Buy one, get one free or bogof

Some people look at me with a funny expression when I tell them that we create our own reality. They say that reality is there, and all we can do is live it. But at the same time they allow other people to create their reality, and they never question it.

Let me give you some examples of how retailers create a reality that we swallow hook, line and sinker every time.

I will base my examples on UK retailers, but I am quite sure these practices are not unique to the UK.

A large chain of grocery stores has a few major stores that advertise in large, neon-lighted, bold letters that they are open 24 hours a day. But arrive at any of these 24-hour stores at five minutes past ten on a Saturday evening and they are closed. And even worse, these 24-hour stores close at four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon – and the 24-hour neon sign still goes on automatically at dusk.

Has anyone ever challenged these retailers in court for false advertising or for misleading the public on a massive scale? Not that I am aware of. In fact, people that live in the neighbourhood will probably tell you about their local shop that is open 24 hours a day. They have bought into the reality created by the retailer to the extent that they think people are mad to expect the shop to actually be open 24 hours a day.

Then there is the illusion of cash-back. Some retailers have the facility to let you withdraw cash from your own bank account using your debit card when you pay for your groceries. However, they do not ask you whether you would like to withdraw cash from your own account.

They ask whether you would like cash back. For me, the underlying assumption is that you were overcharged when you bought the products, and that the cashier had a spat of conscience when you paid, and decided on the spot to give you a partial refund. And you can even decide on the size
of the refund. How generous of them.

I like to ask for a 100% cash refund, which is probably cruel, considering that the cashier was trained by the schooling system to swallow and not question. The poor child would struggle to realise that when you accept the offer of cash back, you pay (for the groceries) and you pay again (the commission that the retailer gets for facilitating the withdrawal).

And then there is my all-time favourite – two for the price of one.

Let’s make some sums here. The retailer buys a box of 100 widgets from the supplier at for example £1 each.
The manufacturing cost to the supplier was £0.50 and the supplier makes a 100% profit.

The retailer then sells each of the widgets at the bargain price (to whom?) of £2.70, and to show generosity to the public, gives a widget away free. So two widgets cost £2, and are sold as a pair for £2.70. That is a profit of £0.70 to the retailer.

Have you ever asked the retailer to sell you only one widget at half the advertised price because you know you only need one widget? Have you ever received an automatic 50% discount when you bought only one widget and declined the “free” one? Chances are the retailer allows you to buy
one widget, but at a penalty price of say £1.50 rather than £1.35 per item, because you are “not playing the game”.

And you thought you were very clever to get something “for free” from the shop after parting with your money?

My question is: if we can buy into the reality created by retailers that do not even know our names, why can we not create our own reality?

Since I have discovered this, I have learnt to create and live my own reality.

How do I do that? In the same way that retailers create their reality. I think about what I want, then visualize myself having it. I know that what you think becomes. I have also learnt that the first time you think a thought, two nerve-endings make contact in your brain – like shaking hands when you are introduced to a stranger. The second time you think a thought, the same nerve-endings make
contact, and start to form a bond. Every time you think a thought, the bond becomes stronger and more permanent, and eventually the thought becomes your reality and it materialises.

Have you noticed how you could move away from a familiar area, and many years later you return and still find your way without a map, even though the area has changed? Have you ever done something as a child like playing the piano or riding a bicycle, and then “lost” the skill? But when
you take it up again later in life, you have instant recall and can continue where you left off?

Would it not be fascinating if you could decide what you would like in your life, and then visualise it until the program is permanent in your brain, and then see it happen?

Next time you buy one and get one “free”, remind yourself of the car or house or job or holiday you would like to have, and focus again on visualising it, until it appears in your life like the “free” item.

Elsabe Smit is the author of A Tapestry of Life and of the blog , Spiritual interpretations of everyday life.

Beelzebub’s Note: Elsabe is right, of course. You can get yourself away from kegare at anytime by creating your own reality. Personally, I love her writing style: it only seems to show the dirty underbelly of truth and enlightenment, but when you look at it closely, you find that it is spotless and whole.

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