From materialism to inner peace

 (Note : if you want to have an easy access to this blog, the best way is to go to the GOOGLE search engine and write “buddhameditation.wordpress.com”. If you want to send a message to the writer of this blog,  read the post “Connectivity” : buddhameditation@yahoo.com).

   We will try to focus on this post on the spiritual answers we could give to the following question : what philosophy or theoretical/mathematical system can we propose to sustain the idea of a non-growing economy ? (see the post “inventing a new philosophy” ).

     First we have to describe two characteristics of the modern western philosophical system : materialism and dichotomy.

     Dichotomy means separation, division between two things or two concepts. For example, in our societies, the physical/material aspects of life are opposed to the spiritual sides, dream is opposed to reality, human beings are opposed to nature and animals… This philosophical tendency to separate things can be called “philosophy of the line” and it is a powerful abstract instrument that helped creating sciences. Sciences would not exist without separations, distinctions, categories. The philosophy of the line based on dichotomy is not the reality, it is a just a mental tool that allows us to see and comprehend the reality in a certain way but we could imagine many different ways to analyse this reality. A rainbow can be described by 7 colors but as a matter of fact the number of color frequencies that you can find in a rainbow is truly infinite.

     After dichotomy, let’s now have a look at the second characteristic of modern western philosophy : materialism. Through history western mind has made a strong distinction between the physical/material world (“reality”) and the world of dream, imagination, spirituality (illusion). One part is considered as real, the other part is considered as false, illusion, inferior reality, subjectivity.

     Let’s take a different point of view : we will consider that the separation between physical/material/external/objective world and spiritual/mental/internal/subjective world is something utterly artificial and that in fact these two things are interdependent, closely related. Indeed my opinion is that the external world cannot be separated from the individual that sees it. Each person perceives the world in his own particular way. For example, you can be very rich and very sad, or on the contrary, very poor and very happy, so the usual idea that individual happiness is linked to material wealth is not true.

      Therefore, rather than the usual opposition between in and out, objective and subjective, material and spiritual, we can say that there is  the “reality” in one side, the “individual/observer” in the other side and a “link” between these two entities. This link can be described as “the way we perceive reality”.

      So two different kinds of actions can be done if we want to please the individual : or you can change the physical reality (this is the idea of materialism : let’s be rich, have plenty of things and material comfort, let’s destroy our enemies, opponents or obstacles to be happy), or you can change the link between the individual and the reality (this is the idea behind meditation). The first solution, the materialistic point of view, is interesting but is asking a lot of efforts, energy and resources (and it also leads to environmental problems) because our world is made of a very specific kind of matter, very dense, which is difficult to transform and stabilise. The second solution promoted by meditation seems easier : you just have to change your relation to the world, to accept things, to have a more relaxed, positive or loving relation to things to feel better.

     We first have to reach inner peace and inner confidence, we have to love ourselves, others and reality before changing the physical reality. Changing the reality without changing the link between us, human beings, and this reality can only result in : dissatisfaction, diminution of our common resources and inequalities between human beings that can ultimately endanger the very future of humanity.

      We need very little things from the outside world to be happy. According to Hindus all happiness comes from within, in fact our very self (what we really are, our spiritual being) is happiness and consciousness. For exemple, when people meditate, their eyes are closed, they don’t do anything except quieting their mind and by this mean they reach levels of joy and happiness that are without any comparison higher than any sexual or drug-related pleasure.

     Meditation is subjective but it is a reality, a fact that every human being can very easily experience with a little bit of practice. This pure happiness experienced during meditation, unrelated to external objects, is according to hindu philosophy the very basis of our personality and even of the world (the so-called “reality”). One of the name of God in the hindu philosophy is SAT-CIT-ANAND (Being-Consciousness-Bliss).

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About buddhananda
independent spiritual researcher, I find inspiration mainly into the buddhist, hindu and new age fields. I try to find connections between religions, philosophy, economy and technology. My aim is to contribute to the emergence of a better world. I also practice reiki.

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