March 8    

Today's quotation:

People have had to make up for their spiritual impoverishment by accumulating material things.  When spiritual blessings come, material blessings seem unimportant.  As long as we desire material things this is all we receive, and we remain spiritually impoverished.

Peace Pilgrim

Today's Meditation:

Why are we so caught up in materialistic desires in our societies of today?  It's really rather simple--it's mostly because many people want to profit off of our desires, so they spend tons of money convincing us that we want material goods that we don't necessarily need.  Our world of today is more inundated with advertising that is incredibly intrusive, and our materialism is worse today than it ever has been.  Instead of moving towards enlightenment and things like world peace and compassion, we're being convinced that we need more things and that we need more money to buy more things, and we're becoming less and less happy and fulfilled as we're convinced to want more and more.

So one of our goals as we live on this planet in this day and age must be to come to grips with our materialism, and to make sure that we don't allow it to consume us, to get us so caught up in having certain things that we miss out on what the world has to offer us in other ways, especially in ways that nurture our spirits.  It's important that we ask ourselves constantly whether a certain desire is a need or a wish, and whether the true cost of that new car is worth the price we'll pay when we have to work more to afford it, thus losing valuable time with our families.  We're taught to come up with ways to justify spending and justify the sacrifice of quality family and friend time, but that teaching is simply rationalization, and not necessarily truth.

The things of the earth are fleeting, while the things of the spirit are lasting.  It's important that we recognize this and give ourselves the chance to escape the chains of materialism that keep us working too hard and too long, and sacrificing things that we wouldn't think about sacrificing if we thought long and hard about the long-term effects they have on us.

Material goods aren't inherently bad or evil, but the effects of the desire for material goods can definitely hurt us and make us unhappy in our spirits, which is a very important part of ourselves that we should be nurturing, not harming.

Questions to consider:

How many of the things that we have (or long to have) can we live just fine without?

Why do we stop thinking--or never start thinking--about the effects of our desires for material goods upon our spirits?

Can we be at peace when we're constantly wanting more and more material things?

For further thought:

One of the problems we have is that we cannot just be content to admire and enjoy, we have to possess and feel we own what we see.  That can become for many of us an addiction which adds a complication to our life and takes away our peace of mind.  Craving things becomes after a while a serious distraction and an obsession.

Joseph F. Girzone

more on materialism



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