Creating a problem, selling the solution

It is one of the oldest tricks in the book: Create a problem, then sell the solution.

Or more often, create the appearance of a problem.

Christianity creates the problem of sin, and offer the solution of salvation.

Buddhism creates the problem of delusion, and offer the solution of awakening. (Of course, you can also say that the suffering is real, and awakening is one solution – but it is not by any means the only practical solution.)

The fashion and body industry creates an impossible ideal, and offers makeup, jewelry, clothes and dieting and exercise programs as the solution.

And in general, our consumer culture creates the problem of perpetual lack, and the solutions of an endless stream of new products – whether they are experiences, programs, or things.

As usual, the more interesting question is: How do I do the same in my own life?

Whenever I take a story as true, there is the appearance of a problem, and a rush to solve that problem.

I believe a story, and act as if it is true. I believe I need love from others, so act to seek that love from others. I believe I need status, so seek status. I believe I need more money, so act to get more money.

With the belief, there is a sense of compulsion around it. I interpret, feel, think, chose and act as if it is true. And it seems that it all comes from fear, or rather from fear and then acting to reduce that fear.

When the belief softens or falls away, through finding what is more honest for me, I find there is more clarity, wisdom and kindness. I may act differently, or I may still act in a similar way but from a quite different place.

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