Thanksgiving and Identical Lives

Everyone is living an identical life, in this society.
Everyone is living an identical life, in this society.

“…intrinsically, humans, as creatures of the Earth were drawn inherently always back to one thing –war. And thus we seek to correct not the symptom but the disease itself. We have sought to shrug off individuality, replacing it with conformity. Replacing it… with sameness… with unity, allowing each man, woman, and child in this great society to lead identical lives. The concept of identical environment construction allows each of us to head confidently into each moment with all the secure knowledge it has been lived before.”

–“Father” (Equilibrium)

Culture, in its worst dystopic form, will attempt to create lives that are as identical and predictable as possible. Whenever the holiday season arrives, I am reminded of just how powerful of a reality matrix this is. The same traditions, on the same day, year after year after year.

I see the value in this; but I also see the cost. The value is the predictability of the pattern. It gives people who are oriented towards these traditions the opportunity to meet various needs at various times in coordination. Given that this is mere ritual, however, it is going to impinge on spontaneity to some extent.

Take Thanks Giving, for example. Most of those who celebrate this holiday, gorge themselves on a large meal and repeat prefabricated propaganda about the meaning of the day, then sit around and watch television. In this ritual, while there is wiggle room, there is often little room for anything new. Instead of being present, we merely follow a script; the script of our perceived cultural heritage.
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Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

I think that one of the keys to happiness, that has echoed in the voices of sages throught the ages, is to find pleasure in everyday things. As part of our survival, we must often do things that are mundane. If we can’t find the beauty in these experiences, how are we ever going to be truly happy?

I sense this misplaced striving, in many of us, to escape the ordinary. That escape is an illusion. Everything is ordinary, nothing is special. Most of what seems special is merely pretending, in vein, not to be ordinary and you are amused by it, for a time.

Everything is part of the same thing and the real sages understand that they are merely uncovering what we delude ourselves into not seeing. That everything is governed by the same underlying principles and as such, has a beauty and unity with all of existence.

Something to think about, as you go about your mundane day. It’s something I’ve been reminding myself of for years.