The Western World’s Infectious and Destructive Materialism

The Western World since World War II has been on a course to replace its once noble spiritual culture with Corporate Mythology and Materialism. The sad price we have paid in employing all our people has been that of valuing and owning “stuff”. And in so doing we have chopped down rainforests, slain all the animals, and gutted the world. When will we learn that our short term wealth has destroyed our children’s future?

The immorality of our corporate culture is now infecting India and China. So the middle class in those vastly populated countries will soon devour whats left of the oceans, the forests, and the air, as we in the West continue our own destructive path unabated.

But as a Mythologist what I see most that is lost (and yet that which is possibly our only salvation) is the loss of culture. What was once unique to certain segments of European and American culture is being systematically obliterated by the corporate sphere of social media, public opinion, and material wealth. It cannot last this dying dream. Again, the generation in power, the Baby Boomers, have sold the American soul to the Devil, so they may now have their McMansions at the World’s expense. Their materialism has destroyed the World.

But its the loss of culture that is the key here. What is our “culture” outside of business and consumerism? And how does it impact a possible retreat from materialism going forward here in 2018?
I propose that the key to the world’s survival requires change. But not a material change just yet. A mental and psychological change is required, one in which our global psychology shifts from the false consumer myth of money and wealth to one where our cultures around the globe place greater value (as a commodity even) on the last unique parts of their historical traditions, imagination, myths, and creativity. The “meaning” in our lives must shift from money and owning new stuff to new ideas. That needs to be the new global commodity and what must now become the central focus of all of Western Society. And by example other cultures will follow.

What do I mean by “culture”? I mean the divorce of corporate mythology surrounding the value of a Human Being from his property and material wealth to one where his creativity, ideas, imagination, and familial cultural uniqueness is valued more. But how can ideas be worth more than say a new car or food on our tables?

When the last tiger is killed in India will we say oh well, I have a new car instead? Or will millions of people feel sad they were not able to visit a wild place to experience the culture capital surrounding the living tiger and its cultural myth we too want to have as part of our own? Will we someday all have cars such that we are all the same? Do we eat tiger bones because we too want the tiger myth in us?

What we experience in the myth of the value in owning a new car is no different than the value of the myth in seeing a live tiger, or for certain Chinese eating tiger soup made of its parts to gain a supposed new verility. Both are myths. They both are built on myths some part of us sustains.

You see, we dont know it but both corporate myth and tiger myth are the same…..both in our brains. Illusions, complete illusions we have incorporated into our minds. Its no different than the pixels in slot machines driven my mathematical equations that create some illusion in our minds when gambling we are gaining riches when it is but an illusion much like corporate consumerism.

If we could fully grasp this concept for a moment, we would see that the only difference between a cultural myth that integrates and respects the animals and the environment with our own lives is no different than the corporate myths hoisted onto us by multi-corporations that have told us the last 50 years if we go shopping and buy their products, or buy their overpriced houses or cars, we are suddenly psychologically happy.

Again its just an illusion. But for us to survive this illusion needs to change. We cannot sustain corporate material myths that destroy our world to feed our shallow egos any longer. Buying stuff through unfettered capitalism cannot be sustained much longer.
I propose we now begin to shift in small ways our own psychology from consumerism and our personal value tied to products to one where our inner creative imagination and whats left of our small cultural differences are valued and preserved. Its about assigned self-value returning to what it was 50 years ago….a spiritual selfhood not dependent on modern religion or corporate control but value tied to self exploration, the cultural relics and traditions of ones family, and the construction of new cultural  values based on imagination.

If you can derive pleasure from buying a new iPhone that creates great environmental destruction due to the extraction of precious earths why cant we train our brains to derive great value from NOT buying the latest iPhone and instead create new myths around new cultural events or ideas we share with others who also grow to value them and enrich them with us?

An example would be a family that makes violins by hand that preserves and grows the trees they are made from, a person that writes the next rich sc-fi book that becomes a Star Wars that millions invest time in reading and exploring, a small farmer who creates a myth surrounding the taste of his unique corn he sells, a group of families that invent a new Santa Claus holiday figure or myth that visits their kids at Christmas, a small town that creates a new parade that celebrates the return of spring or some type of new dessert unique to its people, a new religion that involves worshipping trees and their planting all over the world.
What do all these have in common? They are about long term human experience minus the short term gains of corporate America and the investor.

Anything that destroys or replaces corporate materialism with a new cultural value that builds on unique human experience minus corporate monetary gain is what we need to actively do going forward, where say real estate, money, stock market returns, political power, and corporate global marketing is replaced with personal wealth tied to individual experience and human creativity without the end-goal of starting a business from it. 

The creation of human experience where the value returns tued to the sharing of those myths minus the end goal of money extracted from them is how we must learn to all live such that the old consumer myth is replaced with living life humbly with few material possessions without the need to destroy others.

If 7 billion people could learn to do that not only would they be happier people but richer spiritually inside. And from this lifestyle would come new myths, new ways to connect to a Creator, and new laws to protect the animals, forests, and oceans where those places are tied to the new more valued cultural capital we all now share. Its a dream I have…that we can survive based on changes to our minds which we still seem so unwilling to do out if fear and ignorance to who we really are and the secret myths we create and which still control us.

– the Author

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