The Fantasy of Independence


An excerpt from My Buddhist Journal; A Year in the Life of a Buddhist

We like to think of ourselves as “independent,” but in reality, we are anything but independent. Getting out of bed in the morning, requires that we have a bed to get out of – and few of us have the skills or motivation to build our own beds. It requires a floor upon when to stand and the vast majority of us didn’t lay down our own hardwood floor. When we get dressed, few of us don the clothes we personally made from fabric we’ve woven on the loom from yarn that we produced ourselves from the sheep we raised on our sustainable farm. Independence is yet another delusion.

We speak of, “financial independence,” which itself is, at best, questionable. Without a global financial system to support our Canadian dollar, we only have paper promises that can be destroyed by water or fire. We are absolutely and utterly dependent upon someone else accepting our money. How, “independent,” do you feel when the debit/transac machine isn’t working at the store and you’re left standing there, in front of the cashier, dumbfounded for a moment?

Without a bank to store your money, where would you put it, the stock market? Then you are at the mercy of the stock traders and their good will – and their goodwill extends exactly as far as your margin account allows. Would it be safer in a money market fund? Maybe, but they are invested in the stock market and dependent upon the vagaries of that machine as well – and we know the investment houses have your best interests at heart. I mean you just have to look at the loving kindness they displayed around packaging bad mortgages with other bad debt and selling them as, “investment quality,” instruments, back in 2008. Only through the interventions of your elected officials did this circle-jerk of jackals not drag the whole bloody world financial system back to the middle ages.

Belief in your financial independence is, really, a bit too much to accept. Still, in the end, if you truly believe you are the Warren Buffett of your world and control your own financial destiny, you are still utterly and totally dependent on hundreds of thousands of people who are charged with enforcing the banking laws, trading practices, internet security, bank vault designers, accountants, lawyers, judges, etc, to protect your money. Your, “independence,” is really utter “interdependence.” Without the legions of, “others,” you are quite frankly, screwed. The idea of, “independence,” is delusion - a very strong delusion, but delusion non-the-less.

#buddhism #delusionalthinking #illusion #independence #interdependence

2 views