Shopocalypse now: be mindful

Gary Gach considers how Buddha would approach consumer Christmas: “We should be trying to base contentment on being, rather than having. Then the question of buying that fourth shirt or that new gizmo on display might be dwarfed by the prospect of creating more space in one’s life by donating your extra stuff. When tempted to bite the hook of despair over seeming scarcity in one’s life or in the world, try practicing generosity instead.” He menntion’s Reverent Billy’s motto: “love is a gift economy. Pass it along.”

The Buddha’s critique of mindless craving and needless suffering pinpoints the precise moment during which real pleasure becomes abstract desire – the want to want. In our addictive culture of capitalism, it’s the exact same vital acupressure point that our basic market economy capitalizes on. “Don’t get hooked,” the Buddha says. Remember the hungry ghost, craving more and more of what can never satisfy.

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.

2 thoughts on “Shopocalypse now: be mindful”

  1. don’t get hooked—good advise.

    a new research showed that generosity is based on some chemical in human’s brain. I can’t stop wondering if we can sooner or later prove or find the actual material that costs every pattern of human behavior…
    would that make it better or worse? would that help us to promote more goodness and reduce badness?

  2. Yes, but ain’t this also kinda like phrenology? I see it more as western science having been unbalanced, overemphasizing ‘objectivity’ now accepting ‘subjectivity’ ~~~~~~~~~~ e.g., Buddhists wearing hairnets for brain scans to measure where blood goes when a meditator envisions X ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ with now an over-emphasis on the brain. Eventually, they’ll come to realize, for example, what it means that the 20% of the brain’s activity actually affects the human heart, whereas 80% of the human heart’s messages affect the human brain. And where is the chemical cocktail for charity given in order pump up self-congratulatory ego? But ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ heck, yes! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ this is all very interesting.

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