Author Topic: The cost of trying to buy happiness  (Read 16956 times)

Jessie Fong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 02:33:48 AM »
If we do not exercise our right to our spending power, we are not helping the economy to have the cash in the market.  But then of course, we should be wise in our spending and not buy anything just for the sake of buying something.

If we are spending just to keep up with the Joneses, then there will be never be an end to it.  How do we cap our material satisfaction?  We should not equate the quantity of materials with the level of satisfaction.

Look at the community of Sangha with their "small" collection of robes and Dharma items - would you say they are not happy?

ilikeshugden

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • Email
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2012, 12:27:46 AM »

Bhutan is supposed to be a very spiritual country. However, due to the increase of economic advancements, Bhutan  has turned into a very materialistic country. Many of these 'small' countries started out as very spiritual communities but turned into very materialistic communities. It is said that there are only 41 percent of the Bhutanese who are 'happy', those in actuality, are either the insanely rich as they believe that no suffering shall befall them and those who are very spiritual. Wealth will create an increased amount of desire. With desire comes suffering, so the rich are not that 'happy' at all. They would fear losing their wealth that they 'wasted' so much time for. According to diamond girl, based on her understanding of Buddhism, materialistic desires is one sure way of creating suffering ONLY when we have attachments to materialism. This means that the materialistic objects of our desire is the key to our inner happiness. I do not think that Buddhism preached scarcity in fact practicing abundance is the practice of creating giving and opposing being miserly. I agree to this statement. But, the second we have any form of wealth, we would begin to have attachments, unless you are a higher being, like a monk or a high lama.

Q

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2012, 04:46:12 AM »
Being a very spiritual country, I can understand why the Bhutan PM feel it alarming about his country's status. However, I believe that being spiritual is not all about being rural. One can have development, and having 'luxury' items without being any less spiritual than those who don't. It is not the matter of desire, but it is about being in existence in such an environment.

Not that I want to compare the Bhutan's PM to Pol Pot... but back in the days when Pol Pot turned Cambodia into the Killing fields... his original thought too was that modern civilization is corrupting his people and believed that people should know hard work, and plough the land with their own bare hands... look at how that turned out.

It's not about whether wealth creates desire and the lack of wealth creates a spiritual person... its about educating the people. Only with knowledge will people understand... and after that, it is all up to them. No one can control another person.

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2012, 07:49:23 AM »
Everywhere we look or read in the papers, poverty is everywhere and yet there are rich people who spend unnecessarily. How sad to know the more you have, the more selfish you are. Even in well developed country like the USA, there are many homeless and poor suffering out on the streets. I am sure the Bhutan government can control what their people bring in or probably impose higher tax to discourage them form buying. And isn't it sad to have cars that can hardly be used?

Positive Change

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2012, 11:22:53 AM »
Everywhere we look or read in the papers, poverty is everywhere and yet there are rich people who spend unnecessarily. How sad to know the more you have, the more selfish you are. Even in well developed country like the USA, there are many homeless and poor suffering out on the streets. I am sure the Bhutan government can control what their people bring in or probably impose higher tax to discourage them form buying. And isn't it sad to have cars that can hardly be used?

How true... hence being born rich and privileged is not necessarily the result of good karma. It could well be the result of bad karma which propels us further into samsara, using up all our good merits and when our merit bank is depleted we sink into the abyss of the 3 lowers realms.

All the "enjoyment" in one life for many aeons of suffering in the following? It certainly is a no brainer to snap our of whatever samsaric existence we are in regardless of our levels. Samsara is never rewarding no matter what masks it wears!

hope rainbow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 947
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2012, 12:15:48 PM »
I have a friend who returned from Bhutan and came to realize upon returning from Bhutan that there were no advertising board anywhere in Bhutan.
He only noticed it when he saw one again after he returned from Bhutan.

Who, in today's world has had the chance of experiencing this: A SCAPE WITHOUT ADVERTISING BOARDS.

Bhutan is like that in many ways, no super-market or shopping center, no city in the sense we understand it, an airport so quiet that there are a few resorts flanking the runway itself...

I would hate to know that Bhutan has given up on RESISTING consumerism. Not because we would loose a gorgeous holiday destination, of course not, but because we would lose a successful alternative system to that of consumerism. And we need this so badly as a reference to look upon to after consumerism would have failed us.

Klein

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 502
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2012, 04:38:18 PM »
According to wikipedia, the four pillars of Gross National Happiness are 
1. the promotion of sustainable development,
2. preservation and promotion of cultural values,
3. conservation of the natural environment, and
4. establishment of good governance.

How Bhutan derives a number to the Gross National Happiness is still very ambiguous. Whether or not Bhutanese are happy should not be dependent on external factors such as modernisation and development of the country. As Buddhists, we all know that happiness is a state of mind.

So instead of being worried about the negative repercussions of development, I'd focus on educating the people more on dharma. With dharma, regardless of the environment they are in, they will still be happy. Development can be good for the Bhutanese as amenities and services improve, the living conditions improve as well. If Bhutanese embrace and practise the dharma, modernisation will only enhance what they and their country have.

dsiluvu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2012, 03:33:34 PM »
Yes it is without any doubt that growth of materialism will create a decrease in spirituality. You can kind of see this happening in Nepal as well as they yearn for a better living conditions, government etc. I was really surprised to here that Nepal even have brothels no a day... 10 years ago it is unheard of. Sure sign of the Kaliyuga era.

However, on the other side of the coin is that... with materialism growing... so will anxiety, depression, problems in society, vices etc... the mind degenerates and will start seeking solace and peace. This is where spirituality can arise again. Just take a look at the power house of the world today, China, a classic example.

As they spin that materialism wheel, the people start becoming more and more stress and more and more dissatisfied and unhappy which will lead them to find solutions. This is why we can also witness Buddhism growing rapidly in China... and happy to note, Dorje Shugden practice as well as we can see so many wonderful post on this forum, one of it is...

A Chinese Buddhist Temple Spreading Dorje Shugden

This is XiaFeng Temple in YuZhu District in YouYang County of ChongQing City (?????????????), China, it has Dorje Shugden image at their main shrine and the lama that is spreading the Dorje Shugden practice here is Lama Thubten Phurbu. Dorje Shugden practice already spreads to mainland China out of Tibet area!

http://dorjeshugden.com/wp/?p=8029

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2012, 08:51:41 PM »
The current economy is based on consumerism... When 911 happened, President Bush did not invite Americans to sacrifice or work hard in order to defeat terrorism; he invited them to go shopping. It is worried that, if people do not buy, the whole demand-supply chain will stop and economy crisis will happen.

And to encourage people to buy, all the advertisements are harping on our DESIRE. All adverts are telling us we don't have enough, and that if we get this and that, we will be very happy. I guest there is a reason why now is called the degenerated age.

That's why, it is important that we study Buddhism, and understand that happiness do not come from outside (own this and that), but from inside.

But materialism didn't begin because of 911. It begun right with the turn of the century industrialisation and with it, large-scale production and manufacturing of wealth that forever shape the fortunes of nations and world order. However, I think desire is a prevalent delusion our are existence as the Buddha had mentioned but it is also the powerful method to fuel transformation in Tantra. Hence, the speedier method that Lord Buddha talked about is Tantra and Vajrayogini's practice utilizes desire to rid itself.

I think if we are looking on a macro level of how to bring happiness to the masses, it would be looking towards establishing an enlightened society. That would be to establish the freedom of religion and expression that is prevalent in the West and combine it with the discipline, respect and spirituality of the East. There's no perfect country like that as yet but it would be a society that values progress, dynamism and spirituality. There's no people or society on earth that has such a utopian ideal but some of the closest societys/nations on earth are the most developed like the US, UK, Europe and so forth.

Why is that? Materialism and wealth distribution is at its peak and people are still not really happy. So they seek answers and it will most likely through a spiritual belief. It takes such materially matured society to breed so much questioning and soul-searching. On the flip-side, developing and countries in poverty are too busy surviving and making it that it breeds a different sort of survival mentality. Hence, the search for spiritual answers would be less of a priority. That's what I have noticed and surmised.

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
    • Email
Re: The cost of trying to buy happiness
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2012, 07:06:42 AM »
Well, that says it all isn't it? Bhutan has got to keep up with the trends of this era of time and to generate more income for the country to be 'successful' and rather to live in poverty. At the same time, Bhutan is trying to hold on to its peaceful way of life under the underdeveloped circumstances condition. Merely having most of your civilians moving back to the countryside and make life living by doing agricultural alone is not going to help the younger generations. I feel the younger generations in Bhutan is in danger of being even more isolated to the globalization of this world. Bhutan might not be able to keep up to the optimum living standard that they worked for.