I never hear anyone say this now, but people used to say, “Beauty is only skin deep.” If it was said about your friend, it was probably sour grapes—the tendency to disparage someone or something because you can’t have it. But sometimes the observation was insightful, a commentary about the big difference between the superficial and the substantive.
Still, we actually conduct most of our lives on the surface. Like other animals, we learn in the main by imitation, mimicry and conformity. We’re pressured to adapt to the rules and cope with the challenges in our environment. Riding the rails of our genetic and culturally conditioned determinism, we get jobs, start a family, buy a dog, take vacations and play with our digital devices.