An economically average man in the West has all the modern physical facilities that one wants plus a healthy reserve of cash in his investments and banks. Then why would he lust for more money?
Materialism is a disease which needs a cure if one wants to get rid of it. Why does the disease exist? By having more and more material things a new door opens in a person’s heart till they capture the heart. Intellectual conversion that follows is easy.
What does a man live for? A common educated man looks for material security, comfort, love, peace of mind, and recognition. If all of these things were given to a man he ought to be happy. But there are others who have short-circuited many of these things and have jumped exclusively to security. Money can provide that. Riding the high horse of security they start to amass more and more money. Seeing their accrued money they start dreaming of its potential of power over other human beings and other things. And power can give recognition. They can also purchase, to an extent, love, peace of mind, and comfort. The problem with this scenario is that higher mental attributes of mind: pursuit of god, search for truth, love for humanity, and universal reflectivity are diminished. One can only have undivided attention on material values at the cost of some significant mental values. So, enlightened men do not zero on material things all the time because at the back of their minds they know that they will lose significantly the great rewards of the spiritual universe. To put it another way a materialist looks only at certain thing in the universe, ignoring some of the most majestic and beautiful things god has created. So, materialism puts blinkers on the human soul.
But materialism is an addiction. Once it touches the deepest recesses of mind it could trigger addictive forces. That is why many super-wealthy people when asked why they are breaking their backs to earn more money when they could live fabulously on their interest alone, respond to the effect that it was not the quantity of money that challenged them but that acquiring wealth was like the pursuit of religion. You need it because it was there. It was the duty of the acquirer to obtain it. Numerous wealthy people leave enormous wealth after their deaths because, in part, they never stop to make it. It is a religion for them. As you cannot ask a religious man why he prays to god every day, when he already knows his god’s mind, in the same way you cannot ask a super-wealthy man why he is breaking his back to make more money when he could live gloriously on the interest alone of the money he has already made. It is a matter of faith.
Materialism is a low-level human enterprise, which corrupts the soul. The phenomenal success of technology has greatly accelerated the growth of materialism. It diverts human beings from their humanity, which is the best attribute they have been born with.
But materialism is here to stay for a while. It may take another hundred years before human beings will realize that materialism is a disease, which one must get rid of.
Suffern, New York, 3.14.2013