Mod+ 274. DR. BERNARDO KASTRUP, WHY OUR CULTURE IS MATERIALISTIC

I agree, If everyone became spiritual, the economy would collapse. It explains a lot.

There must be a better economic system than what we have now ... maybe the missing ingredient is not an economic theory but a spiritual populace?
 
I just addressed that point extensively and you had precisely nothing of substance to offer in response to it. I mentioned my own behavior as an example because I was confronted with the criticism that no ontology-motivated changes of behavior could change present social realities. I used myself as the example because I think I am somewhat authoritative when it comes to my own behavior and its underlying motivations, not because I consider myself special or fundamentally different than anyone else. Anyone can help bring about change by adjusting one's behavior and patterns of consumption, that being precisely my message. The arrogance you may see in me is at best a projection. I also mentioned specifics, like my phone, because you challenged me to do so, not because I was eager to volunteer this information, as you suggest. I understand it is unpleasant to be out-argued, but your anger is misplaced. Thanks for the exchange thus far, but I am not interested in pursuing it further because I see no more value to be had from it. Neither am I interested in making you overcome your obvious dislike of me.
You don't consider your behaviour special or different..? Yet we have to somehow square this with your belief that if we all made the same choices you have, the world would be a very different place. Obviously something is wrong with this picture... Lol...

Anyway, I have made my point... So there is little point in persuing it further, as you'll only keep trying to justify your earlier statement in the most bizarre ways.
 
Well, we have one group of people working 70 hours a week in order to buy goods that they don't need. Another group is working 70 hours a week to produce them.

There must be a way of cutting back, not to zero production/zero consumption, but to some sort of balance.
Well let's hear it? Clearly Bernardo having the good luck of keeping his Nokia going for 8 years is not going to change the world...

Perhaps Bernardo should downsize... to say an arbitrary 100 square meters of living space... and sell his house for what he bought it for, and give his savings away.. I don't think so... Lol...
 
There is a family owned chain of grocery stores in the area where I live. Last summer they were in the news because the employees went on strike. They went on strike not for higher wages or benefits, but because they wanted to force out a cousin of the family who had taken over control of the company. The previous CEO, a different cousin, had run the company to provide the lowest prices for customers in the area, and the highest wages grocery store workers too. He did this by putting stores in areas where the rents were a little lower and they didn't redecorate as often as the competition. I shop there even though it is the farthest of the three stores near where I live. I bought a bicycle so I could continue to shop there after I got rid of my car. The prices are lowest, and I found out during the strike when I had to shop elsewhere that they have the best trained and most helpful, most polite staff. The new CEO wanted to change things and the first thing he did was to distribute a large one-time dividend to stock holders (family members). The employees were eventually successful and the previous cousin, CEO, was reinstated. I think what this shows is that the owners of companies can have a choice for what their goals are. One goal is to extract as much money as you can from the corporation and from customers, and as much labor as you can from employees, another goal is to create a business to provide a service to customers, jobs for workers, and a sufficient profit for yourself. If more people were more spiritual, maybe more corporations would operate on the latter principle. I don't know what the philosophical basis for running the grocery chain that way was, but I do know what it wasn't. It wasn't Darwinism.
 
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There is a family owned chain of grocery stores in the area where I live. Last summer they were in the news because the employees went on strike. They went on strike not for higher wages or benefits, but because they wanted to force out a cousin of the family who had taken over control of the company. The previous CEO, a different cousin, had run the company to provide the lowest prices for customers in the area, and the highest wages grocery store workers too. He did this by putting stores in areas where the rents were a little lower and they didn't redecorate as often as the competition. I shop there even though it is the farthest of the three stores near where I live. I bought a bicycle so I could continue to shop there after I got rid of my car. The prices are lowest, and I found out during the strike when I had to shop elsewhere that they have the best trained and most helpful, most polite staff. The new CEO wanted to change things and the first thing he did was to distribute a large one-time dividend to stock holders (family members). The employees were eventually successful and the previous cousin, CEO, was reinstated. I think what this shows is that the owners of companies can have a choice for what their goals are. One goal is to extract as much money as you can from the corporation and from customers, and as much labor as you can from employees, another goal is to create a business to provide a service to customers, jobs for workers, and a sufficient profit for yourself. If more people were more spiritual, maybe more corporations would operate on the latter principle.

There is a quote that has always stayed with me, it goes like this.

The Truth is we are caught up in a great economical system which is heartless. - Woodrow.T.Wilson


The problem is not the economics, it's the heartless part.
 
There is a quote that has always stayed with me, it goes like this.

The Truth is we are caught up in a great economical system which is heartless. - Woodrow.T.Wilson


The problem is not the economics, it's the heartless part.
Maybe - and I don't meant to make a glib or smug-sounding statement, maybe it's up to each of us to put the heart back in.
 
Well, when you have a culture that validates as intellectually sound the view that matter is all that lasts and, as such, all that really matters, it can't be helpful. When you have a culture that says nothing will be of any significance for you in maximum 100 years, that can't be helpful. When you have a culture that says your life, if looked at frankly and honestly, has no ultimate meaning, that can't be helpful. When you have a culture that says living beings are just moist robots, that can't be helpful.
I don't disagree with you.
 
Maybe - and I don't meant to make a glib or smug-sounding statement, maybe it's up to each of us to put the heart back in.
It's like many societies have entered a new feudal age part II. The worst part about the rampant greed and selfishness is those who have the power and the money, are literally destroying our planetary ecosystem as they worship the almighty dollar. What I found ironic here: is all religions have had their proclamations of doomsday - from Christianity to Hinduism. Yet here we are today, the new religion of nihilistic materialism - and we have yet another predicted doomsday event: climate change. Except this one is actually for real if we continue to rape and plunder the planet at will.

My Best,
Bertha
 
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I dunno. How many cultures really buy into acquisitive or philosophical materialism? Sure, in affluent societies, people buy and waste more than they need, but do they do that because materialism is a dominant paradigm? Or because within any cultural or religious system, there is the tendency to be focussed on immediate desires? Is it more a question of moral inertia to be overcome than the conscious logic of materialism?
good point.
 
Well, we have one group of people working 70 hours a week in order to buy goods that they don't need. Another group is working 70 hours a week to produce them.

There must be a way of cutting back, not to zero production/zero consumption, but to some sort of balance.
E.F. Schumacher. A delightful short video.

 
It's like many societies have entered a new feudal age part II. The worst part about the rampant greed and selfishness is those who have the power and the money, are literally destroying our planetary ecosystem as they worship the almighty dollar. What I found ironic here: is all religions have had their proclamations of doomsday - from Christianity to Hinduism. Yet here we are today, the new religion of nihilistic materialism - and we have yet another doomsday event: climate change. Except this one is actually for real if we continue to rape and plunder the planet at will.

My Best,
Bertha
The Vedic idea that we pass through Yugas or time phases is very appealing to me, and I feel I would do it an injustice with a brief explanation, but the gist of it is, creation moves from order to disorder throughout four Yugas, Where the first created civilisations were almost perfect and highly spiritual, And society was very civilised, people recieved special attention to reach their potentials and a government official had to be learned in the science of spiritual self realisation to attain a position, there was very little crime and people live in harmony. then moving through the Yugas, of which there are four, we reach Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel and confusion, where people reject religious principles and the society becomes very materialistic and atheistic. It is supposed to reach a point where people who practice religious principles becomes zero. And that's when there will be complete annihilation and then creation all over again.

Well that's how the story goes, and the Bible tells a similar story about society degenerating at the end of days. and if that is the case, and what's written is written, then maybe any effort to change anything for the better, is in vain.
 
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The Vedic idea that we pass through Yugas or time phases is very appealing to me, and I feel I would do it an injustice with a brief explanation, but the gist of it is, creation moves from order to disorder throughout four Yugas, Where the first created civilisations were almost perfect and highly spiritual, And society was very civilised, people recieved special attention to reach their potentials and a government official had to be learned in the science of spiritual self realisation to attain a position, there was very little crime and people live in harmony. then moving through the Yugas, of which there are four, we reach Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel and confusion, where people reject religious principles and the society becomes very materialistic and atheistic. It is supposed to reach a point where people who practice religious principles becomes zero. And that's when there will be complete annihilation and then creation all over again.

Well that's how the story goes, and the Bible tells a similar story about society degenerating at the end of days. and if that is the case, and what's written is written, then maybe any effort to change anything for the better, is in vain.
I don't really wholly endorse any official religion Johnny. But thanks for your post. My approach to religion is mostly psychological along the lines of Joseph Campbell's writings regarding mythology and Carl Jung's investigation into the human unconscious. Both insisted the human psyche spontaneously creates meaningful symbols, and as Joseph Campbell once said, "A myth is a public dream, a dream is a private myth."

Organized religions are public myths. They do have their own kinds of truths but I never interpret these public myths as "literal"- and on the same note, one should not interpret one's own "private myths" - the dreams your unconscious autonomously creates as literal too. However, neither should you dismiss as most materialists will do: religion and dreams as meaningless symbolic creations, or even worse, reduce the meaning of reality and the human psyche to some kind of unprovable tautology that the only true meaning and motivation in life is survival and selfishness (such as the selfish gene).

But I do think we are living right now at a fairly significant point in human evolution. I think the human conscious ego is a kind of experiment of consciousness/reality. And there is no guarantee that experiment will succeed - i.e. not end up in a kind of self-destructive act because it (the ego consciousness) is unable to meet the necessary challenges before it to evolve. Clearly the challenge before us right now is to realize the responsibility we hold toward reality and to life itself. And that if we continue to act selfishly and rapaciously, without any kind of sense of responsibility for our actions, we as a species and a civilization will most likely not survive our own uncorrected attitudes toward life and ourselves. Human ego consciousness is failing to understand itself and reality, assume some empathic responsibility, and this failure can lead to tragic consequences. I think part of the reasons for this failure is due to the indoctrination of the materialistic ideology as the new God so many of us worship daily now (especially the obscenely self-centered rich and powerful in our societies).

My Best,
Bertha
 
I afraid I have to disagree, there's plenty information you've offered to dissect, so I will pass at a rebuttal to your whole response. However I will add that there is timeless wisdom in religion that could be a useful framework for life. Calling the Vedic philosophy a myth and simply disregarding the wisdom therein as simply myth, undermines the simple message I was giving, which that it offers a framework in understanding why society becomes more materialistic. It can not be denied that currently the dominant paradigm is materialism and the minority camp is the spiritual view. And it simply predicts this and it seems to be truer and truer. That's all,

I guess I am cherry picking parts and I also don't endorse religion, but what you regard as myth I regard as a framework.
 
I afraid I have to disagree, there's plenty information you've offered to dissect, so I will pass at a rebuttal to your whole response. However I will add that there is timeless wisdom in religion that could be a useful framework for life. Calling the Vedic philosophy a myth and simply disregarding the wisdom therein as simply myth, undermines the simple message I was giving, which that it offers a framework in understanding why society becomes more materialistic. It can not be denied that currently the dominant paradigm is materialism and the minority camp is the spiritual view. And it simply predicts this and it seems to be truer and truer. That's all,

I guess I am cherry picking parts and I also don't endorse religion, but what you regard as myth I regard as a framework.
Adopting a religion without understanding the psychological underpinnings is like remembering a dream and only understanding that dream at face value.

Oh wisdom is a she
Who hath ensnared all men.
Have wooed her with elaboration.
Yea, each sure in his own betrothal,
Each pledged with a new kiss,
With a new contact.
How many, many, many
Encradled in her arms have slept
And dreaming, fondled at her brow,
And waked to find that lovering hand
Caressing a cockscomb tipped of bells!

My Best,
Bertha
 
Adopting a religion without understanding the psychological underpinnings is like remembering a dream and only understanding that dream at face value.

Oh wisdom is a she
Who hath ensnared all men.
Have wooed her with elaboration.
Yea, each sure in his own betrothal,
Each pledged with a new kiss,
With a new contact.
How many, many, many
Encradled in her arms have slept
And dreaming, fondled at her brow,
And waked to find that lovering hand
Caressing a cockscomb tipped of bells!

My Best,
Bertha

What about the psychological underpinnings that every day life dishes out, is there anybody that doesn't suffer psychological underpinnings?, is there any escape from this disorder? and whose to say a person who adopts a religion goes through any more of a detrimental psychological underpinning than a person who doesn't.

Anyway my argument is not to defend religion, I just thought that the revelation concerning end of days and the order of society that is predicted in the Bible and the Veda was comparable to today's society. But it's obviously not your flavour. I can respect that.
 
Well that's how the story goes, and the Bible tells a similar story about society degenerating at the end of days. and if that is the case, and what's written is written, then maybe any effort to change anything for the better, is in vain.
Sorry, I don't buy this. Well, I should say with due respect of course, I don't wish to cause offence. But in my opinion every age sees correspondences between their own time and the "end of days". How many times have we seen a precise date set for the end of the world, it comes and then passes, and life goes on.

More importantly, the idea that "maybe any effort to change anything for the better, is in vain" I consider a destructive and negative philosophy, it can be used to justify not making any attempt to improve things, or worse. I think we have to look at the world with a positive and optimistic outlook, both on a personal level as well as in the wider society.
 
Sorry, I don't buy this. Well, I should say with due respect of course, I don't wish to cause offence. But in my opinion every age sees correspondences between their own time and the "end of days". How many times have we seen a precise date set for the end of the world, it comes and then passes, and life goes on.

More importantly, the idea that "maybe any effort to change anything for the better, is in vain" I consider a destructive and negative philosophy, it can be used to justify not making any attempt to improve things, or worse. I think we have to look at the world with a positive and optimistic outlook, both on a personal level as well as in the wider society.
Thanks for your response Typoz, and I fully agree it might seem negative or destructive to believe that everything we do to change the world might be in vain, I fully agree, apart from one thing, it might be true, and further more, it seems to be, the world is in total chaos and it's getting worse by the day, things were not like this years ago, we are heading for a global meltdown, fill in the details.

Also Kali Yuga is nowhere near over, it has thousands of years yet, but it's prediction of society dropping away from religious or spiritual principles and becoming more materialistic, holds firm.
 
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