Our addiction to greed has cursed humanity throughout the ages

On greed.


We have a world that is increasingly unequal with vast amounts of wealth being accrued by a tiny avaricious minority. We watch in despair as Trump fills his administration from the ranks of the billionaires. In this moment of time is if easy to lose hope but this is not a new situation. Greed has plagued humanity for centuries and the voices of the wise call out from history for humanity wake up and rid itself from the scourge of this addiction.

For everyone reeling from recent political events her are some words from about 2500 years ago, that show how little wisdom humanity has accrued. The sages of the time reflect on how society is cursed by those obsessed with greed and power. Perhaps now at last, recent events have given us the wakeup call we finally need?

Bhagavad Gita (from about 4th century BCE) on those whose minds are cursed with demonic (we might say pathological) tendencies.

‘Hypocritical, proud and arrogant, living in delusion and clinging to deluded ideas, they pursue their unclean ends. Although burdened with fears that end only with death, they still maintain with complete assurance “Gratification of lust is the highest that life can offer.”

Bound on all sides by scheming and anxiety, driven by anger and greed, they amass by any means they can a hoard of money for the satisfaction of their cravings.

“I got this today,” they say; “tomorrow I shall get that. This wealth is mine, and that will be mine too! Am I not like God? I enjoy what I want. I am successful. I am powerful. I am happy. I am rich and well-born. Who is equal to me? I will perform sacrifices and give gifts, and rejoice in my own generosity.” This is how they go on, deluded by ignorance. Bound by their greed and entangled in a web of delusion, whirled about by a fragmented mind they fall into a dark hell.’

Sound familiar?

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