Slowly but surely for so many times now, I’m realizing the truth of something warned by the books I read: We have become a culture that puts priority on feelings. Truth is secondary. People are secondary. Virtues are secondary. What is all-important is feelings. Feelings generate money.
I remember a marketing guru, who asked, “Do you want to sell a product? Then, be ready to create demand.” It’s not necessary if the demand is real. At least it must be perceived. Whether true or not is secondary. “And then what really would sell it is the feeling of exclusivity, of the superiority of owning it….THAT would sell the product.”
This may be an effect of entertainment. Yesterday, I saw a program in TV detailing the life of a matinee idol who was riding a Jaguar attending to his restaurant businesses. He came from a poor family. It’s a blessing to see a rags-to-riches story. But I wonder how many rags can accomplish a story like his? And then when you think deeper, his business success was fueled by his role as an actor. Entertainment! The money maker of today. What buys a Jaguar? Businesses that pay commercial spots on soap operas, sports, films, and TV programs that stimulate our feelings.
I remember reading a book by Neil Postman long time ago titled, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Which is very sobering because, we all know it: when we are dumb, our refuge are our feelings.
We have become narcissists; loving all that is inside of us. Feelings, thoughts, image. Mostly, feelings. That is why Facebook is successful. That is why I have my facebook page. I too, am in love with myself. In all my years of reading, I have come to the conclusion that the enemy of man is himself. That deep within us is a drive to destroy ourselves. To kick the goads. Never mind if it wounds me, as long as it feels good. In the medical circles, we call that masochism. Everybody does it. Sometimes though, the good news is, some people wake up from it. But as far as me observing the world, all of us are in a stupor. We revert into it most often. We are, most of the time professional sleepwalkers.
Sometimes even, I’ve been asked to speak about Christ and Christianity, there is still residual rebellion to the idea that my life is not really mine. I mean, just from stating the idea alone: My life is not mine, is like an oxymoron. But you know, when you believe there is a God, you have to accept that He created you and being a created being, the Creator must have a purpose. And this hurts: Sometimes His purpose is not what you really want.
Most of our society’s impulse is to believe we are made to enjoy the world. That is in a way true. The first article in the Westminster Confession ask: What is the chief end of man? And it answers: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. One way to enjoy God is to enjoy His creation – enjoy nature, enjoy the company of creation, enjoy the taste of food and enjoy the opposite sex as a partner. And then with a thankfulness, we eventually love the Lord all the more. What happened is that we stopped at the point of enjoying creation and its produce. God is left in a cathedral waiting for us every Sunday. We even have corrupted our enjoyments. We have become excessive. And as if that is not enough, we have come to the point of perverting even how nature should be appreciated by us. (It has come to the point even that saying two males should never cross their swords in bed is considered politically incorrect.)
And this is all because we don’t want to have our enjoyments meddled by a God with whom we should be accountable. We just want the ride, man. Forget about buying the ticket. We don’t want a God who wants to be King. We don’t want a God who will say, What I want should happen, not yours turkey. We want a God who respects us. Who gives us want we want. We don’t exactly want a Santa Claus, we want a Butler Santa Claus. One who would make us feel good, not do good. To do His bidding, and not the other way around.
And all of us would prefer dozing off. Entertainment pumps our adrenalin but it soporifizes (to put to sleep, ooohh I love highlighting my first use of it) thinking.
Oh, I better stop. This doesn’t feel good at all.