Sunday, February 13, 2011


On an internet bulletin board, someone asked about money and Buddhism and I found myself writing:

Money is just like any other belief system ... best not to put too much faith in it.

1 comment:

  1. Koan For the Day

    Is Marketing, designed to identify and increase cravings, compatible with Dharma which is meant to apply insight to craving?

    In what way is post modern marketing assimilating the insights, images and lingo of Buddhadharma INTO those marketing strategies to make more effective in triggering cravings for aquisition in listeners and readers, rather than the insights of Buddhadharma being applied TO post modern marketing so as to examine exactly how it inflames craving supports an illusory sense of self rather than applying insight to this tangle of market driven craving and self enhancement?

    There is a recent book review in the November issue of Harpers

    A blogger writes:

    "It's a really good, provocative essay on how design manipulates consumerism..."

    Consumerism being the inward and outer tangle of cravings that every practicing Buddhist should be encouraged to look at--not support as a reactive spender.

    Classical capitalism, exemplified in Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country: "Accumulated capital --in its most basic form, primitive hoarding --is spent on conspicuous demonstrations of waste in the form of leisure."

    Late capitalism, exemplified F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night: "..the shadowy shills of the culture industry want us to spend our way to wealth and happiness. Down on the ground, the individual experiences fractured selves, or multiple consumption identities, even while yearning for wholeness."

    Postmodern capitalism: exemplified in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, "Consumption is both intimate and relentless: brand-conscious consumers cannibalize themselves, feeding on their jumble of layered identities."


    In this form of postmodern capitalism, marketing is aimed so consumers make purchases of various goods, information and services they see as creating and maintaining a particular self concept. (eg I am green, I am progressive, I am evolutionary and spiritual, etc)

    And...'insights from Veblen (author of the classic Conspicuous Consumption) are assimilated (into the post modern capitalist strategy itself) rather than Veblens insights being applied to post modern capitalism to consider their new and perverse relevance." (Corboys paraphrase of some notes written after reading a copy of this article)

    This is right smack in line with what Nella has invited us to examine.

    Is commercial dharma emancipatory, or is it part of something that supports our sense of ourselves as enlightened, or on the way, or evolutionary, or as occuppying some desirable rung in the Wilberian scheme of things?