Don't Settle for the Mundane Life
billboard for Science World in Vancouver, BC CARD URL:

Card #340 – Don’t Settle for the Mundane Life


The Babylon Matrix immerses you so often in the mundane — forcing you quite often to “major in the minors” — dealing with mechanically resistant tasks like malfunctioning digital devices, trying to balance and budget and pay bills, home, and car repairs, and putting out small fires at work and with relationships. The stress of becoming immersed in necessary busy work can make junk food and aimless web and channel surfing seem like rewards. You did not incarnate to be a worker drone willing to settle for inferior nourishment, but some days, urgent minor tasks and obligations overtake the time and energy needed for nonurgent activities that provide deeper meaning like creativity, self-development, and high-quality relationship time.

Don’t let the stress of the inevitable oppressiveness of mundanity feel like your personal failure — it’s an inevitable aspect of incarnating in the Babylon Matrix, and we all have to struggle with it. Keep breathing and stay calm when immersed in it, and remember, this too shall pass. Right now, even if you only have time to read this one card — you have a moment of reprieve. (SCROLL DOWN)

Some years ago, I saw a billboard ad for Starbucks in several locations in Seattle. The ad depicted the silhouette of teenagers swinging on ropes from high tree branches into a shimmering lake. (I couldn’t find that ad, but found a similar one above) The headline of the ad was just two words, “Remember summer?” And then there was a photo of what appeared to be an ice cream Sunday with whipped cream — a high-calorie latte of some kind — rising above a Starbucks to-go cup.

This ad is a classic message from the Babylon Matrix, and the key to deciphering it is to remember that ads typically work through punishment and reward They manufacture suffering and suggest a pleasure you can purchase to relieve it. The ads occurred during the summer, so why did the headline say, “Remember summer?” The intended market for the ad was hard-working commuters who weren’t having a summer. They saw the ad as they navigated rush-hour traffic to get to 9-5 jobs.

I saw the intended punishment of the question because I was actually having a summer. Although I was 47 at the time, I was traveling out of a backpack, spent most of the summer sleeping under the stars, and experienced shimmering lakes that were not on billboards. I wasn’t able to do this because I was wealthy but because I was willing to deal with the hardships of adventure and was not willing to accept a nine-to-five life. To be fair, I had no children or obligations, forcing me to live a routinized life.

The question and image on the ad were there to prick commuting workers with pain, to remind them of what they had lost, to remind them that summer and youthful adventure — if they ever had them — were now in the past tense, at best a nostalgic silhouette of idealized memory. What’s the answer to this suffering and sense of loss? A six-dollar, ice-cream-sunday-like cup of coffee to spike their blood sugar on the way to work.

Don’t allow yourself to be sold short and manipulated for rewards that lead to an early heart attack. You must deal with mundanity, but don’t let it own you. Fight for islands of quality time when you can do what counts. That’s often a struggle, but that struggle isn’t your personal failure. When you have to deal with mundanity, don’t approach it with the mediocrity it invites. Tackle it like a warrior, with focus and discipline, so you can get through it as efficiently as possible.

We see the Fellowship of the Ring during its most dramatic moments. But if we observed them moment-by-moment, we’d find that most of the time, they struggled with the mundane and mechanical resistance—gathering firewood, wearily plodding along the path while being oppressed by weather, and biting insects. And yet, even in those conditions, meaningfulness was still present because they were on their quest.

If you follow your highest intentions, you are also on a meaningful quest. The swampy resistance of the mundane you must travel through is part of the resistance that makes your life journey a meaningful accomplishment.

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