Sunday, March 12, 2006
A distaste for "Mega"
Today my husband and I went to the Virgin Megastore in Orlando to find a Grateful Dead CD he wanted. Smack dab in the middle of Downtown Disney, across the street from the House of Blues and Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe (whose motto is "Live, Love, Eat"). The store was, as its name suggested, mega--two stories, with a footprint about the size of a football field, with a jillion CDs, DVDs, video games, T-shirts and other claptrap, plus an overpriced cafe.
I found the whole thing kind of revolting. The over-the-top commercialism and insipidness of the whole thing made me feel kind of uncomfortable. As I walked through the aisles, I felt like I was running the gauntlet, trying to avoid being sucked in by the marketing extravaganza that was beckoning shoppers to splurge (who doesn't need a pair of cotton terrycloth Andy Worhol wristbands?). Ultimately, the environment itself was so distasteful to me that any temptation I had to pick up one of those 1970's-esque "Italia" track jackets pretty much evaporated as soon as it arose.
We bought our Grateful Dead CD (Fillmore West 1969) and promptly went home.
I was so glad.
I realized today that I have started to lose much of the craving and attachment that has been socialized into me for thirty some-odd years. When I think I have to have (or buy) something, I pause and think about why I feel that way. Now, nine times out of ten, I realize that whatever it is I want, having it won't make me feel any happier. And that one time that I do decide to get that thing I want, it is because it is something I need--really need--to accomplish some end, not to satisfy a want.
The Buddhas are right. Non-attachment is freedom.