In the supermarket of modern life all the elements of ourselves exist outside of ourselves – as we purchase them we purchase ourselves! These elements are enticingly packaged and attractively displayed wherever we go. The whole world is a supermarket and we are the happy shoppers! All these attractively packaged products just waiting on the shelves for us to acquire them, and in acquiring them we’re acquiring ourselves!
We’re shopping away in the supermarket and we’re shopping for ourselves! We’re shopping for this product and that product. For this package and that package. For this design concept and that design concept. There’s so much choice – where to begin? Wonderful products everywhere. Glossy adverts everywhere – photo-shopped images wherever we look. It’s all out there – in the most tantalizing way possible…
We don’t generally say that we’re shopping for ourselves, but we are. What else would we be shopping for, other than ourselves? What else do we think all this is about – all this stuff, all these endless products, all these endless images? What do we imagine we’re buying, if not ourselves? Did we even think about it at all? Do we even care what it’s all about? What exactly is going on in or heads as we endlessly peruse the aisles, throwing this product and that product into our trolleys? What exactly are we at?
We all know the answer to this one. There’s nothing going on. That’s where we’re at. There’s nothing at all going on in our heads as we shop. Sweet, sweet nothing. Nada, nada, nada. The big Nada. The big Zilch. That’s kind of the point. That’s pretty much why we’re doing it. That’s pretty much why it feels so good. There’s nothing going on in our heads other than that wonderfully delicious, wonderfully tantalizing feeling we get as we contemplate buying whatever product it is that takes our fancy this time! We’re not really shopping for stuff, we’re shopping for rushes and it’s all one little rush after another.
Every time we make a purchase we get to enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of oblivion and nothing tastes sweeter than this. We’re buying ourselves in the Global Mega-Mart and at the same time we’re buying oblivion. To buy into ‘who we’re not’ is oblivion for ‘who we are’ and so what we’re really doing here is purchasing oblivion. We’re shopping for that wonderful all-encompassing numbness. That very special numbness that we like so much. We’re finding our own special style in numbness – we’re developing our own personalized style of oblivion. It’s the style of oblivion that says so much about you!
We are tirelessly dedicated to constructing the false identity, the false personality. We are utterly engrossed in the task. We are fully absorbed in it. We are totally obsessed by it. We’re fully fledged addicts one and all. We couldn’t give it up if we wanted to! We’re addicted to purchasing who we’re not. We’re addicted to the sweet, sweet taste of oblivion. That’s why we don’t like the more ‘obvious’ type of addicts – alcoholics, heroin addicts, and so on. That’s why we look down on them so much. We look down on them because they remind us of ourselves. Because they remind us of what we really are…
We’re tirelessly dedicated to the task. We’re always at it. We never leave it alone. We never take a break. Perfecting it and perfecting it. Developing it and developing it. Working away at it and working away at it. Beavering away at constructing the false identity, the false personality. And all identities are the false identity, all personalities are the false personality!
We’re all totally engrossed in the super-addictive task of putting together ‘who we’re not’ and then losing ourselves in it. Burying ourselves in it. It’s the best thing ever. It’s our number one thing. It’s our only thing. We’re totally engrossed in constructing the false identity but at the same time we’re not engrossed at all! We’re not engrossed at all because we’re not really there! We’re not really doing anything because there’s nobody home to do it!
‘Who we’re not’ is fully engaged, fully engrossed in the addictive task constructing the false identity. ‘Who we’re not’ is fully engaged in the oh-so-addictive task of constructing itself, maintaining itself, perfecting itself….
And yet ‘who we’re not’ doesn’t exist in the first place. Very obviously it doesn’t – which is why ‘who we’re not’ gets so touchy, so prickly, so intractably moody about any little slight that it might receive. Anything that might ruffle its feathers. That is why ‘who we’re not’ is forever seeing insults everywhere. That is why it has absolutely no sense of humour…
We’re busy shopping for ourselves in the supermarket of modern life and yet it isn’t really ourselves that we are shopping for at all, any more than it is ourselves who are engaged in doing the shopping. So how bizarre is this?
Author: Nick Williams
Nick Williams works and writes in the field of mental health and is particularly interested in non-equilibrium states of consciousness, which are states of mind that cannot be validated by standardized experiments or by reference to any formal theoretical perspective.