You know -- what can I say, I go off the top of my mind...
Here's my review. Lots of questions come up and hopefully it gets you interested in looking at yourself and your own choices, whether or not they have anything to do with yoga or fashion (they do). I know I'm still thinking a lot about our present-day structure, it driving behavior and beliefs; how it's built on ideas of the past, adapting to needs of today, planning for an unknown, yet marginally projectable (not really a word) future; the mash ups of tech and spirit, body as our home and our home in this world. To paraphrase some wisdom from my morning session today at Kula Tribeca: "It's never going to be perfect, resolved; the ends will never tie up neatly. Never, ever, ever, ever. And thank God." But is that an excuse for laziness and irresponsible choices? ..... Nyet, Nu, Non, Nein, Não, Manan, Na, Iie. Guess it's got me thinking about honestly responsible choices too...
I also have to give credit to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche for the term 'spiritual materialism' and my teacher David Micheal Hollander for introducing me to it. Here's the video of Chogyam speaking on the concept, worth watching all the way through:
In Trungpa's presentation, spiritual materialism can fall into three categories — what he calls the three "Lords of Materialism" (Tibetan: lalo literally "barbarian") — in which a form of materialism is mistaken to bring long term happiness but instead only brings short term entertainment, followed by longer term suffering:
- Physical materialism is the belief that possessions can bring release from suffering. In Trungpa's view, they may bring temporary happiness but then more suffering in the endless pursuit of creating one's environment to be just right. Or on another level it may cause a misuderstanding like, "I am rich because I have this or that" or "I am a teacher (or whatever) because I have a diploma (or whatever)."
- Psychological materialism is the belief that a particular philosophy, belief system, or point of view will bring release from suffering. So seeking refuge by strongly identifying with a particular religion, philosophy, political party or viewpoint, for example, would be psychological materialism. From this the conventional usage of spiritual materialism arises, by identifying oneself as Buddhist or some other label, or by collecting initiations and spiritual accomplishments, one further constructs a solidified view of ego.
- Spiritual materialism is the belief that a certain temporary state of mind is a refuge from suffering. An example would be using meditation practices to create a peaceful state of mind, or using drugs or alcohol to remain in a numbed out or a blissful state. According to Trungpa, these states are temporary and merely heighten the suffering when they cease. So attempting to maintain a particular emotional state of mind as a refuge from suffering, or constantly pursuing particular emotional states of mind like being in love, will actually lead to more long term suffering.