ABG ArtBookGuy
  Art For All PeopleŽ    We Talk Contemporary Art    April 2017
ENLIGHTENMENT

It’s still the question for all times.

And yet, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or how much money or alleged “power” you have, everyone seems to be stumped when it comes to the answer.

What is the point of it all?

This question came to me the other day while I was watching CNBC or maybe Bloomberg Television.  On some show, they were chatting about branding, marketing, company profits and market share.  You know, the usual stuff.

However, I could’ve also been watching ESPN or CSPAN where they analyze, scrutinize and deconstruct sports and politics to within inches of their very lives.

Watching these programs with all of these so-called, “experts” is quite enlightening.  Most of them are dressed in sharp, business suits and they’re clearly educated and professional, but what you realize is they’re co-conspirators in the unrelenting, non-ending media machine.  They’re feeding the beast that can never be satiated.  The goal isn’t to actually find answers; the goal is to keep the dialogue going.  Chat for chat sake.  You need to always have something – anything – to say.  It’s a charade.

And so, amid the chatter about seemingly everything, it seems that no one, least of all viewers, can ever get the satisfaction they’re seeking.

Can’t you just hear Mick Jagger singing … “I can’t get no … Satisfaction” right now? 

Despite the fact that I try and I try again, that single question always remains …

What is the point of it all? 

Are we here to maximize market share, make all of the money, win every game, ace every election and beat everyone else at every possible thing there is to compete against under the sun?  Is THAT why we’re here?

I spend a lot of time interviewing artists and usually at the end of the interviews, the artists will say something like, “Thanks for the interview Michael.  I work every day and I guess I’ve never really spent much time asking myself WHY I do what I do!”

Believe me, I’ve heard that more than once.  What this says to me is that EVEN artists, the most enlightened people on earth, aren’t even digging deep enough.  

Wouldn’t this be a different world if we all started our days by asking that question?  It would be the beginning of a new Age of Enlightenment rather than endless days of doing without even thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Isn’t this a subtle form of slavery?  Just asking.

If we’re not even asking ourselves this question, we’re certainly not asking others.  That would only invite ridicule and persecution, No?

Actress Laura Dern recently starred and produced an HBO show called, “Enlightened.”  Unfortunately, I believe the show was cancelled.  That’s very sad because I think the show was definitely on the right track.  The show challenged us.  Dern played this woman with a shaky past, but she had learned to become transparent in her search for enlightenment.  Needless to say, Dern’s character was persecuted as a result. By the way, Dern played the hell out of that part.

Isn’t this what WE should all be doing?  Shouldn’t we be playing the HELL out of our roles to find enlightenment?  Shouldn’t we be more transparent about it?  Who cares about ridicule and persecution?  To be white hot and glowing with enlightenment has got to be a great gig.  And here’s the thing … we would glow not to brag, but to be better at merely BEING.

Do you know what really makes us all equal?  It’s the fact that despite all of our striving, no one REALLY has the true answer.  I believe that God set things up that way so that no one could boast.  He keeps everybody in check.

Whether you believe in a higher power or redemption or even enlightenment is totally up to you.  At the end of time, there has GOT to be a point to all of this.

We all have the freedom to ask the question or to completely avoid it.  I suspect that most of us will shake it off and switch back to the easier issues of branding, marketing, company profits, who scored a touchdown, who won an election and who did what to whom on the “Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

We can run, but we can’t hide.  Enlightenment beckons.

What’s the point of it all?  Are you enlightened?

 

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