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Featured Why are so many attached to wealth?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Amanaki, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    US provides a snapshot of how post-industrial societies will look like. That's where 21st century is going to, is it not?
     
  3. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Money doesn't bring happiness.

    However, the LACK of it certainly derails the search for it.
     
  4. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    I don't know where you live, but wealth is subjective to some extent. But wealthy, do you mean anyone who is not living in a grass hut with a dirt floor and owning no personal possessions? Or someone living in a wood frame home with running water and functioning sewerage system?
    I had a friend who used to rail against the "wealthy elitists" and I would always ask at exactly what point is someone wealthy? Never got an answer. Is it when they have more than they need at the moment for their needs? Is it when they have more than they need for all potential future needs? How does one calculate the dollar amount of what that would be?
     
  5. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps you'll find the answer in Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. If you're interested, the text is >here<.
     
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  6. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I would agree with this, although you've posted numerous graphs which show vast improvements in quality of life, which would certainly make the people relatively happier and less interested in fixing anything or cleaning anything up. Those who are comfortable and well-off (although not necessarily super rich) just want to leave well enough alone and not rock any boats. They're afraid of losing what they have (or believe they can get back what they once had). So the strength of the will of the people is rather conflicted and diffuse.

    Of course, in terms of quality of life, science, technology, medicine, engineering - we are much better off now than we were in past eras. When people talk about the "good old days" or seem to believe that we're in a state of decline or that the country is going down the tubes, I think it's referring to something more abstract.

    At least when looking back over our own history, however bad things may have been in past eras, there was a general sense of optimism that things were still getting better. There was still a sense of national purpose - even through some dark days of Civil War, World Wars, the Depression. The people still managed to get through it.

    Most of us grew up with our grandparents' stories about how they had to walk to school barefoot in the snow (and uphill both ways). As humorously exaggerated as it might have been, their early struggles were a living reminder of the fact that every generation has improved and lived better than the previous generation. That's the essence of the "American Dream."

    But in more recent decades, there seems to be a general angst and malaise that we've reach a plateau, that our better days are behind us and that it can only go downhill from here. It could be argued that, as a country, we peaked in WW2 and for a couple decades that followed. America was on top of the world - and there was the overall belief that America was the greatest, most powerful country in the world. We had to be the best at everything, but lately, we've been slipping in the rankings. We're not the best at everything anymore. We're not as great as we used to be (so some people want to make America great again).

    I remember when I was a kid, when the Moon landings took place, there were such high hopes for the future, at least the long-term future (if we didn't nuke the world first). It was believed that we'd have a man on Mars by the end of the century, but that never happened. We haven't even back to the Moon since the 70s. I remember the energy crisis and a growing belief that the world was running out of oil and other vital resources we have grown heavily dependent upon.
     
  7. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Wealth for me is just the ability to put food on the table and a roof over your head and paying your bills. Add in a few luxuries like a hobby and some form of entertainment.

    Those who can be self-sufficient at a comfortable minimum are richer than anybody else in the entire world.

    I think the quest for monetary wealth is a sickness yet is hardwired into our collective instincts.
     
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  8. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Don’t think this is anything new. Been like this for thousands of years.
     
  9. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    But we can not take with us anything of the physical belongings when we die, right?
     
  10. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    It is not wrong to own many things :) but in my view it is wrong to be attached to anything we own, example if something you have get stolen/taken from you, many would become very upset and get angry, greed, frustration. it leads to suffering. but with no attachments to the objects we obtain in life, if something got taken from us, we see no need to react to it. this is what i am after. that yes we have things in this life, but non of it can be taken with us when we die. so nothing to kling to (in my opinion)
     
  11. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    maybe time to try to fix it then :)
     
  12. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    I am agree with you, it is not wrong to own objects in life, but i see it is a problem in a spiritual life to cling to objects we buy or gain. they are there for some time, then they are gone. or lost. and when we die we can not bring them with us
     
  13. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    I disagree. There are numerous things that would be directly harmful if I lost them. I am retired. My home and everything in it has been paid for with years of hard work. It is quite sensible to not wish to suddenly find myself on the street with no home and no possessions.

    But really, just look at the life span of those in poor countries versus the life span in wealthy countries.
     
    #73 Milton Platt, Apr 18, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  14. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    How do we go about measuring such things as attachment?
     
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  15. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    If you own an object, let say a fancy car, and one morning you come out to see it is gone, if you can relax and be calm and think ok the car is gone, so i need to call the police. then when the police do their job you still remain calm. you have little attachments to what has happen. But if you when you see the car is gone, get really mad and screaming and swearing toward the person who took it, it means you are attached to the object (car)
    Why get mad at something like that ? you can not take the car with you in to an other life anyway, so it is only temporarly your car. it is something that comes and goes in life.
     
  16. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    If you are a billionaire, this is nothing to get upset about, but if you honestly could not afford another car, and it is your only way to get to a job, then you're more likely to react. Are you saying the pauper is more attached than the billionaire?
     
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  17. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    It does not matter if you are rich or poor, the same count for everyone, the car was only an examle, but for someone without attachments to the car, would find an other way of getting to work, and wait for the police to find the car.
    The detachments goes also on anger, jealosy, greed, hate, like/dislike and so on.
     
  18. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I don't see it as measurable. Some people withhold their anger or grief until later. Surely you've been to a funeral and witnessed the survivors of all varieties: close relatives. colleagues, friends, etc. How can you tell which person is the most upset? (attached) Perhaps they wail a lot at the funeral, but in 3 days they're over it. Another person might seem calm at the funeral, but still be having bad dreams about the event 3 days later. So who knows?
     
  19. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    i agree we all react differently.
    Btw yes i know how it feels in a funeral when losing someone close ( i buried both my parents)
     
  20. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I go to funerals and watch people. You often learn a lot about who they really are, how much they're living in the past, and all that. Then I go home and reflect on how much of that is in myself. I've done four eulogies now, so I guess I'm one of those people who can at least stay in control at a funeral. The first was an 8 year old child who was my student, who died from asthma attack over the weekend. I learned from that how children can cope better than adults. Then I had the honour of eulogizing both parents. Mom had Alzheimer's for about 5 years before that so she was already dead. Most people had already grieved enough.

    The last was for a person I didn't know, whose Hindu godparents had asked me to speak, just to counter some of the Christian stuff at the funeral.

    At my age, I get to go to a lot of funerals. Two close friends in the Tamil community just passed in the last 2 months. Those funerals are much different than Christian funerals.

    I think believing in reincarnation helps a lot with attachment. My Guru taught that death is the time to celebrate, and birth is the time to mourn. (the Abrahamic paradigm, because of attachment, has it the other way around.) One is the temporary end of suffering, whilst the other is the beginning of another round of some degree of suffering.
     
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