Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Capitalism and Consumerism Bad / Spirituality Good? 12 / 30


Every religion and spiritual belief system that I can think of teaches that the renunciation of “things” is a goal to be reached for.  The Buddhists built their entire spiritual belief system on the idea of renunciation – desire equals pain after all.  Those crazy Taoists believe that only through a life of abstention can we ever know peace.  The Christians and Jews got their teachings from Moses’ tablets, and one of the “Big Ten” is not to covet.  Islam says the same thing, just in far more beautiful language.  Krishna told the Hindus that they should not covet that which is not theirs.

We’ve all seen the peaceful ascetic, living alone on their mountain top, a single bowl of rice, a worn blanket and a tattered robe.  They are always smiling.  Of course, they are actors and are getting paid to play that role – unless you’ve actually climbed a mountain and found one of these hermits that is.  But there must be some truth to that, right?  Maybe?

What is it about shiny bits of plastic and metal that makes us covet?  Why do iPad commercials make me salivate like Pavlov’s dogs?  Is there something in my Y chromosome that triggers a need for new tech toys?

Why do you covet?  And what?

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