We can do better than to join the society of materialistic fanatics
Rampant corruption and blatant inequity characterize our current socioeconomic system. What is their cause?
They are symptoms of the materialistic fanaticism afflicting humanity. Just as religious fanatics care for nothing and no one except their twisted religious beliefs, materialistic fanatics care for nothing and no one except their materialistic agendas for self-aggrandizement.
The Bhagavad-gita outlines (16.13-15) the psychology of such materialistic zealots: they don’t feel any hesitation in slaughtering their own morality and even the lives of other people on the altar of their materialism. This description in the Gita is chillingly reminiscent of the cold-blooded manipulation, exploitation and destruction of enemies that is routine for many of today’s economic barons who collude with underworld dons.
The Gita prefaces this description by stating the fundamental misconception that underlies their heartless and horrendous materialism. It describes (16.08-09) their non-spiritual, even anti-spiritual, worldview that rejects the existence of God and the soul. Because they conveniently dismiss out of existence the spiritual dimension of life, no control valve is left to check their untrammeled materialism. The Gita notes (16.17) that their religious pretensions, if any, are just a utilitarian mask.
Thankfully, Gita wisdom doesn’t leave us feeling helpless about this all-devouring materialism. Its sixteenth chapter concludes (16.24) with a call for return to scripture-based balance of material and spiritual values. We can respond to this direction-providing call for balance individually and collectively.
Individually, each one of us has the power to attain and sustain that balance, thereby protecting ourselves from becoming victims-cum-participants in the materialistic mess around us. And collectively all of us can set the example and share the word that can inspire many others to free humanity from the stranglehold of materialism.
“The demoniac person thinks: “He is my enemy, and I have killed him, and my other enemies will also be killed. I am the lord of everything. I am the enjoyer.”