On Spirituality, Class Warfare.. and other such nonsense.
My wife and I do not discuss our ideas of spirituality with each other. Okay, I concede the point; I avoid this discussion like the plague with all people in my life, due to my own self-doubt as to my own convictions. I like to play it fast and loose with concepts such as gawd, the afterlife and karma. I think that putting any of these concepts into concrete defined ideas in my head, let alone speaking of such matters out loud, would give the concepts too much power in my daily affairs.
One idea that my wife often speaks of, and not to deaf ears I might add, is the idea of manifestation. I am probably going to butcher the intent of what her belief, but I am going to describe my interpretation none the less. The concept centers on focusing on a set goal or objective, to the extent that the worship of the idea becomes the focal point of your existence. You therefore manifest this change, idea or goal from your imagination onto the world around you.
I might poo poo such new age publically (fuck, and privately for that matter), but there is something to be said for this idea; as we see examples of it all around us. I am not speaking of some extreme interpretation of this idea; such as a group of teenagers sitting around a fire, chanting some name of some pagan god and attempting to conjure said god out of the fire, or some shite. My interpretation is much simpler and more practical in our day to day affairs.
A few weeks ago, I got into a discussion with a few friends on the topic of the class divides that keep the rich and the poor separate. Quite a few of the participants were of the sort who believed that class and race were givens inherited at birth that totally determined our fates at the end of the day. I had a fit hearing these words uttered out loud, without a sense of irony or mirth. People still believe that sort of shit?
In America, there is a knee jerk reaction on all sides of this discussion to only frame the conversation in terms of race. What seemingly gets lost, is that race is how the issue of this economic and social divide presents itself in America; it is not the root of our societal woes. What needs to be accepted as a base premise is that even though each and every continent, nation, city, neighborhood has its own problems that are very specific to these microcosms, there is a commonality between all societal divides.
Let’s face it, the enlightenment and the social revolutions that followed did not totally displace feudalism. I am of the belief that you can have no pure concept, no pure revolution because the end result is always resting on the cancer of the past. The end result always has traces, and far more than the new society that emerges ever would want to admit, of the society that came before. At this point, feudalism probably touched 90% of the world population in some meaningful long lasting way, prior to anything any of us would considered enlightened thinking ever had a chance to appeared on the scene. There was always an entrenched establishment that might have shared power with the masses, but these elite never disappeared. This fact gets lost on the average discontent member of ALL societies. They immediately fall upon whatever knee jerk reaction might be the most obvious explanation of the divides they see in their day to day lives.
We circle now back to my interpretation of manifestation. I believe that one of the primary reasons why all of these issues persist is due to the fact that we continue to impose these simplistic interpretations onto the world around us. We get caught up in the issue of divides, we manifest this as a base condition to each other and we rarely make an attempt to just fucking get on with it.
When Life Hacking is Really White Privilege https://medium.com/get-bullish/a5e5f4e9132f
The story at the above link really got my mind churning. I have to say from the onset, that I know two “white” traders who used to work on Wall St who have since returned to Buffalo. Though they are two distinct personalities, there are commonalities between them. Neither had any experience in the industry prior to relocating to NYC. Both were young and full of energy when they decided this was their route to riches. Neither could be described as having grown up poor, although one came from a lower middle class background.
One key component of their success whilst in NYC was their ability to impose their wills upon the world around them. Fuck, with one of them, I was totally convinced that he lived in a solipsistic fantasy world prior to moving to the City; one in which his success was a foregone conclusion. He knew his smile and his words could charm anyone, and I witnessed this power in action in many sorted circumstances (one of which kept him out of jail at 18 just by convincing a cop to ignore the huge bag of coke found lying on his passenger seat when pulled over for having a tail light out).
What seems to get lost on the masses, the ones who become deluded into a world view that these people are somehow privileged because they were white or rich or both, is the interpretation that these fuckers walk on water because they know they can. The thought alone somehow sustains the reality.
I find it hard to believe that Jay-Z wouldn’t behave in a similar fashion to the white trader if he needed to mail an item and was in a hurry.
To conclude this aside, both returned to Buffalo when their charm ran out. One could no longer function due to a drug addiction. The other could no longer sustain the illusion because they gained a conscience, of sorts.
“Don’t Be Evil”
In closing, the neo-rich didn’t get rich by being nice people. Bill Gates or Richard Branson might seem like interesting rags to riches stories, but I strongly suspect they would not be the sorts of people you’d want to hang out with and have a few drinks. You can transcend class but probably at a huge cost to what you feel is your humanity.
Most people who achieve a low to moderate level of success probably have utilized this mind over matter trick without even realizing it. Fuck, there have been hundred if not thousands of self help tapes that have echoed this same idea. It resonates to all of us because deep down we know there is some truth beneath the surfaces, when you scratch at it a bit.
The down trodden are exactly that because they believe that is all they can ever amount to