Capitalism and Spirituality

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innerpeace2u
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Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by innerpeace2u » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:29 am

Hello all,

I've noticed on a few posts political commentaries particularly after Obama's inauguration. Even though I am a strong proponent of republican policies, for the first time I have placed a degree faith onto the Obama administration. He seems to be very compassionate, intelligent, and most importantly has an attribution of calmness to his demeanor.

That being said, It is too bad the masses tend to swiftly dismiss capitalism and blame the free-markets following the recent turmoil we have had. As Reagan once quipped "Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem." It was ironically the socialist policies of the late 90s that felt the poor deserved to have a home even if they weren't able to afford one. There will always be unscrupulous individuals like some wall street rogues, or some greedy CEOs who will take advantage of a system. In this case, a system that government tinkered around with was the main catalyst. Capitalism is by no means perfect, but it is by a large stretch, the best system we have. Unfortunately I think throwing more of our hard earned tax money at the problem will only make it worse as well as borrow from future generations.

I mention this not necessarily to stir a political debate, but to show an example of how public perception can be it's own worst enemy. If there is anyone who feels "capitalism" is equal to greed, corruption, and the downfall of our economy, I'm here to mention to strongly reconsider this thought. On another post an individual seemed joyful that socialism is beginning to take over and equated spirituality with socialism. I may be just as culpable having an economics background, I would equate spirituality more to capitalism.

I look forward to a healthy discourse :wink:

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Webwanderer
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:20 pm

It will be interesting to see if this thread can survive without falling into egoic political attacks. This is a challenge fellow members, to test our clarity in the light of our political preferences. Politics brings out some of our strongest emotions and biases. If we cannot discuss the underlying nature of issues that face the world with integrity on this forum, what can we then expect of the future for the public at large? May we rise to our highest common interests.

WW

innerpeace2u
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by innerpeace2u » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:07 pm

Here, Here (subtle pun intended).

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domokato
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by domokato » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:23 am

I haven't studied economics...but what about planned obsolescence and other such unethical business behavior that seems to be virtually required to stay competitive in a market? I think government is the only entity that can stop such behavior in a capitalist market, but it doesn't seem like they'd do that because doing so would hurt the economy, and because the general public isn't aware of it so government isn't under any pressure to do anything about it. The only pressure comes from sustainability, since planned obsolescence is causing so many used goods to be thrown into landfills.

And what about certain ads and their subtle brainwashing to make people feel like they need a product even when they didn't need it before they watched the ad? And what about Multi-Level Marketing (legal pyramid schemes)? Those seem to make its members really really egoic almost by necessity.

I'm not saying capitalism isn't the best we have. It may very well be. At least for the current state of humanity. The above are just some things I noticed about it, and I just figured I'd throw them into the discussion :)
~housecat

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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by eagle2phoenix » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:10 am

What do you all think about Bill Gates, the richest man on earth? His company and products "monopolizes the IT world. We certainly cannot do without Microsoft and the internet. It all started with one man, one vision and it made the world so much smaller. The idea may not have started with him. But he is primordial in today's communication infrastructure. Do you think he is spiritual? He does his part in charities. He supports research for Malaria (and whatever else). I read that he prays. Because of him (directly or indirectly), we are able to communicate in this forum. Because of his contributions (directly or indirectly), is he a teacher? I'd say yes.
Life is fascinating. Nature is beautiful. Live life with nature.

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mistral
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by mistral » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:58 pm

Capitalism and socialism, or even communism, theocracy...any system is as corrupt as the people 'in the system'....a system is a label, the people are the ones responsible for it. Thousands of years of people and every system is still corrupt. Every system seems to be run by Liars, cheats, greed-mongers, thieves, hypocrites, power-trippers.... Some think that socialism will solve this, but it is probably an even worse system than capitalism...At least the basic idea of capitalism seems right to me; it’s about freedom...and I like that premise. Too bad the unevolved cannot handle freedom...too bad the unevolved abuse freedom. But, if there were no cheats and everyone was Real and True to their Guiding Light Within, if every man was an Honest Man ( and I am talking Reality Honest, At The Right Hand of God Honest) then a system that is more akin to capitalism would probably be the one that things work best 'under'.....or maybe an entirely New Covenant would happen…

I see socialism as appealing to those who are still afraid and want to remain dependent on the old system wherein they claim to be 'defeated, victimized, and unworthy of good fortunes, and incapable of taking care of themselves’… which is of course is a lie too and all that negative sense of themselves is all that is 'not real and not true' and Not their True Identity…but they will remain unwilling to set out on their own and search for The True and Powerful Identity within themselves if they keep being coddled with freebies which keep them down and dependent and needy.

(I hate to use the word "they" but I do not know how else to say 'the unenlightened' without soundng like 'them and us'....I am not saying this well...Its a difficult subject to write about, If there is a better way to say this, someone let me know)

I guess that is the whole point of us who have turned around and are seeking to find and Live By our Truest Selfhood. We discovered how 'wrong' and unreal the ‘old-me sense’ was and we are not catering to the false-self any more….


Maybe there will be a big collapse of ALL Systems (it sure seems possible, doesn’t it? but why go through that when it could avoided if we could open our eyes now)

...and then there is this:


"After nearly eleven thousand years of human time, God's Tree of Life is coming into bloom. There will be a special Joy beyond joy felt by those who are part of this Flower of Life, the offspring of Godhead, seed from the Original Seed."
William Samuel, 1986

You might enjoy reading this excerpt:
http://www.williamsamuel.com/01-03-08-continue.htm

I find it fascinating that Mr. Samuel wrote all this 20 years ago...and it seems to be coming to fruition now.

anyway, I like this subject, but it is a difficult one to write about without getting into 'politics'...but I think we can do it, we are all seeing this from a 'higher place' at least to some degree...

Mistral

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mistral
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by mistral » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:51 pm

Got to add a bit more about the 'them/ us' thing...I own a small, very cute, shop..It is takes care of me and I take care of it...I sell 'things'...I like capitalism...I feel that ( to put in very simple words) that God gave me this little shop so that I have a venue for sharing 'His' Light and Love via 'my stuff' (it is possible, I really do that)....Therefore, I see capitalism as working very well, if one is Honest (knowing Who I Am)...things work really well for me, recession or not...There is Magic Here and It works Divinely as if Angels are supporting me...Anyway,I feel like that is because of Something Greater Than I that is Here 'being the Life and Power behind 'what I do')...I recogize Its Living Presence in my Life all the time...A kind of Grace leads the way for me when I trust.....So, the 'Us' is meant to refer to those of us who 'strive to Let God Be in the Drivers seat (simply said)...and those who push God/Light/Reality out the picture seem to reap the results of that 'way'......and either way, it is still nothing but a picture, indeed...all just this world is but the images in Awareness...Everything is REALLy Alright Just the way It is...meant to be and will unfold exactly as it is supposed to.

Mistral

.

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mistral
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by mistral » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:25 pm

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.."
- Thomas Jefferson


Mistral

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domokato
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by domokato » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:02 am

Whatever, whatever, is what I'm inclined to say. If more people awaken, perhaps we will see a shift in the kind of economy/government we have. To a large degree, it's a reflection of the people in it anyway. Perhaps we'll move towards a gift economy! That would be fun :)
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by goldenbirdies » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:03 am

In my opinion, there is very little correlation between Capitalism and spirituality. The only parallel I could draw is to do with the "work-ethic" - which has been identified by certain historians as being instrumental in the origins of capitalism, and appears also to be a way of achieving a zen-state of awareness. But this is fairly tangental to some of the economic disasters we have seen recently. And one can just as easily apply the work-ethic in a public sector scenario.

The most compassionate government we have had here in the UK was the Attlee (Labour) government of 1945-51, one of its many achievements being a free National Health Service, available to all.

But spirituality, I would say, is "apolitical" ! :)

David
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DWBH1953
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by DWBH1953 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:22 am

eagle2phoenix wrote:What do you all think about Bill Gates, the richest man on earth? His company and products "monopolizes the IT world. We certainly cannot do without Microsoft and the internet. It all started with one man, one vision and it made the world so much smaller. The idea may not have started with him. But he is primordial in today's communication infrastructure. Do you think he is spiritual? He does his part in charities. He supports research for Malaria (and whatever else). I read that he prays. Because of him (directly or indirectly), we are able to communicate in this forum. Because of his contributions (directly or indirectly), is he a teacher? I'd say yes.
I really have no respect for the man Bill Gates. The founder of the internet is Vinton G. Cerf who laid it all out in the 1970s interesting enough the giant Google just hired him at age 62. Bill Gates really got where he is today by ripping off tech from others. Much of what he did was not only unethical but illegal as well. If you believe in the concept of Karma he will probably need to come back as a rock and a few million years to envolved into a human being. I guess time will tell.

Back to the topic at hand here as for myself I see to real relationship between Capitalism and Spirituality and I am grateful for that.

Cheers
Randji
Do not meditate-be!
Do not think that you are-be!
Do not think about being-you are!
Sri Ramana

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eagle2phoenix
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by eagle2phoenix » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:33 am

Most people in business are in the "ripping the people off". Whether Bill Gates is unethical or illegal, I know not and I care not. But he has contributed to the development of the internet as it is today. BTW I use Google Chrome but my laptop operates on Vista which came preloaded.

Look at the so called Michelin class restaurants and cafes. Pay premium dollar to eat there? It is a sin but some people can afford it. However, the chefs seem to be so focused on how they prepare the meal, they seem to be in the now. People who eat there tend to eat in silence, enjoying the taste of good food. They seem present. Vs a small eatery - the cook is busy thinking about repaying his loan, shouting at his staff, hurrying to finish cooking, a lot on his mind. The people eating there are talking on the phone, smoking, swallowing the food without chewing properly.

Feng shui masters - are they using spirituality in capitalism or is it the other way around?

Love & Light, still confused
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by James » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:50 am

Isn't it all One? Capitalism is just what is happening, socialism happens too. Different facets of the one awareness. Isn't all the rest our interpretation or spin on it?

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

innerpeace2u
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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by innerpeace2u » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:01 am

I enjoyed reading the responses. I was actually pleasantly surprised that most are supportive of the capitalist system, despite the current financial meltdown we are facing.

David, the other parallel I would see with spirituality and capitalism is that capitalism rewards you for your human capital and service. Most wealth that is created is through providing a valuable service. Like spiritual aphorism, you sow, so shall you receive.

I view it this way. As Eckhart mentioned, we primarily should be focused on our inner-self. Spirituality, kindness, awareness, peace are all part of this. By doing so, it will move us into the next stage of finding our meaning, what we are good at, where we could contribute. As we go through this process we begin to share our talents with the rest of the world. Capitalism is like the icing of the spiritual cake. It rewards with material wealth that can provide secondary entertainment in the world of form, or use it for the betterment of others so long as we always remember that we are not of this world or become attached.

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Re: Capitalism and Spirituality

Post by goldenbirdies » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:53 pm

innerpeace2u wrote:David, the other parallel I would see with spirituality and capitalism is that capitalism rewards you for your human capital and service. Most wealth that is created is through providing a valuable service. Like spiritual aphorism, you sow, so shall you receive.

I
I'm quite happy to "sow", and I am happy in my "sowing" - as are most other people. I love my work (as a hospital porter) and engage in it not for financial reward (I don't get paid much more than the minimum wage) but through dedication to the cause. I gave up a job paying three times better, that was ten times less use to society, in order to do it.

I have to qualify your statement on rewards. In the capitalist system, the rewards scale seems to be in inverse proportion to usefulness to society. In my book, a roadsweeper provides a far greater service to society than a banker, a nurse provides a far greater contribution than a politician, and I could go on indefinately. This is compounded by the capitalist system's idea of entertainment - in the UK it is called the "National Lottery" - millions of pounds paid to the holder of the correct random numbers. It has been won by rapists and career criminals on occasion. Further, it may be obvious to those who work in the financial sector, but I really can't see the difference between what that chap Madeoff did and what the corporate banks have been doing (lending money that didn't exist)! And I learn today that one of the banks we taxpayers have bailed out is to continue to pay its staff bonuses - this is effectively saying I've got to pay a failed banker - where's the sowing-related-to-rewards concept fit in here ? :?

But this inconsistency does not unduly concern me. One of the strongest themes of Eckhart's is the theme of "Object Consciousness". Who needs all the clutter that comes with wealth ? Everything in the world of form is temporary - joy comes from within - these propositions may be becoming cliched on this forum - but they're still good ! :)

Is it not a tenet of zen that one focuses on a task in the present moment, through devotion to the task, and with no anticipation of reward ? :D

David
David

Steal Softly through Sunshine, Steal Softly through Snow - Don Van Vliet

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