Question: Whenever you say that people will willingly renounce unnecessary production, I have doubts.
Answer: They won’t renounce it. The environment should influence a person in such a way that he or she would simply stop pursuing that. Just like we are no longer interested in children’s games because we are now grownups and have other interests, the same will happen here. We will involuntarily start pursuing something that is more important to us, more fulfilling.
To the extent that I will change, I will demand more and more refined fulfillments, and that’s why I will no longer be interested in acquiring a cutting-edge car or fashionable clothes from a famous couturier. I will suddenly realize that I am forgetting about all of that, like a scientist who becomes absorbed by his or her work, passion, and feels fulfillment from being occupied by formulas or researching mice, and that’s it! It makes no difference to him or her what to eat or what to wear—that’s how a person deeply submerged in something feels.
In our time it’s trendy to demonstrate a deliberatively dismissive attitude towards fashion (“it makes no difference what to eat or how to dress”), when people of the arts and other circles want to show that all of them are a little bit above our world, so to speak.
There is a certain movement in this, a desire to show that one has other concerns, other interests, and doesn’t care about some tuxedo with a bow-tie. This entire fashion: hole-riddled jeans and so on are hints at allegedly inner aspirations towards something and a contempt for externality. The tattoos, rings, and piercings in various places, these aren’t adornments on a person but attempts to express one’s inner state through this external imagery.
It’s a transitional process when it’s important to really acknowledge the full insignificance and foolishness of these attempts.
Nevertheless, this is a good example of the environment’s influence on a person. All these are offerings to fashion. There is nothing to be done. Until it passes, either as a result of the crisis or as a consequence of an ascent, nothing is going to change.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #6, 12/14/11