I’ve been recently contemplating the superficial nature of our current western civilization. Without needing myself to dive into depth and detail, it is pretty self-evident that western civilization has become more superficial over the centuries. But why? What caused the, if not; inevitable death of genuinity, and the ever glorification of superficiality. Why do we as humans seek after the image, the thought, the mirage. It seems to me that our life has become filtered down to, what is the next big and awesome thing I can purchase, or what awesome adventure can I experience next, what feeling I need next to fill me with “happiness”. It’s sad to say, but our superficial nature as even penetrated that which we see is genuine. For example, think of what the “perfect” image of a family is; you’ll picture a handsome husband and a beautiful wife, who are always smiling and gazing in each others eyes, and all the kids are beautiful and in perfect health. With this initial image in your head, you begin to add more; an upgraded image if you will (Kind of like an upgrade on a car). This new image upgrade would add details to the story forming in your head like, both the husband and wife would be making good money, they would have a beautiful home, the kids would be extremely smart and grow up to be doctors, and so on and on; The image yet dives deeper into: “the husband and wife will have an intense emotion of love towards each other”. All these things sound pleasing to the ear, and in fact many of us would claim that, if they were to have all of that, that they would be happy. This image of this perfect family seems to be an image of perfection. It is a perfect image which we try to achieve. Now I’m not saying that everyone is just looking to get married and have kids. Some people have a desire to become famous, or wealthy, or athletic or no desire at all. In all these situations, there is an image of perfection in our minds that is constantly posted in front of us. This is the reason you wake up every morning and fulfill the same mundane duties of daily life, in hopes of achieving this perfect image.
It Appears that we lust after the image of a certain worldly desire, that the image is more appealing than the substance itself, and in turn this lust of image gives us a false sense of purpose. The purpose being: to obtain this-worldly desire, and in doing so will make us happy. Of course this false realization and thought will only bring on despair, or worse; a dependence on the “worldly happiness”, which western civilization stresses us to achieve. When we become depended on this world and what it has to offer, and in those split seconds where we are forced to stop suckling on the poison of her bosom, we begin to feel the crushing weight of emptiness, darkness and ineffable despair. Truly hell on earth.
We can therefore conclude that the root of superficiality is the innate desire for happiness. But at what extent did happiness become about that which is superficial? And how far will mankind go to achieve his happiness.
Alas, I have come to an end to my thought. I would have more to say regarding this topic, but in another section. Please comment your thoughts and let me know what you think.
A Genuine Thanks
The Solitary Scribe