It is good to be all in one place, many people rarely are.
An example of a modern mortification of the flesh is caffeine. It tends to make us feel very alert, but also uncomfy. However, it is so taken for granted that it is little questioned in general, and we schedule our time and lives around an unnatural rhythm. It has a positive affect for some and isn’t an evil. I use it to still my nerves, and the Buddha recommended tea. But we aren’t using it to understand a natural rhythm or to feed a natural desire, not normally.
Can you define natural rhythms and desires? Biologically, it has been found that we are naturally grazing animals. We biologically want small amounts of food throughout the day, but are conditioned to eat larger amounts and at set times. There is no beneficial reason, but it is to serve an idea that most still adhere to. It just fits the 9 to 5 life.
Perhaps it is a “natural rhythm” to be greedy? Could it be that we have changed how we express our greediness? In voicing criticisms about society, I am not saying we have done nothing of value or that it needs to be demonized. If anything, we can be, and should be, held to greater accountability. In the distant past, our greed would have been considered survival, and at this point our survival as individuals is most threatened by our own kind. There is a difference between greed and competition, and at least passively, competition is still praised much as it was at the rise of the industrial era.
Is it not part of human nature to want more and thus a feeling of achieving more? At what point does that take on a negative connotation? Perhaps a definition of “greed” is in order. I am the last to deride the “sins” as evil, but we aren’t balanced. In theory, negative greed is a sublimation of some other need in the pursuit of say, money. We can and do pursue some aspects of our own nature inappropriately, and it isn’t because our nature is bad. It is because of our thinking.
Greed in this day and age is about power? Power corrupts in a sense and as defined. In fact, that isn’t true power. It’s force. The forces of nature don’t have power as we define it, nor ambition. They act on their nature, but there can be, and often is, too much force.
So are we acting on our nature? Indeed, but the people that seek power of “force” aren’t being their true selves or true to them selves.
Does a man in pursuit of power have free reign to claim self will, when in his pursuit of power he destroys what he would govern? Did he gain his contentment then?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.