The shadow of the hallway was vast. If I wasn’t standing at the edge of the door frame, I would have never thought there was an exit. Dante, my Guide, began to walk through the vibrating darkness without hesitation. I could make out the creases of his velvet cloak one moment, and the next moment he was gone. I needed to take my time before I began this journey inwards. In to my Phone. In to my Self.
“Take your time, David,” I heard faintly from the void.
Quietly I took thirty deep breaths while silently giving thanks to my family, my True Friends, my True Teachers, my past Loves, Isabella My Heart, and my Self. My right foot crossed the threshold. Then my left. The door shut abruptly behind me. Suddenly, I was thrust into the air by nine pieces of thick-cut rope which latched onto my body with clips hooked into my skin starting at the crown of my head and extending the length of my arms-span. I was caught! Trapped! Lifted up into the air, I dangled in the darkness in so much pain and so much confusion.
“Dante! Dante, Help!” I whimpered wondering if he was still there.
“I want you to feel this, David. I want you to acknowledge that you, as you currently know your Self, are a puppet. A puppet for corporate interests, advertisers, capitalism, your government, lusts and appetites, and the entire population of the world. You cannot claim, even a little bit, that you are the Master of your own destiny,” Dante spoke plainly.
“What do I need to do to get these god-awful contraptions out of my body? How can I break free from this bondage?”
“One rope at a time of course,” he replied.
I was lowered from the air slowly until the tips of my toes were able to feel the ground. As I touched down on what felt like unforgiving cold concrete, my knees bent deeply into a crouch, my ropes allowed some slack, and I was able to stand up. When I stood up I saw, in the distance, an open door shoot forward at me from The Void.
It was then that I had entered the room of The Consumers.
“When you’re on your phone, or on the internet for that matter, I want you to become hyper aware that you are constantly being provoked to buy things with money that you don’t always have. Temperance and Moderation are not virtues that are promoted on your feed, David. You are being manipulated to spend in excess and to buy as much as you can possibly fit into your house. If you are not actively buying, the phone is programming you to feel as though you do not have enough and that there is an inherent lack within your life. You will feel this lack even though the possessions that you currently own are more than 99% of the people on this planet have in their personal possession. Do you feel this? Do you feel as though you are constantly provoked to buy MORE?”
“Yes. I do.”
The room that I was now standing in smelled like the trash can had been overflowing with old takeout food for months. There was no room to move about. There was stuff everywhere! There was barely enough room for oxygen! Amazon boxes were piled up so high that I could see the pile was packed so tightly with the ceiling.
There were three bodies crawling on the carpet. They looked like they were being held down by enormous amounts of weight. They kept trying to get up, but they were unsuccessful every time. There was nothing holding them down to the ground.
“Dante, may I ask you what keeps them held to the ground so tightly? What are these poor souls burdened with? Why can’t they just get up?”
“Debt. Crushing debt. They will never get out from under this burden.
Your task this week is to meditate on how to live in gratitude with all that you and Isabella have in your home. Recognize that happiness will not come from more stuff. It will come from your own inner peace. Meditate on this enough this week and you will lose one of your ropes.”
I was pulled through the door backwards at impossible speeds and causing excruciating amounts of pain. The hooks were wrapped around the tendons of my neck and arms. With each movement I was reminded of my slavery.
I hung, unsupported, in the dark for hours.
“How is it that I will be able to buy less?” I pondered.