(A quote from ONE p. 102); other terms with a similar connotation might be "caught in the cultural rut" of by the "mind forg'd manacles" (Blake).
Oh my goodness! So sad that that happens to so many of us! Well it's just a poetic expression, but it pushed a button in my mind, so here we go:
Divide society between those who stay home and those who move. Stayers and movers! What's the diff? Let's explore that:
Start at any town in Middle America. Some stayed, others left. Why? many reasons of course; opportunity might be the biggest. Disposition a close second.
Due to the peculiar circumstances of my life (two generations of traveling preachers) I've left literally dozens of small towns scattered over the South. And wondered how it is that some stayed, others didn't.
Mine was a special case; it was "flee to the next town". There are many reasons, but I came to the conclusion that those who stayed, by and large, were "Mesmerized by everyday living". Why else would anyone stay in such a dreary place, I thought.
Another way of looking at it: the mesmerized are those for whom their cultural rut is all they can handle. Or maybe everyday living suddenly turned ugly, in trouble; the geographical cure is an option.
A case in point: my cousin lives in a little town in rural Louisiana. La Tech was the usual fount of education in that neighborhood, and there he went after high school. But it was too much for him, he told me. He went home and has scarcely left since. He's not stupid; he can show unusual intelligence, but the great outer world is not for him.
In contrast many friends are inveterate travellers. Judith, from Washington (state) and Washington D.C. had promised to visit us, but instead she flew off to London with Paul. Our Paul, after living in Winston-Salem most of his life has bought a sail boat and has plans for some extensive traveling. He's also made a couple of trips to the Northwest and thought of moving out there. He's well situated where he is, and happy, but maybe he's finally contracted his old man's itchy foot.
Are you inclined to move around? Hurrah for you. Are you rooted? It is well, but don't get caught by 'everyday living'.