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.