Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The World Financial Crisis, a Buddhist Perspective

The world is in financial and economic turmoil. 20/20 hindsight is much in evidence with most commentators blaming the greed of "fat cat" Bankers, but the Banks and other financial institutions have only prospered by pandering to the greed of all of us. We have wanted something for nothing, borrowing has become second nature with people becoming "Rate Tarts" moving their debt from one piece of plastic to the next, accepting mortgages for greater sums than our homes are worth and regularly spending more than we earn.

In Buddhism Greed is one of the three "Poisons", along with Hatred and Delusion. Greed, or craving, (Tanha) arises from the mistaken idea that we can obtain and hold on to possessions, to ideas, and even to other people. Greed arises from selfishness, from the misconception that our bodies are who we are. Our greed and attachments tie us to unhappiness and lead us to much harmful behaviour. Because of greed, we become angry as others have or take something we want. Anger so often arises when our greed is unrestrained. Or when we do not get what we want, because others reject our ideas or obtain what we had wanted for ourselves. Or when what we have is taken from us, or those we love are lost to us. The ways that greed and attachments can overwhelm us and, then, lead us to anger are endless. And the pain generated, as a consequence, is infinite.

Read more about the "poisons" and how to overcome them HERE.

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