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Exorcism of Hedonism

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Raspberry, originally uploaded by elementalPaul.

Think about this question:

“What are five things you can’t live without?”

And now, answer this one:

“What is needed for human survival?”

Are your answers the same for both questions? If not, then why? Aren’t they, in essense, the same question?

Things we think we need and things we actually are not always the same. This is because we percieve the latter as a given. Food, water, shelter, right? And then, on a secondary level, there’s propagation and companionship and hygiene. But, beyond that, there is absolutely nothing that we need, that we really really need, in order to live.

Maybe it’s all the water I’ve been drinking that has got me wondering about this. For the last few days, I’ve drank nothing but water. And I’m trying to see if I can get through the entire month. In addition, I’m not eating any kind of sweet junk food, ie cookies, candies, mints, cake or chocolate. And I miss it! Although I thought the most difficult of the two fasts would be no sweets, as it turns out, I’m really struggling with this water thing!

I can’t believe how affected I am by caffeine. How I miss it everyday and find myself all tense and jumpy without it. I crave pop or juice or beer or milk, and I’ve been denying myself of all of that. And it’s difficult! But it shouldn’t be! Aside from nursing milk as babies, water was the only liquid consumed by thousands upon hundreds of thousands of generations of people before other beverages were invented. I’m not counting the liquids you can attain from fruits or vegetables, I’m talking about millions of animals (including us) never drinking anything but water and getting along just fine.

And now I’m faced, thankfully and not so thankfully, with an endless supply and endless task of drinking water. There are times I’m fine with it, and others when I couldn’t hate it more! I am craving sugar and I am drinking tons of water to drown that craving. I’ve drank more water in the last two days than I probably have in the past two weeks.

I wonder, will I ever flush my system to a point where I don’t want the sugar and caffiene anymore, and arise out of this month a more health-conscious person? Or will I crawl back to sugar and caffiene with my tail between my legs at 12:01am on July first? I hate the effect artificial products have on me, but I can’t deny it, either.

Anyway, part of the reason I give up things in my life for months at a time, is because I see myself falling into a pattern where I’m so entrenched in my creature comforts that they begins to inhibit how I live my life.

For instance: the reason I’ve been continued to live with my sister and to look for a job since I got hired on full time/permanent at Taylor, is that what Taylor paid me would only cover my bills. However, it would not provide me with enough money to go out socially on the weekends, or buy new books or new art supplies. The salary I’m making here would be enough to cover my necessities, but it would not be enough to sustain the lifestyle that I have grown accustomed to.

If I was just considering food water shelter, I could have moved out months ago and worked for Taylor for the rest of my life! But no…I’m afraid to live my life without the comfort of a padded bank account.

And that really bothers me, because it’s the consumer-driven opinion of a priveledged American, which, of course, is what I am. And I won’t deny that, but I do think that I should at least consider that there are people who are barely making enough to feed themselves, lest be able to afford payments on an SUV (which I have) or loan payments on a private college education (also which I have).

Is guilt the reason why I am drinking only water? Perhaps, but I think it’s more than that: What we desire gets mistaken for what we need and that is a false belief. I fast from modern conveniences from time to time to make sure that I’m doing my part to contribute to our proper evolution into a stronger species, so that we don’t devolve into an eggplant with no teeth that needs to be connected to catheter tubes of sugar and entertainment in order to live.

Air conditioning. Fast food. Television. It’s all very nice, but it’s weakening us! That’s not our life! That’s not what we were meant to be.

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Written by pocheco

June 6, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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