On the Process of Awakening

We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.

There is a tremendous amount of pain in our society. There are many sources of this pain: the emotional desertification of dysfunctional families, the knowledge that we don’t fit in and never will, a widening disconnect between the narratives we’re told are true and our experience, and a social and economic structure that tosses many of us on the trash heap.

The lifestyle we’re told we need to be happy is unattainable to many, and disconcertingly unsatisfactory to the top 10% who reach it.

We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.

The process of awakening has many paths. For some, the path starts with the incoherence of official explanations and narratives. For others, it’s the inner search for truth via psychotherapy or spiritual practice.

For some, it’s an investigation into the way our economic and political hierarchy function. For others, art is the starting point: a film, a novel, a comic, a song.

For many of us, it begins with this simple but devastating realization: I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in, have never fit in and never will fit in. I play along because it’s easier on me and everyone I interact with to do so, and I value my independence which means I have to find a way to support myself. That is difficult, as what I like to do has little to no value in our economy.

What interests me is how the epidemic of pain and alienation that characterizes our society is the direct result of how our economy and social order is structured. Incoherence, self-destruction, pain and alienation are the only possible outputs of the system we inhabit.

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