Lagniappe

a little something extra

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sabbath 19

Muller titles this chapter "Selling Unhappiness," and uses it to point out how the contemporary Western market economy is predicated on the implication that the potential buyer is unhappy, but will become happy if he or she buys this product.

If the potential buyer is already happy, the would-be seller is outta luck. This ties back to Muller's point that working harder to have more money to buy more stuff will not make us happier. It will just make us more tired.

He takes the point one step further with this paragraph:

"It is imperative that we recognize that our particular model of civilization is actually designed to produce suffering. If we simply work harder and longer and more efficiently to make it work better -- without stopping to see what we have built -- we will simply produce suffering more efficiently." [emphasis is Muller's]

Well, whoa. I don't want to produce suffering more efficiently. Do you?

Muller goes on to point out how many people in marketing venues (catalogues, advertisements, etc.) are portrayed in postures of leisure that reflect what Muller's vision of Sabbath contains. So in Muller's opinion, the answer is not to buy. The answer is to stop and rest, content with what you've got.

The practice Muller recommends at the end of this chapter was given the charming name "slotha yoga" by a friend of Muller's. It is the simple but luxurious act of not hopping out of bed when one wakes up. Stay in bed a while, enjoying whatever's going through your mind, or whatever may be going on in your outside world.

I certainly believe in "slotha yoga," but I don't practice it very often. During the week, my alarm goes off at 6:00 and I must be up and moving if I'm going to get to the gym before work. On the weekends, it's actually easier on me to keep the alarm set at 6:00, rather than constantly requiring my unwilling body to readjust to the 6:00 wake-up on Monday. On the days when I'm not gym-bound, I enjoy not having to rush to get out of my apartment on time; perhaps that's a modified version of slotha.

I confess, though, it tickles me that Muller advocates for staying in bed on the Sabbath. How many people do you think he's making late for the religious services of their choice, which tend to be scheduled in the morning on the Sabbath?

Cristopher's post; Tripp's post

6 Comments:

At 8:53 AM , Blogger kgmoreno said...

Kim is a slotha yoga adept of the highest level. She'll get up in the morning to attend the a.m. religious service of her choice, but few things will deter her from her weekly post-brunch nap.

 
At 9:16 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

Such a wise woman you married. :-)

 
At 3:07 PM , Blogger Cristopher said...

finally got my sabbath 19 post up. I haven't forgotten about your question about child raising-- it'll have to go in an addendum.

With Holy Week coming up, what would you say to taking a couple of weeks off? Alternatively, you forge ahead and Tripp and I will catch up with you. (also posting this over at navel gazers r us)

 
At 5:04 PM , Blogger meeegan said...

I'll be happy to slide through Easter and pick up on the other side. I'm opening a show on Good Friday, so the timing is lovely all around. :-)

 
At 4:47 AM , Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

Good to know. Excellent.

 
At 7:16 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

Why don't you guys settle on a date when it makes sense for you to return to this practice? I'd like to know when to pick up again.

 

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