Powaqqatsi and the Myth of More
I may be ready to write more,
But do not think you can think less.
For sometimes more is less,
And less can be more.
That’s entirely the point.
Moses looked at the entire enslaving Egyptian civilization and realized, “This is wrong.”
Jesus looked at the entire social order around him and realized, “This is wrong.”
Buddha looked at the abuses of Hinduism and realized, “This is wrong.”
Lao Tzu looked at the entire stilted, formalized world around him and realized, “This is wrong.”
Martin Luther looked at the entire political and religious order around him and realized, “This is wrong.”
Galileo looked through his telescope and realized that the entire flat-earth cosmology of the day was entirely wrong.
Gandhi looked at an entire society of imperialist oppressors and realized, “This is wrong.”
Martin Luther King looked at the entire racist society around him and realized, “This is wrong.”
All wrong. Entirely wrong. Sometimes, when balance has been entirely lost, God lets a person know that everything around them is wrong, entirely wrong.
Each, and every single thing they had ever been taught, the prevailing world view of their birthing social order, was completely, utterly, and totally wrong.
They knew this in their core.
Knowledge beyond belief.
And it tortured them.
I know no greater pain.
reward? The measure of success?
Such are the rewards granted to those who would speak-out against the status-quo.
No matter how right they are.
All interests become vested.
It has never been otherwise.
And they are driven to maintain themselves. Usually at any and all costs.
The instinct for survival appertains not only to beasts and bio-organisms, but to people and businesses and governments and religions and philosophies. Indeed, to every structure known to us.
And the pathway of this fallen consciousness is to use and abuse all those around, in service of personal gain.
Po-waq-qa-tsi (from the Hopi language, powaq sorcerer + qatsi life.)
Noun: an entity, a way of life, that consumes the life forces of other beings in order to further its own life.
Make more money.
Own more things.
Do more things.
Go more places.
Buy more things, each promising more convenience, so that we can have more leisure time.
To do more of what we want.
I remember getting my teeth cleaned a few years ago. On the wall was a picture of my hygienist’s 3 year old son.
“So, you have a son?”
“Yes. He’s the light of my life. It breaks my heart I have to work.”
Later. “So what do you like to do when you are not cleaning teeth?”
“Oh, my husband and I just bought a power boat. We love to go boat racing out at the lake.”
More speed…more power…more fun…more adventure.
But at what cost?
If the cost is to abandon our children to a stranger’s daycare, so that, net of taxes, we can (after working 40 hours a week) cover the minimum payments on our toys, then…perhaps…just perhaps…the cost is too great.
But we are not allowed to think that way.
It is heresy.
There is no judgment here. That’s such a stupid word. It’s not about limited ideas of right and wrong.
It’s about goodness…peace…
Of all the hundreds and thousands of people I know, I know barely a handful who would call themselves even remotely happy, content, or at peace with their lives.
The rock group U2’s biography was called “3 Chords and the World.”
I need to re-write it, and call it “$100,000 a year and miserable.”
Tired after an exhausting work week…gas-up the car, hitch the powerboat to it…yell at the fussy kid who just wants to be at home with mommy and daddy…fight the traffic, only to have the boat break-down in the middle of the lake and need to be towed in for hundreds of dollars of repairs, as we crawl even more exhausted back into “home”, oh so well prepared for the week ahead.
“Are we having fun yet?”
2,000 years ago Jesus asked us why we spend our money on what does not nourish or satisfy.
We need to start asking ourselves the same question today.
Are we at peace with our consumer society?
Does the endless quest for more, More, MORE satisfy us, or bring us any peace of mind?
It is my experience, and what I have observed from all those I know, that the answer is “No.”
The Myth of More infuses each and every tiny part of our society.
In countless ways.
Most of them we do not even notice.
That is intentional, because systems are most effective when they persuade us on levels of which we are not aware.
When you see someone yawn, you feel like yawning.
When you hear someone laugh, you feel like laughing.
Early on the TV industry realized this, and started adding in laughter. In study after study, the viewing audience always, Always, ALWAYS perceives the laugh-track-enabled show to be funnier than the regular one.
MSG for a sitcom.
An entire society dedicated to pushing MSG for the soul?
When you see someone lying, what do you feel like doing? Lie? Of course not.
When you see an attractive model drooling over a car, what do you feel like doing? Buy that car? Of course not.
When you have watched 30,000 acts of violence on TV before you are 12, what do you feel like doing? Commit violence? Of course not.
Please do not continue to lie to yourself that these things do not matter.
The advertisers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ability to control one half minute of the medium.
Yet continue to insist that watching 8 hours a day cannot possibly have any effect on the individual, and certainly nothing on the society at large.
The Myth of More.
A family of 4 eats at a fast food restaurant. 4 “happy” meals at $4 apiece. $16 total.
For the same money a very, VERY nice meal could be prepared at home.
But that takes too much time.
We need more time.
So we drive-through.
Take our “happy” meals home to eat in front of the TV.
Eating and watching TV at the same time, with almost no time spent on fixing anything…what a great BARGAIN!….more, More, MORE.
Blind people experience a great heightening of their other senses.
When you turn the TV off, light a candle…and dine…preferably on a hand-made meal…everything tastes better, and is better.
Sometimes we can even talk to one another.
You see, the Myth of More is a lie.
It is not true.
Salt may be good, but too much is bad.
Protein may be good, but too much is bad.
Fat is good, but too much is bad.
“Too much is never enough” is the battle cry of the modern, post-industrial generation.
It is a lie.
Balance forever remains the bastard stepchild… "Can’t get no respect at all."
A new Mega-18 movie theater complex opened a couple of years ago in my area.
More movies, More, selection, MORE!
People were attracted to the New Palace of More.
Stopped going to the other theaters.
To date, within 5 miles of the Mega-18, 3 older theaters have closed. No MORE business.
They had, between them, 22 screens.
The Myth of More resulted in a negative 4.
And, by the way, the Mega-18 (with its newfound monopoly) has nearly doubled its prices in 2 years.
But it sure costs more.
The Myth of More always leads to a net loss.
A thousand, million, billion times multiplied.
In meat-saturated America, soy is not important.
But world-wide, it provides the majority of protein for the earth’s humans.
One company, Monsanto, presently controls ½ of all world-wide soy bean production.
Their published, official business plan calls for more, More, MORE.
They seek to control 100% of all soy production, globe-wide.
One government-protected, multi-national corporation that measures its success solely on the basis of profit, controlling the majority source of protein for the human race.
Do you know this is happening?
Are you really sure this is right?
Even if you are OK with it...what about your children...or grandchildren?
Is “more” really “more,” or have we somehow gone wrong?
As of the time of this writing, June of 2001, the present value of all stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange is $18,000,000,000,000. That’s 18 trillion dollars. That’s 18 million million dollars.
Most cable and satellite TV providers these days have 20 or more channels that report daily the rise & fall of the value and profits of these corporations.
But only on the rarest occasion do we hear of the human beings who are crushed or destroyed by this incomprehensible force.
reward? The measure of success?
Profit. Market capitalization. Price to earnings ratio. Stock price. Annualized growth.
A system dedicated and evaluated solely on the basis of profit-margin and growth cannot afford to consider anything else.
It must consume anything and everything in its way.
We call it business.
But such business can only be sustained by a populace addicted to the Opiate of More.
Who must remain addicted.
Who’s lives must continue to be subsumed into the “greater whole.”
The average American (I cannot speak with authority about other nations) is bombarded with 1,500 advertisements each and every single day.
Sustained by endless sales people and companies and an entire social order that must sell you what it needs you to buy, regardless of whether you will benefit from it.
The consumers lose their soul as they become drug pushers, dedicating themselves to selling or promoting a product or service they have no personal interest in. And often, disgust.
God’s innermost Name is “I Will Be”… I + Will = Being.
Therefore…since all humans are made in God’s image, and therefore all share this sacred truth…quite simply…Powaqqatsi = Evil.
I remember a friend…we’ve lost touch over the years…Every time I went to his house, he was living the Life of More:
The TV was on…sometimes with the sound on, sometimes elsewise.
The stereo was also on.
Often, in addition, the radio.
He was eating in front of this cacophony.
And conversing with “friends.”
He had, quite simply, no life at all.
We use money we do not have…called “credit”…to buy CDs and DVDs and movies and entertainment and fashion and hair conditioners and…and…and…
So that we might have more, More, MORE.
“Debt is at an all-time high. The average American spends 14% of all take-home pay just to cover the interest on non-home mortgage debt.” KFI radio 640 AM, 8:30 pm news broadcast, 6/19/2001.
The controlling agents position themselves as benign providers.
Please, if nothing else, understand that they care nothing about you except that you continue to consume.
And that means, ultimately, they have consumed you.
And that, with the support of the government and so-called church, you have begged for this abuse.
And think you like it.
I must emphasize. For I know I do not always communicate clearly.
This is not a judgment. It’s not that you, or I, or any other consumers, have done anything “wrong” by being seduced by the Powaqqatsi of the Myth of More.
Nor, as such, have those who have helped propagate this Myth and abuse.
It is ignorance…sadness…emptiness.
The universe was created for joy. Despite all evidence to the contrary.
All of the great prophets have found God in the comfort and challenge of solitary confinement.
The desert, the monastery, the pilgrimage, the mountain, the cave.
The life of simplicity.
“Music is a way to disturb the Silence. And Silence is the Voice of God.” Robert Fripp, King Crimson.
Balance is health.
More is, indeed, less.
The only antidote to Powaqqatsi is the Death of Self, as Jesus taught us.
Less is, indeed, more.
Only Nothingness is Infinite.
If you seek to save your life, you will lose it.
But lose your life, and you will gain it eternally.
This is all I have learned.
--Ahyh, June 19, 2001, Valley Center, California.
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