Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday 16 February 2008

Spirituality and consumer behavior

We all desire luxury: larger homes, 4-wheel drives, one weekend to go the opera in New York and the next one to see an exhibition in Paris. We want the latest TV, PC, mobile, fashion and perfumes. All material luxuries. All with a footprint. All the basis of economic growth and an increasing CO2 impact. Does it make us happier? On the contrary.
Does immaterial luxury exist? We all know it does. An afternoon walking along the beach. A simple meal after a long trek in nature. Tending to the flowers in the garden. Reading a book to the children. Playing music together with friends. The weekly yoga course, or the daily meditation sessions. Being mindful of our activities throughout the day. Almost no footprint at all.
The road towards a more sustainable society - especially in my part of the world - is to change our desire for more materialistic luxuries into a desire for more immaterialistic ‘luxuries’. Spirituality and its discipline can help us change and become less materialistic consumers. In ‘living’ this change we contribute to a sustainable society.
What we practice in our individual households should also influence our collective household. A 'spiritual' economy would not tax the labor, but the raw materials we extract from nature. When you have to pay the same amount in tax as you pay for the extraction, re-use and recycling becomes profitable and a new service economy may emerge. Read more about this on the website (only partly in English) of Eckart Wintzen, a pioneer of this new economy.

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