Materialism Never Provides Real Happiness

In our life, we intend to gather two types of possessions – the essential, and the luxurious possessions. The essentials are required for our survival but the luxurious possessions are gathered once we are able to have essentials sufficiently. God has given us this beautiful life with sufficient resources to enjoy and brain to exploit those resources. But in course of time, we have been so busy in collection of earthly possessions that we miss our mental peace in process of satisfying our greed and needs more and more. Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed. Really, it is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents men from living freely and peacefully.
With the advancement of civilization, we have forgotten the universal truth that a child comes to this world empty hand and goes back with empty hands after living the life. But when the child grows up, he gets inclined to materialism which coarsens and petrifies everything, making everything vulgar, and every truth false. It is true that materialism, at its simpler level, involves the focus on material “things” as opposed to that which is spiritual or intellectual in nature. We live in a world surrounded by and composed of matter. It is natural, therefore, that we may become distracted from spiritual or intellectual pursuits by material possessions, but this is frequently where problems occur. We can become obsessed by a desire to obtain them, or simply frustrated by the need to maintain them

When we try in good faith to believe in materialism, in the exclusive reality of the physical, we are asking our selves to step aside; we are disavowing the very realm where we exist and where all things precious are kept — the realm of emotion and conscience, of memory and intention and sensation and why we frequently come and go through this world. Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time. If we attach undue importance to them, exceeding our essential requirement, we become slave to them. Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. We feel momentary happiness after getting that material thing.

It is true that the most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older. Increase of material comforts, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth. Unfortunately, the people recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment. He tries to gather more and more and gets himself busy all the time to maintain. But he forgets that there is one advantage to having nothing, it never needs repair.

Benefits make a man a slave. There must be more to life than having everything. Most people seek after what they do not possess and are thus enslaved by the very things they want to acquire. Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life. It is usually assumed that purposeless activity may be a phase of death. They think that there is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes. The saddest thing we can imagine is to get used to luxury. We cry over spilled champagne! Our complaints are not over the lack of necessities, but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics, over benefits, not essentials. You forget your duties about those, your parents who gave you this beautiful life, you forget those friends and relatives who wished you best when you were in process of growing up and not able to stand on your own feet. In materialism, you care for your own interests only; you attach no value to emotional relationship and moral values. You compare your sense of humanity versus your gains.

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants. The man who pets a lion may tame it, but the man who coddles the body makes it ravenous. The most terrible thing about materialism even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex, alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offers a prospect of deliverance. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Nothing makes us more vulnerable than loneliness, except greed. Our lust is all GET—Love is all GIVE. All earthly joy begins pleasantly, but at the end it gnaws and kills.

Let us treasure up in our soul some of those things which are permanent…, not of those which will forsake us and be destroyed, and which only tickle our senses for a little while. Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss. You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied even if it were doubled.

You become attached to money but money is accidental. It has nothing to do with essential life. You become attached to your house or car, spouse, children and relationships. These all are accidental; it has nothing essential in it. It is not your real being.

You have become attached to ‘my’ and ‘mine’- to possessions. And you have completely lost track of your being. You have completely lost track of your being. You have completely lost track of ‘I’. ‘My’ has become more important. When ‘my’ becomes more important then you are getting attached to the accidental. When ’I’ remains a servant, you are a master. Then, you live in a totally different way. Using the word ‘I’, in an absolutely non-egoistic sense it means your being. The accidental man lives on the periphery. The essential man remains centered.

You create a world of illusions around you. You get attached to things which you die. You go on being identified with things which are going to be taken away from you. Become more and more essential and less and less accidental. Only that which is eternal is true; only that which is going to be for ever and ever is true. That which is momentary is untrue. The momentary has to be watched and not to be identified with.

This game of ‘my’ and ‘mine’ is an absurd game-but this is the whole game of life. This earth was there before you ever came here, and this will be here when you are gone. The diamonds that you possess were there before you ever came here, and when you are gone those diamonds will remain here-and they will not even remember you. This game of possessiveness is the most foolish game there is-but this is the whole game.

People who become certain about the accidental are going to be frustrated; their certainty is going to create much frustration for them. Their certainty will create expectations, and they cannot be fulfilled- because the universe is not there to fulfill your expectations. It has its own destiny. It is moving towards its own goal, it does not care about your private goals.

All private goals are against the goal of the universe itself. The essential man comes to know, to feel, that ‘I am not separate from the Whole and there is no need to seek and search for any
destiny on my own. Things are happening, the world is moving. There is no need for me to make any struggle, any effort; there is no need for me to fight for anything. I can relax and be’.

When things are no longer important, only consciousness becomes important. When things are no longer significant, a new search, a new door opens. Then you are not rushing towards the without; you start slipping into the within. The kingdom of godliness is within.

The future of civilization depends on our overcoming the meaninglessness and hopelessness that characterizes the thoughts of men today. So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. We should reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. Materialism never provides you real happiness.

Be Happy – Materialism Never Provides Real Happiness.


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