Living Simply Leads to Action Based on Personal Responsibility - the Opposite of Materialistic Desire

This morning's emails included an inspirational essay by Ben Croser titled 'This has got to be the Nadir of Materialism'. It was sent by an old friend and Mud Report reader named Jeff. He and i have been exchanging emails often lately about the consumerism and materialism and their deleterious effects on the world. The heart felt anti-materialism essay posted on Guy McPherson's website 'Nature Bats Last' included the paragraph below which wonderfully sums up those emails:

"Materialism dominates our world view, our cosmological view, if not every individual, then a vast majority, and all the nodes of institutional legitimacy and power to such a degree, Materialism dominates such that we accept the most horrendous abuses to ourselves, or the greater underclasses within cultures, and our planet, all in the name of supplying an ugly over-abundance and sheer terror of waste, resulting in a cascade of pollution, species and ecosystem loss, and the extreme dehumanisation, and dishonour of Homo sapiens."

As i said to Jeff in my reply, i used to go to Guy McPherson's site often and i agree with him that economic collapse as the only realistic way out of the self-imposed blinders of materialism that have led us to consume the very essence of what makes this a wonder-filled life. Many of us realize the odds of humans rejecting this material madness through awareness are very slim, but, IMO they aren't zero.

In the essay Croser quotes Chris Hedges saying that "the modern Adam Smith dictum that at the core of our being is self interest". IMO, in not defining how the materialistic paradigm hides our real self interest Smith and Hedges are mistaken. For us to find our way out of this madness we must re-realize what our self interest really is. We must each realize that consumerism and materialism lead only to wanting and desiring more.

Over 2,500 years ago a young man named Siddhārtha Gautama Shakyamuni, or simply 'the enlightened one' realized, after much inner reflection, that all suffering is rooted in this unquenchable desire. Siddhārtha, now called the Buddha, realized that living simply is the way to happiness and fulfillment, that materialism and desire are the way to suffering.

Gautama was a simple human just like you and i who found the way and in so doing showed us that we can too. The Buddha taught us that we can find the way to peace and happiness. That Nirvana, is everywhere and that living simply is the road to it. Living simply leads to action based on personal responsibility which is the opposite of materialism IMO. Breath deeply, tend your garden, marvel in the wonder-filled world, be happy and peaceful.