Picture: Hakan Hisim- Axis-Mundi
Whats wrong with western culture and how do we transform it into something more spiritually and intellectually appealing?
Pharmaceutical companies, prescription drug happy doctors: We have entered the prescription age. You have depression? Don't worry about getting exercise, just take these pills that have side effects who's list is longer and more detrimental than the amount and power of the positive effects the drug has. Instead of prescribing yoga, qi gong, meditation and working out, doctors have become drug dealers and do not flinch at the opportunity to get someone to bite at the worm of an easy fix. Our consumerist culture is coupled with a prescription note. Our society maintains that consumption of products is vital to being relevant in its eyes. Women become discouraged by unrealistic expectations placed upon them from the media and so spend thousands of dollars, thinking that they are buying happiness. This product, that we call happiness comes with a price tag that continues to inflate. The more you try to invest money into products, the more you are sucked into its system. A system that perpetuates the belief that happiness is a diamond watch. Happiness is not a $80,000 car, nor is it a big screen flat screen 3d tv. Beyond happiness, we have something we call being content. In our culture, we are told not to be content with where we are in life. To not be content, so that you work hard at something, and get better at it is great idea. However, this ideology can be abused because it will say that if you have a $30,000 car, you should not be content with that, and that you should want to buy a $50,000 one as soon as you can. This idea of status is quite sickening. What makes people really happy is having a sense of community. If you stripped away commercialism and industry and just left a community on its own, left to survive and provide for themselves, moral would be sky high. Humans are not innately lazy or dependent but if we are born into a system, there is a good chance that we will adjust to the system and will play by those rules. So how do we change the structure of society? Changing the structure of something that is imbedded within the foundation in which it rests upon is not something I plan on worrying about just yet. What is important is to remove yourself from the situation. If you are being abused, the most coherent thing to do is to leave the situation. If we don't leave this culture and know that it is not thinking of our best interests, then we have a mental disease. Is our culture masochistic consumers running around with prescription notes while ignoring everyone on the street? There is something fundamentally wrong with cities that embrace independence. People ignore each other on the street and think that this is the right thing to do. We have these imbedded stigmas such as talking to strangers that when it happens, offence is taken. In our current culture, some people move past this but its only because they have a video camera and want to upload to youtube so that they can potentially make some money. Consumerist ideology is still behind the act and so its not what we are looking for. People talk to strangers at a bar after a few drinks and this kind of behaviour is propelled by a drug that releases inhibitions. Consumerist ideology, once again is the culprit. How do we escape the consumerist ideology? We escape it.
Can we escape this consumerist, submissive, masochistic, prescription happy society while still being apart of it? I think we can integrate ourselves within it. If you look at Toronto, there is a culture of people who are not about big business and who act as a community. Kensington market has a much more down to earth mindset and lifestyle than any other area in the city. Although hippie culture has a negative reputation for being full of drug abusing, lazy people, this is not entirely true. There are positive aspects from the culture that we can learn from. Spreading positive vibrations, treating everyone equal, non judgement, freedom of expression, embracing creative experiences are some of the positive things we can take away from "hippie" culture. There are so many jobs where none of these traits are embraced, accepted or practiced. I need to be working somewhere these traits are not just embraced, they are mandatory. Years ago, the hippie culture was thought to lack a business mindset but now we are seeing people who embrace the culture, own businesses. However, from what I have seen, the businesses are within that area, and you have big business owners own businesses within that area so why can't the hippies brach out? The counterculture lifestyle is something that I foresee transforming into something that embraces science, technology and discovery. It will be through these mediums that sects of cultures can prosper and lead a helping hand to human evolution. The point or purpose of my life is not to make a million dollars, or to have a model girlfriend but rather my purpose, which I still am in the process of discovering is to be a catalyst for human progress and evolution. I won't be the person who develops the next big technological innovation but I might be the person that inspires someone to. Currently, I am inspiring people to be creative and moral by spreading a message on a social media page that revolves around creative freedom. We are making the move from being open about psychedelic drug usage and instead will promote Chinese herbalist medicine. I don't believe in my culture and I don't believe in my city. I don't believe in my country and I don't believe in neighbours in the States. We need to be aware that these governments are capitalist economist big business men. They will do what it takes to get into power and whatever it takes to stay in power. They will pollute our world and will not flinch at their behaviour. The system is corrupt but just like the anti consumer, the politician does not have to become motivated by big business or does he have no choice? Have we gone so far down this path, that politicians are merely puppets for people who actually wield the power; the billionaires, the oil refinery owners, the telecom industries, the pharmaceutical companies.