I was speaking in a previous video about the relationship between alienation and marketing. There is actually a brilliant sociologist, psychologist–a member of the hated Frankfurt group–Erich Fromm. And I really suggest you read his books. He was quite popular in the ’60s and ’70s. Then postmodernism hit…He kind of died out in terms of popularity.
But one of the things he noticed was in the 1960s people began to sell Eastern mysticism and spirituality. It became a thing. Fromm researched the difference between authentic teachings from the East–the Buddhist and Hindu teachings–and people marketing bullshit.
Commercializing Eastern Traditions: Paying for Inspiration?
The problem he spotted back in the ’60s was the influx of translations of the books coming from the Eastern tradition. I do not think he could possibly imagine the reality that we live in now.
If I go through my Facebook feed, the amount of people trying to sell me inspiration and motivation… it is absolutely unbelievable.
The amount of people out there selling to you…Give me some money, I will help you find motivation. What a very interesting thing to sell. It’s a very important thing. How do I find energy and motivation or dynamo so that I can live a good life? That’s super important. But I did not think it was something that you could sell to somebody else.
Somebody could inspire me. I could be walking down the street or in a class and have a teacher, my wife, or my kid…and there could be a moment where somebody inspires me. It could be the person working at Trader Joe’s. I am often impressed by the people working at Trader Joe’s. Like wow, you guys are really in here killing it. I find that inspiring.
But I did not think that they would turn around and say, “Hey, I can sell you some of this inspiration for a few dollars.”
And I think it is super problematic for reasons that Eric Fromm noted…there is the real deal out there.
If you buy into those people, programs, or traditions, it may engage you in such a way that you transform your life for the better. Some of the best of those, by the way, are free. Not all of them. But some of the best of them are free.
Everything is Hypnosis…Trance States…
And much of it is just crap. The problem is it can work for a second. Like a friend of mine is a psychologist and hypnotherapist. She says everything is hypnosis. All states are trance states. We are always in some kind of hypnosis.
Because everything is hypnosis, one of the ways we refer to that is the placebo effect. It means we can engage in an activity for a short period of time and actually get hypnotized into thinking that we have changed…but we have not changed at all in the core.
…Until You Have the Courage to Go Deeper
But if we look at our ancestors and the traditions that we came from, we know on some level what are the ways that allow us to fulfill our destiny as a whole, soulful human being. Discover the blessings in the world that are often overlooked.
We know those things. We even know the constellation of activities within our life and the orientation towards those activities that we should have in order to become who we should be.
I do not need an advertisement on Facebook to tell me what a meaningful life is…and neither do you.
You actually know what it is if you decided to stop and think about it for 10 minutes.
We are in a reality now where we have to wade through a lot of crap. And that is just what it is. But I guess the good news is that there is so much crap out there that when you find the real deal, you really appreciate it.
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