural merry-go-round. The best you can do on this attraction is to get a brass ring. And remember that culture has mesmerized you to think this is the Holy Grail. The reality is it's just a hunk of junk that you go around in circles for.
We are conditioned that the offerings of culture will bring us calming satisfaction. Culture has you constantly thinking some version of this sentence: When I have (fill in the blank) I'll be happy, satisfied, content or complete.
Here's the secret that culture doesn't know. You are already complete. You always have access to the peace you desire and deserve. You just won't find it in the cultural melting pot. It's within.
There are many ways to go inside and immerse yourself into the essence of this rejuvenating spa – meditation, relaxation, self-hypnosis, yoga, tai chi, or just becoming aware of the present moment. Each visit inside has you return to culture with more clarity and contentment.
Suddenly you discover that you really don't need someone or something else dictating the color that's best for you. You now select from the entire palette and choose your hues as you paint without effort.
Remember: the mark of a truly great artist is to know when his masterpiece is complete.
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