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On Greed

I believe that greed is a result of inner emptiness, of obsessively consuming externally what lacks internally. Humans naturally compensate their disadvantages by increasing one or more fields in their life and expertise. For example: if you are a knight in the medieval ages and your self-confidence is low, you’ll naturally wear bigger armour, have more decorations, have a bigger sword, and so forth.

The same goes with greed. Greed is to consume one or more things extensively not by need but by passion. It can be money, food, and any sort of addiction we feel close attachment and desire for.

Our modern world encourages greed in the name of wealth and prosperity. The more you become addicted to something, and the less you are to resist temptation, equals more financial power to those who provide the addictive material. There is a corporate interest for us to be addicted, even at the sake of our own health, so the richer shall become richer, sometimes regardless of the cost to those who become engulfed and enslaved by their desire.

Greed is enslavery. There is a general deception that doing things according to one’s desires, is equivalent to being in liberation. This is false because the Inner Components - desires, passions, attachments and so forth - at times of greed and addiction, become more powerful than the one that experiences them, and when they are to dictate every thought and every choice you make - then you should realize that you’ve become consumed by an inner rebellion. When you are prone to greed, you are a mere puppet of stronger forces, living inside of you, who grew much more powerful than you because you’ve failed, or refused, to authorize them. Thus they’ve revolutionized your body and now you remain their minion, who merely does their bidding, and manipulated by them to make you believe that you are free.

The healthiest and the independent state of being is the exact opposite - of ruling these rebellious Inner Components and oppressing them, because they believe they know better by mere desire; they are not driven by logic, but by short-seeing feelings. The moral job of the independent individual is to keep themselves in check with the guidance of Reason, for Reason knows, sees and speculates much better than Desire. Desire wholeheartedly believes that they are always right, can always predict future possibilities, and are always true, thus when Desire rules over a serene Mind instead of the opposite - what greater mental enslavery there is, than such a component that sees the fog but convinced that the fog is actually the lightest light, and therefore that’s the way to go?

This is what Greed believes. A gambler can feel pleasure and passion from their addiction, while in practice they sometimes severely risk their financial state in the name of Desire. This what Desire does best - makes you unsatisfied no matter how much time and resources you invest into the its source. It is an unhealthy form of compensating for lack of internal abundance, by creating a vicious cycle of external prosperity, or, at least, the constant search for it.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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