The Bargain Basement
People pop into the bargain basement for all kinds of things. It’s open all hours and, for convenience sake, each person’s account is activated at birth. The bargain basement is the subconscious storehouse of experience and memory impressions gathered in time. Here you will find many great offers; best sellers include sad stories of afflictions growing up, manic depression, traumas, abusive partners and the blaming of others for making the life miserable.
At the far end of the bargain basement, the more esoteric section promotes great ideas for the family such as instant enlightenment, astral travel (with optional spirit guides for that personal touch) and not forgetting tantric bliss for the not so young at heart. The range is extensive and is continually being added to by the plethora of new age teachings and wacky therapies. But, like anything in existence, after a while the offers in the bargain basement begin to lose their appeal and the more discerning customer hankers for something more real and enduring. The products not on general display are kept in the next level down out of the spotlight of the curious. This relatively small section has none of the glitz or glamour of the isles above. Although sparse in number, these items are imbued with a timeless quality of wisdom and truth.
Some say that the bargain basement consists of both heaven and hell; which is what the proprietors say is the unique selling point of the place. Heaven and hell is what makes this emporium of human pleasure and pain so popular. The people simply can’t get enough of the contrast of experience, whatever the cost in human misery. But to reach the deeper level of existence, it’s necessary to pass through the bargain basement while remaining conscious on the way. The hidden price of the bargain basement is the addictive emotions engendered with each purchase, ranging from the highs of excitement to the depths of despair. In between is boredom – the absence of experience when, in the apparent void of any discernible activity, the man or woman is surprisingly closer to reality than at any other time.
All who venture to unite with reality must cross the threshold into a more profound realm of the psyche: the unconscious. Living consists of experience, and is the catalyst which determines the time spent on the earth in a flesh and blood body. Experience is pain; for whatever is gained will eventually conflict with another part of existence to leave grief and sorrow in its wake. And yet, every moment the experience of being alive goes on, no matter what the person thinks or does.
The solution is in the living reality itself. It’s to enjoy life, but to detach from experience as a need. It’s not necessary to look forward, for example, to a celebration or a holiday. This attaches the person to the bargain basement of the mind and keeps them on that level of expectation, the reciprocal of worry and anxiety. Everyone loves a bargain; but the greatest of all is to discard the mortal fearing entity of self for the authentic being behind the form. As the musician Pete Townshend of The Who wrote: ‘I call that a bargain – the best I ever had’.