Big Business has become our spiritual guru guiding us toward those values that it finds useful to its own purposes! “Have it your way!” (Burger King); “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” (Pantene Shampoo); “Because I’m worth it!” (L’Oreal); “Next to myself… I like BVD best” (BVD Underwear). As evidenced by these well-known commercial slogans the greatest and most effective pitches found in the business world are those appealing to our narcissism. The danger in this approach is that our self-centeredness is then seen as a good thing and thereby reinforced.
The downside of self-centeredness is that we can never satisfy our yearning for more of ourselves! There is more spiritual danger in commercial slogans than many of us realize because we are surrounded and inundated by them non-stop! There comes a time in a person’s spiritual life when it is essential to “unplug” from outside input and to do so on a regular basis. Many of us don’t even know what we think about things because we don’t withdraw from what the business world tells us we should think! Their purpose is after all to get us to buy their products!
We needn’t take a week’s vacation to go away on a spiritual retreat although that does have its occasional benefit! By developing the personal discipline of unplugging once a day we enable our pulse to slow down, our lungs to fill with deep inhalation and our mind to expand with spiritual awareness! Many religious traditions speak of varied methods for fueling this awareness but the first step is to unplug and focus inward. This focusing is ironically not based on being self-centered but on becoming spiritually self-aware! The only way that the welfare of humanity will grow is if we each grow in spiritual awareness! This is hard to do when we are subliminally and completely submerged in a cultural environment of commercialism. Go ahead: Unplug! Plug inward! Expand outward!