Starbucks and Buddha

A strange notion popped into my brain on my drive back from Vegas, rather an image…

An epiphany of sorts.

I thought of the Buddha and Starbucks and it all made sense.


Our collective suffering;
that of the sentient beings now populating this heavy planet…
the lost souls of this modern hyper-reality
megaplex
megamall
megachurch
America;
our suffering is a crippling mental disorder
resulting in wayward values,
lost spirituality,
a disconnect from nature

thus creating a culture of flotsam, waste,
and callousness;
and it’s all due to,
caused by,
information overload.

The ease and mindless simplicity of its delivery, the utter banality of popular culture, the constant squawk of media, the ever present shine of the lights and the speakers, even the goddamn water cooler spreads this mental disorder like wildfire.

It’s highly contagious and terrifyingly unstoppable.

Noise.
Amplified cacophony.
Information…
Words…
Ideas…
God…
Entertainment…
Booze…
Sex…
Go to sleep, my sheep, go to sleep.

There are a million books in the universe now, a billion that were never published. A trillion poems. Yet still more tragedy, more foolishness, more fodder for the novelists occurs daily. It seems like we’re doomed to recreate our father’s mistakes as he recreated his father’s.

We’ve mapped the human genome yet we need an electronic map in our cars with a automated voice inside giving us directions.

It used to take weeks to cross from California to Colorado, next week I’ll fly there in two and a half hours.

Shit! In the 70’s Cabo San Lucas was a sleepy fishing village.

There is an argument that there is too much shit in the universe, and you can throw this website in that description just to be fair, that perpetual creation of junk is a manic disorder, something close to insanity; it’s an argument that is starting to make more and more sense to me.

Picture a man in a locked, padded room making figurines out of wire hangers and giving them names and money and good looks and bad luck and drinking habits.

I’m becoming a minimalist.

A nothingist.

A product of the digital age.

I could know everything but it wouldn’t help me, nor does knowing nothing.

It’s not that we’re too smart for our own good. It’s that we’re too stupid for all the information that floods us daily, or rather ill-equipped for it, under-evolved.

In otherwords we’ve got outdated hardware.

We can’t process the modern world correctly,
we’re still running religion 1.0.

We don’t distinguish between Plato’s allegories and an issue of People Magazine.

Our brains have become giant filing receptacles without the benefit of a proper Dewey Decimal system.

Think of this. It took Buddhist monks years meditating on the universality of suffering to get at the basic truths, the wisdom of nothingness and interconnectedness, and one could only learn these by studying at their feet in remote jungle temples for years; now you can get them off the side of a Starbucks coffee cup.

No wonder I see them discarded, lying in the street, thrown carelessly out the window of a Lincoln Navigator, both the cup and the philosophy.

Finger pointing at the moon.

We have the infinite possibilities of cyberspace and 90% of it is porn.

The world’s richest country and all we can come up with is war.

24 hour news gives us the manic feeling of approaching apolcalypse at 3 in the morning, when the stars are shinning bright, and the roads are quiet, and the wind is stirring the trees so peacefully it sounds like tiny bells.

How does a culture express its values, when it has none?

How does it find enlightenment when the acqusition of waste is its prime motivating factor?

When capatilism has run amock?

How do you make sense of time and the universe and the reason for being when you’re watching Bad Girls Club TiVo’d from three days ago?

I guess you don’t.

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