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Joan Tollifson on the relation of addiction to capitalism-consumerism

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An insightful article by Joan Tollifson on the nature of addiction, on how capitalism focusses on creating desires and addressing them rather than needs, creating an artificial psychological sense of lack in the process and thereby pleasure addictions...
 

https://www.joantollifson.com/writing9.html

 

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It should be noted that seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are survival mechanisms that make perfect sense in a purely biological context, but no other animal smokes and drinks itself to death. Obviously, what begins as a natural survival mechanism can get in some way displaced, misdirected or exaggerated in human beings with our complex capacity for imagination and conceptual abstraction.

 

Capitalist-consumer society, which is a creation of the human mind, actually cultivates addiction. Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s, was quoted in a documentary as having said: "We must shift America from a needs ‚Äď to a desires ‚Äď culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed‚ĶMan's desires must overshadow his needs." And I believe it was the current CEO of Apple whom I heard in an interview describe their mission as "creating something you didn't know you wanted that once you have it, you can't imagine living without."

 

Capitalism and the advertising industry have devoted themselves to creating a sense of lack in virtually every aspect of modern life from politics to spirituality, and then offering to fill it with things we don't really need that won't really make us happy. It’s no surprise that addiction is a major problem. - Joan Tollifson

 

 


Joan Tollifson is a spiritual teacher whose background includes Buddhism, Advaita, nontraditional meditative inquiry, radical nonduality, martial arts, somatic work, addiction recovery, political activism, visual arts . She is a student of Toni Packer, a teacher of zen buddhism , and have authored books and articles on meditation, nondual philosophy and openly shares her own experiences with addiction, depression, cancer, aging, disability, and other life adventures.

 

Born handicapped losing a hand ( her right hand was severed in utero by a strand of amniotic tissue) she is also a disability rights activist.

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1 hour ago, Ajay0 said:

things we don't really need that won't really make us happy. It’s no surprise that addiction is a major problem. - Joan Tollifson

You Will Own Nothing - Sticker Packs (10-100) Schwab NWO The Great Reset  Liberty | eBay

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A similar theme stated by Samdhong Rinpoche ...

 

https://samdhongrinpoche.com/en/foreword/

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Industrialization has enabled humanity to produce more commodities than people really need, which has necessitated the creation of markets and the exploitation of greed through indoctrination and brainwashing.

 

People are taught to compare and compete, so that ignorance and greed escalate endlessly, reducing individuals to mere consuming machines. We have lost the power of discernment and cannot differentiate between need and greed.

 

The disparity between unlimited desires and limited resources has not only made the economic infrastructure unsustainable but has also damaged our environment and ecosystems almost beyond repair. ~ Samdhong Rinpoche

 

 


 

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"Comparison and competition breed acquisitiveness, so much so that people forget what it is that they really need.‚ÄĚ

 

‚ÄúWhen a (modern) human being attempts to get over the suffering, he starts considering physical inconveniences as the main cause of suffering. In modern society people mostly do not realize that lack of mental peace and equanimity could also be the source or cause of suffering.‚ÄĚ

 

‚ÄúThe modern civilization emphasizes physical conveniences and pleasures and it ignores the role of mental processes in attaining happiness as tradition does.‚ÄĚ ~ Samdhong Rinpoche

 

 

 

I would say that a certain knowledge and understanding of the mind should be imparted in modern secular education so that children will not be conditioned to associate material success and gratifications with happiness solely while growing up, which can be a recipe for discontentment, depression and addictive behaviors later on.

 

A happy, mindful and equanimous mind independent of circumstances and situations is also more productive in work and personal relations, compared to an unhappy mind filled with cravings that prevent contentment and consequently peace and happiness for himself or herself.

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On 4/21/2023 at 6:14 PM, Taoist Texts said:

You Will Own Nothing - Sticker Packs (10-100) Schwab NWO The Great Reset  Liberty | eBay

 

 

Hmmmm .... I should put this up on the commune noticeboard  :) .

 

But us humans will always find a way around that ;) 

 

My observational experience confirms it  ;  the  ideal was there is no individual ownership ... we 'share ownership ' .And some of us found  happiness, abundance, community, sharing, etc .

 

But then, with some, the 'old demon'  reared its head  ;    "  I want for me .... "  instead of   " would not it be good for all if .... "   and, of course, they are not happy .  They fight amongst themselves ,  one even moved his fence while the other was OS    :D     * 

 

My new neighbor, a lovely lady  and a  very smart and well balanced 13 yo son .... we took great delight  in removing the fence between us that the last resident put up   **   - now the energy flows properly  and now its easy for  either of us to mow or garden towards the place the other 'looks after' . 

 

With some, they just cant seem to help it ;  new neighbor had a visit from above 'fence mover'  , trying to influence her to  look after  her surrounds the way he ( doesnt ) look after his own   :rolleyes: . She talked to me about it , as usual, I was honest and blunt , she asked " So .... it did seem to be a control trip , do you think thats what it was ? "

 

Me:  " You would be able to tell that by looking into his eyes ."   - she nodded .

 

 

*  That reminded me of  German friend  :  " One time ... me and my brother, we made Germany bigger ! "

 

Me:  " How did you manage that ?"

 

" We where camping and we cxame upon a sign  that said Austria , so we dug it up and moved it  20 meters."

 

:D 

 

**  actually, I just realized, they guy that put that put that fence up was the same German guy as above   :D 

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On 7/11/2023 at 8:29 PM, Ajay0 said:

A similar theme stated by Samdhong Rinpoche ...

 

https://samdhongrinpoche.com/en/foreword/

 


 

 

 

I would say that a certain knowledge and understanding of the mind should be imparted in modern secular education so that children will not be conditioned to associate material success and gratifications with happiness solely while growing up, which can be a recipe for discontentment, depression and addictive behaviors later on.

 

A happy, mindful and equanimous mind independent of circumstances and situations is also more productive in work and personal relations, compared to an unhappy mind filled with cravings that prevent contentment and consequently peace and happiness for himself or herself.

 

Indeed !

 

and noticing such a vacuum ,  a friend  (local school mum ) and I lobbied  the school next door  ( NOT a mainstream 'public school' ) to allow me to do a set of special lessons , that addressed this and a whole lot of other issues NOT in the curriculum  that seemed essential for post school survival .   I took the main lesson ( nearly the whole day, every day, for a full term ) for year 10 , they loved it and I loved it even more .

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