Will the last person to leave the church please turn out the lights.
Consumerism is more like a religion than religions are. Its temples, real and virtual, draw millions of adherents on every day and night of the week. All the festivals are celebrated. Nobody is turned away. And via the act of acquisition, we’re happy again.
If everyone seeks to be happy—through pleasure, acquisition, travel, sex, food, religion, drugs and a myriad of other means—then why is that result so seldom achieved? Why don’t we die laughing?
If everything happens as it must, where’s the sense in saying, “This should never have happened.”? Or: “This is unacceptable!” The word heaps of politics and religion may be understood as reaction formations whereby opposing tendencies are exaggerated and vilified. Ego needs its enemies.
Let us remind ourselves that none of the virtues—love, forgiveness, generosity, courage et al—require any effort. The only thing effort can do is turn them into a religion.