For those equipped with it, sight is foremost among all the senses and as such plays a profound part in the theatrical play of social life. Appearance, especially including all manner of artificial and augmented alterations, is an investment strategy, a statement about oneself, an outward philosophy, a ladder to higher social echelons, a protective guardian, a vessel to a higher spiritual plane, an irresistible force of attraction, and a deception technique.
In many ways it is a weapon, however, one could ask whether it is the wielder who is wielding it, or whether it is the weapon that is wielding the wielder. Does the woman following the latest beauty standards use them to further her own personal philosophy of life, or are the beauty standards using the woman to further the agenda of those invested in them, to the woman’s detriment?
Does the bodybuilder with his perfected-beyond-reasonable physique overcome his hitherto assumed insufficiency, or is his outward caricatured masculinity masking the insecurities hidden deep inside?
Does the veiled woman shield herself from the exploitation, intrusions and temptations hindering her from obtaining a deeper connection with God, or is the veil actually unveiling her perhaps unconscious inclination to conform to the standards of those whose approval she thinks she needs?
We all play our parts, but do we do so out of free will, or are we simply subjected to the totalitarian rule of expectations and delusional ideas? The characteristic most notably defining humanity is the ability to choose freely between what is right and what is wrong, and yet most of us are not aware of that ability and choose to submit ourselves to what seems to be a free choice, yet what in fact it is nothing but an act of voluntary submission to psychological slavery.
Only through a nonjudgmental, mindful awareness and embrace of what reveals itself in life and in the mind, will emerge the elusive treasure of true free will. Only then can it be said that our altered appearance is our own free choice.
© 2020 Marcel van Delft