Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Capitalism is the opiate of the people

Many thanks to The Blonde Duck. You got me thinking. And, there is nothing better than getting me thinking. Cheap hobby. Can be dangerous. Always wear a helmet.

She got me thinking about basic human nature. Do we create the systems we inhabit because of our inherent qualities, or are we profoundly shaped by the systems we inhabit, because we usually forget we have the intelligence and ingenuity to change them when they stop working for us (like when we work for them...sound familiar anyone?)

I have not written much about Buddhism as of late. It's not because of neglect, I'm just like that. I have no desire to inspire or convert. It's not my badge of honor, but something that has profoundly given me a way in which to filter my big picture questions. Okay, so I like to wear the badge a little bit. It's how I want to be judged. Because in the world of the internet, we all employ a little bit of marketing here and there. I'm okay with that, just as long as I don't take myself to seriously.

So, back to the original point. I fundamentally believe that in all people is basic goodness. We all suffer, and to a large extent create the conditions for our suffering. It is my understanding that we all are fundamentally basic goodness, it connects and binds us to each other. At the same time, our institutions - whether education, political, social and economic create categories in which we begin to define ourselves. The good student, the liberal, the dissident, the mother and the middle-class wage earner. I cannot express how lovely it is, to not feel so completely tied and bound to these definitions - all the time. Hey, I have my hang-ups and my own angst, but, at the end of the day, to seek refuge in those ultimate questions, feels as good as grandmas quilt and a nice steaming cup of tea.


growingupartists said...

It's hard for me to believe that everyone is inherently good, because of the choices I witness around me. Sure, we all want to do good, and be good, but mostly we just want to do what's easiest.

Hotboy said...

At the base of ... well, if you meditate a lot and clear your mind, what you seem to get is more and more bliss. I know that much. So much for original sin. I couldn't watch the video because we're still on dial-up, but Scotland has a long tradition of socialists and commies and most people favour a mixed economy, I suppose. Anyway, the government's had to more or less nationalise the banks, so capitalism is on it's bum around here anyway. The wisdom of the market has been shown to be a joke. Karl Marx is laughing up his sleeve! Hotboy

The Rich Mama said...

this is a both/and issue. we are creators and we are created simultaneously. i think we are created not only by institutions but by communities, families, memories, history, and universal energy. any practice (like Buddhism) that enables one to step away from the cycle of meaning is a good one.

The Blonde Duck said...

I think most people are good. There are some people just born bad, and their choices can affect those who are too weak to embrace the suffering those who choose goodness must undertake.

I'm glad I got you thinking. That makes one of us! :)

growingupartists said...

Nice crowd here!

Hotboy said...

This bloggy really does look good! Hotboy