Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.
Bling is not an indication of riches. It is a product of value-based spending, to enrich the pockets of those outside of ones sphere of influence...the haves' bleeding the have-nots'.
Get off the treadmill of consumption, replication, and mediocrity. Begin lifting the weights of creativity, originality, and success.
We are the witnesses of a barely perceptible transformation in ordinary language: verbs which formerly expressed satisfying actions have been replaced by nouns which name packages designed for passive consumption only -- 'to learn' becomes 'to accumulate credits'.
In the end Navidson is left with one page and one match. For a long time he waits in darkness and cold, postponing this final bit of illumination. At last though, he grips the match by the neck and after locating the friction strip sparks to life a final ball of light.First, he reads a few lines by match light and then as the heat bites his fingertips he applies the flame to the page. Here then is one end: a final act of reading, a final act of consumption. And as the fire rapidly devours the paper, Navidson's eyes frantically sweep down over the text, keeping just ahead of the necessary immolation, until as he reaches the last few words, flames lick around his hands, ash peels off into the surrounding emptiness, and then as the fire retreats, dimming, its light suddenly spent, the book is gone leaving nothing behind but invisible traces already dismantled in the dark.
Every talent God has hidden in you is not for your own consumption, they are for other people’s liberation.
Art serves to confront that which is outside order, to give form to the obscene. In the process, it opens it to transformations that can not only make it safe for public consumption, not a powerful vehicle through which to address the public imagination.
The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too.He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers.... In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.
All we do is work to maximise our consumption privileges and to be able to tell people at parties that we’re a lawyer, an artist or a police officer.
Marriage, in what is evidently its most popular version, is now on the one hand an intimate “relationship” involving (ideally) two successful careerists in the same bed, and on the other hand a sort of private political system in which rights and interests must be constantly asserted and defended. Marriage, in other words, has now taken the form of divorce: a prolonged and impassioned negotiation as to how things shall be divided. During their understandably temporary association, the “married” couple will typically consume a large quantity of merchandise and a large portion of each other.
We live in a world where it is completely the norm to worry about what we put in our bodies but worry very little about what we throw in our minds. We think a hamburger is bad but a celebrity gossip magazine is completely harmless. As children you never hear “don’t put that garbage in your mind,” but for our body counterpart it is common thread. There is something very wrong with this scenario.
Consumption can be a remedy against boredom and may convey a sense of fictitious power and supremacy, by standing out from the crowd through the extravagance of the expenditure. As it becomes an addiction, however, it might be cured, if the right medication is administered : humbleness and mindful discovery of the others. (“Buying now, dying later”)
We consume so we never have to answer the hard questions. When we are bored we eat. When we are lonely we watch a movie, read the newspaper, jump on social media. Each time we do we cover up our real emotions and keep throwing another layer of confusion and anxiety on top, making it almost impossible to dig ourselves out of the hole, or at least see which way is up.
It is clear from both documentary and archaeological sources that conspicuous display and consumption of wealth was fundamental for an elite male to maintain power and position in society.
The tourists had money and we needed it; they only asked in return to be lied to and deceived and told that single most important thing, that they were safe, that their sense of security—national, individual, spiritual—wasn’t a bad joke being played on them by a bored and capricious destiny. To be told that there was no connection between then and now, that they didn't need to wear a black armband or have a bad conscience about their power and their wealth and everybody else’s lack of it; to feel rotten that no-one could or would explain why the wealth of a few seemed so curiously dependent on the misery of the many. We kindly pretended that it was about buying and selling chairs, about them asking questions about price and heritage, and us replying in like manner.But it wasn’t about price and heritage, it wasn’t about that at all.The tourists had insistent, unspoken questions and we just had to answer as best we could, with forged furniture. They were really asking, 'Are we safe?' and we were really replying, 'No, but a barricade of useless goods may help block the view.' And because hubris is not just an ancient Greek word but a human sense so deep-seated we might better regard it as an unerring instinct, they were also wanting to know, 'If it is our fault, then will we suffer?' and we were really replying, 'Yes, and slowly, but a fake chair may make us both feel better about it.
The fact is that some things will be lost in our new way of life. It is useless to pretend that the transformation to a lower-energy, lower-consumption society will always be painless and easy. Thus, the only possible way we can bring it about is to replace some of the pleasures we are losing with new ones -- with rituals of non-consumption that offer us something to replace what is lost.
Dolorita Hunsickle says that the chipmunks tell your fortune if you catch them but I never did. She says a chipmunk told her she would grow up to be a famous ballerina and that she would die of consumption unloved in a boardinghouse in Prague.
...eating is the purest mode of consumption. Our purchases are statements about our social class, our friends, and our beliefs. Buying something as continually necessary as food is an ongoing act of self-definition.
Isolation and loneliness are central causes of depression and despair. Yet they are the outcome of life in a culture where things matter more than people. Materialism creates a world of narcissism in which the focus of life is solely on acquisition and consumption. A culture of narcissism is not a place where love can flourish. The emergence of me culture is a direct response to our nation's failure tot truly actualize the vision of democracy. While emotional needs are difficult, and often impossible to satisfy, material desires are easier to fulfill.
Turning and climbing, the double helix evolved to an operation which had always existed as a possibility for mankind, the eating of light. The appetite for light was ancient. Light had been eaten metaphorically in ritual transubstantiations. Poets had declared that to be is to be a variable of light, that this peach, and even this persimmon, is light. But the peach which mediated between light and the appetite for light interfered with the taste of light, and obscured the appetite it aroused.The appetite for actual light was at first appeased by symbols. But the simple instruction, promulgated during the Primordification, to taste the source of the food in the food, led to the ability to eat light. Out of the attempt to taste sources came the ability to detect unpleasant chemicals. These had to be omitted. Eaters learned to taste the animal in the meat, and the animal's food and drink, and to taste the waters and sugars in the melon. The discriminations grew finer - children learned to eat the qualities of the pear as they ate its flesh, and to taste its slow ripening in autumn sunlight. In the ripeness of the orange they recapitulated the history of the orange. Two results occurred. First, the children were quick to surpass the adults, and with their unspoiled tastes, and their desire for light, they learned the flavor of the soil in which the blueberry grew, and the salty sweetness of the plankton in the sea trout, but they also became attentive to the taste of sunlight. Soon there were attempts to keep fruit of certain vintages: the pears of a superbly comfortable autumn in Anjou, or the oranges of Seville from a year so seasonless that their modulations of bouquet were unsurpassed for decades. Fruit was eaten as a retrospective of light. Second, children of each new generation grew more clearly, until children were shaped as correctly as crystals. The laws governing the operations of growth shone through their perfect exemplification. Life became intellectually transparent. (Desire)
We have created a manic world nauseous with the pursuit of material wealth. Many also bear their cross of imagined deprivation, while their fellow human beings remain paralyzed by real poverty. We drown in the thick sweetness of our sensual excess, and our shameless opulence, while our discontent souls suffocate in the arid wasteland of spiritual deprivation.
Sometimes we don't need to eat or drink as much as we do, but it has become a kind of addiction. We feel so lonely. Loneliness is one of the afflictions of modern life. It is similar to the Third and Fourth Precpets--we feel lonely, so we engage in conversation, or even in a sexual relationship, hoping that the feeling of loneliness will go away. Drinking and eating can also be the result of loneliness. You want to drink or overeat in order to forget your loneliness, but what you eat may bring toxins into your body. When you are lonely, you open the refrigerator, watch TV, read magazines or novels, or pick up the telephone to talk. But unmindful consumption always makes things worse (68).
But as in the degrees of sickness thou art to submit to God, so in the kind of it (supposing equal degrees) thou art to be altogether indifferent whether God call thee by a consumption or an asthma, by a dropsy or palsy, by a fever in thy humours, or a fever in your spirits; because all such nicety of choice is nothing but a colour to a legitimate impatience, and to make an excuse to murmur privately, and for circumstances, when in the sum of affairs we durst not own impatience.”Jeremy Taylor’s “Holy Dying”, extract from chapter IV.I (The Practice of Patience) para 5.
Wherever the shadow of economic growth touches us, we are left useless unless employed on a job or engaged in consumption...We lose sight of our resources, lose control over the environmental conditions which make these resources applicable, lose taste for self-reliant coping with challenges from without and anxiety from within.
It is in fact the height of selfishness to merely consume what others create and to retreat into a shell of limited goals and immediate pleasures.
Work, work, proletarians, to increase social wealth and your individual poverty; work, work, in order that becoming poorer, you may have more reason to work and become miserable. Such is the inexorable law of capitalist production.
The beauty of the twentieth century is the charm of the hospital, the grace of the cemetery, of consumption and emaciation. I admit that I have submitted to it all; worse, I have loved with all my heart.
Our culture tries to convince us on just about every front that more is better. More is a sign of wealth, luxury, power. Gone are the days when meals were moments of connection and conversation; now it’s all about consumption and calories.
If 22 bushels (1,300 pounds) of rice and 22 bushels of winter grain are harvested from a quarter acre field, then the field will support five to ten people each investing an average of less than one hour of labour per day. But if the field were turned over to pasturage, or if the grain were fed to cattle, only one person could be supported per quarter acre. Meat becomes a luxury food when its production requires land which could provide food directly for human consumption. This has been shown clearly and definitely. Each person should ponder seriously how much hardship he is causing by indulging in food so expensively produced.
The amount of gold someone has is never the issue, but rather the love of it and the want of more for personal gain that consumes the hearts of many good people.
A bodyguard for a pretty socialite, I was moving up in the world. Like all idiots I naturally assumed she was pretty because she was rich. You can buy anything with money, even people, even... beauty.
If we allow our American mindset of consumption to spill into our understanding of what a Christian is, we are in danger of living irrespective of world family.
I vow to ingest only items that preserve well-being, peace, and joy in my body and my consciousness... Practicing a diet is the essence of this precept. Wars and bombs are the products of our consciousness individually and collectively. Our collective consciousness has so much violence, fear, craving, and hatred in it, it can manifest in wars and bombs. The bombs are the product of our fear... Removing the bombs is not enough. Even if we could transport all the bombs to a distant planet, we would still not be safe, because the roots of the wars and the bombs are still intact in our collective consciousness. Transforming the toxins in our collective consciousness is the true way to uproot war (72-73).
Mindful consumption is the object of this precept. We are what we consume. If we look deeply into the items that we consume every day, we will come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our bodies and our consciousness, showing ingratitude toward our ancestors, our parents, and future generations (66).