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Consumerism VS Spirituality


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#16 thesameones

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:18 AM

Because we seek enlightment does not remove us from the physical reality. We are both physical and spiritual beings. We cannot and should not deny this. It lends stunt to growth. Being physical (material) we do require material substance. The degree we require I should think would be individual. Danger would be in excess. Crossing lines to dominate the material. Unbalance.

The object is not of as great relevance as the soul employing the object and the objectives. The object is material. It is the impliment, the tool, to express what is within and without in spirituality. The object could be any thing at all. It's preference. Some don't require objects at all. Some function soly on spiritual interaction. If some people want to sell objects, and some want to buy them, that's okay. The important thing is that we recognize our selves and be true to us in what ever we desire or employ.

#17 Redhead

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:28 PM

Some very good points there. I think that we are all just saddened by how many people are duped by Wall Street and think that religion - which ever one you subscribe to - is fueled by money. I'm just gratified to find so many other Villagers who aren't buying into materialism and consumerism.
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#18 aloha_spirit

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:33 PM

I know this comes from a Christian source, but I think its message is universal: Live in the world (have a job, enjoy life), but not of the world (don't lose your values).

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#19 MoonChild

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:06 PM

I know this comes from a Christian source, but I think its message is universal: Live in the world (have a job, enjoy life), but not of the world (don't lose your values).

Posted Image If only people realize!
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#20 cryptokiller

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 07:41 AM

Well it's nice to see that I am not alone then.

I realize that the Villagers who replied here are but a tiny cross section of all those out there in the 'big wide world' who use Magic, but hopefully this trend toward more honest and down to earth Spellcasting is reflected in the general Magical population as well.

We can only hope I suppose.

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#21 Redhead

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 07:49 AM

Well, crypto, I think that a lot of people are tired of everything being about money. There will always be people who think that it's what you have that is important and not who/what you are. I know someone who brags that his brother owns 30 Harleys. Not a collection of interesting, old bikes, but new ones. And he doesn't understand why I am not impressed by this. You can only ride one at a time, and a spare is nice if that one's in the shop, but really - it's all about the ride itself, not what you ride. And that goes for life in general, if you ask me.
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#22 cryptokiller

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:18 AM

You can only ride one at a time, and a spare is nice if that one's in the shop, but really - it's all about the ride itself, not what you ride. And that goes for life in general, if you ask me.


Oddly enough, my first reaction upon hearing about all those bikes, even though I've always wanted a classic Harley of my own, was not "wow, lucky dude, he's got 30 or so Harleys" but closer to "what fun I'd have building memories with the money he spent to build all those possessions".

Not wanting to sound cheesy, but life is about the journey, not the destination, even more so where Magic and Spirituality is in play, and definitely where self motivated and regulated Magical Systems like Chaos Magic are concerned.

Indeed, I have found that, things relating to my beloved girlfriend aside, everything I have quested toward has been something of an anticlimax anyway, and once you've done something once it loses it's charm. It goes from "I need to strive for that" to "Yawn, I'm comfortable with that now" extremely quickly, and I so hate boredom.

I know some people here have quoted the Bible with relation to all this, and while I of course mean no disrespect to them by linking the two, I have found that there is a line in the first Conan the Barbarian film that describes my worldview even better: "There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison."

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#23 Buddharat

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:01 AM

I'm sorry to go way back to the beginning (I'm new here: hello) but I wanted to comment about the commercialism that's growing in the Wiccan/supernatural realm. In college, I studied how cultures react to new, different, or odd stimuli that enters said culture. Now, technically Wiccan/witchcraft is basically the oldest religion, but up until the recently (I can't say for sure, probably ten years or so), it was kept pretty private, with Christian and Catholic beliefs keeping them quiet. But in recent years, its been coming out more and becoming quite popular (and rightly so). I know growing up, witchcraft was "evil" according to most people. Now, it's marketable. I studied this very phenomenom. When some idea "threatens" to change the cultural norm, the culture will actually ingest it then spit it back out, only with their own spin. This happened with the "Punk" culture. In the seventies, everyone was afraid the punks were going to take over and that anarchy would rule. When it was apparent that punk wasn't going to go away, culture had to adopt. So instead of continuing to put out propaganda against the punk subculture, it took it in and made it marketable. Now-a-days, who's really afraid of the punk down the corner that bought all their clothes at hot topic? No one. This happens all the time. Now that witchcraft is on the rise, instead of fighting against it (except for a few fundamental rightwingers that still do), witchcraft has been taken in and spit back out. That's why we can now all go to Barnes & Noble and get books like "How To Be A Teenage Witch", etc. Thankfully, there are still some purist shops around that have mostly homemade goods, but I do see prepackaged wands, charged salts, etc, seeping in. Personally, I still try to craft my own magikal objects as much as possible. I just hope it doesn't get any worse than it is now. Thank you Crypto for a great topic and I hope I haven't bored anyone with these.

#24 Corey

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 07:10 AM

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems that alot of people that find Paganism tend to be young, and they are willing to spend the money on things before they really know what's going on. They will buy a book of spells before ever knowing the meanings behind the rituals involved. It's a quick and dirty world these days, why spend time, when you can spend money? Thankfully, Paganism is just a fad for alot of folks, and after a few months they will wander away and find something else to identify with.

#25 autumnbelle

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 08:44 AM

This really is a thought provoking topic - and very timely as I have recently met some basket & mask makers who gather their own materials from nature - and while that isn't magic, how they describe the gathering and using natural items reminds me a lot of people I know who practice 'The Old Ways.' The energy and effort it takes to find and prepare and then create intensifies and strengthens the outcome. Whether it be weaving a basket or carving a mask or casting a spell or making medicine.

Actually, it's the same with gift giving - if there is true thought and real effort put into a gift, it means so much more than 'Oh - had to give you something, so here - saw this and thought maybe you didn't already have one.' Part of the problem with consumerism is the trade - often we trade quality for convenience and the longterm for the short. And anyone connected to nature in anyway must think of the longterm - for consequences and results.

Eat, drink and be scary. ~Author Unknown


#26 cryptokiller

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:42 AM

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems that alot of people that find Paganism tend to be young, and they are willing to spend the money on things before they really know what's going on. They will buy a book of spells before ever knowing the meanings behind the rituals involved. It's a quick and dirty world these days, why spend time, when you can spend money? Thankfully, Paganism is just a fad for alot of folks, and after a few months they will wander away and find something else to identify with.


Personally, I've never approached this from a quick and dirty angle, and I think that's why all this annoys me so much. I have been researching into the Occult for about 20+ years now, but have only recently become a practicing Spellcaster, say a year or so ago, and that gave me not only a far deeper understanding of the spells I was eventually going to cast, but also the background knowledge to think on my feet when I had to, and create my own rituals from scratch.

Now I think your onto something there Corey, and I definitely agree that a lot of those who seem to think that they need to spend a lot of money on the Occult are the younger, more inexperienced and impressionable Mages, not to mention those who are drawn to more mainstream Magical 'religions' that seem to thrive on selling as many trinkets as possible to their initiated.

I am not saying that all young Mages are the same, my girlfriend 'thegoblinqueen' is one, and is also very mindful of the whole 'Consumerism vs Spirituality' issue, and perhaps once the big 'Occult revival' slows down a bit and the fad followers move off to other things, then we will see a little more respect for the Magical Arts, and less for the almighty Dollar.

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#27 NightNGaleX3x

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 08:21 PM

I think a lot of magick practitioners these days are wanting to show how "magickee" they are through all their "magickee" gadgets and trinkits because all these things somehow verify they are magickal practitioners to them and other people. People like to associate what they see as verification. Rich people usually have big TVs and houses, no? So why wouldn't a witch have a huuuge massive cauldron and elaborate athame and an 80 dollar crushed velvet robe, right?
I think simplicity is a great thing in magick. It's how it started. And nature is simple. I enjoy hand crafted things, yes, for magick too but my ceramic bowl I can live with as well as my simple athame.

#28 Redhead

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 11:00 AM

Personally, I've never approached this from a quick and dirty angle, and I think that's why all this annoys me so much. I have been researching into the Occult for about 20+ years now, but have only recently become a practicing Spellcaster, say a year or so ago, and that gave me not only a far deeper understanding of the spells I was eventually going to cast, but also the background knowledge to think on my feet when I had to, and create my own rituals from scratch.


Reminds me of an old adage I like to quote: "If it's worth having, it's worth working for."
"Never wrestle with a pig. All you get is dirty and the pig has all the fun." ~ Anon.

#29 amymyers1973

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:21 AM

Hi,

I've enjoyed reading this discussion on consumerism v. spirituality.

There's a term to describe the essence of the issue: spiritual materialism. I first encountered this term while reading a book on meditation by Ram Dass. Then a friend lent me his copy of "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism," by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, when I was studying Buddhist philosophy in more depth.

In the years of studying the paranormal, Reiki, meditation, magick, and paganism, I have collected lots of crystals, trinkets, figurines, candles, and books. At a point after reading Trungpa's book, I looked at all my stuff and realized that I don't need more stuff! I quit buying stuff frequently. Although, to be honest, once in a while I can't resist a new crystal from the rock show. That's not to say I'm cured. I am almost powerless against books. Friends continue to enable me and give me things too.

Generally speaking, objects and tools can be useful to any practitioner or believer in just about any spiritual path. However, the stubling block many people experience is when acquiring new and better tools gets in the way of spiritual practice. Think of the people you know who go crazy with holiday decorations or religious symbols in their homes just to put on a show. Think of people who attend group services and bring along their newest books or tools just to put on an affectation of being more devoted or more spiritual than others. I'm not saying that's bad. For most folks it is a completely unconscious motivation. There's no denying that people get pleasure from playing show and tell with their new toys.

From what I have read on the subject, spiritual materialism isn't limited to physical items, but also includes egotism or inflated spiritual pride. I think the basic idea in cutting through spiritual materialism is not to go to extremes of indulgence (wealthy, powerful religious leaders) or deprivation (hermits or ascetic monks). Practitioners eventually learn that the tools and pretty accessories that go with their spiritual paths are not required or necessary to achieve the goals they are seeking. That being said, I think the average practitioners and spiritual followers strive to find balance and a "middle way" in their lives.

Respectfully,

Amy
Don't you know yet? Fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe. Perhaps the birds will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying. - Rainer Maria Rilke, "First Elegy" from The Duino Elegies. Trans. Stephen Mitchell




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