This post is by a marriage and family therapist who has been in practice since 1985. He goes by the name “Strawhat.”

Me and my razor, we’ve got a thing goin’ on – abuse  

A related thought.  Automakers manufacture cars that have the capacity to last well over 200,000 miles – more than six years for most drivers.  And, in weird disregard of this fact, they market them to be replaced every three years. Something ain’t right.  Something lacks congruency.

A Gnostic premise.  Every entity, every tool, every piece of art, every institution created by human kind carries its own living spirit with the same Prime Directive– to protect, preserve and promote itself.  To sustain its Integrity.

I love my razor and blades.  I loved them Pre-Pandemic.  I loved my razor’s look and feel.  I used to switch blades every week or so.  I was buying them in great batches at Costco. I loved possessing all of those blades.  As they diminished, so would I.  With each new batch I felt replenished.  I would feel my squeaky clean cheek and security would return.  I felt like Scrooge McDuck hoarding his gold.  

I suspected something was awry but I attributed it only to the release of the neurotic energy of consumption.  After all, as Tom Hayden put it, “Possession is a disease with them.”  I only thought, “what’s wrong with a little indulgence?”  Because…

 …I hadn’t realized I was abusing the razor’s Integrity and neglecting the importance of each blade – discarded long before they had fulfilled their potential, as if they were dead pieces of metal. 

When created, that razor had a golden opportunity; that blade, a golden opportunity.  Each alone was of no great value but they hooked up and gave birth to a purpose – to serve me and for me to appreciate them for doing so.  Long Before Covid, BC, they had lost their purpose and I the pleasure of appreciation.  

I can substantiate that now because I have used the same blade for two months and it’s still going strong.  At this rate, I’ll have enough for my estate.  

With the opportunity to fulfill their Prime Directive, I’ve given them back their spirit and Dignity.  They are now golden. They are back from the Dead.  And my pleasure of indulgence in the Dead Zone has been replaced with a renewed appreciation for their Integrity…thanks to me, their Creator! I have the power to bring the Dead back to Life!  I am a Big Fish!   

If I respect their Dignity, if and when things settle down and I return to the world in which I am a small fish, I will be saving a boatload of materials that will reduce the manufacturer’s profits, decrease its stockholder’s dividends, and throw a lot of people out of work.  In a world of consumption for its own sake, I will be an outlaw.  Labor, Management and investors will see me as a threat to their Prime Directive and have a nasty, self-righteous ‘tude.  The Chinese may extradite me for failure to pay my share of the debt.  I may walk around with my head hung low – shunned and shamed.  Unless…

Can a culture learn from its mistakes when there are so many disparate parts without any sense of the Big Picture (in spite of thinking otherwise) combining, colliding, shifting, recombining, colliding anew in the confluence of Self-Centered Prime Directives…

Rodney King brought a nation together in a collective gasp of horror and, shortly after, “we” continued marching into greater and greater oppressive polarization.  911 and the Depression of 2008 were followed by the same momentary pause only to pick up speed in its march ever onward towards more consumption and stridency.  

Is there a way out of this dilemma?  Am I missing something?  I can’t say I have much hope of stemming the tidal wave towards a greater dystopia.  Hell, I wish I could feel hope, realistic or not.  

But what could be more frightening than an invisible deliverer of disease and death in a culture built on the myth of the rugged individual? You can’t play football and tackle it.  Mike Tyson can’t box it into oblivion.  Navy seals would just drown in Its presence.  You can deny it but you can’t deny it away.  

We as a culture are mentally challenged to bring this fear under control.    

1 Comment

  1. Just reading “Strawhat’s” blog of 8/9/2020. I’m intrigued by your summation of our cultural fear as an internal battle between one’s sense of individual responsibility to control one’s own life, and one’s internal confrontation with the sense of an external power. If I’ve got you right.

    You say: A Gnostic premise. Every entity, every tool, every piece of art, every institution created by human kind carries its own living spirit with the same Prime Directive– to protect, preserve and promote itself. To sustain its Integrity.

    Intriguing. Then you apply that to the formerly mundane reality of razor blades! I shan’t see them the same way again! The relationship changes from “user/usee” to a genuine partnership between conscious living beings!

    So, I would say you found a need and a way to “connect” meaningfully – an accomplishment of the inner self, obviously, rather than of the rugged individual attempting to exert control over his (you sound like a guy?) external environment. That answers your own question. As you say, we’ve gotta conquer not the virus but our own raging fear. Again, as you imply, establishing connection is key. Connection, not the power of Strawhat over the power of razor – or the power of man over environs. When Genesis 1 gives man dominion over all the plants and animals, we have the opportunity to understand dominion as an embrace, a connection of love and mutual support and care (true “Self-centeredness,” not as an injunction to disregard the wellbeing of “the other” in favor of our own.

    I wonder where our fear of Covid-19 would go, if we felt our purpose in this earth-school were to gain more control of, and a marvelous expansion of, our own consciousness and ability to love. Where would fear go if we were to cleave to this goal rather than to the goal of exerting an aloof self-righteous and self-justified sense of control over other bits of creation. Might we not start to feel a whole lot more joy than we often do? And then, if the virus did claim lives close to us, or our own, how could it really hurt us? We would have gained so MUCH! And – I believe – be far more prepared to make the most of the next wonderful adventure beyond the pale we mistakenly label death.

    Well, you’ve a gift with light-hearted yet serious writing, and while this response fails abjectly to meet you up at your level, I can thank you for the opportunity to play a bit and think a bit.

    Thanks,
    Karel

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