Monday, March 8, 2010


Take a step back and look at the world you live in. What is it like? What do people do there? What do you do there? What motivates people to do what they do?

I live in the 'Western World'. More specifically, the United States of America. From where I stand, people seem to be driven by one thing, wealth. Now, when I say wealth, what is it you think of? Something tangible like money or gold or jewelery? Or is it something intangible, like information, knowledge, power, or even love? Your concept of what wealth is lies at the basis of what motivates you to 'do' in this world, and in the western world I feel that most people's concept of wealth is that of the tangible.

It is easy to understand why most are fixated on material things, it comes as a very rewarding feeling when you get something new, especially when you feel you have worked hard to get it. It may also be argued that the attachment to material items is ingrained in the most primal instincts of our psyche. After all, it is material that has fed us, clothed us, sheltered us, and made us comfortable since man's ancestors birthed the concept of tools. But where are we now? We have finally made it easy to acquire food, made it easy to become clothed, and made it easy to shelter ourselves. We have made ourselves very, very comfortable. How much more do we really stand to gain in acquiring more 'stuff''?

We have brought this childlike fixation of wanting more to its limits. We are already hurting our planet with our habits, and if we continue like this we will only succeed in hurting ourselves. It is time we recognize that we need to transcend our ancestors, to bring new meaning to what it is to be human.

This leaves a gaping question: What do we do instead? How can we break out of the old cycle of work for reward? The answer lies within that which we are already very familiar with. It is what has gotten us to the point we are at now, though most people have gone through life using it as a means to the end, the way to acquire more material wealth. It is time to make the means the end itself, to make knowledge and intelligence what we strive for. Our intelligence is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, as a race, we should focus on life achievement in that aspect.

This does not mean we should shun all material, technology, and the like. It is just shifting our focus away from what is materially unnecessary to our survival and comfort in the pursuit of personal growth through wealth of information and perspective. Like I stated earlier, instead of using intelligence as the means to acquire material, we use material as a means of acquiring intelligence.

It also does not mean we should spend our lives with our heads buried in books, or trapped in institutional learning facilities. The best intelligence comes from experience, which comes from merely living in the world. So, in a sense one could argue that we already do this, but for the most part we do not do this consciously. This notion of living your life, always looking to learn, always looking for new experience, is what I call for. We should be eternally thirsty for knowledge and insatiably eager to share our knowledge with others.

With this new philosophically enlightened perspective, we can use it as a basis for a completely new society, attempting to free ourselves from the greedy and dominating shackles of crass materialism.

No comments:

Post a Comment